Archived Messages from August 19, 2000 to September 7, 2000

Gariess Thu Sep 7 23:22:38 PDT 2000

Gratitude list:

1. Chinese food.

2. Coronary implants.


gariess Thu Sep 7 22:09:05 PDT 2000


Egad, I knew you were a republican, but now you’ve come right out and said so in the Notebook. That means you are now fair game for attacks by dyed-in-the-wool democrats such as myself. I suppose, now, that means your going to support that lame-%*^ed George W. How can you respect a party that doesn’t even have the smarts to field a candidate that would be a shoe-in against against the lackluster AL Gore? McCain would have stomped Gore.

Well, the Texas panhandle is a fitting exile for a person of such political acumen. At least if he loses (and I fervently pray that he does,) you will still get to have him for Governor.


For those of you who may have missed the news, a pair of Britney Spears signed jeans is the leading bid getter in a Yahoo charity auction. The lowest bid getter is a signed pair of Hugh Heffner's jeans. Britney’s drawers are up over six grand with two days left in the bidding. Heffner’s, a sorry three-hunert ‘n thirty-five. The Spears cupcake-huggers would have brought a lot more, but somebody neglected to have them certified ‘un-laundered.’

Don’t look at me, I just report this stuff.


Mark Thu Sep 7 20:42:15 PDT 2000

Working on my autobiography. Two posts in Novel section of workbook. The posts are connected, I'm working on theme right now. This wasn't my planned thematic tack, but it seems to work so I'm following it.

My grand venture into the blues is lifting. So nice to see so many good thoughts posted here.

Gratitude list cont'd
18. A higher power (sometimes called God)
19. That I am aware of my needs
20. That I can discern good examples
21. A boss who wants to give me more responsibility
22. Two paid-up cars
23. Medical Insurance
24. Sun screen (I just had 24 pre-cancerous keretoses removed)
25. To be alive and living in America

That was a tough list to finish. I can say that my old mentor was right, "Your attitude at the beginning will change to something much different at the end."

Rhoda Thu Sep 7 19:52:52 PDT 2000


Thank you for the critique. You pointed out some things no one else has brought to my attention before, and I found this most helpful.

I have looked over your story in the Workbook and have e-mailed you some comments and suggestions.

What a day! I found out I have 17 picacuries of radon in my house. Christian private schools in Tulsa are much larger, more expensive and harder to get into than Christian schools here and in Farmington. We will have to mitigate the radon before we move. Man, this moving is expensive!!! It hasn't helped that I have had to replace a car window, the transmission, etc. etc. I have sung this sad song here before. I will not do so again.

I will probably have to get a day job after I move. What will I do? What shall I be? Hamburger flipper at MacDonald's? Checkout girl at Walmart? Chemist? Lab Tech? Shop clerk? After 12 years out of the job market, what am I good for? And my writing? Will I still have time for it? Will I ever get my discipline back? Oh dear, I think I am experiencing my fourth or fifth mid-life crisis. I have had one of these every other year or so since my thirtieth birthday. Well, at least I haven't had Howard's problems. There is little worse than plumbing problems. Hang in there, Howard.

I think it is time for bed. A good night's sleep is what the doctor ordered for times like this.

Night all,


Jessica Thu Sep 7 18:54:55 PDT 2000

It seems like it has been a long time since I last posted, but it realy hasn't been. School is very time consuming, I am taking a class that prepares people to become certified in microsoft networking, but it's a realy hard class, I finaly found a class that I can learn something from!

Hmmmm, things I am grateful for:
1) good music
2)nice people
3)helpful people
4)my muse
5)that people think I am different
6)a good family
7)all the good things in life.
These are in no order, other than the order which they appear on the page %)

Everyone have a good day, night, afternoon, whatever time it is for you!


PS make somebody feel special today!

Debra Thu Sep 7 17:53:25 PDT 2000


Like, Tina, can I like come over and like have some?

Like, sounds good.

Why am I doing that? That is how my sister used to talk with her like friends. Then they all went to like Amherst College. Phew! One of them used to make their own food too. I'll bet yours is good.


Rachel Thu Sep 7 15:57:14 PDT 2000

Tina - I also can not stand those Norich Union commercials. I just shudder when they come on.

Things I am grateful for... That would be life, love and and all that they bring with them. I am grateful even for things that don't go my way, or weren't exactly what I expected or wanted. I am grateful for everything that is mine to experience. Then of course there are the basics of family, friends, home to live in, food to eat. I'm pretty easy to please. If you are happy with the good and the bad then you are pretty much set.

Heather Thu Sep 7 14:16:43 PDT 2000

Howard, I feel for you and the plumbing woes. Had the very same woes earlier this year, and ended up writing a sweet ode to the pool on the basement floor, though foul-smelling was the inspiration.

Tamara, please be more specific in your quest to find information on how to write what it is you wish to write. Very hard to inform you in general! Welcome!
(ie: Do you want to know specifics on grammar, puncutation, style, format, ideas, approaches, exposition, narratives, how to utilize certain points of view in writing, dialogue, essay-style writing? Do you just want to sit down and write a story that's been knocking back and forth in your mind for a while, and need to know how to start? Give us the goods!

Hi everyone!

Back later...

tamra steen Thu Sep 7 12:53:27 PDT 2000


i have been searfing the net trying to download info on how to write any particular kind of text, no cigar. i have found many general and inspiring comments for writers in general, but finding specifics does not seem to be out there...


please help.

howard Thu Sep 7 09:41:04 PDT 2000

Hadda take a vacation day today to make some emergency plumbing repairs. The vent pipe broke/came apart in the cellar, and we awoke yesterday to a house full of methane. Ooooccchhhhh!
Just another thing to keep me away from my writing. It seems lately that if I do get a chance to sit at the keyboard (when I'm not on the roof, Mark) I suffer from an acute case of 'brain fart."
On my "grateful" list I've added - 1) that the apple tree didn't roll *all* the way over on my leg 2) Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," 3) 1 John 1:9 4) (these are not in any special order) a wife and family who love me.
MARK -- I've been thinking a lot about what you posted about your desire for freedom to do what you need to do, and I understand. But the only thing I can say for now is anyone can grow to his potential if given the space (or makes the space by moving on). The real trick is to do it within the limitations we've found/placed ourselves in. Honor demands that.
Just added 5) Judy Collins' "Send in the Clowns."

Tina Thu Sep 7 08:29:52 PDT 2000

Rhoda, I finally posted a crit for you in the workbook!

Tina Thu Sep 7 07:53:35 PDT 2000

Cook! Sweet and sour pork, and fried rice! And enough for left overs. So so so so yummy.
(If anyone's noticing a trend here, I love food).


Debra Thu Sep 7 06:51:44 PDT 2000


Cook Chinese food? Or get Chinese food?


Tina Wed Sep 6 18:16:51 PDT 2000


Debra, Heather, I would like to strangle the poor excuse for an advertiser who thinks up those commercials! Norich Union commercials make me want to heave. So do ads for most car sales lots. There's always another smarmy salesperson to make me ill!

On the other hand, some advertising campaigns and commercials are brilliant. AT&T had a great run last year. (music please) "Right here, right now, there is no other place I want to be." It was excellent. There's an ad in Scientific American this month for that I love; babies in those clear hospital cribs, reading books. I love good advertisements! :~) I also admire good graphic design, like the new (ish) designs on our RCMP vehicles.

Gotta go cook chinese food!

Debra Wed Sep 6 12:49:28 PDT 2000


That was a very moving story. I usually don't go for those rustic stories. I read this one all the way threw. Is it fact or fiction? I really couldn't tell.

That is a compliment.

I give you thumbs up.


Debra Wed Sep 6 08:59:39 PDT 2000


No I don't. So far so good. You never know what's around the corner.


Debra Wed Sep 6 08:58:07 PDT 2000


One more pet peeve, giant spiders making a web across the driver seat and the stering wheel.

How big? Car accident big. Can you imagine if he wasn't home when I got into the car and came back when I was on the road?


That was me yesterday. My skin is still crawling.



Heather Wed Sep 6 08:57:08 PDT 2000

Whew! Ok, I posted the short again. Although, sometimes first times really are the charm. I managed to post it this time with a typo. Grrrrr.

Debra: I must be missing out on a pet peeve! I haven't seen the stolen wallet commercial.
Do you get those stupid Norrich Union (tm) commercials?
AAAUUGHGHGHG (strangled cry).


Debra Wed Sep 6 08:30:58 PDT 2000


I want to jump through the TV and grab her and the other her by the neck and say," You've been robbed. Get over it! No one is going to give you your money back! Call a friend or a relative and get on with it." Jeeze.


Heather Wed Sep 6 06:40:42 PDT 2000

Debra, I agree.
Just as bad are those life insurance commercials with the has-been actors. You know they're only doing the commercial because they've spent every last cent of the money they made doing sitcoms in the 50's, 60's or 70's. Sad, really. The commercials are so cheap they must be pretty desperate.

Another note for you, Debra! I'm posting a short story I wrote in June in the workbook (short story section). The story has a mixture of passive and active voice, because of the different speakers and the fact that what is being said is basically a memory in the beginning of the story. The ending is different, and so I did it in a different way. I wanted to post it again because it does have passive voice in it, and I don't know how else I could have written it.

I also made a few minor changes to it, on the advice of some NBers made when it was originally posted.

Oh! And one more... I still add two spaces ahead of each new sentence when I write. Old habits from grade nine typing class don't die at all!
I think it looks professional, and is the easiest way to ensure that your manuscript is clear and presentable.
I also double space my novel as I go, but I'm sure I could double space it when I'm finished, with some function on my word processor I haven't yet discovered. But it's so much easier for me to print it out and edit it - I have space in between each line to write in my own comments and corrections.

Without further ado, I have four pages to re-type into the WB....


Debra Wed Sep 6 06:17:38 PDT 2000


Okay Heather, let me add to your complete list of pet peeves.

I can't stand those commercials of women whom have been robbed and are whining on the phone to some athourities. They are taking women back over a hundred years or more.


"you don't understand everything is in that cab sniff sniff whine whine,"

Or how about this one

"yea uh my wallet, my husband's wallet, Scuse me! I only turned around for one second," whine whine.

Where is the mute button!!!!!!!!


Debra Wed Sep 6 05:18:30 PDT 2000


You really gave that a lot of thought.
I could simply say:

What Heather said goes for me too.


My saying that could be yet another pet peeve.

Heather Tue Sep 5 22:26:04 PDT 2000

A Pet Peeve List!
How delightful... to add some.

Here are the things that natter on my nerves:

1) People who ride your ass on an OPEN highway, but never pass you.

2) Spilling hot coffee on that funny little space of shirt that can't be hidden with your jacket, and won't dry before the meeting.

3) The knock of the Jehovah's Witness. And the speech.

4) Wet towels bunched up on the floor. Hasn't anyone noticed the abundance of towel racks?

5) Uncancelled stamps. You feel cheap taking them off and re-using them, but you can't stand wasting them, either.

6) Toothbrushes with handles too wide to fit into that nifty toothbrush holder you bought.

7) Gas gauges that read 'empty' when you're certain you just put in thirty bucks of gas three weeks ago.

8) Junk mail and coupons for things you'll never buy in ten lifetimes. But they're better than bills.

9) Commercials for night creams with a model applying it on top of an air-brushed makeup job. Or, women in TV shows that wear makeup to bed.

10) Ads for fitness gyms where nobody in the ad actually needs to be there. In fact, most of them need to gain a few pounds.

11) Thank you cards that don't come with envelopes.

12) Bills that say 'thank-you for choosing ______', when in fact, if you want to heat your house or drink water, you have to choose them.

13) Ambulances with 'ECNALUBMA' painted on them so you can read it in the rearview mirror. I think the boxy vehicle with flashing lights and siren are clues enough.

14) The kid that has to scream continuously at the toy store, and the parent who doesn't see a problem with that.

15) Things that are sold without batteries, lids, the rest of the set, or other vital parts. I hope those blinds I ordered come with the pull-string. Window sold seperately.

16) Neighbours who look at you strangely, as if you're taking out the garbage in your underwear. And if I did, would they mind not gasping and pointing? It's too early in the morning.

17) Oh, yes, that reminded me. Mornings.


19) Plaster walls. Won't someone please save me from taking twenty trips to the hardware store because I can't seem to find the right sized plastic plug? My key holder is hanging at an odd angle and it's really nattering my nerves.
Screws and polyfilla (tm) just aren't enough.

20) Hardware stores that sell everything but the one part you're looking for. Or they sell it in fifty packs, and you only want one.

21) Dimmer switches that defy their purpose and only respond with 'nuclear-bright' or 'almost midnight'.

22) Laundry that doesn't fold itself.


Debra Tue Sep 5 19:55:30 PDT 2000

Okay thanks all:

Before, I was getting it. (passive)

Now, I got it. (active)

I don't want to bog down my writing. I do want my writing to reflect what is going on around me. My question, is natural speech full of active or passive? Is it a combination of 50/50 or something else? I will pay close attention to everything I hear. Then I will know (active)

I can't wait to post my next story.


Tomorrow the things I am grateful for.


Mark Tue Sep 5 19:47:32 PDT 2000

Shakespeare was a detail-oriented craftsman who worked very hard to make the language of every play underscore his themes. For 300 or 400 years the usual critique of Hamlet has been his inability to make a decision. The play hinges on that inability. This is a kid who comes home from college (at a school with a reputation for turning out philosophers). He finds on arrival that his father is dead and his mother has married his uncle -- this in a society that calls such marriages incestuous. What's he to do? Then the ghost visits and tells Hamlet, "I was murdered." NOW what's he to do?
He wants the truth, he wants to save his mother. How does a philosopher handle THIS? Scan the play and pay attention to Hamlet's words. There are clear distinctions between the passive voice sections and the active voice sections. Unless they study the play, Shakespeare's language works on the audience subliminally. The passive and active signal us discreetly that Hamlet is indecisive or decisive and we receive the signals with minimal effort. It works and we don't have to think to 'get' it.
In much the same way, Juliet's father continually calls "More Light" in Romeo and Juliet. Yes, the whole play moves in scenes of light and dark, but Capulet is reinforced as a man who will only believe the evidence of his vision. We all know someone who must see to believe, Capulet becomes a believable person by his call for more light and we don't have to think much to make the asscoiation.
Shakespeare worked awfully hard to ensure that the audience got clear and consistent images from his characters. It's certainly fair to call him a genius, but when I look at the careful placement of symbolic images in ALL his work, I admire his perspiration more than his inspiration.

Rhoda Tue Sep 5 18:33:15 PDT 2000

Things are getting really bad when I start addressing posts to myself.

Rhoda Tue Sep 5 18:29:26 PDT 2000

Ten things I am grateful for:

1.) Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation, not only available to myself but to all who ask. And the abundant life He has given me.

2.) My husband Frank who has stood with me through occassional bouts of folly these 17 years. His kindness, his patience, his gentleness... (I could go on and on).




6.) Precious friends I have had the privedge to meet everywhere I have been.

7.) The United States of America--still the best as far as I am concerned.

8.)Wonderful parents, in-laws, my brothers and their families, and the privledge of being raised in a stable home by intelligent and loving parents.

9.)A good education with books availabe to foster it.

10.)The Republican party--not perfect by any means, but still the best of all choices. (I have to put this down, being an election year and all).


On the subject of passive voice and passive writing. It is best to avoid it, of course, but you cannot totally eliminate it.

TO BE or not TO BE
That IS the question.
Whether it IS nobler in the mind
To suffer the slings and arrows of outragous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing, end them.

I have had English teacher after English teacher wax elegant on the importance of eliminating the to be verb. I think the rule on passive speech is that if you overdo it, it bogs your writing down and any reader can tell when it is overused.

Happy writing!


Hallee Tue Sep 5 18:00:20 PDT 2000

Here is the top ten things I am greatful for:

10. That I was raised in a loving, Christian home. As I get older, I realize just how rare that is.

9. That I met and married my husband. He and I are the perfect match.

8. That, after so many sad and heartbreaking tries, we finally had our daughter.

7. Really good, well written books, specifically romances and/or mysteries.

6. Really good, well written and directed movies, specifically actions or thrillers.

5. The discovery and subsequent explosion in the use of the Internet.

4. That God saw fit to give me this gift of writing, that came as a surprise to me when I was 26.

3. That I learned that I also had the gift of cake decorating. It may seem like a small thing to some, but I have yet to charge for a cake that I do, and they bring such joy to anyone they're made for.

2. My wonderful job. As much as I look forward to the day I can quit and finally write full time, I couldn't ask for a better job or better bosses at this time in my life.

1. That Jesus Christ is my savior. This one is above and beyond any of the aforementioned items.

Now I must get this child of mine into the bath. (sigh)

Love to all!

Mark Tue Sep 5 17:05:14 PDT 2000

DEBRA -- A few more examples:
passive -- he is running
active -- he runs
passive -- he was shooting
active -- he shot

Passive formations have some form of the verb "to be" in them. I used to ask college freshmen to tell me what "is" means. They'd stare at me.

Gratitude List cont'd
10. Buffalo Bills football
11. old photographs
12. internet radio
13. electric razors
14. grass
15. slow traffic lights
16. fast film developing
17. community theater

more later,

Robi Tue Sep 5 14:48:50 PDT 2000

I am home from New Zea.
Lovely place, good people.
I'll tell you all about it once I get myself fixed to the time zone diff.
NEWBIES?!?! (I know you're out there......) Seriously, though, are there any new faces? Welcome to the Notebook, please allow me to be of any assistance that I can during your stay here.

Your crazy ranting and raving woman,


P.S. I am a bit upset, a woman I met, a friend of the Professor who wrote the medical journal, ect. Called me ROBIN. I had to explain to her that my birth name was Robietta, and that Robi is what I go by. I had it when people persume that they know things that they don't. Anyway, off to collect myself. I seem to still be finding peices.

Jerry ICQ 6359431 Tue Sep 5 14:30:21 PDT 2000

Well, made it back in one piece, following the great Labor Day camp out. Had a great time, despite the fact that it rained every night, and we only saw fifteen minutes of sun. I feel re-created again.

Mark, your wife sounds a lot like mine, god bless her soul, she has yet to read half of what I write. I guess turn-about is fair play, as when we were wed some thirty-one years ago, I failed to read her poetry. She has since quit writing, and moved on to needle work. She does not however interfere with my writing, as I write when nobody else is home, which is every Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Favorite things?

1. peace and quiet - the absence of sound
2. family, each and every member, being with them and enjoying their company.
3. Grand kids.
4. fans when it is hot, heaters when it is cold.
5. Star trek - any and all versions
6. '55 Cheveys
7. '49 Fords
8. camping
9. fishing
10 good writing and the writers who write it

Not so favorite things?

1. slanted newscasts
2. reckless drivers
3. loud noises
4. bad writing
5. slow internet speeds
6. microsoft - and the programs they corrupt
7. drought
8. hot sweltery days
9. cold women
10. drunks

Well off to the workbook to see what all the talk is about.


Jerry Lee ICQ# 64716917 Tue Sep 5 13:42:55 PDT 2000

Sorry 'bout that...

It must be because I'm so twirked off!
I got to work today at 3:00CDT and read the long weekend's e-mail. There before me was an explaination of a class taught somewhere here on campus with a reminder that today was the last day to submit book-length manuscripts so that this class can pick one, edit the winner...and then PUBLISH it!
AARGH! as Charlie Brown would say.

Things I'm thankful for:
1. Everything that is, was and will be. (That's not too all-encompasing, is it?)

Anywho, I'd better get started on next year's manuscript for the publishing class.


Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee ICQ# 64716917 Tue Sep 5 13:36:28 PDT 2000

Debra Tue Sep 5 13:18:06 PDT 2000


I did say aggrasive but I meant to say active. I was thinking that Hallee, I think, felt that the problem was not resolved because Vicky was not aggresive enough. I thought it was solved because she accepted his touch and his coffee. The coffee was what she hated to leave in the first place. If it was a musshy ending and not what you expected please let me know in more detail.

I'm glad that my fraudien slip delighted you. I was really glad to get all of your crit's. I hope to post my next short story "Lynch Mob" I'm not quite finished yet.

If I don't sound too dumb,what is the danger of having too much of one and not enough of the other. Could someone please share that danger with me. I would like to understand that completely.



Jon Tue Sep 5 12:41:00 PDT 2000

A little post to the empire (much smaller now, as it has shrunk because of inflation):


You are been seen by me as a very sweet person. Please do not care too much about the passive and the active and the "agrassive" (a neologism invented by you and enjoyed by me). The passive is perfect, as the following example proves: you are loved by all of us.

Mark, your wife is right: much time with books and computers can damage your health.

Sasquatch, here is a list of things I'm grateful for: 3. my tenderness, 2. for you, 1. and everybody.

PS. I miss A*, my faithful secretary. Last time he was seen he was spitting vitriol on Putin's skalp for not helping the people in the submarine quicker than he did (or did not do). Perhaps he was sent to a goulag, where he is starving and, worse than that, working. 1 pound reward for anyone who... here's a telegram:

"A* escaped from goulag and seen walking, without food or water, in a desert near Ocklaoma. He was naked and wearing only one shoe — he had eaten the other. You may start crying."

Fine, that will teach him to mix with Russians and Americans.

the sweetest emperor the world has ever seen.

sasquatch Tue Sep 5 09:46:04 PDT 2000

Hello to all again and jon creature also i love you. i sasquatch am as well thanks for many but do not for ever remember all of things in all time. i sasquatch thanking for 1 the ableness to be communicating 9 those who do not shoot 4 those who do not run to say that they have been seeing Yeti in the forest 6 birds 8 the ents 5 friends 3 fish 7 remembering 2 dry places to sleep 1 sun 4 the one and there is more but i sasquatch do not numbers well. i must go.

Rhoda Tue Sep 5 09:23:54 PDT 2000


I can feel the anger and frustration in your posts. I hate to give advice, but I think for your sake and your wife's sake, you are going have to lovingly confront your wife. I realize, being married myself, that there is a lot of give and take in a relationship and that we have to accept certain things about our spouses, but I do not believe that we have to allow our spouses to enslave us.

I have a brother-in-law who is 40 years old and who is an assistant manager at an auto parts store. He has been an assistant manager at various stores since his late twenties, and he will probably go to retirement (if he can ever afford to retire) being an assistant manager earning a little more than minimum wage. He hates his jobs. The job market is strong where he lives, but he will not make any attempt to better his position. My brother-in-law is gifted in things. He cooks well, is handy around the house and has a certain amount of creativity. His mother has offered several times to send him to trade school, but he will not go because his wife will not let him. It could be that my brother-in-law has his own fears and insecurities and only uses his wife as an excuse, but she IS possessive. She cannot abide his friends and has little tolerance for his family. I just do not see where that is a any sort of life for him or for her.

I do believe that where you are concerned that if you allow this situation to continue, it will adversely affect the love and respect you and your wife feel for each other, and that could lead to all kinds of problems down the road. Somehow in a loving, but tough way, you must assert yourself. I realize that the risk is great, but in the long run it would be the best for both of you.

Please, if I am all wet, disregard all that I have said and forgive me for it.


Debra Tue Sep 5 07:37:08 PDT 2000


To quote Celene Dion, "It all coming back to me now"

Keep it coming whenever you want.

Thank you and yes I do see what you mean.

I do see. (active) Right?


Mary Tue Sep 5 07:21:16 PDT 2000

Debra: Hiya sweetie...passive voice and active voice really can be tricky, but it is imperative that you get it right. It can make or break a story.(At least usually)

In most contexts, choose active voice because it is clearer, more emphatic, and less wordy than passive. Active conxtructions clarify WHO is performing the action.

PASSIVE: Election results are often determined by a small number of voters.

ACTIVE: A small number of voters often determine election results.

see the diff? in the first example..something is happening to the second example..someone is making something happen.

You can usually (not always necessarily) identify passive voice rather easily here is a hint:

If the doer of the action is not named OR is named at the end of the sentence in a prepositional phrase beginning with the word 'by'. (again...look at above examples)

1) The Blue Jays were defeated by the Hornets. (passive)
2) The Hornets defeated the Blue Jays. (active)
3) The Blue Jays were defeated.(passive)

I hope this helps you Debra...Good luck.

Debra Tue Sep 5 06:22:01 PDT 2000

Any time of the day or night someone wants to demonstrate passive and agrassive to me, please do so. I am a quick study and I want any future stories that I write to improve on a regular basis.


howard Tue Sep 5 05:46:51 PDT 2000

MARK -- Gee, I dunno what to say. Thank you for the compliment. Hope I can live up to it.
Me? I've got a gratitude list so long it would take an ocean of ink just to get it started (to paraphrase a song).

Tina Mon Sep 4 23:59:40 PDT 2000

Hello all!

First of all... Jack! Help! Even my computer is taking it's own sweet time loading up. And it's usually so very fast.

I'm feeling very guilty about not getting into the workbook, especially since I'm usually egging people on about doing it! I want to, really, but haven't for the same reason I haven't been writing. No time.

Hallee, yes we celebrate Labour Day. It's not much of a 'celebration' though. A day off for government workers and stat pay for the rest of us.

Debra, about that passive voice thing; it's hard at first but gradually gets easier to recognise. I still fall into it while doing the first draft, but clean it up in the editing. I find it takes too long to worry about it at first.

I'm thinking I'll take Mark's excercise.

THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR: (in no particular order)

1) Stars, moons, planets and everything else in the night sky.
2) Language and words and the love of reading.
3) Bright colours.
4) My husband.
5) Children and their laughter.
6) Gardens.
7) Being free and having the right to be myself and have my own beliefs.
8) Being able bodied.
9) Sandy beaches.
10) Cats.
11) Daisies.
12) Pastry.
13) Silk.
14) Music and dance.
15) Water, in every form from rain to river to sea.
16) Fast airplanes.
17) The choice to love, be loved, and feel love in the earth.
18) The smell of the air after a thunderstorm.
19) Thunderstorms.
20) Horses.
21) Snow capped mountains.
22) Summer clouds.
23) Gravity.
24) Everyone in my life, for their support, the lessons they teach, and the love they give.
25) Toothpaste and deodorant.

1) Mosquitos.
2) Any bug that bites, pinches, or poisons.
3) Pollen. Especially grass pollen.
4) Children who whine.
5) Parents who teach their children to whine.
6) Cigarette butts stamped out anywhere but an ashtray.
7) People who've forgotten the Golden Rule and choose to be negative and cruel.
8) Greed.
9) Burrs in my dog's fur.
10) Bad hair days.

Wow, that was hard! I guess that's a good sign, that it's easy to find things I'm grateful for and hard to find things I'm not.


Allein Mon Sep 4 22:07:32 PDT 2000

Heather - I sent it again. :)

Rachel Mon Sep 4 21:45:24 PDT 2000

Allein - Do you really think you could keep a chocolate from me (very evil smile - brows quirk upwards)? The last person who tried something like that ended up... Well, they ended up with the chocolate.

Hugs for you,


Christi Mon Sep 4 21:24:45 PDT 2000

Mark and Mary,
>>I am so sorry! I got booted out of the chat room as quickly as I came in. My server is el stinko and I have had it up to HERE with it. It has taken me twenty minutes just to load the Notebook comepletely so that I could tell you this.

>>Mark, you sound so sad. I really wish I'd had more of a chance to talk to you. I've teased you a lot in the past (all in good fun), and have come to truely appreciate your presence here.

>>What you said about your wife reminded me so much of myself quite some time ago. Maybe it's for similar reasons, maybe it's not.
>>I used to be incredibly jealous of my husband's music. When the jealousy started he was my boyfriend, but it extended into the first three years of our marriage as well. It just ate me up inside, even though I loved him very much and knew he loved me, I always felt second fiddle to his music. We were both very young and I was so insecure. He loved his music so much that he absolutely lived for it. I didn't know if there was enough room in there for me, and thought that if it came right down to it, if he had to choose between the music and me, he'd choose the music. It took a long time before I realized that I'd been taking my aggressions out on him because I was living through him and not following my own passion. There was no other passion in my life other than him--I had to become more of my own person.
>>It was when I began remembering the things that used to be important to me that I was able to pull back and let him have his space. I had pushed those things away from me, thinking I'd be crazy to think that I could have any kind of talent, but with his supposrt I felt brave enough to try again. There were several very depressing years while I tried to figure everything out until I began taking chances on myself, branching out creatively again.
>>Now we encourage each other's talents as much as we can. When he's really inspired and goes on a writing binge, very often it sparks a writing binge in me. There's nothing like creativity, is there?

Anyway, I'm sorry to have gone on and on like this. What you are going through is most likely very different, but what you said reminded me of what's happened in my own life. Keep the faith, Mark, and sing those blues loud and proud! ;-)


>>PS Heather, thank you for the cool indent trick! I always wondered how you did it. I'm going to check immediately to see if it worked this time. If it didn't, and there are a bunch of >>>>>>s, just chalk it up to duh.

And since I am almost certain that this will happen, here's a 'duh' in advance. DUH.

Mon Sep 4 21:20:35 PDT 2000

Debra Mon Sep 4 21:14:40 PDT 2000


Thank you very much. Yes that did happen to me with the minivan. I did not spill sauce, but my husband thinks I use to many paper towels. I keep telling him my kitchen will shut down without them. My daughter has never caught us talking about sex. Although he seems to never be more than a few inches from me at all times of the day. So one day.......

I am happily married but I don't feel much like a woman getting out of my minivan. Just because I am married, doesn't mean I don't want to still be a woman. I just threw that in there because I wanted to say a little more about Vicky. I will look at that more closely. But I know that is how she feels. I just know it is.



Mary Mon Sep 4 21:00:29 PDT 2000

Knew I forgot something: is anyone going to send in new bios to the bio section for Jack to update? I have been thinking about it, but dont want to be the only one. Also dont want to put more off on Jack who is busier than a one armed paper hanger right now. Let me know..K? Thanks.

