Archived Messages from November 26, 2000 to December 11, 2000

howard Mon Dec 11 19:17:30 PST 2000

MARY -- I found your picture! Yes I did. Finally. And I was partly right. Those beautiful kids must have got their dad's good looks! I could tell, because their mom still has hers!!! :-)
Enjoy "Ender's Game!" it is a great read -- but two days!?

TEEKAY -- Glad you enjoyed "Midworld!" It's one of my favorites. Go ahead and send it on. I have a hardcover copy of it. May even have another paperback. I usually try to do that, just to be able to share something I think is worth reading. Only had one "Anything Box," though. Oh well, I'll get another some day.

We're waiting to hear from our daughter now. Her flight leaves Phoenix at 1AM their time, with a stopover to change planes at Midway in Chicago, then on to Philly. Travel looks dicey, what with all the storm warnings. They're just now giving high wind warnings, 20-30 mph winds, with gusts to 60mph tomorrow morning. Yow!

I see "The Stand" is on SCIFI channel again. It's another of my favorite books. The "made-for-TV" movie is not bad (I bought the video) except that Molly Ringworm is not my favorite choice for Frannie. The rest of the characters are pretty well cast though, and Tom Cullen (Dauber, from ("Coach") is excellent! I'm about due to read it again.

TEEKAY -- I'm a week into my new beard - you'd better like it when it's finished! :-)

gotta run

Mary Mon Dec 11 18:15:31 PST 2000

Hi everyone, and now for something completely different:

What abbreviated handle are we going to tack onto Phantasium now that it has been initiated by Teekay's first contribution? Will it be.....

or(drumroll please)......


hehe. Ok enough silliness. See you guys.

Hallee Mon Dec 11 16:31:45 PST 2000

TEEKAY: I ABSOLUTELY got it. VERY good! Thanks.


Teekay Mon Dec 11 15:42:10 PST 2000

I'm really sorry everyone, but if you go to phantasium and there are 2 copies of 'dimensions' there. Could you please read the 2nd one. That's the one without mistakes. (I hope)

JACK: Sorry for the bother.(again.)

Teekay Mon Dec 11 15:27:38 PST 2000

Whooopsy almost forgot.
HEATHER: Do you want 'midworld'? It's a great read. Let me know okay?

Teekay Mon Dec 11 15:25:41 PST 2000

Hi Everybloody,

MARY: Don't you just love getting packages in the mail??? I do.
Weren't you just a teeny bit worried that they may have been body parts?? :-D

HEATHER: TA DAAAAH. I have posted my first contribution in the phantasium.

If anybody doesn't 'get it' please don't let me know. None of my family 'got it' so I had to add a line just to make it a little more obvious. Fingers crossed it does the job.
I'm never asking my families opinion on my stories again. It's too depressing!

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it. And if you don't please don't tell me. :-)

I'm still working on my 3rd contribution. Now, if I could only find where I put that dratted pen.

Mary Mon Dec 11 13:08:13 PST 2000

TEEKAY!!!! Woo hoo!! Ender's Game came today and I am doing the 'I found gold dance' from the old B&W movie, "Treasure of the Sierra Madres" . Can't wait to start reading it tonight. I must say it sure feels neat knowing some of you have had this very copy in your hands at some point. I will most likely be finished with it late tomorrow or Wednesday, so who wants it next?

Heather Mon Dec 11 09:25:45 PST 2000

Jack, the new round robin looks great - but where are all the stories?
I'll go and see if anyone has posted one!

Like a kid on Christmas morning.
Err, Halloween.


Mary Mon Dec 11 07:31:26 PST 2000

LITTER, and I think HOWARD and anyone else who has hundreds of CDRoms and don't know what to do with them! This link takes you to a site where you can make Christmas crafts out of them. Geez.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Dec 10 22:49:58 PST 2000

Hello everyone: Sorry about the snafu in the Workbook. The ghost story project in the round robin area has been updated and is now working. So, if you want to add stories to that section please feel free to do so.

Mary Sun Dec 10 19:25:36 PST 2000

Ok, here are my pics again.

Mary Sun Dec 10 19:20:55 PST 2000

LITTER: It is I who should be apologizing to you for thinking you could ever say anything callous on purpose. I should have assumed it was a mistake...I am just overly sensitive about those things I guess. Just ask Teekay. pictures are intact once again and for good measure I have added a picture of Blythe Duff because, Litter, you are right. There is a strong resemblance between us. Will put the link up later.

For all of you who have no idea what I am referring to, Litter mentioned a likeness between me and an actress on a Glasgow police drama on television. OK....enough of that. Big hugs to Litter from someone feeling very small.

sasquatch: I don't even know what to say to you, but remember your faith is always sound advice in situations like the one you are dealing with now. Remember your faith and keep your matches dry.

Goodnight everyone.....keep your sticks on the ice.

Litter Sun Dec 10 17:34:56 PST 2000

What follows is an unequivocal apology:

I apologise to Mary for what was an unforgivable but genuine mistake. I removed a portion of text, as it would have been meaningless to most notebookers who live outwith the UK. I didn't remove it all and it made what was left read as if it were an insult. I've written to Mary and included the excised passage so that she can see where the mistake was made. The word 'though' was a refugee from the excised passage.

Mary, again I apologise for my careless stupidity, I didn't check the passage before I posted it -- Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

Now, I think, I will shut up and find a hole to hide in.


Rachel Sun Dec 10 16:58:30 PST 2000

Sasquatch - I can think of nothing to say, but can not sit and say nothing. Know that you are being thought of with fondness and warmpth.

Take care you,


Teekay Sun Dec 10 15:38:22 PST 2000


SASQUATCH: Please tell us what's wrong.

MARY: I knew it! I knew it! As soon as I read that post that said your kids were cute, I though 'uh oh.' :-D

By guys. I have a new story that has me occupied at the moment. I love that feeling, while it lasts.

Jerry Sun Dec 10 14:40:42 PST 2000

Sasquach, welcome home, I got this in my email today, thought I would share it with you:An English explorer was taking part in an expedition to the Himalayas.
Led by a grizzled local guide, they ascended one of the less frequently
climbed peaks. Roughly halfway up the side of the mountain, a member of
the expedition came across a set of large manlike tracks in the snow.

"Yeti tracks," the sherpa said with a gruff voice as he passed them.
"One thing you must know before we proceed; DO NOT, under any
circumstances, touch the yeti."

The expedition heeded his warning and continued to climb the slope.
Night fell, and the explorers set up their tents. In the dead of night,
the Englishman awoke to the sound of his tent entrance unzipping.
Half-asleep, he looked up to see an enormous eight-foot yeti standing
above him.

In fear for his life the explorer jumped up and ran out of the tent,
banging into the yeti in the process. The yeti, after being touched
by the explorer let out a deafening howl and began to chase the
explorer down the slope.

The explorer ran away from the camp as quickly as his legs could
take him, after he rounded a corner he looked behind him to see
the bounding form of the yeti still chasing him.

So the explorer continued to run, reaching the bottom of the mountain
in just two days, exhausted he paused to rest awhile. After just a few
moments, the explorer began to hear the soft 'thud thud thud' of yeti
feet on snow, he looked up the slope to see the yeti still chasing
him and only moments away.

The explorer took off again, reaching a supply shack a couple of
miles away, once there quickly buying a mountain bike and pedaling
his way to the nearest town, some fifty miles away. The journey
took him several days over the rough terrain and after his arrival
he booked into a hotel to recuperate.

Two days later the man left his hotel to see about booking transport
back to England. As soon as he turned around though he saw the form
of the yeti on the horizon, bounding towards him at great speed.
Horrified by this sight, the explorer hurriedly bought a car and
drove it away from the village all the way to Delhi. Once he arrived,
the man wasted no time in getting on the next plane to London.

After his arrival back in London, the man went back to his London
home for a while to recover and to plan his next expedition. He had
been there less than two weeks and was gazing out of a window when
he saw a familiar large bounding, manlike creature running down his
street; the man couldn't believe it -- somehow the yeti had followed
him to England!

The man had little choice but to run away again, he used any means
he could, bike, car, or on foot to try to escape the yeti, but each
time he looked behind him, it was just moments before the yeti came
into view.

Eventually the man made it all the way to Edinburgh and from there
ran into the open Scottish countryside. He continued to run but the
yeti just kept getting closer and closer, and in the end the man
could run no more.

With the yeti less than a minute away from him, the man finally
stopped and turned around to face the oncoming creature. With the
last of his strength he stood up straight as the yeti caught up
with him. The eight-foot tall yeti towered above the man, who
could only stare in terror. The yeti extended his hand and poked
the Englishman squarely in the chest with one long finger and in
a low rumbling voice the yeti said, "Tag! You're it!"


Heather Sun Dec 10 10:28:12 PST 2000

Sasquatch! So good to see you posting, but it does sound as though you are in an awful predicament. You're not so alone here, at least not mentally alone!
Welcome home.

Going to the workbook to check out the new page in RR...


Howard Sun Dec 10 09:56:10 PST 2000

SASQUATCH! Welcome back, I think. Are you back? Or do you need help? Your post sounded a bit hopeless or at least lost. Please try to stay!

MARY -- I saw your post and spent the morning (part of it, anyway) looking back for your reference to pictures. Finally found it, but your picture is apparently gone already. I'm sorry I missed it, but I don't get to surf much at work, and I forgot all about it when I got home that night. Can you please put it out there again? Your hubby is a great looking guy (for a guy, I guess) but there's no way those kids got so beautiful just from his end of the bargain! :-) (I hope that sounded right)

Eddie French Sun Dec 10 02:18:50 PST 2000

Welcome back. You have been missed.

Mary Sat Dec 9 22:46:52 PST 2000

That's it.....I am taking the picture of myself out of my online photo album. least my kids are cute....boohoo.

sasquatch Sat Dec 9 21:04:43 PST 2000

darkened walking
silent crying
blinded seeking
knowing cold

deeper darkness
vanished gladness
voiceless whispers
cursing light

now a presence
close around me
maybe this time
leading home?

lying nearness
whispered laughing
gloating, taunting
willing pain

echoes fading
only dreaming
tears returning
alone again

Teekay Sat Dec 9 19:57:07 PST 2000

Is anybody else unable to post their story in the round robin?

Teekay Sat Dec 9 19:15:10 PST 2000

RICHARD: That sucks! Can't you get an Apprehended Violence Order out against him?? Another thought, why don't you take up a self defence course, then if anything does happen at least you'll be in a position to defend yourself.
Maybe he just needs a darn good whuppin' from you before he finally leaves you alone. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a violent person, but sometimes ya gotta do what it takes.

HOWARD: TA DAAAAAAA!!! I've finished 'midworld' Do you want it back or shall I offer it around to any of the veteran notebookers. I think you've already lost one book, I don't want you to lose another.

RHODA: You're supposed to give me a chance to guess!! :-)


Rhoda Sat Dec 9 17:08:11 PST 2000

Mary gets my vote also for best shortie, though they were all very good.


Got a riddle for you. What do you call Austrailian boxer shorts? Answer: Downunderwear.


My niece recently had a similar problem with a bullyette at school. Unfortunately after getting no help from the principle or councilors her parents were forced to put her into another school (My sister-in-law had to threaten a lawsuit in order to get the transfer). Three similar situations that Jerry describes happened to my brother, and in these instances my brother fought back. He had to spend two days in detention for one of those fights, but in every case Jeff gave better than he got and the bullies never bothered him again.

That was years ago and in different times. Back in the '70's when my brother and I were growing up, parents did not litigate as much and kids were not so violent. I wish I knew how to help you because there is nothing worse than feeling physically threatened and having no one in authority to back you up. At least your parents are supportive, and that is a big plus. In my country if the situation gets really bad, you just threaten to sue. That is awful, isn't it, but I am afraid that is the one thing people respect now. We brandish lawyers here in the U.S. like some people once brandished swords and guns. Anyhow, best of luck in handling this, and do not underestimate your father's ability to help out. I think it is reasonable to try to deal with the parents first even if the likelihood of getting results from that quarter is remote. Let us know how it all turns out.

Well I had best go. I had some Christmas shopping planned for this evening.


Debra Sat Dec 9 15:50:43 PST 2000

Hi All:

Thanks for your e-mails guys. Jerry I looked at yours. Nice. Hallee I will read your momentarily. I just got home.



Litter Sat Dec 9 14:58:20 PST 2000

Hi All,

Lots and lots of stuff to read and all of it different. How to choose. Nope! Can't, so I won't bother… except to say that I agree with you all about Mary's sparkling Christmas Poem.

HALLEE -- Rather belated congrats. Maybe now that you have started the prize ball rolling we can encourage a few (?) others to follow suit???

RICHARD -- Hang in there. Don't know what else to say. In my case when one of my girls was being bullied I approached the parents of the girl responsible (having heard that they were as bad as the girl) What seemed to work on them was that I told them that I thought of them as reasonable people (which I didn't) and it was on that understanding that I was talking to them about the bullying. It worked as they were wrong footed by me being polite and non-confrontational. They seemed to view it as a challenge to prove they were up to my expectations. I don't expect that it'll work in all cases but it did in mine, much to my relief and against my expectations.

USians -- Wot! Another recount…

ARIK -- nice to see that you are safe and that the Toledo steel missed all the vital organs :o)

MARY -- Sneaky sneaky to make people wait until page 7 of your photo album to see what you look like. Not as I had imagined. Don't ask, I have no idea what I imagined. Cute kids though!

ALL -- An apology for not pulling my weight in crits and such. It seems that my total productive time now stands at about 4 hours per day, (due to chronic health probs which worsen with winter weather) and that includes the time I take to make the kids meals when they come in from school, plus my share of the household stuff, etc..

Ciao for now


Mary Sat Dec 9 14:55:27 PST 2000

RICHARD: Really cool site...turns out I am only 94% Unbreakable because I stopped to help other people escape too often. Thanks for the link.

Richard Scott Sat Dec 9 14:33:46 PST 2000

I honestly don't believe that even if I stood up to him, which would be pretty hard for me because I'm peaceful person (I haven't got anything to say 'no' to. I would refuse to give him money or something like that, but what he's seeking is physical violence), it would make a difference, because I've seen what he's like and it would just mean he'd want to fight me again until he thought he'd gotten the best of me.

Ah, anyway, don't want to focus on that. Somebody told me about a great site - it's a test to see how 'unbreakable' you are in the event of a real-life tragedy. It's a quiz-based sort of thing, and I don't think it's a real judge of whether youc an keep your head (unless you've been in such a sitaution before). Anyway, its interesting and I think i might write something about a disaster situation.

Heather Sat Dec 9 14:31:00 PST 2000

Thank you, Jack! Sorry about not warning you what my email was for... I wrote it that way so you could paste it as is into the round robin if you wanted to.

Did somebody say WHOOP ASS? I love Whoop Ass Cola!

Any other comments I'll reserve for after I have dinner.


Hallee Sat Dec 9 13:32:20 PST 2000

DEBRA: You should have an incredibly LONG and probably equally boring email. I'm afraid I can get a tad anal about things.


C. B. DeMill Sat Dec 9 13:06:55 PST 2000

AND THE WINNER IS: - - - -- -- -- -- HOWARD
For his story "Clan of the Cave Chad"

howard Sat Dec 9 12:27:27 PST 2000

TINA -- The last book in the "Clan of the Cave Bear" series has quite a simple plot line, really.
Ayla and Jondalar migrate to Palm Beach, where he runs for political office, but Broud's new voting machines produce nothing but stone-age chad, so it comes down to a "sudden death" bingo game to determine the winner.
Meanwhile, Ayla invents bypass surgery, DNA sampling, Santa Claus, PowerBall Lotto, the "two-martini lunch, and the slam dunk. Together they start a family, that eventually produces King Tut, Julius Caesar, Harry Krishna, Don Ho, Harry Potter, and Madonna. But not all at the same time.
Darryl Hannah has opted for the movie rights, and will play Lucy's great-great-great-great grandmother. She's still searching for the right person to repeat Broud's immortal line: "Ayla, Ugh!" Howard Stern refuses to return her calls. The film will be shot on location at the Florida Supreme Court, and PeeWee Herman will direct with his hand in his pocket (ostensibly feeling around for dimpled chads).
All Gore has promised that if he wins the election he'll not press for an adults-only rating, even though the film will contain brief nudity (a shot of Hillary Clinton, mooning Rush Limbaugh and the Republican side of the Senate).

Eddie French Sat Dec 9 12:10:22 PST 2000

Are you anywhere near Liverpool or Cheshire. If you are let me know and I'll go round and kick His shins.
Or we could make a voodoo doll that looks like him and stick needles in it.
Or order three tonne of red building sand to be tipped into his front garden.
Or send his picture to a local paper, advertising for a girlfriend in the lonely hearts section.
Seriously Richard, The more you show these people that you are affected by what they do, the more they do. Keep a low profile for a bitand if that doesn't work then see all of above.
Good luck.

Jerry Sat Dec 9 11:27:21 PST 2000

RICHARD - I know exactly how you feel. Bullies have always been around, the police have never been able to stop them. Having your father speak with his father rarely brings the desired results, and usually makes things all the worse. I wish I could give you advice on how to stop it, but I really can't. Back when I was a boy, I faced the same problem for a couple of years until I had enough of it, and stood up to the bully. I was so surprised at what a difference it made once I bloodied his nose, he quit picking on me, and tried to befriend me. Of course I would have nothing of it. But that worked in my day may not work today. I wish you the best of luck, and take heart one day he may come to your door and ask for a job. You will have the joy of telling him no and sending him down the street. You see, all the bullies I ever knew made nothing of their lives, and usually ended up being the town drunk, laughed at and scorned by all. This will probably be his fate also, or at least we can hope so.


Jerry Ericsson Sat Dec 9 11:18:41 PST 2000

Can you imagine what a publisher would have said, should you have walked into his publishing house with a book telling a tale of this election last year? He would have tossed you out on your ear because the story is just too far fetched.

Oh well it will soon be over, and we can get back on with our lives. The television will no longer be dedicated to one subject, nightly news will again get back to what is really happening in this wide wonderful world. Children will again run and play in the streets. America will again be a wonderful place to live. The nations of the world will stop laughing at our antics over chads. I don't think it really matters anyhow who wins or looses, this is still a great place to live, a wonderful place to raise our children.

To quote a great writer who I shall leave unnamed

"Ok back on your heads!"


Richard Scott Sat Dec 9 10:32:09 PST 2000

Bear: Yoda. Ask me any SW question to do with the universe, and I'll answer it.

Arg! I'm sick of this. That idiot threatened me again, said he was going to punch me in the face, kicked me in the legs and then walked off. My Dad is going to talk to his parents, but if the rumours are true, they're just as bad. I really don't know what to do, because the police won't reallyd o anything about harrasment, and he has assaulted people before, and he just gets away with it. I think this law system is crummy; arresting someone whose barely a teen may seem harsh to you, but not when you're the one threatened with GBH (Grevious Bodily Harm). Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration...

Sat Dec 9 09:32:32 PST 2000

why isn't that glowing?

Debra Sat Dec 9 09:31:46 PST 2000 Sat Dec 9 09:13:32 PST 2000

I would love that.

Hallee Sat Dec 9 09:03:47 PST 2000

DEBRA: I've looked and cannot find where you've posted your email address. If you'll email me, I'll clarify Florida law for you so that you won't be so confused and taken in by what you're seeing by the media.


