Archived Messages from December 25, 2000 to January 7, 2001

Teekay Sun Jan 7 23:06:08 PST 2001

HALLEE: Have left my 2 cents worth for you in the shorties critique section. Loooovvvveeeeddddd the story!!!!!

Teekay Sun Jan 7 22:20:53 PST 2001

CHRISTI: As far as eidetic memory goes, I was reading a book and the word cropped up and I wondered what it was. Obviously I was having an energetic day coz I searched out the dictionary and looked it up and I thought heeeeey, that's what I've got! I don't remember everything, but the things I do remember I remember as though I'm watching it in action.
There's plenty I don't remember. Like where I put the &^%$$&*& notebook for instance.

Teekay Sun Jan 7 21:56:09 PST 2001

ALLEIN: I have to tell you I was shocked and appalled to read your latest post. What a sad and criminal waste of coke. Thankyou for opening my eyes to this appalling state of affairs. :-) I freely admit my addiction to gut mean coke.

TINA: Why do you need to mouse when you write hmmmmm? Sure you weren't doing a bit of net surfing instead? Or where there lots of cut and pastes?
That's okay. Koala's do have a nasty temper, when annoyed, but thankfully they don't go stalking people around the gum trees. HAHA I laugh to think of it. And they're fairly small, so even if you were attacked at least you could drop kick them away. Softly of course.
Yes, that's the thing, there are some really stupid people here who do go swimming in crocodile infested waters and I freely admit they are stupid. People with common sense stay out of harms reach. Anyway crocodiles aren't really rampant in too many rivers here. Mainly up in Darwin and around the tropics.

DEBRA: You didn't state that she felt wiser. You stated that she was wiser. That's all. As a reader, when you tell us something is a fact we must believe you. Now had you said she felt wiser, whal honey, that thar's a whole new ball gayme.
If you want I'll said you the analysis in an email. If you'd prefer the notebook that's fine too. Just want to give you the option.
Ah look. Now it's blowing way out of propirtion. And now you're getting really, REALLY curious, aren't you? BWAH HAHAHHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

HEATHER & CHRISTI: I know you've had some horrible losses in the past. But what about my bloody notebook. Huh! What about that!!! Oh yeah, sure, I hear you say, what's a notebook compared to all your stuff. Well it's a lot darn it, a lot!
And it's not just my notebook. My minds gone too. Last time I saw it I'd put it carefully in a big red bed sock. Now it's gone. GONE. Ooooooooh goooooone, and I just don't know where. *WAAAAAAAAH*



Christi Sun Jan 7 20:37:09 PST 2001

Knew I was forgetting something. I'd forget my own name if it wasn't written in my underwear.
I lay claim to the long post below.

Sun Jan 7 20:33:32 PST 2001

Hello all!

JERRY, Enjoy your time with the Mrs. I'd love to have some great quality time like that with my hubby.
P.S. Did you let that poor dog out yet or have his eyes begun to fill up? Ewwww.

ALLEIN, Thank you very much for the Critic's Corner! I'll be catching "What Women Want" as soon as I can get a babysitter. (Interpretation: I'll wait until my mom has the time.)

ROSEMARY, Had you going there, eh? I made up Good n' Plenty ice cream, but wouldn't it taste interesting?

SASQUATCH, Much funny, yes yes!

GARIESS, Hee! LL Bean, huh? Well I AM the superstitious sort, and I would probably believe the hat to have some amazing 'brain bucket' inspirational powers. It was interesting to hear about the letters KV wrote to his father, but wadda snooper! (I was a TERRIBLE snoop as well when I was young. I wanted to be a spy.)

TEEKAY, Eidetic memory?! I'm ashamed to say that I had to look that one up, and boy was I impressed afterwards. I have very little memory of my childhood and am quite jealous of those who can call theirs up with little or no effort. My dictionary didn't go into this very far so I'm uncertain if you have more memory recall along with the vividness, or if it only refers to very vivid memories. Can you clear my confusion?
P.S. Aren't you glad I didn't go THERE in the story? I thought about doing so for nearly a whole second; entirely too long if you ask me.
P.P.S. PLEEEEZE do send me what you've written so far. I'm busting to know what it's about!

HEATHER, I'm all abashed. My little loss was nothing compared to yours. Bow, scrape, scrape. ;)

ALLEIN again, I didn't take your test. If my plants are any indication of how I would take care of a pet, well ... you understand. I only have the time to chase after my wee son.
PS I'm a Pepsi drinker myself, and after those tidbits you posted I will stay so for life!

BEN, Thank you for not rehashing. ;)

JON, DON'T GET A VASECTAMY! Heed this advice well. You'll thank me later. My husband told me how they used to neuter sheep on the farm, and I don't think it's much better for cats. Rubber band, anyone? :(

TINA, You're entirely too sweet. Go on. Really, go on, I love it! Hee hee.

Smooches liberally dispersed to all,


Debra Sun Jan 7 20:20:36 PST 2001


Now that you've said that I absolutely have to hear it. I will kill me. I promise not to hate you. Besides I have never had a dream like that before so I will just assume that whatever it was that caused it, your consult, will never pop up again. Pllleassse pleaseee *sob sob* hiccup hard swollow tears sob sob some more!

Yes, to your comments on Alice. It was hard to put into words what she was feeling after such a stupid move. She thought she was wiser. She wasn't. Let't hope wiser is on its way.


Tina Sun Jan 7 16:52:05 PST 2001

Hello all!

What a wonderful day! I gave myself permission to spend all day writing. Now my eyes are exhausted, my back is sore and my right hand is limp from mousing, and I love it!
Even when I took my dog for a walk, I wrote a poem in my head. I'll save that for Thursday.

Christi is awesome. I'm sure everyone knows that already but I'm just reaffirming the fact. It's so exciting to get feedback from people here, to have my writing deeply analysed in such an encouraging, positive way.

Nice to meetcha Ben!

Viv, are you around? Or megan?

Bears.... in my wandering wilderness escapades I've met exactly 0 bears. I've seen fresh scat, fresh prints, fresh markings on trees. I've heard a bear once. I've seen one along the shore of a lake I was canoeing on (and along the road from the window of my truck many times). I've never met one personally (although my husband has). I've met coyotes, deer, rabbits, snakes, bald eagles, porcupines, skunks and osprey, and one time I think a cougar was eyeing me up for dinner potential. Grouse are the worst, scaring the kaheebies out of me on many occasions. But no bears. They're too smart to be seen very often, usually heading the other way when they hear people. BUT the prudent side of me guides me away from silly chances. When I see fresh prints in the snow, I go the other direction. When my dog gets antsy and upset, I go the other direction. I cache my food if I'm camping in bear country, don't cook in my tent, and I carry bear spray on my belt ready for instant use. But honestly, I'm way more scared of being maimed by a drunk driver than I am of being attacked by a bear.

On the other hand, I hear koalas have a nasty temper... (hehehehe)
Sorry Teekay, couldn't help myself. Although I admit that I've often wondered about how Aussie's can be so nonchanlant about crocodiles, pythons, sharks, and really nasty spiders. I think I'll stick with my cougars and rattle snakes! :-) (Not quite true, I really want to see Australia.)

Mary, I've finished reading my other book. Card is next!

I have full intentions of reading things in the workbook. Soon. When my eyes will focus correctly again. And I'm still working on my contribution for *P*, titled 'Daniel'.

Must go now.

Allein Sun Jan 7 16:44:25 PST 2001

Here's a little gem my father sent me. How many Coca Cola drinkers in here?

Just when you thought you knew everything....

1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days

3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl...Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean.

4. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china

5. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

6. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away corrosion.

7. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

1.The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

2.To carry Coca Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly Corrosive materials.

3.The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Drink up!

Now how many Coca Cola drinkers here? It's Pepsi for me, thanks. Dr. Pepper actually. Or grape juice. Coffee for sure. Mmmm...coffeee... *drool*

Jon Sun Jan 7 15:59:57 PST 2001

Why do you want me to be given a vasectomy?
Are you serious?
Oh, I'm so happy!
I'll have it done first thing in the morning, then.

you've lost a point but won two. Keep up with the good work.

Teekayj Sun Jan 7 15:54:48 PST 2001

Hi All,

HEATHER: JERRY's prison was modified. They turned on the gravity to drain the pee. What do you mean modified since then?
Can't wait to read you **P** story.

MARY: Dang gal. Ah knewd dat. I wis jis pullin' yis lag.

ALLEIN: I don't need to go to that site to know that my perfect pet is a dead blade of grass.

DEBRA: I don't really have a fear of bears. I just find it amazing how people who live where bears are still seem to nonchalantly wonder around in wild life parks and such, without a cage, or gun, or some form of protection.
I don't think I will tell you my analysis because it is really quite personal and you may not wish to hear it and then you'll probably hate me for ever. Sorry.

I wasn't going to say this before, but as it's in your post I thought I'd mention it. I eally liked your story, it's just at the end when you stated that Alice was wiser she was in actual fact more ignorant than when the story began (which is probably 100% probable fo a nine year old girl) That was the only think that didn't ring true with me as wisdom means knowing that which is true, (Or something like that, I'm too lazy to get up and get a dictionary.) but she veered off to the left somewhere and didn't really learn any kind of lesson from her incident, but to blame others for the choices that she herself made.

MARY: Bet the kids Hate having to make up time.

Gotta go.

Rosemary Sun Jan 7 14:11:54 PST 2001

Hi there,
I think we must be on close to the same weather level. Yesterday was beautiful, but today has turned cooler and there are showers here and there. My sister and I went to the Fleamarket this morning and just got started shopping when it got dark and started raining. Lightning, the whole 9 yards. By the time we got out of the parking lot,(almost a half-hour to exit the lot) it had stopped and cleared up. Big disappointment.

I took the dog test and maybe I slanted it because it said my No. 1 dog was a toy poodle. I have a miniture poodle now and had a toy poodle for 17 years before that. I tried to make my choices as wide as possible but my subconscous must have taken over. Oh well, don't need another dog anyway. I have three now.

Everyone take it easy and find time to read and write.

Allein Sun Jan 7 13:19:41 PST 2001

Hi all,
Just took two more tests (on the same website - click on cats or dogs) - the perfect cat for me is the sphynx - i.e. hairless. Which, might be good since I'm allergic to cats but I'd prefer a cat with hair. My perfect dog would be the Canaan. I got a 77% match on the Australian Shepard which is partly what Pepper is. Cocker Spaniel didn't come up on my list, but English Springer Spaniel was in there. Also in there was the Chihuahua and the Dachshund (weiner dog). I like these two dogs.

Anyway, today's picture is an anime-style drawing of my friend, Ruth.

Ben Woestenburg Sun Jan 7 12:46:30 PST 2001

Hello Jack, and everyone else. I seem to have screwed up on the email thingie, so I don't have it right now, but that's no big deal. I find this whole internet thing to be too much of a distraction for me sometimes, and have to find a way to regulate myself on it. Right now, because it's such a new toy for all of us, the kids're into NAPSTER and constantly downloading stuff. But tomorrow school starts again, and so does afternoon shift, so I'll be able to do something to fix all those little problems I've come across.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you in May if you can make it, you pretty well pass by my house on the way to Burnaby.

As for the website for PAPERBYTES it's at PAPERPLATES.ORG/PBYTES.HTML It's a small online mag that used to be a paper rag. I won't be on it for about a month or two they tell me, so I have to wait just like everyone I've told about it. It's long too, about 17,000 words or something like that, but that's what I like to write: Long stories.

I'll just pop in here once in a while because I'm so far behind on where you people are right now, I'll just hang in the wings. Don't wanna step on anyone's toes or rehash old subjects again.

Heather Sun Jan 7 10:47:23 PST 2001

You're right, Jerry, that is a good story with the underlying theme about man's corrupt strangle-hold on vital parts of itself. (That could sound a little off)
I think the darkest peek into the future could reveal that we don't have one... but that's so depressing, isn't it?

Tomorrow is, after all, what we make it today.

I will catch up on the posts now and may make more comments later!


Jerry Sun Jan 7 08:17:21 PST 2001

Thanks to all for the kind words about my two stories. I agree that "Black Hole" should probably go into **P** and I will post it there shortly.

Heather - The miss treatment of prisoners was sort of the underlying theme. I guess I was trying to say the although man has found his way to the stars, and discovered ways to control gravity, he is still man. That as has been said so many times by so many men, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I tried to open a small window to the dark side of the future.

Richard - I wish I had discovered writing at the early age you have, it took me nearly 41 years to discover the joy of story-telling. You do it so well.

Must go for now, the dog is looking at me with a tear in his eye, he has his legs crossed and is whining, I think he wants outside.````````````````


Mary Sun Jan 7 06:21:54 PST 2001

HEATHER: Your bus stop story sounds just like mine. Ours was just enough out of the view of my house that I could take off all the hats, scarves, boots, and gloves that my mother insisted I wear outside and ram them into my book bag, trading them for smuggled sneakers and a jacket before any of my friends made it to the stop.

Wet hair, open jean jackets...the whole deal. I don't remember what age I was when I started this rebellion, but early teens sounds about right.

One quick note about severe weather though. If it drops below ten degrees here, whether we have snow or not, school is cancelled. Something about not wanting students who walk to school, or wait at a bus stop having that exposure. The school system in our district is allowed five cancelled day on account of snow or severe weather, but we almost always exceed that number and have to make up time at the end of the year.

Debra Sun Jan 7 06:20:12 PST 2001


I didn't think a thing. I feel like I am in the company of friends here. Anything that is said to me I take with the idea it's meant in the nicest way.


Consult, bring it on. I would love it. Does your fears of bears sound like my dream at all? I do have the happen to me a lot like you said. Sometimes I will think of someone I haven't thought of in a long time and then poof there they'll be.


Wow, that's cold.

I wanted Alice to be nine years old so she could have placed her tongue on the pole and still be believeable. Teenagers now-a-days, well. I made her in that shcool to explain the outfit also, I believe that kids are at the bus stop in the wrong clothes. I too went to the bus stop in some pretty wrong outfits in the winter. That's where I got the words for how she felt in the cold. That was purely from expeience.


Mary Sun Jan 7 05:58:47 PST 2001

TEEKAY: Hiya girlie! That was supposed to say april 22nd of this PAST year. After I realized what I had posted I crossed my fingers and hoped nobody would notice.....I shoulda known betta. ;-)

ALLEIN: Took the quiz you linked too. I scored 100% for a dog, 84% for a cat. I think chinchillas were next. Fun test to take..thank you.

HEATHER: Hugs to you for making me feel not like a complete idiot. Can't wait til you shake the cobwebs off your **P** idea so we can see it.

CHRISTI: No....I don't really have a photographic memory. I do remember things very clearly but I don't think that qualifies.

JON: My apologies. I should know better by now than to let you bait me into things.

DEBRA: I am sure that you are very accepting of all input on your stories. You are a stable, well rounded person who is working very hard to realize a dream. I hope you didn't think that I meant you aren't.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Jan 7 02:15:31 PST 2001

I have been a bit busy updating a number of web sites, but just noticed that Ben had made an appearance. Congrats on the publications. Hope all is well with you. We are hoping to make V-Con in May as part of our advertising the Westercon 56 bid. So, I may be up as far as Burnaby. Maybe we can arrange for a moment to touch bases again.

Sun Jan 7 00:07:23 PST 2001

Allein Sat Jan 6 23:58:59 PST 2001

Hi all,
I forgot to mention, just go to the 'animals' section and click on 'pets'.

Heather Sat Jan 6 23:58:57 PST 2001

P.S. For Jerry - I really liked 'The Black Hole' but there is one thing to consider: Wouldn't the prison have changed in that amount of time? Surely it would have been re-modelled, treatment procedures altered, etc...? Hey, even so, it's a great idea and you wrote it very well.

An excellent candidate for P**

Which reminds me, I had an idea for a Phantasium story myself... have to clear away some cobwebs first. A girl needs some sleep!


Allein Sat Jan 6 23:57:33 PST 2001

Hi all,
I just took this test and it says my perfect pet is a pet rock. Right after it is a cat. I love cats! ***A scratch behind the ears and a kiss for Jon***
The link is above if you want to take it.

Heather Sat Jan 6 23:53:57 PST 2001

Debra - I have lived in a climate that sometimes gets to 40 below zero degrees a few nights a year, and in the negative 1 to 15 range (CELCIUS) for more than 4 months. We had to wear snowsuits under our Halloween outfits, so you can guess how many times I went out as a gymnast (ha ha ha)... anyhow, what I wanted to tell you is that at nine years old, I would have been bundled up so much that you could barely see my eyes; but at age 13, I went to the bus stop in 'blizzardocious' snow squalls with no hat, wet hair, and a T-shirt on with my coat unzipped. But I was a teenager, and I had to look COOL. I was also famous for being late, so that's the reasoning behind the wet hair.
Another point - I did not attend Catholic school, so was not forced to wear kilts and knee-high socks through every-weather. But if I felt like wearing a kilt or a skirt, and it was snowing? You can bet I was out there, chattering teeth and knees at the bus stop. Did I tell you about what the boys used to do with snow? That's another story...

Yes, Christi, my shortie was TRUE. And sorry, I completely understand what it's like to lose something like that. My whole portfolio was stolen from me when I lived in the big city (leather cover, huge, filled with 5 years worth of drawings, paintings, and some poetry because it was a good place to keep everything together). I cried for weeks.
Ms. MacIntyre had the straightest and the blackest hair I had ever seen, and she looked something like a mix between Janet (with glasses) from Three's Company and the dark haired one in Charlie's Angels.

Mary, you don't have to defend yourself from Jon. Your comments were genuine, as always, and never mind that little nasty beast. He should have long ago been given the catsvasectomy and a nail file.(HEHEHEHHHH HEH HEH)

A kiss for Jon anyway, because I know his feelings have just been toyed with.

Richard, excellent shortie! Again, you are mature for your age, and your writing talent is growing at top speed.
And you didn't use too many adjectives in your shortie!