Debra Mon Sep 4 20:58:45 PDT 2000


Thanks, again. I really mean that. I did just start witing even though I have wanted to all my life. I have a lot to learn, but I learn quick and I have always loved English. When I do something wrong I usually don't do it again. I do have several books on Grammar but as you said some things seem as if you never knew them. Also my sister has told me that they changed the two spaces rule in between sentneces. Is that true? I can't seem to stop doing that.


You mean your wife is envious of your books. If she were jealous, that would actually mean that she doesn't want you to have success or spend any time with books. I just happen to know that one for personal reasons. I had a jealous boyfriend and when someone pointed out the difference it made it clear for me. He was jealous, not envious. My mom has a better house than me. I am envious of her house. I would like to have one, but I also want her to keep hers. If I can never get one I still want her to have hers. That's the difference between jealous and envious. Maybe you could passivly show your wife how to fall in love with books too. I would start by writing her a poem. You seem to be great at that.

I also liked the passive example you gave. I really need to work on understanding that completely. I don't at this time. Although, I like to think of Vicky and Paul as equals in the tug of the love and control war. There are some couples that go up and down like that on a regular basis.

I did want to put the explaintion of the relationship in the story more instead of in the front. I wasn't sure of how to do that. I think now I might just jump right into the arguement and squish the first two paragraphs in there like a sandwich. Also, since I don't have to stick to 2000 words, I can do what ever I want.



Mary Mon Sep 4 20:54:16 PDT 2000

Hello Everyone!!!! Hope all is well.

Debra: left you a crit on the short story crit page..smiles to you.

Heather and Mark: way to crit you guys..awesome..left me with not much to say.

Howard: Heeeeelllllllooooooo...heard any good jokes lately?

Christi and anyone else who might take an inkling to icq me, here is my number: 86992170

Mark and Christi: nice chat you guys...glad I stopped in.

Chatted for a while, then got tangled up in Debras short, so now it is way later than I wanted it to be..soooooo....have a swell day, night, afternoon, morning...c-ya.

Rosemary Mon Sep 4 20:42:46 PDT 2000

Hi All,
(I filled in the top)

Just finished reading the critiques(?) in the short story workbook. I have been to a number of workshops and writer's meetings and that was as fine a bunch of analyzing as I have seen yet. Especially HEATHER and MARK. I would love to be the recipient of your expertise if only I could copy to these areas. I am not about to retype a whole story here, no matter how short. I'd never get all the typos out.

It was 109 degrees here today. I knew we were in trouble yesterday when the Chamber of Commerce allowed them to predict 103 degrees. Usually they won't admit to above 99.

Hope everyone had a good Holliday.

Mark Mon Sep 4 20:21:25 PDT 2000

grrr The gratitude list has been on my mind lately. I'm going through my own blues. Allein's song resonated with me as I have been reflecting on the wretched turns my life has taken and how none of my current predicaments are of my own making {Debra, notice the passive voice there?}. I complained recently in chat of being married to a jealous woman and having little social activity due to that. It drives me nuts to think that she married a guy who was just accepted into grad school and that she wants him to be plumber, painter, electrician. I believe that in 15 years of marriage she has only been happy with me when I've used workmen's tools.

Ah, phooey. I can be reclusive. Sunday's comics -- what's the one by Lynn Johnston(Canadian) -- the one where the central woman just bought a toy store? Anyway, the son sits at computer writing a love scene while his girlfriend waits for some affection. She finally leaves, harumphing "Writers!" Yeah, that's me. I am a rock. I am an island. Intellectually I know billions of bits of connected trivia. Emotionally I know the self-propelled blues. Sometimes it's comfortable to sit in the blues and examine the causes of those great down feelings. Write a song for B.B. King.
My ol lady know nothin 'bout books
She only know who cleans and who cooks
I wanna sing with the Notebook band
She want me work with a wrench in my hand

Writers are known to sit in the dumps and closely examine their emotional territory. It's generally pretty lonesome. My wife is jealous, she's not jealous of another woman, she's jealous of my time with books. I should be nicer to her, but lately I've been simmering in a stew of righteous indignation. That's a bad place. Too many amateur writers find themselves alienated, nauseated, and suicidal. It's really bad when you think, as I have lately, "I can handle it." I'm not handling it. It's not good for her either. I have wondered if it wouldn't be truer to both of us if I simply left and went back to a university as teacher or student. It's a quandry that recurs.

Gratitude List

  1. A loving and generous wife who allows me to upgrade my computer and allows at least an hour every day of reading and writing time
  2. the Notebook
  3. fast internet connection
  4. Howard, who sets a good example of how to take it in stride
  5. family who listen to me without passing judgement or taking sides [that's gotta be hard for my mother]
  6. our home business, which supports us both with all the requisite economic stuff
  7. my side job, which gets me out into computer geekdom where I get strokes
  8. a cat that rubs my leg and then turns over and slides her back across the top of my foot
  9. Chat Room, where I can release spontaneously among people I consider peers

Got into chat and now am too far past bedtime. Looks like my list will be serialized.
In Chat Mon Sep 4 18:58:11 PDT 2000


Heather Mon Sep 4 18:54:23 PDT 2000

Allein! Send your icq request for authorization again. please! I booted up icq and alas, no authorization request yet. :o<

Debra, just a suggestion, but it would probably serve you well to get your hands on some grammar texts, just so you don't take anyone's advice who doesn't know much about the subject. Even though I may think I know enough about grammar, I scroll through a grammar book and voila! I find a caboodle of things I forgot about, or never knew.

If you want to enter contests, spelling and grammar mistakes would automatically knock down your 'points'.

Keep working on it!


Heather Mon Sep 4 18:47:08 PDT 2000

Actually, Debra, the reason the dialogue was confusing was not because the 'said's were missing. It was because each time a new character speaks, you need to begin a new paragraph indent.

Here's an example: (note: I add two>> for each indent since they don't show up for me in the NB)

Frances tucked the straw into the purse of her moistened lips, and was just ready to draw a breath.
>>(indent) "Frances!" someone whispered sharply.
>>Frances turned in her seat, the cafeteria straw still in her mouth. "Gina, will you butt out?" Frances hissed.
>>"I'd butt out if you'd quit spit-balling Jake and Ellen," Gina gave Frances a 'you make me ill' look.
>>Frances faced forward in her desk again, and took slow aim. Carefully hidden from the teacher's eyes behind Matthew's bulk, she inhaled.

I didn't use 'said' either. But it's easy to see who is speaking, and to whom.


Debra Mon Sep 4 18:30:09 PDT 2000

The reason why you seemed to have a hard time figuring out who was speaking is I was trying not to use says or said.

Maybe I should consider adding in one or two now and then.

If you noticed, maybe you did, there wasn't a said or says on the bunch.

Thanks again,


Debra J. Palardy Mon Sep 4 18:23:02 PDT 2000

Well thank you all:

I liked your crit's; I really did. I learned a lot. The reason the story was short was it's a short story contest, which I won't worry about winning. I was wondering what wat the rule about the question mark. It seemed to come too late. I asked someone and that what I was told. Anyway, I do have a longer version which I will rewrite and post as soon as I can.

I did think that the story ended in a make-up with both partners. He said the wrong thing and she got another cup of coffee. Maybe it was just me.

I like constructive critisim. I'm going to make a file out your crit's and go over them.


Hallee Mon Sep 4 17:43:45 PDT 2000

Wow - that took a long time to load. I wish I had more to say tonight. :)

DEBRA: I left a crit for you.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day!
(Do ya'll celebrate Labor Day in Canada?)


Allein Mon Sep 4 17:43:21 PDT 2000

Heather - I've sent an authorization request to you through ICQ. My username is Allein - easy to remember.

Hallee - Good for you! Kudos!

I am grateful that I had a day off today to sleep in late. My relief worker brought lumpia to the house where I work. She gave me a few pieces to take home. I really enjoyed the first two and while I was getting a soda in the kitchen, my dog enjoyed the last piece. Oh well, I know a restaurant that has GREAT lumpia and also these little red sausage things - they're good too, but really fatty and greasy. I think it's terrible how lots of things that are good tasting aren't good for you.
I took a test in a magazine yesterday and according to the results I'm a certified chocoholic - along with 40% of other women in the world. I'm sitting here eating these mocha truffles - they're good and melt in your mouth. ::spots Rachel trying to take one:: Grrr! No! Mine!!!

Anyway, I'm going to leave and eat these and spoil my dinner in peace infront of the TV. See what I do on my days off - well, that's what I'd do everyday if I didn't have school and work. I was supposed to lose weight this summer and gained it all back - plus some. I really gotta watch that before I get fat as a blimp. ::pops truffle in mouth:: Starting tomorrow.
*chocolate smiles*

Mark Mon Sep 4 16:49:41 PDT 2000

DEBRA -- It's there. Maybe you need to refresh the page. If you are on AOL or MSN or one of those services, then the page gets cached by the service proxy machine. That means the page loads faster, but is not up-to-date. Some independent Internet Service Providers also have a caching proxy server. If you have Microsoft Internet Explorer, then hit the 'Refresh' button near the top of your screen. If you use Netscape, then the button is called 'Reload.'

Debra Palardy Mon Sep 4 12:48:36 PDT 2000


I must be doing something wrong. I went to the short story workbook page and then hit the critique page button and that is all I know is there another way or page?


Mark Mon Sep 4 12:25:19 PDT 2000

DEBRA -- left a crit for you.

Debra Mon Sep 4 08:12:22 PDT 2000


Thank you!


Hallee Mon Sep 4 07:41:28 PDT 2000

[doing cartwheels and flips]
[dancing a little jig]

Debra: As soon as I get this house cleaned (a true testament to the hours spent writing this week) I'll look forward to reading your story. :)

Bye All!!!!!!

Debra Sun Sep 3 19:48:39 PDT 2000

Hi All:

If anyone has time on this busy Labor Day weekend, would you care to read my short story in the workbook. It's called "Everyone's got to eat."

I would love to know what you think.


Heather Sun Sep 3 13:32:13 PDT 2000

Tina, never fear...

...the writing bug will get hungry again and take a nice bite out of you in no time.

Mark, let's take that exercise and all do it. Allein can jump in when she's got a few minutes free if she wishes!

We can all use some reminders of just what there is to be grateful for.

I am grateful:

1) for the opportunity to write and create

2) for my mind/brain/thinker/dream-hatcher/gizmo up there in my little rounded cranium

3) that I am alive

4) that I love and am loved

5) that I have somewhere to sleep, something to eat and somebody to curl up with on the couch

6) I am grateful that I have a couch to curl up on

7) for this desk and this computer and internet access

8) I'm grateful for(I can't begrudge it... no no no) experience, especially (now, with lots of distance) the hard times.

9) eyes

10) ears

11) nose

12) skin

13) tongue


15) SOUL

16) laughter

17) tears

18) for the many muscles that surround my mouth so that I can show all those multitudes of emotion

19) for my eyebrows to wiggle and arch and knit in echo of my smile (or lack thereof)

20) for hands to write, paint, scribble, draw, caress, tickle, grab, pinch, rub, gesture with, and cover my eyes with on occasion

21) for hot chocolate

22) for starfish

23) for telephones

24) for mail service --- for letters that aren't bills

25) for mobility (yes, that means the ability to walk, run, jump, dance, kick, tumble, fall, have sex, skip, twiddle my thumbs, comb my hair, use the phone, type, edit (ha ha) and escape if necessary.

26) for sanity (though it can be turned on and off like a lamp when desired)

27) for happiness - to have experienced the depths of despair will only make the happiness you experience all the more lofty.

28) for questions

29) for answers

30) for geniuses in the world. And idiots.

31) for the time free to sit here making this list.

ok, that went past 25. No harm, no fee.

Just got back from the bait shop, looking for food for my chameleon (Cosimo) because the pet store is out of pinhead (teeeeeennny tiny) crickets. The guy at the bait shop had nightcrawlers and maggots and meal worms, all either too big for Cosimo to eat, or too gross for me to consider having them in the vacinity of my studio. Or my fridge, for that matter. Who the hell wants to purposely bring MAGGOTS into the house?


So the last of the pinhead crickets will have to do until Thursday when the pet store will get in new stock. (and I ordered 250 pinhead crickets for thursday....) Let's hope these ones don't sing. The last bunch didn't. If they do, you can bet I'll be up there with tweezers pinching off every last one of their little back legs!

Allein, fear not that your life will never be the same. It won't, but now is a time for growth. You will have lots of time for fun in a while, when your schooling is finished. Remember that Christmas and Thanksgiving are coming up, and you will have some time off then. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a heck of a lot of time off either. I find time to get out and have fun, but it's not what you'd call a regular occurance. Think ahead to all of the money you will make for yourself, and where you will be living. Think of all the fun you are saving up for. Remember that to reap the benefits and rewards you dream about there is a requirement. You must plant it and tend it carefully, and most of all, wait. (plant = school, tend = work)
Your crops will be worth waiting for!

And you have lots of friends that will stick around, and lots of friends you haven't met yet.

Take care and email me if you want to chat.

for anyone else with icq: my number is 20829825
and my user name is waterspider. (under my husband's name because I can't be bothered to use my own icq userID or name....)

Tina, (again) don't worry - it's been almost two weeks and I've only just started back writing a few days ago, then I took two nights off, and then today I started again.
I was afraid I'd have to chuck the whole of chapter 5, but then I was reading it again and looking for loopholes, and realized that what I've written doesn't need to be tossed out at all.

For some reason my post is terribly mundane and uninteresting - must be because I just spent my semi-brilliance on my novel and not here.
sorry to bore the shit out of you.


Tina Sun Sep 3 00:17:17 PDT 2000

I've also heard that quote paraphrased as
'Growing old is manditory, growing wise is optional.'

Haven't written in a week. Feeling frustrated. And bitter. Think I'll go sleep it off.


Allein Sun Sep 3 00:04:50 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,
It's midnight, and I just got back from my 14 hour weekend job and I have now 7 1/2 hours to sleep before I have to get up and do it again.
But, I wanted to thank everyone for their support and kindness. I'm just a little over emotional right now (as all women at certain times) but I am feeling better. You've all helped to cheer me up and I'll try my hardest not to cry about this anymore. Hopefully, after I talk to the program coordinator, I can get different hours and then be able to have my fun time. But, on the bright side, I'm getting paid on the 11th - huge chunk of change. And guess what, I'm opening my very first checking account. :)
Another good thing is that several people have visited my website and my guestbook isn't so hungry anymore. But, it still likes nice juicy entries to eat. Plus, many people have read Mali and Azol and have absolutely gushed over it and are demanding more. I suppose I'll have to find some time in my busy schedule to give the people what they want. But, at least writing is fun. Which reminds me that I have an essay to write for college - only one page, should be easy. It's about self esteem.

"I don't have low self esteem - I have low esteem for everyone else." - Daria, MTV

I don't have low self esteem either, I have no self esteem. Well, I've established that fact and I hope to build up to some in the next year.
Anyway, thanks again for all your support. You've all been a huge help.

PS: What's a wuggle? :^/
PPS: "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional." - I love this quote. :^)

Hallee Sat Sep 2 23:45:40 PDT 2000

Evening everyone!

Mark: After reading your posts and critiques, and even being on the receiving end of those critiques, I have come to the conclusion that you are a truly wonderful man who has a big heart.

Allein: I hope what you've garnered is that everyone, in some form or fashion has been through this. I remember the fall after I graduated from high school, driving down the road on my way to work and seeing a school bus stop. I was so envious of those kids. I suddenly yearned to be back in school and no longer have to be an adult. You get through it, quicker, I hope, after listening to everyone here.

I'm writing the very last chapter!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!


mary Sat Sep 2 23:41:31 PDT 2000


That is not my right icq number..sighs. I transposed some of the numbers. But I cant get it to load right now, and didnt write the numbers please...rolling my eyes...bear with me.


Mark Sat Sep 2 18:04:24 PDT 2000

ALLEIN -- Several kindly folk have replied "send you hugs." Oh, thank you so much. I'll just wrap my arms around this monitor, poke my fingers into the little air holes back there and just feel so much warmer. Though, really, I guess, there's a lot to be said for kind thoughts.

I've seen a few "You're young yet" responses tossed your way. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That was never what I wanted to hear. Bunch of dipweeds.

Hmmm. What was it wanted to hear when I was in that weird transition you're in? I wanted to hear that I could have it all. Nobody gave me that answer. I got a lot of "Take the good with the bad," and "No pain, no gain," and, of course, "Sometimes you gotta give something up in order to get what you want." That last one might be the most true. As a computer consultant I have laid out a small triangle in front of customers; each point of the triangle has a label: Cost, Speed, Quality. The base of the sign says "Choose Any Two." It's true. To control Cost and Speed you give up Quality. To control Speed and Quality you give up Cost. That's where you are. Making the tough decisions about what in your life you can control and what to ride with. No matter what you decide to control, you have to ride with what's left.

Some few responses here have said that social life means something different after you've matured. That's true. But how is it different? I can say that for me the difference has come in a greater sense of self-reliance. From 10th to 12th grades I used to hang out at a street corner next to Hannigan's store with a bunch of other guys about my own age. After 12th grade, guys would quit hanging out. I used to figure it was because they were old enough to drink. Yes, some were drinking. Some simply matured. It took me years to realize that I didn't need the whole gang to take my direction from.

I'll give you two coping strategies intended simply to help you get through, no matter the decision.

Here's a link to some stories written by people who know about the little things in life. It's The National Story Project from National Public Radio.

Well, there's six paragraphs from a 53-year-old man who (I'm told) makes it sound easy. Nope. It's hard. But, I believe in those coping strategies and the benefits that come from them. I think it would be best if you could find a woman to do them with. Maybe someone young whose daily nuggets will resonate in a way that sounds most true to your ear. I quit smoking by sharing experiences with a group of other smokers who went through exactly what I did. Try. If you don't get any takers, let me know and I'll do a 30-day exercise with you. Believe me, I don't make the offer for your sake, but for my own. The Notebook is a place for give and take. That's what this is.
howrad Sat Sep 2 12:31:33 PDT 2000

MARK, CHRISTI -- Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes us "oulde phartz" need it too!
Thanks also for the thoughts re Napster, Mark. You're making me rethink my own stand on this, and that's good.
I received the book too, and thanks for that.

I hit the right side of the barn with the next installment of "Migration" -- that's a working title, by the way. It's funny, but as soon as I saw it in the workbook I spotted a couple of improvements that should be made. There's a bit more, then I ran into a bit of a snag. But as they say, "half a loaf is well done..." or something like that.

The descriptions of home really strike a pleasant chord! No two pairs of eyes see the same things, even when looking from the same spot. It's a worthwhile exercise.

Gotta go hit the showers -- my son-in-law and I just finished a goodly section of roof, and I'm hurting. I think a hot shower might help. 'Specially if I can get my wife to warsh my back...


Tina Sat Sep 2 09:19:04 PDT 2000


It finally happened. I'd typed in my thoughts and hit a bad button and 'whamo' it all vanished. AAGGGGHHHHH :-(

I'll try again.

Allein, everyone has spoken true. My thoughts are about friends. Your friendships are not going to dissappear, or fade, or be lost just because your life is moving. Those friendships will change, because soon you won't be the only one in this boat. Friendships will become all the more precious, and the time spent together will be ever more valuable. You'll meet new people at school and work, and friendships will evolve with different, greater meaning. It's so hard to let go of the way things WERE and move on to the way things ARE. It's kind of like your first airplane ride. The turbulence going up can be freaky, but once the plane is cruising it gets kind of fun. By the time you land, you don't know what all the fuss was about. (If you're afraid of flying, disregard this analogy)

I remember how freaky post-highschool was. I did lose some friends as we each moved on and changed and did new things. But the frinds I've kept are strong and important and full of fun and love. The relationships are just different than they ever could've been in high school.

Rhoda, Leann, I've read the workbook but haven't had time to sit down and post my thoughts yet! :-< I will. Hallee, send more my way anytime. Laura too, if you're around these days!

Not much time this morning. What's new. Off and running!

mary Sat Sep 2 09:03:22 PDT 2000

Christi: my icq number is 86992170. Looking forward to learning how to use the darn thing and hearing from you soon! Thanks!

Debra Sat Sep 2 08:19:17 PDT 2000

Hi All:

I posted my first piece in the workbook. It's called "Everyone's got to Eat.

If anyone would like to read it and let me know good or bad what they think, I would love it.


Rachel Sat Sep 2 06:47:18 PDT 2000

Christi - I didn't think the post was sleepy at all. Want to know something? I find that when a person will say read at your own risk that I jump right in (smiles).


Christi Fri Sep 1 23:48:26 PDT 2000

WARNING: Long winded and slightly snoozy post ahead. Read at your own risk.

Ditto on the video phones. Who wants to have to check their teeth before they pick up the phone?

Zoiks!!! I have ICQ and my number is 64936982. Lemme know what your number is when you get it! It's heaps of fun.

Heee haw!!! That's my terrible donkey impression. I don't do parties; don't even ask.

Good to know. The people around here aren't all sunshine and roses either all the time, but are friendly most of the time.

I think you're right about the Southwest being a more friendly place, but as more and more people move here it seems that we're losing some of the openness. I hate to see it go. I myself am a little more guarded than I used to be.

I remember how hard it was to go to work right after high school, and I didn't even have to continue on with my schooling! You must be feeling very pressured right now. I certainly don't have any answers, but I do have an ear you can complain into anytime you feel like it. It takes some time before you feel like your life has some kind of control to it and you like the way it's headed. The cool thing is that you're young, and even though it seems like the world expects you to know what you want to do, everyone knows that you're still trying to figure it out. Great things will happen, and mistakes will happen. It's all part of being out in the world.
I send a big hug to you.

Jerry Lee,
Yuma huh? It's great to see a native Arizonian here. I'll make sure to ask every Debby I meet if she's Jerry Lee's sister. What the heck, stranger things have happened!

I also have had reservations about Napster. I decided to stop going there myself, but I still download the songs my sister gets when she goes there. It's so hard to say NO! My husband is a musician, and we talked about how we felt about the free-for-all that's been going on. We're not so sure that the big corporate record companies are any better than Napster. They get paid most of the money leaving chump change for the artist.
Like you, I haven't been willing to pay the big dough for a CD in a long time. I guess I'm just waiting it out to see what happens next, riding the fence like usual.

It's a deal! I went to the same School of Housekeeping as you. I try not to be a complete slob (I want to remain somewhat attractive to my husband), but I have a hard time believing that it matters if someone could eat off my floor or bounce a quarter off my perfectly made bed. I drive the neat-niks crazy!

About the surliness, well I remember how cranky my old grandpappy ;) used to be, but it seems that he lightened up with age. Funny how most lighten up, but some have those 'cheeks' clenched tighter'n ever. (Not something you will want to picture.) Maybe the next time I'm on the East Coast I'll go up to those old timers and give 'em a great big kiss!

Oh, Teekay, I forgot about your dream interpretation. I thought it was very good, except for the fact that I had the dream some six or seven years ago, but I STILL thought you did very well! You missed your calling.
Also, I have been having some residual trouble with my email, but I'm hoping it will be cleared up by tomorrow.

Buh-bye and goodnight everybody!


gariess Fri Sep 1 22:19:22 PDT 2000

Goodweed, what a guy. I know what you mean about the Philippines. I spent a couple of years there. I also would like to visit the NP one day (in the summer).

Patti Page of the Page Milk Company, now there’s something. They still play that god-awful song sometimes. I remember her first feature film in 1960: Elmer Gantry. She never made much of a screen personality.


Yes, you may visit. I will leave you my house while I go to Tucson. The Southwest is another place I want to see. Actually, you don’t want to stay in my house. I subscribe to the Oscar Madison school of housekeeping. I think I still have a sandwich from my high school graduation somewhere in the refrigerator.

People from RI? What can I say? They are the same as people from any place in New England. The Chamber Of Commerce gets complaints all the time about how people here are not very friendly. I admit this, and I think it is a bit regrettable. When I go to Florida, it is very apparent how much friendlier people are. Some of our local people are downright surly, but they are a small minority; otherwise the COC would tear their hair out. They actually launched a campaign a couple of years ago to get us to lighten up, but I think it was a bust. New Englanders just need to grow up. You wouldn’t believe how tight-assed the old-timers can be.


Dear heart, I have been watching you grow for quite a while, and I can honestly say that I have seen you change.
Of course you are still young and should be able to savor all the youth you can get. Unfortunately growing up is not a smooth and gradual progression. Sometimes it comes in bunches, and sometimes the present is not a good time to be in. I endured the same as you when I was a teen. Like all teens, I thought it was killing me. Only upon reflection will you know that it is not. I do feel your anguish from reading your words. I wish it were up to me so I could tell you to go out and play and forget about everything else. Als, I can only encourage you to endure what can’t be changed.


Personally, I have no compunction about taking advantage of Napster, I just can’t be bothered. People have been copying music from FM for decades. Some stations have their DJ’s recite ‘spoilers’ over the endings of the songs, not to protect the recording artists, but to discourage people from taping and then not listening to the station afterward. Napster isn’t going to make any of these recording stars go hungry. They won’t even have to give up their villas on the Riviera, or their Mazeratis.

I gotta go,


Mark Fri Sep 1 19:52:43 PDT 2000

Hi all. Just a few words on Napster. I like the price, I think it's great that people can share their music, but on the whole I am against it.

I put Napster on my machine after a friend told me I didn't have to borrow his CDs, I could download the stuff from the internet. Wow. I grew up (so to speak) with free stuff on the 'net, that's how the internet started: people sharing freely. But the Napster load snapped something when I got to the screen where it asked for the directory where I would keep my files. That damn thing was asking for permission to use my hard drive. I stopped the install.

This was true file-swapping in its best and worst senses. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. (Charles Dickens) I love it as an ideology. I was there in the 60's for free love. I saw "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" and I've had pleasant and generous thoughts about many kinds of swapping. gah I survived those times. I am no longer stoned or tripping. That stuff didn't work. I will not french kiss a random mass of strangers.

A problem. I like music. I like free. I don't trust open-to-the-world disk space. I knew that I could simply say 'No' there and be a collector, refuse to open my disk, but I don't feel good about being all taker and no giver. That option gives further lie to the argument that this is simply a big group of friends sharing music. Nope. this is a bunch of people feeding it freely to a bigger bunch.

I also agree with {was it Jerry?} the person here who said it is funny as writers that we don't want to be plagiarized, but we will take musicians' work for free.

Napster will not go away. File swapping is here to stay. One root cause is the music industry pricing standard. It's out of line with reality. For $25 I can pick up the DVD of a movie that cost $60 million or more to make. $15 to $25 for noises from a band on CD is ridiculous.

My music buying is down. Period. I argue the price by not paying it. I'd like a larger collection but ethically will not join the Napster free-for-all.

Jon Fri Sep 1 16:08:27 PDT 2000


I could of course tell you something that would cheer you up immediatelly, my being the emperor and all that. The problem is that tonight I'm not in my best for words. I've read an anthology of poems in the hope of finding something nice to tell you: I did not find anything worthy of you. So I just shut up and look at you speechless and with the greatest tenderness the world has ever seen.


how nice to see you back! Will you please give a prize to Allein. The best prize of all times, please!

I got a lot of telegrams today. But when I speak to Allein I become serious. So, no telegrams tonight.

Americo Fri Sep 1 15:37:03 PDT 2000

Allein, we haven't talked for a while. I could tell you that you are going through one of these crises of adolescence. But I don't, life is always a big crisis. I think that adolescence is a marvelous period and that you will miss it. But I also know that being an adult can be even better than being an adolescent. A happy woman is waiting for you — yourself. Perhaps you should not forget, however, that you have a mission in your life, which is to become a great writer. Being a great writer is a lot of fun!

I'll ask Jon how to become a great writer and I'll tell you the secret some other day.

Rhoda, you must agree that when a character reminds you of a living being, in this case one of your cats, it's not bad at all. Yes, Jon is a remarkable creature.Sometimes a heteronym, sometimes a pseudonym, sometimes just himself. He is now thinking of conquering all the hearts in the world. I'm sure he will conquer yours. Just be nice to him and you will be rewarded with... well, at least some catnip. Shall I give him greetings from you tonight?

Mark Fri Sep 1 15:14:45 PDT 2000

Leann -- more notes on crit page.

Arik Fri Sep 1 15:13:46 PDT 2000

Jon - hey jon. I read the post only now. I wasn't here for a long time.... I am doing.... ok :-)

Jerry Lee Fri Sep 1 14:29:42 PDT 2000

Yo all!

I've been away for a while, but have returned to the gentle people of this small town. It looks as if I've missed a lot of newbies, teeth gnashing and friendliness in my absense, but give me some time and I'll try to catch up.

Very well do I remember those days of lost freedoms, missed events and just generally finding out that my friends can get by without me there.
Damn 'trials of life'!
Let me to put it this way, I've got a cousin who failed this particular 'trial of life' and to this day is the most immature person I know. {One of them, anyway.} He never seemed to grow up, just because it would have been too hard to seperate himself from his teenage lifestyle.
Good luck to you, and remember, if you make it through this thing, you'll be the better for it. (Just remember my cousin!}

I am from Yuma, AZ. I live in central WI. now, but miss the sunsets in general and the Decembers in particular.
My sister, Debby lives in Tucson, now. She moved there about a month ago from FL. If you see her around, be sure to say "Hi" for me.

Take care, all!
Jerry Lee

PS....The link above is for a round-robin website. I think it's pretty new, but it looks interesting.

Rachel Fri Sep 1 12:46:43 PDT 2000

Hi all - Wow! The Notebook is a nice place today (big smiles). I haven't been able to get on for a few days. I think it was server trouble. Anyway, when last I came i thought, Hum.... Now all looks well.