Debra Sat Dec 9 08:20:09 PST 2000

Oh all right. I'm sorry.

It's just...........

Never mind.


Jerry Ericsson Sat Dec 9 08:08:39 PST 2000

Debra, I really don't want to get into a pissing contest over this election, at least not in here. So I will just say that I am a Republican, I go along with the actions of GW's attorneys. I don't think this is the proper place to discuss something that is so strongly on our minds right now. We as writers must remain above such fights, and dedicate our writings to the soul not to the candidates.


Tina Sat Dec 9 08:07:27 PST 2000

I'm gonna take a cautious step into dangerous territory here and suggest that if this was an all American forum, the political discussions might be a tad more well placed. It is, however, an international writing forum.
I totally understand the need to vent, and believe me I have a few choice words about Canadian politics and policies, but I'll keep them mum while here.

I'm not out to ruffle feathers, damage egos, or hurt feelings. I know that politics is something we all feel strongly about. But I'd hate to see politics invade this forum.

I'm afraid that my suggestion will be taken personally. Please don't! It's just the way I feel about this place. I love you all!

On another thought, Mary I dreamed about your neighbour last night. If you get a chance, give him a hug from me. :-)

Debra Sat Dec 9 06:52:41 PST 2000

Can I just say one thing? I have been paying attention. In Florida when the margin of counts falls below a certain amount and the race is close, the LAW states that a recount MUST happen.

So what if there are 67 counties with 67 standards they apply to the (R)'s and (D)'s equally. The standard will follow the county and the votes. Only the person with the least votes can lose.

We all know there won't be 67 standards. There are a few things, hanging, dangling, dimpled, pregnant. That's four. Whatever the county in question decides, the votes on both sides will benefit or not whatever the case may be.

The whole reason why we are still counting is that the (R)'s are blocking the law. If the (R)'s block this law from being carried out, that will be the most shameful thing I will have ever wittnessed. We won't have an elected president but a shoved up our ass one. I don't have room in my ass for a president. Do you?

The race is close the law must be followed. If George Bush wins after the recount I will be happy. I will at least know it was fair, square and legal.

We don't want the stock markets to go cookcoo do we?

Do we?


Debra Sat Dec 9 06:26:32 PST 2000

Now is Whoop ass::::::::::::: served hot or cold?


Arik Sat Dec 9 04:15:17 PST 2000

Ahh, the post below is me, not americo :-).

Americo Sat Dec 9 01:27:52 PST 2000

Americo - This is a great shot shortie....

what's a short shortie?

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Dec 8 23:40:43 PST 2000


   OK, I did get the Round Robin and have posted it to the workbook. However, one suggestion for everyone. When you send a suggested round robin, please mark it in some way as a round robin suggestion. From the context I got the idea, but just to make sure my sometimes sleep beffudled mind does not pick up the hints please include the hammer to beat over my head with. Other than that, looks like an interesting project.

Mary Fri Dec 8 23:23:44 PST 2000

It's me again. I have a photographic memory when it comes to movies and as soon as Arik mentioned he had been shopping for swords in Toledo I remembered a scene from "The Highlander."

The forensics team comes to the scene of a decapitation and eventually finds the murder weapon. It was a Toledo-Salamanca. A very rare sword. Sooooo...I searched around and found the screenplay for the movie. Kinda cool reading. Anybody wants to check it out, the link is right here.

See ya.

Tina Fri Dec 8 23:15:47 PST 2000

Mary, can you buy bottled 'Whoop Ass' down there? It's a carbonated drink loaded with herbs and caffiene, and it really packs a wake up punch!

Tina Fri Dec 8 23:12:47 PST 2000

Mary, you have a heart of gold! I'm so pleased, I'm sitting here crying and blowing my nose. That story is all fiction, but the idea came from a man here in town. He and his wife used to decorate their entire yard and people would drive up and look at it. When she died he stopped, didn't do it for two or three years. Then one year he put up a bit and kept on going. Now people go to see his lights and decorations, he makes tea and cocoa and has cookies, and he has everyone sign a guest book. His yard is a Christmas wonderland that you can walk through and no one leaves without a good bit of Christmas cheer.
And Hallee, I didn't wait til next year! The local paper publishes a Christmas suppliment each year, and I submitted the story to the paper today.

Laura, were you able to get the crit I did in the workbook? If not, I can email it to you. Just let me know. And if you want more, send me more of the story and I'll be happy to read it. :-) I've read the first bit a few times now, and I'm anxious to find out what happens next!

About publishing after death, apparently there's quite the court battle over what's to be done with Jean Auel's last book in the 'Clan of the Cave Bear' series. It's just a rumour I heard, but apparently no one can agree on who has rights to the book. Me, I just want them to publish it and fight over the royalties later! I want to read it!

Very tired tonight. Think I'll hit the sheets early.

Mary Fri Dec 8 23:10:51 PST 2000

DEBRA: Wow! You opened a whole can of whoop-ass with that one, but it ain't comin' from me.

Mary Lockwood

I still love ya though. You are entitled to you opinion.

Debra Fri Dec 8 22:04:03 PST 2000

Oh and when they win with (D) judges," hey ins't this a great country with a great court system."

When they lose, "rouge judges rouge judges.

Do they know the difference between thinking and speaking into a mic that is wired across the country?

Just wait until they hear this replayed back on the miniseries. They will be saying we didn't say that. Some smart backside will roll the tape.

A little basis.

Debra Fri Dec 8 21:58:43 PST 2000

You know I don't like the attitude of the (R)'s you know why? Well I'll tell you. I can't imagine what they are afraid off. Are they afraid that their guy really didn't win the election? I also don't like the attitude of I won I won I won with glee.

If I had won an election under those close circumstances I would have a little more dignity. I wouldn't be saying," well this is what the voters want. Oh don't count those votes. Stop it. I called it. You took your hand off the checker. MOMMIE DADDY, JEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to run the country. I want to. I want to."

But that's me.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Dec 8 21:47:02 PST 2000

Publish after death, yes I am sure I have heard of such things, and as someone mentioned, V.C. Andrew's passed away, and yet her books keep coming and coming and coming. My wife devourers them each as they are released. I wonder if it helps being dead, to get published that is. Well I guess if it were so, Dr. Kovorkian would have lines of writers fed up with the publishing world, willing to do anything to get published.

Boy this dang election just keeps going, even in my sleep now I see it, the energizer rabbit in the distance, and as he gets closer and closer, I can see his face has changed to that of Vice President Gore. NO, I can't even escape this election nightmare in my sleep.

Now where is it that Kovorkian lives again?


Teekay Fri Dec 8 20:33:25 PST 2000

HEATHER & JR: How about Virginia Andrews? Didn't her family publish works she'd started before her death, which is why they changed the name to V. C. Andrews, I guess.

TINA & MARY: See how what we do effects people in so many ways? I think that was a wonderful thing. The story and the repurcussions of it. Well done you guys.

I love you all and that's not just the Christmas spirit getting to me either. It's the whole bottle of whisky I drank while reading through these posts. *hic* I love use guys. Yer just *hic* great. :-)

Jerry Lee Fri Dec 8 20:25:56 PST 2000

Yo all,

Yoda. (...and wouldn't it be better if the writer's decendants published the work? His ancestors are probably enjoying his company right now.)


Take care and Maligayong Pasco! (almost)
Jerry Lee

Mary Fri Dec 8 19:08:37 PST 2000

I am so impressed with how shortie night went! They were all just wonderful. If I had to choose a favorite, I would go with Tina's because it affected more people than those here on the Notebook. Let me explain.

TINA: I really hope that you don't mind. Knowing you what little I do, I don't think you will. I have a neighbor who's wife has had an illness for 37 years that is now coming to the point where everyone in her family knows the end is near. It has been difficult for all of them. This illness lived thru their children growing up, getting married, having children...the works. But every year this man decorated the outside of his house for Christmas. Except this year. Here is the part I hope you don't mind because I didn't ask permission first. I printed out a copy of your story large enough for him to read and put it in an enveloped embossed with holly leaves and took it over to him. I gave him a big hug before I left and told him I missed his lights even if he felt that nobody else did. He was his regular polite self and I headed home. When my husband came home from work this afternoon we all loaded up in the car to go shopping and when we returned I could see our neighbor's lights blazing from clear down the street! We unloaded everyone from the car and sitting on my front porch with a note was the big star that he used to put on top of the pine tree in his side yard. The note said, "This is where it belongs."

Thank you Tina. I am finally feeling the spirit of Christmas this year.

Big hugs to everyone, and thank you for making shortie night such a great success! (Yes Hallee......GREAT!)

Mark Fri Dec 8 18:49:03 PST 2000

Holy Cow! Traffic in the room has gotten high. Like Rachel, I'm fighting some kind of bug. I'm not going to try keeping up with everybody. Just want to add my two cents on shortie night. A triumph.

My vote goes to Mary for best shortie. Also a note of thanks to Jack for putting this room up for us to use. And a big pat on the back to all the contributors.

Rachel Fri Dec 8 17:18:36 PST 2000

Mary! Your shortie is wonderful. It gave me a good laugh. Thank you (hugs).

All - I also may not be around as much as I would like. My children began their Winter vacation today. They will be off for the remainder of the month of December. I am also trying to get down the first draft of a novel that I am working on. I do not think that I will get that done with the children home from school. I have another novel that I can go to work on a strong edit with. I think that is what I will do. I am enjoying lots of excellent reading. I'm also fighting a flu/cold. That isn't much fun.

Hope all is well with each of you.

Hugs all around,


Americo Fri Dec 8 16:48:03 PST 2000

Splendid job you are doing as shortie night Minister, Mary! In his glass submarine under the Pacific, Jon is enjoying himself. He stuck your poem on the largest pipe of his organ (the same that belonged to Captain Nemo).

As for the shorties. Heather's freedom with language is always a pleasure to see. But first prize this week goes to Arik : his going to Spain to buy swords from a poetry-lover is the best shortie. And yes, Toledo is the right place for swords since Medieval times-- that detail won him the day.

Caution: none of those swords can be used against people, just as ornaments above the fireplace.

Heather, you missed the deadline for your novel. It was the 7th, not the 9th December. Sorry. Good luck for the ghostie thingy.

Jack, you should resume your writing career. And why not become a publisher on demand (or some such Internet publisher)? Just a thought.

I won't be able to come here as often as I liked, as I am so busy. But I'll try to have a look at the NB from time to time.

Have fun.

Heather Fri Dec 8 15:18:42 PST 2000

Bear - I am not certain whether or not someone can publish a person's work after death unless they have been deceased for 50 years, and then their work becomes 'public property' to put into print (this may only apply to RE-prints, of course, meaning that the work was already published at least once). As well, this may only be the case if the author's works were not willed to someone. If the author bequeathed the work to someone, they should probably have full rights to seek publication, so long as the author is given full credit for the work. (On second thought, perhaps the question is better answered by a real live attorney!)

We have shortie night once a week, since Mary has been delegating. :o}

Americo, where have you BEEN? Email me when you get a chance - I've lost your e-ddress!

Laura! From what I've read of your latest drafts you have come a long way in a year. I'd be happy to give you a full-length crit, when I have some time. This coming week should be a little less harried than this past one, but I still have my number one writing priority to attend to: my novel. I'm at last able to make permanent changes to my first five chapters, saving them finally in top form - publisher-ready. (At least I pray they are!)

Speaking of which, I have to try re-sending that introduction to Jack. Just got back online and realized the email didn't get sent! (*Arrrgh* Just call me DAFFY)
Sorry, Jack! I'll try again!

feliz navidad


J R Deveau Fri Dec 8 13:11:14 PST 2000

Ahhhh... Here I sit with my oversized coffee. The smile on my face is half from the coffee and half from the rum in it. 8^)

After finishing my short shortie last night, I went to bed (~11:30PM) but all I could think of was that I actually wrote something and that it actually had a decent ending. I already have a plot for next Thursday.

Since I haven't been here long, I'm assuming that we do this every night. If so, I'd like to lift my mug in salute to the one who originated the idea and all the supporters and contributers since.

Also, just how big do the short stories in the workbook go? I don't think I'm going to play with it for a while. I just might look a bit and see what passes for the norm.

Was there ever a case where someone wrote a story and one of the ancestors of the author had it published after the author's death?

And now for a bit of fun.
Guess who said this:
"Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering."

Well, the house wouln't clean itself. Must go...
I look forward to hearing from you all.


Laura Fri Dec 8 12:34:07 PST 2000

Debra, don't even get me started on politics.

(Sung to the tune of silent night)

And may I say again... yep, you've got it ARCHIVE!!

On a much lighter note, would you PLEEEEEEEASE do keep updated on the critiques... I also would appreciate it if you would both post the critique and E-mail me with the in-depth version....


Debra Fri Dec 8 11:30:08 PST 2000

Okay so laws were broken in Florida but so what?

Did anyone else take that from Seminole county?


Arik Fri Dec 8 10:42:15 PST 2000

WOW! WOW and once again: WOW!

I didn't know you where that worried guys! thanks a lot, I am sorry for going away without letting you know, I'll try not to do it again.


Hey everyone.. You know, while I was in spain, I met some guy in Toledo, I was there to buy swords, and he looked very intelegent. We started a conversation about stuff, and he told me that he likes peo

Arik Fri Dec 8 10:37:08 PST 2000

WOW! WOW and once again: WOW!

I didn't know you where that worried guys! thanks a lot, I am sorry for going away without letting you know, I'll try not to do it again.


Hey everyone.. You know, while I was in spain, I met some guy in Toledo, I was there to buy swords, and he looked very intelegent. We started a conversation about stuff, and he told me that he likes peotry. I sad that I like it as well, and so we talked a little about it. The most interesting thing is that he loved M\The group Metallica, And I like it as well. Most people think that metal groups are supid, but I found out that they aren't. I wanted to ask if any of you like Metallica, and if you dont, do you know any songs of them?

Any way, I bought a wonderfull swords (the guy sure knows how to make them) and vent on with my trip. I descided to meet new people in spain, and look how they are. I found out that this can be fantastic - to go and meet people, hear each ones story, and to tell them yours. At the end of the trip, I understood that I almost didn't see any new places and things but I had a great time.

anyway, you should try once to go in a bar, take a vodka with some milk, look around you, look at the people, go and sit with the one that looks mostley interesting, and just start talking to him.... It's a great feeling.

Arik Fri Dec 8 10:36:11 PST 2000

WOW! WOW and once again: WOW!

I didn't know you where that worried guys! thanks a lot, I am sorry for going away without letting you know, I'll try not to do it again.


Hey everyone.. You know, while I was in spain, I met some guy in Toledo, I was there to buy swords, and he looked very intelegent.

Heather Fri Dec 8 10:09:23 PST 2000

Postie scriptie:

Thanks everyone, for the sweet comments from the other day. Something about Socrates? (Teekay!!!)

Here is another quote:

"Remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else."

(Author unknown... at least to me)


Heather Fri Dec 8 10:05:16 PST 2000

Jack, best of luck finding a new job... and the down-time will certainly be a great break for getting some writing done. (Gee, you can have my job, and I'll stay home and write!) The introduction for Ghosties is in your email!

Howard - I knew it didn't sound right, but alas, I was up past my bedtime. (That's a good excuse, isn't it? YUP)
Should have said the 10,001th. Simplify, simplify, because I'm so darned simple.

Off I go to take a few mighty whacks at the laundry pile.

Then I'll take a few mild swings at my manuscript! It's slow going, but progressing at least.

Anybody know if you can scan in photos at home and burn them onto a blank CD? Are there 'home' PC programs for this? (I could get them done at the photo shop, but it would be far cheaper and faster at home...) I don't see anything that says this is possible in the manual for the cd writer.

So much on the platter
I can wait on the latter

Mary, your shortie was infectious! (BIG INFECTIOUS GRIN)
Be careful, it's getting itchy out there.


howard Fri Dec 8 07:53:03 PST 2000

Great shorties all!

But I have to say that Tina's took the prize, 'cause it hit so close to home, with Mary's a close second 'cause it's about a place that's close to home!

But they were ALL good'ns!!

This place makes me laugh and cry, and I love it!

Best news of all was Jack's! That's one of those things that makes one just look up and say "Thank you!" Answers to prayer tend to be that way.

HEATHER -- it's "ten thousand and ONETH"


Debra Fri Dec 8 06:39:16 PST 2000


May I say BRAVO?


Save that Christmas poem that's a keeper.


Fri Dec 8 05:33:24 PST 2000

errr...the next time I post, I won't use the word great so many annoying...ugh

::::slinking back to work quietly::::


Hallee Fri Dec 8 05:31:59 PST 2000


Okay - had to get that out of my system - I don't think I tell you often enough.

This will be quick but long - ignore the typos - my boss is due in any minute (smile).

TINA: Since coming here you have so inspired me in my writing- thank you. As for your shortie - PLEASE print it out onto hard copy, stick it in next year's calendar around June or so, then start submitting it to magazines. WONDERFUL!!! Thank you so much for writing it.

HEATHER: Thanks. And your story was great - haha - I guessed the ending, though.

ALLEIN: Thank you.

MARY: You're awesome. I really appreciate what you did with my story - thank you a million times. And your shortie - HAHAHA- GREAT!!!

ARIK: I'll add an additional 20 lashes to the ones you've received. Welcome home - next time, a simple post wouldn't hurt. (hehehe)

FRAN: I'll just ditto what everyone else said. Oh yeah, and welcome. Pull up a chair.

JERRY LEE: Thank you. And your short - GREAT! I've had such a good time this morning reading them.

HOWARD: Is that how you take care of telemarketers in your house? hahahaha

EDDIE: Your story was wonderful - very sad and wonderful.



TEEKAY: Thank you. And thanks for the explanation about the rabbit - I had no clue what you were talking about.

LITTER: I knew your story had a twist - but it wasn't what I was expecting. Very good.

MARK: Great story.

JR: Thank you. Actually, my courage stems from people daring me to do things. :) And your story was great - had no idea what was coming.

JACK: WONDERFUL news about your wife! Answers to many prayers. What a blessing.

Okay - now I have to work really fast to make it look like I worked for the last hour. Hahahaha.


Debra Fri Dec 8 05:30:12 PST 2000

Did I mention that those elaborate lolipops cost me six bucks?

They did!

Debra Fri Dec 8 05:22:54 PST 2000

I did have a shortie for last night, but I have been Christmas shopping with the girls all week and they have worn we down. I have to shop and baby wrestle while trying to keep them in the stroller. Yesterday they had complete strangers trying to help them get a lolipop I said they couldn't have. The strangers and babies won.

I sat down for just a minute last night and fell into a deep sleep sitting up. The only reason I woke up is because my two dogs Max and Pepper had to go outside and you know.

By that time woke up, I would have needed the Florida Supreme Court to prove that I wrote it before midnight and they would have passed it back to someone else because they are all cowards. That could have been my shortie but it wasn't.

I will prove it next week.


Heather Fri Dec 8 02:30:57 PST 2000

Forgive me for some obvious blunders in my shortie! (Carpet, hardwood, carpet carpet...duhhh)
It's really too late and I should be sleeping.

ARIK - Glad you are safe and sound of body. Don't know about the mind, yet. Have to test and see! (Kidding)


Heather Fri Dec 8 02:24:54 PST 2000

Woah! Mary, you are indeed Queen of Shortie Short Night! (All we needed was a set night each week, and YOU to remind us! And inspire us too!)