Sasquatch, you made me giggle heartily. Do it again! I liked the plunge into humour.
I think I would taste like Angus Beef with a little horseradish on the side.
No, no, maybe chicken caccitore. Oh, wait, maybe swedish meatballs with honey? Hmmmm. Now I'm thinking some sick thoughts, folks.
Must be time for bed.


Teekay Sat Jan 6 19:25:34 PST 2001

JERRY: "what goes round" was fantastic. What a great read. Great ending.

Teekay Sat Jan 6 19:11:08 PST 2001

Hi All,
HOWARD: Good shorty!

GARIESS: Ah, you are oBviously a drEAmeR who liKes to hIde away from the reaL ities of Life. PlEase cOuld you tell me what you Pictured me to Look likE. (Unless it's too hideous, then I don't wanna know.)
Good story. Glad to see it had a satisfactory ending. Wonder if he ever found the hat under the bush?

MARY: Jolly good horror story. :-)

JERRY: Yoh! Another **P**. Goody.

CHRISTI: Was reading your story and I got to the part where Meg, after opening her present got all quiet and a bit depressed and I thought 'Oh good God, she's gone and sold her ears to buy her friends present.' but thankfull that turned out not to be so. PHEW! Beautiful story.

HEATHER: Wonderful story. When your famous and they do another 'chicken soup for the writers soul' you should use that story. (if it's true that is.) I still haven't sent "Midworld" hold on. I will get to it.

BEN: CONGRATULATIONS. Is your work also in book form?

HOWARD: See. Those ol' bears just seem to be everywhere. Maybe even at the shops.

DEBRA: That is pretty coincidental. Do you ever come across a new word and all of a sudden it seems to pop up everywhere? I do. Or start singing a song to have it come on the radio at the same time, or being humming it in your head and then somebody starts singing it?

MARY: D-BRA? Now that's a knee slapper. Now that's a knee slapper!
P.S. April 22 hasn't even been this year.
I haven't missed something have I?

GARIESS: I have just read the post about you have nothing left of the original story. Neither do I but you must remember how it ended??? It ended where the boy was carrying the pie down the street to take it to the friends house but the dog attacked him and ate the pie.
This is like reading a good book only to find the last page missing.
And I love you too. I love your humour. I love your tongie in cheekedness. I love your witty wisdom.
Next time you take the mickey out of me, I promise to be flattered. :-D
I do not have a red cap, but do you think a large red bedsock would do the trick???

RICHARD: Bloody hell your talented for a 13 year old. A literary Mozart perhaps. Or maybe I've just forgotten what 13 was like.

CHRISTI: I have an eidetic memory, which is pretty handy during argument with hubby about who said and did what when and where. I don't have a photographic memory though. I think that would be pretty cool.

ALLEIN: I definitely want to see that movie.

JERRY: WOW! And I agree with ROSEMARY.

DEBRA: I have analysed your dream and if you like I shall give you a consult, but I won't until you say you want to hear it. :-)

I've completed chapter wo-hon. I've completed chapter wo-hon. Only 57 or so to go-ho.
Right. Off to look at **P**

Debra Sat Jan 6 17:36:21 PST 2001


Thanks a thousand times over for letting me use your words.

As for the swiping of the hat, I'll bet you never gave it thought for the same reason why you wouldn't right now, you couldn't stand yourself if you did. I'm sure that's the real reason. As for your friends who also didn't steal the hat, well you probably hung out with nice people like yourself. The real prize was the experience and we both know that is not lost with your replica or the book. It's safe and sound where it will always be.


Sat Jan 6 16:56:57 PST 2001

Gariess Sat Jan 6 14:51:49 PST 2001


Feel free to use anything I post here. I am flattered.


gariess Sat Jan 6 14:47:44 PST 2001


I am sorry to have to tell you that I do not have your book.

As to your question about the renowned hat—do I wish I had kept it? I tried to portray the fact in the story that Mr. Vonnegut was something of a curiosity to us parochial yokels. He was not a famous writer in those days, but he had published his first novel and had just recently quit a job in order to write full time. I never knew what the job was, but he had written short stories for Colliers Magazine. I did not share any superstitions about the hat with Mr. Vonnegut, and so swiping it would never have occurred to me. None-the-less it would make a great conversation piece. I was less than candid in the story in stating that I sometimes wondered where he got the hat. I deduced later that he had gotten it from LL Bean. I saw one just like it in their catalogue in the mid-sixties—same god-awful color and everything. It was very little money so I ordered one, and sure enough it was a replica of the notorious road-kill. That was years ago, and I no longer know where it is—probably with your book.

An interesting thing about Vonnegut Jr. Is that he was very driven to prove himself to his father who must have been some formidable figure to Kurt Jr. He used to write drafts of his letters to the old man and make copious notes on them and file them away. How do I know this? I snooped, of course. One day I might be interviewed in a documentary.


Hallee Sat Jan 6 12:28:21 PST 2001

Hey everyone!

ROSEMARY: It is a beautiful Saturday. It's almost sixty degrees outside with a bright blue sky. I think we have this for one more day before (shudder) the teen lows and thirties highs come back.

Oh yeah - I posted the short story I wrote the other day for that contest the other day. I just forgot to say anything about it.

Okay - back to the book. On the final stretch now. I'm supposed to be at my mother in law's half an hour ago to install something on her computer for her - but I think I'll drag it out for another 15 minutes and get a few more paragraphs written.

>>><<< Scratching Jon's ears.


Debra Sat Jan 6 10:29:06 PST 2001


I didn't think you were critizing my story. I understand what you were feeling. I can imagine if you didn't live in a cold part of the country that you wouldn't even believe that kids do sometimes go to the bus stop dressed inappropaiately. They do. That's why I asked the question so you could see.

I think parents can only do so much. I have a full time job of making my nine year old son dress the right way so he can go to the bus stop. I have aged considerable making sure he does. He is only nine. Heaven help me when he gets older. I might just let him stand there in a speedo if that's what he wanted.

I welcome any comments from any of my friends here. I'll prove it now.


Thanks. On the part of "whom" I was under the understanding that if you could replace whom with him and it made sense, then it was used correctly. I might have not tested it. Could you tell me the rule as you know it? I'd love that. In the meantime, I'll put whom on the back burner. It it my impression that if a person finds a way to write for a iving they will be supplied with an editor. I do, however, love to use words correctly.


Please read my bear dream. I can't imagine why the first time I ever dream about bears I would walk straight to my computer and see a post from Gariess to you about your fears about bears. In my dream I felt that the haphazard way we were in that situation meant that it could happen anywhere,out of range was a non issue. Is that how you feel? Also could I leave you name in the story? If not I will change it.


Can I leave your post in my story? If not, I will change it.


sasquatch Sat Jan 6 09:38:05 PST 2001

i sasquatch have lived all of my life in the north and i have never dressed differently for snow or warm time. if Yeti would see another Yeti with humans covering on would be strange and i think as you say inappropriate. that is a large word which i think it means not as correct.
i sasquatch have also been seeing your talk of eating meat of lower creatures. this is the way of things and we lower creatures accept as part of what is mean to be by the one. some are more tasting good than others. sasquatch will be tough and stringy and bad taste. ha ha i must go.

Rosemary Sat Jan 6 09:05:30 PST 2001

A Beautiful Saturday to all,

I didn't mean to criticize your story, I just threw out my first impression. And you're right, the only time I have lived in the north was when I was 8 years old. We lived in the lower part of Michigan and I don't really remember what I wore then. I also didn't have children so my impression of how independent a 9 year old girl is must be way off. I thought the parents were in charge of the childs safety until they were at least 13 or 14. Having lived in the south most of my life, 15 degrees F. sounds dangerous to me.

Is Good and Plenty Ice cream licorice? Or is it just a lot of good ice cream?
I'll bet most writers have a touch of paranoia. What other career allows everyone and his crazy uncle to tell you what they think of your work. Not to even mention, we go around begging for the pain. Then we don't believe the good stuff and agonize over the bad. We're not paranoid--everyone's against us.

The Black Hole was excellent, and since it has ghost in it, I think it should go into **P**.

I'm now goint to read your posting in **P**.

Mary Sat Jan 6 08:25:13 PST 2001

JON: I hardly think that the words of encouragement and appreciation that I gave the people here on the Notebook were a disservice. Shortie night is a fun night for all of us to exercise our noodles and establish fellowship. Most (certainly and obviously not ALL) of the stories set here on Thursdays are off the cuff and mine are usually typed right into the posting box. All of them have merit, some of them are wonderful, and every one of them offer something unique.

As an example: The same story that Debra posted as a shortie, if posted in the Workbook, would have gotten a more down to business response from me. I told her I enjoyed her story and I did. That was not an exaggeration. I think it is wonderful that Heather gave her a lot of insight, and that you too gave Debra something to think about. I just personally didn't choose to do that.

That is not to say that I think we should post crummy shorties as they are representative of our site and I think visitors take impressions from them. I am only saying that unless someone asks for a critique on a shortie, I am taking them simply as stories that needed to be told if even imperfectly.

EVERYONE ELSE: I certainly hope that my response to Jon doesnt dilute my comments on your shorties. I sincerely meant what I said and stick by it 100%. Actually I think I just struck a nerve when I told Litter he is a genius and didn't scratch Jon behind his ears.

One final thing before I go...Jon is absolutely right about exaggerated praise. It doesn't do anyone any good. It makes for weak stories and broken hearts. Tactful, constructive criticism is an art in and of itself that most likely all of us could work on improving.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day. I truely do. That is not an exaggeration. Really. post or not to post........ah,what the

Jon Sat Jan 6 05:28:40 PST 2001

Nice story, Debra (I mean, the first one, haven't read the second). The girl was not gullible (what's your dictionary, Heather?) but, on the contrary, incredulous. She paid for her incredulity. Apart from the linguistic inconsistency of the story's conclusion, it reflects the reactions of a nine year old girl, and deserves a good edit. (Never use "whom" again until you know how to use it properly).

Mary, do not exaggerate your praise. That's a bad service to writers.

Heather, are you sure Ms. MacIntyre was not Mr. McIntyre? I think I know that family...

Allein Fri Jan 5 23:29:33 PST 2001

Hi All,
Tomorrow's picture of the day is posted a bit early (what the heck, it's almost midnight). This is a cute one of Sheena, Patches and Tabari.

Christi - The movie is good. Some language, a little sexual stuff and adult situations, but overall, it's a really good movie. I won't say much but he does something really nice for this one lady (whom I can personally relate to) in the end. I highly recommend it. Sometimes I've thought it'd be nice to read guy's minds but most guys my age only have one thing on their mind. Notice that I said most not all, because I know that the guys on the notebook don't think about that one thing all the time.
Pepper is doing wonderful. I gave her some beef and she knocked a piece in her water (she has one of those duel food and water dishes) and she tried to get it with her mouth and then with her foot but she hates water (we found this out when she jumped in the hot tub with my parents) so I had to get it out for her. She's really good at taking food from my hand - I don't think she'd ever bite someone but when she's eating those teeth can look a bit scary. But she really is a sweet dog. Another cute thing she did was when my dog played the song "Who let the Dogs Out" on our computer (we downloaded it on Napster) she went rushing to the computer room. She seems to like that song. She was really playful yesterday - she knocked me down and licked my face like crazy.
Anyway, it's almost midnight, so I'm headed off to bed.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jan 5 21:24:18 PST 2001

Christi - thanks for the concern. The wife is feeling some better, her blood pressure has come down to what would be considered high, instead the extreme it has been for the past week or so. Seems to be a reaction to the meds her doctor had her on for the knee thing. Now they can't decide what to do for sure next, the haven't taken her off the pills, as they are the only drug that has helped since she began having the trouble, they just put her on more blood pressure pills, and took her off coffee and salt. They also are taking her off work again for a three month trial. That will make things a mite tough on the old pay check but if it brings her back to normal health then it will be worth the sacrifice.

Glad you enjoyed the short shortie, I think you may have something there about expanding on it, I may give it a look see when things get a little more settled down around the house. It will be nice to have the wife home again even if it means we have to cut back. Her last R&R lasted about two months, and we did enjoy being together. I was concerned when first she said she would be home for awhile that we would get on each others nerves but that never happened. Guess even in our old age we still fit together nicely.

Debra thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

Did you happen to see the one I dropped off in **P** the other day?


Christi Fri Jan 5 20:57:14 PST 2001

JERRY, I can't believe I forgot to say how glad I am that you're back with us! I hope your wife is feeling much better.
And what a cool shortie! Prison in zero gravity, what a thought! That could be expanded on for sure.

DEBRA, I hope you don't have that dream again either. Just for you I'm sending a dream of cotton candy lollipops and Good and Plenty ice cream. There, that ought to grab your subconscious' attention. ;)

Debra Fri Jan 5 20:23:35 PST 2001


By the way wow. That was amazing as usual.

I always get excited when I see you posted a story.

I never get disappointed. Of course no one here ever disappoints.


Debra Fri Jan 5 20:21:38 PST 2001


It was weird. I had just walked out of my room from having it. It was just moments before I woke up. I turned on the computer and the first post I saw was Gariess's talking about Teekay's fear of bears. I didn't ever find out what she was afraid of. I know bears. I just didn't get the details.

I'd love to know if it was something like my dream.

I guess I'll wait.

Thanks it was some dream. I hope I don't have it again.

There were so many feelings that I had while I was dreaming it that I didn't put into the story. It wouldn't be short if I had. One of the ws the fear of seeing a loved one die. That is a true motivator.

Talk to you later


Jerry Ericsson htttp:// Fri Jan 5 19:44:43 PST 2001

Ok I see there are a few short shorties coming in late. Guess it is never too late to contribute, so here is mine, hope you enjoy it.

The Black Hole
by Jerry Ericsson

The darkness was total. He could hold his hand right before his face yet see nothing. The temperature was regulated to be exactly 75 degrees F. Sound could not penetrate the same walls that kept the light out. Gravity was turned off. He had nothing to drink or eat, no place to relieve himself, nothing. That’s why they call it the hole. He was sentenced to five days in the hole. Five days of total sensory depravation. The only thing that interrupted his punishment was the one meal of bread and water that was pushed under the door. It was on a glowing platter so he could see the food. Not enough light for him to really see anything, just a dim glow but after the first twenty-four hours he welcomed the glow, it allowed him to get a sense of up and down, or right and left, of reality. After five minutes, the guard pulled on the chain that was attached to the platter and he was alone again, floating in the hole. Yesterday he lost it for a short time, and began screaming, it did no good, no one answered his screams for help. Last night, (was it night) he floated into his own urine that floated about in the hole with him. He was horrified yet there was nothing he could do.

The words of the judge echoed through his mind, “Having been found guilty of assault on a peace officer, I hereby sentence you to five years in a facility to be determined by the galactic penology division.”

He never thought it was assault, he had simply jerked away when the officer grabbed him by the arm but that was enough these days. To resist arrest was considered assault. He was in the hole because he resisted the penal guard who was directing him to the laundry. At least that is what the guard said; in reality he simply got lost and turned the wrong way, when the guard turned the other.

As his thoughts brought him back to some sort of sanity, his body bumped into the wall, or was it the floor, the ceiling, who knows. “Sorry” he said to no one.

“You have nothing to be sorry about,” said a voice from within the deep of the darkness.

“What? Who? Who are you?”

“I am not real, you are here alone.”

“If you aren’t real, how can I hear you? Am I going crazy, insane, nuts or what?”

“No, I think you are sane or at least you were a second ago.”

He pushed himself away from the wall (floor/ceiling) and began spinning in the weightlessness or at least he thought he was spinning. “Who are you then?”

“A prisoner, much like you.”

“But they only put one person at a time in the hole!”

“I know, I have been so lonely until you came. It is so nice to have company.”
“How long have you been here?”

“I have no idea, you see it was the year 2109 when I was placed in the hole, what year is it now?”

“My God! It is 2314 now!”

“Wow, I knew it was a long time, you see I died in here, alone, drowned when I inhaled my own urine while I was sleeping. That is why when they hear you sleeping, they turn up the gravity just enough to allow your waste to fall to the floor where it is washed down a drain. I know for now that I am dead, I can see, you see we no longer need light or air, or anything for that matter, but we do like company.”

“I have never heard any of the others talk of hearing you when they come out of the hole, why me?”

“Oh my, don’t you know? Of course you don’t how could you, you see you are dead too, you died just before we started talking, heart attack I think, but I would be just guessing. Oh and there is some bad news, and I hate to be the one to tell you, but if you die in here, you will be here for all eternity. You know how to play 2 handed pinochle? Well no worry, we have plenty of time for you to learn.

Christi Fri Jan 5 19:30:06 PST 2001

GARIESS! Wow, whatta story! Dont'cha wish you'd sniped that hat away and kept it?!

HEATHER, I loved the story about your teacher. It was fantastic! You're not going to believe how similar my third grade experience was to yours.

In the third grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Justice, the teacher of all teachers. She was pretty and kind and the first teacher to get me excited about school. She asked if I'd like to participate in a program where I'd be able to write a book. When I was able to stop dancing, I yelled out an emphatic, "YES!" Actually, I was too shy and timid at the time to do anything like dancing or shouting, but oh how I wanted to. I wrote and illustrated my book (I'm sure the drawings were little stick people with triangle dresses) and then it was sent out to be bound under hard cover. When we who participated got them back we had books, our stories written in our own handwriting. (!!!) She entered all our books in an event called "The Young Author's Conference," of which I remember nothing of the outcome. The day came when our books came back from the conference and Mrs. Justice began passing them out one by one. When she'd passed out the last one, I still didn't have my book. She looked everywhere, but it was nowhere to be found; it never made it back from the conference. In my childish imaginings I supposed that my book had been so extraordinary, so inspiring that the judges at the conference just couldn't bear to part with it, and kept it to use as a model for other children everywhere. The sad thing is, I don't remember the name of my book or even what it was about. It probably was about an bicycling penguin or something. Every now and then I remember that book and I find myself disappointed all over again. Isn't that silly?