Allein - I send you hugs.

All - I send you all hugs.

Allein Fri Sep 1 12:30:10 PDT 2000

I don't really want to post here right now, but I have to talk to someone and get this off my chest.
I hate my life. I just realized that I have no social life at all. I'm being cut off from my friends - my friends are going to Seattle this weekend and I can't go because of work. I need to stay in school and I need a job too for the money. I love my job because I love helping people and I love school, but I don't think I can take this anymore. It's so hard and frustrating. My parents say that as you grow up and have responsibility, you have less and less of a social life.
But I'm not grown up yet! I need a social life - I need friends. And I know you're my friends, but I need friends that I can do things with. I talked to my supervisor and she said that in a few months maybe something can be done about my hours.
But a few months - think about that! How much will I miss in a few months! I don't want to wait, I want my personal time now.
I don't want to quit my job and I can't quit school, but I can't keep this up either and I don't know what to do!
I'm going to quit boring you guys now.

Rhoda Fri Sep 1 11:44:38 PDT 2000


I have been to Flagstaff, Sedona and Mesa, AZ. I do not think I could ever tolerate the heat of the Phoenix area. I have never been anywhere so hot, 125 degrees F, and that was in September. The mountains around Flagstaff and Sedona are lovely. Whereas Flagstaff resembles New Mexico and Colorado, there is no place on earth like Sedona.

Speaking of your experience in Rhode Island where people don't like you smiling at them, I found a similar thing when I went to Chicago. I was on the elevated, and whenever I made eye-contact with anyone, they turned immediately away or their expressions glazed over. It was as if by a smile or a look I had violated them in some way. I do believe that the Southwest has a friendliness not matched in other places. People in big cities such as Denver, Albuquerque, Dallas, and even Houston are personable, so I don't think this is necessarily a big city thing. I think it is more regional. Farmington in the four corner region of New Mexico had been a very friendly place when I was there, but as easterners began moving in, it became less friendly.

I do not mean to pick on easterners. I can't imagine any of you New Yorkers or New Englanders in this crowd being glacial to a stranger. I have met many a friendly upstate New Yorker on airplanes, but I do believe that a person from NYC or Boston might have been a different manner. Also, I do not mean to judge harshly those who do not warm to strangers. There might be some very good reasons for this. If anyone has a different perspective, I would be interest to hear it.


I read the first part of your story and liked it. I will read more tonight and comment on it soon.

The Workbook is full of many treasures. I cannot wait to get to the rest of them.

Leann, Howard, and Goodweed,

I want to take a look at your stuff also.

Now back to my synopsis. I thought I had an acceptable one until my thoughts later shot holes in it.


Hugs and kisses to you also. You remind me of my cat Buttons. Sometimes he is so sweet he melts my heart, but when he does things like jump on the counter during dinner and eats the roast or knocks down my trashcan in the kitchen, I want to skin him. Still I have tolerated that cat for five years and could not imagine life without him. You remind me of Buttons, Jon. Take heart, the worst thing I ever did to Buttons was lock him in the garage over night. Just behave yourself, or else I will put you at the mercy of my children who LOVE cats--to extreme. Out of love they will imprison you in their rooms for an hour, pull your tail, and rub you until you think your fur is ready to fall out (ask my two cats).

Happy writing!


Debra Fri Sep 1 11:31:32 PDT 2000

Bye Jerry:

Jerry Fri Sep 1 10:36:33 PDT 2000

Heading out for another camping weekend. We have to take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend, heading North to Fort Lincoln State Campground just south of Bismarck ND. Super campground located at the confluence of the Heart and Missouri Rivers, lots of trees, and at night you can almost hear the troopers of Custer's 7th Cav whispering about the planned excursion to the confluence of the Little and the Big Horn rivers out in Montana. The State has renovated the old fort, and even built a exact copy of General Custer home. You can go on a tour of the home given by young ladies in period customs, who give the information in the voice of the General's maid. Weather man says it may rain all weekend, but just to be out in the great outdoors is enough. Hope everyone is well. I enjoyed the great descriptions of your homes, and maybe some day, I can sit down and let you know what it is like on the prairie.

See you all on Tuesday.


Debra Fri Sep 1 06:48:25 PDT 2000


It might have been a bad week. I know for sure that you didn't smile at me or you would have gotten a bright one in return. I sometimes stop briefly and talk too.


mary Fri Sep 1 06:14:46 PDT 2000

i am with jon on this one! hugs and kisses all around! and a scratch behind his ears for good measure.

Jon Fri Sep 1 03:26:04 PDT 2000

All donkeyness forgiven, let's go back to the good old times, with hugs and kisses all around.

I'm rather busy cleaning my imperial crown with (what's this , Pussy? Benzine?) . Just wanted to tell you that A* was last seen hugging the Statue of Liberty, kiss, kiss, kiss. He loves freedom! Please arrest him.

(Did I tell you that I'm probably back?)

mary notdotcalm Fri Sep 1 00:57:16 PDT 2000

Hello everyone...

I leave for a little while, come back, and can hardly catch up for all the posts...and it was soooooo quiet when I left.

I'm right here Christi, downloading ICQ. :-)

Hiya Mark.

Drawho, big hellos.

Hello Heather...

Hello and big Hugs to everyone I failed to mention, but who are just as great!

Hope all is well with everyone..more later. bye.

Heather Thu Aug 31 23:20:39 PDT 2000

Emails, egads. I haven't emailed (in proper) for two weeks! Everyone probably thinks I'm allergic to them.


No, Jon, don't worry, I'm not allergic to cats!
*YELL!* I am supposed to yell in glee, aren't I? I sneezeth instead.
But what for, my little quadripad?

I have just fallen into lazy slumpenness.
how many "n's" in slumpenness, anyway?

Goodweed, I think you have been sneaking reads of Shakepeare
milad. I knoweth that it supplicates thee, and washes over thy soul like a fine almond-butter.

See? I've got the Shaw Festival infection, too...

Ah, yes, close to Guelph are many Mennonite communities, and the horse-driven carriages remind me of Black Beauty, and when I read one chapter a night for a long time to my daughter. Good warm fuzziness feelings there.

Close to the Mennonite communities is Stratford, where the Shakespearean festival called The Shaw takes place every year, drawing thousands. When I hear of the Festival, I find I have many dreams of Medieval Europe. Then the dreams head off in the direction of Louis the XIV. Then comes Mozart. Then I fly between the castles of Germany and France, unbridled and cloud-worthy.

I wonder if the pharmacy is open this time of night.

I might be in need of some sleeping capsules. Somebody shut off my brain, please!

Christi, I'm not so cute in the morning after a night of writing. I thank the Lord for the failed marketing of the video-phone almost every day. And school's just around the corner. This is how disorganized I am - I don't even know what date the first day of school is. I guess I should check...

And tomorrow is my daughter's 8th birthday. We got her a baby chameleon we call Cosimo(not a beanie baby ---tm) and all the fixin's - which include live pinhead crickets to feed the chameleon. Once he's longer than an inch and a half he'll graduate to regular sized crickets and other live bait.
We bought her bubblebath, a silver ring with moonstone inset, a sachet of four different frangrances from the body shop, a bunch of really nifty temporary tattoos, a down duvet with jungle print cover, and a ten foot long stuffed snake from Ikea. Tomorrow I have to drive back to Ikea for her loft bed, which is a gift from my mom and dad. And of course, i get to put it together! And I also have to get to decorating her room like a jungle...

Is it me, spoiling her rotten, or do kids just get more STUFF these days? Not to mention the party isn't until the second week of school, so she can have her friends over. I think I'll just fill the big inflatable pool and let the kids play in it, have cake and play games. A good, old fashioned birthday party like I had as a kid. But there was this one year...

...One year my older brother put on a magic show, and he was amazing. The whole giggling crowd of us watched the show in rapture.
My grandfather was the King of magic, he put on shows for us when we were small, and to this day I don't know how he did the tricks. My older brother got to learn his inside secrets, but soon after that my grandpa refused to do magic tricks anymore, and I didn't get to learn any. And, of course, my brother wasn't about to let me in on the secrets. But that magic show was great. I'll never forget how cool that birthday was. Just can't remember how old I turned. (funny, the way memory works, and darned frustrating too.)

well, that's about all of my blurbatiousness for one night.

I think I've chased away the slump!

Thanks for withstanding my proliferous expulsion of language we so love.


Christi Thu Aug 31 22:18:39 PDT 2000

Where I live I am hugged by mountains on all sides. The surrounding mountains make me feel safe and cozy--as if nothing bad could happen here. It is a place of beauty, although the beauty can be hard to see when you're hiding out from the vicious sun for six months out of the year. This month we've been enjoying our rainy monsoon season, a time of spontaneous thunderstorms where one minute there isn't a cloud in the sky and the next it seems like your house is going to be carried away to OZ or disenegrated by a lightning bolt. Hmm, OZ . . . AZ . . . coincidence? I think not. But instead of munchkins, we have large, prickley green saghuaros, which tower on the mountainsides, arms at their sides and up in the air. I've been to nicer places, but I've never seen sunsets as gorgeous as the ones here. The sky is an ocean of colour, making me wonder that there could be things more beautiful than this.

I could go on for hours this way, but I will spare the good people of the Notebook. Oh, and I guess I should mention that I live in Tucson, Arizona.

You are so cute. You really are!

We almost never get snow here. Every Christmas I moan and groan about living in a place where you can actually wear shorts and sandals in December, but then I realize--I can wear shorts in December!!! ;)

I almost forgot to say WELCOME!!! I liked how open and honest you were on your first posting. That never gets tiresome.

Napster rules! It is addicting though, be careful.


My husband is from Rhode Island. He moved from there when he was only four years old and he still misses it. I had the pleasure of visiting one time and really enjoyed it, but the people seemed very closed off to me. I'd smile at them or say hello, like I do here, and they'd look at me as if I were an axe-wielding, homicidal maniac. Was this just a bad week or are the natives really wary of newcomers?

Bravo! Actually though, I thought that your second post was the best post ever. Where are those smelling salts?! *SWOON!*

Can I visit? Can I?

I have been so excited about reading the excerpts from your novel, but haven't had the time to get to the workbook yet. I will do so by the end of this weekend. Sounds like there's a ton of good reading at the workbook right now. Hope I can get to all of it soon.

Come out, come out wherever you are.
I got your email and then composed a very lengthy and, yes I'll say it, brilliant and scintillating email that took me at least a half an hour to write. Then my stinking server went down and I lost the entire thing. Many foul words were uttered--rude ones and nasty ones. My husband threatened to get the soap out so I stopped, but began again as soon as he left the room. I would be a rich woman if I had a cursing jar, or if I actually had enough money to supply a cursing jar a month's worth of naughty words. What I'm trying to say, after getting off the track once again, is that I am daring to venture back to the land of mailboxes and emails. Consider yourself mailed.

Where are you?

Hi Allein, Howrad, Hallee, Mark, and everyone else under the sun. (Hope I didn't miss anyone!)

Ta ta,


Debra Thu Aug 31 21:41:59 PDT 2000

Hi Jerry:

I just posted that story that I entered in the contest. Boy that's a mouthful.

Let me know what you think.


Debra Thu Aug 31 20:46:10 PDT 2000


Is a goodweed a Dandylion? That's what I think.

Anyway, I don't know what got you going, but I enjoyed it.


Goodweed of the North Thu Aug 31 20:35:18 PDT 2000

Think I'll try something a bit different tonight. I'm going to go into the workbook, post a couple chapters, (rough draft), and read something of someone elses. Then, in the morning, before work, I'm going to crit. sounds like a good way to start the day.

Cape Cod; made famous to me in my youth by the incomperable voice of Patty Page (gasp, he's got long hair, a "Deep Purple" nut, loves Queensryche (at least a couple of songs), is a rock & roller from the late sixties to the present, and he knows and loves the singing of Patty Page. Ah but we have secrets we share with no one else. Garies, it's a good place to live, as is Michigan's Upper Peninsula with it's endless waters, and pine and hardwood forests, and rich wildlife (does a spirited group of teens on an otherwise deserted mile long stretch of beach, laughing around a campfire constitue wildlife?). The forest is alive with the quiet sounds of roughed grouse drumming, and the unique and haunting sounds of raven calling to their ebon winged mates.

Whoa, wait a minute hear. I become overly verbose. Suffice it to say that there are few places on Earth to rival the natural beauty of the Great Lakes region. However, I have traveled enough throughout this world to admit that each place has its own peculiar and spectacular beauty. The east coast is romantic and quaint, while at the same time, vibrant in a way unlike any other place. The Phillipines, with tropical forests and steep canyons covered by a green so rich as to put the most brilliant emerald to shame, boasts of a cuisine and land both unique and prized. Southwest America with dessert land and the peoples that inhabit them, hardy souls who withstand, even enjoy temperatures which turn my poor body to tired mush, work and play in a land of canyons grand, and parched dessert which blooms with the rare deluge.

Though I am comfortable in a t-shirt, shoveling snow at fifteen degrees Farenheight, I admire those persons who display talents and abilities beyond my own. Do I call these people better? No. I call them different but equal.

And such is this world of many spectacular beauties, challenges, beasts, flora, and people.

And with such ineloquent words thrust upon your eyes, I say good night, and good writing.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

P.S. What got me going in that mode? Whew!

Debra Thu Aug 31 20:28:41 PDT 2000


We have a winner!

If only I were Regis and this was the Millionaire Show.


gariess Thu Aug 31 19:45:22 PDT 2000


In the form of a question? Okay, is it the place of the reknowned Farms? I'm off to the WB to see what you guys are posting lately.


Mark Thu Aug 31 19:22:59 PDT 2000

Howard -- exemplary work. I love the opening sentence: "First we hated the mud." BAM .

149 words in 9 sentences = 17 words per sentence
1 'difficult' word in 149 = 1 percent
added together = 18
times .4 = 7.2 fog index

perfect reading level for novel material. The real index is probably just over 8. I used the first two paragraphs for this; the first paragraph opens with short sentences and the story grows from there.

Grows in multiple ways. Individuals start to come out. Character becomes apparent. Group purpose unfolds. The usual term in capital-C Criticism is organic (I have to chuckle here at the notion of calling it organic when you have a guy who dies sprouting flowers out of his chest).

Thanks for posting. I'm putting this in the notebook because I think people should be directed to the Novel Workshop Critique Page to see it. I promise, you guys, I won't post crit in the NB again.

Mark Thu Aug 31 18:42:32 PDT 2000

Leann -- more extensive crit in email for you. Hope that's is your real address.

The rest of the story is better than the intro paragraph, as an editor I'll tell you that the intro sent me right away. It's only because someone else said she liked the story that I went back to read the rest. Glad I did.

Rhoda Thu Aug 31 18:31:11 PDT 2000

Hallee and Mark,

Thank you kindly for the comments. Mark, you are right, getting rid of the "the"'s does improve the flow. Hallee, I will watch out for the overuse of the character's name.


We were discussing literature sites during our chat the other night. I have two sites for you. One is: and another one is: These sites are good examples of whole works of literature being posted on the web. There are other such sites. I started reading your first chapter last night. I will have comments for you by tomorrow morning.


drawoh Thu Aug 31 18:03:33 PDT 2000

Jack -- HELP!!!

Can you move it over to the right place, or just delete it and I'll repost it.


broadside? I guess!


howard Thu Aug 31 17:59:53 PDT 2000

Hit what? I just posted to the novel workshop --

didn't I ?

O no!

Mark Thu Aug 31 17:54:37 PDT 2000

RHODA -- Crit on novel crit page.

HOWARD -- At the Post Office to mail that book, clerk asked "Book rate or First Class?" I said, "Hey, he's a first class kinda guy." Now I wonder. Do I gotta tell ya? The broadside of the barn is somewhere else. I was on the novel crit page and saw you hit that. Oh, well.

Debra Thu Aug 31 17:03:10 PDT 2000


Thanks, so much. Can you guess where I live? It's north of Providence and could be called Slumberland.

You could answer in the form of a question if you want.


Mark Thu Aug 31 16:54:59 PDT 2000

LEANN -- Crit on novel crit page.

Hallee Thu Aug 31 16:44:05 PDT 2000

TINA & RHODA: I've left notes for you in the critique page and am anxiously awaiting more. :)

JON: Thank you so much.

Whew! Okay...I am now caught up. I think. No one has bopped me upside the head yet, so I'm simply assuming that I'm caught up.

Now I'm off to clean my house. The weekend schedule is packed full, so I need to get it done tonight. My husband and daughter are busy watching Star Wars, so I can get it done with little interference.


Hallee Thu Aug 31 16:07:44 PDT 2000

Leann: I left you a short note in the critique section. I'd love to read more of your work. I really hope that you plan to post more (ahh..specifically of this

Rhoda: Now I'm off to read yours. :)

Tina: Let me know when you're ready for another chapter. I just finished 15 and I'm desperately worried about it - I've kind of pushed a few limits in it, and I think that perhaps I went too far with it.

More later all!
(I know...bated breath and all that)(grin)


Thu Aug 31 12:02:18 PDT 2000


I knew there was something I liked about you, too. Thank you. I expect you are right about the Cape being a natural progression from Swansea, but in my case it had more to do with circumstances and family than geography.

I believe Providence is a much nicer city than it used to be. When I was a teen, it always seemed a very intimidating place of little interest. Was that just us as teens or was there something more substantial to it? Can anyone say? There has been time for a lot of changes since I was a teen.


Thank you. That kind of response is very gratifying. Being quoted makes me feel like a real writer. I really like this mutual exercise of writing about places and how we feel about them. I believe it is one of the most *real* things we have done in the NB. All of the pieces I have seen convey a true sense of attachment on the parts of the writers. I really love that. There were some surprises for me when doing the piece, and the biggest was that I was unable to divorce myself from the element of history. I wanted to remain current but I had such a strong feeling of something lost that even though it was before my time, I couldn’t seem to make the piece work without it. My first wife once had the audacity to tell a history professor that she saw no value in the learning of history. Of course the man was incensed and felt called upon to make a case for the practical and tangible need for knowing history. I followed the argument with great interest but I never knew how I really came down on the idea till I wrote this bit.


Yes, intermarriage does work both ways. In fact use of the word, marriage, is somewhat euphemistic in this case. I did not intend to imply a distinction between who did what to whom. At this point that would be largely untraceable, but you are quite right. There are people who consider themselves Wampanoag who have European ancestry, and vice versa. I should point out that if one were to roam the countryside of the Cape it would be chancy to spy out any Wampanoags of any mixture. The best place for that would be in the small community within the town of Mashpee, but the Wampanoag, there, are very proprietary and still quite mistrustful of whites. It is a place where informed outsiders pay a special attention to their manners. (Or risk an arrow in their backs) No, strike that last. Bad, bad!


Forgive us our donkeyness as we forgive those who donkey against us.


Jon Thu Aug 31 11:04:57 PDT 2000

Just a thought and a coup of imagination (not for Arik's prize):

I thought that A*, recently seen flying on the clouds over the USA, might very well land on your gardens and pay a visit to some of you. He read, with what seemed to me mischievous attention, your desciptions of the places where you live. Shudder.

I'm shuddering.

Tonight is shuddering night.

Look at me imagining, my paws holding my face, an intellectual expression around my mouth:

Heather yelling with delight at his apparition;
Christi swooning at his sight;
Rhoda running to the kitchen to fetch her longest carving knife;
Hallee writing a quick trilogy before he descends from the sky;
Debra Palardy consulting her enciclopeadia to see if he is the Anti-Christi;
Mary preparing a trembling speech to ask him forgivenness for ...

Just a moment, telegram from NewsAgency:

"A* just seen hovering over Manhattan. How do you spell Manhattan?"

I give up. These newspapermen are a bore with their spelling problems at this time in history.

Jon Thu Aug 31 08:18:36 PDT 2000

My neighbor's gonna fishing, as he does when he's a bit pissed off with the world. Reason: today he started working to earn money (excuse the language). But I'm still here. This will be my best post (ever).

My plan to conquer Well failed for lack of gas in my imperial jetplane and a lot of donkeyness of some of you (think about this before you reply, and, yes, repent, and ask forgivennes). My curriculum was not good either: saint, emperor and traveler... Not enough. They also demand visa and diplomatic passport there — too much bureaucracy for me.

I'd like to thank neighbor for his support in this difficult expedition. Our contract is that I write and he does the dirty job: answering questions. Quite fair for me (I think). But is it fair to him? (I refuse to think).

Hallee, my deepest feelings on your great grandmother's trip to heaven.

Love and catnip.

(I realize now that this post is not so impressive as I anticipated. Must add on more thoghts and reflections.)

Where I live:
I live in an apartment by the sea. My wife Pussy(cat) also lives there. My 13 kids are all grown up now, but still talkable to. I love them (from time to time).

Arik, how are you? Are you well? Hope you are very well. I'm also well, but missing my neighbor (called A*). Could you please give me a prize for the best post (ever)?

Telegram from NEWSAGENCY (NA):
"JON: A* seen in the sky west of Wisconsin last time we checked. Don't start crying yet."

And that's all I have to communicate to you today. Prayers for A* in the sky accepted.

JON (emperor, momentarily on sabbatical leave).

Rhoda Thu Aug 31 06:42:54 PDT 2000

Mark, Hallee, and Litter,

I had a great time chatting with you guys. I am only sorry it was so brief. I had the same problem. I too was kicked off the chat, and when I came back to the Notebook to post I wasn't able to because the Notebook would not load.

Hope to try it again sometime.


Beautiful poem. Glad to see you back.


That was an informative, yet tender decription of Cape Cod. It makes me want to visit there. After reading your piece, I think I would be able to look through all the development and see a glimpse of the old forest. It would also be fun to see the Wampanoag in the faces of some of the local residents. Intermarriage went both ways, you know. There are no doubt "white" folks there with some of the Wampanoag blood coursing through their veins as well as Wanpanoags with European blood. I got a laugh from your natural landscaping. With all my moving in the past three years, I too have been a strong proponent of natural landscaping.

Now that we North American people have described our homes, I hope the Europeans and Austrailians here can give us a glimpse of where they live. Incidently I have this other reoccuring dream where I fly to London and have just a few minutes to spend there before I have to turn around, catch a plane and be home to get the kids to school.

Happy writing,


Debra Thu Aug 31 06:12:10 PDT 2000


It is absolutely near Providence. One of the things I can see over my ridge is the distant lights of Providence.

Actually, Providence is one of those citys that seem to invite you to it.

I am proud of my state's capitol.


Debra Thu Aug 31 05:58:09 PDT 2000


It seems like a natural progression from Swansea to the Cape. Also one of the best vacations my husband and I ever took was to the Cape. We made no plans and just drove there. When we got tired we found the nearest motel and slept. We got up the next day and explored. It was the best, ever. I want to do that again, soon.

The motels down there are really nice. There is nothing about them I would complain about at all. That was one of the nicest suprises.

The Cape could easily be called God's country.


Debra Thu Aug 31 05:48:23 PDT 2000


I knew there was something I liked about you Gariess. Now I know what it is. I felt it in your writing as well. I hope that makes sense to you. It does to me.


howard htuckey Thu Aug 31 05:25:18 PDT 2000

> There are little spots as small as a blanket
where nothing but wild things will grow. You see this in the middle of a garden, sometimes, that has been hacked
out of the woods. I fancy that these spots are inhabited by the ghosts of big trees that were cut down centuries
ago and which will never let us have our way with these little bits of land again. <



gariess Wed Aug 30 21:48:51 PDT 2000

Well, guys, the WB seems to have problems right now so here is my piece.


We are practically neighbors. Is you Platt near Providence. I know, everything in Rhode Island is near Providence. I used to live in Swansea, another beautiful place. I hope we all appreciate the good fortune we enjoy as North Americans.


Cape Cod is often described as quaint. There are thirteen townships from the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown at the Cape’s tip. History books declare Plymouth, Massachusetts (not one of the thirteen towns) as the place the Pilgrims landed in sixteen-twenty, but it was really Provincetown. They just took one look at the place and declared it too exposed to the sea for settlement, and they moved on. They found a nicely protected harbor in Plymouth and they dug in.

The Cape, proper, is a peculiar little place that has a lot of natural diversity. There is woodland – shrinking as we speak from development. There is sea shore, salt marsh, swamp-land and estuary. It isn’t what anyone would call the country-side. Mostly, I would call it extra-urban because it is not exactly suburban in the sense that it is too far from any large city, but not very far. Boston is an hour-and-a-half away, New Bedford is an hour. Still, there is something very insular about the Cape. It is a place apart. Certainly in the psyche of its xenophobic citizenry, it is. There is a local joke here that the last person to move to the Cape at any given time wants to close the gate.

What typifies (without stereotyping) Cape Cod would be a small house (a Cape), a picket fence with (Cape Cod) roses growing on it, and a small front yard with desperately browning grass, neatly trimmed. Did I say without stereotyping? Well, I suppose Cape Cod is a caricature of itself in a lot of ways.

Mostly, people think of the Cape as a sea-side tourist area. Truly, there is a great summer influx of tourists and on the weekends the place seems about to sink from the day-trippers. Another old joke is made about the day-trippers: "They come down with a clean shirt and a five dollar bill, and they don’t change either one." Still, all of that has only been true of the last half century. Going back before the great war Cape Cod was a place where a few rich people kept summer places. There was a greater division between rich and poor in earlier times. During the depression a few people emigrated here because there were rich people, and it was possible to get some domestic work in the summer. In the last fifty years change has impacted the Cape greatly.

Cape Cod was a place that sustained a population of Indians called the Wampanoag (womp’-a-nog) for centuries before the Europeans came. They are an alliance of many small tribes. The place where I live used to be the Mattachese or Mattachee territory. Since Wampanoag is not a written language we are allowed our choice of spelling and pronunciation in some cases. I used to live in the Pocasset or Pawgesset land. The Tatacket land has been known for centuries by the whimsical name of another of my former homes, Teaticket. Our ancestors conducted de-facto genocide upon the Wampanoags of the Cape. It is argued that there are no pure-bred Indians, here, anymore. Many Wampanoag intermarried with Europeans and other races, mostly Cape Verdeans: African-Portuguese black people, a people of remarkable physical beauty who resemble the ancient Moors in appearance. It is controversial today, and unprovable, that any "untainted" Wampanoag exist. Among friends I will relate that the Wampanoag are known by some pundits as the "Moniga" tribe.

The densest population area is the Mid-Cape, where I live now. I believe the Wampanoag have a name for the Cape that translates as "The narrow land." There is still a small Wampanoag community here. By the nineteenth century they were pushed into the most inland area of the Cape in a township called Mashpee, the least desirable real estate. At least we didn’t have the bad taste to declare Mashpee a reservation.

There are still many rich people here, but the top level are being increasingly encouraged to take refuge on the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket is another Wampanoag name. Martha’s Vineyard is not. The mainland Cape is suffering a huge influx of the Middle Class. The top level of which are buying out some of the former upper class homes as those folks are seeking less lavish but more prestigious island digs. It’s easy to pick up an estate on the Cape these days for a measly couple of mil. I fear for the rich, however, who don’t make the move soon, because those islands are getting smaller by the day, and the profit taking on mainland estates shrinks correspondingly at the same time.

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century the white men harvested all the trees from Cape Cod leaving the landscape to the invasion of red and black oak and a thing called pitch pine. By the first part of the twentieth century the Cape was already an example of the result of uncontrolled old-growth lumbering. One benefit from this was the riddance of those pesky bears. By about eighteen-sixty you could have a picnic without attracting the unwelcome attention of a Bruin. You just couldn’t see the forest for the trees… were gone. White tail deer, on the other hand are surprisingly good swimmers, so a few made it back here after some of the brush grew back, and there are still a handful around. We shoot a few every winter just for the hell of it.

The trees that now grow here have no commercial value other than firewood. They are the stunted, gnarly ghosts of the great trees that covered the land in the time beyond our memories. There is a church on the North side that still has a wall panel over six feet wide made from the huge pine that used to grow here. There were also oaks that were big enough from which to hew the massive center beams of sailing ships. Such suitability was their undoing. That’s what we did with the forest we took from the Indians. There are still some nice big century-old trees on the Cape but they are ornamentals — transplanted maples, chestnuts and elms from other places. They are only found in residential locales. There are also a few native wetland species of swamp-maple and oak, and some scrub trees that grow in the dunes. There are also Hornbeam, Choke-cherry, and a enough Beach-plums to make a jar of jelly now and then, so it isn’t a total wash-out.

To me the wetlands are the soul of the Cape — the beautiful bogs and marshes. The reddish bogs criss-crossed with straight narrow canals are where your cranberries come from. These are flat and irregular-shaped with paths lining the perimeters which are just wide enough for the harvesting trucks. The greenish marshes with wide meandering creeks are everywhere on Cape Cod. One can visit more estuarial waters in one day on Cape Cod than any other place in the United States. You can drive for eighty miles and never be ten minutes from a marshland, and you will always have the option to turn right or left to find one.

The cape is actually trisected by wetlands at Bass River in Yarmouth, and Pamet River in Truro. These are not the kind of rivers that inlanders are accustomed to. There really are no rivers on the Cape. There are small streams that empty into coves, creeks, marshes and bays that are estuarial. They are tidal and a few of the larger ones are called rivers where they meet with the sea, but they are actually estuaries, also called salt water rivers.

There are many lakes and ponds. Many of the smaller ponds are Kettle-holes. Depressions in the ground where massive Glacial ice-cakes melted over time and have since been sustained by rain water. The land is unique in its geological formation, there really is no other place exactly like Cape Cod, and on the Cape itself the geology differs from one small place to another. It’s rock and clay in one place and almost pure sand in another. There is farmland and soil in one spot and near barren ground somewhere else. There are little spots as small as a blanket where nothing but wild things will grow. You see this in the middle of a garden, sometimes, that has been hacked out of the woods. I fancy that these spots are inhabited by the ghosts of big trees that were cut down centuries ago and which will never let us have our way with these little bits of land again.