So many good shorties, I quiver a little at the idea of coming up with one myself. BUT I shall try.

Welcome Fran! Here's a tidbit of extra advice to add to Rhoda's excellent points:

When submitting a manuscript/piece of writing, most publishers won't bother to read it if it is unsolicited. Basically, you've got to send them a written query first, after doing a fair bit of research on the particular publisher. You need to know exactly to whom your query is addressed, so you never send out generic submission letters. Be careful to search out the company that is looking for the type of writing you are submitting. Be certain you find the most recent information on the publisher, too - often the type of writing they are looking for will change. You don't want your writing to be rejected before it's even read simply because it's not the genre or length, or style they want. There are plenty of other publishers out there who just might be interested. Also, keep in mind that some publishers are more likely to look at new authors than others. The point is, there are so many publishers around, DO NOT GIVE UP IF THE FIRST TEN THOUSAND PUBLISHING HOUSES REJECT YOUR WORK. There is always the ten thousandth and one.

(Also remember that failure is an event, not a person.)

The best bet is to purchase a copy of Writer's Market 2001, specific to your needs. There are Writer's Market books for poetry, kid's books, novels and so on. Some are more than one genre and format rolled into one. Join a few online writer's information networks (ie: and they can email you newsletters, which often contain a tip on the latest market information.

Another note: Please give us more details about your experience, and perhaps we can zero in on what exactly went wrong. I have my doubts that your age was the defining factor; your manuscript may have been unsolicited, or unagented at a firm that accepts agent-only submissions. And then again, I may be wrong. You may have gone by the book, and the refusal was uncalled for.
Sometimes publishers are so swamped with what they call the 'slush pile' of manuscripts, they will refuse to read any more new submits. And sometimes an editor is just an asshole. (Pardon my english)

OK... Did I take up as much space as Mary, earlier? (Hee heeeeee) Mary - how did you know I'm Rachel's midwife? (another gleeful giggle) Rachel, call me when your water breaks! I'll boil water for coffee.

Joanie, WHERE ARE YOU? Miss YOU very much!

Everyone: Excellent shorties, I must say.

Leaves me a bit awed, and still nothing pops into my head for my own shortie contribution.

How about I just start and see what happens...

`~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oh, Tannenbaum~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Move it a little to the left. To the left!"
Tinkle, tinkle, sway, sway.

"There. How's that, sweetie?"
"My left, honey, my left! Watch the speaker!"
Tinkle, thud, thud, smash!

"How about tilting it a bit? It's almost horizontal! Watch my frame! Look out for my vase! You're killing the house!"
Crick, snap, tinkle, thud, curse...

"If you wanted a perfectly vertical tree, you could have picked one with a straight trunk," he sighed.
"If you hadn't rushed me, I could have found the one tree out of the entire lot that did!" she snapped.
Rustle, rustle, scrape, scra-a-a-tch!

"Good, perfect. Now the wallpaper has a gaping hole in it! Do you think we can wreck the whole place before we put the lights on, or after?" She flailed her hands at the wall.
"Fine! You hold the tree while I get the toolkit. If I just saw right through the wall, we can have a tree in both rooms, I'll tie it to the new doorway, and it can lean any bloody way it wants." His face flushed a crimson hue and sweat beaded up along his hairline as he wrestled with the six-foot jack pine.
She tapped her foot on the hardwood, running her tongue over freshly flossed teeth. She made a slight sucking noise with her lips. "Why don't you go get the chainsaw and cut the damn thing, we'll have a hissing-good fire in the fireplace. Rip ol' Tannenbaum to bits! Then we'll go and get a friggin' fake one!"
"With your luck, you'll pick a bent one." Scr-a-a-a-pe, scratch, pout, sweat.

"Oh, so I always pick bent things? I picked you, didn't I?"
His head snapped up, and she glared into his eyes through the tangle of sap-encrusted, thick-needled branches. He couldn't think of a snappy rebuttal, so said something he'd learned from childhood by rote: "Takes one to know one!"
She frowned, sputtered, and pursed her frosty pink lips together. She heaved a nasal sigh, and looked away. Through forty-five pounds of tree, he saw that she was struggling not to laugh.
THUD! Thud, swish, plunk, sigh....

The tree lay on the carpet as melted snow trickled onto the carpet, puddling underneath two pairs of bare legs.

(Oh, Tannenbaum!!!)


Jack Beslanwitch Fri Dec 8 01:33:00 PST 2000

Thanks everyone for your comments and prayers. I was getting a little depressed a bit there, mainly since so many other places have laid off lately. But I am the terminal optomist and am sure something better will show up. In thinking about the place I got dropped from, I am just imagining what those that are left are feeling like. I just might be in a better situation when I think about that.

Actually, it might even give me some time to write. Hmmmmm. Now there is a really really good thought.

Another thing that happened this past couple of weeks of a positive nature. My wife was told she does not need to meet with her oncologist any more since she has gone five years without any additional appearance of cancer. So, good news along with the bad. Take care all and I am going to give myself a goal to write.

Teekay Fri Dec 8 00:09:50 PST 2000

MARY: BRAVO! I loved it!

RACHEL: I guess there's nothing for it but to call the baby Isabella now wether it be a girl or boy. :-)

MARK: Please try and break up your story. Big fat blocks of posts makes my eyes all screwey and my brain get all jumbled. PLeeeaaaaaase.

TINA: That was lovely. You should have written it months ago and sent it to a magazine.

JERRY: Hahahaha goodun.

RHODA: *clap* *clap* *clap* Another goody. I thought it was wonderful.

In fact I thought they were all pretty wonderful. I for one really enjoyed reading them, but MARY, I think yours takes the cake. :-)

Tina Thu Dec 7 23:00:59 PST 2000

Oh my goodness! I've just laughed out loud, been angry, groaned at a wicked pun, and thoroughly enjoyed myself! Eveyone, you're all awesome!

Arik, I add my relief to the pile. I'm so glad you're safe.

Fran, welcome welcome welcome! :-)

What started out as my shortie became two pages long, so please bear (bare?) with me. Maybe I should put it in the workbook, but I'm too lazy to go there right now.

The Christmas Star

Taking the first box from the shelf, he set it down on the cracked linoleum floor. The brightly coloured label said ‘Angels’, but it seemed logical to check inside while he had it out, so he opened the lid and peered inside. Indeed, it held a collection of carefully packed angels, including a lacy one who’s trim read, ‘Baby’s first Christmas’. He picked it out and held it softly, remembering how Pam had cried when he’d given it to her. The slightly discoloured lace and faded face bore testament that his daughter was a woman now, not a child.

He set the angel aside and reached for the next box. Pam’s delicate letters told him this one contained lights, not the star he sought, so he pushed it to one side and pulled down a third box, called ‘Snowflakes’.

Pam had loved snowflakes. This box would be stuffed with various treasures she’d made over the years, some paper, some ceramic, even one she’d made from feathers. The memory of that brilliant white made him open the top and pull it out just to feel the softness in his hands.

The feathery snowflake kept the angel company when he returned to his search. He found several boxes simply marked ‘Ornaments’ and had to go through each one, just in case. Thirty-five years of tree trimmings lived inside, each one with an unusual story making it special. To anyone else the paper chains, egg carton bells, and painted clay candy canes were worthless. Maybe he should give them to the girls, they had more use for them than he did now.

He pulled out each box, searched them carefully, and still didn’t find the star. It must’ve been put with the lights. Knowing what a mess they were in – for all her organisation, Pam always just shoved the lights into the large container – he dreaded opening it up.

The carefully coiled and tied chains shocked him. Each line of lights had been bundled neatly and secured with a tie.

All those years of complaining had paid off. Or would have, if he’d had any intention of using them again.

The tiny bulbs pricked him as he checked for the star. No, it wasn’t in here either. But Pam’s favourite line of lights lay near the bottom. Each tiny, multi-coloured light would blink individually, and she always insisted on putting it in the bush outside the door where she could see it from her chair in the sitting room.

He carried the string of lights to the door, pulled on his jacket and shoes and went outside. He’d put up this set, just for her, but none of the others. All those years he’d spent hours putting up the lights had been for Pam, she’d loved them so, and he couldn’t see any point in wasting his time this year.

The lights began twinkling almost the moment he plugged them in. He stood and watched them sparkle, seeing Pam’s wide smile instead.

But the short chain of lights didn’t cover the bottom of the bush. It looked funny. Another line solved that, but it was too long. He spread them over to the light post and wound them around the pole. Except the light at the top should be green. The girls had bought him a green light the previous year and it still sat in the garage where he’d left it after the holiday.

In the glow of the twinkling lights and green bulb, he pulled out cord after cord of lights, some big, some small, even the tortuous icicle lights Pam had brought home a few years back. Those he placed over the door and along the trough. He had to wipe the tears from his eyes and hold his slightly arthritic hands to his face more than once that afternoon.

He was putting the ladder away when a voice called to him from the drive. “Dad? Are you in there?”

“Tory? I’m here,” he called back.

“Dad! We offered to put up the lights and you said no. You shouldn’t have done this alone.” His daughter entered the garage, her blue eyes disapproving.

“I didn’t plan to. I only meant to find the star for you to put on your tree.” He shrugged. “I can’t find it. I don’t know where it is.”

“You went through all the boxes?” she asked, her lovely dark hair drifting over her shoulder while she looked at him.

“I think so.” He led her down to the store room where the boxes sat scattered across the floor. He turned on the light, unable to see as the sun went down and the window grew dark. While Tory searched he tenderly lifted out a candle set that had graced the mantle for almost twenty Christmas holidays.

“Didn’t you make that for mom?” Tory asked, looking up from the box of snowflakes.

He nodded proudly. “I did. Took me almost a month. Look at the grain in this wood! Hard to find wood like this any more.”

She smiled affectionately and continued her search.

“Dad! Look! Here are the balls mom painted that year she took up tole painting!” Tory held up one of the spheres, spinning it so he could see the less than perfect birds painted there. “And here’s the tree skirt she embroidered!” The precise stitches boasted of the highly skilled hand that had made them.

He took the piece of round cloth and touched the tiny colourful stitches with his fingers, remembering how pleased Pam had been the first time they’d placed it under the tree.

“Aha!” Tory’s exclamation pulled his attention to the golden star held triumphantly in her hand.

“You found it! Where?”

She pointed to the box labelled ‘Angels’. “Right in there at the bottom.”

“I thought I looked there!” He took the star from his daughter and smiled. All six points retained their soft lustre, unscratched despite the years of use. When Tory started to close the boxes he shook his head. “I’ll do it later. It’s getting late.” The window carried proof of full darkness outside.

He walked her out to the road amid the dazzling glow of the many lights he’d spent hours stringing around the yard. Each bush, tree, window, and the fence provided support for the glittering bulbs.


He looked up to where his neighbour stood by his car, waving and grinning.

“Looks great Sean!” the man nodded vigorously, then climbed in and drove away.

“He’s right, dad. It looks wonderful. The way mom liked it.”

Sean stared at the bush by the door. They’d planted that bush the first summer they’d owned this house, and each spring it burst into tiny pink blooms.

“Your mother liked those lights to go there because they reminded her of the flowers. She fancied that the bush enjoyed being beautiful twice a year instead of just once.”

Tory looked around the yard. “As soon as it snows the yard will glow. The girls will be thrilled when they see it.”

Sean watched his daughter look at the lights, a delighted smile on her lips. Then he remembered the angel sitting in the store room, the one he’d bought just after Tory’s birth. He hadn’t finished going through the box after finding that lacy angel, and that’s how he’d missed the star buried there. It usually bothered him that he could be distracted so easily, but not this time. If he’d found the star he wouldn’t have put up the lights, wouldn’t have enjoyed her delight or his granddaughters’ joy when they came over next.

“Tory,” he said her name slowly, “Maybe you should bring the girls over this weekend, to help me put up the tree. I know they love going through all those old decorations.”

She looked at him, a tear streaking her cheek. “Sure, dad. But in that case you’d better keep the star for your tree. That’s where it belongs.”

Night all.

Christi Thu Dec 7 22:20:13 PST 2000

Goodness, I can't say how much I've enjoyed this shortie night. Yes I can, I LOVED ALL YOUR SHORTIES!!! Wow, what a treat. Thanks guys, I think I'm finally getting a touch of that old Christmas spirit.

Mary, That was a true classic! I laughed and laughed!

Hugs and love to all you genius'. Wish I had the time to thank all of you personally.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Dec 7 21:01:49 PST 2000

Wow, so many shorties to read, and so little time, I must get my contribution in before I sit and read all yours, although from a quick browsing, I see great works await the eager reader.

It was from great Viking stock that Rudolf sprang forth. Rudolf and his wife Bess lived on a small farm near the seashore on Iceland.

One fine day Rudolf came in from feeding his cattle, and caring for his horse. He was covered from head to foot with white flakes of snow. Bess, in her most curious voice asked "Is it snowing Rudolf?"

"No!" Rudolf replied, his face turning the same color red as his bright red hair, "It is raining outside!"

Now Bess was a fine woman and very wise, and rest assured that she deffenetly knew when it was cold out in Iceland, moisture which falls from the sky was snow and not rain.

"Now Rudolf," Bess began, you know very well that in cold weather such as we have been having, moisture that falls from the sky is snow!"

Rudolf had been out to the barn, and as Bess was quite aware, he kept his bottle of vodka in one of the stalls, and took a nip now and then, and today it appeared he had maybe a few to many nips.

Rudolph began pacing back and forth, his hands rubbed his fine red hair back, the snow on his head was melted, and his hair was quite wet. The moisture made his hair even redder if that were possible. He thought of his younger days when he and his friends were aboard the Viking ships pillaging and plundering, before he met Bess and settled down on a farm of all things. The more he thought of it, the angrier he became. Then through the haze of the vodka, the found his wits and keeping his voice even and calm, he walked near his lovely wife, and placing his right hand on her left shoulder, he replied "Rudolph the Red knows rain dear!"


Jerry Lee Thu Dec 7 20:49:39 PST 2000

Yo all,

CLASSIC! If the notebook had a hall of fame, your shorty would be the first display on the right!

I enjoyed your shorty, too. You write like someone who spent time at an Air Force job. The idea of lifers getting awarded for surviving the NCO club (or Officer's club) at their last base while real work goes unrewarded is a vivid memory. I spent ten years as a FLAP locksmith and not one awards presentation passed that I didn't wonder who this guy knew to get it.

The shorties were all really good this week.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

J R Deveau Thu Dec 7 20:34:54 PST 2000

Hi to all and a special hi to Mark and Christi. It's cold here in Toronto. I'm talking heavy sweater under a lined leather jacket cold.

JACK - I've been near where you are now. Remember, it's always darkest before the dawn. Just make sure that you don't choose too hastily. I amost made that mistake.

HALLEE - Congrats! You have more courage than I do. I'm going to make sure that I read your story. My interest is in science fiction but I have A LOT to learn about writing a good story. I'm fairly comfortable with creating settings and characters but my brain goes *tilt* on plot far too much for my liking. I'm going to try to stay as focused as I can which is a chore when you work 12 hour shifts with overtime tacked on just for fun.
I feel a rant starting so i'm going to stop now while I can.

A Commute to Remember

The train was really crowded. Mark knew that he should have left work at four thirty but he had to get the latest gossip on from Jean before leaving. Apparently, someone fell asleep on the last shift and was caught by another department's manager. He got a chuckle out of it then and a smirk formed on his face as he pictured Ross trying to explain exactly what he was doing.

The smirk disappeared as he also remembered that the thirty minute delay caused him to be caught up in the main rush out of the city. The subway car was packed. He had at least four people pressed against him. One smelled like he hasn't seen a shower in a week. There were two Asian women sitting near him chattering quite loudly in their own language. Mark strained to keep his grip as the car pitched left down the tunnel. The only thing saving him from being thrown was the rail running over his head. Unfortunately, the lady in the business suit lost her balance and stepped right on Mark's foot. She muttered what Mark took to be an apology.

He was thinking that he only had to endure this for four more stops when he felt a hand lightly caress his left buttock. His head came up in shocking surprise. He couldn't turn around to see who had groped him in the sardine can that was the subway train. He hoped that it was only a rogue hand not watching where it was going. Before he could contemplate more, he felt the exact same caress on his right buttock. This was no mistake. His heart raced in fear as he felt a very feminine shape press against his back.

"Stop that! I'm a married man for Christ's sake!" He tersely whispered over his shoulder. Both foreign hands clamped on his hips with an iron grip.

A sensuous voice whispered in his right ear, "I know that silly. I was hoping to bring you home tonight."

Before Mark could respond, a switch went off in his head as it processed the voice. He swung around to face the voice as best he could. The smelly man grumbled something under his breath at being jostled. His eyes looked into the brown ones of the woman behind him. The lips below the brown eyes opened from the Cheshire cat grin to kiss his. He returned her kiss and added a little pinch on her rump. He heard the bells sound as the doors opened at his station.

As he walked out of the train, he said "How was your day my dear?"

J R Deveau

Sorry 'bout the lenght but this was my first short story in almost nine years (school). It took me around 30 minutes while offline.

Good night all.

Sleepy Bear (aka J R Deveau)

Mark Thu Dec 7 20:17:28 PST 2000

Hi all. Just back from aerobics. Reading the shorts. Will get to the Workbook tomorrow. The stuff here is inspiring. Here's my longest shortie.
Biloxi, Mississippi. Keesler Air Force Base. May 1973. Vietnam winding down, I'm an Air Force photojournalist assigned to Keesler because it has a large military hospital. This is the place. MIA's and POW's from 'Nam will arrive here for care. My job is to write the "Operation Homecoming" handbook for men who have been held in Vietnam for as many as eight years. Three of us do the research on changes in America in order to make a presentation to men who won't know phrases like 'miniskirt' or 'flower child.' Men who think television happens in black and white will see it in color. Several men will only know 'Leave it to Beaver' as a popular show; they will arrive to watch 'All in the Family.' God I hate this job.
They tell us to be ready for men who won't leave their hospital rooms because they'll be afraid of freedom. Freakin wonderful. I'm writing a handbook that's supposed to reassure these guys. Yuh. Like they didn't see any handbooks over there. Lot of good men wasted in that nasty mess. Lot of saps chanting "My country right or wrong." I know who I'd like to write the book on.
Meanwhile, I'm a writer, I'm a photographer, Keesler has a base newspaper, I can write for it. Everybody must be "an outstanding airman." And on the radio, "everybody must get stoned." Just my luck -- I draw a Saturday job. Sergeant Joe Buttface is gonna get a meritorious service award. I'm gonna cover the presentation, I'm gonna take pictures. I'm gonna write it for the base paper. Fine. Lemme read the particulars.
Gawd. Can you believe it? This guy's last job was in Germany where he managed the Officer's Club. So the real story here is that Sergeant Buttface will be presented to the assembled base. Everyone can look at him and see a real go-along get-along guy. This guy's a lifer, and he's being brought in to his new job with a pat on the back in front of all the other career jockeys. He's an enlisted guy getting an award for kissing Officer ass, keping track of Officer bar tabs, calling Officer taxi, and smoothing over Officer ruckus when the bar was a little too open. Phooey.
Big dictionary in the news office. Must weigh 15 pounds. Wonder if I can find something that looks just like meritorious. I'll slip it in the story, go to the typesetter, make sure it runs, claim it was a typo. Meriter . . meritor . . merete .. MERETRICIOUS. Oooh, lovely. What's it mean? of or pertaining to a whore. HAH!
The story runs. Sergeant Buttface receives an award for meretricious service. Only one person complains. A colonel. The base vice-commander. His office is upstairs from the newsroom. He knows meretricious is a real word. He's sure some malcontent is surreptitiously modifying the content of the base paper. "Where's the airman who wrote this story?"
"Ah! Here's what I need. A fine dictionary."