And now I have to ask, do you have my book?!

BEN, It's very nice to meet you! I attempted to check out your story but couldn't find the site you mentioned.

HOWRAD, I went to Themestream for the first time tonight just to check you out. (Woo woo!) Great poem!

Gee thanks, MARY, DEBRA, ROSEMARY, GARIESS, for saying such nice things. Love to you.

MARY, Do you REALLY have a photographic memory? That always worries me when people say that. I don't know why. It's like they'll never forget anything you say, so you've got to watch every word. Paranoia anyone?

DEBRA AGAIN, That was some dream. I loved how you pulled the ending off. Great!

ALLEIN, Tell me how the movie is; I want to see that one. How's Pepper?

RACHEL, How goes it? Still got that energy kick or have you entered the misery stage? My wish for you is that you skip the misery and go straight to having your little one.

RICHARD, Nice shortie. The title was great too!
I began reading your novel and thought it to be very well done. I've only read one Star Wars book before. Yours seems to be as good as the one I read; keep it up! I'll give you a crit when the time materializes.

And last, but most certainly not least, TEEKAY ... where are you? Gee, sometimes I feel like a shepherd ... ;)

Hasta la night night,


Richard Fri Jan 5 14:47:40 PST 2001

I've posted the first chapter and a half of Call to Action - love some comments on it, though annoyingly there's TWO lines between each paragraph now because I pasted the raw HTML from the file and forgot the notebook did it automatically *fume*

I've had some great teachers as well. Mr. Maxwell was my last one - he had a really quirky personality and sense of humor. He also had a big black bushy mustache, heh.

The thing I liked about his classes was he really encouraged us to look closely at whatever we were studying and try to find the hidden meanings. In high school its like they're just cramming us with as much knowledge as possible and moving on. Right, this means, this that, everyone okay? Right NEXT!

Mrs. Teasdale is my teacher now. She encourages me to write and stuff, but in a way I still miss Mr. Maxwell. His class was always fairly laid back and yet it made us think at the same time. The thing I always dread is getting a teacher whose stern, shouts a lot, doesn't encourage discussion and forms no bonds with pupils. Luckily, I haven't got one of them yet...

Richard Fri Jan 5 14:26:52 PST 2001

Sorry I missed Shortie Night - again! - but I had a freind round yesterday and we watched all four star wars films in a row, solid! I woke up at 12 a.m this morning and have been writing Call to Action for the rest of the day.

So, lets see if I can slip in a late shortie. Hmm... think...


She caught him crossing the space between the stairs and the door to the study. "Jack?"

A slight boy, Jack stopped and performed a very strange manuever, hopping onto his left foot and then rotating himself 180 degrees. "Mum?"

Here it goes, she thought. "I wrung up your freind Thomas and asked him if he'd like to play. He said yes, if you wanted to. You could take your bikes..."

Jack looked pained. "Mom... I'm kinda busy y'know..."

She folded her arms. "Jack. All you ever do is play on that stupid computer..."

"I don't play Mum," he objected. "I've got freinds on the net! We're meeting to play a tournament of Jaggenfall..."

With a sigh, she turned away and let him escape into the confines of the small study. She glanced at the unwashed dishes piled up beside the sink. She couldn't be bothered to handle it right now. Tired, she slipped into the sitting room and collapsed onto the couche.

Jack bounded into the room an hour later, startling her from a light sleep. Groggily, she listened to his excited chatter about some obscure competition he'd come second in. On the computer, she thought. Always that computer.

"That's nice dear," she said, yawning. "Well done."

The door clicked shut behind Jack. The end of another day. His chest felt heavy. God, he hated school. He'd seen High School as an adventure at first, but the oppressive atmosphere smothered him now. New oppurtunties came mixed with new kinds of pain.

He let the heavy bag slide off his shoulder and hit the carpeted floor, stuffed with books, jotters, stationary and work files. His mother laughed when he called school a prison. She was right, it wasn't.

It was a torture chamber.

Not wanting any more lectures, Jack tiptoed toward the study and slipped inside. Seating himself in front of the computer, he basked in the glow of the tabletop lamp. Hitting the power key, he leaned back, feeling strangely at peace with his surroundings.

Once he was into windows, he logged onto the net and clicked on the mailbox shortcut in the task bar. A sing-song tone resounded from the speakers, telling him he had mail. A grin crept over Jack's face as he read the message. Looking down to the keyboard, he began to type away.

Things might be bad in his life - but there would always be those freinds he could not see, those with lessened capacity - and less desire - to hurt him.


Taadaa! Hmm, I must now meditate in an attempt to discover whether I have fallen to this same fate...

Nah, I'm not far gone...


Debra Fri Jan 5 13:50:39 PST 2001


Thank you for saying that. Again my story has merit.

Also,the other one I just posted about my dream. I forgot to mention that when Wanda,me ,turned around she saw that the door had no door knob on the inside. That is why she didn't just open it up and run out the way they came in. It is a very important detail to leave out. I actually didn't leave it out on purpose.

Oh yea it's also loaded with typo's which I will fix whenever.

Thanks Hallee


Hallee Fri Jan 5 13:37:46 PST 2001

DEBRA: My father was stationed at Ft. Drum, NY for three years, where the temeratures easily plummet well below zero most of the winter. My brother and sister, high school students at the time, dressed extremely inappropriately. According to my mother, my little brother would actually bundle all the way up except for the shorts he insisted he wear on a daily basis. Of course, they weren't 9 years old and he was a good foot taller than my mother at the time...hahahaha


Allein Fri Jan 5 12:39:09 PST 2001

Hi all,
Not very much time - I'm headed to see What Women Want - I've heard this one is good.

Today's drawing is of Quachik and Chélon when they were younger (ten maybe).

Heather Fri Jan 5 12:34:37 PST 2001

Thanks for kudos received, and many praises sung to my fellow notebookers, each and every unique voice has talent and ingenuity.

I agree that it is a precious thing to have been taught a portion of third grade by an incredibly caring teacher, and have had many good experiences in grade school on account of having a few great friends (namely one) and some really awesome teachers. I had more than one excellent teacher, but the most influential would be Ms. MacIntyre. Unfortunately she was only our teacher for four short months. For such a diminutive period of time, she sure made an impact on my life!
But we needn't have had great teachers in our youth to have confidence in our abilities now, by any means. It just helps. Our adult life instead could be filled with supportive, helpful people who encourage our creative and technical growth when it comes to writing: the notebookers, and our families.

Or we could have one heckuvan amazing self-confidence gained solely by grabbing life by the teeth, and holding on. Though riddled with pitfalls and slippery slopes, we have all gathered here for a reason: to celebrate the love of writing, and to work steadily towards making the most impact. (Drill it home, dentistes)
Hey, if we need, we can always pick up some tools to ease the heady ride up.

Debra Fri Jan 5 12:33:06 PST 2001

Hi All: I turned my computer on this morning after having a bad dream. I wrote a short story about it. I changed some of the names. I'm posting it. I hope no one minds.



“There you are,” Wanda frantically called to her eight year old son, Jason.
“I have been searching for almost half an hour.” Wanda grabbed in his direction to hug him and his friend Adam.
“I’m glad they were together.,” she thought.
“Mom I’m hungry.” Jason proclaimed as if unaffected by the events of the past half hour.
“Well you’re in luck for the second time today.” Wanda giggled in pure relief.
“Here’s a restaurant right here.” Wanda was pointing to a black door. She didn’t even know how she knew it was a restaurant. She just knew. The door almost wouldn’t open. She just chocked it up to her little frame and the fact that she was almost forty. She finally gave it one big shove. The door flew open and banged on the wall behind it. She walked right in. It immediately revealed a dingy looking dinning room with only three, empty, metal tables. Jason and Adam trustingly followed her in. Wanda instantly realized that this was by far the most disgusting place she had ever seen. She was not eating here. It didn’t matter how hungry Jason was.

As soon as all three figures were completely through the door, it slammed closed. The thick metal door slammed so hard that all their stomach’s vibrated from the force. Startled, they all turned simultaneously to look back. Wanda was the first one to turn her head back towards the dinning room.
“Whoo, shit, where did he come from?” She whispered to herself. There what almost looked like it was sitting on a chair at one of the tables, was an over six foot black bear. He was eating an apple. He turned his head toward at all three figures as if he were expecting them.
“Okay. Don’t panic boys.” Wanda was panting all her words as if in childbirth. “ He must be trained!” Wanda’s heart was beating so hard she could feel it crashing up against her rib cage.
“Why else would he be here?” Her mind was racing wondering how she could have gotten herself into this mess.
“Okay we will just go around him, not to fast.” Wanda warned. She wanted the boys to walk at an even keel. She rounded the table scraping her left hip on the little half wall that which was the only thing separating them. It was at this time she found herself face to face with this gigantic beast. The two boys started to panic and began running pushing her to do it too. She quickly responded by running, as did they all. Wanda turned in her fright to see that this human train had her son as a caboose. Thinking fast she stopped long enough to let them pass. This would allow her to grab their shirts and make them run faster.
“It’s amazing how many thoughts can go through your mind in microseconds when it is in a state of horror.” Wanda thought.
Wanda was still in swiping distance when the bear suddenly realized that a three-course gourmet meal was trying to slip out the back. He sprang to life leaping over the table straight towards Wanda and the two little boys. Horror turned into pure electricity and ran through all three figures. Their running turned into a full fledge stampede.

Even though Wanda was last she directed the boys where she wanted them to run almost telepathically. There were so many directions to go. She was confused what this place was now. It was clearly not a restaurant. The bear was on their tail. His claws scratched mercilessly on the cement floor as he raced towards them. He opened his mouth and let out a roar so loud the reverberations seemed to pull at their skin. The terror multiplied even though Wanda didn’t think she could feel any more scared. She searched for new ways to go in what she was finding out second by second was a maze of gray cement. They had come to a dead end. Wanda’s head moved in rapid successions, which looked like she was saying no to someone.

The bear was right around the corner. She could see he was on his hind legs by his shadow. At that moment she looked up and saw a window with a hard metal screen covering it.
“Hold on boys,” Wanda screamed in a shrilling terror stricken voice. She hopped up with more energy than she had ever experienced and crashed the screen through to the ground below. Quickly she grabbed her son and pushed him through as if she were throwing a sack of potatoes. She turned and reached for Adam. That’s when she saw the bear standing in the doorway looking at her. No clear thoughts could be registered as she picked up Adam and pushed him through the open window. The beast rushed at Wanda. He his height was so menacing she gave up her fight for life. She started to lie down on the floor to wait for death to come. He charged at her and knocked her the rest of the way. As he raised his hand to sink his claws into her flesh, she rolled out of his reach. She didn’t know why but she crawled up his back and used his course needle like fur as handles. She pushed herself through the open window. The bear pushed his head right behind her and grabbed the back of her shirt.
“Oh, my God, Wanda screamed in horror to see the two boys in their new predicament. They were all in the top of a tree in the outdoor section of the bear exhibit. There were three more bears coming in towards them. The original bear was still in the window making hideous screaming sounds that made their whole bodies quake.

“Mom,” Jason shook her shoulder. “Mom, I’m sorry to wake you but it’s time for school and my lunch isn’t in the fridge.”
Wanda’s eyes opened and she sprang up. The nausea was premeditating the walls of her stomach.
“Ha huh huh,” Wanda panted and looked around to see she was in her bedroom.
“Mom, what’s the matter?” Jason asked.
“Oh nothing, honey. You just saved my life that’s all.” Wanda finally realized it was all a bad dream.
“Am I buying or are you making my lunch? I have to leave in half an hour.” Jason pressed.
“Okay. I’m coming.” Wanda waved her arm for Jason to leave her room so she could get out of bed in dignity.

Wanda walked down stairs trying to shake off the fright. She clearly knew that it was a dream. Why was she so scared?

Turning on her faithful computer she clicked on to her favorite site for writers. She had plenty of time to make Jason’s lunch. She would just calm herself by reading a little of the notebook first.

As the site appeared Wanda couldn’t believe her eyes.

Gariess Thu Jan 4 21:34:05 PST 2001

I see that you are on about the bears, again. It is so strange that you have this phobia of a creature that exists nowhere near you. Or maybe it could be that a nice safe phobia to have is one that is no immediate threat. Still, I sense something almost Freudian about this obsession. Is there such a thing as "almost" Freudian? Actually, should you ever be in a place that has bears, you would be served well to turn this neurotic preoccupation into a realistic caution. Bears are very dangerous animals and the best place to be is well-the-hell away from them.


“Could this mean nothing? Could it only be a coincidence?” Wanda thought. Maybe she should write down her dream. It might be the only way to get rid of this fright.

Wanda sat in front of her computer remembering every awful minute. She let her fear move from her torso into the computer. When she was done, the fear was gone and it’s place a new short story.


Debra Fri Jan 5 11:57:04 PST 2001


I live in the upper right hand corner of Rhode Island.

Please tell Rosemary that you have waited at the bus stop dressed inappropariately at some point in your life.

You have? Right?

Where do you live?


howard Fri Jan 5 11:45:17 PST 2001

MARY -- Now that you mention it, I do remember posting something about that a while back. Hope it came out the same as before!

Knee-slapper!? oMIGOSH! Now there's a thought! It ain't only bears that keep popping up around here -- it's mammalian protuberances too!

DEEBRA -- Where in the northeast?

Gariess Fri Jan 5 11:43:10 PST 2001


Good to hear from you, Congratulations on publicating your work. Must have a look.


Your wit is showing, and brevity is the soul of it.


gareiss Fri Jan 5 11:18:25 PST 2001


That was a sweet shorty. You can usually spot the bright ones at an early age. Such a special bond can exist between a great teacher and her students. I remember one especially caring teacher from my grade school. There should be at least one to a childhood. Too bad it isn't the kind of thing that can be legislated.


Debra Fri Jan 5 11:13:09 PST 2001


My dream about bears was so fiightening and to get up to turn my computer on and find you all talking about bears was, well too much to bear.

I am writing it in a short story. Can I post it when I'm done? I've never dreamt about bears before. I don't think I can wait until next Thrusday.

I'll try to write another one by then.



gariess Fri Jan 5 10:54:29 PST 2001


That was a very moving shortie. Very touching even though a bit on the girlie side for us masculine types... sniff, sniff.


Fri Jan 5 10:49:31 PST 2001


I am amazed to learn that you also have a tongie, I am sure that if I stuck mine out I would be arrested at once. By the way, what did you mean by "I hope it has an ending?" Am I known for writing stories without endings? Aha, it just dawned on me. It’s that damned thing about the kid and the dog. I thought I explained to you that I lost the whole thing in my computer, and could never face up to rewriting it. I have not a single remnant of the original piece anywhere, but I promise you this: if you have any of it that you can email me, I will flesh out the whole from what you send me, and return it to you complete. That way you will have your own personal story from me. I will consider it sufficient atonement for having ragged on you about the bears. You do know I only do it ‘cause I love you, don’t you?


Mary Fri Jan 5 10:45:14 PST 2001

HOWARD: Did you know that you told the same bear story on April 22nd this year? Don't ask me how I know that...I told you I have a photographic memory.

Mary Fri Jan 5 10:39:36 PST 2001

D-BRA? Now that's a knee slapper.

Sorry I missed you...had unexpected company and had to jet.

Debra Fri Jan 5 09:59:31 PST 2001


Good one. I was called d-bra by the boys in my neighborhood.

So I can relate.


how wierd Fri Jan 5 09:50:49 PST 2001

DEB -- Don't think I didn't catch that little play on my name! Teekay and I had a thing going about bears, and you hadda jump in with one of my nicknames! (just kidding) :-)Actually I have been known to answer to that...

BEN - Welcome back! I do remember you from way back when... I'll certainly take a look at your story!

I just posted "Hazel" on Themestream. Take a look at and do a search on TUCKEY and you'll find some stuff.

b o y h


Rosemary Fri Jan 5 09:40:26 PST 2001

Hi all,
Your story almost made me cry. It is a rare thing to have a friend that close. It was not Juvie at all. (Especially after Beaky) The real world has enough sad endings--I rarely write one.

Your story was beautiful. My father was Military and we moved so often I have few memories of Elementary and Middle school teachers. I now know I must have missed something.

ALL the shorties have been worth while. I'm not going to say I loved them all, but I didn't hate any of them. Writing a cohesive piece with that few words is an art I have yet to master but I'm still trying.
There are masters of the short shorty here. My hat is off to all of you.


Debra Fri Jan 5 08:28:40 PST 2001


How weird. I just had a bad dream about a bear this morning. ONly a few minutes later, I got up and turned on my computer and found people talking about your fears about bears. As far as my dream goes, your fears are for good reason. Be afraid be very afraid. I'll tell my dream next week in a shortie. Well, I hope I can keep it short.

Mary went to the chat room. You were not there.


howard Fri Jan 5 08:24:41 PST 2001

Great shorties all!

GARIESS -- Kurt Vonnegut!? You do travel in elite circles! My only claim to fame is that I know all youse guys on the Notebook!

MARY -- Nice pictures! I looked at them the day you posted, but got a scripting error along with the pix.

Cutting edge -- hmm... That was inspired by "Incident at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce, and by "A Bullet in the Brain," by Tobias Wolf. Both are excellent stories that span only a few seconds, but are told in delicious slow motion.

It's snowing here too, but according to the weatherdrone we're only supposed to get a couple of inches. Right. Like the 18 inches of "partly cloudy" we got a coupld of years ago.