The Cape to some folks is more about the sea than the land. It really is a marine environment. There is no place on the Cape that you can’t get a whiff of the ocean from time to time. It is a small place with roads that hate going straight for very long, and many of them just capriciously end at no particular place, making you back-track the whole way you just came. They like to play tricks on people, but it’s all very good-natured because you really can’t get very lost. After all, you are, sooner or later, going to come to a place you recognize, like the ocean.

It isn’t flat, it isn’t straight. It is reluctant to let us see very far ahead until the sea suddenly appears, but that is because we are probably going too fast for it. After all, it’s not very big, and it is quite old — not as old as some places, though, only about fifteen-thousand years.

As for me, much to the chagrin of my neighbors, I am the custodian of one small piece of the narrow land, and I am avowed that only what seed blows in upon the wind, or falls from the bowel of a passing creature shall be allowed to take root upon it, and that which springs from such seed no hand shall cut down. Of course, I am very lazy about yard work. So this is a commitment which fits in rather nicely with my general reluctance to put tool to earth.


gariess Wed Aug 30 21:18:25 PDT 2000

I started out to write a small bit about where I live, and it turned into sixteen-hundred words, so I thought I should put it in the workbook. So for those interested I will put it in the short story section.


Yes, I have been to Clayton. It's a beautiful little town full of interesting old houses. I love that place. I went fishing in the TI for those Black Bass. There weren't many keepers. I went over the TI bridge and went up to the top of the big tower. I saw the Eisenhower Locks... all that good stuff. I went to Kingston on the Canadian side. That was a neat old town too.

See, TINA, I know Canada is beautiful. I've been to the Maritimes. I would really love to see your valley as well.

Later, buds,



I just looked at the silly lake, I didn't drink from it. I think the reason it is so polluted is because that's where all the big ships come in from the Atlantic. Those lakes are really small oceans, anyway. No doubt a lot of industrial dreedle gets into it too. Anyway, I only saw the part from north of the Finger Lakes to Cape Vincent and that part looked very nice.

Goodweed of the North Wed Aug 30 20:45:22 PDT 2000

Teekay: An imposter is a pretender. You are not a pretender so far as I can tell. Here's a quick quiz to help you decide for yoursef. It's true or false.

1. I enjoy the creative process.

2. I like to write.

3. I love to garden.

4. I have tons of time to get everything done which needs doing and still have time to write whenever I desire.

5. I'm always in control of my time resources.

6. I find writing a chore.

7. I don't really care about interacting with other people.

8. Reading interests me.

9. Words bounce around in my head like popcorn in a hot pan.

10. Words form themselves into wonderful expressions.


1. true

2. true

3. true

4. false

5. false

6. false

7. false

8. true

9. true

10. true

If you scored seven or better on this test, then you are a writer. If you placed correct responses in only the first two questions, you are a writer. Their is a difference between a writer and a professional writer. If you only write a personal journal, you are a writer.

I am trying to become a proffesional creative writer, as are many of us. I am not yet published. I may have weeks of time slip by between the times I can get enough quiet time to work on my many writing projects. And yet, I have two novels completed, and a third half way done. I also have three others in various stages of completion. Only one is polished enough that I sent it to a publisher (who I'm still waiting to hear from).

To all of you who lose heart and get discouraged; the only writers who succeed are the writers who perservere. I offer you this poem as an allegory to life. I wrote it. I try to live by it.


Icy fingers of wind scratched the back
of his frost covered mane,
but still, he perservered.
Pulling behind him a load
of whooping, yelling children,
riding through the frozen rain,
and still, he perservered.

Once a proud stallion,
wild as the zephyrous winds of chance,
running before the friendly warmth
of sweet summer breezes,
these things he remembered.
Still, he perservered.

His relentless pride
a burning prod thrust against his hide,
no rest for the weary,
so still he perservered.

Old, old as the medieval ruins to which he travelled
with wooden legs and rubber tendons
one step at a time,
he perservered.

Free rides from a dreary school for screaming brats,
who pelted his poor broken body with missiles of stone and wood, and still he perservered.

Never a quitter, to forever persevere,
he knew no other code,
so time marched relentlessly onward,
kicking and gouging
at his tormented life,
and still he perservered.

He knew, he knew.
No matter life drove spurs against his side,
drove sharp granite stones
into his tender hooves,
still, he did his very best.
While the weak rested, he perservered.

His great heart, the heart of a champion
slept on a cold, crisp, November night,
to awaken no more to the crack
of his master's whip.

Rest, peaceful rest,
forever running through sweet clover
Under clear blue skies,
his reward for continuing to the end,
because he perservered.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

howard Wed Aug 30 20:09:05 PDT 2000

MARK -- it was Stephen Vincent Benet -- and I still havent got a copy of Knickerbocker's History...
Think I'll check out Amazon and order a copy tonight!

Speaking of "check out" -- take a look at ! They have some great books available for very low prices. One of my friends put me on to it, says he's real happy with what he's ordered from there.

NEWBIES -- Welcome!

Has anyone tried NAPSTER yet? I got into it last night for a few minutes, and it's most excellent! Got a bunch of stuff so far, and just beginning.

GARIESS -- Have you ever been east of Cape Vincent, to the Clayton-Alexandria Bay area? I spent most of the summers of my youth on Fisher's Landing, just a mile west of the TI Bridge, halfway between those two towns. I still love it

SASQUATCH -- Are you hiding from something?

LITTER -- Got the AR virus -- it's a hoot!

gotta run

Debra Wed Aug 30 19:56:14 PDT 2000


Do I get emotional about places? Wow, ah yea. Absolutely. I also feel that the people make the place. My mom just sold the house she raised all of us in. She moved into a new house. I never think of the old house. I find that I think about us at the old house. I do however get emotional about places. So I know what you mean. I have places that certain things happened at that are always emotional. Also, when my mom is not home, I don't care to go over at all. Her house is just a building without her and my dad it it.

There is a doctor's office that I used to go to and now it is just an abondoned building. I find those kind of things hard sometimes. I do love my town. I love my little tea cup house. I'm sure if I ever moved it would not be just a building.

I had an apartment that I moved out of and grieved for a lot of years after that. How weird?


Hallee Wed Aug 30 19:01:47 PDT 2000

RHODA & LITTER: Just as I was saying goodbye tonight, the chat room disconnected me and wouldn't let me back on. :( Now I seem rude. Sorry about that! We need to do it more often. I have an author's chat room I go to through AOL that I love - it's almost addictive! (smile)


Litter Wed Aug 30 19:00:52 PDT 2000

Hallee and Rhoda -- sorry, I just got booted out of the chatroom :o(

Bed time in any event.

Everyone else, hello and goodnight.


Mark Wed Aug 30 18:59:43 PDT 2000

Dunno what just happened to the chat. Just suddenly disconnected. Thanks for the time Rhoda.

Don't know who wrote 'Devil and Daniel Webster.' Someone here should know that.

I liked Washington Irving's Knickerbocker's History of New York because of the general fun it had with the great, the near-great, and people we romanticize. The book starts with the creation of the universe and culminates with settled New York. Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle were tales told by a man with a glint in his eye and a storyteller's rhythm. Knickerbocker's History is that man's most energetic work. 400 pages, probably 100 of them had me laughing out loud.

HEATHER -- you look good tan.

MARY -- Hi, there.


Did I miss anyone? -- Hiya.

Rhoda Wed Aug 30 17:59:14 PDT 2000

In the chat room. 8:05 pm CDT.

Allein Wed Aug 30 16:53:59 PDT 2000

Just kinda passing through. School has been good the past few days. We get free coffee from the office and nice cushioned chairs and 10 minute breaks every hour. They also have vending machines and new computers and great high tech equiptment in the dental lab. I've gotta brag to my high school friends about this place.
I have some basic classes right now - computers/keyboarding, medical terminology, Student mastery (how to study, that kind of stuff) and Math. The good thing is, that I have a great math instructor, and although I still don't like the subject, I understand it. Fractions are still hard, but soon we move on to decimals - those are easy.
Anyway, that's it. Tomorrow I go back up to the dental lab to get fitted for scrubs (I hear they're REALLY comfortable and we get to wear them to school) and also get fitted for a lab coat. This is so much better than high school. :) All the people and instructors are really nice.
That's all for now (really, I mean it, I swear!),

Rhoda Wed Aug 30 16:34:14 PDT 2000

Synopses. I hate synopses, but like taxes they are a necessary evil.


Debra Wed Aug 30 13:16:13 PDT 2000

I live in Rhode Island. It is a samll and heavily populated area. I live in a town that is nicknamed God's country. It is made up of mostly hills. There are beautiful housese tucked in so many nooks and crannys, it sometimes seems like a mesuem. There are two main roads that run parallel to each other and all the rest of the roads run from them. It doesn't sound like a dream place like any of the others described, but I love my life here.

I live in a platt, which is a group of three or more streets lumped together that have only one way in. My platt has twenty streets and has a road on each end to get in and or out of. It is on the west side of a big hill. It almost looks like you are on top of the world because when you look directly to the west you can see down at the top of another hill. It is like a web of streets which has no traffic except the people whom live there. My street is the 19th one. Oddly even though there are a lot of homes it is really quiet almost all of the time. The number of homes actually makes me feel like I am wraped in a cooccon of saftey.

There are lots of trees on each lot for the houses. From my deck I can watch the sun set right in the middle of this beautiful ridge every night. The sky never disappoints me even when the weather is bad. It is always a thing of wonder and beauty right out of my kitchen window.

We have squirrels and bird chirping all the time. All my neighbors take walks at night after dinner. There are so many streets and houses that whatever time you end up having dinner there are always tons of people to join me on my walk. I know almost everyone in my platt by name or face.

It's a nice place to live and visit.

Rhoda Wed Aug 30 10:41:55 PDT 2000

Tina and Leann,

What a lovely picture you two decribe. No wonder you both have such good imagination with such beauty around you to inspire it.

I refrain right now from decribing where I live. Though I like my house and my yard, I am not particularly enthralled with the wide open spaces of the Texas Panhandle. My new home in Owasso will be along the edge of a gold course in a modern neighborhood of small lots and well-manicured lawns. We do have a pond out back big enough to paddle boat in, but as far as scenery, it is nothing spectacular. But, in my mind and heart ther lies a huge, endless forest full of ancient oak trees, wildlife and mystery. Here many of my Dark Age characters hide out or just hang out. Actually, a high school friend of mine pointed out that in all my stories is that vast, wild forest often described by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Speaking of dreams, I often dream of the old farm in which my father and aunt grew up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. One of my cousin owns it now, and I haven't seen it in almost 15 years. It had a huge brick house built in 1835. Originally it was someone's hunting lodge and it was added onto within the next couple of decades after. The main line of the L&N ran and still runs in front of its expanse of yard. During its rich history, it was at one time a train station (one of its names is Gaither's Station), and it was a stop in the underground railroad. My great-gradfather bought it back in the 1890's. After the property was sold upon his death, my grandmother and grandfather bought it back. My grandmother and my aunt are buried in a small fenced-in plot out back. The property had several fields where my dad in his youth grazed cattle, sheep, and cared for pigs. He did not do all this for fun, for he grew up there during the Great Depression, and his family actually lived on all this stuff. There were also fields of tobacco and hay, and a large grove of black walnut trees. There are several acres of eastern hardwood deciduous forest where my dad and his sister used to ride their horses. I spent my summers at this farm during my childhood. Here my cousin and I used to go and pick blackberries in late June/early July. We would also play Robin Hood and Star Trek in that woods. I remember hanging on the wild grape vines and trying to act like Tarzan. I vividly remember the wildflowers my cousin and I picked along the railroad. There was Queen Ann's lace, pink thistles, black-eyed susans and some type of wild trumpet vine. There was even a resident ghost--an old slave with a missing head who spent his nights looking for it. Fortunately I never saw him. While my family moved around often, that house was the one geographical constant throughout my childhood, for we always would go there for easter and thanksgiving. When my parents went to Evansville to find us a house after moving from Monroe, LA, I stayed there with my aunt and her family.

I was going to visit there when I went to Louisville last July, but I chickened out because with my emotions being what they were, I could not bear the thought of going there and seeing the place not kept up and not having my aunt and the people there who made that place so meaningful when I was growing up.

I dream of that farm at least once every few months. Whenever I dream of the farm, I dream of rooms and halls that ramble along endlessly. The house is full of hidden cranies and compartments. Once when I was a child I dreamed of opening the top of the piano and out fell piles and piles of candy.

Regardless of where I go or whatever I do, I compare every place I go, every prospective home, to those 130 acres of land in Kentucky (We sold off a lot of that land over the years, now it is probably less than 50 acres). It does not make much sense, but no matter if the farm is sold, the old house torn down, or whatever, that farm in all its glory and with all its history remains with me forever. This is why I have a weakness for bow windows, high ceilings, floral carpet, Victorian furniture, brick chimneys and green painted shutters. I often daydream of buying it from my cousin, restoring it to its former glory and turning it into a bed-and-breakfast.

Does anyone else here get so emotional about places? This topic has a bearing on my writing, for I draw out many of my experiences there and incorporate them into my work.


Heather Wed Aug 30 10:11:33 PDT 2000

afternoon, everyone!

Leann, where you live sounds dreamy.

not much to share today... feeling a bit of that old 'word constipation'.

I mean, is there anything you guys do to award yourself a sort of mental laxative?

Procrastination really sludges me. And then I'll get the midnight burn to write and the next time I look up it's 4 am. Go with the flow... I guess.

I would like the flow to flow today.

I will have to turn off this loud music and then perhaps I can hear my inner voice.
I have to read everything I've written on chapter 5 before I jump in and start writing again - it's been over twelve days since I've so much as glanced at this chapter and I need to sink back into it. I lost the last thread I had woven, so to say.

Here's hoping I don't need a professional laxative treatment.


Leann Wed Aug 30 08:36:40 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for making me feel so welcome, and yes, I did post part of one of my manuscripts and a couple of poems. I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained. I believe amongst all of you, I am bound to get some worthwhile insight.
As for describing where everyone lives, all of you live or at least summer, in some very beautiful places. From your descriptions I feel as if I have actually been there.
Myself, I live on a 2400 acre ranch that is nestled amongst the foothills of Northern California. About thirty miles to the east, there is a spectacular view of the volcano, Mt. Lassen and about forty miles to the North, there is another majestic view of the volcano, Mt. Shasta. The ranch itself is covered in pine, oak, cedar, maple, mahogany, fir and.... rocks, acres and acres of rocks! Go figure, I live near volcanoes.
There is an abundance of wildlife here as well. Cougar, bobcat, coyote, fox, bear, wild pig, deer (black tail and mule), beaver, raccoon, squirrel, all call this place home. In the meadow, near the top of ancient oak trees, bald eagles have their nests. In the spring you can hear them call to each other as they rear their young. This time of the year however, the nests are empty.
A year round stream flows through the ranch, carving deeply into the history of the place. Artifacts of Native Americans can occasionally be seen along it's edges and in some places you can actually see where they had once ground the acorns, and nuts, using the large bowels they had chiseled out of boulders the size of automobiles.
The fish are as diversified as the wildlife. There are trout, bass, blue gill, pike, and fall run salmon. Many of these streams are borne from large mountain lakes that surround the area. In the summer, when temperatures rise to a stifling 105 degrees, my children and I seek comfort within its cool waters while we eat our fill of the large black berries that grown along its sides.
Our home was built nearly one hundred years ago by my children's great, great, grandfather. The rock fireplace still holds the metal rings for the enormous cooking pots they used. How's that for some history!
Well, I guess that is enough to give you an idea of where I live. I look forward to reading some more of your posts and again, thank you all for giving me the opportunity to join in.

Gariess, I will keep in mind to use the lamp shade when the urge hits.. which tends to be more frequent than not... thanks. Oh by the way, didn't see your missing sentence here either. I really hope it doesn't show up in someone's dream.

Take care,


Hallee Wed Aug 30 05:30:11 PDT 2000

Good morning everyone!

Debra & Tina - Thank you so much.

Leann - You have a post in the workbook? Okay...okay..TinaRhodaLeann...I promise I'm reading today! Promise! The thing is I WANT to! (haha - notice all caps instead of..cough..trying to bold) I just get caught up in everything all over the place and by the time I know what's happened, it's 10:00 at night and I've been awake for 18 hrs. But, what I've finally decided to do is go in and print them - that way, I can read them at will. (looking forward to da tah)

Tina..let me know when you need another chapter. You're almost caught up with me, but then, I'm almost done, so it won't matter soon. :)

Okay all, it's time for me to start (groan) work. The ending of this book is just swirling around in my head to the point that I can barely sleep at night. I was up at 3 this morning and forced myself to go back to sleep for another hour. It's going to be hard not to sneak in a few paragraphs here and there in work today. Hopefully, my bosses won't leave me alone in the office today - hahaha

Love to all!

Tina Wed Aug 30 00:27:20 PDT 2000


Heather, my description was 'delectable'? Thanks! Yours has filled me with the desire to see Geulph. I nearly went to university there, but stayed west instead.

Gariess, the cold is a common misconception about Canada. Sure there are SOME places that are wicked nasty cold, (the joke about the prairies is that they get 7 months of winter and 5 months of bad hockey) but southern British Columbia is not one of them. Vancouver Island is a rainforest and many areas rarely get snow. The area around Vancouver is very wet and stays very temperate all year. The Okanagan Valley can get cold, but not for long. One of the neatest things is that in the spring a person could go snow skiing in the morning, water skiing in the afternoon, and catch a round of golf in the evening. The lakes become as balmy as a bathtub in the summer.
And to be honest, the thought of living someplace without snow makes me uncomfortable. Snow is Nature's perfect feather blanket spread over the sleeping earth-souls. But for the record a) we don't all have snow mobiles b) few people have huskies or sleds c) you won't see an igloo unless you drive very very far north d) it's wise to have a 4X4 of some sort e) 'zed' not 'zee' f) carbon steel does NOT disinegrate around here.
As for the peaches, I can some and dry some others. The rest I eat long before they reach any state of preservation.

Hallee, I'm keeping you in my thoughts, and your grandmother.

I'd love to read descriptions about everyone's home! Vicarious travel or what! Gariess, your turn. :~)

Have a great day, er... night everyone!

Heather Tue Aug 29 23:29:40 PDT 2000

Teekay, thank you for words most kind.
Christi, you too..
and I'll keep you and your grandmother in my happiest, most blessed thoughts.

just don't read my journal from ten years ago and you will be able to trust that my thoughts are pure!

heee ehehehhheee

a little giggle


when i said i was coming down with a fever i think i was serious. something not right.
feeling weird.

it shows..

Heather (this is the last one, really! :o)

Heather Tue Aug 29 23:26:08 PDT 2000

Forgot to say

I live in Guelph, Ontario.
Right next to the big statue and the church. (kidding)

Gariess, you went to Lake Ontario, and liked it?
It's the most polluted of the Great Lakes.
See Lake Superior if you can. Go to Goderich on Lake Huron if you can. It's unique and incredible.

also was going to add that i stuck a poem into the wb.
one of those poems where it would have been
beneficial to capture the atmosphere on film and add it at the bottom
of the poem.

i am wondering if i need psychological help
i can't even be bothered to
pretty soon i'll do away with punctuation

oh well


Heather Tue Aug 29 23:19:02 PDT 2000

My front yard

is a carpet of green grass
but someone must have plucked some from under the red maples,
and someone must have stomped on the corner by the neighbour's driveway. It's brown and too tired to stand up.

There are so many big trees on these few blocks that every house looks a park, and the parks look like pastures and arboretums. One could get lost in the carefully tended underbrush when out walking the dog.
It is a well-established, well-maintained area, with every house unique and the land is not flat.

Every lawn has landscaped flowerbeds, some professional, some a far cry.

But where I am on the street there are more pros than cries.
And many rock gardens and things.

My city is filled with art. Art in statuesque fountains (cast in bronze from the wax model by local artist)
art in museums and shops and cafes. art in the riverbeds. The natural here has a strange way of looking like it was on purpose.

Carved and doted on.

Art is in the air, on the hills, in the waterfalls,
and under bridges.
There are students, and lots of other people with art on their skin. Permanently.
I am one of them ~ sans texts.

we wear our painted skin gladly,
for this city is filled with free minds and open souls.
Books abound in the city, are held in high account,
and wormed into in e-cafes and on park benches.
Everywhere are intelligent life forms. Most of them are alive.

In our favourite park there are botanical gardens and miniature railways that really work (for the kids to ride) next to carousel horse merry go rounds and paddle boats.
there are trees so huge that the squirrels seem flea-sized half-way up.
On Canada day there are professional fireworks and twenty thousand plus pairs of smiling eyes looking up from the fresh-mown field.
There are stands on Canada Day that sell coffee, and food and glowing bracelets. And Canadian flags.

There are music festivals of all sorts throughout the summer, downtown and at the lake, and on many a private deck.
There are so many bars in the downtown area that one would have to be drunk to only find one. There are english pubs that have so many beers on tap there is no longer a menu. They were too heavy to lift.

The downtown has buildings three stories high that are the original buildings from the dawn of 'civilized' settlement here. They have twenty foot high ceilings, and stone walls. And stained glass doors.

The church of Our Lady is the highest building in the city.
It is ornate and exasperatingly beautiful, if one likes religious icons and proliferous spires.
The stone masons who built it came from Rome and Ireland.

To this day there is a bi-law that no other building in the city may be taller than that church.

My city is green, green,
and we recycle and compost every ounce of garbage, and environmentally we're very conscious... Provided you allow for the downtown, where most of the people are unconscious but still create admirable compost.

I'm not in the mood right now to relay anything quite so delectable as Tina's description of her homeland.
More in the mood for

sort of thing

isn't it



Gariess Tue Aug 29 22:10:44 PDT 2000

I forgot to say, HI to TEEKAY. Teekay, If you're a fraud, then I am a bigger one. Here is an excercise. Write a post about where you live, the way Tina did. Heather, too but I still don't know where she lives, only her vacation place on Lake Eerie. You live on a very interesting continent to us folks in the Nothern Hemisphere. Hayden once sent me a picture from a ski trip he went on. Many of my acquaintences were surpised that there was snow down under.


Gariess Tue Aug 29 22:02:13 PDT 2000

Tina and Heather,

Thank you both so much for those wonderful accounts. I loved reading those posts. Lake Erie is not a place I ever thought much about. I am fascinated by the Great Lakes, however, and I have been to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. Cape Vincent, at the beginning of the St. Lawrence, is one of my favorite places.

Tina, you make me want to see your beautiful valley. I can tell it is a great place from the way you write about it. I always thought Canadians were a little crazy. I mean you have a whole country north of Montana. I mean it's cold enough where I live. I just can't consider being in a place where carbon steel can disintegrate from the low temperature. Canada is a place of great beauty, though. I really would like to see the Northwest some day — in the summer. You still haven’t explained why you can peaches before you dry them.

Somebody did have a great idea about posting photos. I really would like to get squared away on that some day. I don’t want to know what anybody actually looks like, though. I just want to see pictures of the places you like. Or even places you don’t like. So if you post a picture, I would like to make it a point of honor that you tell first if the picture is of yourself.


Welcome to our strange little place. In the corner you will see the ceremonial lampshade. Some of us wear it on our heads when we feel especially silly.

I just typed a whole sentence and when I looked at the screen it was gone. I wonder where that is going to show up.
Maybe in one of Christi’s nightmares.

Well, I guess that’s enough yak for one night.


Jerry Ericsson Tue Aug 29 19:40:32 PDT 2000

In case anyone is interested, above link is to a short story writing contest with writers digest.


Debra Tue Aug 29 18:27:59 PDT 2000


Of course you are not a fraud. Do you think that you have to write night and day? I think only David E. Kelly has been accused of that. I think I saw it on mad TV. If someone has a reputation of writing day and night without fail that then is what's so absurd that's funny; needing to stop for a while now and then must be the norm. Right?


I would like to answer your question, but I don't know what it means. I leave all that stuff to my husband. When something doesn't work, I just say fix it honey, hurry.
Would you like me to ask him?


Debra Tue Aug 29 17:57:32 PDT 2000


I will say a prayer for your grandmother to give her the strength she needs to carry on.

Also, I can tell that she lives in the kind of family who will support her in her time of need.


Teekay Tue Aug 29 16:40:06 PDT 2000

I was right. It sounds blissful.

CHRISTI: Went back and found your dream and now I shall interpret it.
The dream is not as bad as it sounds. You, being a very sensitive soul manage to magnify your feelings sub consciously and therefore they seem very extreme. Basically you have a fear of change. I think this dream may have been brought on my the passing of your MIL and also maybe the thought of leaving where you are now (I don't know wether you still are or not, but the thought is still in your head.)
Your life right now is happy and peaceful and content. You are among family and friends, and basically you do not want
that to change.
Do not fear. Your dreams may seem bizarre, but they are only revealing the depth of your emotions.

How was that?

Teekay Tue Aug 29 16:16:02 PDT 2000

Hey look progress. 2 days in a row.
I want to thank you all for your support, I really do feel much better about it now.
I had myself pretty well convinced that I was a writing failure. I may still well be, but now I'm not going to stress so much over it now in case you guys are right and I just need to regenerate.

CHRISTI: Your post was great. It made me do the ha ha thingy again, as usual.

HEATHER: Your posts make me think of dreamy, balmy ethereal things. I just adore them. I'm going to have to chase up your holiday post and read all about it, I know it'll be the next best thing to being there.

Well, am off to buy some radishes and onions. (guilt free - they taste much better when grown that way.)

Have a great day and love and kisses to you all.

Hallee Tue Aug 29 12:34:19 PDT 2000

Hey everyone. Life isn’t slowing down around me, so I’m forcing it to a stop so that I can at least say hi to you all.

Leann: Welcome! Pull up a chair and stay a while.


Tina: haha (And that laugh is riddled with guilt because I still haven’t read your beginning. :( ) BUT – I’m SO almost done with my book!!! Three more chapters…about a week – and it will be done! Complete! Finis!

Rhoda: Ditto the above post. :(

Mary: Hi there. :)

My great grandmother died this morning. She was the mother of my recently widowed grandmother. My poor grandma. She’s had such a hard year.

Okay – I’m caught up on what I needed to be caught up with (I think). Anyone who I’ve left out has permission to bop me upside the head once to get my attention.

Love to all!

debby Tue Aug 29 07:17:51 PDT 2000


It would make sense if it started after you were already married.

You never said if someone broke your heart and blamed your feet.


Tina Tue Aug 29 00:16:18 PDT 2000

I live in British Columbia. Vernon is at the north end of the Okanagan Valley and sits between three lakes. One is tiny, filled with reeds and herons and red-winged black birds. Kalmalka is larger, and it's name means 'lake of many colours' because it is. The turquoise water is so vibrant I feel it could be smeared onto a canvas with a paint brush. The third lake is huge. It takes days to sail it's length, and is home to the Ogopogo, a legendary cousin of the Loch Ness monster.
Mountains stretch above the town. Not the true majestic sort like the Rocky Mountains, just modest hills carved and shaped by the last ice age into wonderful wide valleys and steep slopes full of pine and tamarack and cedar trees. One mountain is home to Silver Star, a world class ski resort. The hills are full of coyote, deer, snakes, hawks and bald eagles, cougar, bobcat and bear. Farther out there are elk, moose, caribou and wolves.
Orchards and vineyards dot the lower hills and valleys. The Okanagan Valley is the second largest fruit producing area in Canada. Our wineries win international awards. In the spring every slope is covered with huge yellow blooms, wildflowers called Balsam Root. Despite the lakes we are semi-arid. We have small cactus and scorpions in some areas. In the south end of the valley there are more orchards, but also the most northern sand dune desert in north america.
In the summer we reach 35o C. (95ish F.) In the winter we hit -20o C. The smaller lakes, and sometimes the bigger ones too, freeze over and we can skate on them. In the spring heaps of ice crystals pile up on the shores, creating their own unique accompaniment to nature's chorus.
I try, at least a few times every year, to look around myself as if it were the first time. The beauty of spring clouds clinging to the hills, brilliant sunsets over azure water, astounding rock features that nature carved with ice, an erratic boulder covered with moss and lichen and surrounded by ferns... I could happily look at them forever and never grow tired.
Let me know if you come to visit!

Now that I've waxed romantic, I think I'll go to bed. Pleasant dreams all!

Heather Tue Aug 29 00:09:01 PDT 2000

I didn't see your post before I posted.
(I regret to inform you all that sometimes I forget to REFRESH this hoppy little hotspot forum before I mumble my blurbs here. )

Dune cottages. Yes, you could say this one was, but with a clear road access, and running water and a shower.
A microwave even, used once to melt some Brie cheese.
The doorways are all barely a girl-wide, teeny little bedrooms, and musty couch cusions. Dag-nasty curtains and ingrained sand in the cheap office carpeting.
Bent fence, garter snakes in the grass, giant garden spiders trolling for moths everywhere you want to sit.
I watched a very large knat-swarm for twenty minutes one afternoon, just watching the stream of them spinning - and they appeared very much like a twister of smoke in the distance.
I was on Lake Erie, on the sand beaches (that sometimes suck in your whole foot as you walk)... clay clotting up the springs that flow toward the lake from bluffs, driftwood that is the whole tree and root system;
on the outcroppings of grass stand those pine trees that the group of seven were so fond of.
Sand bars so high there were islands in the lake near the shore.
Wild flowers, little orange lady-slippers, and many unclassified growth, none of it unbeautiful.
Moss and vines ring trees and grass mounds in the shade.
Lichen on some of the rocks that are in the sun for most of the day.
Bluffs, of white sand and clay, so high that when you climb them you can see the horizon (nothing but water and sky) melt and look convex, as it really is.
Bluffs so crumbly, that when you're up there carving a finger-hole just to touch the face and feel the grit slide against your fingerprints, the roots of the trees above let go of another clod and it makes a small avalanche.
So steep, that if your foot slips in the dryness, you'll be part of the avalanche too.