Mary Thu Dec 7 19:51:43 PST 2000

Chuckles...left myself plenty of room there didnt I? Oops. Sorry. Don't have the foggiest idea how that happened.

Mary Thu Dec 7 19:49:04 PST 2000

Shortie night! Yay! So many people have contributed already, this is great. Rest assured put it in just right! Here is mine. Admittedly it gets kinda choppy in spots because this took me a lot longer than I thought it would and I was hurrying to get it here in time. Hope someone at least gets a laugh out of it. C-ya.

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the site
Not a soul came to visit or argue or write;
The chat room was empty, the Notebook was bare
Too busy with children and families and prayer.

The crits were all written, the poems all read
Looked like a good time to head off to my bed
When in through the window there came a loud crash
A black cloud of smoke and some smoldering ash.

I ran out the side door to check out the scene
Imagine my shock to find Pussy, our Queen!
Her crown was all cock-eyed, she gave a weak mew.
Her sled was bad mangled, and so was her crew.

Now Howard, Now Tina, Now Christi and Jerry!
Now Teekay, Now Debra, Now Rachel and Gary!
Get in here this instant before you catch cold
I want the whole story, won't rest 'til it's told.

I brought them inside and I gave them some tea
I handed out blankets and waited to see.
"It's Jon," Pussy said when she finally came 'round,
"I thought he was dead, but he's hid underground."

"We thought we could save him," said Howard down low
"Coulda pulled it off too if it weren't for the snow!"
A twist of his handles and nod of his head,
"I hear my wife calling, I'm going to bed."

By now word had spread of the sleigh ride gone sour
The sled had been stuck in Jack's shrubs for an hour.
First Hallee arrived and picked through the wreckage
Then Litter just laughed and surveyed the damage.

Allein and Eddie, and even Rosemary
Came for a look see, and then things got scary.
"It's time," Rachel said, funny look in her eyes.
Pussy agreed," Yes, lets say our good-byes."

"That's not what I mean, I think I'm in labor!"
"What?" Teekay bellowed...."I'll go fetch the neighbor!"
Rhoda was running, said, "I'll boil some water."
Arik said simply, "I'd best call the father."

Rachel was calm, very cool and collected
Heather took charge and nobody objected.
"Mark, bring us some sheets and a couple of towels.
Then call 911, " in between Rachel's howls.

All of the hurry and panic went hush
No more of the hustle, the bustle or rush
A beautiful baby was born on that night
Amidst a sleigh crash and a horrid cat fight.

Daddy arrived not a moment too soon
And I must admit, he looked ready to swoon
Isabella the babe slept in Rachel's arms
Wrapped in white sheets, like a little pink charm

The ambulance came and it took them away
We all looked around and had nothing to say
So we waved to them all as they drove out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Litter Thu Dec 7 19:00:02 PST 2000

Quickie night and I normally don't get the chance! Waiting up for an itinerant daughter to come home give me the chance, but its 3.00am and I'm a tad tired...

His hand was damp with sweat as he gripped and eased the slide back. A soft click and the hammer engaged. He guided the slide forward as it chambered the fresh round. Struggling to keep his breathing slow and even, he raised the weapon to shoulder height and extended his arm.

"Rear sight to fore sight, fore site to target, just as you were taught…" he thought to himself. But it wasn't as easy as he thought it was going to be. His hand shook.

He checked his breathing and lowered the weapon, cursing his own failings. He was sure that his heart could be heard in the quiet of the semi dark around him.

"One perfect shot would do it. Just one." He told himself, remaining unconvinced. He had heard that it wasn't easy but in his naiveté he imagined he had what it took.

Quietly, deliberately, he raised the weapon again, mind racing through all the things he had to remember. "Squeeze, don't pull." His mentor's voice sounded in his head. "Gently, like stroking the skin of a lover."

A loud crack… His hand bucked and his knees all but buckled beneath him. Good shot or bad, he knew that it was over. He didn't want to look.

The door behind him burst open jolting him back to reality. He looked into the eyes of the man approaching. Was he smiling? For a moment he dared to believe…

"Unless I miss my guess," the man said, "it looks like we have a new club champion!"

Who would have believed that a few holes in a bit of card could bring such pleasure?

Now I'm going to bed,



Teekay Thu Dec 7 18:37:36 PST 2000

HEATHER: I can only say that it is extremely lucky for Socrates that you were born long past his time. With your theories on life and love and closets and men, HEATHER would be the name that would go down in history. People would be saying Socrates? Socrates ...??? Wasn't that the soccer team Descatart played on? :-)
Keep'em comin'.

HOWARD: The wokking wounded. And for a moment there I thought you knew what you were talking about. :-)

JERRY: Veeeeery cool. I just love that laid back demeanour, and the ciggy is sooo James Dean. ;-)
Now I would never had pictured you to look like that from your recent photos.
Thanks JERRY, that was great.
And was that you as a baby? Joking. Joking.

MARK: Are you sure they were playing? Maybe the were just really p* and did fall down and break there leg, or is this some expression whichi is new to me? Probably. I haven't been in a bar for about 600 years now, so all my information is really out of date.

JACK: They sad bad things come in threes. Yours should be just about up now. Good luck to you.

ROSEMARY: I'm going to try it anyway and just slice open the top of the back near the end.

MARY: NO WAY!! I'm in the holiday spirit. I love Christmas and all the festive atmosphere. I'm like a kid counting the days till the big Happy Birthday. Can't wait!

CHRISTI: I was in a copper art type of store the other day and I saw a lamp that looked just like the one on Mary's desk. With kindness and love in my heart and a brain tumour in my head I hought of sending it to you as a special surprise-until I picked it up. I must have weighed nearly 30 kilos. But as they say, it's the` thought that counts. :-)

HALLEE: I'm popping open a bottle of champagne and one of sarsparilla. It's celebration time girl. CONGRATULATIONS. Are you going to let us take a look at it?

MARY: Ummmm, how do you make chili? I love chili. It's not chili con carne though is it? Because my first and onkly encounter with chili con carne was less that ammiable.

ARIK: Of course we were worried. You were in a war torn country and we didn't know what was going on and then we didn't here from you for ages. The least you could've done was ring! Do I sound like you Mum, only in English? However we are sooo glad your back. and well.
Did you get us any souveniers from Spain?

FRAN: Don't tell them how old you are if you think that's what's holding you back from being published.

JERRY LEE: Good story. I liked it a lot.

HOWARD: Very amusing. Gotta ask, where did that one come from?

here's my shortie.

George rabbit was feeling extremely peckish, so it was providential that he happened to notice a takeaway cafe just a few yards up the block.
Merrily he hopped in (as rabbits do) and ordered himself a tomato and cheese toasted sandwhich, which he took outside and promptly devoured at one of the cafes outside tables.
Unfortunately the sandwhich didn't quite abate th hunger so he hopped back in and this time decided that he would rather have an avacado and ham toasted sandwhich. Again he took his sandwhich outside and promptly devoured it.
Within seconds Geaorge rabbit was dead. It was very sudden, he probably didn't even see it coming. The autopsy revealed that porr George had suffered from a fatal case of mix a my toasties.

I don't know if you have it over there but, mixamatosis is a virus which was put around to cull the rabbit population.

Going now, last bit of Christmas shopping to do,

Rhoda Thu Dec 7 18:27:30 PST 2000

I too will try my hand Thursday night shorties. It is a little long for a shorty, but I did the best I could.

Dr. Von Striburn’s gaze bored through me as he entered the office. I had almost walked away, for he was fifteen minutes late for our appointment. Evidently he had been called away shortly before I came, for a half-finished glass of ice-tea sat upon his desk and a book was opened in the middle of a chapter about free radicals.

The white painted bookcases against the white walls gave an atmosphere as sterile as the man who now stood behind the desk. Next to his name plate was another plate with the name “God” in large letters. Very appropriate, I thought, for not only did he consider himself God, but the whole scientific community considered him so as well. He had not as yet won a Nobel prize, but few doubted that one distinction would soon be added to his pile of accolades and awards. Dr. Maurice Von Striburn was certainly the star upon which our university’s school of biochemistry hung its future prestige.

Here I was, a lowly research assistant and doctoral candidate standing before this man who could not even condescend to teach a graduate class or visit one of the many laboratories where the data for his papers and experiments were churned out around the clock. Though I had seen him from a distance at many a seminar, this was the first time I had ever seen him up close.

Anger lit his small dark eyes as he studied me. He sneered at me in contempt. Suddenly I was aware of my ill-kept appearance, a consequence of spending most of my life holed up in the laboratory. I no longer shaved and so had a beard I never bothered to groom. The hair that hung to my shoulders was tangled and oily. Of course I never went to my apartment to eat. After two years of calling out for pizza or acquiring my meals through the drive-through windows of various fast food restaurants, I was at least fifty pounds overweight.

“How dare you question my results,” he said in a low voice. “That display you gave before the faculty sickened me. Of course no one believed you, you fool.”

“I-I w-was only stating what my research had shown,” I stammered.

“Your research,” he hissed. “You call that research. You whelp, I will have you drummed out of this university. After I am through with you, no research team will touch you with a ten foot pole. You are finished in biochemistry.”

“If I am to be punished for being right, then so be it, but I will not take back a thing I said. To begin human trials on your Zopplemax would be a big mistake. The stuff is toxic to humans.”

“How would you know? We have done animal trials, spectroscopic analysis, toxicological analysis. It is a derivative of salicylic acid. Of course it is safe. I have never patented anything that hasn’t been of profound medical benefit. I have thirty years of experience to my credit.”

“Zopplemax is deadly, believe me.”

His face flushed redder than a beet. I saw a pulse pounding in his forehead. He drew a deep breath in an effort to get a hold of himself. He reached for his tea and took a swig.
“Get out,” he groaned. “Get out before I forget who I am and slug you.”

I took a glance at the biceps bulging under his lab coat and reasoned that he could land me in the hospital if he had a mind to it. The guy must have worked out at the gym every day of his life.

“Is it hot in here?” he asked in a faint voice. “It is so hot.” Suddenly he clutched the corner of the table and held on as if for support. “Oh, my God, I am so angry at you I am having a heart attack.” He grabbed the phone and practically threw it at me. “Quickly, call 911 and get the paramedics.”

“You are not having a heart attack, Dr. Von Stribin. Your discomfort and your consequent demise only proves my claim. Zopplemax is indeed toxic. You see, while you kept me waiting for my appointment, I took the liberty of dumping some of it into your ice tea. You thought the stuff ready for human trial, and I took you up on your challenge, sir. You are your own first and only human trial. At least you won’t have to live down the humiliation for being wrong.”

I moved away as Dr. Von Stribin collapsed upon the desk.

For what it's worth,


Rosemary Thu Dec 7 18:23:46 PST 2000

Evening everyone.

This is my first try at a short short. It seems to have no beginning, very little middle and a sort of end. To keep it short, you have to give up something.


"Cindy, have you seen my book?" Julia was digging under the edge of the couch.

Cindy looked up from her reading and frowned. "What book?"

"You know, the one I had last night. I don't remember the title, but the author is what's his name and it's really really good." Julia gave up on the couch and moved on to the coffee table.

"Well--what color was it?" Cindy looked around but little interest showed on her face.

A pile of magazines landed on the floor as Julia plowed through the table. She stopped her search and sat on the sofa. "It was green. Or maybe blue. I know it had the name of it on the front in large red letters. Or maybe black."

Cindy glanced at the book in her lap. "Why don't you just start a new book. That one doesn't seem to have made a deep impression on you."

A disappointed sigh escaped Julia. "I really felt I was learning a lot from it."

"It'll show up. Things around here always do." As Cindy stood to leave, she slid into her purse a deep green book with bright red letters that blared, 'IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY IN FIVE EASY LESSONS!'

Have a good night all

Eddie French Thu Dec 7 16:27:35 PST 2000

Here's my effort for Thursday nights shortie.
Don't expect too much!

The Diggers day

Here they come. I'd better get out of the way. Bit early for lunch but what the hell.

Keep an eye on 'em from up by the oak.
Bloody back's acting up again this morning.

Not many of 'em come to see this one off. Who is it then? Let's see. Hmm plot 314.

Joseph Vaugn O'Farrell, aged forty five.
That must be his wife being helped up the driveway. Taking it badly eh?
Maybe he wasn't insured. Naw...she'd have a face like thunder if it was money, no...she's gonna miss 'im alright.
What's on these sandwiches then. Bugger..cheese and onion again.

That'll be the son there helpin' her to the grave. Looks like he's ready for home already. Nice coat, nice shoes.
Two daughters by the look if it. The one behind will be the sons wife. She looks pissed off too.

He's wasn't one of the boys then, no tricolor over the coffin, no shots over the grave today.
A quiet affair then. No bloody helicopters flyin' over all mornin' disturbin the peace.
Wonder what he did, before?
He was no bloody yuppie that's for sure.

Bloody hell..tea's lukewarm. I'll ask Catherine for a new flask this Saturday.

The son looks like he does alright though. He's the busy type, really busy, lookin' at his watch already.
Cheap coffin, one car, not a shipyard worker, Catholic.
Unemployed by the look if it. Best out of it if you ask me.
Girls will be gone soon, married off. There's no help comin' from the son.

If she doesn't get burned out by the heathens she'll be back under my shovel within two years.
Yep, I reckon I'll be seein' her soon enough.
Town's gone to the dogs.

Startin' to rain. Father Clancy'll not keep us too long then.

My back's achin' like hell already.
I'm gonna need that rubbin' linement tonight.

howard Thu Dec 7 15:41:01 PST 2000

ARIK! -- It's good that you're back among the presently accounted for! Had us a bit worried, there!

FRAN -- I agree, there's no reason to volunteer any more information than absolutely necessary. Wait until they send you your first royalty check, and then tell them they can use your tender age as an advertising feature!

MARY -- What can I say? Except "Hmmpf hmpff hfmpp harumph har har har harhhr!!!! kaff kaff kaff! " Sorry, every time I'm caught up in hysterical laughter I get to coughing, and have to stop to catch my breath! At least I didn't ralf all over the keyboard this time.

Here's a stab at a "short shortie" -- hope I ppput it innn rriggghhttmmmmmmmmfhhhhahahahahahah! (ulp)

"Hi! May I speak with Mr Saunders?"
"Who may I say is calling?"
"This is Maynard Flang, with Caller's Choice long distance service. Did you kno..."
"Just a minute, I'll see if he wants to talk to you. Dad, dad? Oh, crap!"
"I can call back later if that would be bet..."
"No, it's alright. Just wait until I get his respirator reconnected. Dad? Dad! O my God, DAD! MAYNARD! Talk to him while I get another oxygen tank!"

Jerry Lee Thu Dec 7 14:02:18 PST 2000

Yo all,

I agree with Rhoda on this one. Don't share information that they don't need to know. In fact, a bit of deception is not unheard of in the literary community. Remember "Little Women"? The author couldn't get published for her magazine articles until she stopped showing up in person and started using her initials so as to not give away her feminine name.

Great to hear you're okay! We were all concerned. I guess that this means that you should not do anything before letting us know first. :)

Good for you! Congratulations on your win! (I knew you could do it.)

Dang, been there, done that...That said, this too will pass. AND nine times out of ten, the people I've talked to about this kind of thing say that, in retrospect, it was really a good thing being forced into changes that they would not have made of their own volition. So be patient and be brave, we are all behind you, friend.

Budgie Rustling?...isn't that a little helecopter? Does it pay well?

Jerry E.,
I enjoyed all but the last picture on your page, but I downloaded it and plan to post it myself (with minor changes) AFTER the fat lady sings.

My shorty.......

The radio played softly in the corner of the day room as the senior citizens talked in groups or stared out the big picture window that faced south toward the trees across the river.

Irma and Jerome's discussion of election-year politics was getting decidedly loud when Frank yelled loudly from the corner, "Shutup, everyone! Listen to this."

He turned up the volume on the radio sitting next to his rocking chair.
Immidiately, the conversations stopped and tinny sound ruled in the big room. After a few seconds of recognition, nearly half of the old folks began singing along to the old song, reminding each of happier times when they were young. Times when the back seat of a car was the ultimate destination and what movie had just started at the theater was the major topic of conversation.

"Inna-godda-da-vida, baby..."

Take it easy!
Jerry Lee

Rhoda Thu Dec 7 12:54:59 PST 2000


Glad you have come to join us on the Notebook.

I would not mention to publishers that you are 18. Your age is none of their business unless you are submitting to a publication that has asked material from people of a certain age group. Besides if you don't give your age you know that no one will reject you on that basis.

I would venture to say that your age has no direct influence on your failure to get published. There are may reasons people do not get published and age is rarely a factor. It could be that you still have much to learn about writing. Heck, I am 40 and sure to succeed, but I have not learned everything there is to know.

It is hard to get published especially if you are writing book-length fiction. There are a host of very good writers who are not yet published, and some have been trying for years. Furthermore talent is only a small part of the equation. Consider how many books you have read by people who have very little talent. Yet these people had persistence, contacts, pure dumb luck, ruthlessness, or something other than talent that got them published.

I admire your teacher's support for your efforts and no doubt if you keep working at it you will succeed as a writer, but unless you are Anne Rice's teen-age son or Brittany Spears you have to consider that hardly anyone hits the ground running right out of high school and immediately publishes a book. I am sure there are exceptions, but statistically your chances are not so good.

There is so much to learn, and you are so young. Do not get discouraged; just try to find out why your submissions have been rejected and keep an open mind, because very likely there were good reasons. Also develop a thick skin. Most editors you run into are not going to be as kind as your teacher. These people are not so much into encouraging and developing young talent as they are into selling books and making money. Learn about the publishing business. Go to writing seminars and conferences and meet other writers. But just realize that getting published is for most people a very painstaking and sometimes very demanding process.


I am glad to know that you still reside in the land of the living. Praise God, Israel is still around and so are you. Glad to know you had fun in Spain. While we were here worried sick about you, you were frolicking in the surf and sunshine. I'll forgive you for that this time.

Got to go pick a kid up from school.


Debra Thu Dec 7 12:42:25 PST 2000


It's okay. I will stop crying now. Thanks.

I'm trying to sound like E-yore.


Thu Dec 7 12:30:06 PST 2000

mary, I think the word you want is POST! POST a short shortie tonight! Post is the word. yes. post.

Thu Dec 7 12:29:53 PST 2000

mary, I think the word you want is POST! POST a short shortie tonight! Post is the word. yes. post.

Thu Dec 7 12:29:41 PST 2000

mary, I think the word you want is POST! POST a short shortie tonight! Post is the word. yes. post.

Fran Thu Dec 7 11:56:18 PST 2000

I am an aspiring writer. My English teachers said I was sure to suceed, however I don't get published due to my age. I'm 18 years old, and when I send off manuscripts I tell the publishers this. They don't even read my work. How does everyone feel about that?