TEEKAY -- Bears? Not to worry. A few years ago our #3 daughter was out blackberrying with the neighbor we used to help. They were on the state land a few miles from here, and had found some very nice berries. Andria had a bucket just about full, and hollered to Gladys, who she could hear on the other side of the bushes she was picking on. Gladys ansered her, from behind another clump of bushes! So Andria stuck her head around the clump where she was picking, and came up almost nose to nose with a black bear! She went one way, the bear went the other, and as far as I know, the bucket hasn't come down yet!

back on yer heads

Ben Woestenburg Fri Jan 5 08:21:46 PST 2001

Hello Jack!!
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in. My God, it's been what, three, four years since I've been here? And this place is going stronger than ever. I'm impressed. A lot.
I'd have to spend a year just reading the archives to catch up. I'm gonna have to go in there and find all the old friends who seem to have drifted away with the years anyway...but I just wanted you to know that I'm published and will be showing up on the web sometime in either late January or possibly February--of course I could be wrong and it won't be until March or April--but that doesn't matter to me. The site is PAPERBYTES.ORG, and the story is ST. FREDA. Check it out when you get a chance.
Oh yeah, I'm on line now. It's taken this long for me to actually get back on line. I didn't want to screw with my computer and put new things on it. It's my typewriter. This one is for the kids, and when I look through the history, you can tell. Hotmail and chats, I spend more time monitoring them than I do looking for my own interests. I have to get up pretty early if I want to get on line before them...but I always have been an early riser.
I trust everything in your neck of the woods is fine. Fran? Have you even bothered to try and cash in on the cross border shopping yet? I can't believe the last time we actually talked really was the last time--(that's pretty good, eh, you guys' can use that if you want)--oh yeah, and the concert wasn't that bad either, even though those guys went bust as well. But I think we had more fun sitting in this little tiny bar we found on the way to the concert, just after we parted company, where we drank huge amounts of different tequillas and beer. Small wonder why the concert was so good, eh?
Anyway, I wish you all the best in the coming new year, and continued success with what has got to be the hottest, and the bestest, site for writers on the Net. Carry on, and I'm always open for a beer--unfortunately the car's not so shit hot (wasn't that the problem last time?) and I doubt if it could make the long ride to Seattle--there's less rain and snow up here in Vancouver anyway...thank God for global warming. (Gee I sure hope that didn't offend any of the sensitive people out there, but when you consider I remember having snow and rain for the entire winter months when I was a kid, and loving it, and now that I'm in my forties we get snow for about three or four days at a time and I have to work outside...well, what did you expect me to say?)

Mary Fri Jan 5 08:14:23 PST 2001

Back again to say hello to RICHARD and to tell DEBRA that I am going to the chat room if she has time to join me.

Mary Fri Jan 5 08:12:06 PST 2001

EDDIE: where are you?

TINA: Hiya.

ALLEIN: Thanks again for the great illustrations.

Debra Fri Jan 5 08:11:00 PST 2001


I was planning to post a list just like yours all except for mine of course.

Can I just say what Mary said?

Christi, I'm so jealous that no one has ever given me a gift like that. I was a little choked up at the end too.

I really like shortie night. I'm sure that most of you noticed I don't usually post one. I get a little busy from time to time. Also, my husband sees me sitting here writing as an insult to him. Can you imagine?

It's as if he would be satisified with half a wife just so he could get more attention.

Anyway, my list is just like yours for the praise.


Mary Fri Jan 5 08:02:18 PST 2001

Good Morning Everyone!

Another successful shortie night. I have just finished enjoying all the stories over my coffee. It is a wonderful feeling that every week it takes me longer to read them all.

DEBRA: I enjoyed your story very much.
GARIESS: Wonderful as always.
CHRISTI: You made me all misty at the end.
HEATHER: Inspiring....something you are so very good at.
HOWARD: Cutting edge of course.
ROSEMARY: Big smiles to you.
HALLEE: Thank you.
MARK: Just great...and your dogs sound absolutely perfect.
TEEKAY: I love a little spice.
LITTER: Last but certainly not are a genius.
If I missed anyone....there will be an amendment post after this one. ;-)

Duke is still stuck to me like glue and I can't get over how fast he learns. I am beginning to wonder if he is just faking me out and someone else already taught him all this stuff.

GARIESS: I know exactly what you mean about the picture/Poirot thing. I even told myself the same thing, but curiosity got the better of me and I can't stop myself from looking. I like to know the real thing. Plus I love to know how close I was. So far the only person I had correct was Teekay.

My husband came home a little late from work yesterday with a bag from the bookstore. He had bought his own copy of "Ender's Game". He said that I ran threw it and had it in the mail so fast he didnt have a chance to say he wanted to read it. He has been keeping up with the posts here as well and heard so many good reviews that he couldn't help himself. I haven't started "Ender's Shadow" yet, which I originally thought was a sequel, but turns out to be the same exact story as "Game" ,told from a different POV.

Have a great day everyone. Hope your weather isn't as harsh as ours is right now. It is getting warmer but the trade off is buckets of snow. The snow in my yard has reached the bottom branches of the crabapple tree in my side yard. Wow. It's still coming down.

Heather Fri Jan 5 01:06:41 PST 2001

One typo: should have read 'news' instead of 'new'...

Heather Fri Jan 5 01:02:33 PST 2001

Christi, I'll bet dogs find that everyone has an odour peculiar to them, and dogs probably have a grand old time rating them! Sort of a warped perfumer's convention. Perhaps they share the news of the latest '10 pluses' in example form at the neighbourhood pee poles?
(I think my sides are in pain from your hilarious remarks!)
And a really cool shortie, too.

Everyone, very good shorties tonight!
Gariess, I liked what you said about Poirots. I think I have the classic lightbulb one in my head when I think of you, but the man behind the underpants may be a little different than say, Teekay's personal Gariess Poirot.

Here's to 'Poirots'; just one more reason get into a good book.

And here is my belated (and a little lengthy) Shortie night contribution, as promised:

Thank You Card

©Heather Myles, 2001

Grade three was one of those years I remember most because of my teacher, and the way she encouraged people to do things they might not have thought to before.
She brought me from the shy corners and into the limelight, which seemed to reach out from her astounding presence. I squirreled away time from chores and family life for my simple creative endeavors in one way or another, secretly, at the safety of my desk in my room. Oh, no, it’s nothing worth gossip, but for me it was something I didn’t dream for aloud.

I always felt under a slight shadow in my house. I was the different child, who did odd things at strange times, for no apparent reason. Not malicious acts of cruelty, but artistic experiments that consumed many hard-earned hours. I lived in a house that was spotlessly clean, and any repair jobs were undertaken within the split second of discovery. The roof of my house sheltered four calculators and one quietly wild calligraphy pen.

I wrote more than the requirement in the daily journals that we worked on each morning in school. I loved writing. It felt like the winds of heaven when I’d get it back and there would be a joyful comment from my teacher under each entry.
One day my teacher announced that we would be working on a special project that she hoped would be ready by the end of November. Before telling us what the project entailed, she had us all take out our notebooks, pencils, erasers and colouring supplies. Anticipation took our collective breaths away. She always had the coolest ideas.

We were to write a short story, and we were going to draw the pictures to go with it. Then, as a one-day class workshop, we were going to bind those pages of story into real, solid, lovely books!
Mine was the only book 25 pages long, so long in fact that my teacher had me take it to the school secretary to be typed up.

The book sits to this day in my hope chest at my mother’s house. ‘Lilly Lambchop’ it is called, and in it are adventures of Lilly, her friend Sandy, a stray cat soon named ‘Fantasia’, and Lilly’s parents, who allowed her to keep that cat. It was long enough to consist of three chapters, and each chapter was definitely what I would, even now, consider an episode; the whole book actually felt like one cohesive unit.
‘Lilly Lambchop’ was the class behemoth, and it was read aloud by our school’s librarian to each and every face that sat in front of her all week. Then ‘Lilly’ took a three-month visit to City Hall. I was so proud that I included a little ‘author’s biography in the back before it made the trip.

At Christmas I made my teacher pure strawberry jam. I scooped it into a hand-made pottery jam jar with a cork lid, one of my mother’s specialties that she made on her potter’s wheel at home. My teacher sent me the most wonderful thank you card in the mail. She wrote that one day, she believed I would be a great writer and illustrator. I read the note over and over, and tucked it into my desk so I could pull it out and read it again, whenever I wanted to.
Shortly after New Year’s, when we were all back in class and the snow down every street was piled higher than our heads, our teacher tearfully broke the new that she would be transferred to another school by the following week. The whole class cried.
I had a sinking feeling it was because she was too nice, too happy; too energetic with her creative encouragement. Her name is Ms. MacIntyre. In my nine-year old eyes, filled with hot tears at her permanent departure from my world, she was the one that had the most faith in me.

I still have her card.

Christi Thu Jan 4 23:25:18 PST 2001

MARY, You'd better watch out for the girlie dogs cruisin' the block. It won't take long!
BTW, I cheated and didn't sign your guestbook yet. I'll slink back later and do so.

DEBRA, Great longie-shortie!

HALLEE, Hiya! I'm finally feeling on top of things, and thank you very much for asking.

LITTER, Haw haw! and a GROAN, grumble, grumble. NOT fair, that bit about Christmas. I couldn't be happier to see it go.
Whew! Remind me not to cross a Celt or get one cross. ;) I'll take the nape to navel, please.

Rosemary, Hoorah, a happy ending!

TINA, Check your mailbox, girlfriend, and be not afraid. For I bring you tidings of great joy ...
Well, maybe not JOY, but I did send your crit!

LITTER again, He's got the dead-man bluuuuuuuuues. Thank you, thank you very much!

HOWARD, Crikey!!! What a spooky shortie!

TEEKAY, Howdy, friend!

GARIESS, Okay, no more hasseling about photos. I already have quite the interesting picture of you in my lil' ol' head anyhoo. (Trying NOT to visualize the ever-famous bulbs ... trying ... trying ... failing ... shit.)

MARK, Your dog sounds so cool! I've often wondered if dogs have a butt-rating scale. You know, like, 'whew, that one's a ranker. I give it an 8.' Strange mood I'm finding myself in tonight. Excuse me, please.

Ye gads, it's a Christmas shortie. Seems I couldn't write one until the season was through. Well, here's what came out. (I hope it's not too juvinile.)

By Christine Ritchotte

Megan remembered the thrill she'd had picking out the pretty 1/4 carat diamond earrings with her mother.
"She'll fall over dead when she sees them! She's been eyeing these for the whole year!" she'd exclaimed gleefully as the cashier rang up the purchase.
Her mom had smiled her 'I have a crazy daughter smile' and put her arm around her. "She'll love them, sweetie."
"C'mon, Mom! Let's go have them wrapped." She'd nearly pulled her mom all the way to the gift-wrapping counter, picking out a pretty gold foil with embossed angels on it.

And finally it was time. Christmas Eve. Two best friends sat by a glittering tree and handed each other their gifts.
"You first," said Meg, barely containing herself.
Caroline lifted an eyebrow. "Geeze, keep your pants on. What's the big deal?"
"No big deal, just OPEN it!"
Caroline pulled off the delicate foil and opened the box. Her jaw dropped. "Wha ... ?" Her eyes were as big as saucers.
Meg clapped her hands with glee.
Caroline still sat, unblinking. Finally she spoke. "Are these for real? I mean, are they real diamonds?"
Meg grinned. "Yup. They're the exact ones you've been drooling over, you mutt!"
Caroline looked into the box in awe. "Real diamond earrings," she said, almost to herself. Then she threw her arms around Meg. "Oh thank you Mags!"
Meg hugged her back, feeling warm and happy.
Then Caroline stiffened. She withdrew from the embrace and sat back cross-legged.
"What's wrong?" Meg asked.
Caroline's eyes were cast downward, and her lips pursed in a grim line. "They're just so wonderful ... and what I got you ... well it's not so wonderful.
"Lina, whatever it is, it's from you and I'll love it. I promise!" Meg assured her friend.
"You won't. It's stupid."
"Lina! Please don't say that anymore. It was no big deal, really!"
"Not to you it's not," Caroline said. "You wanna know what I'm getting from my folks this year? Books. Books, because I love to read so much, and because that's all we can afford. So that's all I ask for. Books." Her voice became high-pitched like she would cry. "I made your present. It cost me about two dollars to make."
Meg got serious. "It's not the cost, it's the thought behind the gift." Then she looked down at the rectangular unopened package on her lap. "I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt your feelings."
At once Caroline leaned over and hugged her. "I'm an ungrateful jerk. Go ahead. Open your present."
Meg tore into the brown wrapping and pulled out a lovely fabric-covered book. There was no title--no words at all. The fabric was a sapphire-blue velour, her favourite color. She opened the book and on the first page was a charcoal drawing of herself. It was the perfect likeness; she'd never seen herself portrayed in such a manner. It was as if someone had drawn what she felt like inside. Distantly she heard Caroline's voice.
"It's just a cheap journal that I covered with fabric."
Meg ignored her and turned the page. The top of the next page was headed with the words, "What the moon looks like from my window ... " It was elaborately penned with gorgeous flowers and grapevines swirling around it. The rest of the page was left blank for her to fill in, and each following page had like headings--things that meant something only to Meg. She closed the book gently and looked at Caroline. "I-I don't know what to say."
Caroline blushed in shame. "I know. I'm sorry."
Meg ran her fingers across the soft fabric of her gift. "I've never gotten a more beautiful thing in my life. I'll never forget you for this." As her eyes misted up she leaned over, embracing her best friend as tightly as she could. "I didn't know how well you knew me."

Teekay Thu Jan 4 23:06:08 PST 2001

Hi again,
just stuck my nose in while visiting and saw Gariess' post re: my post and all I have to say is phobia schmobia. I did have a bit of a de jevu feeling while typing it, sort of like I'd been there before.

Haven't got time to read the recent shorties but GARIESS I did notice that you have one. Hope it has an ending. :-Q
(that's of a person sticking out their tongie.

Jerry Ericsson htttp:// Thu Jan 4 21:47:01 PST 2001

Howdy - here I am again. Took the wife to see her Dr. today, more tests. Her problem is the same, with her knee but it seems that the Doctors are afraid to operate on it as she was born without a hip joint on her other leg. They feel if she was to have surgery her recovery would be extremely difficult as all her weight would go on her bad leg and cause more problems.

Anyhow, while waiting in the waiting room, I knocked out what was to be a shortie for tonight but it simply ran on and on. You know how those waiting rooms can be, it seems to take forever for your loved one to come out. Any how, since it became way to long for posting here, I donated it to **P**. Don't know if I will find time to edit it, so I posted it in its raw form.


gariess Thu Jan 4 21:34:05 PST 2001


I see that you are on about the bears, again. It is so strange that you have this phobia of a creature that exists nowhere near you. Or maybe it could be that a nice safe phobia to have is one that is no immediate threat. Still, I sense something almost Freudian about this obsession. Is there such a thing as "almost" Freudian? Actually, should you ever be in a place that has bears, you would be served well to turn this neurotic preoccupation into a realistic caution. Bears are very dangerous animals and the best place to be is well-the-hell away from them.


Mary Thu Jan 4 21:11:05 PST 2001

In honor of my new dog Duke.

Frosted blades of field grass crackled under my boot as I watched my dog work. Wide arc to the left until he was almost in front of me....flushing whatever he found right in my direction. With Canada geese honking overhead, the dog froze almost too quickly. He must have stumbled right into something. I barely had my gun to my shoulder when the pheasant had taken all he could take and took to the sky.

The report of the gun echoed off the stands of trees surrounding the field and in an explosion of feathers the bird fell, its descent marked expertly by the dog. Only moments passed before the weight of the handsome ring-necked bird was felt against my back, securely tucked into the pouch in the back of my vest.

I knelt.

"Good Dog."

gariess Thu Jan 4 21:04:09 PST 2001


Great shortie, dude. And really short, too. Here's mine. Not so short. What can I do? I'm just a windbag.

By Gary Souza

In the late winter of 1955 A young writer lived a couple of houses down from us on Crystal Lake Road in Osterville. He lived with his wife and an infant daughter in a two bedroom house that had a second floor balcony overlooking an open living room. The house was of an unusual design from the viewpoint of Cape Cod tradition. On the Cape people traditionally make their interiors with lots of doors, walls and hallways so that one can almost never see more than a few feet of open space from any given point. Still, every so often a "mainlander" will come down and build something architecturally questionable. Such taste for open space would be perceived as bordering on the vulgar by the Cape Cod psyche which is more at home in a closed off, almost secretive ambiance.

I had two younger sisters who were in their first years of high school and so were eligible, by common standards, for entry into the baby sitting market. This decision was made as soon as propriety would allow by a family living on the edge of subsistence. The writer and his wife had frequent social engagements and were regular employers of my sisters.

Interestingly, baby sitting in itself could be a social engagement for teenagers in that time and place. It was a common practice for baby sitters to have friends keep them company during their work hours. This of course presupposed that the employer was informed and agreeable. Often as many as six or seven assistant sitters would be present at a single assignment, usually under the pretext of doing homework.

In the early minutes of one such occasion at the author’s home the man and his wife returned just a few minutes after leaving the house. When my sister saw their car approaching she became alarmed. We were to learn later that this notion of having company in attendance had never actually been cleared with the author and his wife, even though we had gathered at his home a number of times before. It was one of those uncomfortable details that kids so often conveniently leave out of their arrangements. The author had a rather intimidating presence, and my sister, Jeanie, was, by nature, timid enough without presenting to him a request which was likely to make him skeptical. I’m sure it also occurred to her in the beginning that it would be silly to risk a good plan to the temperament of a man so inscrutable as the writer. He just might have said, "No deal."

She announced excitedly to the five of us that we weren’t supposed to be there. This was hardly good timing since we could hear the car door slamming in the driveway as she spoke. There was nothing for it but to brazen it out, which was no problem for me and my friend, Richard, since neither of us could see where we had anything to lose if the old man launched a fit. My sister’s bloomers would surely be in a hitch, but that made the matter all the more intriguing to me.

When the writer came through the door, he was startled for a second or so to see that a small crowd had materialized during his momentary absence. He muttered some cryptic reference to our numbers, but he gave no indication that it was any great concern to him. He was too preoccupied with locating something he had forgotten.