I have photographs, but not of the bluffs. I will have to return with the camera and take some photos before the summer bids us farewell. Autumn soon, and that would be a dandy show to capture on film.

I'm getting too tired to explain much more.
I think Lake Erie is pretty close to sea-level. Just a little higher; as Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario all flow down the St. Lawrence to the sea.


Heather Mon Aug 28 23:44:15 PDT 2000

Welcome, Leann. Share away!

I'm in a jazzy, bluesy, deep soul (funk) mood.
Could be the heat stroke. (should I write a disclaimer?)

Fever so bright I'm blushing for tomorrow.

here is some scat, talking with my mind open, like brainstorms with no aim...

Some things change, and some things ... how obvious. Why do we day things like that?

the clincher is that uttering snappy cliche phrases fills our silly need for uniformity and social facades, however this thought is also cliche. And a second facade.
Don't mind me if I crank out a really passe cliche, crimped in the manner I sometimes press thoughts into.

Everything in life is drooping over the edge of what once was. Into what will be, swirled and converging into the picture of living I have held onto for so long.

New jobs for both of us now, and a new member of the pet family in our house. My daughter and I bought a veiled chameleon on saturday.

---- Tasting the salt and wine of change, I come away drunk with laughter. it's finely distilled, waiting for a dark-barrel age to come into that deep woody bouquet. I re-fill my goblet, and I pass it around for you.

Taste satiated, I move onto hearing. What a joy to hear, the pulse-beat tempo, the soft chords vibrating, and a voice of silk pouring out, filling the ocean of my ears - as though a delicate sea shell. Blue and pearl.

You could bet I took psychotropic drugs this evening, but you'd be wrong.

Nice to be welcomed back, and thanks for missing me Howard (snort!)

Here is what has rung Tibetan bells for me this late eve:

"...Strummin' my pain with his fingers, singin' my life with his words, killing me softly with his song, killing me softly... with his song, telling my whole life with his words ~ killing me softly ~ with his song...

...I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style,
and so I came to see him and listen for a while.
and there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes,
strummin' my pain with his fingers,
telling my whole life with his words, killing me softly..."

...I felt all flushed with fever, embarassed by the crowd,
I felt he found my letters, and read each one out loud...
I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on... strummin' my pain with his fingers..."

--Roberta Flack (1973)

(I know the lyrics don't sound like much, but find that song, (new version by Lauren Hill, EXCELLENT too) and crank Roberta Flack when you're up late, and in the mood to bask in your music)
Hard to respond to these post threads that I haven't been keeping up with. I have tried to read some of what was posted in the last week or more,
it bogs

Here is a poem I wrote the last night on vacation.

No, on second thought,
I'll post it in the poetry section of the WB tomorrow.
It's late and I have a few dreams to cast.

If I could peel my bent end from this chair.


P.S. Teekay, you are NOT a fraud.
Artists feel like that half of the time. Goes with the hat and the messy paint brushes,
the goopy smock-shirts, the paint splattered shoes.
Goes with the pen and ink, the page and the pain of getting words to stick there. It hurts to cry ink.

Sometimes it is better to heal in between. Gardening is a major healing activity. Let your soul breathe, guilt free.
You'll come back and read your own work and smile as you see that it's not nearly so terrible as you imagined.
In fact, more than three-quarters of it is strong and ingenius. For keeps, I assure you. Look at your posts.
Read yourself. Look into the archives.
There's no way on this little rock that what you have written would not make impact. It already has.
Please don't give up.



Mon Aug 28 23:33:35 PDT 2000


Looks like I missed your return. Welcome, you have moved me back to third in seniority among active members. Not that my member has been very active lately, anyway.


You can the peaches before you dry them? Where do you live, anyway? I have to see this place before I die.


Speaking of places where people live, your post about your vacation was so expressive and writerly that I am filled with questions. Do you live in the city or the suburbs? Did you go to a mountain lake for vacation or to the sea? Or to a lowland lake. Was it a long trip? You have whet my interest and I must have more details. I have too much hunger for beautiful places and idyllic interludes to ever be content with only my own. I need the experiences of others to feed this addiction. At home, here, we have Dune Shacks such as that inhabited by Eugene O’niell when he was writing some important play. Lots of other writers and other people have dune cottages along the paved roads where the sand and the grass drifts up the walls and must be kept in check from over-taking the windows, but they can drive away on paved roads. A true Dune Shack of the Eugene O’neill genus is totally booned and must be hiked to and from through exhausting sand that slips away under one’s feet and drains your energy in minutes. Often it is also so hot from the burning sun that even though you would rest you keep moving to keep the hide from burning off your feet. Either that or you get a Ford Explorer as I did.

That would be a good project for me to do, photograph some dune shacks and post them for my buds here in the NB to see.
All I have to do is figure out how to get my scanner connected.

Later, All,


Tina Mon Aug 28 23:06:52 PDT 2000

Hello all!

Welcome Leann :~) Enjoy! I saw your post in the workbook. I'll sit down and read it soon!

Teekay, I think the only writers/artists who DONT have down time are Daniel Steele types (with ghost writers) and Hallee. And even she admitted to a small one! ;-) Think of your garden; it spends half the year or so preparing for the next season of abundance. Nature knows what it's doing! It's the seeds you plant and the (ahem) fertilizer you spread that will bring beauty in the harvest.

A WONDERFUL day! Hiked for three hours, although I didn't swim. Did the farmer's market. Relaxed. Put up some posters. Ate popcorn. No writing, but I consider these days to be precious seeds.


Leann Mon Aug 28 22:25:29 PDT 2000

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to say hello. I have read through a lot of the samples of books and poems as well as some of the posted comments here. I must say that I think I have finally found a site on the net that I truly like. I can feel sincerity within all of your words and an openness that I find refreshing... I am glad to have the opportunity to share in them and perhaps get the chance to chat with some of you. Keep it up.. Keep the fire going... and Dare to dream!


Christi Mon Aug 28 22:18:12 PDT 2000

HI everyone!

Hi! (Evil grin) ;}

I'm so happy that you've offered up your help with the Rocky Road. I might even take you up on it! I'm undeserving of such kind words, but I thank you and give you a big kiss anyway.
Now why is it that I've been lifted all the way up to the status of intelligent being? It IS my favorite thing to be called, I must admit (Intelligent, that is). I like it better than "pretty" or "funny" or "interesting". You had my affection before, but now you have my love as well. I hereby pledge to thee, oh Americo. ;)

It wasn't me, was it? Please say it wasn't.

mooooowhoo-ah-ah-ah-ah!!!!!!!!! Shoot, that was supposed to be a scary laugh but it just didn't turn out right. Yes, my dreams are the things nightmares are made of. Does that make sense? It's no wonder that I sometimes stay awake until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. Fortunately the nightmares have slowed down quite a bit since I had my son. I'm not a dream interpreter, because I think if I spent too much of time thinking about them I'd go mad. I've had sicko dreams since I was a little kid with monsters in the closet, and I guess I'm becoming used to them now. My closest whack at interpretation would be that I'm scared of weirdos, you know, the ones without a conscience. Nope, just don't like 'em. Kind of like Alfred Hitchcock--he was afraid of authority and of people--of what they were capable of. I love people. I love them so much it makes my heart ache sometimes, but I shrivel when I see some of the things they do.
I guess what I really want to say is "Please don't be scared of me, Gariess, just keep your arms and legs in the car at all times." (I just can't resist a joke.)

BEHHHH!! (That's the sound of a loud buzzer going off.) Sorry, no stogey. I was already happily married when I had that dream. NEXT!

WELCOME BACK! Where can I buy a vacation like that? It sounds like a slice of heaven.

Congratulations on gaining a 'son'! I didn't remember EJ ever mentioning that she'd gotten engaged. Anyway, I hope she is feeling better now.

Thanks! I think my teeth are beginning to recover from all that grinding. And what do you know, I actually had a (ahem) raunchy dream last night--much better than scary, no?

Teekay!!! My buddy is back, but sooo depressed. :( I have been so envious of you in the past, girly, because you've always been so prolific. Try not to feel bad, I still haven't written anything since my MIL passed away. I keep telling myself that the juices are getting built up until I'm too full and then I'll explode orange juice all over the place! Your down-time won't last for long--I'm sure of it.
Now what can I do to make you smile? C'mon, pull my finger! ;)

My, I'm silly tonight. Hellos and hugs to everyone; you deserve it for reading my post.


Jerry Mon Aug 28 20:36:07 PDT 2000

Teekay - I don't think you are an imposter either. I myself have not written anything lately, to kill time, I made myself a new web page, and helped fix a couple of computers for the local hospital, seems they don't have the funds to have them repaired at a repair shop, and since one of them will be used by my wife who works there, I donated some of my valuable time to them. I think we all have to take a break occasionally from writing to allow new plots to develop in our fragile brains, allow new characters to be formed and simply watch as the world goes by, gleaning what we can from what we see, to be used in future tales that flow ever so gently from our pens.

Litter - what the heck would one want with that many pop3 mailboxes?


Rhoda Mon Aug 28 19:56:43 PDT 2000


I agree with Rachel. You are no imposter. I am thrilled you are back. Please, get rid of this guilt. We are friends here. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing, or so it seems, but it is also that life that refreshes and inspires us. Down times on projects are natural. You should see my garden. It is a disgrace. So is my yard, and so is my house.

Enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy the spring. I will even send you some of our heat. We got up to 97 degrees today. Yesterday it was 103!

I did not write today. I felt draggy from a sinus infection. I just hope to do better tomorrow. If I do not write, may at least clean up my house and catch up on the laundry.


Litter Mon Aug 28 18:35:32 PDT 2000


What does one do with 50+ pop3 e-mail boxes ???

Comments/thoughts/ridicule/money welcomed...


Rachel Mon Aug 28 16:32:46 PDT 2000

Teekay - I don't think you are an imposter. We all need to work in the garden from time to time. If you are taking a break from active writing it could be because you need it. It does not mean that you are blocked or not a writer. It is just something that is going on with you. Don't sweat it. In time it is likely that the motivation will again take hold of you and you will be off and writing like a wild thing.

Teekay the imposter Mon Aug 28 15:57:17 PDT 2000

Hi All,

I have ben away so long I am not even going to attempt to catch up on the posts.
As far as writing goes I have come to the conclusion that I am a fraud. I have not even picked up a pen since I have been away from the notebook, well, not to write anything stimulating with it anyway.
I don't know if this is just a phase I am going through or what, I shall just have to ride it through.
The garden however has benefited greatly.
I am eagerly awaiting springs fairy light footsteps on the garden path.

HOWARD: I have been a real slacko with your book. I want to read it, but at the moment the brain is into reading about Italy and Provence, but I shall get to it I promise, and then I promise I shall send it back.

CHRISTI: Same with your book, although I'm halfway through that one. (sheepish grin.)

Well, I hope you are all well and that your writing is going better than mine is.

Love and kisses to you all.

Tina Mon Aug 28 08:58:59 PDT 2000


Yes Mary I WILL have an excellent day! It's my first day off in a week, it's sunny for the first time in a week, and I have absolutely no commitments other than to go hiking, swimming, and writing!

Well, okay, I do have to think about drying some peaches. At least I've finished canning them!

Next in the season.... tomatoes! Salsa, anti pasta, canned tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato soup....

Hello Heather! Glad to hear you had a good time. I told the weather fairies to leave the icky weather on this side of the country and let you have the good stuff. Seems to have worked ;~)


mary Mon Aug 28 07:35:41 PDT 2000

TINA AND HALLEE! Big smiles to you! I didn't really forget you, just misplaced you in my mind for a second. Have a good day today.

Debra Mon Aug 28 07:26:25 PDT 2000


Thank you very much. I really mean that.


mary Mon Aug 28 07:25:43 PDT 2000

Litter: hehe

those are some funny lookin' jiggly-cons. I will try again:

(*)(*)--she was much younger then


hmmmm..never know what these things will look like on the board. Just take your pick.

mary Mon Aug 28 07:21:29 PDT 2000

Heather: Welcome back. Sounds like a little R&R was exactly what you needed. Now all I have to do is get me some o'dat. What a perfectly wonderful vacation. :-)

Howard: Smiles your way...just 'cuz!

Litter: Take two of these and call me in the morning. They work wonders on body aches. (.)(.)

Teekay: Wherever you are....I miss you!

Christi: Hello! Hope your dreams let-up for a while. Mine have.

Rachel: :-)

Gary: ;-)

Robi, Emily Jane, Eric, and Martin: Well wishes.

Debra: I sent Basu an email about your dream yesterday, but he hasnt responded yet. Will let you know as soon as he does.

Yahel: Sorry to see you go. You are stimulating.

Mark: Hiya

T.O.M.: Glad to see your post. :-)

sasquatch: mary person thinks you are to real

Allein: Wishing you well with your job and your pet friends.
(and your education)

Tyler Calliano and students: I was MIA for about a week there while your work was being posted. Would like to go back and critique it, but you haven't been around for a little bit. Wondering if I should. If you are out there, please let me know.

Jerry: Nice chat the other night. :-)

Rhoda: Hiya Girlie.

Rosemary, Americo, Pussy, Goodweed, Ashling, Arik(hi sweetie), dammit I know I am forgetting people: Have a wonderful day! Happy writing.

Robi Mon Aug 28 06:21:51 PDT 2000

No more time to think about this new job offer.
An old college friend just finished working on a medical journal that he is having published. In celebration of that, he's having a bunch of people over to his house in New Zealand. So, I'm off for that in the morning.

Emily Jane has gotten engaged. Quite some time ago it seems, while I was off on my tropical adventure. She mentioned that she had told "the people in the Notebook", about it right after it happened.
Meaning that she told all of you before she told me. I'm a bit hurt by that. She also seems to think that I dislike her fiance, Martin. He's a nice young man, working the er at the hospital up the street from their apartment. His dog is nice too, a Boston Terrier I think.

So, I'm getting a "son-in-law".

I have to pack and drop Cleo off at Emily Jane's before I leave in the morning.

Hope everyone has a good week,


Debra Sun Aug 27 22:08:35 PDT 2000


You did my a favor. I was tired too. It's good someone was thinking.


Rachel Sun Aug 27 20:31:37 PDT 2000

Heather - Weclome back! I think I can see your tan from here. It looks very nice (smiles).

howard Sun Aug 27 20:31:36 PDT 2000

HEATHER -- were you away? :-)

TINA -- My favorite is the sign that says "Ernie's Veterinarian and Taxidermy Shop -- Either way you get your dog back"

ROSEMARY -- No trouble -- no trouble at all! I mean, I hadda depart the chat room because she came into the computer room wearing Jean Nate. That's all. Far from trouble! No ma'am -- no trouble at all! :-) O boy! oboyoboyoboy! Trouble wasn't even in the picture! Nope! (did I ever tell you how much I love my wife?) Turn left at BLEND and straight on to FRAPPE! Close cover before striking! Don't try this at home! (not anybody else's home, that is). Your mileage may vary. Sun Aug 27 19:34:06 PDT 2000

Heather Sun Aug 27 19:06:42 PDT 2000


Hey there!

Got a tan, and some piece of my mind (or rather, peace) has returned.

It was fairly shattered however, quite early upon reaching home, when the dirt and sand we gathered for a week was trudged into the house. Unpacking is not quite so gleeful as packing is. But I am not without some renewed vitality and inspiration, though my cleaning duties seem to have doubled. (I thought I left our house spotless, yet as soon as my kids and husband and I step over the threshold of the doorway, havoc ensues. I see that the cat has decided to deposit a few giant-specied hairballs on the carpet. Right next to the linoleum - do cats do this on purpose? Is it more comfortable to vomit onto a lovely, plush surface as opposed to a smooth, hard one?)
I notice immediately that our pet-sitter wore large black-soled boots through the house.
I discover, to my now obvious chagrin, that dust has found its way under the doorsill and up from the drains in massive, swiftly moving herds. I realize that the dryer has sighed its last breath, and quietly passed on to the 'great appliance beyond' during our vacation as well, but only after the first load of freshly washed beach-wear had been thrown into its gullet.

But I can't complain (at least, not any more than I already have).
Nature showed me again what I had forgotten. It revealed to me many things, and the most beautiful, quiet showing of all was on our last night before returning home. Did I mention I have a tan?
My first tan in ages.

I didn't wear makeup or brush my hair. I didn't care if I wore the same sweater and pants two days and the same t-shirt and shorts for another two. The cottage has no laundry, and that was probably the most relaxing part!
I didn't wear shoes or socks for the entire week. Not even to go fishing or walk into the tiny town to mail a letter.
I didn't polish my nails or the mirrors or the counter tops.
I didn't look at the clock more than twice. And that was to ask if it was time to get out of the water to feed the kids dinner. There was no TV or radio.
I didn't drive my car. For a whole week. Not even to the nearest Tim Horton's (tm) for a coffee, which is a half-hour drive.

Most of all, I read. I read and did not care to worry if reading the material would improve my writing, or at the very least, my vocabulary. I just read.
I let the teeth of my mind sink in with no other purpose than to taste the words.

I let the wind caress me, the water delight me, the sun kiss me and drench me in warm covers.
I went to sleep with the music of crickets.
The moon and stars were my nightlights.
I woke in the morning to hummingbirds and mourning doves and the clouds (mist) and sun drifting in the open window.


Did I miss anything?


Debra Sun Aug 27 18:47:03 PDT 2000


Okay here's what I think about your dream. You are my second client. Mary was my first. I still have to warn you as you sit down on my dream interpertation couch that I don't know anything. Well haveing said that, here goes:

I know you are married this is something I feel that happened before you were married. You had fallen in love with or had your heart stolem per se by this man/he stole you and threw you in his car. Some how things went bad and he hurt you/your foot was slamed in the door. The way he hurt you was by telling you that he had a thing for feet and your feet did not fit into the prerequisits of his foot thing/your foot was being removed, maybe making it more into the way he wanted. This whole experience was painful for many reasons and the most painful one was you had no way to fix it/short of smashing your feet to bits.

Okay times up.

That is all I got.


Rachel Sun Aug 27 17:26:47 PDT 2000

Hi Rhoda :D

Hallee Sun Aug 27 16:43:16 PDT 2000

Hey everyone! This whole week has just been a blurr. I've done nothing but skim the posts, so if I missed something specific, I apologize.

Americo: Good to see you - I was worried that you were gone for good.

Yahel: Sorry to see you go.

Rhoda: I'm headed to the workbook to read, but I probably won't have a chance to post anything about it until sometime tomorrow. (sigh)

Tina: Ditto above. (Excited!!)

Okay..time to clean the kitchen.

Happy Sunday all!

Debra Sun Aug 27 16:14:41 PDT 2000


I think I have got something for you on your dream. It will have to wait until tonight. I am not home.



Rosemary Sun Aug 27 15:45:41 PDT 2000

Hello All,
OK, OK, Next time I will come back to reread my post before moving along. I'm the one inviting Jon to go ahead and take his trip to Well. He had been begging for permission. I went straight to the chat room from the post and had a great time with Rhoda, Howard and Tina. Hope we didn't get Howard in trouble.

Tina, Loved your signs--They would make a good start on a collection. From now on all your friends and family can give you goofy signs for gifts.

Mary, The punctuation thing was great--of course I meant it the way I wrote it. I'm considering the "all expenses paid" part.

I promise, from now on, I will fill out the top part of the posting section first. I didn't own up to it being mine earlier because I usually only check in here once in the evening most days.

Writing can get you into trouble.

Rhoda Sun Aug 27 12:08:57 PDT 2000


There is a space limit, I think and I overran it. I worked hard to try to get all two chapters on there and could not do it. Somewhere along the line I accidentally posted it, and there it is. I will put the rest on starting from the beginning of that last scene.


Gariess Sun Aug 27 11:18:35 PDT 2000

In that last post I forgot to add, "Either that, or you have to stop eating before you go to bed."

gariess Sun Aug 27 11:14:19 PDT 2000


"...I figure, hey, I've got to dream it the
least he can do is listen to me describe it." Spoken like a true wife. I thought I had it bad when my first wife used to insist upon relating her dreams to me for my analysis. I never gave her any analysis because her dreams were so boring I couldn't bear to listen to more than a sentence or two, not to mention the fact that such uneventful dream sequences would defy any attempt to qualify meaning. I mean what can you tell somebody who says, "I was walking down this street, and everybody was having a cookout. Then my cousin, Frank, was there and he wanted to go swimming, or maybe it was me who wanted to go swimming. Come to think of it, it might not have been my cousin, Frank. Anyway, a bus came along..." See what I mean?

You, on the other hand, have something going on that is quite frightening. If I were you, I would simply refuse to go to sleep. I would stay awake until I lapsed into one of those periods of exhaustion driven unconciousness from which one awakes and says to one's self, "Okay, what was that, and where am I?"

While were on the subject, I am amazed at the number of people, here, who have issues of such magnitude so deeply rooted in the subconscious. You people are a scary bunch.


Tina Sun Aug 27 10:45:56 PDT 2000

Hello all!

Rhoda, I started reading your post in the workbook, but it cuts off mid-sentence. Something went awry.
I'm enjoying it immensely! I'll check back later to see if you've posted more.


Rhoda Sun Aug 27 10:11:18 PDT 2000

The one before Rachel's, that is. We were posting about the same time. Hello, Rachel.

Rhoda Sun Aug 27 10:09:49 PDT 2000

That last post was mine.

Rachel Sun Aug 27 10:09:08 PDT 2000


Happy Sunday to you! I am sure it will be a happy one. I am confident that the final version will be excellent.

On the posts left with no names. I know that if I am posting something that I consider inflamitory, I am sure to put my name on it. Then that is just me. Clearly there are people on this site who do not feel the same way. If I looked back and saw that my post didn't have my name on it and it was something that I was perfectly willing to say to a persons face I would get back on line and put my name to it. The fact that a person has not come up and said "Yes it was me" Indicates that I am right in my thinking that they are a coward who flings mud in the dark. Whatever. It takes all kind to make the world go round.

Sun Aug 27 10:08:39 PDT 2000


Sasquatch a character?! Never. I refuse to believe that. Sasquatch is a sensitive, earthy soul with a heart of gold. My forest friend is indeed real.

The chat room is indeed a tricky thing. Half the time it doesn't work for me either.

I have written some on my new project. My fear is that I can only produce these Dark Age epics. I worry that I have not finished anything but these two previous books. I have worked on them a long time, and I am ready to move on with something new. I am trying my hand at Regency Romance. At the same time I am perfecting my Reluctant Barbarian synopsis and am trying to get my first three chapters really sharp and clean. I will try one more time to market this book, but I cannot do that unless I am also looking ahead working on a new project.

Happy writing!


Jerry Sun Aug 27 08:34:10 PDT 2000

Debra - checked out that 300 word contest, looks like fun I will give it a try next month.

Debra and Mary - enjoyed the chat - sorry I had to leave so quickly, it was my bed time, and my eyes were very heavy.

All - Found the above web page today, looks very useful - it also has a contest, for those who are interested. I does offer lots of free writers areas, and a couple of pay areas.


Yahel Sun Aug 27 08:21:46 PDT 2000

My computer broke down and until it was fixed I couldn't visit this forum. I am about to leave the forum so I say goodbye to all. Goodbye, Have fun, continue to write.

Robi Sun Aug 27 06:15:39 PDT 2000

I need to keep thinking. Eventually, the idea of a new job will come together and I will decide yes or no on it.

Jon, by all means, stop talking about the Well and just do it. No one here is going to stop you.

Need more tea. Fifteenth cup has gone cold again.



Americo Sun Aug 27 05:35:18 PDT 2000

Good morning, everybody!

Rachel: Happy Sunday! I finished my book about "Idealization and Reality" yesterday. I intend to give it the final version now. Four drafts and a final version — that's been the average for each of my books. A lot of work! Could perseverance be the "sine qua non" quality for one to be a writer? I wonder.

Christi: how lovely to see you back! Incidentally, I knew that you are a truly courageous and beautiful soul. Now I know that you are also a very intelligent one. All this without exchanging a word with you, without even thanking you for signing in for S*. Count on me to help you conquer the Rocky Road.

Rhoda: please don't call Jon "a beast". He is just a character, like Sasquatch or Harry Potter. I know that cats are beasts, like any animals, but...

Incidentaly, I've downloaded your "Barbarian" and will read it when I have time. I don't think I'll dare tell you my impression about it, as historical fiction is not my genre, but I must tell you — because it's fair — that I like your persistence.

I'd like to write a book about Jon's incredible adventures on the earth, below and above. A book where human beings and their reactions are analysed, and sometimes put into ridicule, sometimes praised. As you see, I hate wasting time.

After conquering Well (which he's almost done), perhaps he'll have a look at the underground and bring to the surface innocence and sin.

I know that I could reveal you this secret because tomorrow you'll forget it. This forum has no memory. I know, I have been there.

On the chat room:
I've tried it many times. It does not work for me.

mary Sat Aug 26 23:50:31 PDT 2000

Tina...those are hysterical! Thanks.

Rhoda: chuckles to you....smiles.

Rhoda Sat Aug 26 23:42:36 PDT 2000


I left one and a half chapters of The Reluctant Barbarian on the Workbook.

Please, anyone else who is interested, have a look at it and feel free to give me your comments. It is now in probably its tenth edit, but there is always room for improvement.


I look forward to reading the first chapter of your book.


Tina Sat Aug 26 22:36:13 PDT 2000

Oh Mary! I wasn't going to post but you brought up some of my favourite joke/pun type stuff!

How about the sign on the vetrinarian's door:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

Or the sign at the bowling alley:
"Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop."

Or the plumber's sign:
"We repair what your husband fixed."
"Don't sleep with a drip, call your plumber."

And of course the sign at the podiatrists office:
"Time wounds all heels."

And my favourite from this batch. On the maternity room door:
"Push, push, push."

Okay, now that I've made everyone groan I'm going back to my writing.

mary Sat Aug 26 21:55:22 PDT 2000


Well, this is what you get when you open your mouth before doing your homework.

I remember the post to Jon saying:
Jon, you can go too, well...anytime you want to.

But in essence is said:

Jon, you can go to Well anytime you want to.

Amazing the difference puctuation can make. The first one is an invitation to join the chatroom. The second is an all expenses paid one-way trip to balmy Well.

Not a bad subject actually..puctuation and the unbelievable effect it can have on your text. Anybody have any good examples of this? Some of them can be pretty funny.

Kinda like those signs you see sometimes that make you wonder what the hell those people were thinking when they wrote that sign. There is one at a Diner/gas station type thing I saw one time: "Eat here...Get gas".hahahah

Or the one up at the lake that says "Road ends in water".
????what???? thanks for tellin' me.

Rhoda Sat Aug 26 21:50:45 PDT 2000


I do not usually leave anonymous posts. Sometimes I get on the Notebook and it does not load properly, leaving the posts all messed up. Actually, the result can seem quite strange. Try reloading and see what happens.

Jon in the chat room? Sure, why not. I would love nothing more than to get Jon in the chat room with me, alone if possible. Nothing would please me more than to be one on one with the little beast.

Tina, Howard, and Rosemary,

I greatly enjoyed the chat.


mary Sat Aug 26 21:14:29 PDT 2000

well, if you WANT to go, just click on note book chat button above,
then type your name into both boxes and click on the little icon at the right of the boxes....hope to see you there .

Debra Sat Aug 26 21:13:20 PDT 2000

I don't know how to go to the chat room.

Debby Sat Aug 26 21:12:34 PDT 2000


Okay five!

Christi hopped in her post ahead of mine before I could hit the button.

Phun intented.


mary Sat Aug 26 21:11:09 PDT 2000

Debra!!! our posts are 5 seconds apart..wanna meet in the chat room girlie?

mary Sat Aug 26 21:09:59 PDT 2000

I see two anonymous posts...but one of them is obviously from Jerry(apologizing for hid double post). And I thought the other one was from Rhoda asking Jon to join her in the chat room. I missing them too?

Although I do tend to agree...if you are going to say something least show yourself.

Debby Sat Aug 26 21:09:54 PDT 2000



Double Yikes!

I'm going to need a minute to recover from that one.

So thanks, for that.


Debby Sat Aug 26 21:05:54 PDT 2000


It's four posts below this one.


Christi Sat Aug 26 21:04:48 PDT 2000

Hellew everyone!

Am I the only one home this Saturday night? How very depressing. Should I snorf down a half-gallon of Rocky Road or shall I actually get some writing done? Decisions . . .

You gave me the willies last night. I read your post, and then, just as I knew I would, I thought of your experience while I was trying to go to sleep. I kept imagining those red slanty eyes staring at me. I am a horrible insomniac and am plagued with nightmares nearly every night.

Here's one for your entertainment.
An evil maniac has taken me hostage and has trapped me in the car, smashing my leg in the car door. As we pick up speed I watch in horror as my shoe falls away and my foot begins to drag on the road. I'm in agony watching, seemingly in slow motion, as my skin rips open. I can only scream as my flesh chunks off in irregular pieces and the bones in my foot begin to drag, making a scraping sound. For some reason, the pain of the bones scraping the asphalt is more awful than everything else previous. It is sickening, the way the vibration travels up my leg and zaps into my brain.
The dream doesn't have an ending because I wake up when the pain becomes too much. Some might say I need therapy! My husband has asked me to stop relaying some of my more sickening dreams to him, but I figure, hey, I've got to dream it the least he can do is listen to me describe it.

Sorry guys, I really didn't come here tonight to gross you out. Think I'll go attack the Rocky Road. Ewww, I just realized that Rocky Road doesn't sound so appetizing after thinking of that dream again. Something about the name of that particular flavor. Suddenly I'm not very hungry.