Rosemary Thu Dec 7 11:48:17 PST 2000

Hi there,
It's a beautiful day here (for a change).

Please, please post your prize winning story. I'm sure we all would love to read it, analyze it, tear it apart. Just to see how we should be doing it. And to enjoy your good fortune.

Good day all,

Mary Thu Dec 7 10:05:25 PST 2000

ARIK: For crying out loud I thought you were dead or something. 50 Lashes with a wet noodle! I will forgive you if you put in a short shortie tonight. Ummmm....that sounds funny but I think I will leave it. Glad to see your name here again. bye

Christi Thu Dec 7 08:53:08 PST 2000

Debra, Don't cry! I was saving the best for last! :( HI!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm vewwy vewwy sowwwy.)

Arik, It is so wonderful to see you and know that you are okay! Hope your trip was fun.

Yay, ghostie time is coming soooooooooooooooooooooon.

Off to read Hallee's story.


Mary Thu Dec 7 07:26:31 PST 2000

HALLEE: Read your story over in the workbook and enjoyed it very much. Left you a few notes on the crit page too. :-)

HOWARD: Dry perfection.

RICHARD: I like the way your mind works. Left you some notes on the crit as well.

Allein Thu Dec 7 07:15:01 PST 2000

Hallee - CONGRATULATIONS!! I look foreward to reading your story!


Heather Thu Dec 7 06:48:35 PST 2000

Yahoooooo! (ahem) YAHOOOOOOO! Congratulations, Hallee!
I agree with you about the difficulty of writing short stories - hard to develop characters with such limited space. In your winning story, you did a great job with the development. It's terribly hard, but when you're done, it only appears to be easy (introductions of characters, backround, etc). If only everything that looked so easy, was. But then, it wouldn't be much of an accomplishment...

Jack - will pop my intro for ghost stories your way and we can get the robin rolling!


That's all for now,
time for my son to snork down some brekkie.

Debra Thu Dec 7 05:18:55 PST 2000


You forgot me!



Hallee Thu Dec 7 02:58:21 PST 2000

Thanks guys...the story's posted. I had a feeling I wouldn't get away with not doing it.

It was titled "The Mystery of Love". It had to have a mystery and a love story and be under 3,000 words. I think mine was 2,998. It also had to contain 5 words..I can't remember all of them - vertigo, case, notorious - there's 2 more but I can't rememeber.

For those of you who do short stories on a regular basis - kudos to you. This was HARD. The plot, characters, conflict, resolution - all of it in a space that's about half of the size of one of my normal chapters - I wasn't sure I could do it.

Enjoy it - and thanks again.


Arik Thu Dec 7 02:08:52 PST 2000

Guys, Guys! I am alright!!!
Thanks for the warrie!!!
I was in spain for some time and forgot to tell you. Everything is ok here! I am 100% safe. I was so suprised o see how much you have warried about me! thank you guys. thank you!

How are you? Whats new here? How is jon, mary, americana, RACHEL, rhoda, christi, Jerry, Howard, Mark, teekay Litter any the others... I am sure I forgot someone..... I am SURE of it :-).

Jerry Ericsson Wed Dec 6 22:01:10 PST 2000

HALLEE - WAY TO GO! I am looking forward to reading that great story.


Christi Wed Dec 6 21:25:49 PST 2000

Er, that was me. And here's one more I forgot.

Mark, Cha-ching?

Wed Dec 6 21:24:07 PST 2000

Too much to catch up on when I'm ever so tired. Here goes the quickest rundown I've ever accomplished!

Jerry, It was neat to see you through the years. Thanks for the pictures!

Jack, I wish I could give you a hug.

Heather, Liked what you said. ;0)

Hallee, Congratulations!!!!!!!! Yea girl!!

Eddie, Long live Homer.

Gariess, Now send that essay to your phone company and credit card companies for full retaliation. I loved it!

Litter, Can't wait to check out your essays.

Hi Rosemary, and Rhoda and Pepper.

Howard, Can't wait to check out your story.

Did I miss anyone?

Going ... going ... GONE!


howard Wed Dec 6 19:36:21 PST 2000

HALLEE! -- Congratulations! Way to go!

MARK -- Sorry about that! :-) We used to write "shaggy dog" stories just for practice. Never got out of the habit.

JERRY -- I haven't been able to connect to your page yet, so I haven't seen your pix. Dunno why that is, but I'll keep trying.

MARY -- I thought I'd get a headstart on "shortie night" but got carried away again. Results (another dialog exercise) are posted in the workbook. Dunno where it came from, but my wife read it and now thinks I'm weird. Go figure...


Tina Wed Dec 6 19:07:31 PST 2000

Talk about the power of suggestion! Nothing else could be done until I made chili! Awesome idea Mary!

Post it! Please? You didn't mention where it's being published, but given circumstances I doubt I'll get any other chance to read it! Don't worry about the critique, I'll be reading for pure pleasure!

Jack, oooh that bites. But you're so talented that I'm sure something better is waiting. (((HUGS)))

Litter, I'll go find those pieces! I've loved the bit of your work that I've read.

Mary, I've worked in retail for so long that I'm a bit of a grinch until The Day is nearly here. My sure fire spirit-builder is to do Christmas crafts. I'm working on a wreath for my sister-in-law, and making Christmas cards. Now I just need a good, solid dump of snow so I can make a snowperson!

'Imagination is greater than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.'
Albert Einstein (paraphrased in case I worded it wrong)


Hallee Wed Dec 6 18:49:01 PST 2000

Okay - caught up.

JACK: My prayers are with you. My husband just started a new job. Two more days until the first real paycheck in three weeks - and God provided even after the electric cutoff notice was on the door on Monday (notice - it's Wedneday and I have power (smile))

((Mary)) Hugs to you - we're moving into a new (somehow nicer and cheaper) house next week. Maybe you're feeling sympathy pains for my lack of holiday spirit until I can get my own decorations up.

MARK..errr...thanks for the change...I think.

Okay - that's all I had to respond to.

Have a great night all!


Hallee Wed Dec 6 18:36:25 PST 2000

Hey everyone!

It's been nuts lately. One thing after another.

HEATHER: As far as I know, nothing has changed. For the good or the bad. I had the kids tonight. The little boy - his behavior problems are getting worse - the girl - she's withdrawing from everything. Things at home must be bad.

Well - I wrote a short story. My first ever other than the very rare dabblings on shortie short night. I wrote it for a contest and entered (this was my first contest). I got the email tonight telling me that I WON FIRST PLACE!! HAHAHA I can't stand it - this is too exciting. I'd post it in the short stories section - but I have no time to read and critique right now, none at all, so it wouldn't seem fair since I'm not giving anything back. But still, it's hard to stay sitting in my chair.

Anyway, I'm off to get caught up on the posts. Happy Wednesday all!


Eddie Wed Dec 6 15:24:48 PST 2000

Not being one for newspapers I really couldn't tell you.
I can't remember the last time I bought one.
As for the election 'problems' over your side, our news bulletins have just about dropped the story to somewhere between the continuing rail network disruption and 'And Finally'

Hya back.

Been there soooooo many times. Something WILL come up. (That's our family motto)

Have a good evening all.

Rosemary Wed Dec 6 12:47:40 PST 2000

Hi again,
The Chili sounds great. Especially today. Have you tried Mexican Corn Bread? It included canned corn, bacon, cheese and jalapeno peppers besides the regular cornbread mix. Good stuff. If you use creamed corn, it has a thick pudding or custard consistency. I found this out by accident. :o)

Going for sure this time.

Litter Wed Dec 6 11:48:44 PST 2000

Happy Wednesday all.

MARK -- Thanks for the Hundred Mumbled Welcomes. I'll overlook that you welcomed me in Irish Gaelic rather than Scottish -- no matter, welcomes are welcomes and the two grew out of one in any event. (Ceud, for those that are wondering…)

JERRY -- Is it the Guardian to which you refer? The only newspaper in the entire history of English printing to have spelled it's own masthead name wrong -- about 30 something years ago something like 300,000 copies of the newspaper were distributed before it was realised that 'Guardian' appeared on the papers masthead as 'Grauniad'… (smirk) The satirical magazine 'Private Eye' still uses Grauniad' when referring to the newspaper and goes to great pains never to correct the name to the proper spelling.

JACK -- you have my sympathies. There was something I heard a lot of years ago which seems strangely pertinent to your situation. It went something like -- I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown next week. It's my turn, I've worked hard for it and everyone round about me is having one, so now it's my turn and I'm gonna have one whether I need it or not.
It is probably hugely misquoted but you get the idea…

As for women using both sides of their brains at the same time -- Isn't that called Bi-polar disorder??? :o)

A little bit of writing news -- Wonderful article entitled 'Missing Scripture Found in Vatican Vault' can be seen at:

and another article on 'England Sinking' can be found at:

Both were written by someone very close to me -- me!

Have a look, see what you think. Now I'll go and read some more of the archives and get up to date.

Ciao for now,


Mary Wed Dec 6 11:00:27 PST 2000

Hi again!

ROSEMARY: It's cold here too--and speaking of crock pots (again), mine is full of five alarm chili! Good day for it I thought. If you are going to have chili you have to have corn bread, so that's in the oven now too.

Is anyone else having trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year? I just don't know what's the matter with me. I have all the decorations up, the kids are punching out doors of their advent calendar, and the dogs is wearing her antlers. I have been blasting my Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis Christmas CDs all day trying to stir something, but no luck. I am going to read the "Gift of the Magi" tonight when I go to bed, maybe that will do the trick.

On a different note, this desk is driving me crazy! I miss all my stuff! I feel like I just want to dump my wastepaper basket right in the middle of the thing. It is supposed to make me feel serene and keep me from being distracted. It is not working. I am hoping this phase will pass and I will go back to loving my newly uncluttered desk~~~soon.

Mary Wed Dec 6 10:44:33 PST 2000

Went to Arik's site and found exactly what I expected to find: Nothing. Sent him an email, but I am not optimistic about getting a response. I think it must be proving very difficult for him to get online.

Rosemary Wed Dec 6 10:41:05 PST 2000

A Nice cold day to you all.

Really great pictures. Killer sideburns in the picture of you in the patrol car.

Sorry about the job. That had to be a shock. The company that I worked for for 14 years was bought by Kodak. They said "don't worry. We'll only sell off the Retail portion of the company." I immediately paid off all my bills and started working all the overtime I could get and socked away every cent I could save. Sure enough, three years later they moved our office to Durham North(south?)Carolina. At least it wasn't a shock. Good luck in your job hunting endevors.

The roast you want wouldn't work in a crock pot anyway so it's ok that you don't have one. Enjoy and be happy.

That nice long windy post was well done. I was able to read all the way through without losing interest. That's not easy in these days of short attention spans, which it seems that I have acquired right along with the younger generation. I must be reverting. If my joints would just go along with the program, everything would be great.

Got to go Christmas Shopping.

Debra Wed Dec 6 08:28:37 PST 2000


Thank you I know I would feel better if I knew he was all right.

Debra Wed Dec 6 08:04:49 PST 2000

Cool site link of the day.

Mary Wed Dec 6 07:57:59 PST 2000

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you.

HEATHER: How is your new machine? I would be jealous if I weren't having so much fun with my neighbor's new PC without having to make the payments myself.

Went to to get some music, and to listen to the samples they want me to download a liquidaudio player. Anybody here have that? I have windows media player 7, a couple of different juke boxes, and realplayer already. could that liquidaudio player replace them, or would I have yet another music icon on my desktop?

JACK: I remember once when I was young my father got laid-off right before Christmas...we thought it was the end of the world. He had nineteen years put in there at the time, and it had been his first and only job. (Except kid jobs)...It turned out to be the best thing that could possibly have happened for us. He learned that the skills he had were worth a lot to other companies, got a new job very quickly, and is a lot further along than he ever would have been if he had stayed with the first job. All things happen for a reason Jack, even when we don't know what that reason is. Good luck, and our thoughts are with you.

LITTER: Glad to see you.

DEBRA: I am worried about Arik too. I think I will go over to his site today and see if there is anything there to clue us in on whether he is alright or not. I am not expecting there to be because if he could get online....he would post at least a few words here. I would like to think he would anyway. He knows we worry.

Thursday night is short shortie night again. I can't wait! I would like to see everyone who has never participated put a little something in that night.

JON: Are you ready to be rescued yet?

AMERICO: I think I read somewhere that you want to brush up on your french? When I did that I logged on to French yahoo. Everything I did on the internet after that point was in french(if it went thru yahoo that is). Just an idea~~I thought it was a fun way to use it or lose it.

I guess thats it. Bye.

Jerry Ericsson Wed Dec 6 07:39:52 PST 2000

JACK - So sorry to hear about your job trouble, I wish there were something I could do to help, but alas, there is nothing to offer except some prayers, and good thoughts. As has been said, I am sure that one so talented will not be out of work long. Just look on the bright side, you will have some time to spend at home and if you are like most of us, it will be a very nice break. Oh and by the way, you have the right to be just a bit depressed, so just go ahead for a day or so, then smile and get on with life.


Pepper Wed Dec 6 07:27:21 PST 2000

Teekay - I'm a girl. And I won't get down, I enjoy kissing (licking) people's faces.

Rhoda Wed Dec 6 07:05:47 PST 2000


Frank and I will be praying for you in your search for a new job. My husband and i have been in this position before and know how rough it is. I am sure that someone as talented as you will be able to get a new job soon. If it is any comfort, for Frank his lay-off at first was at first the end of the world, for he had worked for AMACO since he had been out of college, but there is no denying that several years later he is infinitely better off than the folks who were kept. Frank was let go at the very first lay-off and for about the next ten years after, AMACO must have had at least one lay-off every year. Frank was able to get on with his life and his career without the shadow hanging over him speculating if he would be let go in the next one.

I have heard much about the problems with the's right now. I regret that these things spilled over into your life. Give my regards to Fran. I'm thinking of her also.

Take care,


Debra Wed Dec 6 05:14:36 PST 2000


I can't thank you enough for that. I always need a good laugh when I get the kids off to the buss. I laughed so hard that the twins who remain behind were forced to look at me when they wanted to remain playing their little imaginary game.

That was goooooooooooooood!

Save that. You should publish it in a women's magazne.


Debra Wed Dec 6 05:09:22 PST 2000


I knew you were not trying to make me feel bad. In fact, it is quite evident that you must be a Saint. God had a special place for you in heaven and I'm sure you will have closet space and always an open bathroom.

Bless you!


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Dec 5 23:03:49 PST 2000

Well, all, it has been an interesting week. In the Chinese sense of that word. I spent the last part of last week going off to Florida for SMOFcon, unhappily arriving two hours after a shuttle launch took off in the immediate area of where I was at in Florida. Still, I had fun going to the Space Center and may in fact post some of the pictures online when I have a moment.

The big news, however, was that upon arriving back tired, but overall happy at the experience I had going to a convention for science fiction convention runners, I was ready to head back to work. Only problem was that when I arrived I discovered people saying good bye to each other. My had turned to dot.compost. Translation, half of the work force was laid off. Myself included. Just now revamping my resume and still a little overwhelmed by the sudden and unexpected nature of it all. I was working ten to thirteen hour days last week. Only to come back to this. All in all, between deaths, job losses and other issues, I am ready for a good depression somewhere down the line. Still, I should not be overly surprised. This seems to be the time for a general meltdown in the tech sector. Maybe after the first of the year some things can right themselves.

Take care all and when I get the info for the new round robin please feel free to send away or leave a version here and I will cut and paste it to get things started over on the Workbook.

Mark Tue Dec 5 21:33:31 PST 2000

HOWARD -- such a groaner that was. My half-brain attention mechanism got all the way to the bottom before it knew what befell it.

Half-brain and balance-brain attentions -- they must be the reasons why some of us love the Three Stooges and others loathe them. Or almost loathe. Half a loathe?

On the idea of men concentrating on one thing in full particulate detail -- Ever been in a car with a man when he is lost? He will concentrate on street signs so fully that he must turn down the radio.

HEATHER -- Well said.

LITTER -- cead mumble failte. Celt and Pole? Yes, both have an undue fondness for the drink. I remember meeting Maria Borokowski; suddenly I loved all things Polish. I still make potato salad with kielbasa. Hmm. Around here it's kielbasa, in Buffalo it's kielbasi. One is singular and one is plural; I forget which is which. There are more Polish people in Buffalo than in Warsaw. Fine place to hang out.

EDDIE -- Hiya

TEEKAY -- Likewise. btw, do guys in Aussie pubs still fall down and play 'broken leg'?

DEB-LEIGH -- There's seldom a single conversation here, more like multiple serial conversations (all of which are open to you). I open the NoteBook, scan it, then open Windows Notepad on top of the NoteBook and write into Notepad as I read through NB. When I am ready to post my incandescence to this forum, I click Edit in Notepad, then Select All, then Edit again then Copy. Having thus copied all my points of conversation, I can then click into the NoteBook, go to Posting Area, insert my name, click into the big posting box and paste all my copied stuff. (Edit -- Paste works. Though I usually do it on the keyboard with a shift-insert combination.)

ROSEMARY, ALLEIN, RHODA, CHRISTI, HALLEE -- Thanks. Keep the change.

TINA -- "If I see farther than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." Alexander Pope

JERRY -- Guy on Monday Night Football had a good sign last night. Showed a married(?) couple having trouble and then the state of Florida. The couple with Erectile dysfunction and Florida with Electile dysfunction.
You know what Gores me most about Bush? He spent millions of dollars to elbow out John McCain. And Gore, what a prize he is:: couldn't carry Tennessee. I think the Florida legislature should offer to send 23 Bush votes to the electoral college and 2 Gore votes. That would put the College into a 269 - 269 deadlock and then we'd get to see how the people at the top make the decision.

As David Letterman said: "Right now George W Bush is not president and Al W Gore is not president. Can't we keep it that way?"


DEBRA -- We are actually a bit cramped. Each of us needs closet space, elbow room, etc. There are two hallways here which only allow one-way traffic when one of the people going through has a walker. Going between the computer and the kitchen can take an extra two or three minutes if I have to wait for walker traffic to clear. We have four women here on water pills and only three bathrooms on this floor. When I have to go to the bathroom (hold my phone calls, will ya?), I have to either go up or down a set of stairs.

GARIESS -- I would have thought your piece inventive, except for having been there. Painful stuff in there. You can't get to think that way until you've been in the maze enough times to remember where some of the turns are. Well done.

Jerry Ericsson Tue Dec 5 21:32:41 PST 2000

EDDY - Just watching this show on television, and they made reference to the Democratic Gordian in England as a source for showing the bad things that happened in our recent election fiasco. What the heck is this magazine or newspaper that one of our fine democratic attorneys would use it as a source of reference to run down the republican party (which in fact I am a card carrying member of) here in the U.S. ?


Jerry Ericsson Tue Dec 5 19:47:44 PST 2000

Owhard - wokking wounded, thats bad sooooo bad, I love it!

Jerry Ericsson Tue Dec 5 19:24:32 PST 2000

Just for the hell of it, I put some old and a few more recent photos up on a webpage, the link is above. Hope you enjoy them, they are a sort of history of me.