It happened that the man was known to walk around town wearing a particular woolen, knit cap. It was a richly dyed affair with a god-awful red-orange color that didn’t coordinate aesthetically with any fabric known to mankind. It stood out like a beacon wherever and whenever the writer walked about the village, which were many places and very often, respectively. Most people observed that being a brooding professor type, he probably liked to walk around and think a lot. The man’s imposing stature together with his long coat and the lighthouse-beacon cap did little to dispel the idea among the villagers that he was an intellectual weirdo.

The writer had returned to the house for the hat. He paid little attention to us gang of kids and dashed about from place to place in the house grumbling such things as "Where in the hell…?" and "How in the Christ…? and so on. Of course he asked us if we had seen his red hat, and of course we denied vehemently any knowledge of its whereabouts. Even though he received our disclaimers with considerable mistrust he had too little time to spare so he left in a vile temper, slamming the door mightily behind him.

It seems that for reasons only an intellectual weirdo could understand, the writer had some kind of superstitious attachment to the red hat and never went anywhere without it. I doubt that anyone had ever heard him say it was his "lucky hat," but there was no disguising the fact that the man was obsessive about it, especially in light of the disproportionate display of temper we had just witnessed.

The scene was of such intensity as to have pressed us into our seats under a great psychic weight from which we sprang up the moment we heard the car drive away. In the excitement someone spotted what looked like a bright, fresh roadkill on the seat of the stuffed chair in which Sally Webb had been sitting. Sally was a sweet natured girl who was nearsighted to the point of needing wall-thick eyeglasses at all times. It was entirely conceivable to us that Sally could sit down on a Russian tank without seeing it, much less a little red knit cap. After a moment of hilarity my sister suddenly realized that it was then going to be very difficult to explain the reappearance of the hat to the writer when he came home. Richard and I gave it very little worry since we had no intention of being on hand at the time of the man’s return.

What ensued was a contest to come up with a believable place to put the hat - somewhere that it could have been misplaced and still have been overlooked by the writer during his search - no easy task in a small house. Richard and I engaged in a different kind of contest-one to see which of us could offer the most preposterous and annoying suggestions, such as ‘in the oven’ or ‘in the refrigerator.’

The girls were far too agitated to be very creative, and Richard and I hardly sharpened their concentration with our juvenile heckling. At length the girls were so distraught and frustrated that we relented and put our true efforts to the task. We deduced that the best place for the hat would be under a shrub just outside the front door. I believe that when it comes to strategic subterfuge, teenaged boys have a strong genetic advantage over teenaged girls. In any case the girls were so impressed with the genius of our idea that we were immediately celebrated as heroes. From that moment the issue of the red hat was history.

I never saw the writer after that evening. I was to join the Air Force a few weeks later, and when I next came home, the writer and his family had moved away. I saw him in a television interview some fifteen years later and I thought it remarkable that although an eon had passed since that evening of the red hat, he didn’t appear to have aged a day. I, on the other hand, had gone from tender youth to the very brink of middle age.

The writer had gained considerable notoriety throughout the sixties as a result of a few well received novels. Two of his books have been made into feature films. In fact I believe the intellectual weirdo of the old neighborhood may someday be considered one of the most brilliant American writers of the century. Some pundits have already put him in their top ten. I list him in mine as well. He’s still around as far as I know. His name is Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Sometimes I wonder where he got that hat.



Mark Thu Jan 4 20:42:22 PST 2001

MARY -- Cute dog. We have one that's part Lab, she's also part Terrier. Sad-Eyed-Sally. She's our watchdog, gets her build from the Lab and her personality from the Terrier. 55 pounds.

We also have Fretful Fred. He's part Shepherd and part Hound. Has the deep baying bark of a hound and a hound-like hanging chin. Otherwise he looks like a German Shepherd. He's our 12-year-old puppy, all 67 pounds of him.

He'd make a great shorty.

Saw a card in the pharmacy today that featured a close-up of a Shepherd, nose right up to the camera. Caption on the card was:
"Since you've been gone
"our dog has been sniffing
"the butts of total strangers."

Yup, that's our Fred. And he's just the right height, too. People between about 5'2" and 5'7" have a butt right at Fred's altitude. They're usually women. Interesting watching the men who visit get Fred-nose in the crotch, also.

Anyway, in these winter days of long coats, people come in the house and Fred trails them. One memorable woman looked much like a circus animal, her long gray coat trailing more than a foot out behind her, Fred's two back legs came last.

People ask why we haven't taken him to obedience classes, the simple answer is 'hip displacia.' He was an abandoned puppy we got from our Vet. Somebody set him free over at the university. After we all got attached to him, we found out that his hips were mostly unformed. The vet said that as long as his atitude remained good that we should probably keep him. We needed to be aware, he said, that Fred would not make it past another year. Here he is. Spoiled rotten. Loves to sniff butt.

I'll be out for a few days. Catch back up Monday or Tuesday.

gariess Thu Jan 4 20:42:09 PST 2001

Hi folks,

I must have a word with you on the topic of photos of the Notebookers. I admit to having a peek at a couple of you during the recent madness of picture posting in the ‘book, but I decided to quit while I am ahead.

I have always formed my own mental pictures of the characters in the stories I read, and you have all become characters to me in the sense that I have formed pictures of you that have developed from my impressions of your personalities.

Agatha Christie was known to dislike her popular characters being portrayed on stage and in films. She said, for instance, that there was no one Poirot: that everyone had a personal Poirot who lived in the reader’s imagination. People become fond of their Poirots and when they see someone else’s they find the experience to be disconcerting.

I have my own Poirots of all of you, and I am fond and protective of them all. I am sorry to say that I do not trust the photographic records of your visages to accommodate those that have formed in my minds eye, therefore I will decline looking at photos in the ‘book and will likewise decline to post mine. I just wanted to make myself clear on this issue before it becomes… well, an issue.


Mary Thu Jan 4 20:22:31 PST 2001


I just love thursdays. Thanks to all who signed my guestbook and/or visited my picture page. Big smiles to all of you. (Prize to Litter for being first)

I will surely miss Jerry's eloquent contribution tonight, and am sure that we all are thinking of him and his wife.

I will be back shortly with my short shortie.

howard Thu Jan 4 20:09:39 PST 2001

Okay, here's a Q&D (quick and dirty) shortie, written on the fly and off the cuff. (Shoulda used paper, I guess)I'll probably rewrite it later, but here's the first draft of a sad tale, about that sudden flash of understanding just before the lights go out...


Damn! Shouldn’t have done that!
Too late now.
But so many things I wish I hadn’t done.
So many things I’m ashamed of. Why did I go to the track this afternoon? Why did I think I could get out of it that easy?
I wish I’d never met Louie, with his big car, and pretty girls. Looked so easy I thought I could be like him, but it didn’t work.
Too late now.
I never should have borrowed the money from the till at work, but I thought I’d be able to pay it right back.
Damn stupid!
Can’t stop it now.
Charlene doesn’t even know, doesn’t even care. I thought I could make her happy, but it wouldn’t have made any difference anyway. She just doesn’t give a damn no more, so why should I?
Why do I always see what I shoulda done after I done something else?
Shouldn’ta done that!
Why did I think I could get out of it that easy? Always take the easy way is what Ma used to rant about, and I guess she was right. Can’t face up to things like a man. Always putting me down like she was sorry she ever had me. Never good enough for her. Always doing the wrong thing, she said. Never thinking things through, she said.
Now I’m scared.
Guess she was right.
Shoulda thought this through.
Shouldn’ta pulled this trig…

© 2000 Howard Tuckey

Debra Thu Jan 4 20:01:55 PST 2001


I was a complete goof at nine years old. I didn't meet my husband until I was 26. I'm glad that you liked it.

I just wanted to show that the person whom you want to like could also be wrong too. We don't see enough of that in movies and shows. The one you are supposed to like is always perfect.


Teekay Thu Jan 4 19:17:56 PST 2001

Hi All,

LITTER: That was really funny. And deep too.

ROSEMARY: A happy ending -thankgoodness. I was afraid the hawk had gotten Beaky.

DEBRA: I liked your story, though I do think it sad at the end that she became so jaded, that she was wiser is good, but she would have been even wiser if she had been aware that it was her own actions that got her into the scrape in the first place. I thought that she may have been you and Stephen ended up being your husband.
I think I should stop trying to anticipate where a story is going. Unless it's my own - of course.

MARY: Cute doggie. You sure didn't waste any time with the photos.

Well my gorgeous, adorable toddler has decided to take a nap today ( a very unusual occurance) so I'm going to do something lovely and relaxing. I've got stacks of books to read and I've been meaning to finish that ghostie, HALLEE I really wish I had some of your undisciplined writing habits.
After I've started writing I'm fine. It's the starting I find difficult.

Debra Thu Jan 4 18:16:37 PST 2001


Thanks for saying that. I'm not sure what part of the country you live in. I live in the northeast. I can tell you that me and everyone I know has been at the bus stop dressed inappropriately at one time or another. It's not our mothers. It's that we wanted to look normal.


Hallee Thu Jan 4 17:03:50 PST 2001


For some reason, that really struck me as funny.


Don't know why.


Litter Thu Jan 4 16:45:22 PST 2001

You will all have noticed how many Blues songs begin with "Well, I woke up this morning…"

So, with this in mind here is my shorter than short shorty, which is a song rather than a story:

Dead-Man Blues

Well, I didn't wake up this morning.

Thank you! Thank you very much…

Rosemary Thu Jan 4 16:20:16 PST 2001

Happy Short-Shorty night,

Duke is great. Those kind of dogs have the most expressive faces. Their foreheads wrinkle up with worry and confusion, and their big brown eyes radiate love.

your story was interesting but my main reaction was that some parents should be shot for sending their kids out in 15 degree weather without bundling them up. It almost sounded like Alice didn't even have a coat on. Sounds illegal to me.

Here is my conclusion to the Beaky saga:

BEAKY (Part 2 of 2)

The feeding and watering was finally finished and my back was killing me. I had to lean over at that bad angle to turn the water off and unscrew the hose. I gritted my teeth against the pain and cursed the reluctant hose. Because of the background noise of constantly complaining geese, I didn't notice the barnyard had become deserted except for one small black and white spotted hen we call Dotty. She was reaching for a last crumb when I heard the sound of the wind rushing through feathers.

I whirled around in time to see a red-tailed hawk swooping down towards Dotty. A yell broke from my throat as I waved my arms. From the corner of my eye I could see Dotty jump like she was shot from a gun and speed to the fence. It was only a short few feet for her to run, but I felt like it was taking forever.

The hawk had to swerve at the last moment to keep from hitting the fence, and I couldn't get turned around in time to see everything, but I would have sworn there was a bunch of black and white feathers in his talons.

My heart was racing with excitement and fear for Dotty as I hurried to the last place I had seen my favorite little hen. She regularly laid tiny eggs in a nest in the barn that were perfect for pickling, and she had always been polite and forgiving if she happened to be on the nest when I came to gather them.

I knew the hawk had not taken her, but it must have hit her. I dreaded finding a broken little black and white spotted body that would have to be buried next to a hungry shrub. At the fence, I looked behind bushes and around flower pots. I was scratching my head wondering where the body could have landed when my sister came out to see what I was doing.

"I can't find Dotty." I waved my hands indicating the general area of the fence line. "A hawk hit her and I don't want to leave the body laying around."

"I'll check inside the fence. Maybe she made it through," said my sister, always the optimist.

As we continued searching, the geese finally settled down and went around to the other side of the house. I heard my sister laugh and call to me. "Look over here."

There was Beaky, scratching in the leaves and offering a juicy morsel to his new mate. Dotty must have made it through the fence with the loss of only a couple of feathers. END

Sorry it was so long, I'll try to do better next time.


Litter Thu Jan 4 13:57:00 PST 2001


I have just shot my spell-checker -- the phrase that didn't make sense should've read:

"Celtic languages are making a strong revival"

Litter Thu Jan 4 13:53:42 PST 2001

Hi all,

Only 362 days until Christmas…

I feel a bit like a reptile just now -- the long, dark and cold nights make me feel sluggish and I just tend to sleep a lot and not do too much of anything else.

Welcome to those who are new or newish.

VIV, Hi! -- I find phonetics for Gaelic particularly difficult, but here we go. Slàinte Mhòr should be pronounced something like Slan-jhi Vah with the jhi half way between ji as in Jill and chi as in chick, with the "i" fading as if an afterthought. That’s about the best I can do :o)

MARK, I don't agree with you that Celtic culture is dead. Some aspect of it have been lost, certainly, and much of the modernised culture is fairly new, but there is a great resurgence in cultural awareness and reclaiming lost aspects of our culture. Celtic language are making a stron revival with road signs in parts of Ireland, Wales and the Scottish Highlands and Islands in both English and Gaelic. Put the word Celtic in a search engine and see how many hits you get. The downside of the interest, however, is that outsiders tend to go for overly romanticised cultural indicators and there is a lot of crap out there as well. Persist and I shall have to hunt you down with my Claymore, Dirk, or Sgian Dubh, depending on whether you would rather be "unseamed from the nave to the chaps", gutted or merely stabbed…

HEATHER -- my thoughts are with you. My favourite uncle died just after Christmas and only a few short months after his wife of 60 years passed through the veil. He had cancer but we all reckon that he went far quicker than he should have because he was totally lost without my Aunt. The same thing happened with my Grandparents some time back, so I know how difficult it is for you.

JERRY -- good thoughts winging their way over the Atlantic to you.

MARY -- your website worked for me. I left a message.

Had to reformat my laptops hard drive and reload everything from scratch over the past few days, so I've only managed to glance over the latest notebook entries. If I have missed anything critical, my apologies to those concerned.

Slàinte Mhòr


Allein Thu Jan 4 13:30:11 PST 2001

Today's pic: Sheena cleaning her room - a collector's item.

Mary - I visited your page and signed your guestbook. Your kids are adorable and Duke is so CUTE!! :)

Debra Thu Jan 4 11:54:06 PST 2001

Thanks Hallee:

You never know. I feel like I have a great story between Clayton and Alice.



Debra Thu Jan 4 11:52:45 PST 2001


I know you are right. But what does a nine year old really know. If I had said she blamed herself it wouldn't have come off as honest. A nine year old girl would end up trusting less and blame the boy.

I think she would feel in her heart of hearts that she was tricked and feel less trusting and wiser.

Hallee Thu Jan 4 11:46:33 PST 2001

Oh yeah - forgot:

MARY: Extremely cute dog. I love "Duke", too.

HOWARD: I left a note for you in Themestream.

Okay - seriously this time (I promise boss man!) back to work.

Hallee Thu Jan 4 11:43:27 PST 2001

DEBRA: That story seems like the prologue of a romance novel between Clayton and Alice...I loved it.

TEEKAY: Sadly, I've been late to work every day this week. I have got to get some discipline with my writing. This morning it was writing a short story for a contest. (I finished it though!) I had to get off my book for a while - I was nearing burn out. hahaha (sigh)

TINA: Your dish reminds me of berjol (probably mis-spelled) - thinly sliced beef with garlic, parsley, and pine nuts rolled up in it - then you tie it with a string, sautee it in some olive oil, and cook it for several hours in crushed tomatoes seasoned with Italian spices. ..very good dish.

CHRISTI: Good to see are you feeling? Maybe one day I'll post a picture (grin).

TINA & RHODA: Sometime today I'll write the "short build up" (whatever that means - I'll come up with something) for the love scene contest I want to enter. Tina - you've already read the love scene, (unless, of course, I submit the one I just finished writing - it was very good and I'm now in the middle of a debate with myself) so you can tell me if the build up makes any sense at all.

Any hoot...time to get back to work.

Happy Thursday Everyone,

Heather Thu Jan 4 11:30:16 PST 2001

Debra - I realize that she INTERPRETED it to be a dare, but the boy didn't actually say he dared her. She was gullible.


Debra Thu Jan 4 10:10:12 PST 2001


Alice is only nine years old. She felt that the older boy knew she would not believe him so he presented it as a dare.

She felt set up and she wouldn't trust him as a person whom set her up.


Mary Thu Jan 4 09:44:34 PST 2001

Sorry to be using you guys as guinea pigs, but I got tired of links to photo hosts not working, so I made my own stinking page. This is the link, but unfortunately....I dont know if it works yet or not.

Heather Thu Jan 4 08:40:37 PST 2001

Debra - why would Alice not trust so much after the experience? Stephen was the one who said that it WOULD stick. She was the one who didn't believe him. In the exposition opening the story, Alice also 'knows' that all the boys tease her. Perhaps she would have learned not to be so gullible.

I'll be back later for shortie time

Debra Thu Jan 4 07:51:21 PST 2001

Here's my shortie for Thursday.

Bus Stop

The eight little figures danced around in the whirling wind at the bus stop. It was not from joy. The temperature had dropped to a mere 15 degrees that morning. Alice was the only one whom went to a Catholic school; so she had to wear a uniform. This was the worst part of her beloved school, the winters at the bus stop. The cold air had no trouble getting to her skin threw her emerald green knee socks. Just above her knee socks, was the bare skin of her thighs. It felt as if tiny beings were biting her flesh for food. As the wind found it’s way up the back of her mostly navy blue, plaid skirt, it swirled around her torso causing horrendous chills that continued straight up the back of her neck. The shivers from that, combined with her hair whipping up and down and exposing the flesh of her head caused sensations to scramble over the top of her scalp making her whole body quake. This process repeated itself continuously causing her muscles to tighten until she walked like a toy soldier.

Alice was only nine years old and the youngest of the eight kids whom waited at the bus stop located at the corner of duke and duchess streets. She was also the only girl too. She never minded being the only girl. In fact, she usually couldn’t wait to get there. She secretly loved all the attention that she got. All the boys were either already a teenager or nearing the teen years. So she took some lively teasing. This morning was not the fun time it usually was. The bushes and trees were making loud, ridged, crackling sounds as they swayed in the cutting wind. The fresh new layer of snow was so brilliant white it caused sharp pains in everyone’s eyes if they looked directly at it. Cold air chopped though everything including everyone’s spirits.