Oh well, goodnight ya'll.

Love n smacks,


PS Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekay! Are you speaking to me?! If you are, then you're doing a really good impression of someone who's not. Confused? Me too. *sniffle* Anyway, you are missed. Come back soon.

gariess Sat Aug 26 20:36:34 PDT 2000

People keep talking about these anonymous posts, but I can't seem to find them. I guess I should consider myself lucky.

Rachel Sat Aug 26 19:56:24 PDT 2000

Jon - It is so nice to see you back. I thought I heard the sound of a meow. Good luck with Well.

Take care kitty.


To the one who posts and does not leave their name. I think that is pretty cowardly stuff. You would need to be brain dead not to know who Jon is connected with. You on the other hand are a mystery to me. You make snide comments and hide behind the Net. I think that is LAME!

Rosemary Sat Aug 26 19:43:39 PDT 2000

Hello everyone,

That was a well thought out assessment of P.O.D. I was wondering(hopeing)if, as more and more writers turn to this method, maybe the regular publishers won't be so regal about who they are willing to talk to about their work. Oh well, you were talking about dreams.


Mark Sat Aug 26 19:34:03 PDT 2000

Tried the chat room. Used both Netscape and IE5. Neither worked.

Sat Aug 26 19:16:40 PDT 2000

Jon---You can go to Well any time you want to.

Rhoda Sat Aug 26 18:40:08 PDT 2000

I will be in the chat room for the next few minutes.

howard htuckey@STNY.RR.COM Sat Aug 26 14:29:09 PDT 2000

TINA -- Send me your Edress and I'll respond with a sample or two, (per Mark in the chat room).

JON -- I'll send you some virtual catnip!

LITTER -- Gariess' "The" was okay -- irt was the space immediatedly following that was questionable.

All -- Here's a quote I couldn't resist posting:
"If you think no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, chances are good you'll never write a best seller."
-- Tim Lee
He publishes TIPS DuJOUR - a daily tips sheet that's very good! It's a part of the RECIPE DUJOUR family. Some great writing there too. The url is posted above for those interested.

ASHLING -- "Current" projects? I have some electrical work to do in my computer room...


Jon Sat Aug 26 13:56:35 PDT 2000

Sorry, folks. Now that Litter and A* have buried the hatchet may I conquer Well at last? Of course, only if you ask...

Litter Sat Aug 26 11:15:22 PDT 2000

Hi and Hello,

Like Gariess, I have not been inspired to jump in of late. Physically feeling pretty nasty, but the hatchet has been well and truly buried I'm pleased to say. (Took me ages to extract it too.)

A couple of things have grabbed my attention though -- First to Gariess: As to that first word 'The', sorry buddy, but I think that word needs a little more work…

Print On Demand -- seems to be the way the industry is likely to go. With the technology now available and the massive amounts of potential losses that can be experience by publishers for print runs that don't sell… Well, seems the logical way to go. What it will mean to writers is another story though. Will it actually make a difference? I have no idea. It will make it easier for publishers to cut an author loose but it might also encourage large volume outlets to speculate on the work of new authors as they will be able to 'suck it and see' before committing to too much expense. POD seems to have good and bad points and it seems only time will tell.

Phobias and Dreams -- ahhhh! From my perspective dying is not necessarily a bad thing as I don't believe it is the end, as it were. I don't fear heights -- I fear the ground. Falling doesn't worry me but coming to a rapid stop does and in situations like flying, I cannot bring myself to worry about something so much outwith my control, so I tend to trust the technology and pilots instead. My wife, however, cannot abide take off and landing, which gives me a lot of scope to wind her up and she falls for it every time. You know, things like -- "I'm not sure the ground should be approaching us quite that quickly?" or "I thought the idea was to land on the tarmac, not the grass…"
I know, I know, I'm baaaaad. :o) I won't be afraid of spiders until I meet my first 6 foot tall one. I used to be afraid of pain, but since contracting the nasties that fear has disappeared.

Sleep paralysis -- I used to get that lots as a student. In my case I couldn't scream but I found that I could rock myself back and forward so I fell on the floor and woke up. Of course I never actually fell on the floor, I only thought I did. I was really unnerving at the start. I would be lying in bed reading and then all sorts of horrible things would start happening. Seems my conscious hadn't registered that I'd fallen asleep so it felt like I was still awake. The worst of it was when I thought I had woken up but I hadn't and it all started over again. I got up to three 'layers' of waking up before I actually did. (Anyone remember the episode of Star Trek Voyager, when Chakotay had similar experiences?)

I also have to ability, now, of directing my dreams/lucid dreaming and I was able to experience sleep paralysis more or less on demand -- kind of experimenting with sleep induced fantasy. It is a good technique for overcoming writers block if you wish to write fantasy or surreal fiction!!!

Ashling -- Ta, hoots mon, and lang may yer lum reek!

Ciao for now,


Allein Sat Aug 26 08:17:44 PDT 2000

Tina - Work is going well. So far it's only been training, but today I do it for real on my own. :)

Robi Sat Aug 26 07:58:17 PDT 2000

Been walking around my apartment for hours with cold tea cup. Tea was originally hot. Can't decide about job. Haven't gotten any sleep. Must think some more. This is not good for writing.


Tina Fri Aug 25 23:41:47 PDT 2000

Gariess, your thoughts remind me of a story about Anne McCaffery. Her first book about Pern is 'Dragonflight'. She didn't write the second book, 'Dragonquest', for some years afterward. Apparently, when she sent in her manuscript for 'Dragonquest' her agent returned it with two words. 'Burn it.' She did, and then rewrote the entire thing. She didn't change agents.

Just something to think about....

Rachel, Heather is lurking around a lake somewhere, doing the holiday thing.

Allein, how's work?

Have a good one all. :-)

Gariess Fri Aug 25 22:52:28 PDT 2000

What is all this hollering about? I'm not gone, I'm right here. I've been here right along and posting a minor quip from time to time. I will admit that little has inspired me to jump in strongly in the passing days, but sometimes it's just that way.

I have completed the one hundred and twenty-seventh draft of my short story, Time Exposure. Did I ever post that in the workbook? Probably seventy-two drafts ago. Every time I put the final draft away, I fail to take into account the way the next time I see it I will find all kinds of other things that I can improve. We should be our own most relentless critiquers. Other Critters will tell you a few of their opininons and move along, no one wanting to be the bearer of ALL the bad news. "Your story really bites the big one. I think you should go right back to the first word where it says, The, and start the whole thing over again. On second thought that word, The is a little weak in its context. You shoud deep six it and start over, that way you won't be carrying any of the dead weight of the original Turkey, and you can go where you want to with it, which if you knew better than to be wasting your time, would be in the nearest dumpster,and then to a fifth grade grammar clase, because I don't see a ret of promise, or talent either for that matter, in your writing.

What I am getting at here is that if you must listen to these things in a report, it would best be from yourself.

Interestingly, the last actual critique I gave was to Michael Meddor and he just sold his story. I don't know how much of my advice he employed, maybe none, even though he said he did. I guess I'll have to buy a copy and see for myself just how much reconstruction was done.

WWell, we are determined to stay in the game, one way or another.

Ashling Fri Aug 25 21:59:40 PDT 2000

Hi everyone!

HOWARD: Thanks for the kind remarks. I'm not gone, just working. I've been writing on my novel 5 to 7 days a week. This is the only time in my life I've maintained a pace this steady--and it feels great. How's your Muse treating you? What's your current project(s)?

RHODA: That doco about European mummies in China came on the
Discovery channel again the other night--absolutely fascinating. Not sure it will be useful in my Celtic 7th century research, but you never know what tidbits might worm their way into your fiction.

Have you read any of Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma's mysteries? It's a series set in mid 7th c. Ireland. Or is Arthur your main Celtic interest? I just started The Subtle Serpent. The style is a bit boring, but I'm learning scads of details on everyday life. Tremayne is supposed to be THE authority on ancient Irish culture.

LITTER: I couldn't write the above and then leave without hailing our Celt-In-Residence. So, Merry Meet as the Wiccans say. Hope the publishing process is moving along smoothly for you.

Hope everyone finds the right vein and bleeds all over their keyboards all weekend.


Fri Aug 25 20:50:37 PDT 2000

sorry about that double post, can happen to anyone I guess.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Aug 25 20:49:35 PDT 2000

T.O.M. I know what you mean, there was a time several years ago, when I was home for a visit, I was living in a different state at the time, when visiting with my sis about a dream I used to have, where my mother would be laying in the snow, but the snow was red, and I could never figure out what it was supposed to mean. She went pale, said they thought I was too young to remember, but one time on the way home to our old farm, some 25 miles from town, the car became stuck in a snow bank, mom had been driving, because dad was very drunk. Dad got mad about getting stuck and beat mom very bad, so bad that the snow was red all around where she lay. My two sisters who were older took me behind a snowbank to hide while the fight was going on. Guess some things just stick in your mind, no matter what your age.


Jerry Ericsson Fri Aug 25 20:49:21 PDT 2000

T.O.M. I know what you mean, there was a time several years ago, when I was home for a visit, I was living in a different state at the time, when visiting with my sis about a dream I used to have, where my mother would be laying in the snow, but the snow was red, and I could never figure out what it was supposed to mean. She went pale, said they thought I was too young to remember, but one time on the way home to our old farm, some 25 miles from town, the car became stuck in a snow bank, mom had been driving, because dad was very drunk. Dad got mad about getting stuck and beat mom very bad, so bad that the snow was red all around where she lay. My two sisters who were older took me behind a snowbank to hide while the fight was going on. Guess some things just stick in your mind, no matter what your age.


Debby Fri Aug 25 20:46:17 PDT 2000


I don't have access to such a person as the one you spoke to. If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs in his presence would you mind asking him about my dream?

I would love to know what that one means.


The Old Man Fri Aug 25 20:34:56 PDT 2000

Greetings and Felicitations,

Rachel, It's good to be back. And it's good to see your face again. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

Jerry E., Over the years, I've seen many things concerning this phenomenon. My ears perk up instantly at the sound of a TV voice saying, "Night Terror" or "Sleep Paralysis". I have heard many things concerning this subject and have learned all I could, but there is a nagging little 4-year-old voice somewhere in the back of my mind that still urges me to believe it was real. I know what that sounds like, but when so great an impression is left on a person at so tender an age, it is very hard to overcome your first thoughts on it. In my little mind, it was real. In some deep, dark place it still is.
The Bard told us that "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreampt of in your philosophy."
I take little solace in the line.

At any rate, I'm fine now. How does that catch phrase go..."I'm feeling MUCH better, now..."?

Take care,

Rachel Fri Aug 25 18:34:33 PDT 2000

The Old Man - It's nice to see you back.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Aug 25 16:48:27 PDT 2000

Hi Old Man - you know your story comes at a very appropriate time, I just saw a special on I think it was the Learning Channel. It was about sleep paralysis. According to the special, it happens exactly as you describe it. It happens to many people, most of whom attribute it to a nightmare, but one that seems so real. They describe it as being unable to move, and showed drawings dating back to the middle ages of demons sitting upon the chests of the victims.


The Old Man Fri Aug 25 14:45:58 PDT 2000

Greetings and Felicitations!

I come to you soothed and refreshed from a nice Florida vacation. We stayed at Disney World in the cleanest room I've ever seen, it was great.

I hope you have all gotten along alright without me, though somehow I am reminded of the Peanuts comic strip where Charlie Brown walks up to Lucy and happily proclaims that he is "...back from vacation!" Whereupon Lucy glances back and asks, "Were you away?"
At any rate, welcome back to the Goodweed, welcome to any new folks who joined us in the interum and let me say that I missed reading about you all while I was away.

On the subject of nightmares; In my fourth year we happened to be staying with a shirtale relative in the Denver area, she was living in a trailer house with 3 bedrooms. As I recall, it was Easter as we had Ham at her little formica table on aluminum chairs. While I now enjoy ham as much as the next guy, at the time I refused to eat it and my father scolded me for it.
That night, my sisters stayed in one bedroom and I alone in the third. I think my father stayed in a hotel.
My room was sparsly decorated with only a headboardless bed placed up against the aluminum-framed window. The only other feature in the room was the door accessing the hallway next to the empty closet at the foot of the bed.
Since the scolding from Dad, I had been in a bit of a contrite mood all that evening and when the time came, I marched silently into the little room, closing the door behind me.
The sheets were clean and cool and felt a bit stiff under my 40 pound weight. As I look back now, I must have been very tired that day because I didn't do my usual tossin-and-turning ritual, just dropped off.
I don't know to this day if it was a real noise or something from my young imagination, but something woke my from the little pre-sleep stage of slumber. I looked around the dark little room and saw a glow in the corner by the door on the opposite wall. At first, I fugured that this was a strange house with maybe a streetlight shining through the loose weave in the curtains over my head, but then the glow moved.
I was suddenly frozen stiff. I couldn't move a muscle aside from my eyes, which darted around the room looking for some explaination of what was going on only to settle again on the shape in the corner. As I stared at the thing, it grew, or maybe I should say it formed into the standing form of a man. But the glow had changed. The only thing I can compare it to is the firey guy from the Fantastic 4 comic books. What would have been skin on a man was a moving mass of black and red with a slight orange undertone sliding under it all.
To say I was scared would be a complete understatement, I was absolutely terrified. Sweat plastered my hair to my head and itched like crazy, but I was completely unable to move.
Red eyes glowed without the wavering of the rest of the body and held me in their gaze. I'm not sure I even blinked.
Thoughts ran through my head of escape, mostly little-kid thoughts of pulling the covers over my head and humming loudly until my terror passed, but that was not possible. There was no alternative to starin into those red dots surrounded by the moving flesh of the thing.
Certain that nothing could be worse, the thing moved...toward me.
If I had been frightened before, it paled in comparison with this new horror.
It moved quietly and slowly to my left side. I don't know how long it took, but time had somehow stopped mattering. I only know that with every inch, my terror grew exponentionally.
When the thing could get no closer, horror of horrors, it began to lean down over me. It's eyes locked to mine with a force that 4-year-olds know nothing of, it's 'face' came close to my face. I expected heat from this glowing, burning thing, but felt none, even so close.
When the cells in my brain could simply take no more, my body took over and at that point, I screamed. I hadn't thought to scream, I hadn't planned to, but there it was. Looking back on it now, it sounded like a feeble squeak in my ears, but instantly, my Aunt burst into the room like the place was falling down. Her face took my eyes from the creature's and suddenly it was gone. With the flick of a switch, light filled the room and the thing was gone. It was gone.
She asked me what was wrong to make me scream like that and for some reason I can't fathom even to this day, I told her that there had been a bear in my room.
She chuckled a bit as she told me not to worry, that it had only been a bad dream. She spent the rest of the night in the bed with me, comforting me until we both fell asleep.
I never mentioned it until years later when both my sisters and I were together for my Father's funeral. I was surprised to learn that neither of them had heard anything that night and had no idea of what had transpired that night.
Now, I understand that this is a writer's website and that all who visit here have vivid imaginations, but let me assure you that this story is the truth as I remember it. It is not a story, and I'm not completely sure it was a dream.

Take care,

howard Fri Aug 25 12:19:53 PDT 2000

ASHLING -- I just skipped back through this iteration of the NB and saw your greeting -- it's good to see you again again!
Please don't stay away!
TEEKAY -- Come back!
And anyone I forgot too!

Rosemary Fri Aug 25 12:02:26 PDT 2000

I'm not sure my main fear is really a fear but a sense of self preservation. I fear edges. Not the heights, but the edges. Airplanes and high windows don't bother me. At the grand canyon, I could look over the edge if I was holding on to a tree or something secure. We have a tower here that has one of those glass elevators that go up the side. I can go up facing out just fine, but coming back down, watching the ground rushing up at me was a whole nother story.

To change the subject, I have a friend who is in the process of publishing one of her books on IUniverse. I haven't seen anyone discussing the P.O.D. (print on demand) situation. Her method so far is a little scary, but we are learning what we may need or not need to do in the future. I don't really see myself going that route but she writes Texana novels that may have more of a localized audience than my Science Fiction.

About the Texas Rangers, (someone mentioned earlier) I'm so into sports that I'm not sure if they are football or baseball. I know about the Cowboys and of course the Spurs since they live here, but I don't really follow any of them. For some reasion, (antisocial tendencies?) I don't especially like team sports. I love car and horse races, triathelons, even willing to watch golf ocassionally. It's one of those "Hummmmm" things that I don't really worry about.

Would be interested to hear about experiences or even opinions(I know there are some out there)of Print on Demand Publishing.

Keep Cool,

Rachel Fri Aug 25 11:24:24 PDT 2000

Heather - How are you? Are you still lurking out there? I am sending you hugs.
Take care you,

Robi Fri Aug 25 10:37:46 PDT 2000

JerrIE, I suppose dying is better than living forever. I'm hoping the "i" on the end of my name you replaced with an "y" was a simple typo. :)

I was offered a job last night. I'm debating whether or not I want take it. ((shudder)) A job.........

So, I'm off to think in the Park. Afternoon everyone,


Debra J. Palardy Fri Aug 25 08:44:03 PDT 2000


Thanks for telling me that. I now have hope on another issue. They are doing an article on me and my book in the major paper in my area. But before they do they are going to ask a doctor what he thinks of my theory in my book.

I was a little scared he wouldn't like it now maybe he will. Thanks for making my waiting easier.


howrad Fri Aug 25 08:28:21 PDT 2000

Is this thing on?

mary...again Thu Aug 24 22:33:21 PDT 2000

Just wanted to wish everyone here a lovely evening/morning/afternoon. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

mary Thu Aug 24 22:31:32 PDT 2000


Hiya girlie. I am terrified of getting old. And it has no grounds whatsoever. Every old person I have ever known was awesome. I think I am more afraid of being sick and old..maybe that is it. My father however, has aged very well. So I think that your second theory misses the mark just a tad. I went to a friend who teaches at OSU and asked him what he thought. I almost fell over when he practically echoed your first theory to the letter. Usually when i ask someone about that dream, they think my father must have abused me as a child. Never happened. Although I must admit, that would be what i would think if someone else told me they had a dream like that. Basu(my teacher friend) knows that I watch all those 'save the children', 'feed the hungry'....pathetic, big-eyed children pleas for help shows. He also knows that I cry all the way thru them. He thinks I get too sad over stuff I cant fix. And when something affects me that way, it triggers my dreams to start up again. Which if I think about it hard enough, makes perfect sense because I was very distraut about the Russian submarine tragedy. And I learned that they quit tapping signals on the same day my dreams started up again. A situation I couldn't fix. Just like the kitten..stand there and watch.

So anyway Debra, thanks...bunches. I am going to pay closer attention to the way my dreams work...see if there is a pattern.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Aug 24 21:23:10 PDT 2000

Fears - I have had a few, it is kind of funny, when I joined the Army, they sent me to pole-lineman school. I had no fear of heights, never bothered me a bit to climb to the top of a 30 foot telephone pole and work up there for hours at a time. Now however, I get a little shaky climbing up on a kitchen chair. Never been particluly scared of spiders, now don't get me wrong, I don't like them, just not scared of them. Snakes don't bother me all that much, I used to play with garter snakes when I was a kid, even had a pet bull snake for awhile, but finally let him go. Didn't know I was claustrophobic untill I hurt my back and they put me in one of those MRI machines. Now you probably can't tell from my pictures, but I am rather large in body. When they pushed me into that tunnel, I just about didn't fit. The first time they did it, I was in hospital, and they had been pumping me full of morphine, (Wonderful stuff), it didn't bother me at all. Later they had to do another, this time I had no drugs to help me through it, and I discovered I am terrified of close places. They put me in the machine (in this neck of the woods, they have them in the back of semi-trailers, to make them portable) and closed the door. I was there about 2 minutes when I screamed for them to get me out of it, in not so nice words. They pulled me out and called my md. He came in and shot me up with something, not sure what it was, but all was well. Since that time, they give me a couple of valeum about a half hour before, and it goes nicely. When I was a kid, I was afraid of grave yards. Dad knew this, and took it as a personal insult, that his only son would be afraid of anything. Several times he would take me out to the car and drive the three miles to the local grave yard pull in and park. It didn't help much. I did eventually get over that though, and in fact when working as a police officer, I used to enjoy a nightly drive through the grave yard. My dreams - sometimes are terrifying, although I rarely remember exactly what happened, I wake up frightened.

Roby - I don't fear death, it is the coffin that makes me squirm thinking of being locked in that box and buried under 6 feet of dirt, that terrifies me. Death itself, I look forward to, an end of the pain of life, the end of the great act of living, seems somehow so right to have it end.


Goodweed of the North Thu Aug 24 20:42:18 PDT 2000

Hey all; My youngest son, before moving out on his own, decided to "improve" my hard-drive storage. In the process, he blew away my browser with all my bookmarks, addresses, etc. Well, I found this site again (actually the site was easy to find. Sorting out my computer wasn't. The IRQ conflicts.) Anyway. I'm back. Moohuahahahaha.
HI. Hello. How Are Ya? Did ya miss me?
Well, gotta go write some more in my book.

But before I go, i have to admit that I too have fears. Mine are mostly related to very large dogs with nasty tempers, or dogs which have a bad reputation (desearved or not), and the fear of goofing up in front of my freinds or peers. As a young adult, I was gifted athletically. I participated in many activities including Judo, SCUBA, archery (used to be very good at that), dirt biking (especially hill climbing), and various other strenuous activities (can carrying an upright piano with three other guys, for three lovely young ladies in an upstairs apartment, be called a sport or competition?). In spite of my sucess with these activities, I absolutely freeze when placed in team sports such as baseball or football. I could do amazing things during practices. But don't put me in a game. I turned into Charlie Brown every time. I got over it for a short time. But a ball took a bad hop and hit me in the mouth. I haven't been able to play well ever since. Tis a frustrating thing.
As for songs, I have created a couple of lines to be sung to a few well known tunes. The lyrics poke fun at some of my working peers. If you are going to insult someone, do it in the spirit of fun, expecting to get as good as given.

This set of lyrics is to eb sung to the tune of "Stealin'" by Uriah Heep

And now, for your enjoyment (or derision), I offer, "Golfin'"

Take me accross the water
Cause I need some place to think
I know I shoulda been workin'
But I couldn't resist the links
doo, doo, ahhhhh

Well it's a hundred yards of green that lies between the pin and I
I don't need no overpaid caddy no, cause i'm runnin' out of light
Sand wedge, tee shot
It matters to me not
seven strokes over par
I'm not listening
My pager's whistling
I've got to get a way
In my cart

Stood on a ridge and shuned the four iron
five iron should get me by
I made my swing, it was an awesome thing
Golfin when I shoulda been workin'
Yes that sand wedge, tee shot
It matters to me not
seven strokes over par
pager's whistling
I'm not listening
I've got to get a way
In my cart
cart, cart, cart, cart, cart, cart, cart

Stood on a ridge and shuned the four iron
five iron should get me by
I made my swing, it was an awesome thing
Golfin' when I shoulda been workin'
I was golfin' when I shoulda' been workin'
I was golfin' when I shoulda' been workin'
Yeah, Golfin
When I shoulda been workin'
When I shoulda been workin'
when I shoulda been workin'
when I shoulda been workin'
I was Golfin
hahaha yeah
(song fades)
when I shoulda been workin'
ai yai yai yai yai yai yai
Ooo who who who who who

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Mark Thu Aug 24 20:32:56 PDT 2000

HOWARD -- You wrote, "Then there's the falling. I still have the falling one every now and again, accompanied by an awful vertigo and shortness of breath. It's almost pleasant at first, but most times it doesn't stop when I think it should. I've had that one even while I was half awake/daydreaming." Take that impression and re-read Jonathon Edwards. The whole sermon "Sinners in the Hands ..." is a visual delight that raises and drops the listener. Edwards made great use of vertigo there. Very instructive for a writer.

TINA -- 7:30 Hey, that chat room works. Thanks.

Tina Thu Aug 24 19:04:59 PDT 2000

Jessica and Howard, thanks for the comments!

I hadn't really thought about that, Howard. I'll work with that in mind. And I know it slows down a touch, Jessica. I like the dichotomy of the initial action abruptly slowing down. It's partially to let the reader figure out that 'Beginnings' happens before 'Endings'. I really seem to be agonising over that. Is it clear?

Sorry everyone. Guess I should say all this in the crit page but I just got carried away. Anyone who's willing to talk about it, I'll be in the chat room at 7:30 PDT.

See ya:-)

howard Thu Aug 24 18:59:55 PDT 2000

One recurring nightmare (at least the worst one that I can remember)that I had fairly regularly, involved a snake. It was not just any snake, and I am not the least bit afraid of snakes (I do hate spiders), but it was always chasing me down a long road. The road had humps and dips in it, and I can remember running forever, looking back over my shoulder to see if it was gaining on me. I'd see it coming up over the hump just behind me, and I'd start running faster. The scary part was that it had a human skull instead of a normal snake's head, and I can remember that its body was a mottled black and white.
Then there's the falling. I still have the falling one every now and again, accompanied by an awful vertigo and shortness of breath. It's almost pleasant at first, but most times it doesn't stop when I think it should. I've had that one even while I was half awake/daydreaming.

Tina Thu Aug 24 18:55:22 PDT 2000

Hello all! It is SO quiet in here!

Jerry, thanks for the note. I sent a reply, but just in case you don't check your email right away I'll say it here too. I'll be in the chat room at 7:30 PDT.


Robi Thu Aug 24 18:23:47 PDT 2000

Now, I shall step up and say something about something I know about. Being old.
I remember both World Wars very clearly. I could tell you stories.....

You shouldn't be afraid of aging. If you have to be afraid of anything, fear death.
Aging is nothing more than gaining life experience and living through events that you can share with younger generations.
As long as you're healthy, aging is rather nice. Believe me, I'm very old.

I'm going to go to the deli and meet up with some friends.

Good night everyone, and sweet dreams.


Jessica Thu Aug 24 16:37:48 PDT 2000

You know, I was almost getting over alot of the fear of spiders, and then I had the most horrible nightmare. There was a huge spider, it's body was a big as both my hands put together, and then it still had it's legs. Well, the spider was built like a tarantula but had markings like a black-widow. well anyways, I ended up putting the spider in a large tupperware container and my bestfriend, her boyfriend and I went to the gas station on the way there, it tried to get out of the container and I barely kept it away from me. At the gasstation we tried to drown the thing in gasoline, but it wouldn't die, instead it got loose and started running away. My bestfriend started after it, but I reminded her that it would make a realy big mess if she squished it. I woke up shortly after that.

I think that I have a realy good philosophy about spider: The only good spider is a dead spider, and even that isn't good enough.

Well, that's all I have to say about that subject right now.

Have a Great Day, and don't get sick, it's the pits!

Debra J. Palardy Thu Aug 24 15:59:40 PDT 2000


I'm not afraid of getting old, I just hate it.


Debra J. Palardy Thu Aug 24 15:49:38 PDT 2000


You had me going for a second there.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Aug 24 13:58:58 PDT 2000


Debra, You have hit it on the head, now maybe not about Mary, but I know I am afraid of getting old.

Just kidding.

Sure is quiet in here today, I must be the only one home alone at this time of the day, as the notebook hasn't changed since the first time I checked it this morning.


Debra J. Palardy Thu Aug 24 08:08:53 PDT 2000


I have another theory. Maybe you are scared of growing old. Your father might not have aged gracefully. Maybe as a child you were afraid of his skin. Another year in the shed another year older.

I don't really know.


Tina Thu Aug 24 08:02:38 PDT 2000

Wow, I can't believe how quiet this place is!

Anyway, last night I couldn't sleep. Not from bad dreams, but because my muse took over and I re-worked the opening to my story. Again. I just posted the first 8 pages again. I would so appreciate comments on the All New Version, regardless of if you've read it before. I feel almost light headed. It wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be, letting go of the scenes I liked but didn't add to the story.

Thnaks in advance for all thoughts and comments. :-)


Tina Wed Aug 23 22:01:11 PDT 2000

With all you arachnaphobics around, I guess I shouldn't talk about the mascot we had where I work. She was a nice rosy haired tarantula named Rafiki (meaning 'friend'). She was about the size of my open hand and a pretty orange/red colour. Every sunday I used to take her out of her terrarium and let her walk around while I cleaned out her home. I scared off a few customers, but others were just fascinated. She was beautiful and harmless. When she walked on my hand and arm, it felt like a hamster or mouse wearing velcro shoes. She ate crickets and (sorry Allein) baby mice.

See y'all!
Tina :-)

Debra J. Palardy Wed Aug 23 20:31:42 PDT 2000


When I went to the Aquarium I didn't know that that tank was there. I had no idea one even existed in real life. It was a long time ago. That is why I went.


Wow: Okay, what do I say. I think you should definately write about it. You should put all those characters in one story. You should call it "Shaken things up" HOw does that sound?


I am totally with you on the spiders all the way with you. If you want to go further I am still with you.


Allein Wed Aug 23 20:31:03 PDT 2000

Hi all! Guess what! We have a new addition to our family. She's small, black, and friendly. Yep, we got a dog. My brother says she's a puppy, but I think she's a little big to be a puppy. She's part cocker spaniel part something else - lab, maybe. We've named her Pepper. Our old dog was named Pepper too (some 18+ years ago). She's very friendly - I haven't heard her bark at all. I was petting her and she licked my face - she needs a tic tac. But she seems really sweet. She's also an outdoor dog, so Mom likes that.
That's all for now.