Heather Tue Dec 5 19:18:02 PST 2000


HALLEE - my email isn't working yet so I'm going to ask my husband to untangle everything and have it back in order very soon. As soon as that is unkinked, we'll be able to chat about the aforementioned difficulties! (I hope I'm not too late to help)

If your family has trouble locating apparel on a regular basis, it could be any one of the following reasons:

1) No one knows what a closet is except you
2) You covered your tracks to the coat closet so well, they lost the scent
3) You have what is known as a closet devil. Immediate exorcism is a must! Consult your local Priest for easy-to-follow exorcism recipe. Also makes extra exorcism batter to rid the entire house of bedeviled closet space.
4) Your closet is actually a Matter Transport Device. I wondered where those coats came from!
5) Thinsulate is a popular product used by spies. They may have mistaken your family's outer-wear for the long-lost disguise for 'the microfilm'.
6) You've papered your closet door to match the wall, and you did such a fine job that only you know where the real seams are.
7) Your family uses flimsy excuses to make you find everything.
8) Your closet is actually the portal to Narnia. Right now a stinky, cloven-hoofed Pan is wearing your London Fog.
9) Any three of the above.

Howard, you're sexy with that handlebar.
Teekay, your wit is so sharp it keeps my sides asunder! LOL

'Richarles' (Richard!): Keep your awareness keen. We need more people like you inhabiting this planet and waking up the senseless mass. Feel like making a speech tour? The Canadian Teachers Association is awaiting your essay-style reply. ;o)

Gariess: Let me guess. You composed that post while on hold with Mastercard.

On Socks and Other Misdemeanors: My husband doesn't wear any, nor does he wear any clothes. It's simply too much for him to bend over and retrieve them from the gigantic pile on the floor, over on his side of the room. If I were to decipher which is the 'clean pile' and which is the 'filthy pile', it would take me ten years, and my nose would need an 'out of odour' sign. Don't get me wrong - he does get his laundry done - if only he wouldn't dump it on the floor while extracting the item he needs at the bottom of the stack.

On Men's Minds Versus Women's minds: We already know there are two distinctly different systems of hormones at work
at any odd hour in men's and women's bodies. We know that estrogen and progesterone vs. testosterone is the same as comparing XY to XX. Algebra can only tell us that 'x' and 'y' are like apples and oranges: If you add 3 apples to 5 oranges, you still have 3a and 5o. (Or a new member of the fruit family) You don't have 8 apple-oranges. Men will go to great lengths trying to prove that their system of logic is efficient, logical, and uncontestable. Women find this very suspicious. Why go to such great lengths to prove what is obvious? Oranges and apples are food, not proof. X and Y may not be add-friendly, but they sure are sexy in underwear.
Men may blame the missing length of chromasome material for their lack of synchronicity. XY is not as balanced as XX. Testosterone stands alone, with no other hormone to level with. This is why bar-buddies are essential to men. Then again, women are said to be the ones most imbalanced of the two. We SWING, back and forth between lover and nag, bitch and sugar-sweet vixen. I say, what's life without waves?

So, effectually, men and women think differently. This is old hat. Perhaps we might delve into why this is, rather than what it may signify. We already know it points to the notion that women use more of their mind when listening because we want to hear EVERYTHING. Men condense it, get the gist, and are already thinking about whether or not they can leave before the talker begins whining. It's not a question of which sex can do more things at once. If you're a parent, it doesn't matter if you're mom or dad. You are capable of performing five tasks at once, blindfolded.
Using less of the brain to focus with provides men with a telescope into humanity that is detail oriented, but perhaps they miss the larger picture. Women focus on a wider range, but they may miss the finer nuance. And then again, this is why the microcope and the wide angle lens were invented!
And then again, I don't think this is really a question of sex; it is a case of history. Women have been brought up to manage a household of children, men have been brought up to be singleminded bread-winners. So, evolutionarily speaking, that could explain the differences.

Sorry, half of that previous 'writing spasm' was pure 'goof off' material, with barely a serious point in it. The very last paragraph is the only actual solemn statement, which may or may not prove I am, in fact, a notorious bumbling rogue.



P.S. I did, in fact, concoct the opening paragraphs to introduce the ghost story round robin, for Jack to use when he creates a new section in the RR pages. I have yet to email it to him, since the internet explorer I am using is not the same as the one I used for email in the past. We are working on re-connecting to get back into the email stream. By the way - my email will remain the SAME, we decided to do that to fend of confusion. (mostly on our part, ha ha)

"The real tradgedy in life is not that children are afraid of the dark; it is that men are afraid of the Light."


howard Tue Dec 5 19:14:49 PST 2000

LITTER! -- Good to see you again among the digitally active! I hope the realignment wasn't too traumatic, for either component.

TEEKAY -- Nekkid, yes. I think I'll begin again.

QUOTES? -- One of my favorites is:
"You can't run away from trouble, ain't no place that far."
- Uncle Remus

GARIESS -- Brilliant!

MARK -- Here's another article I wrote a (long) while back, after much research:

Historians researching oriental cultures have found that
during the second dynasty in China certain warlords were
somewhat less than sensitive in their treatment of their
footsoldiers. They were used, misused, and abused at the whim of their leaders. Stories of their shoddy treatment have been passed down through legend and folk tales, and one event stands out to this day as typical of the treatment these ancient warlords afforded their troops.

It seems that one army had been decimated by the enemy.
Scarcely one in ten had escaped unharmed. There were not
enough to guard the camp, let alone fight. Nevertheless, in a fit of egotism, the warlord ordered a great feast to be
prepared in his honor.

His captains, to their credit, protested on the grounds that
the cooks were now fighting, and there would not be enough able bodied men to ensure the safety of the camp and to prepare the meal as well. After thinking this over, the warlord ordered that the least injured among his fallen troops would assume the duties of the cooks. After all, he reasoned, they could still stir-fry his favorite dishes. His word was law, and to this day that faithful contingent of injured cooks is remembered as the first of the wokking wounded.

Tue Dec 5 18:38:17 PST 2000

Litter Tue Dec 5 17:09:10 PST 2000

Hi guys and guyesses,

Back, I think, from a temporary marital realignment hiatus -- don't ask -- Celts and Poles are too alike…

Just Hi for now until I get on top of what people have written.

Owrahd -- saw the pic and I'll just bet you are sick of hearing it but -- you're nothing like I pictured, even without the handlebars.

New young talent onlist I believe -- have to go check that out as well.

Busy busy busy

Ciao for now


Eddie French Tue Dec 5 16:35:24 PST 2000

Homer is saying:

'Oh cruel fate!
Why do you mock me?'

I also have a Homer door alarm.
Numerous Homer dolls, posters, cups, Scribble pads, mouse mats....on and on and on....
Yes, you guessed it. Homer is my hero.


Teekay Tue Dec 5 15:51:35 PST 2000

HI All,
Another sunny day in paradise today.

ROSEMARY: I was talking about the pork crackle going all crackly. I adore pork crackle. `dribble`. Thanks for the tips.
Now I anxiously await the weekend to cook and eat said roast pork.

HOWARD: Ahhh, now that's much more like it. Bet you felt naked when you shaved it off.

CHRISTI: Thanks. High five back atcha.

TINA: I am adopting all your sayings because I really like them. I love reading quotes, I'm the type of person who reads all the quotes from the bottom of those little desk calendars, but I can't really recall any of them.

RHODA: Yeah, sure, I understand where you coming from with all that computer jargon - NOT! :-)
As for the time change, you can either attribute it to Christmas or perhaps the living in Texas was more laid back and time there just seemed to drift by.
Good luck with the lights - I don't envy you one bit.
And no, I'm not sorry I asked, I'm always interested to know what you're up to. :-)
I wish you well with the chapters.

CHRISTI: Hahahaha and what about those men who can pick there nose while watching traffic lights?!!!! I think the person who wrote that piece about men not being able to do more than one thing at once don't really give credit where it's due. :-D

ALLEIN: Hi ther. Hi Pepper, nice dog, down boy, down I say.

GARIESS: You MUST try and publish that in a relevant magazine. It was beautiful. Brought a tear to my eye it did.

Bye all, have a great day.

Deb-Leigh Tue Dec 5 15:35:18 PST 2000

Oh No. I've lost the train of conversation. My god, how do you keep up with all these conversations? It's like being in a room with a hundred people all talking at once. Over whelming.

No, whoever asked (Rosemary, I think...I'm bad with names and such), I'm not really a morning person. I require at least an hour before I know who I am and what I'm doing, then it takes until noon for anyone else to come within ten feet of me. And live. Fortunately, I work with people who know this.

Well, good-bye, then

Debra Tue Dec 5 12:19:36 PST 2000


Are you having a bad day? I hope it gets better. I really do.

Sorry for your frustration.

Has anyone heard from Arik?

I'm getting worried.


gariess Tue Dec 5 10:13:43 PST 2000

What is the most hated sentence in the English language today? I submit to you that it is the greatly despised and disbelieved, "Please continue to hold, your call is very important to us."

Just consider what the true circumstances are every time you hear this sentence. Possibly, you have just received a statement from your credit card company that shows a charge of $32,441.98 from an on-line porn site. You don’t use porn. In fact you don’t even go on line. You live alone and you have no computer.

Of course you do have a phone, so you dial the 800 number on the statement for "Customer Service" You dial it three times until you have mastered the labyrinth of "menu options" that will get you to the place in telephone recording space where you take your place in line. You can’t see the line. If you could see the line you would become schizophrenic looking at the number of bodies stretching to infinity with phones glued to their ears, waiting for a voice that cheerily sounds out a phrase such as "…how may I help you?" All you can really see is your own wall paper while you listen to an endlessly cycling recorded message that tells you thousands of times over that your call is valued beyond rubies.

That, of course is the biggest lie of the new century, and the last decade of the old century. Let us examine what the truth behind this lie is. If the message were to tell the truth it would say something like, "In times past you were accustomed to a person answering the phone on the first ring and announcing they were ready to answer your question, hear your request, process your order, look up your account, correct your bill, check on the shipping status of your purchase, etc. However, in this modern age of instant communications this company has been forced to spend thousands of dollars on state-of-the-art communications technology. But that’s really okay because we have saved millions of dollars by firing all those nice people who used to answer your phone on the first ring. Well, not all of them, actually. We tried that and the company went into bankruptcy in the fisrt 11 seconds of the new workweek. So we hired a few back. Three, if you must know, because we found out that if people can’t call us on the phone, we can’t really have a company, no matter how much money we save on payroll.

So, begrudgingly, we pay three people minumum wage to answer your questions when you call. Of course this a token concession to the outmoded notion of customer service, so if I were you, I would not expect to hear from one of these three people any time soon. One is in the bathroom with a copy of Hustler Magazine, one is at lunch and the third one is tied up in a marathon session of Tetris on an illegal diskette he installed into his computer’s A drive. This may sound a bit casual and undisciplined to you, and that’s because it is, of course. Casual and undisciplined, that is. What do you expect for minumum wage and no benefits? We don’t care if your questions get answered or if your order gets straightened out. The bills go out on a separate system, so we get paid, anyway. Besides, even if you do hang on long enough to talk to one of these morons, you’re not going to get anywhere. They don’t know diddly-squish about this business. They can tell you what the adress is for you to send us a letter, however. In fact that’s the the only thing we allow them to do. So you can wait another hour-and-fifty-three minutes to hear the adress, or you can read it at the bottom of your last statement, which you are probably holding in your hand right now because that’s what pissed you off enough to call us in the first place.

Your letter will be answered within thirty business days of its reciept by one the other three morons we pay to do that. They aren’t the same three even though they share the same copy of Hustler. The boss brings that in because looking at the women in the office gets him too frustrated to even think. He doesn’t know yet that his job doesn’t require thinking.

Since the letter-answering job is more skilled—there are four letters and they have to figure out which one to send you—these three get paid a dollar more than minumum wage. A dollar more per week, that is, not per hour. So thank you for calling "Customer Service," which we refer to internally as the "Chump Line," you chump."

Have a nice day…… NOT!!

You may want to note this under suspiscions confirmed. To all Notebookers: Have a nice day......DO!


Rosemary Tue Dec 5 08:54:15 PST 2000

Morning People,

Or are you morining people? {:o)

I have a Rosemary bushe in my yard. I think I got it because of the name thing. I really haven't used it in cooking much because I have a problem putting something in the food that smells like a cedar closet. Thyme seems to be in that same range.

I've pretty much given up on the cookbook thing. Even if we bypassed the membership thing there doesn't seem to be much interest. I thought a cookbook with corrosponding (sp)vinettes would be a good project for a writers group.:.(

Maybe we ought to try it here. There seem to be a lot of cooks and writers here. At least cookbooks are easy to sell.


howard Tue Dec 5 08:08:09 PST 2000

Dunno why, but --

RE: two things at once.

I just found in the new Harriet Carter catalog (on page 49) just what every guy needs to prove he can do two things at once! TOILET GOLF! It's a carpet/putting green, complete with hole, putter, and two plastic golf balls. Only $17.98!
Also available at

Has Technology gone too far?

Allein Tue Dec 5 07:21:52 PST 2000

Hi guys!
I didn't know you missed me (probably didn't)...I was just checking in and now I have school so I'm gonna go, bye bye.

Pepper says 'hi'.

Rhoda Tue Dec 5 07:11:50 PST 2000

That last post was from me.

Sorry about that.


Teekay Tue Dec 5 07:09:56 PST 2000


I never went away. I am still trying to install my new printer to my new computer. Little did I know that parallel computer cables are now a thing of the past and all that has changed. Well, I got the USB Cable and I found the USB outlet on the computer and I loaded the printer software which is supposedly Windows ME complient and I still can't get the D**m thing to run.

Secondly, we have decided to decorate the house with Christmas lights this year and guess who is in charge? Moi, of course and I do not know a thing about it. Afterall I only made it to a master's degree. Perhaps if I went on for the PhD I could have figured out how to hang lights on gutters doors and all.

And...I am rewriting the first chapter of TRB for the fiftieth time. The first three pages of a submission have to be showstopping or else it just doesn't get attention from editors.

I am beginning to think that time passes more quickly in Oklahoma than it did in Texas. Is there any science to support that? Well, if they can make a case for cold fusion, I can certainly make a case that time is not a constant across the continential US.

Now, Teekay, aren't you sorry you asked?


Tina Mon Dec 4 22:33:35 PST 2000

Hello all!

Rosemary, aren't those bags the best?
The first time I ever cooked a big meal was Easter, for 13 adults and one kid. I planned on turkey and potatoes and yams and veggies and salads... the whole thing. My neighbour - who was coming for dinner around 5:30 or 6 - kept checking in to make sure I was on track and didn't need help. She went frantic when, at about 2:30 pm I told her I was just putting the bird in the oven. In horror she told me it would never be done in time. But I used an oven bag... hehehehe... little did she know! It turned out splendidly and she was mystified until I confessed.

Here's my attempt at stimulating some conversation in this silent land. What are your favourite quotes? Literary or pop culture or historical, any and everything.

I have two posted on my wall these days. One is from the movie 'Braveheart'.
'Aye, fight and you may die, run and you may live, at least awhile. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!'
The other is something my grandpa said. 'Choose your life by the path, not the destination. If the road is right, the destination can't be wrong.'
There's also one by Audulous Huxley (hope i spelled that right) but I'm not sure of the exact wording.
'Experience is not what happens to you. Experience is what you do with what happens to you.'

Time to go! Be well!

Jerry Ericsson Mon Dec 4 22:03:35 PST 2000

Well round--and-round the election goes, where she stops NOBODY knows! Again we MIGHT have a president with the Florida Judge ruling agains Gore on ALL counts. Of course the never-say-die Gore has ordered all appeals go forward, and is keeping an eye on the other cases that are working their way throught the Florida courts. Seems he never knows when to say die. I think he is killing any chance he ever had to run in 2004 but if he is it will only be the icing on the cake of a Bush win.


Christi Mon Dec 4 19:47:08 PST 2000


What an adorable pic! Maybe it's the baby in your lap. I gotta ask, what's the ear protection for? (Whaaaaaaah!!!) Seriously though, great picture.

Christi Mon Dec 4 19:41:50 PST 2000

Mary, Happy late-birthday to your Jacob! My Jacob turned one a month ago today. Your son sounds adorable. Bye, Meow!

Teekay, Give your daughter a big congratulatory high-five from me!! Guess it was worth missing her all those days. ;)

Hallee, You still surviving? *hack hack*

Mark, Loved your typewriter repairman story! Bet'cha needed a new pair of shorts after that one. Now about the toilet story ... let's just say ewwwwwwww! And what about all the guys who sit on the throne and read, huh? That's two things at once.

Eddie, The Simpson's cartoon on your desk: What's Homer saying?! I could only make out the first bit, and am dying to know. I adore The Simpson's!

Tina, :0) No problem! Got the rest of your story and have begun the process. Onward!

Hello, J.R. Deveau!

Hallooo to everyone else, too.
Help! The Notebook; she's a dyin'! Not much life's been kindling in her lately. Won't someone save her?

On CPR patrol,


P.S. Sorry Howard, I just couldn't keep up with the CAPS name thingie. I understand the logic but I'm lazy at heart. (smiles)

howard Mon Dec 4 19:40:39 PST 2000

Sorry, needed the http:// in front of it...

howard Mon Dec 4 19:36:37 PST 2000

TEEKAY -- Just for you I've added one with the moustache. It's not very good, but at least there's no "breakfast" left...

EVERYBODY -- Where are you? Am I the only one awake this evening? The joke wasn't that bad!

howard Mon Dec 4 15:32:43 PST 2000

ROSEMARY -- (one of my favorite herbs) I could send you a couple of original (mostly) receipts, but I'm not keen on joining any more groups, especially where lucre is involved.

MARK -- I see they've unearthed more of Anne Sullivan's papers. Among them they found a manuscript for a stir-fry cookbook. Working title: "The Miracle Wokker."

I'm off...

Rosemary Mon Dec 4 15:08:57 PST 2000

Hi There,
What does 'all crackly' mean? If you mean crisp, you won't get that in a crock pot or the bag. In the baking bag, if you cook it long enough, you will be able to cut it with a fork. Of course, the vegges will be mush by then. You could try sliting the bag for the last half hour and turning the oven up to 450 or so. That might crisp it up some.

You didn't mean the bag would go all crackly? They're made to be used in the oven. I've used them for years. An extra perk is that you can lift the whole thing out of the pan and it's still clean.

That's more recipe info than I got from my Writing group. The Cookbook looks like a flop. I got two people to submit recipies. Even my friends haven't bothered. Sheesh.


Teekay Mon Dec 4 14:52:57 PST 2000

Hi All,

HEATHER: Where are you girly???

ROSEMARY: If you cook it in a baggie does it still go crackly?

Gotta go, have thought of a new ghost story and so far I'm still keen on it.

Have a goodun all.

howard Mon Dec 4 13:05:22 PST 2000

TEEKAY -- re "911 Call" -- actually I was in the liquor store where I buy my comestibles and the rare lotto ticket. The clerk (her name's not Pepper) was rather nervous about an individual who was just wandering about as if waiting for everyone else to leave. She asked me if I could stay until he left. I did, and while wondering what I'd do if he actually was planning something bad I came up with that story.
He eventually left, she was relieved, and I went home.
That's all.