“You know what my father told me last night?” Stephen the oldest boy yelled the words at Alice because he had to gulp down the gusts of wind.
“What.” She answered licking her lips knowing that it would be worse in seconds.
“If you put your tongue on cold metal on a day like this it would stick.” He looked into her eyes that were struggling not to water as if he wished a challenge.
“No sir.” She snapped bouncing slightly on her toes.
“Yes sir. He told me last night.” He looked over her shoulder and lifted his chin motioning for her to turn around. As she turned around, the other boys at the bus stop sensed there was something about to happen and closed into a circle around Alice and Stephen.
“Like that pole over there.” He squealed hard to make his voice heard as she turned to look at it.
“Right. Sure it will” Alice wasn’t afraid to answer any of them back. She felt very comfortable with all of them.
“Well prove it then.” She demanded.
“No. You’re the one who don’t believe it. I do. You do it! I know my tongue will get stuck.” Even though Stephen was smiling, the corners of his mouth had an authoritative edge. Alice was consumed with apprehension but she also couldn’t resist a good dare.
She turned toward the tall, silver pole containing the street sign of Duke and Duchess. She pushed her shoulders into her neck and head trying to muster some warmth.
“Okay. I’ll prove that my tongue will just go on and come right off.” Alice turned her stiff body and began the twelve steps toward the pole.
“No don’t do it,” yelled Clayton as he ran a few steps towards Alice.
He was the youngest of all the boys and always had a crush on Alice. She retuned the feelings most of the time. It depended on her mood.
“It’s true. Your tongue will get stuck.” His eyes begged with her to comply with his pleas. “I learned it in Science”
“Clayton stop worrying. What’s gonna happen? ” Alice bumped him out of the way with her left shoulder because she was too cold to release her arms, which were wrapped around her chest. As her stiff legs moved her towards the pole, she turned to all the boys whom had stopped dancing long enough to make a small huddle. They all turned their heads in the direction of Alice who was standing directly in front of the pole. Their faces red as their eyes glistened in the sun with watery tears. She gave her audience one last smile of glory then flattened her whole tongue and placed it smack dab onto the metal pole. Instantly she knew she was in trouble. She pulled ever so slightly and the information rushed to the place in her torso which, manufactured panic. It started as nausea. Then turned it into pure terror as it rushed through her veins and permeated every cell of her being. Waving her hands like a bird all the boys came running towards her.
“Heeellllppphtt.” Alice’s words sounded like she had a sock in her mouth.
Clayton came to her rescue.
“Alice pull.” He whispered in her ear.
“I cannnnnpt.” She moaned. The cold air seemed almost evil as it rushed up her back.
The familiar rumblings of the bus banging down the pothole filled street brought a wave of pandemonium through the group of boys.
“The bus is coming. The bus is coming.” One of them yelled.
Alice thought about the fear that might have been spawned by Paul Revere calling, the British are coming; the British are coming. Of course fear didn’t even begin to cover what she was feeling right now. The fact that she was going to miss her bus was not her problem. Her problem was she was going to lose her tongue. She just knew it. She was stuck. Even the slightest pull caused more pain then she had ever known. The bus came to a stop and the boys began to climb aboard all except Clayton.
“Help!” He called to Eddie the bus driver. Eddie assessed the problem in seconds from his seat. Throwing the bus in park it let out a huge, screeching bang. He was still slightly moving as usual. The transmission clearly didn’t approve. He ran off the bus thinking fast as he grabbed his coffee.
“Alice what the heck happened?” Eddie asked.
“Stttttpppen said.” She struggled to speak but could only manage gibberish.
“Stephen told her that her tongue would get stuck and she didn’t believe him.” Clayton interrupted frantically. Clayton looked at the bus and saw Stephen giving a mischievous smile from his seat.
Eddie could see little chunks of Alice’s skin stuck to the pole where she feverishly pulled to release her tongue. Eddie’s tongue hurt just looking at her flesh now, frozen onto the silver pole. Tears were flowing down her cheeks and instantly glistening into ice.
“Hold still Alice. I’m going to pour my coffee on and it will come right off. Okay?”
“aaaaaaaahuuuh” She mumbled.
As the warm coffee washed over her tongue, it was an instant success. She pulled her tongue and couldn’t believe it when it came right off. Residues from Eddie’s coffee slide down her throat and stung her now tender tongue, as she wiped her mouth. Eddie gave her, a shame on you smile and put his hand on the small of her back directing her towards the bus. Clayton had her pack and walked behind them. Everyone stood up and cheered so loud that even Eddie had to smile. He usually didn’t like a lot of noise. He couldn’t ignore his heart swelling from the relief of helping Alice. The noise seemed necessary and natural on levels he didn’t experience everyday.

Alice got on the bus and glared at Stephen. His gotcha eyes cut into her like the wind that morning. Breaking her stare from Stephen, she caressed her stomach as she swiveled to sit down. She needed to relieve herself of the lingering nausea. She decided to sit right in the front this time so he couldn’t talk to her. She didn’t want to hear him gloat. Her instincts were to slug him right in the face. Being a girl and only nine years old, she knew this would only add insult to injury. Clayton followed her lead and sat with her. His warm eyes seem to relieve her anguish a little.

All the boys at the bus stop including Stephen went to a different school so they got off the bus first. When he came by, he apologized ever so quietly. She barely heard him. Thankfully, it was just enough to smooth her jagged nerves and release some of her sicken hatred she had just acquired for him.

From that day on Alice had a new interest every time she found herself in Science class. She also never accepted another dare of that nature again. The whole experience left her less trusting and wiser.


mary Wed Jan 3 23:15:46 PST 2001

maybe this one works.

Allein Wed Jan 3 23:08:32 PST 2001

Mary - He sounds cute. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to the webpage. I'd put pictures of Pepper on my webpage but I don't have a scanner so I'd have to send them by mail to a friend (in Australia) with a scanner to get them up there. Perhaps I'll do that some other time.

Mary Wed Jan 3 23:00:51 PST 2001

with any luck....that link is pictures of Duke.

Mary Wed Jan 3 22:34:44 PST 2001

ALLEIN: Duke is a chocolate lab. totally wonderful and he is doing great.

Hiya MARK!

JERRY: Strength and prayers to you and your wife. To your entire family all seem so close that this probably affects everyone.

Tina again Wed Jan 3 20:08:45 PST 2001

Me again. It feels odd to know that while I'm sitting here thinking about you guys, some of you are sitting at your computers doing the exact same thing! Hiya Mark!
It's weird to realise that people in other parts of the country/continent/world are eager to come here, visit and talk and share some part of their life. I look forward to checking in each day and talking with you all, people who share my love for words and passion to write! It's a rare thing to find this many people with common passions.

Okay, now that I've gone all sentimental, I really am going to go and write.

Tina Wed Jan 3 20:01:57 PST 2001

Hiya all!

Such a busy place!

I can't find my rouladen recipe. I'll post it as soon as I get a copy from my mom-in-law. All this talk has given me an intense craving!

Good going Rhoda! You go girl.

Christi, I included my e-mail today. I'm nervous now!

Mary, give Duke a pat for me!

Heather, add my best thoughts to the prayers going your way. I'm thinking about you and your family.

Ooh, I just read what I've written and I sound really terse. Sorry, but I'm anxious to get back to writing! This is the first night I've had in weeks to just sit and write. Off I go!

Mark Wed Jan 3 20:01:10 PST 2001

JERRY -- take good thoughts on the road with you.

Allein Wed Jan 3 19:14:17 PST 2001

Mary - What breed of dog is Duke? He sounds adorable. My dog follows my mom around a lot and she'll follow anyone who has food in their hand. She'll steal food too - one time I made a peanut butter and salami sandwich for my lunch and put it where I didn't think she could get it while I went to the restroom. I came back and lo and behold the dog was gone and so was the sandwich. When I found her, not only had she eaten the sandwich, but she ate the paper towel it was wrapped in. She's also stolen pizza from me before.
But there are good times too - she's slept in my bed before and kept me warm, she'll give me kisses (licks) and she'll keep me company when I'm home alone. She's very playful and friendly and LOVES to go on walks.
Anyway, I hope Duke will bring lots of happiness into your home.

Mary Wed Jan 3 19:00:44 PST 2001

Well hello Everybody!!!

TEEKAY: Loved your story but I did crack up at the tongie part. hehe.

ARIK: Happy New Year right back atcha! Great to see your name today.

I have a new little buddy named Duke! That's right....I brought my puppy home today. No...he isnt the same pup I spoke of earlier. This one is a twelve week old chocolate lab male from a litter of TWELVE puppies. Holy cow, can you imagine having twelve puppies?

He already knows his name, and so far in the hour he has been home has had NO accidents. He trails me like a shadow and is very calm. This probably won't last long, but I am soaking it up now. {wish me luck :-)}

shortie night tomorrow......yay!!

Teekay Wed Jan 3 17:34:16 PST 2001

Gads! I did it again.

Teekay Wed Jan 3 17:33:06 PST 2001

Okay, just one more thing. That's ITA Buttrose. And it's tongue, not tongie.
I real;ly should've checked my spelling. The story tends to lose its passion?? When you read tongui and burst out laughing.
Maybe that's just me though.

Teekay Wed Jan 3 17:29:07 PST 2001

Oh Dear. You probably have no idea who Ida Buttrose is.

Teekay Wed Jan 3 17:27:33 PST 2001

Happy Thursday All,

HALLEE: I know! That must say something about my horrible slapdash nature. Perhaps my new years resolution should have been 'to be more organized', but that would have fallen to the wayside by now. :-)
Anyhoo, it's still missing and I've started again.
Were you late again for work today?

JERRY: Good thinking re: the haiku. Best wishes to your wife. Also, if your lurking you may as well say howdy.

HEATHER: *GROAN* indeed.:-) Also, thankyou.
What a beautiful poem, I've made a copy of it.

HALLEE (again): Whoo hoo, very impressive.

HOWARD: I received a $50:00 gift voucher as a Christmas gift and yesterday I walked past the bookstore and guess what I bought with it.
Mrs. Beeton's Original recipes. Yes! A cookbook. Quick, take my temperature.
Mrs. Beeton, if you don't already know, was the Ita Buttrose of the 19th century. Don't worry, the recipes have been converted into modern measurements. Lucky!

RHODA: It looks like an absolutely gorgeous place. I just love evocative landscapes. We (being the family) were watching a documentary about bears on TV the other night and I'm surprised that people still go walking in the country in America. Seems there may be a bear behind every bush. That's one good thing about living in Oz. No hairy, scarey, larey bears.
Way to go on the New years resolution. I'm posting my first today. I figure if I do it early, then I have plenty of time to spare.

CHRISTI: I think you stayed away just to get attention didn't you! And that wolf eyeing your hind quarters was really your husband, wasn't it!
Anyhow, I'm glad your back.
Fabio? Cher? Is that what you were imagining?

ARIK: Hi there. Now where have you been hiding?

ALLEIN: Very cute picture.

Okay, here is my shorty. Aren't I on the ball?


Balmy Summer nights. Slick brown skin catching the moonlight and glowing almost luminescent. A huge bright moon in a night sky and a rogue breeze blowing through open balcony windows making organza curtains dance a lazy waltz.
The stillness in the quiet night air. The feeling of an impending storm. The anticipation of glory on tangled white sheets.
Entangled limbs and sweet wet kisses.
Soft touches.
Tight bodies.
The feel of hot breath against an ear.
The tingle of a moist tongie on salty skin.
The comfort of shared laughter at a silly joke.
The knowing that this is as close to perfection as it gets on earth.


Rosemary Wed Jan 3 17:02:21 PST 2001

Hi there y'all,
I read 'The Chase' (again) and it's still a good short story. It's hard to get all the information you need into a short story, not to even mention flash backs. You did a great job. ALSO-You ought to demand your money back or sue someone about that 17 degree temp. I lived in north Florida and Deep south Georgia for about nine years and I don't remember the temp. ever getting down that far. It did snow once while I was in High School in Ga. But I don't think it was that cold.

Don't worry, Beaky will be back tomorrow. I may have misnamed the story because it wasn't finished when I put the title on it. My writing usually has a life of its own and I never know where it's going.

Hope your wife gets well soon. Good news from the doctor would not be out of line.

Later all,
Rosemary Wed Jan 3 15:55:12 PST 2001

F2K Registration Is Now Open!

Sign up now for the next session of our free, introductory
writing course, F2K: Fiction Writing for the New Millennium.
F2K has been selected by Writer's Digest Magazine as one of the
best sites for writers! Registration closes January 10; class
starts January 17. Registration is available through a link on
the F2K main page at:

You may upgrade to F2K with Mentor Support for only $22.
Students registered for Mentor Support are assigned to a Mentor
who will provide feedback on all assignments.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Read all about it!

Check out F2K-zine, our new bi-monthly e-zine produced by and
for the students and staff of F2K. F2K-zine is full of helpful
advice, poetry, examples of completed lessons, contest winners
and a lot of fun! You may be surprised to see the work of a
classmate or two.

Read the current holiday issue of F2K-zine at:

Don't forget!

The results of the first round of judging for the November F2K
Writing Contest will also be available on the F2K Main page.
Remember to vote for your favorite story in our interactive poll
starting January 7. The contest winner will be announced in the
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To quickly cancel your T-Zero Xpandizine subscription, please go to

For help, contact

Allein Wed Jan 3 13:07:26 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is a favorite of mine. It's the girls (Lunika, Mali, Kawaumi, Tanek and Sheena) at a sleepover. Lunika's the one with the facial, I love Kawaumi's PJ's and Tanek (so cute) has a makeover.
If you go to the main page, I have a cool new background.

PS: Chapter 18 of Mali and Azol is still availible for those interested.

Arik Http:// Wed Jan 3 12:22:41 PST 2001

Hey people. I know its a little too late but


I wish you all a happy year, with a lot of suprizes. I dont wish them to be good or bad because I think that without the bad part of our life, it whould be empty. But I do wish you the best year of your life and a lot of fun.

Rhoda Wed Jan 3 12:21:48 PST 2001


I am always the person behind the camera. Another thing is that as I get older, I am more inclined to hate photos of myself. I take very bad pictures. I don't think I look so bad, but I am very unphotogenic. My husband did buy me a gift certificate for a glammour shot for Christmas, so if those turn out, I might post one.

I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. I had quite a struggle with them. My old computer works great at downloading the pictures from the camera, but it does not have enough RAM to handle the photo editor. I went out and bought one of these expensive USP converters for my fancy new computer with the wonderful photo editor, but I cannot get the converter to work and download pictures. So I am reduced to e-mailing these photos from the old computer to the new one. It takes forever because I cannot get better than 28,800 baud on either of my modems.

So there is my sad story. I will get over to the store that sold me both the digital camera and the new computer this week-end, and they will no doubt set me straight.


howard Wed Jan 3 09:33:48 PST 2001

CHRISTI -- Thanks! Gee - nobody ever told me I looked like Cher before! Gee! Is that why Clark the janitor hangs around so much? :-)

Christi Wed Jan 3 09:23:41 PST 2001

Hello friends! What does it say when you are forced to stay away from your computer with all the business of life and throughout each day you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wonder what's going on at the notebook. Hope I'm not missing anything."

HEATHER, My best wishes go out to your Grandma. I hope she's feeling better.
Okay, I just read your most recent post and it brought a tear to my eye. Never mind that I'm pre-menstrual! (Sorry GUYS.) I loved hearing about your family and the thoughtful gifts your Grandma picked out for you. Ramble on anytime, sister!

TEEKAY aka. LITTLE BO PEEP, Thank you for looking for me. I was lost and I didn't know how to get back. You were just in time too; a nasty looking wolf was stalking me, dripping with drool and eyeballing my hind-quarters! :)
PS If you could find me, I'm sure you can find that naughty little notebook.
PPS I owe you an email don't I? Sowwy!

TINA, I've finished your story days ago, but like a ninny I never copied your email address to my address book. I looked through the archives a bit for it, but couldn't find it there. Would you please either post your address here or mail me?
(Pssst. Your story was great!)

ROSEMARY, I can't wait to see what happens to Beaky!

HOWARD, I forgot to say how much I loved your story too. The one where the couple with the dog runs off the road. Is that the one you're referring to, MARK? SO clever and funny!

JERRY, All the best to you and your wife. Let us know she's okay soon, won't you?

RHODA, I almost forgot to thank you for posting your pictures. Only one thing was lacking ... a picture of you!
It's great to see what everyone looks like. Now I have the correct pictures in my head instead of imagining that you all look like Fabio and Cher. Haw haw. But really, I'd have to say that I hadn't imagined such a good-looking bunch. I'm still waiting for AMERICO, ROSEMARY, HALLEE, HEATHER, GARIESS, RICHARD, MEGAN, Mmm who else? There's lots more, but my brain just got hepped up on a steaming cup of chocolate macadamia nut coffee. Isn't coffee the nectar of the Gods?

Well, if I was to catch up on all the posts and what I wanted to say to each I'd be here all day, so suffice it to say, "HELLO EVERYONE, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" xoxoxoxoxxxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoooxoxooxoxoxxxxxxxxxxxxx
oxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo (That's hugs and kisses confetti.)


Hallee Wed Jan 3 09:05:00 PST 2001


JERRY: You and your wife will definitely be in my prayers.


Rhoda Wed Jan 3 08:44:21 PST 2001

I feel so accomplished. I sent out two submissions and a contest entry. New Years resolutions do work!


howard Wed Jan 3 06:43:02 PST 2001

I finally got around to posting a story in Themestream. It still doesn't like short poetry, but it accepted "Solarium" with no problem, except for a bit of spellchecking. It didn't like some of the words I used. I ignored it.

SASQUATCH - Where'd you go?

GARIESS -- Don't just lurk -- We (I) enjoy your writing, style, and wit! And let's hear no more hints of "burnout!"