Jessica Wed Aug 23 20:14:42 PDT 2000

I remember being scared when I was little, we lived in this house in Wyoming, and all of us kids (four total) had our rooms down stairs, well the down stairs bathroom had a ton of daddy-long-legs spiders. Every now and again I would wake up during the night and have to use the bathroom, the spiders were everywhere! I was so scared to use that bathroom, but I did anyways and I guess I survived the experiance relativly unscathed. At the time we lived in that house I was two years old. I think that is where my phobia of spiders originated.
Now, I'm scared of almost everything. It's realy sad kindof, but I'm getting over it, Not the spiders though, never them. I have a hard time just writing that word.
Oh well.

howard Wed Aug 23 19:29:37 PDT 2000

DEBRA -- Yeah he was shooting all right, but I think it was mostly for effect. I was about 15 or 16, and we were coming home from YFC of all places (after a stop for ice cream, etc) and were headed up Sheedy Road. Mark knows where that is. Anyway, back then it was a dirt/gravel road, with a couple of great parking places at the foot of the hill. We went by this '52 Olds that was backed into the bushes, and when we got to the top of the hill Donny says "Let's go back and scare 'em!" So Duane pulled over to the side and turned off the lights, and Donny and I snuck back down to the Olds, grabbed the rear bumper, and rocked the daylights out of it! The girl screamed, the guy hollered, and we took off running back up the hill. Got about halfway up and heard the loudest cannon I ever heard, going off behind us. Dunno if he was actually aiming at us, but those sparks looked awfully close in front! Duane had the Chevvy moving when we got to it, and we got away okay, but it was interesting!

Way before that, during WWII, my dad was in the army, and mother and I were living with my grandparents. She had a nightmare about her brother, who was in the navy in the Pacific, and woke up screaming. No more sleep that night!

John was the crazy old guy who lived with Aunt Alice. After she died we went to her apartment to clean it out. John was there, crazy drunk (or just crazy) and started threatening us. He pulled out a straight razor and started slashing it toward us, and my grandfather hollered at him to stop, and to put the razor down. Most people knew that you didn't get a second chance with grampa, but John evidently forgot, and took a swipe at him with the razor. Grampa broke his arm with his cane. John reached down and picked up the razor with his left hand, and Grampa broke that arm too. Then he said "Your neck is next if you don't shut up and get out of here." That was the last we saw of old John. They found him dead a few months after that -- apparently tangled with a hobo over on Clinton Street.

I probably should write about it someday...

Tina Wed Aug 23 18:47:30 PDT 2000

Hello all!

I'm putting on my butt kicking hat....

Okay, butt kicking time.
There's some great writing in the workbook just ITCHING to be read and commented on. You know, words and sentences and paragraphs. Things that writers do. If you're reading them without leaving comments, SHAME ON YOU. The people who've posted there do it for a reason, and it's not for an ego boost.

Changing hats.......

Laura, anytime you want to send me more of your story, go for it.

Debra, I'm impressed that you even WENT to an aquarium after that kind of nightmare all your life.


Debra J. Palardy Wed Aug 23 17:56:54 PDT 2000


No one else has done it so I will. Some one was chasing you with a gun? Howard?

Why was your mother screaming? I might have lead a sheltered life, so please help me out here.

What about the crazy uncle. Was he shaving at the time? It sounds like a really scary dream. Was it a dream?


Debra J. Palardy Wed Aug 23 17:07:46 PDT 2000

Can I interupt this darkness with a thought provoking question?

Why is it that you never see cartoon bloopers?

Laura Wed Aug 23 16:49:38 PDT 2000

Well, all I have to say is please change the font on the Notebook, it is giving me a headache. Next week I should be back to somewhat regular appearances in here.

Anyone who hasn't read my posts in the workbook, please do....PLEASE?....


Jerry Ericsson Wed Aug 23 16:36:49 PDT 2000

I installed Office 2000 on my main machine a few weeks ago and the other day, I decided to try out Frontpage 2000 that comes with the bundle. It is very easy to use, so I made a new web page, the address is posted above. This is just my first attempt, and i have plans for expnding it in the future.


Debra J. Palardy Wed Aug 23 15:28:58 PDT 2000

My dream is about a shark. I dreamt that I had gotten eaten by one, of course. The frightening part it is in some kind of aquarium. Mystic Aquarium has a tank just like the one in my dream.

I dream that on top you can see in. Down below it is deep deep several levels. On each level you can see in thorugh a window. I dream that when we get to the top I fall over the wall and into the aquariam. I dream that I am dragged down all the way to the bottom where I am eaten in front of a horrified audience by a shark.

I have had this dream all my life. Not only that I had not yet been to that aquarium when it started. Imagine my horror the first time I went. I had to be dragged to the top. I was sure that this was the end. Everyone in my group was laughing and thought it was funny. Not me.


Debra J. Palardy Wed Aug 23 14:05:37 PDT 2000


I would like to talk about it. But first I want to tell you something I think. Before I do that, know this, I don't know anything. I am just guessing. I think that you see kittens as the innocent creatures that they are. I feel that you are worried someone inncoent will experience the worst horrors that there is. In your mind it has something to do with skin. You probably have beautiful skin. In your mind ruining skin and the pain that follows is the worst thing. The once a year part could mean that is it rare but enevitable. I don't really know how your father comes into this but he is someone you trust. I hope and you might have a problem trusting people whome seem to good to be true.

I am not done. I had a busy day I will add more of what I think shortly.


Mark Wed Aug 23 10:59:13 PDT 2000

HALLEE {groan} writers paying their dues?

howard Wed Aug 23 10:13:39 PDT 2000

Depression? Yes, and stress too! I find that whenever I'm working to a deadline I end up writing everything but what I'm supposed to be working on at the time. That gets done as well, but "crunch time" is creativity time also.
Fear? Well yes to that too. And not only fear, but other indelible images from childhood as well. "Late for Supper" and "Annie Down the Street" are right from my few years growing up on Pleasant Avenue in Binghamton. I can remember watching the KKK burn crosses right across the hill from my grandparents' home on Prospect Street, and the time my mother screamed in the night, and old crazy John chasing us with a straight razor. Then in my teen years, running up the road at midnight, hearing the gunfire behind us and seeing the sparks as the slugs ricocheted off the road in front. I've been thinking about doing a collection of those stories and calling it "Borne and Razed in My Home Town."

Jerry Ericsson Wed Aug 23 09:47:18 PDT 2000

Mark Depression , yes, I think you may have something there. There have been times when I have been very depressed, those were the only times that I was ever able to write poetry, or at least any that I would think of showing anyone else. However, there are times I get so depressed that I forget how to write, well maybe not forget, just never think of doing it. These times are very rare, but they do happen. Usually around memorial day, and veterans day. Anyhow, I think you may have something there. I do use my knowledge of alcoholism, and domestic unrest in my characters, but I think every one puts a little of themselves in their characters, that is why no two characters are ever really the same, unless they come from the same writer.

Any of that make any sense?

Oh well, at least I tried.


Hallee Wed Aug 23 09:00:29 PDT 2000

TINA: You and I will have to get together and decide what kind of dues we're going to charge. (grin)


Tina Wed Aug 23 08:50:41 PDT 2000

Hear that Hallee? We've started a club!

Depression and writing. Hmmm. Yes, I write when I'm depressed. I write depressing poems, depressing essays. When I come out of it I hide, burn, or erase them.
Writing makes me feel good. Even when I'm struggling, especially when the ideas flow, it feels good to write. When the words come almost of their own accord, I feel like I'm flying. It's a natural high, adrenaline and endorphins and all those other nice things. It's the same when I'm drawing or making prints or playing my keyboard.
I will qualify that by saying that my writing is also my way of dealing with emotional baggage, from my childhood and my adulthood. I put the feelings, insecurities and dreams I've experienced into my characters (with a few changes. I don't dream about being an assassin). But I don't find it to be depressing. Indeed, it's liberating.

Robi, what's not to enjoy? The ego building? The art-speak? The endless discussions looking for meanings that don't exist?
I love art, love making art, love looking at art. I hate art openings.
Dead bodies as fine art? Careful, don't give 'em any ideas.....

Must go to work.

Robi Wed Aug 23 08:29:08 PDT 2000

Just woke up. Lonnnnggg night. Five more bodies made into sculptures. Death total- somewhere around a dozen.
It went well though. I smiled, discussed Henry Moore, carried around a plate of little cheese things that I spent four hours putting together, and pretended to have a wonderful time. Final result, my father was very happy and very proud of the wing opening. Ahh, the tortures we go through for those we love. But yesterday made him very happy, that's what matters.

Rachel, of course I'll pass that along to Emily Jane. If I can ever get a hold of her. She's buired herself in her office since we got back from Maine.

I don't know about this whole depression-bad childhood-over emotional-writer thing. I'm going to look into though.

Be back later,


Mark Wed Aug 23 08:11:24 PDT 2000

DEBRA -- I don't know about 'scared as a kid' as a contributing factor to writing. I have wondered about depression. U of Iowa has a really good writers' workshop for grad and undergrad studies; they produce some of the finest collegiate writing anywhere. The workshop has the highest suicide rate of any department in any college in the US (figures gathered in 1984-85 while I was poet in SUNY Binghamton Graduate English Dept). We had a few off-the -cuff discussions about depression and writing after that study. Does writing make you depressed or does depression lead to writing? I tend to think it is a release for people feeling burdened by an emotional overload.

I came into this partly because as a kid I had asthma and couldn't play baseball. I read instead. ooooh, ooooh, ooooh, maybe I WAS scared as a kid When I was 10 I got an annotated copy of Jonathon Swift. I read Gulliver and all the footnotes. With some help from my mom I came to understand how Gulliver was put together and how it was a satire on British attitudes toward foreign cultures. Then I read Modest Proposal. OOOOoooohhh. There I was, a young Irish kid reading about how the British should treat the Irish as cattle and serve young Irish flesh on their tables. Wow. I knew that Swift was a joker, but the essay seemed real. I finally came to a resolution: I would find out how words could be made to work in such a way. In 1985 I found an essay that exposed Swift's training in classical rhetoric and used several examples of how that affected his writing. One of the examples was Modest Proposal. The Proposal was written in Classical Rhetorical style as a persuasive speech. Swift took his ungainly idea and put it into graceful shape. The end result is a scathing satire on British attitudes toward the Irish. Figure that out when you're 10. Since then I have learned to put my ideas into shapes.

My first Creative Writing teacher was Molly Peacock (she has several books of poems available at places like Amazon). Molly took her turn at writing bad ideas into respected poetic forms; she called it 'profane ideas in sacred shapes.' The book was titled "And Live Apart."

HALLEE -- Welcome to the club.

RHODA -- It's that 'fed up' that led to much of Swift's prose. [His poetry comes from a different place.] Feeling fed up about something is an emotional overload and may be exactly part of the conversation here that Debra started. I have no sure answer on the qualities that make a writer, but I am certain that feelings are more a part of it than I am comfortable with. I like my rational, intellectual world.

I know people who spout the psychobabble stuff about validate your feelings, get in touch with your feelings, feel your feelings . Oh, puhleeze. Come closer and I'll feel something for ya.

Those people have feelings about everything. Me? I have two feelings: I feel good. I feel bad. Drive a new car, feel the power, feel the smoothness: I feel good. Eat a new meal, smell the aroma, taste the spice, feel the texture: I feel good. Different causes, same effect. I believe that I can keep a more level head if I differentiate between cause and effect. One woman acquaintance of mine insists she has different feelings for each part of the experience. Phew.

Tina Wed Aug 23 07:33:09 PDT 2000

(Snicker, chuckle)
I'm not laughing Hallee.
(Smile, Tee hee)
Okay just a wee bit.

Wow, my nightmares don't come close. They're usually related to a scary show or book from just before bed. Even as a kid there weren't many. My husband, on the other hand, has horrible nightmares that wake him up screaming. The worst would be the one where he and I were being buried alive in a huge dark pit. I tried to wake him up and made it worse, 'cause he woke up in the dark, against the headboard, with me holding his shoulders, and then he thought it was real and kept screaming. He also dreamed that his limbs were being sawed off. That one was pretty grim. He couldn't sleep afterward.

Yesterday I has an excellent burst of ideas while writing, and the words were just falling out of my pen, and then... my break ended and I had to go back to work. Grrrrrr. I really hate it when life interferes with writing. Ever since my holiday I haven't written much that I liked, so it felt so good to have the writing come alive again.

Have a great day everyone! :-)

mary--again Wed Aug 23 06:40:49 PDT 2000

chat wont load for me this morning Debra--sorry if you are in there waiting. (figuring that you probably arent)..c-ya.

mary Wed Aug 23 06:36:47 PDT 2000

Debra: Actually i have been up all night thinking about that. I think i could fill a whole book with the horrors in my head. Maybe add other people's in with them. A book of real live nightmares. As gruesome as they can sometimes be...people love to hear other people's dreams. This sounds like my new project.

I would like to hear your dream too,,,if you are ready to tell it.

if you are still around..maybe you can meet me in the chat room if you dont want to post it.

Debra J. Palardy Wed Aug 23 06:07:22 PDT 2000


Good gravey. That is the worst thing I have ever heard. You should write it down and get it published somewhere. I think that might help you. Is there a place where you could publish dreams.

I also have a recurring dream but it doesn't compare to that. I hope that this is not a reflection on your father of any kind?

I can't even tell you about my dream just yet because I am having a hard time with yours.

I think it's what I was talking about and now I'm going to wash my mouth with soap.


Hallee Wed Aug 23 02:01:47 PDT 2000

TINA: hahaha...
MARK: Okay...I did what you said. :( (Well, obviously not, but anyway, I MEANT to do what you said....)

Hallee Wed Aug 23 02:00:13 PDT 2000

I'm an Army brat, and my father was Ranger. About halfway into his career, he became a Ranger Instructor, and when I was 13, we were stationed deep in the swamp at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where the Army did the training for the swamp phase of Ranger School. This place was 17 miles into the swamp, and there were only 25 houses for the RI's and their families. So, basically, it was a "safe" place to live, once we had our alligator and snake training, anyway. The kids could all play outside after dark, and the adults didn't worry too much about us, because we were always in a pack, and like I said, aside from critters, there was nothing to worry about.

One game we played on a regular basis was Ghost in the Graveyard. It was similar to hide and seek, but it's played in the dark. There was this kid, Sammy, who was so good at this game, and once when I was "it", he laid on the ground in a shadow, where he would have been in plain sight had it been daylight. I was out looking for everyone who was hiding, and actually stepped over him once without seeing him. He waited until I'd made three or four passes over or by him before he got up and ran to base.

What scared me, to this day terrifies me, is how aware I am now of what can hide in shadows that you could never even realize, even when you're looking for something. After playing that game at night, I've never again been comfortable being outside alone at night in the dark. This means even to my laundry room, where I have to walk outside and around the house. I make my husband walk out with me, and if he's not home and it's dark, the laundry waits.

Age might have cured me, but then I got stupid and watched The Sixth Sense. Hahaha....not cured now.


mary Wed Aug 23 00:41:05 PDT 2000

Debra and Jerry:

It is 3:36am here now...and i cant sleep for fear of closing my eyes. This isn't really exactly what you were asking Debra, but i was afraid as a child too. But most of the things that scared me were in dreams. I still have the same dreams now. And others added in with them.

When i was 5, i used to have this recurring dream where my father would be cleaning the shed. (We had a big shed in the back of your property for tools, and mowers and whatnot. Once a year, he would take everything out, clean it, sweep out the shed, and then put it all back.) In my dream he would get everything out of the shed and in the very back the dark..he would find this kitten. It was a tiny little orange cat, like Morris only small. And i would stand there next to the shed as he grabbed the kitten around its neck and with the other hand skin it alive. The pelt would peel away from the flesh in all one piece until only the tip of the tail was attached to the inside out skin. Then with a sickening snap he would detach that last flap of skin. The kitten would scream and scream writhing in his hands...and eventually that is how i would wake up...screaming.

To this day i cannot see my fathers hand without hearing that kitten screaming.

The others are worse. Does this count as being scared as a kid...because it sure as Hell feels like it should..

Debra J. Palardy Tue Aug 22 21:38:09 PDT 2000


For the love of Pete, Jerry couldn't you have sent that post when the sun was up?

You did seem to turn out quite nice in spite of all your hardships.

I am looking forward to reading your story after you enter the contest. That is the one thing I know. Don't put it anywhere until after the first.

One last thing, shame on your aunt. I'm sure I would have at least stood in one spot screaming until everyone was at my feet and then run like hell.


Jerry Ericsson Tue Aug 22 21:16:44 PDT 2000

Debra - maybe all children do that, or maybe just we two, I used to do the same, hold my breath that is. We however did not live in a safe comfortable room. In fact one of the houses we lived in, before we moved to town was indeed haunted. The ghost was seen by several people, including one of my aunts, who was at the time baby-sitting we three children. She saw the ghost, and left, leaving us all alone. My mother and uncle both saw it, but my father who was sitting beside them didn't see. Strange. We learned later that a young 3 year old girl had died in the exact spot the ghost always appeared. The home we lived in before that had strange lights that appeared on the hill just north of the farm. Other strange things happened there, pillows flying across the room when nobody was there to throw them. Things would be missing for days, sometimes weeks, then suddenly show up in plain sight. Once we moved to town though we were not bothered by ghosts, but I think my mind still heard them at night.

My father would take advantage of my fears, and play on them, with stories of death and mutilated bodies from his past. He and his 4 brothers were left to live with their uncles following their mothers death when my father was but five, their uncles were cruel and abused them terribly, because of this, they were all alcoholics, and growing up in that situation is not all that good for kids, but it does give them lots of ammunition to use in their writing.

It is strange, I can see the damage in my sisters, both of which were older then I, and I guess there was some to me too, but I seem to have overcome it. I did spend several years in a state of intoxication, but when I looked in a mirror and saw my father looking back, I quit drinking, and went on with my life. But I rambell on, there were plenty of good times too, I am sure, although I don't remember them. Such was life growing up in the 50's and 60's.

Debra J. Palardy Tue Aug 22 20:48:05 PDT 2000


This is so weird. You are the second person today whom is a writer that talked about being super scared as a child. The fear was being generated by the person alone. If I include myself in there, then there is three.

I wonder is there is something to this scared kid turned writer thing?

Would anyone like to share if they were scared as a kid. I will start by saying sometimes when I was trying to sleep at night as a kid. I would think I heard something and try to stop breathing. I did this because my breathig had become more like a roar. I didn't want, whatever, to hear that roaring of my breathing. At times I could feel my heart beating without using my hand.

By the way I had a nice room and a nice house and a nice neighborhood. There was nothing to be scared of. Well, except for my neighbor. He was at home when these other things were happening. That's another story.

Let me know.

Thanks for your response, Jerry.


Anyway, if anyone would like to end the mystery of the scared kid turned writer I would love it.

Rachel Tue Aug 22 19:51:13 PDT 2000

Robi - I will keep EJ in my good thoughts. If she wants to drop me a line great, if she can't I certainly understand. I would appreciate it if you would pass on my well wishes for her.



Jerry Ericsson Tue Aug 22 18:10:03 PDT 2000

Debra, the story is indeed fiction. It is based on my fears and nightmares as I passed through the street I describe. You see, when I was young, I absolutly loved the horror movies that were in vogue at the time, most staring the fablous Vincint Price, and based on stories by Poe. Back then, the only street lights were nothing more then large light bulbs atop cement poles, maybe eight feet high, all they lit up were a small circle of light, that barely showed the entire intersection, let alone the half a block the newer ones lite. And as in the tale, I had to cross the tracks, to the small community with no street lights whatsoever. The only lights at all were the yard lights over the front doors of the homes. There were no homes for the two blocks from the tracks to my home. As you can imagine, I could hear the sounds of Vincint Price, in whatever he was playing in the Poe tales, his foot steps would match mine on the gravel streets. Many times, I would arrive home breathless from the two block that I covered in a dead run.


Debra J. Palardy Tue Aug 22 16:53:23 PDT 2000


Thank you.


When I read your story "A Loaf Of Bread" it reminded me of a street near me but in another town. I had to drive by there today.

I know these stories are set up as articles but could please tell me if this story is fiction or not? I am haunted by your words. I hope it's fiction. When you tell me it's fiction, I will feel stupid but better.

Robi Tue Aug 22 16:08:05 PDT 2000

Hey, just popped in to get dressed for the big wing opening. (I have killed at least four of those little whiny artsy twenty somethings--hiding the bodies wasn't hard either. Modern Art can look amazing like dead bodies.) hahaha. Sorry, they have put me in a bad mood.

Rachel, yes, Emily Jane is rather ill. If you would like I could speak to you more in depth privately. She mentioned that you and she had been corresponding when we were in Maine together.

Debra, my father swears by rabbit.

Does anyone know what cardboard is made out of? I mean I know it's paper and all, but what process does it go through? I'm losing sleep over this, please help.

Your crazy old ranting and raving woman,


Hallee Tue Aug 22 15:32:35 PDT 2000

TINA: I left you a note on the crit page.

Hallee Tue Aug 22 14:54:55 PDT 2000

I apologize for what I said, because half of it was in jest. And in hindsight, I realize that no one here could catch the tone it was meant in. I am promptly opening my mouth, and removing the foot I so ungracefully inserted.

And now, I shall go do what we all intended to do with this wonderful medium that Jack has provided, which is go to the Workbook and read Tina's new posting.


Americo Tue Aug 22 14:16:22 PDT 2000

Guys and guyesses,

It's fascinating to see that you are still debating old issues and discussing my lovely me, while I'm confraternizing with Litter, hoping to drink soon to everyone's health.

I'm really busy, but I promise to come to the Notebook, from time to time, and read it with the same pleasure and profit of the last twenty months.

Try to analyse the new thread as the writers you are: with rigor and fairness. It's healthy to debate good topics. Above all do not use ugly words.

Cheers to all and greetings from Jon (and Pussy).

Rhoda Tue Aug 22 13:15:10 PDT 2000


I know exactly what Americo meant. It has been an issue before, and like Howard, I have addressed it privately with Americo. Furthermore I am fed up with typical American Protestant fashion, real or perceieved.


howard Tue Aug 22 13:07:02 PDT 2000

MARK -- Actually we were not accused of being "believers in God," but "well-known strenuous 'defenders of the faith'...[who] "cannot stand unbelievers and free thinkers."
I chose to ignore it at the time, because it is, of course, untrue, and I will address it privately with Americo, shortly. I mention it now only to correct the record.

Rachel Tue Aug 22 12:37:15 PDT 2000

Hi all - I'm caught up on the posts. I don't think that I'm going to get into this again.

I send hugs all around.


Robi - I must have missed something about Emily. I did not realize she was not well. Please send her my best wishes for her health.

Mark Tue Aug 22 11:25:00 PDT 2000

GS -- in one of Americo's apologia he made a statement to the effect that he was being ganged up on by Howard and Rhoda and {someone else} all of whom believe in God. Hallee jumped on the 'believe in God' part in the usual American Protestant fashion and said 'insult to Christians.' Then I said, 'sorry hallee, God is not synonymous with Christianity, particularly when in Americo's context.' [only I was more succinct] and that's the thread there.

debra J. Palardy Tue Aug 22 07:23:05 PDT 2000


Forgive me for sounding like an idiot. Didn't you say that all your old classmates were dying one at a time That's mainly because you were born in 1917. Your father was born when?

I want to know what he is eating. I absolutely need to know.


Robi Tue Aug 22 07:17:43 PDT 2000

I tried really hard not to get out of bed this morning. I thought maybe if I didn't get up, the wing opening wouldn't happen. Wait, I should probably tell you what the wing opening is. My father owns and manages an art store, gallery, and school in SoHo. They take up a good chunk of the block because they are all housed in an old car making factory in the '50's. Anyway, the students in one of his classes, (I forget which one, something to do with that odd 'New Age' art that doesn't look like anything,) are having their big unveiling tonight. So, I have to go down and get it all set up.
I now realize why I became a writer. I don't have to do anything I hate, (i.e. doing stupid wing openings and dealing with snotty art people.) I can just write, by myself, when and where ever I feel like it.
If you ask me, we have the perfect job.

A song quote from way after my time, but a very nice young band. "Oh, I've been afraid of changing, cause I build my life around you. Time may go on, even children get older, and I'm getting older too." -Landslide

So, I'm going to go get dressed, (groan) and get ready (scowl) to set up this wing opening thing. If I'm not locked up for killing one of those snotty little art kids, I'll see you all later tonight.
Your crazy old ranting and raving woman,


Rachel Tue Aug 22 00:56:45 PDT 2000

Heather - I am just now reading over the posts I missed. I saw yours about the novel. When you talked about the unthinkable. The unthinkable has happened to me. At least for the time being. I thought I would be very upset. I find that I am not. I know that I can re-write any of my work and in fact I believe that I can write it better. I could yell, scream and jump up and down or I can do what I did. Life my shoulders, stamp my foot once and go get a new comptuer. Okay, maybe I stamped my foot twice (wink, grin, laughter). Besides, I am still thinking I can get back at the stuff. I would miss it if I couldn't, but i know that I can write it all again. It might not be the same, if I'm lucky it will be better!

Yahel - Your name reminds me of a little boy that I knew when I was in my teens. He was my best friends baby brother. Each time I read your name his little face springs to mind. He had the most amazing blue green eyes and silken blond hair with beautiful olive skin. He was gorgeous and his name was Lahel. I'm not sure if I spell his name correctly or not. I think it's translation is "breath of life" I don't know why I'm telling you that and i doubt very much that you care, but I seem to be yappin on right now (smiles).

To everyone who wished me a nice vacation - Thank you. It was interesting. I am happy to be home.

Now I am getting tired. I think that I will go fall into bed. I'm kind of tired.

Take care all,


Allein Mon Aug 21 23:23:50 PDT 2000

Hi all,
I got some of my pics back today and they turned out good. I just don't like the way I look in most of the pictures - the one where I'm kissing my boy friend (boy who is a friend, kinda boy friend) is cute though. Pictures always make you look about 10 pounds heavier.
I have a new favorite song today - C'est la Vie by B*witched. It's a neat song - reminds me of a happy childhood (which, I did not have, by the way - lots of teasing, hardly any friends). I like oldies better but I also like new music provided you can understand the lyrics - such as Backstreet Boys, N'sync, B*witched, Brittany Spears, Ricky Martin (okay, so I don't understand his lyrics - but they're in SPANISH!!) and more. I don't like heavy metal and that kind of stuff which is what I'm forced to listen to because my brother plays it too loud. To get back at him, I was playing C'est La Vie really loud and he comes in telling me to turn it down. My new nickname according to him is Annoying Spice. That's an insult because I don't like the Spice Girls.
Anyway, that's all. I need my sleep - I have work tomorrow.

Here are the lyrics:

Hey boy sittin in your tree
Mummy always wants you to come for tea
Don't be shy, straighten up your tie
Get down from your tree house sittin in the sky
I wanna know just what to do
Is it very big is there room for two?
I got a house with windows and doors
I'll show you mine if you show me yours

Gotta let me in, hey, hey, hey
Let the fun begin, hey
I'm the wolf today hey, hey, hey
I'll huff I'll puff
I'll huff I'll puff I'll huff and puff and blow you away

Say you will say you won't
Say you'll do what I don't
Say you're true, say to me c'est la vie

Verse 2
Do you play with the girls? Play with the boys?
Do you ever get lonely playing with your toys?
We can talk, we can sing
I'll be the queen and you'll be the king
Hey boy in your tree
Throw down your ladder make a room for me
I got a house with windows and doors
I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

Rachel Mon Aug 21 21:09:50 PDT 2000

Garries - I'm a writer not a photographer. My expectations upon myself when I take photos would not be the same as those that you put upon yourself or those that your friends have. Of course I'm happy with what I take. I take pictures of my children, my friends, my family members and things that are beautiful to me. They will always be beautiful to me. I also have a decent camera that pretty much won't let me take a bad shot (grins).

It's nice to see yah back.

Debra J. Palardy Mon Aug 21 20:04:23 PDT 2000


He didn't do it every night. He spaced them out so I would forget. It was about every eight weeks on an average and yes all my life. Well I should say all my life after I was allowed out after dark. I did have a big brother but he passed away before I was born. Who says you can't miss what you never had. I quess technically I did have him.

He did other stuff too. He would throw trash in my yard and dare me to throw it back in his yard. He would make one of those human fences you know block your every move so I couldn't go anywhere until I did something about the trash. He was kind of mean. Alas, I have heard his wife is the boss over there at his house. I know it's true too. I have heard stories so he is all set in the how do you like it department. Things that make you go Hummmm.

I do have a nice father. He never knew a thing until a few years ago. I never said anything to him. This person was in our group of friends and it was a huge group. I might have looked like an idiot if I ran to my father. So I didn't.


Your story made me remember that time so vividly. Thanks. I might be able to write a 200 word story about that. I think I will.


gariess Mon Aug 21 19:46:49 PDT 2000


If you can take a camera and get what you want to look the way you want it, you have surpassed me and every photographer I have ever known. I can only manage this on rare occasions. Most of the time I take what I get if it looks good, even if I didn’t plan it that way.


I am amused at this discussion about road kills. A friend of mine was driving North on I-75 in Florida at night and hit a water buffalo, He was going 75mph at the time and totaled the van he was driving. He put in a claim against the farmer (pretty hard to say it isn’t your water buffalo when you are the only guy for two hundred miles who owns one.) He has not heard a thing about the claim in over a year. Maybe Howard can sitzkrieg (German for winning by the fat of the ass) the guy who hit Molly.


I don’t get how Americo offended the Christians. I know he made light of conquering Hell (does Hell get to be capitalized?), but I don’t see why the Christians should really care. I thought Hell was a place they didn’t like much, anyway. I used to be a Christian myself once and I was very much afraid of going to Hell. I would have been pleased to know it was made into a nice place just in case my sins counted too highly at the time of my judgment. As for his notion of subsequently conquering of the "other place," I would think that no Christian would take such a boast seriously, and would be content to leave the consequences of such a foolhardy attempt fall as they may upon whoever takes up the challenge. Hard as I try, I can not see a true Christian getting very upset about anything that Americo has fancied here in the NB of late. Personally, I was offended by ‘A’ calling someone ugly, but it was not my religious inclinations that account for my repugnance. It was probably my atheistic tendencies that were aroused by this insult. After all, this world is all that we Atheists have to look forward to and we rely greatly upon mutual respect between those of us who must inhabit it.