Debra Mon Dec 4 12:45:56 PST 2000

...........his under wear and t shirts:::::::::::::::::::

Debra Mon Dec 4 05:36:25 PST 2000


It's a great guess. I would definiately include socks.


Jerry Ericsson Sun Dec 3 20:44:31 PST 2000

MARK - Damn man do you need ABC news to tell you there is a difference between men and women? I know you are married, and that fact should allow you to examine the differences. Just kidding, I get a kick out of these stupid news agencies trying to make big news out of well known facts. THIS JUST IN - when snow falls, it is always cold outside, scientists amazed at finding!


Mark Sun Dec 3 18:29:24 PST 2000

Men and women have biological differences. Duh.

The link above gives a glimpse at a small study done on brainwave activity during a listening exercise. In men, the left temporal lobe showed activity. In women, both left and right temporal lobes activated.

Hmm. Women listen better? Giving more of their brains to a conversation than a man? Men do it better? We can listen more efficiently.

One suggestion was that women can listen to two conversations at the same time. I know that one thing at a time is my limit. My wife wondered if I could talk on the phone and have a bowel movement.
-- No.
"See. Women can do that. Half the time Suzanne calls, she's on the pot."
-- Gawd. I'm gonna quit answering the phone.
"I keep telling you I need a phone in the bathroom."
-- My mind boggles at the thought of one hand on the receiver and one hand on the roll of TP. Don't get confused.
"Can I help it if women can do two things where men can only do one?"

Since that conversation I have wondered if men's singularity of attention doesn't lend itself to greater depth of thought. I have met some men who are no deeper than parking lot puddles. The existence of shallow men doesn't negate the possibility of deeper concentration any more than multi-conversation bimbos negates the value of doing two things at once.

Once again. Just different?

Rosemary Sun Dec 3 16:03:50 PST 2000

For you oven persons, in a deep baking pan, use a baking bag, include all your ingredients and set the oven at about 225 to 250 degrees for 4 or 5 hours. Liquid smoke comes in misquite or hickory. (in San Antonio) It is a small bottle usually on the top shelf with steak sauces and stuff at the grocery store. This works great with tough chuck roasts also.

J R Deveau Sun Dec 3 15:42:16 PST 2000

Hello all!

I haven't poked my nose in here for quite a while. It seems that not too much has changed. I plan to poke in here a few more times in the future. I had the spark to write since about grade 8. The only problem is that I lack modivation and discipline. Reading posts from people who are passionate about writing is very reassuring.

I gotta go home now... I took so much time reading the posts that I only had a few minutes to write something in turn. (12 hour shifts are heavenly when they're done).

Write you soon.


Teekay Sun Dec 3 15:38:44 PST 2000

Hi All,

MARY: Yes, I must admit, I do get a little goosebumpy at the sight of a man in uniform. :-D
What's liquid smoke?
Oh yes, and happy birthday to Jacob. :-)

DEBRA: I was only explaining my theory on how single Men manage to feed themselves and otherwise exist when they didn't have some one to do it for them. The socks was just a guess. ;-)

Reading the notebook just now has made me awfully hungry. Especially for that pork roast and those ribs. I hope it does work in the oven because I don't have a crock pot either. But you really need to tell me what liquid smoke is. I imagine it's some type of sauce.

Have a good day all. It's going to be real hot here today.

RHODA: C'mon back.

howard Sun Dec 3 15:17:51 PST 2000

MARK -- I too am enamored of the Wok, and have done some research into some of the miracles occurring therein and some of the anecdotes thereof. Did you know, for instance, that Hank Williams (Sr.) loved to cook? One of his favorite (secret) recipes started with finely ground wheat, stir-fried over a fire fueled by a certain evergreen wood. As he prepared it he would often sing an old C & W song:
"I'm Wokking the Flour Over Yew..."

howard Sun Dec 3 11:49:28 PST 2000

Thanks for the comments re the pix! I'll leave them for a bit, but I want to learn the webpage thingie, so they're apt to disappear without notice.

MARK -- I recently acquired a new toy -- a SONY MD-95 digital camera. It takes pix on memory stick or 3.5" disk, and as you see, the quality is quite good. I've got lots to learn about it, but it's lots of fun. Does both JPEG and MPEG, with or without sound.

MARY -- that pork roast sounds great! I'll have to try it that way some day. I just did a couple of NY Strip steaks, marinated in my own special blend, and grilled to medium rare on the charcoal grill on my back porch. They're great with mushrooms, and roasted garlic potatoes!

TEEKAY -- I shaved off the handlebars a couple of months ago, but have been waiting for an excuse to grow them again. I'll see if I can find an old picture and scan it in just for you.

Tina Sun Dec 3 10:53:46 PST 2000


Sorry for shouting, but I want everyone to know how great you are. I just read your crits and you're both absolutely awesome. I'll send the rest of my story right away! You each picked up on a lot of the same things, so I'll definately be reworking those bits.

I just can't believe how much help everyone here has been! Not only has my writing improved - by leaps and bounds - but I'm actually starting to have confidence in my writing now. You're all the best!

Mark, that had me LOL so hard I started tearing up!
In '94 I worked at a coffee shop. One day I left my car lights on all day and killed the battery. My husband was quite concerned when I called him up and said, "I'm gonna be late. Mike jumped me in the parking lot."

Mary, my mouth is watering now! Except I don't have a crock pot. Will it work in a really slow oven? I'll try.

Everyone else, hello and salutations! Have an awesome day!

Debra Sun Dec 3 07:24:26 PST 2000


Are you telling me how big your house is so I can feel more like I am living in a tea cup with hundreds of people?


Debra Sun Dec 3 07:22:19 PST 2000


By the way in your shortie, you showed that your character had true power when he had restraint instead of pounding him.

Just so you know.


Mark Sun Dec 3 07:19:46 PST 2000

HOWARD -- exceptional quality for 640x480. Scanned or digital camera?

TEEKAY -- Sleep and bathe with their socks on HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

10 bedroom, 7 bath and all is exactly right. Wife and I have an elder-care home. Dining room table seats 10, and there are 5 more chairs at a smaller table and the kitchen counter. Officially, we are called a "Family-type Home for Adults." When we are full there is a warm bun in every chair.

That response to Debra and Hallee took more time to type than to think about.

My first full-time job was as typewriter repairman. One day the phone rang in the shop, boss answered, called me over, handed me the phone.
-- Hello.
"Is this Mark?"
-- Yes.
"Mark, this is Sheila in Chrysler. I'm having trouble with my period."
The boss was not looking at me, too bad, only he could describe the look of panic I must have taken. He did see my waving arms, phone held full away. I pulled it back and spoke.
-- Trouble ... uh ... where?
"The period. The comma is fine, and the keys above it are fine, you know, jay, kay, ell, semicolon. But the period key only works about half the time."

MARY -- Thanks for the cooking tip. That was my brother-in-law's method also. Frankly, I could never get used to garlic in pork. Nothing like slow-cooking. Though as I say that, I realize I also like an awful lot of Chinese Wok cooking, and that's fast-cooking. Heck, If it's food, I like it. I need to lose 30 pounds of it.
"Happy meal," eh? Sounds like your two-year-old is living proof that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. "Happy Birthday" to Jacob.

Debra Sun Dec 3 07:09:23 PST 2000


I don't get to mad over it. I just thought it was funny the other day when my husband son and daughter all came at different times looking for their coats and I had to tell them they were in the closet. Can you imagine?


I can't expalin that one about men eating breakfast alone. Maybe all the women got together and left them alone. All you have to do is figure out where they went so you can go next time.


That's what I'm hoping. It's a long time to wait though. Of course, if I get rich from my writing then he can retire. That'll happen.


Hallee Sun Dec 3 06:49:20 PST 2000

MARK: So, basically, it's all our fault? HAHAHAHA mmm...hmmm

TEEKAY: Well, there you go. They pay other women to feed them (hahaha - assuming of course, that the server was a waitress rather than a waiter.)

Oh dear Lord, it happened. I can live through it. I know I can. I've come through it in the past. Just going in makes me shudder. Jerry - you've been in war - you know what I'm about to go through. Okay, Hallee..breathe...breathe. It's okay. I know it will be okay. Argh! My husband caught the flu that has plagued my daughter and I this week!!! (If I hear, "Hallee, I need.." or "Hallee, can you..." one more time I'll scream. I know it.)


Happy Sunday all. Hope everyone is well. (smiles..albeit strained ones)


Mary Sun Dec 3 00:52:31 PST 2000

Forgot somethings:

TINA: Did my mail get to you?
CHRISTI: Did my mail get to you?

HOWARD: Made a melt in your mouth pork roast today...a six pounder! This is a recipe Mark can use when he is cooking for himself: Put a whole onion sliced in the bottom of the crock pot, rub the pork roast with salt and pepper. Cut some deep slits in the meat and insert some garlic slices down into the cuts. Broil it for about 15 minutes then put it in the crock pot. Put another whole onion, sliced, around the roast, add 1 cup of water with some soy sauce and liquid smoke. Cook on low for 9 hours. That's good eatin'. :-)

Mary Sun Dec 3 00:46:05 PST 2000

Hi Everyone. Hope you are all having a great weekend. Today is my son Jacob's birthday. He is two. Only if you ask him how old he is he says, "Meow." If you ask him his name he says, "Mama." And of course my name is "Ball" or sometimes "Car". The one thing he knows by heart and never confuses the name of is "Happy Meal".

When my daughter turned two she knew she was two, she knew her name, my name, the cat's name and exactly what she wanted as her birthday present from her grandmother~a Fireman(what woman doesn't want a Fireman for her birthday :-p).

So you see DEBRA...the different set of priorities of men and women are set at a very young age. My personal answer to your question is~~They just can't help it and they can't figure us out any better than we can figure them out. Gotta love 'em.

HOWARD: Love your pictures! You don't look at all like what I expected...I don't know if you have ever seen the comedy "Allo! Allo!" but I pictured you as Rene. You have the absolute best kind of desk...I miss mine. Your "pest de resistable" cracked me up, but in reality you are adorable! Thanks for sharing.

Write strong.

Teekay Sat Dec 2 22:46:21 PST 2000

HI All,
DEBRA: I'd say you had a fairly normal family. Or at least one that sounds like mine and I think they're normal.

DEBRA & HALLEE: On the way to Sydney this morning my Hubby pointed out the large amount of men who were breakfasting alone. I don't have the answer to the socks though, unless it is that they sleep with them on & bathe with them on so they always know where they are.

HOWARD: The beard! The beard! Where is it?????? I'm so glad you finally posted your pic!
Not what I pictured either of course coz I was still picturing Yosemite Sam, cartoon and all. :-D

RICHARD: :-). Well, we've been tossing around the name of a great book here. Writing Down the Bones by N. Goldberg. If you don't already have a copy then get one and write, write, write.

MARK: Sounds like you've put a fair bit of thought into it. :-).
Surely you jest about the 10 bedrooms and 7 baths right? Geez! Imagine having to clean all that! Whoops, there I go with the cleaning/housework thing again. I must get my mind out of the gutter.
Also, I agree about the period statement, but I think use of caps locks is a personal choice. :-)

DIEGO: Hola :-)

We just got back from picking up my eldest daughter from the airport. She has been in Vanuatu for the past week playing soccer. All their games were undefeated and they won the South Pacific Championship. WHHOOOO WHOOOOO Very proud Mummy here.


Jerry Ericsson Sat Dec 2 21:19:22 PST 2000

DEBRA & HEATHER - Take heart, things will get better, or at least in my case they did, you see back when I was working, I was always in a hurry, I had meetings to go to, interviews with the newspapers, problems with my troops and all the other things happening in my life. To come home and toss my jacket on the sofa, or maybe on a bed, then hurry off on some mission or another was the norm. Now however, I am just the opposite, now I must have a place for everything, I have the time to put them in their proper places and a need for neatness. Maybe I am becoming a house husband that might be it, or maybe not, until this very second I never thought of that. Never mind.


Mark Sat Dec 2 20:25:49 PST 2000

HOWARD -- I agree. CAPSLOCK for addressing the miscreant, er, uh, writer. Initial Caps for reference.

Also agree, a period is a good thing not to miss.

Debra Sat Dec 2 20:22:25 PST 2000


Actually I hung the coats in the coat closet. I have a railing just as you come in the door and my family just flings their coats there. The closet is only inches from the railing. I do like a clean house. I however do not live in a picked up one at this time. My twins spend their day destroying the place. They are going too fast for me. I will have to wait until they get a little bigger for it to be picked up.

However, the beds are clean and most the mportant things are clean. It doesn't smell at all. When you walk in you can see the ravages of twins by all the toys. This weekend I had to move my beautiful dinning room set to my mothers to make room for toys. That was painful. When we got back, they spred out into the space like pros.

So I might be the way you think, but I am on hold for now. I feel like I am swimming in clutter with a clean undercurrent.


Diego Sat Dec 2 20:18:55 PST 2000


Mark Sat Dec 2 20:11:21 PST 2000

DEBRA -- You have hung your family's coats and now no one can find them? Obviously, you have hung them in some obscure place. It is patently obvious that you are one of those women who seek household fulfillment by whispering through the house, "A place for everything and everything in its place." You and Hallee have a compulsive form of that disease which makes people unexpectedly neaten things. I have a maiden aunt who still goes about emptying ashtrays, even though no one smokes.

HALLEE -- When I was single, I usually had one closet with plenty of shelf space to store my clothes. I could simply open the closet, scan the whole space, see what I wanted and take it. Now I have nothing on shelves; my wife believes that if clothes are left on a shelf then they get dusty. Everything in drawers. Drawers I can't label. Many mornings I muttered, "Where the hell did she put my blue shirts?"

Would I have less work to do if I left her? You betcha. Of course I'd move from 10 bedrooms and 7 baths with 2 laundries into something smaller. I would no longer need the truck for the weekly grocery runs I do alone. I would only have to balance a single checkbook and account for a single credit card; that would be down from 3 and 6. I wouldn't have to move furniture, paint, move furniture, rewire, move furniture. I could make two days' main meals in a single 3-quart crockpot.

I'm glad she has never asked me that question because I'd be puzzled as to whether I could answer honestly.

Try this. Pull out something you haven't worn in a while and ask him if it makes you look fat. Compare the look on his face with the look he gets when you ask him about the work. Sets off pinballs in my brain. oooooooh, lemmee see here. she never asks these questions without something going on. "No, dear, you don't look fat. Yes, I'd be overwhelmed without you to help me."

That being said, what's the real question here?

Rachel Sat Dec 2 17:53:58 PST 2000

Debra - That sounds like my house...

Jerry Ericsson Sat Dec 2 17:30:30 PST 2000

Richard, never fear, my childhood was much the same as yours, while we didn't have the things to deal with that your generation does, we did worry about things such as nuclear war, the end of the world, fall out shelters, bomb drills and the rest. When I was 13, I had no idea what I would do if I had a girl that was willing to talk to me, however when I was 17 I married the young woman of my dreams, and we have been together ever since, that was nearly 32 years ago now, and I would not change a second of it, well there was one year there when I was serving in Viet Nam, where I would have much rather been at home with my wife but other then that I wouldn't change a thing. Keep writing, it is wonderful that you found writing so early in your life, it took me over 40 years to discover the joy of writing, and then it was an accident that showed me the way.

Howard - same here, you don't look a thing like I imagined you, not that there is anything wrong with your looks, just not as I pictured you by your wonderful writing, and wit.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, I am having a wonderful time watching the court case, Al Gore vs Bush and the rest of the world (I want my office waaaaaa waaaa!) It appears to me that things are going in Mr. Bushes favor, or at least as far as they have gone in this one case anyhow. There are so many cases going in court right now that even the lawyers aren't sure where to appear when and who is handling which case where is it being tried, and who the hell said we could win this anyhow.

Guess I will miss part of tomorrow's court hearing, as I have said before, Sundays here are spent enjoying a family dinner at mothers, followed by hour after hour of pinochle. I am so glad the Dr. found some pills that allow me to sit a bit longer at that table as mother would never forgive me if I could not play at least 4 games.

Well again I ramble on.

Write ON

Eddie French Sat Dec 2 16:09:33 PST 2000

Nice desk.
And the obligatory: You look nothing like I pictured you.
I'm really having to start all over again with my mental perception of you lot here.
At one time I thought that you where all Americo (with very fast fingers). Hang could all be pictures of Americos' extended family!
Oh my god....I'm going insane.

Richard Sat Dec 2 16:03:40 PST 2000

I hope so.

Anyway, I'd better start flicking between all these webpages and get some sleep. This shipyard setup I'm working on for X-wing Allaince is burned into my eyes...

- Richard

Debra Sat Dec 2 15:26:12 PST 2000


I married my first love. I met him when I was 26. I hope that puts things in perespective.

There are plenty of caring good people out there. There are. There really are.


Richard Sat Dec 2 15:21:47 PST 2000

Hmm, seems pics are all the rage around here. I'll see about some myself, but after I get my hair cut :p

Richard Scott Sat Dec 2 15:15:31 PST 2000

Oh. it's very, very easy.

First, take a look at the world. Add to that the knowledge that most of it is the grip of Satan (this is where I reveal my Christian status). Then take in the fact around you, everyone is becoming rude, arrogant rebellious and immature, and you can feel it in yourself as well. Factor in staggering amounts of peer group pressure. THEN...

Okay, I didn't come here to depress you, or myself for that matter. I'm not always grim, its just easy to get that way. I'm more of a free spirit at home, but its just a struggle to get through school.

As for girls, well, with 1000 + pupils there are plenty of alternative choices. I'm unpopular/loser/sad whatever, but anyway I don't worry about it right now because any feelings I have I know to be simple attraction and lust. When I REALLY fall in love with someone, THATS when I start panicking!! ;)

Oh well, the more I live, the more I experience, the more I write. I think that's going to be my motto.

- Richard

Debra Sat Dec 2 15:03:42 PST 2000


You were not what I expected either. Don't know what I expected. Nice pictures.


Did you say you were 13?. If so, how can you be grim at 13?

I was not popular when I was a kid either. If you look at your childhood on a graph you will see it is merely a blip on the big picture. Have some patience. Girls love thinking men. Of course, you didn't say girls were your problem. But!


Christi Sat Dec 2 14:51:45 PST 2000

Once again the wind whistles through the Notebook. A tumbleweed rustles by, followed by Christi's lamenting call. "Helllooooooooooo?"
Must be a busy weekend!

HOWARD, Neat! I love how you have a picture of your desk in the picture of your desk. Very surreal. Nice picture of you as well! Gee, this is fun.

howard Sat Dec 2 12:58:58 PST 2000

OKAY! I finally got some pix out there! Check the url above. Had a problem with case sensitivity in the image names, but with a few suggestions from Mark, and a bit of muttering, I was able to correct it. I'll leave that up for a while, then go on to bigger and better things. I have just begun to fright!

debra Sat Dec 2 12:37:12 PST 2000



Although, when I really agree I say Diddo.

So Diddo.


Richard Scott Sat Dec 2 12:22:44 PST 2000

Perhaps I should elaborate :: I think I know what you're saying, Rosemary, I'm just wondering what you were refering to. My story, or my grim views of the world around me? (actually they're both pretty grim)

Hallee Sat Dec 2 11:59:57 PST 2000


RHICHARD: Sory...'tis a girl thing.

Richard Scott Sat Dec 2 11:58:32 PST 2000

Sorry, I'm just plain confused now.