JERRY -- Ditto on the good wishes toward you and your wife.


Debra Wed Jan 3 06:16:35 PST 2001


I will surely say a prayer for you two. I just know everything will be all right.

I'm sure you are already making each day count.


Rhoda Wed Jan 3 05:22:32 PST 2001


Wilson's Creek is about 200 miles east of here. It is on the edge of the Ozark Mountains (are they really mountains?). Anyway, it is known as a pretty area.


I will keep you and your wife in my prayers.


I have also been thinking about you and your grandparents during this difficult time.


Hallee Wed Jan 3 03:07:28 PST 2001

MARK: Thank you so much! I always worry about what I'll find when I know you've done a critique for me. I guess I've soaked in what you've told me in the past.

The link above is where the story is posted. Vanity, I know, but it's exciting for me.

Have a great day all!


Heather Wed Jan 3 00:35:21 PST 2001

Jerry, my best, most up-beat thoughts and prayers are with you and your darling wife. I hope the weather holds steady for all that travelling, and your back too.

Rosemary, don't worry, I'm going to visit her Thursday or earlier if I can get there. It's not far - an hour's ride, but the route is very winding and treacherous in the winter and I'm not taking any chances with the kids out there. I do have a cell phone for such cases, but I would much rather not have the emergency in which the phone is needed. I will make it, but I might have to wait and go alone when my husband is home to watch the kids. I'd like all of us to visit her, though. Then again, the weather might improve, but that's more of a pipe dream than probability at this point.
Anyway, I'm going to bake my best apple pie and this time my grandfather will get a taste!

Thank you Hallee. Touching letters are a very precious keepsake, especially when my elder family members were brought up in an 'at arms' length' environ.
This year their Christmas gifts were especially thoughtful and interesting, and in comparison to the kind of gifts they've often given, I was astonished! (I won't tell you, you'd think me harsh!)
Well, this year I opened the most beautiful little wine and cheese platter made out of a slab of marble, and pewter grape vines flow along the surface up one side of the platter. There is even a tiny little cheese knife that is pewter with the same design. I thought about it for a while, and I think my grandmother knew she was going to fall ill and possibly pass away, so found that gift for us - something extra special to remember the two of them by. I will have it on my counter forever. They also found an absolutely marvelous marionette for my daughter and three different sized slinkies for my son. (He is a slinky fanatic). And then the note, saying that she really missed us at Christmas time this year (we haven't celebrated the holiday together since I was in my early teens - more than 14 years ago). The way she worded it was as if this were the first year we hadn't been together on the 25th. We do see them in mid-November each year for my grandfather's big birthday 'bashes'. Anyway, I am rambling on about people you don't know! File my head down and let's get on with it.

Teekay, you are absolutely charming and wonderful. Just thought I'd tell ya. Your notebook will show up. Here's a groaner for you to think of: You always find what you're looking for in the last place you look.

No kidding.

Here's something I read today. Liked it.

"Go break to the needy sweet charity's bread
For giving is living," the angel said.
"And must I be giving again and again?"
My peevish and pitiless answer ran.
"Oh, no," said the angel, piercing me through,
"Just give til the Master stops giving to you."

That 'Anonymous' sure gets a lot of publicity.

Nanoo nanoo

Jerry Tue Jan 2 20:51:38 PST 2001

Oh forgot a note of explanation, I may not be around as much for a few days, or weeks, the wife is having some health problems so we will be running to Doctors, and all that goes with that, what a great way to start a new year.

Oh and Hi to everyone, will be stopping by from time to time, may be a lurker for a bit, but I shall return.


Jerry Tue Jan 2 20:48:31 PST 2001

Howard - why not an outstanding introduction, the poem, followed by an outstanding explination of what the poem is trying to say. Or in laymans words "bullshit - poem - bullshit" = 150 words


howard Tue Jan 2 20:22:19 PST 2001

MARK - Thanks! But I'm not really happy with the title. Shoulda named it "Dialog in a Ditch" or "Conversation in a Cozy Culvert." I'll have to work on that "predictable" thing too... :-)

Just tried posting one to Themestream again, and the requirement is 150 words not lines. Still a helluva way to ruin a haiku...
R.I.P. My Favorite Martian...

And I'll miss you too, Victor Borge -- greatly.

Mark Tue Jan 2 18:51:56 PST 2001

HALLEE -- Read "The Chase" sometime before the holidays and admired it. Left some detailed nits on crit page tonight. Thanks for posting.

HOWARD -- 8-) (That's a guy with glasses smiling). Also admired "Encounter."

Hallee Tue Jan 2 17:16:28 PST 2001

TEEKAY: It seems like I remember reading...maybe 9 months to a year ago about you losing a notebook. Then you found it about a week later. Keep the faith!

HEATHER: What a wonderful thing to get in the mail today. So incredibly touching (yes, MARK, feminine talk).

ROSEMARY: I live in Florida...FLORIDA!...and tomorrow morning it's supposed to be 17. There's a reason I moved to Florida, and trust me, it wasn't the inlaws. (groan) Now I have the inlaws AND 17 degree weather ::::banging my head on the keyboard::::

HELLO EVERYONE! I'd say I'm going to write, but the toddler is chasing the puppy around and around - no concentration allowed. Think I'll join in the chase.


Teekay Tue Jan 2 16:57:52 PST 2001

Hi All,
JERRY: Thankyou so much for that description of Pinnochle. I'm afraid I am the biggest card cretin ever. It took me ages until I fully understood Uno. I really enjoy playing 500 though. I remember my ather trying to teach me how to play Canasta. Poor man. Hours and hours and I'm still none the wiser.

HEATHER: I know this is a sad time for you, but I think it's lovely that your Grandparents have such closeness in their relationship. I think one of the hardest things in life would be to be elderly and to have your life partner, love, friend and companion taken from you.
There's not too many who can claim that type of closeness.
I hope all goes well.
P.S. You don't have to wait for insanity to run alongside the river. All you have to do is don the chicken suit and run by the river and insanity is instantly yours.
It's a bit like the age old question: Which came first the chicken suit or the insanity?
Oh, I just read the bit about your receiving the letter from your Grandmother. That is so lovely. What a beautiful keepsake to have.
And now I can't wait to read your shorty.
Concerning word count: I can't get by without it.

GARIESS: Welcome back Kotter.

ROSEMARY: Stray not far from the fire and keep those tootsies warm. I too await further exploits from poor old henpecked 'Beaky'.

MARY: Well you saw more of the fireworks than I did. Did you know that fireworks were illegal to the general public in all parts of Australia bar Western Australia?? Yes, it's true. Probably a good thing when you think of all those poor old animals who are terrified to death with them.

Well, I have just spent a good portion of the morning ringing magazine publications and requesting fiction guidelines. GADS! It was soooo boring and a lot of the time I got an answering machine.
Anyhow, this is the point of departure on my journey to the lovely old house by the sea, with the bay windows, just up the road from the quaint little seaside village. Picture 'the ghost and Mrs. Muir' and you just about have it.
Still haven't found that notebook I lost. How can you lose a notebook? I mean it's got to be in the house somewhere. Doesn't it??
I started the shortie again anyway and while writing it I kept remembering bits from the other one that I wanted to include. Could kick myself.

Have a wonderful day all ya all and keep on writing. I'd really love to read some more ghosties.

Rosemary Tue Jan 2 16:09:08 PST 2001

A shivering hello to everyone.

I know you northeners think we're wimps down here, but this is turning out to be the coldest winter we've had in about 10 years. Our high today was 38F with a wind chill of about 15F.

You could probably give me WP lessons. There's a method of keeping a manuscript in chapter files and one whole file at the same time. I haven't taken the time and effort to figure it out. Never have liked the 'help' section. I think Programmers wrote it. (Nothing personal to programmers, I used to work with them. Just never could understand anything they said.)

So glad you remember Beaky. I tried to work a ghost into it for **P** but I'm just not ghostly oriented. I finished the continued short shorty up today so it will be posted Thursday.

It's none of my business, but I think you should visit your Grandmother. All of my grandparents were gone by the time I was mid-teens. I have very little knowledge of my background. Both of my parents were only children and that really cuts back on your supply of relatives and information.

Good luck either way and be happy however you progress.

Heather Tue Jan 2 15:00:55 PST 2001

Today I received the sweetest note of thanks from my grandparents, written in my grandmother's stylish script. It was dated the 29th of December, just a day or two before her stroke. The note was more personal than any I can recall her writing before, though for an Englishwoman of early twentieth century beginnings, she certainly isn't lavishly heaping pet names. But I was touched. For all I know, this may be the last hand-written note I ever receive from her, not just because she's 87 and has had many heart troubles, but because of the stroke she is unable to move the left side of her body. She happens to be left-handed.

Needless to add, I will treasure it always and keep it in an archival quality scrapbook. I knew there was a good reason I'd bought one for me. The kids have one each that we've piled high with artwork and report cards and photos, but I haven't opened mine yet.

With my grandmother's note goes a note from my grandfather (it was the only note in his handwriting we have ever received, too) and the note card from my grade three teacher that I saved as if my life depended on it.
The reason?
Should I continue this story on Thursday? (I smile when I think of the little rooster, Rosemary)

Yes, I think I'll write it as a shortie.

Rosemary, I too have used wordperfect for quite a long time, however I had never needed the word count function that I can recall! I wasn't even sure there was one, for all that I use the program. I estimated how many words I'd written on my novel by multiplying each full page by 250 to get an approximate total. It wasn't far off, now that I've counted each and every word in the first three definitive chapters. The other chapters are not yet in final form. Tonight might be the night I finish editing and repairing chapter four.

Ta ta

Allein Tue Jan 2 14:23:32 PST 2001

One more thing before I leave - Chapter 18 to Mali and Azol is up and accessible through my webpage.
Thank you,

Allein Tue Jan 2 13:45:38 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is just of Kawaumi.
Now for sleepy time. Night night.

Rachel Tue Jan 2 11:52:15 PST 2001

Howard - I remember Barb. I miss her being around. I had a chance to read something by her about a year ago. It was very good. Maybe I will need to check out this Themestream you talk about.

Garries - Big, bright smiles.

Take care all,


Hallee Tue Jan 2 11:05:24 PST 2001


About 15,000 words left to write and counting....The good thing is - I'm on fire with this right now - can't stop - I was late for work this morning because I kept saying, "I'll finish this next paragraph..." Then I looked at the clock and it was 7:41 - I have to be at work at 8:00 and my daughter wasn't even out of bed yet. Oh well...the muse is demanding.


gariess Tue Jan 2 09:36:11 PST 2001


I support your right to be as insane as you like and in any way that comes to no harm for others. Since I can’t see how walking along the river in a chicken suit could hurt anyone, go girl, but there is always the State to consider; they may be out to ‘protect you from yourself,’ so stay alert.


Hugs to you, dear girl.


Hello, pal.

Mailing body parts to people? Do you mean parts from live people? In my case, in the interest of saving someone a painful procedure, a burned out light bulb will get the point across.

Re refusal to convert. Isn’t it great to live under a system of government that lead the way in separation of church and state. You point out that even within our own history it was a struggle to contain zealotry.


I remember Ragbag, vaguely.

It appears you are trying to help out a disabled friend. I applaud your efforts, but suffice it to say that one risks the danger of getting in too deep, as it were, in such efforts. Your heart can lead you further than your spirit is willing to go, not to mention the spirits of others in your life. I told you not to mention that.

Later, all,


Tue Jan 2 08:27:30 PST 2001

Best of luck with your altruistic goals, Howard. Very lofty and good-hearted of you to work on taking him in. If you are confounded about the wheelchair access, perhaps Mark could assist you on the topic? He is our resident expert on home care!
The only point I can raise is that walkers (the type with the locking wheels and flip down seat) are much easier to negotiate through doorways and so forth. There are some people who are able to utilize the walkers instead of the chair for a short period of time, say between getting out of a vehicle and into a house). The wheelchair should fold up and be readily mobile without the occupant.
On doorways in the interior of your house being too small for wheelie access - I don't know. You can't just go cutting the doorways with a chainsaw to permit free mobility for a wchair... the walker may be the only possibility if you have to be away from home and your guest needs to get through a doorway. Mind you, depending on how able he is, the walker may be too dangerous for him to use alone. It may not work at all, if he is completely chair-reliant.

Best of luck and I sincerely hope it works out perfectly for all concerned.


Heather Tue Jan 2 08:20:46 PST 2001

Thanks everyone, for your well wishes. I am planning to visit her later this week.

I did receive a short story for P** in my email, but that was right before Christmas and I haven't had the chance to read it yet and give the author a critique. If you're reading this, hang on a day longer and you shall have the crit!

Mark, if you post your email in P* you may get some stories for review. I will ask for permission to forward the story I received so you can critique it too!

Was writing a few thank-you's yesterday and found it neat to be writing 01/01/01 on the top for the date!

the counter has been turned back to zero. Time for us to take a god look at our lives and do things right!


howard Tue Jan 2 07:03:53 PST 2001

MARK -- Yeah, "Necropsy" didn't do much for me either, but "Transient" carried some great images (at first hearing) of what it must have been like in the heyday of the hoboes. He reminded me of some of the "cowboy poets" I've read and heard.
I tried to put a poem out on Themestream, but it looked like it was rejected because it "didn't meet the length requirement of 150 lines" or some such nonsense. I guess that would rule out haiku...
Hmmmm. It just occurred to me:
"Theme Stream?" or "The 'Me' Stream?"

I had a note from Barb "Ragbag" Garrett the other day. She's got some good stuff out there on Themestream, and promised she'd revisit us one of these days. She's been busy too!

It looks like we're on hold for a bit re our friend staying with us. We're not really equipped to handle the wheelchair confinement (yet? right now? ever?). I'm hoping we can do something for him soon, as it's costing him $170/day where he is now.

Back on yer heads...

Mary Tue Jan 2 06:57:54 PST 2001

GARIESS: So glad that you feel inclined to participate in our little attempt at a toga party. Can't wait to see what you post. Missed you....glad you are back.

Happy New Year a little pc had a driver problem. Remedied that finally this morning and came online to find 67 emails! Surprisingly enough, there weren't 4MB of posts that I missed here, so it was quick to catch up.

HEATHER: My thoughts are with you. That is a tough call and only you know what is best. Strength be to you and your family.

TEEKAY: Kick ass fireworks in Sydney for New Year's Eve. Caught a glimpse of them on the television.

Toga party thursday! Toga! Toga! Toga!.........Food Fight!!!!

Mark Tue Jan 2 06:42:40 PST 2001

HEATHER -- I don't envy your choices re: hospital visit. Sometimes they're right, the patient needs to be alone. Sometimes a visit is just the right thing.

I walked in unannounced and held my mother's hand for a while during her last hospital stay. She still talks about it.

People unwilling to convert -- ?? Like in Spain during the Inquisition? Or like in North America during European expansion? Unpleasant and regrettable. I'd like someone to tell me that Muslims consider enforced conversion a regrettable part of their history. Unfortunately, the only testimony I have is of violent reaction.

Speaking of violent reactions, **P** needs a fire under its b***. I thought I'd get a huge burdensome pile of stories to edit and so far there are only a few mostly-finished stories. Who was it that suggested mailing people body parts? That might get some flow started.

HOWARD -- I studied a lot of poetry. Purdy is a mixed bag for me. Some good images, but not really much to say. "Necropsy" may seem deeper if I get the printed version and study it for a bit. All I got from the spoken version was
"-- An Autopsy Of Love --
"We lay together
"And do nothing more
"Than turn out the light."

And that recipe, is that rue-laden?

GARIESS -- good to see ya, bud.

JERRY -- I bid 51.

Hallee Tue Jan 2 01:37:07 PST 2001

HEATHER: My prayers and thoughts are definitely with you. And - I'd do what you did last time - go see your grandma.

Big hugs to you,

Rachel Tue Jan 2 00:39:31 PST 2001

Garries! It is so nice to see you back. I was working on some things today and you came to mind. I thought to myself, where oh where is that Magoo? Then, here you are :o) Hugs for you!


Heather Tue Jan 2 00:11:18 PST 2001

Good to see you back Gary!

All, if there was some confusion in my last post, forgive of me my erronous ways during a bit of stress. I was speaking of two different grandfathers. The first was my mother's Dad, who died before I visited him en hopitale. The second is my Dad's Dad, who had a bout of pneumonia a while ago, so I brought him apple pie.

Just so noone thinks I'm a loon, saying in one spot I didn't get to visit, then in another describing the joys of visiting with baked goods. I'm not insane, but I would someday like to exercise that right.

Not for the purposes of murder, thank you, but I was thinking how fun it would be to walk along the river wearing nothing but a chicken suit. Hey, it's my derangement, and I'll spend it how I see unfit!

Just making sure that the new year is as nutty as last year.


gariess Mon Jan 1 21:34:07 PST 2001

Dear Friends,

It occurs to me that we are living in the age of instant tradition. Here I am, just wandering along, paying no particular attention to anything, and suddenly I realize that a tradition has been established, here, in the Notebook, and its name is Shortie Night.

I had always thought that instant traditions were the province of fraternity boys of the fifties and early sixties, when the extra-curricular activities of our grandfathers seemed to lack a certain compelling lustre, so that we came up with ideas such as the drunken Road Trip and the Toga Party. Concepts that were less imbedded in propriety but wanted for the proof of time and honor.

Eventually we sobered up enough to realize that there was probably something of value in the time honored traditions of our forebears that we had overlooked, but by that time we couldn’t remember what those traditions were and we had already been out of school for five years, anyway.