I guess we can tolerate it.

If anyone here is from Texas, I am sorry for what our Red Sox did to your Rangers last week, teehee. They just did it again, as we speak, to Anaheim in the eleventh inning.


What a fascinating post. Imagine having to endure a nightly scaring. Didn’t you have a daddy or a big brother? All your life, you say. Indeed?

Jerry Ericsson Mon Aug 21 19:34:57 PDT 2000

Debra - could be this is based at least a little on my fears as a child running down those very same gravel streets without any street lights.


Deba J. Palardy Mon Aug 21 18:22:19 PDT 2000


You have got to hear this. I just read your article, A loaf of Bread. I gave it an excellent rating, anyway I had a neighbor who from time to time would hide in the bushes to scare me. He knew what time I had to be home and I was usually within five minutes or so of that time everynight. He would space out these so called attacks so I would forget, but he did it all my life. Yes, all my life.

I had a short street. I didn't have the greatest streetlights either. There was this one place where this old lady lived who had gone carzy. She was still there. She is still there. Yes she is. Anyway she was from another conntry probably a beautiful one. She grew so much greenery on her property it looked like a jungle. The back of her yard was on my street. It had the most green. It had a little path that the kids wore out to get through. It was a place that was easy to hide in and also the darkest place on the whole street.

Every night when it was time for me to go down my street I would start running in the light so I could get passed the dark the fastest. Sound familiar? He would lay and wait for me to run by. He would stand up and run with his socks on so he wouldn't make and noise at all. when he got up to the back of my ear running at the same pace as me he would growl in my ear. Then he would grab me. I always had a heart attack before I found out it was him. What a guy.
I think your guy might have been my guy.

What do you think?


Jerry Ericsson Mon Aug 21 17:49:04 PDT 2000


You know back when I was in the Lions Club, we used to fine a fellow Lion one thin dime for advertising at a meeting, should they wear say a baseball cap with some logo on it, or a tee shirt with any type saying. Well I guess I will owe a dime, as the web-page above will take you to my collection of articles on .

The neat thing about it though is that I get the dime, should you happen to read one or two of my articles.

Well enough unsolicitated advertising. (would you consider this SPAM?)

Hope everyone is well this fine evening.


Tina Mon Aug 21 17:26:02 PDT 2000

The following post contains no HTML Tabs, no graphic violence or nudity. Approved for all audiences.


Isn't it fun doing that kind of photography? My husband and I are doing something like that, going interesting places specifically to take photos of each other. We have lots of 'snapshots' of each other, but no really good pictures since our wedding. We're doing lots of artsy things.
He's a photographer, with amasing equipment, but usually takes black and white nature shots. It's fun to explore new ideas. But I felt very odd putting on makeup at the beach!

Thanks Mark. As you can see from the above, I've given up on it for now.

Jack, I'd love to help, but, well.... I'm pretty sure you shouldn't let me any where near it.
In that packed schedule, are you finding any time to dive? Hope you plan on some winter dives, 'cause that's when the west coast is the best.

Robi, I'm still newbie too, and I'll happily talk!

Since music lyrics seem to be the taste of the day, here is one verse and chorus of my very favourite song.

You know the dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores.

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry.
(Victoria Shaw, Garth Brooks)

Off to the beach! :-)

Debra J. Palardy Mon Aug 21 17:24:07 PDT 2000

I am almost scared to post. It it safe?


Mark Mon Aug 21 16:36:37 PDT 2000

JERRY -- "the hatchet has been buried." Hoo, boy. Scads of bad jokes arise from that planting.

ALLEIN -- I followed your link to get to your homepage and the first two chapters of your novel. On the whole I've got to say nice work. I got into the second chapter before I knew for sure that I was not your intended audience; at 53 I don't care much about cross-dressing, interspecies relationships on the jr high playground. But I remember some of the stuff I read as a kid and yours would surely have kept my attention. You have a good ear for conversation (and repartee) and you let the action speak for itself.

HALLEE -- Americo's slight against Christians? In reality he argued against all believers, not simply those of your faith.

TINA -- yup, it's /b or /i, you know? Slash-something, not something-slash. Think of OJ Simpson, slash something, slash something, slash something.

OJ's Web Site? H-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slash-slash-slash-slash

Rosemary Mon Aug 21 15:14:32 PDT 2000

Hello all,

So glad Molly is recovering. That had to be quite a stressful time for her. About the lousy car people, I think sometime they aim for our animals just to milk our insurance co.'s dry. I live out in the country and if a horse or someones cattle turns up on a road, it is always the animals' owners fault.(you'd be amazed at the fences cows can get out of, horses too.) Of course, out here, when that happens, no one admits ownership of the animal.


You can address anyone you want to. A number of the notebook residents may not answer but most of them are glad to be addressed and usually answer. The rest don't matter anyway.

Thankful calmness covers the landscape.

Mon Aug 21 13:02:38 PDT 2000


Rachel Mon Aug 21 11:02:46 PDT 2000

Rhoda & Allein - I'm glad that you enjoyed the poem. It is one that I am fond of.

Allein - Sounds like you had a fun night. I also enjoy photography. I'm far from an ace, but I can take a decent snap from time to time (grins). I don't know all the tricks, but I get what I want to look the way I want it to look and I have a lot of patience (at least most of the time).

Arik - could you post your site address for me. I had it saved to my favorites on my old computer. That would be the computer that is not working (grrrrrr).

Take care all,


howard Mon Aug 21 09:32:57 PDT 2000

ROSEMARY -- Hi! I remembered that someone had asked about the dog, and looked back to find it was you. It's good to see you active again! Molly is okay, had to have wire, plates, pins, and screws in both of her back legs, but she walks pretty well, and doesn't seem to be under any stree now. Luckily, the $2K+ for the surgery can be resolved over a couple of years.
Now the person who hit her has sent a bill for over a thousand dollars "for damages to the front of his car" (a 10-12 year-old Honda). I didn't see any (fresh) damage at all, beyond a bit of doggie-doo on the front bumper and tire, and a few hairs in the headlight retainer.


Robi Mon Aug 21 09:22:05 PDT 2000

Good to hear everyone got back from their vacations safe and sound.
Mary, my father is so ancient that numbers are useless.
Anyway, since I'm a 'newbie', I won't address anyone that doesn't want to talk to me.
It's almost lunch time. I think I'm going to grab some grilled cheese sanwiches and suprise everyone while their at their 'normal' jobs. What's the point of having a 'normal' job? I don't get it.
So, off to deliver sandwhiches.
Your crazy old ranting and raving woman,


Yahel Mon Aug 21 05:42:02 PDT 2000

Americo – I wanted to ask you a question: Do you believe in god?
Since you don’t answer newbies directly, let Jon answer, or refer to me as HIM.

Jerry told me you are against the death penalty, and you will have a lot to say to me because I am an executioner. Do you?

Mon Aug 21 02:56:47 PDT 2000

Mon Aug 21 02:56:25 PDT 2000

gariess Sun Aug 20 23:58:01 PDT 2000

Here is a site that explains some of the most useful HTML tags:


Allein Sun Aug 20 23:17:16 PDT 2000

Jack - I would personally take up the task, but unfortunately I am illiterate in HTML. Congrats to Fran!

Everyone - I was down at my friend's house tonight and we put makeup on each other and took pictures. Hopefully they'll be developed soon. I looked a lot like Barbie. My friend even put makeup on her boyfriend. We did the same thing last night before heading to the drive in. Tomorrow I'm going to relax and have fun, but the rest of the week is going to be very hectic. I can't even go to the county fair because I have work and stuff. But, I don't care, I'm too happy to care about that.
I leave you with more song lyrics in light of the picture taking. I'm not certain these lyrics are completely correct, but this is the sond currently stuck in my head and my favorite one at the time.
*smiles* "Cheese!"

PS: Yes, I also enjoy photograhy - 'tis one of my hobbies. Not that I'm very good at it, but I like to do it. :)

"Koda Chrome,
Give us those nice bright colors,
Give us the green of summer,
Make the whole world a sunny day!
I got a nice chrome camera,
I wanna take a photograph,
So Momma don't take my Koda Chrome away!"

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Aug 20 22:47:32 PDT 2000


OK, I corrected the italicized html and also realized that the Notebook had grown to a half meg. So, I archived back to Ashling's post at the very end of yesterday. This should make loading, reading and otherwise interacting on the Notebook a bit more pleasant. Take care. Will try to poke my nose in here during work tomorrow, but no guarantees.

Jack Beslanwitch http:/ Sun Aug 20 22:27:40 PDT 2000

Allein: I agree that many of the biographies are out of date. However, for those that are not posting, I at least would like to keep an archive so people going through the archives can look up those biographies for those in the past.

All of this said, I am not sure how to winnow through the biographies and create a current list of those here. Many do not have bios. Others do, but they are out of date. And so on. Is any one willing to take up the duties for putting together a fresh biography page and then we could get fresh bios and start a fresh page with a link back to the older archive of biographies.

My time is so used up while I am getting adjusted to the new job and figuring out how to divvy up my remaining time to handle my various pre-existing responsibilities that some help would be appreciated.

This might involve some HTML, but many here have the requisite skill set. At any rate, just a thought. Check in here tomorrow night.

By The Way

Some of you may remember from this time last year that Fran did a sprint triathalon (half mile swim, 12 mile bike ride and 3 mile walk/run). Well, she did it again and shaved off about a half hour on her time. More importantly, she finished. I will be putting together a Flash page with photographs and streaming video sometime this week (yes, I am making time for this - hey, this is my soul mate we are talking about :-) At any rate, just wanted to say how proud I am of her and how wonderful it is that she did it again. If you would like to see some pictures from last year check out

Tina Sun Aug 20 16:58:56 PDT 2000

Quietly, carefully, the mouse let first its whiskers and then a tender nose explore the world. What dangers lurked above? A coyote, a hawk, or (please no) a snake could end it all. But the warm sun beckoned, the breeze hinted at ripe grass heavy with seed. So much to see and do!
The mouse waited for the darting shadow of a bird, breathed deeply, testing for the scent of the coyote. All appeared well. And so, ready to turn and run at the slightest signal, the mouse crept out of its nest and joined the world with all it's dangers and joys....

Well, okay I'm not quite that meek.

Mark, I got the dang / and 'I' backwards! Next time I'll be more careful. (To everyone shaking their heads saying 'not again!' don't worry. I probably won't.)

Hallee, I did get mail, and it's the right one. I'm anxious to read it all!
I posted more of my story. I'm not sure where I left off, so hopefully it all makes sense. It's been edited, so it may not be exactly the same as what I posted before.
My hubby is my best sounding board for ideas. He has a finely tuned 'cheesey' detector. When I'm not sure where to go with an idea we talk about it, and it's amazing the ideas we generate together!

Here's a question...
What ever became of the ghost story project?


Hallee Sun Aug 20 16:09:36 PDT 2000

Okay, I think maybe it's safe to come out now. :) I refrained from interjecting because I'm still a relative newbie and didn't want to interfere with a spat between the "oldies". I will also ignore Americo's slight against the Christians within this group.

Jerry - I thank you kindly for the use of your muse. She was rather well behaved. My husband commented today on the fact that the computer has been sitting at the same point in the book for weeks. The only time I really discuss my writing with him is when I need to know what a certain gun or explosive or something like that will do (he is my "Jerry"), so he didn't know of the slump I was in. When I explained it to him, he said just to write SOMETHING. "He got up and walked to the door." Anything like that to get the flow going again. Bless him, it worked. Or it was Jerry's muse. Either way, both are dolls.

Tina: ((Hug)) The reason I didn't try to practice with the HTML was just that very reason. I'm learning that you and I are very alike. Thanks for breaking it in. (smile) Also, hopefully, you have mail.

Okay - time to clean up from the Sunday dinner that my family is finishing up inhaling.

Happy Sunday All!!

Jerry Ericsson Sun Aug 20 15:55:29 PDT 2000

Somehow I feel like a small child who has witnessed a terrible fight between it's parents. Then was amazed at the reconciliation.

I am so happy that the hatchet has been buried.

Now let us get back to the business of writing.


Allein Sun Aug 20 15:42:13 PDT 2000

Rachel - Thanks for posting the poem. It was very beautiful. :) I sent my phone number to you by e-mail. I hope we can get together sometime.

Jack - I was looking at the biographies and realize that some are out of date as many of those people no longer post. Have you noticed this too?


Rhoda Sun Aug 20 15:24:46 PDT 2000


Stick you hand into a bee hive full of lively bees and be prepared to get stung. Been there, done that.


mary Sun Aug 20 14:51:10 PDT 2000

Yahel: It isnt like we all gathered around in a circle and stoned Americo...all of our posts were made as individuals. There just happens to be quite a few of us, and besides....he can take it.

mary Sun Aug 20 14:43:11 PDT 2000


Be still my beating heart...Flaubert you say? He was mentor to DeMaupassant who in my opinion surpassed him. Flaubert's style was impeccable..his structure perfect. But he didn't live with the same passion Maupassant had. I am off to read 'Bel Ami' have stirred my appetite for it. An overlapping of literary sense maybe...oh my..what will be next...

Rhoda Sun Aug 20 14:04:00 PDT 2000


I have sent you an e-mail. Crap! I just realized I forgot to run the spell check. Forgive me. You do deserve better than to receive an e-mail full of misspelled words. I ask you to be magnanimous and overlook it just this once.


Welcome back. Thank you for sharing the Kipling poem. It is beautiful.


Debra J. Palardy Sun Aug 20 13:45:31 PDT 2000

Well okay then!

Americo&Jon Sun Aug 20 13:28:35 PDT 2000

Welcome home, Rachel! Hope you feel nice and comfortable here again.

Tell us everything about "Os Maias", by Eça de Queirós. I love that novel.

Everybody should read it actually. One of the best 19th century Realist novels. Better than "Sentimental Education" or "Madame Bovary" by Flaubert. Well, I'm biased here: I love Eça de Queirós.

Kipling's IF! Now I'm going to learn that poem by heart at last.

Americo Sun Aug 20 13:13:21 PDT 2000

Oh, very well, you dear notebookers. Answering your posts threatens to become a full-time job. But now that Litter has e-mailed me, perhaps we'll sort out all problems, big and small, privately. You'll see that you'll ask Jon to conquer Hell one day (not right now, he's still on imperial holidays, the little devil). Let's put an end to this thing. I'm sure we'll have other interesting debates likes the latest one in the future. Polemics is an art that must be practiced after all.

I hope the usual hunters of moribund lions do not think I'm about to give my soul to my creator, and decide to attack again. As I said I like minced meat — even if it is my own, as it has been the case.

I'd just like to have a word with the newbies. I am aware that I tend not to tell them anything until I know them better. This is not contempt or arrogance. I read them with the same attention I read the others, and learn a lot with them. I used to welcome them all but, after some twenty months of notebook, you become disappointed because most of them go away without even saying good-bye, and some of them are too quick to try to make an impression (I myself made that mistake in my time) and others speak about what they don't know. Tiring. This notebook is more difficult to understand than "War and Peace" — and more rewarding too.

I'd like to give them a little piece of advice: read a post you want to answer at least three times, and only answer it if you are sure you have understood it well. A second advice: try not to interfere in the discussions of the oldies. Those ancestors sometimes have past histories. Some of them even wrote books together. Can you imagine how vicious they may be? Books together... More intimate than marriage! A third advice... "Oh, no, that's enough, daddie," you say.

And you are right. As always.

A final word to Litter, on behalf of Jon. "Sorry, Litter. Americo loves you."

And a final word to Rhoda and Howard, from me. "Sorry, folks. Jon loves you."

And now back to normal. I'm appaled with the fate of the people in the Russian submarine. Please pray for them. I'll do the same in my own way.

Debra Sun Aug 20 13:08:04 PDT 2000

By the way are you really a cat?

Debra J. Palardy Sun Aug 20 12:07:07 PDT 2000


If you remember when the alleged death threats came in I did do something, not much but something.

Also, you were the first one to pick on someone. I don't condone picking on anyone. I also wouldn't then turn on you either. I can give you an example of why no one came to your defense when someone picked on you even harder.


Person one hits someone for no reason, then a bunch of people gang up on him and do something even worse to person one than he ever did to that someone.

No one would have sympathy for him because he was the one who started it. That is how humans work. That is what you are experiencing now.


You said you wanted Hell to be called Well. You wanted the Devil to be called, what was it, lievile. Then you wanted us to help you defeat Lievile and close down Well so that you could turn it into a beautiful place, whatever it is that beautiful is to you. After you are finished doing that, then you wanted to conquer the other place ABOVE.

That has all the ingredients of the Anti-youknowwhat. Are you really suprised when we not only recognized that but then didn't want to participate?

You can't be surprised, right?

If you think it is boring here do something to make it not boring. Here is my motto for life: If you can't change human nature than you have to serve it. Of course I don't mean you have to serve people. I mean if you want People to be interested in what you are saying or if you want them to reach into their pockets and pull out money for whatever it is that you have for sale.

In your case you want people to gather around in a large group and listen to you. You have to serve human nature or forget it. Them's the facts Jack. I don't like it sometimes either but I am human and I know what will make me listen and reach into my pocket. So do you.


Rachel Sun Aug 20 11:36:47 PDT 2000

Hi all - Wow, I haven't had a chance to read the posts. I have just had a quick scan of them.

Americo - Hi you. I had a very nice vacation. Hugs for you.

Litter - I like my Mac very much. I am getting to know it, but feel it will be some time before I have any amount of real fluidity with it.

For those of you who are wondering about the poem "If" by Kipling I will print it below. I love Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting.
Or being like about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your masters;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings--nor lose he common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

I have read this poem more than once, it is one that i hold close to my heart.

Take care all,


Yahel Sun Aug 20 10:35:43 PDT 2000

Americo – You protest about the “gang”, the mob that lynches you. Understood. You also made it clear that Rhoda was more than exaggerating saying: “Horrible things”. Are you trying to punish her?
I’m with you. The response was much greater than the proper amount. But get a hold of yourself and move on.
What emails or anonymous posts have you received regarding this issue?

mary Sun Aug 20 08:45:31 PDT 2000

Hi Robi....

If you are old is your father?

Bless your heart..I hope I dont live that long.

mary Sun Aug 20 08:02:36 PDT 2000


I don't think that apologizing for insulting or hurting anyone could ever be ridiculous. It matters not that you feel someone has over reacted--it only matters that in that individuals perception you have said or done something offensive. Rhoda (just as an example Rhoda-cuz Americo has commented on your classic beauty) probably would not have reacted to the 'ugly' comment the same way someone else would. I am guessing she would have just laughed it off. You can't predict without knowing a person, how they will react to comments such as the ones you are famous for. And when one of your arrows hits home in a manner you didn't intend, a polite apology would place you in a much better light than self-vindication. (No need to say that you arent concerned about what light you are in--I already recognize that)

I have said in the past that I find you intelligent and interesting even though our views differ on most things. I mean this post as no disrespect..I just take offense to the comments that some of us are threatened by open-minded philosophies and religions different from our own. I am not saying this to avoid going to hell, or force my religion on you. For me, this has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with common decency.

Christi: Again..your loyalty and friendship astounds me. You have obviously reached a higher plane with A* than I will ever achieve and understand his complexities. More power to ya....smiles.(And yes, our previous posts were very similar)

Litter....smiles to you. And could you please put up a link to your site. The only picture I have seen of you is in the Biography section. (And I am assuming that your writing is on your site?)

Americo...forgot to say something...why would Litter need to use his condition to gain the support of the Notebookers when he so obviously already has it?

Robi Sun Aug 20 08:01:17 PDT 2000

I stayed up all night thinking about things. My life, my work, the good things in my life, the bad.
I found my diary from when I was 14, and want to share this small piece with you.
*Remember this was written about 90-some years ago.

"I don't know what I want, but I do know what I don't want. I don't want to regret my major decisions. I don't want to be misunderstood in my words or actions. I don't want to lie. I don't want to be fake or find out later that I was just pretending. I'm not happy here. I want wings to fly."

Debra, thank you for your kind words. I have writtten all my lfe and always wanted to be a writer. I'm just glad that I got to spend my entire life doing exactly what I love.
Litter, my father suffers from the same condition you do, I don't fully understand your pain, but as someone who loves someone who is in such agony, I'm trying. My good thoughts are with you. :)
Everyone else, sorry for being so 'refelective'.
Your crazy old ranting and raving woman,


Mark Sun Aug 20 07:49:57 PDT 2000

TINA -- When you load the notebook, it is one big web page. When you start Bold or Italics on a web page, it continues until you stop it.

<i> is the start signal, </i> is the stop signal. anything in between the two will be made italic, no matter how long it is. If you give a start signal and have no stop signal, then it simply continues until the page ends.

Believe me, you're no the first to make that mistake. I have the luxury of my own web server to practice on and a job as a database analyst/ designer. HTML is not my professional specialty, but it is never far from what we do when we work in a data environment.

I think writers need to stay concerned with presentation when making statements. The freedom here to put in your own bold and italics is a remarkable testament to Jack's accomplishment.

And speaking of mistakes. Given a little time to cool my head I see that the whole JonLitterAmerico brouhaha is simply that. The freedom to make those mistakes is also a kind of testament to the quality of the site.

<b> and </b> go boldly where no one has gone before.

Americo Sun Aug 20 06:48:20 PDT 2000


Someone must be lying and being very hypocritical here.

You explain your reaction to Jon's mild joke on account of your physical condition, unless you mention your disease to do exactly what you say you are not: "to elicit any sort of sympathy" — a demagogic technique which has gotten very fruitful results among your best friends and the innocent on the NB.

This is old and, curiously enough, the pattern of the present incident is exactly the same as in the latest incident: you react immoderately to someone I write, Howard comes in your support, and Rhoda tries to finish the job. Or Howard reacts immoderately, you come in his support and Rhoda... There are little nuances in the apparition of the characters, but the pattern remains the same. I could add more details — and characters — to this interesting plot, but I need to make this post short.

Is there anything in common between you, Howard and Rhoda? Yes, there is. You are all well-known strenuous "defenders of the faith". You cannot stand unbelievers and free thinkers. You need Hell to send to it those who refuse to follow your ideas on life and beyond. How could you let poor Jon "conquer" it for his "puerile" plays?

You are a gang on the notebook, self-protecting your regrettable philosophy. This is the crux of the matter, and the rest is just sanctimonious stuff and false excuses. I promised that this time I would not tolerate the gang on attitude, and I am a man of word. I don't mind being alone against all the crowd: I was educated in the principles of Kipling's "If" — a poem which everyone should know by heart — and I need not company when I feel I am right. On the contrary, I ask those who know me better than the malevolent descriptions which have been made of me and my posts and my intentions to refrain from interfering. That's where we are different, we need not false witnesses and false accusations, or the courage of the week, or appeals to the heart, to convince. Our arguments must be enough. I was taught that that is what makes a gentleman, in opposition to what makes a snob. I am not calling you snob (sans nobility), I am just stating a principle of my edicuation and a definition of my character. Please don't call it elitist as you have once — that would be a serious intellectual blunder, another laughable accusation.

Now, if you yourself confess that you "reacted so negatively to something ostensibly so petty" (sic), how is Rhoda going to explain to us her accusation that I said "horrible" things to you? How can a petty thing to the addressee be "horrible" things to an impartial onlooker? Dear Rhoda, hope you don't suffer from something as well.

But I am sorry for your debilitating condition, Litter, and, taking it into consideration, I will not pay much attention to your comments about my "fictitious 'personality'", Jon, whose humour cannot, incidentally, be compared to your own when, in a famous post, you declared your intention of writing a book on "Presidential Erections and Oral Manipulations"...

I'm quoting by heart, please repeat your title in its rigorously exact words, if it is wrong. The title and a brief synopsis of that post, preserving its tone — that's where everything began, isn't it, Litter? The usual answer to this sort of questions, demanding introspection and honesty, is usually no, I don't even remember, how could I... so, don't bother.

As for my name, that's your most unfortunate remark. You know very well that it is not Amerigo, as you have been translating it for ages, without my having any reaction at all to your petty malice. I have always refused to translate yours, Litter; it would be a rather offensive word in my language, if addressed to a man, or a woman for that matter. As you see, if there is one who hates offending on the notebook, that's me. Can you, your brethren and the rest of the crowd say the same?

PS. My full name and other important biobliographical details are in the archives or in the hands of reliable notebookers. I believe that I am the only one who has repeatedly stated them here. Not a good idea — an advise for those inexperient in annonymous posts and e-mails such as those I have received on account of suggesting humourously that you are... ugly. Yes, that's my only crime. I cannot apologize for that. It would be ridiculous.

Litter Sun Aug 20 03:42:35 PDT 2000

Dear most,

A lurker friend has recently sent me a digest of comment made after my departure. I am extremely touched by comments made on my behalf and/or in my defence as well as all the e-mail sent to me regarding the same issues.

Jack has made a tremendous site here (the best writer's site I have found) and I have many friends who, in retrospect, I choose not to break contact with. I urge all those who are thinking of leaving, over this and similar issues, to rethink and perhaps chose to ignore ignorant or fatuous personal comments and concentrate instead on some of the more constructive, informative and uplifting posts.

I feel, at this time, I should also explain why I reacted so negatively to something ostensibly so petty. Many of you know that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. This insidious disease has already forced me from work and comprehensively redefined my life. For those who don't know, when in flare-up (which is almost all of the time for the kind of RA I have) it is like a cross between having flu and having ground glass in every joint. It is also very debilitating and as a consequence the time I have available each day, to work or socialise, is probably only about 20% or the averagely healthy person. I don't say this to elicit any sort of sympathy -- I don't need it -- I accept what I have and look forward to making a new future for my family. However, I also tend to have a much reduced 'puerility threshold' and I'm afraid I don't consider that personal comments made under the guise of 'humour' and by a fictitious 'personality' to be either honest or amusing. (BTW, satire is one of my favourite writing genres. Sadly many of 'Jon's' posts fall far short of what I regard as satirical.)

There have been many personal and nasty comments made to number of notebookers and that last one was 'the straw that broke this camel's back' to coin a much overused cliché.

Amerigo -- if you wish to insult someone please have the decency of using your own name and please do not try to justify it as humour. If you honestly believe the many insults issued are humorous then I think it is time to re-address and redefine what you believe humour to be. There is a rule of thumb when insulting someone on a list such as this in the name of humour -- you first need to know the person you are insulting as a friend, not just a casual contact. Notwithstanding these remarks I bear Amerigo no ill will. (But I hate cats!)

Lastly (I hope), I am not overly sensitive or concerned with my appearance -- I have a wife, children and friends who love me for who I am. My kids think of me as 'cool' because I buck the trends of conventionality and I am secure enough in myself not to be concerned with vanity. 'Ugly' however, when added to several prior epithets… well, enough was enough.

All good things,


PS For those who e-mailed me -- I shall reply as soon as I can -- your comments and friendship are precious to me. For now, an orthopaedic mattress and a book on creative Egyptology beckon.

Ashling Sun Aug 20 01:42:45 PDT 2000

TINA: Hi. I don't know HTML from a pig's hat, but you're not the first one to accidently put everyone's posts in italics.
It's safe to unpack your bags and resume your old identity.


Pinky and The Brain Sun Aug 20 01:38:03 PDT 2000

Americo – We admit. The death threats were from us. We don’t understand what you are fussing about, the death threats were for Jon, an imaginary cat. If he takes over hell, and makes it a better place, people won’t be afraid to die. That will sabotage our plans! The other reason why we are sending death threats is that We don’t like cats!

Tina Sun Aug 20 00:27:51 PDT 2000

Uh... thinking I'll go bury my head for a few days. Or weeks.

Maybe change my name.

Move to a new city.

Get a new job.


And stop trying to modify my posts.

Sorry again. And again.


Tina Sun Aug 20 00:23:56 PDT 2000

Uh oh, I got that backward. Sorry (she sheepishly wonders what to do now....) But how come it affects everyone?

Tina Sun Aug 20 00:22:13 PDT 2000


Testing, testing, one two three....

< Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home...

Thanks Mark. Hopefully this works and isn't just a waste of pixels. :-}


Ashling Sat Aug 19 22:50:06 PDT 2000

ROSEMARY: I rarely have time to read all the posts here anymore, must less make one--but I just had to take time to applaud the wisdom in your recent post ... the one about whats-his-name, you know, he that demands constant attention. Yes, that one on the floor screaming, kicking his heels, and sometimes biting folks on the ankle.

Anyone that's been around children much or raised their own knows the more attention you pay to their temper tantrums, the more often they act up. It's no use saying, "Stop that, you're being a bad boy, AGAIN." Children in the throes of the Terrible Twos haven't added words like remorse or responsibility for their actions to their vocabulary yet. Too bad whats-his-face has been stuck in a time warp for well over a year, without having any of Peter Pan's nice qualities to redeem him.

Hope everyone's Muse is being co-operative. I wrote 6 pages this week on my novel. Also did a bit of editing & revising to lay the groundwork for some unexpected plot developments.
And I've interviewed some johnny-come-lately minor characters, using the Rolling Stone interview format, plus a few other questions culled from surfing other writing boards. It's amazing the secrets these characters have revealed to me through this technique.

Hi to Jack, Rhoda, Litter, Jerry, Howard, Gariess, Allein, Teekay, Arik, Christi, Mary, Heather, and a host of newer folks who are unacquainted with this hit-and-run-writer.

Happy Writing,

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