Debra Sat Dec 2 11:08:01 PST 2000


Yes. It is a mystery. Another mystery is my husband was such a bachlor at one time. Hummmmmmmm?

I have often asked my husband if he thought he would have less to do if he moved out.

He looks confused for about a millasecond.

First he does the math and then I can see in his eyes the information moving to the right place in his brain.

It's a thing of beauty.


Hallee Sat Dec 2 09:27:05 PST 2000

DEBRA: That's a good question. Another one: How do bachelors find everything they need to get dressed in the morning, including the belt and the ever elusive socks, then (gasp) prepare food and eat it? It's something that amazes me whenever I see a single man. Most seem well fed, and they usually have their belts and socks on. Who in the world finds them for them? Hmmm...the mystery.

Debra Sat Dec 2 09:20:24 PST 2000

Attention all mothers and wives:

What do you think it means when you hang up your family's coats and then no one can find them?


Rosemary Sat Dec 2 09:09:09 PST 2000

Hello All,
It's interesting that among all the good things I said about you, you picked out the one qualifier. I just meant that you can't always tell about people by what they say, you have to consider the way they say it.

Just to let everyone know, all body parts sent to me will be fed to the dogs.

That's more than enough for today.

Debra Sat Dec 2 07:38:44 PST 2000


You sound like a veryf thoughtful and intelligent young man.

I'm looking forward to reading your work now and for years to come.


howard Sat Dec 2 07:08:07 PST 2000

MARY -- Body parts? When I was in Germany I went on leave in June of 1966, and drove (took a couple of friends) from Karlsruhe down to Barcelona. On the way, somewhere in France, we got stopped by heavily armed gendarmes at a roadblock, and searched, questioned, and warned to behave ourselves. A few days later we saw in a newscast that they were looking for some maniac who had killed and dismembered his wife (and another person, I think) and was headed in the same general direction as we were. But every few miles he was tossing out body parts along the side of the highway.

Body parts make for an interesting chapter or two in "Brandywine's War," (I forget the author) a sort of Vietnam-era *M*A*S*H story. One of the sleazier characters in it lures hot nurses to his apartment to see a jar of formaldehyde that contains "Ho Chi Minh's penis." I don't remember what was really in the jar, but it was really a funny segment.

Speaking of Vietnam -- it's not widely known, but when the VC were trying to come up with a new name for Saigon, one of the choices was "Phuc Nic Sohn."


Richard Scott Sat Dec 2 06:42:47 PST 2000

I did it AGAIN!!!

Somebody please shoot me!

Sat Dec 2 06:38:50 PST 2000

ROSEMARY :: Your post confuses me; what didn't I mean? Anyway, I wouldn't want all teenagers to be like me. I plenty of my own bad points, and it'd be a boring world anyway wouldn't it?

TEEKAY (In response to critique) :: Yes, I'm sure I'm 13. I've been writing since I was very small and I've never stopped. I've always been writing something, and I've read lots and lots as well. I picked up most of my vocabulary from books. It's funny actually because sometimes I misprounounce words, because I've read them but never heard them said.

Actually my autobiography I wrote for school is up on the web; if you go to my website, then go to 'Misc', select 'Silencer' (my alias I use amongst the SW community. This is actually the first place I've used my real name - no not Charles!!!). There's a menu and my bio is there. I made sure to delete all addresses etc. so I don't get any deranged lunatics at my door ;p

Anyway, the reason I'm good at writing is when all the normal kids were out becoming good at football and beating each other up, I was indoors playing the computer keyboard ;) I came here because I want people to criticise my work. I'm a bit sick of getting A+ (or Level 7/8 nowadays in HS) 'excellent, this spelling and that spelling is wrong but overall an excellent piece of work'. What I really want to know is how I can get it up the standard where I can get it published.

- Richard

Mary Sat Dec 2 02:07:18 PST 2000

TEEKAY: Actually that would be some pretty intense writing fodder for me. I've never known anyone personally who had body parts mailed to them. I would be the talk of all the neighborhood coffees for weeks. Now, who's body parts would I like to get first? Hmmmmmmm........

Teekay Fri Dec 1 21:12:27 PST 2000

MARY: Yeah, it's not like posting your home address is it? You'd have to be pretty bloody stupid to do something like that.
But aren't you afraid that your own personal notebook stalker may lurk around your post box waiting, waiting for you to come and collect your mail?
Or, you know, the wierdo may start sending you horrible things, like body parts or something.
Just coz nearly all of us are all normal, don't go assuming everyone is. :-)

howard Fri Dec 1 20:50:51 PST 2000

RHODA -- Sorry - got bumped off the chat and couldn't get back in. Gotta have a strong dislike for that

Rhoda Fri Dec 1 20:49:21 PST 2000


I got thrown off the chat and I can't get back on. I enjoyed talking to you.


Mary Fri Dec 1 20:08:25 PST 2000

the address is:

Mary Lockwood
PO BOX 683
Andover, OH 44003

no sense in emailing a post office box. Thanks again. :-)

Teekay Fri Dec 1 18:45:44 PST 2000

HEATHER: Have you contacted JACK about the ghostie round robin yet??

Rachel Fri Dec 1 16:21:31 PST 2000

Christi - Have fun!

Katrina Garibaldi Fri Dec 1 15:53:10 PST 2000

Just droping in to say hello to people. So...Hi!


Teekay Fri Dec 1 15:41:58 PST 2000

ROSEMARY: You didn't call MARY large, and I didn't call her fat. She's just really sensitive. :-)

JOANIE: ((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))

CHRISTI: I guess you'll be preparing for another of those hungover feelings for tomorrow morning then. Have a great time.

Rosemary Fri Dec 1 15:35:58 PST 2000

Hi, it's time for my opinion.

If more teenagers were like Charles/Richard, I would have more hope for the future. I don't mean just what he said, although that was definitely encouraging; he might not have meant it. It's more the fact that the writing was good as he said it.

I don't think I called Mary large. I just visualized her as very small. Couldn't tell by the picture her size. Maybe it would help to know that I am about 5'10'. It takes a pretty large person for me to think they are large.

I really envy you the variety of birds. We have grackels here most of the year.---I looked out the window. They're gone now.---we have a lot of doves, and cardnals, of course sparrows. Most of the rest are transients. Red wing blackbirds, some kind of a really wierd duck and even the little plovers from the coast. (we're 150 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.) Our hummingbirds tend to have an attitude problem. They dive bomb us if the feeder gets low. Animals can be so demanding.

I had to reread your post a few times, then think about it for a while to figure out that I had not somehow solicited you. You meant no one comes to the door in the morning.

Phewwww {:o>


Christi Fri Dec 1 15:31:11 PST 2000

Nice shortie's everyone!

HOWARD, Wasn't hard to get at all, just took a second cruise up to the top. Great!

MARY, It was a real joy to finally meet you and TEEKAY in real time. What fun we had! It was worth that hangover feeling I had this morning. :)

TEEKAY, I wanted to email you right away but they're doing maintenence on the site! I'll mail you as soon as I can. I must thank you profusely!!!!! Even got my groveling shoes on. Kisses and love!

Neat Christmas stories EDDIE, and HALLEE.

MARY again, I totally agree with what you said about the pages flowing better after coming here. Without the encouragment from these lovely people(especially you , TEEKAY) I would probably still only be dreaming about writing.

G'day everyone. I'm off to my husband's work's Christmas party. May I borrow the lampshade, GARIESS? I'll be checking in later; here's your warning.

Gettin' my party hat,


Teekay Fri Dec 1 15:29:50 PST 2000

Hi All,

HOWARD: 911 was fantastic. I just love a story I have to think about, and think I did. At the end I got out my pen and paper, did my math and I thought 'Heeeeee, that Howrad, why, he be a genius!'
How did you come up with that one? It doesn't sound like you started writing and the idea just popped into your head, it sounds more like you were at the newsagents one day and thought' "hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if....."
It was great, thanks.

MARY & CHRISTI: Am still grinning about yesterday. It was almost like a girls night out only we didn't go anywhere.
MARY: Have your toes defrosted yet?
Don't forget, if you want the book I need your address. :-)

RICHARD: I got Teekay by joining my first and second initials together. My first name is Totelinakiena and my second name being Kionadelabonga, I thought it would be a creative thing to do. :-)
Okay, I lied, but you've already guessed that haven't you?
Teekay is in actual fact my real name.
Okay, no it's not. :-)
Sorry, am still in sick humour after the chat-fest yesterday.
I'm glad you found your way to the workbook. I'll take a peek at your story. I'm not really a sci-fi person though.

Back Later.

Richard Fri Dec 1 13:15:01 PST 2000

Teekay, I just have to ask; where'd you get your name? It just makes me think of Stormtrooper TK-421 from A New Hope :D

(there's a mental image for you - guy in white armour sitting in front of a PC posting on a message board!)

- Cha - what are you putting in my tea??

Richard Scott Fri Dec 1 13:11:56 PST 2000

Hmm... I think shortie night is past my bedtime. Disadvantage of being a British citizen.

HEATHER :: Yes, my mother told me I was very wise for my age ( I think I was 12 when she said that!! ) Not an asset that many appreciate in High School, though.

CHRISTI :: Thanks for the story dedication! Can't see myself being asked out by anytime soon though!!

I just get more and more amazed everyday. Its just utterly unfathomable to me how people can do the things they do. I have a mental block against hitting people - I could do it once, but sometime, I don't know when, I realised I just couldn't hit someone. Maybe if I really, really wanted to... but I haven't been in that position and I hope I never am.

It makes me sick though. I sat in English today, going over a draft of the story we'd been assigned, a diary of a nuclear war survivor, and my freinds were sitting around me telling each other racist/ageist/sexist jokes. I told them what I thought of it and they were shrugging it all off, and one of them who is generally considered intelligent, gets high marks etc. just said 'It's between us, as long as we don't go shouting it out around the street, it doesn't matter'. As if that makes any difference!! Another was spreading litter on the way home from school, and again, I pointed it out to him. He shrugged and said he didnt care and it didnt matter. The sheer ignorance of it just bewildered and angered me. There's all the other stuff too. The fixation with sex, the totally foul langauge and all the stuff teenagers generally do. I don't like it. I geuss I just don't have that rebellious spirit or whatever ;)

Well, getting up early seems to help my writing. Instead of working on my novel, I wrote a short story that came to mind as I went to bed. I don't usually write that sort of stuff, its usually sci-fi or military. Anyway, I posted it to the workbook - thanks for the link!

- Charles (uh, I mean Richard)

Hallee Fri Dec 1 12:57:20 PST 2000

HEATHER: I would love any way you can help me with this situation. As I said, I'm going into it totally blind. These kids are breaking my heart. Wednesday night, I had both of them - a brother and sister - one in first grade and one in kindergarten. It's so sad. As soon as you have your email sorted, please feel free to email me. I really appreciate the offer.

Okay - back to work for another hour - then the weekend. (sigh)


Hallee Fri Dec 1 12:54:19 PST 2000

Argh! I missed shortie night - my husband and I had a holidy party to go to, and I forgot all about posting my Christmas story.

Okay...better late than never:

Christmas Eve as a child:
Opening presents from Grandma & Grandpa Bates..the only presents on the eve before the big day we could open because they almost always were new pajamas to wear for the morning pictures...those Christmases in Oregon when we would actually be at their house on Christmas Eve..listening to my Uncle with his deep barritone voice reading the Christmas story from Luke...eating a big meal...going to the candlelight service at church and having the Lord's Supper...driving home with a bypass through the hills to see the city laid out below and all of the Christmas lights...waking our parents at 5:30 in the morning to open presents.

Christmas Eve as an adult:
Going to my in-laws so the girls can open their presents from grandma and grandpa...eating a big meal..going to the candlelight service at church to have the Lord's Supper...coming home to open the presents from the now great-grandma Bates, because it will always have new pajamas for her to wear for the pictures Christmas morning...listing to my husband with his soothing tenor voice read the Christmas story from Luke...waking my daughter at 5:30 to open presents.


Jerry Ericsson Fri Dec 1 09:57:18 PST 2000

I think I have mentioned before that I have a special love for our fine feathered friends, the birds. Just outside my picture window, not more then ten feet from my perch on the aged lazy boy recliner are six different style bird feeders containing several different blends of wild bird food. One of the problems in the warmer months is that the common grackle will discover the feeding site, and with about a hundred of his friends invade the site and call it his own. They will chase away all the other more brightly colored birds and rule with an iron beak. I have never found a way of dissuading them, and decided long ago to simply enjoy their presence and treat them as equals to the colourful gold fiches the grosbeaks, and the rest. The common grackle leaves and flies south about mid September, and remains until well after the spring thaw. Then the feeders are free to care for those birds with the stamina to survive here in the extreme cold of the Dakotas. About a week ago one loan grackle found my feeding site. He makes regular visits now, and I can see by the scars on his head that he must have been in a great fight with another animal, probably a cat and survived only to be left in this unpleasant environment. He behaves himself very well, and the rest of my bird friends allow him to join in. They are not afraid of him as they are in the warmer months, and he feeds with the rest. He is quite pleasant and never fights with the others. He is the largest bird to visit regularly except for the giant woodpeckers who visit daily. There are a pair of them, and they perform wonderful dances mid air once they are finished with their feeding chores. Their smaller cousins with red heads also visit regularly. I keep a special blend of suit blocks just for them it is filled with peanuts and they just love them. Well it seems I am rambling again, so will sign off before I take up the entire notebook space. The tape of the Supreme Court hearing is airing right now, it is very interesting to listen to. Have a great day, and I enjoyed the shorties very much, we must keep this practice up as it is great fun.


Mary Fri Dec 1 08:47:13 PST 2000

WOW! What a great short shortie night! So many of you wrote things and I can't even pick a favorite. Thank you.

TINA: Just letting you know that if you have sent me any mail....I haven't received it yet.

Side note: Have you ever noticed how much better your food goes down when you are eating with people you love? Well, my words go down onto the page better having you all as writing buddies. I know....I am sappy, but I get this way during the holidays. Write strong...or at least long so you can cut it apart later.

A* Fri Dec 1 05:28:11 PST 2000

Or even exexsidious...

May I recommend an interesting discussion about insidious and exsidious in the archives (January 1998, I think).

Americo Fri Dec 1 05:25:36 PST 2000

To anyone who happens to read my story "It" (below on this page): please notice that the main and only character of that shortie (incidious) has never existed in the real world; any similarity with any existing word, alive or dead, is just a coincidence.

(There is nothing insidious or excidious in "It". No symbols :-))

Eddie French Fri Dec 1 04:51:46 PST 2000

A little late. I did write it thursday night. Then the internet went crazy.

It's going dark now. I see the first star, low in the west. It's so bright, shining like the fairy at the top of the tree.
There's my stocking, hanging at the end of my bed. It's light and empty, all floppy. Tomorrow it will be full and solid. There will be apples and tangerines, and nuts and sweets, all stuffed in to bursting. I wonder if he is real?
My mum says he is, but Johnny Murphy says it's just my mum and dad who fill my stocking up.
I did hear the sleigh on the roof last christmas, I'm certain I did. I heard santa's footsteps by the chimney, and the mince oies and co-coa got eaten up by him. Oohhh...Please be real.
I'm really going to stay awake this year and wait for him.
I'm going to stay awake.......
I'm really going.......

Teekay Fri Dec 1 03:31:58 PST 2000

I'm typing my contribution for shorty night although it probably won't be posted till tomorrow. I've just finished reading the shorties and they are fantastic. I still have to go to the workbook to take a look at HOWARDs though.

This is tough.


I see her sometimes.
Usually at night.
Sometimes when I close my eyes and wait for sleep to come, she comes in its stead.
The joy I feel almost, almost makes the pain of her leaving seem a worthy price to pay.
Oh God, if only I could go back.
Oh God, if only she could stay.

Mary Thu Nov 30 23:34:01 PST 2000

Hi Everyone....I just spent the most wonderful time with Teekay and Christi in the chat room. Thanks you two...we were in there for what?...oh my gosh....over two hours? No way!

What I was supposed to be doing was tapping out a short shortie for here is a quick one just so I can say I didn't shirk my responsibilities. So short it might not even qualify.

The lovers slipped into bed like burglars filling their cups with stolen kisses and cheating the eyes of jealous prudes.

Tina Thu Nov 30 22:16:57 PST 2000

It isn't about Christmas, but this is where I ended up.
Cheesy? A bit but oh well.

Memories nourish the thirst of my soul.
When my roots whither, when my leaves dry out
Memories restore strength where there was none.

Touch feeds the hunger of my body.
When I ache to feel real, to exist within my skin
Touch tells my body it is alive.

Thought heals the apathy of my mind.
When my worth is crushed, my courage drained
Thought creates me anew in a better form.

Faith soothes the distress of my heart.
When my eyes see only sour cynicism, and hollow darkness
Faith endures to lead me back to the light.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Nov 30 21:37:02 PST 2000

My contribution to shorty night, hope you like it:

God how I loved that badge, and the power it gave me. From the first day I pinned it on my uniform shirt, and felt that surge of power. I had yet gotten used to that, the power I mean, having only been on the "job" for six months.

It was one of those cold brisk nights that happen regularly here in the Dakotas. This was my home town, and God I was so proud to be a cop, like my brother was, back when I was growing up. I was cruising down Main Street, when this little yellow VW bug slid around the corner just a block ahead of me. He hit the gas, and the little car skidded sideways just a bit, it look almost comical and I chuckled at the site. I felt that power again, and the badge got a bit heavier on my jacket, as I reached for the switch and activated the red lights on the top of the powerful '72 Plymouth. As I saw the lights reflecting off the new snow, flashing off the large windows in the stores that lined Main, I punched the accelerator down, sure that I would catch the little bug in no time at all, I knew I had to do it fast, as the State Line was just two blocks North, and if he made it across the tracks, he would be in another state. But if I had the reds on, I could keep up the chase. The driver of the bug saw my lights and punched the gas on the little beetle, scooting up main towards the railroad tracks, and North Dakota. Just before the tracks the driver must have though twice about what he was about to do, and he pulled over and stopped. My heart was beating overtime, the power of the badge now had me in its grip. I ran to the drivers door of the bug, and jerked open the door, reaching inside for the driver, intending to pull him from the car. Power, that is what that badge was all about, but as I reached for the driver, I saw my old enemy from so many years before in grade school. The fellow who used to knock me down, the guy who knocked two of my front teeth out, the same guy that bloodied my nose so many times back then. Now the power diminished, as I saw the former bully shaking like a leaf. I stopped, then asked him for his drivers license. He produced it, and I saw he was drunk. His cloths were all disheveled, his eyes bloodshot, his words slurred. I took his license back to the car to run a check. As I sat behind the wheel I saw the break lights flash, then go out, and the beetle was again north bound across the tracks and into North Dakota. I hit drive, and the chase was on again. Now we were both traveling on the gravel road in the small community north of town, I pulled the powerful squad car up beside the bug, and eased ever closer until he had no choice but to put the little car in the ditch. He jumped from the car, and began running, I was right on his tail, and within a few steps, I was upon him. I knocked him down, much as he had so many times so many years ago. I raised my fist, and was about to pound him within an inch of his life, when it dawned on me, that I was the police. I was there not only to protect the people from people like him, but to protect him from people like me. I stood up, and put my knee in his back, took the handcuffs from the pouch on my belt, an