Be that as it may, Shortie Night has been in existence for a couple of months or so, and I am forced to admit that by today’s standards it is about five weeks past qualifying for tradition status. So, even if a bit reluctantly-and that is really because of the fact that I am not personally inclined to be short-winded-I have decided that I shall participate on a limited basis in this instant tradition and submit, for the consideration of my peers, a shortie in a rather anecdotal form. I am recalling this anecdote from my boyhood so that its only conformation to the qualifications of a story is in its factual rather than literary substance. I make note that I have told this anecdote in the Notebook in the past, so I apologize to my good friends in advance for the boredom that I am about to inflict upon you. I will retire to my Word program at this time to compose my anecdote with the intention of posting it on Thursday evening. I also apologize if this post appears to be somewhat unresponsive and self-involved, but I have been away for a while and I can’t see my way clear to catching up on all the recent postings. There is a lot of catching up that I will have to forego in other places as well. I will just have to jump into the current stream and pick up steerage from this point forward. I am happy to be back and to see you all.



Jerry Mon Jan 1 20:18:40 PST 2001

Teekay - Pinochle is a card game played with a 48 card deck, consisting of two each A thru 9 in each suit. It looks rather confusing to the uninitiated, but is a simple game once learned, and after a few years one can master the skills needed to make the most out of each hand. When more then four players play, another deck of 48 is added for a total of 4 of each card in each suit, for instance there are 4 Aces of Spades, and so forth. After the deal, the players meld their hand out in groups each worth so many points, for example a marriage is the king and queen of the same suit, a pinochle is the Jack of Diamonds and Queen of spades, a run is the Ace through 10 of the trump suit. Trump is decided before the meld and is decided by biding points, around the table, until as in an auction, only the winning player is left. That player determines the trump suit, and his/her partner(s) exchange 3 cards, after that player declares the trump suit, the object being to build the strongest suit in trump in the winning bidders hand. After all that, the play goes around the table, with the winning bidder playing the first card, and so forth until all the cards are gone. Rank is A 10 K Q J 9. Then the points in meld and counters (A 10 K) are counted from the tricks won, and if that total is equal or higher then the bid, the bidder and partner(s) won the bid and are awarded those points. The competitors also get to add their meld and counters up for their score for that hand. That in its basic form is the game of pinochle. It is an addicting game for many, and is the center of all our family gatherings.

Hope I have explained that so you can understand it, it is a very popular game, and it seems that the rules vary depending on where you play it, even driving 60 miles west you encounter differing rules. In the Military it is the game of choice or at least was amongst my friends while in service.


howard Mon Jan 1 19:33:44 PST 2001

TEEKAY -- I guess it's about 200 miles to the Atlantic Ocean from here. We get lots of fresh fish delivered to this area from the Boston docks. The shrimp and scallops we get are mostly flash frozen at sea, and trucked up from the southern fisheries. We're starting to see quite a bit of farm-raised shellfish (clams, mussels) and trout and catfish. We get tuna steaks from the North Atlantic fisheries, and also have quite a selection of other fresh seafood, although it can be quite expensive. We also get live lobsters from Maine, crab from Maryland, and crawfish from Louisiana. The latter are very sweet.

MARK -- Thanks for the pointer to Purdy. Interesting! I wish I had studied more poetry.

ROSEMARY -- Never heard of fireworks on New Years Eve until I went to Germany. I was in Karlsruhe for New Years '64-'65 and '65-'66. Got punched out while standing in a crowd on a balcony, watching the show. Some little twerp standing behind us thought it would be great fun to reach through and cop a feel from the good looking chick in the front row, and her boyfriend took rather violent exception to it. He apologised when he realised that I was standing there with a bier in one hand and a bratwurst in the other, so it obviously couldn't have been me. They bought me another bier, and she made everything okay.

TINA -- I could use that rouladen recipe too!

Gotta head for bed -- gotta get back to work tomorrow.


Heather Mon Jan 1 18:47:10 PST 2001

Well, I'm really hoping my grandmother makes it past the first day of the new millenium. She had a stroke two days ago, and it doesn't look good. My grandfather is practically helpless at home without her. They are one of those long-married couples that will die very close together; meaning if one dies, the other will follow suit soon after. They are that closely tied.
She doesn't want many visitors, but my parents and my Dad's sister have been there as much as they can, and my other aunt is trying to book a flight from Vancouver to Toronto immediately, but is facing a 2500.oo dollar price tag on the ticket. She'll make it.
I really detest being asked to wait until she's feeling better to visit; I did not make it to see my grandfather when he was hospitalized, and then he died before I could visit. I was told the same thing then.
My grandfather was hospitalized about six months ago, and we weren't sure if he'd pull through, so I baked him my best apple pie and my husband and kids and I piled into the car and visited him anyway. He appreciated it, and was happy to stick a thumb into the pie before we took it to my grandmother. Grandpa said he had lots of food and he was worried my grandmother would be too worried to cook. She was. She was glad to have the pie! I was glad to have made it for them.

Anyway, I am windily wording everything, and worried.
I'm worried and really not up to saying last goodbyes again, if indeed it happens soon (ok, ever). Death, more than anything else, always makes me nostalgic for my childhood when all was safe and unknown. The possibility of loved ones dying didn't crop up much.

Mark, have you ever read anything on the execution of those unwilling to convert to Catholocism? There were quite a few. People executed, that is.
No, no, let's not start a religious debate now!
We'd be squabbling about it until next year.

Not gonna happen.



Teekay Mon Jan 1 16:56:40 PST 2001

Hi All,
TINA: What a fantastic toast. I drink to that.

VIV: That green plum wine sounds yummy. Do you have a recipe? I'd love a copy of it.

HOWARD: Do you live anywhere near the sea?

JERRY: I've been wanting to ask for a while. What is pinnochle??

RHODA: Gorgeous photos. Is that near where you're living now?

I didn't do one iota of writing yesterday. I hope it's not true what MARY said about what you're doing on New Years Day you'll be doing all year, because I really do want to get some serious writing done this year.

My daughters birthday today. Pizza's and cake it is. I love it when we have birthdays round here.

Rhoda Mon Jan 1 15:54:56 PST 2001

That below address will not work. This one should do it.

Rhoda Mon Jan 1 15:52:29 PST 2001

I finally managed to get some photographs out of my digital camera (has not been an easy thing). If anyone cares to take a look, here are some at the give address. I will try to have more later.


Allein Mon Jan 1 14:22:55 PST 2001

Hi all,
No New Year's picture - it'll be a little late this year, but since it sort of has an Asian theme, perhaps it'll be on time for the Chinese New Year.
Today's picture is of Princesses Kawaumi, Sheena and Mali going shopping.

Viv - I've never actually had sake, but my boyfriend had told me it was good. I'm not really a fan of wine anyway and I've never had Ume-shu either. I like green tea though. :)


Tina Mon Jan 1 14:02:44 PST 2001

Thanks Mark!

Mark Mon Jan 1 13:20:53 PST 2001

TINA -- The above link will take you to a page where you can get two poems spoken by Al Purdy. "Necropsy of Love" and "Transient."

Tina Mon Jan 1 12:35:21 PST 2001

Welcome to 2001!
Now we get to spend the next month trying to remember to write '2001' instead of '2000'. Took me three months last year to stop writing '1999'. Should be better this time around....

It's beautiful and sunny outside! A perfect way to start the new year, and the new millenium.

Viv, do you want the recipe for rouladen? I can e-mail it if you want. :-)

Yesterday I received a last Christmas gift... the collected poems of Al Purdy. I'm stunned and awed. To be able to craft words so perfectly! I've found a new standard to seek in my own work.

Here's my New Years toast to everyone here.
To warm, welcoming hearts; strong, creative minds; and nimble fingers. May your days be filled with the strength of good family and friends, your nights filled with peaceful dreams, and may your dreams come closer to your reach with each setting sun. Find strength in the words that spill from your thoughts, shape them into the purest extract of your heart, and send them forth into the world with the power to change history.


Rosemary Mon Jan 1 10:18:04 PST 2001

Happy New Year All,
I hope you all had a great time last night. However you celebrate.

Our neighbors must have spent $500 or more on fireworks. It seemed like it went on all night. The horses (especially mine) had fits. Mine paces back and forth at high speed and gets all lathered up. It worried me a little because the temp. was in the thirties. You know, hot and sweaty, then cold. It's not good for people, but he seems to be all right this morning. He's an American Saddlebred, and at times is a little high strung. Really pretty while he's upset. :o}

My sister and I are going to have New Years Dinner at her house. (Next door) I have to cook a couple of things so I'll go now.


Debra Mon Jan 1 08:21:07 PST 2001


I hope everyone has the best year yet. At the risk of missing, someone I will leave it at everyone.


Mark Mon Jan 1 07:09:48 PST 2001

Happy New Year everyone!

First day of the third millenium A.D.

This a big deal. The Jewish calendar has hit two millenia twice and the Chinese calendar has been there three times. I can't think of other groups that can claim the same kind of cohesion.

Celtic tribes ruled Northern and Western Europe three to four millenia ago, and Celts still exist throughout the world. But the culture is gone, due mainly to our own fear of strangers. The most remarkable feat in Celtic history probably came when one Irish leader actually united tribes to fight the Romans.

I think the Christian edict to 'love your neighbor' contributes more to the success of our 2000-year-old calendar than any other factor.

Here goes my mind. The calendar of Mohammed must be lengthy. If Christians are successful by way of love, Muslims are successful by way of hate. (Correct me if I'm wrong here). My understanding of the spread of Mohammedism is that people were told to convert or die.

Either way, love or death-threat, both big religions are inclusive. My druidic ancestors were exclusive.

phew. pretty lengthy New Year's greeting, eh?

howard Mon Jan 1 05:53:14 PST 2001

VIV -- I just checked and we only had 6.5 lbs, and it was $6.99/lb at one of the supermarkets near where we live. We got some large sea scallops too, for &7.99/lb. They're much sweeter than the smaller bay scallops.

Gotta go out and run the snow blower for a while, and get the driveway cleared out.


Viv Mon Jan 1 05:37:07 PST 2001

Litter- can you break Slainte Mhor down into syllables so I can figure out how to say that? It's neat. It looks beautiful and I'd like to hear it said.

Richard - On Pokemon, I hear you! It's enough to gag a person...even in Japanese.

Allein: We don't drink sake. Why? 1. It doesn't taste very good. It's warm and sort of awful. 2.It's a pain in the neck to keep warm. You have to keep running into the kitchen with this blasted little ceramic pitcher to warm it up in a pan of boiling water. 3. It makes my face red and generally the men drink it. 4. We've been to too many parties where these idiots keep trying to play "drink the American under the table." This is generally done at business parties. If you get drunk it's easy to do or say something stupid. I got very good at dumping my cup into my soup bowl then "forgetting" to drink the soup. I thought the whole business that centered around Sake was over-rated so I decided to use Sake just for cooking. It's great when mixed with soy sauce a little sugar and a touch of salt.
Ume-shu is better. That's home made green plum wine. I make it myself.

Howard: Where'd you get ten pounds of shrimp and how much does that cost???? I'm coming to live there.

Tina: I'll try out the Roladen! That sounds great!

Everybody: I'll get over this food fetish when my daughter finally goes back to her dorm room in America! Meanwhile I'm on a food kick trying to give her everything she misses about home. I'll be glad when it gets quiet and I can get back to writing.

Allein Mon Jan 1 00:25:04 PST 2001


Let us ring in 2001 with a glass of grape juice (I'm still underage for wine). Lift up your glasses...oops spilled on the floor! Oh well, to a happy, healthy new year! May all our wishes and dreams come true!!

Now back to Iron Chef - they're running a 24 hour marathon on the cooking channel. I love this show - it's originally from Japan but in America they've badly dubbed the voices over (that's the only thing I don't like about it - subtitles would be just fine). On one episode they had a woman talking and then the camera focused on a man and his mouth was moving but the woman's voice was still going.

Anyway, back to the show!!

Jerry Sun Dec 31 22:06:03 PST 2000

Seems that allowing you to click on that link and hear the song I put up violates Yahoo regulations, and they have an auto-ban program that puts up that message? Who would have guessed, a service provider who at least tries to obey the copyright laws.


Jerry Ericsson Sun Dec 31 21:56:15 PST 2000

Aw heck, forget it, guess I don't know exactly how to put it up that way, I will play with it later and see if I can get it to work.


Jerry Sun Dec 31 21:54:07 PST 2000

Ok, maybe I messed it up, lets try it ONE MORE TIME!


howard Sun Dec 31 21:26:02 PST 2000


Rosemary Sun Dec 31 17:55:19 PST 2000


I tried your link and it said it was not available. Do you think we all tried it at once and crashed it? :o\

I've been using WP for a long time(at least ten years)and know a few handy hints and short cuts if you're interested.

Later all,
Don't forget BEAKY.

Jerry Ericsson Sun Dec 31 16:55:23 PST 2000

Speaking of things to eat, the above link will give you a tasty treat for New Years Day. Jon may wish to cover his ears when playing the catchy tune.

And again Happy New Year to all, we have just arrived home from a all-day pinochle game at my mothers, in the four hours of play, only two games were played, the first a quick one, the last became the GAME FROM HELL! Overall however it was a fine celebratory dinner, and nice to sit at the table with my mother and sibling. I will be sending the rest of the night enjoying movies on the boob tube and hoping against hope that all who venture forth to welcome in the true new mellinum live to see the light of the first day.

Read you all next year, and to the several new people who have recently joined our happy family, welcome I hope you find this crew as enjoyable as I have over the years.


Rachel Sun Dec 31 16:38:25 PST 2000

Americo - Yes.

Viv - Hello, welcome and Happy New Year to you! I'm Canadian. I can't think of anything that the Canadian women I know do on New Years that would be tradition. Most of the people I know embrace one culture or another. In my family we have something that we do. We get the Calendar from 2000 and one for 2001, then when the New Year begins we have the children leap from one year and into the next. We also make the leap. It's kind of silly, but it is also fun. Other than that I can't think of any traditions, other than the toasting to the New Year thing, but I bet everyone does that:o)

Jessica - Welcome. I hope you enjoy the site.

All - Happy New Year!

Write at yah later,


Litter Sun Dec 31 16:21:04 PST 2000

The Bells have not long rung-out the old year and rung in the New Year here in Scotland. Fireworks fill the sky outside our house and there will be many a sore head when people awake later on today.

All that remains for me to say is Slàinte Mhòr -- Very Good Health to you all and a Happy New Year.


Teekay Sun Dec 31 16:07:34 PST 2000

Sorry. I mean endlessy AND mindlessly.

Teekay. Sun Dec 31 16:06:41 PST 2000

Not that I don't already ramble on endlessly or mindlessly already.

Teekay. Sun Dec 31 16:02:42 PST 2000

JESSICA: Slaps up the side of the head for me. That's 2 in progress. Not to. I would have let it go, but on rereading my post it confused me and I thought, well, if it confuses me (and I wrote it) It shall probably cofuse others.

MARY: oh Dear! Does this mean I shall also be rambling endlessly and mindlessly throughout the year???

Teekay Sun Dec 31 15:57:09 PST 2000


JERRY: Yuuuummmmmmyyyyyy - NOT! green meat indeed and organs to. I am rolling on the floor in disgust. I'll tell you one thing though, I just love the smell of kidneys or liver (or something like that) frying up with onions. But I just can't eat it.
Oh, and head cheese. ~shudder~ :-)

HOWARD: YUuummmmmyyyyyy. I wish there was someone in my family who loved to cook. I honestly wish I loved to cook. It would remove so much angst.

MARY: Say it aint so! We're spending the day at MIL's and eating lasagne and I daresay a heap of other stuff. Now the eating part is okay, but I really don't fancy spending the rest of the year there.
We were told (as children) that how you behaved on your birthday would be the way you behaved the rest of the year. Egads, the things that grown-ups tell kids.

RICHARD: I think you take the cake for being the youngest one here. (if indeed you are that young.) Sorry, that bit just snuck in.

VIV: I'm Australian and we don't really have much tradition in the way of New Years Eve. However, when I was younger and stayed up past 11pm, we would party on till midnight and well after and then stagger home and wake up with a hideous hang over. I am older and wiser now.
Of course! I forgot the New Years Resolutions. These, as you probably know are promises you make to yourself to carry out over the New Year. They generally have a life span of about 3 days, with the truly dedicated and up to 3 hours with those with no staying power. :-)

CHRISTI: Okay, where are you? I feel a bit like a sheepdog, rounding up all those who have strayed from the fold.

JESSICA CHAPLIN: Hi! Welcome! i Really like to write short stories. Once upon a time I was never interested in the short story, but it seems to have me well and truly by the neck these days.
I really want to write a novel. Heaps of novels actually and I do have to in progress, but it's a very slow progress. :-)

For what it's worth and hopefully it will last longer than 3 hours or days, here is my new years resolution. I only made one because I don't want to set myself up to fail from the word go.
Baby steps. Baby steps.

I still haven't found my missing notebook, but yesterday I bought myself a huge new one (the size of a house actually so it's not easy to lose) and I *sob* am going to start my ghostie in there.
What's the bet that as soon as I get to the half way point I find the other one.

Well have a fantastic day all, with friends and family, fun and feasting.
And as Anne of Green Gables always said. Today is a brand new day, with no mistakes in it yet.
Or was that tomorrow??? What's the good of that then? Someone else, I can't remember who, said "tomorrow never comes"
Nevertheless, pick your saying and go with it.
My favourite saying of all time is "Don't sweat the small stuff" There TINA, I finally remembered one.

Richard Sun Dec 31 15:38:31 PST 2000

Sci-fi mostly - i'm just starting to branch out so I'm fairly open-minded at the moment.

Hmm, nearly New Year here in the UK...

Jessica Chaplin Sun Dec 31 14:09:43 PST 2000

Thanks everyone for your welcome!

Tina, I write a lot of poetry, romance, and just plain fiction. What does everyone else like to write?

Richard Sun Dec 31 12:02:02 PST 2000

The only qaulm I really have with Japan (in a light-hearted way :p) is that it invented the foul money-gobbling machine known as 'Pokemon', which has subverted the minds of my younger siblings >:(

So, whose the youngest (or been the youngest) on the Notebook? I came a couple of months back and I'm 13, nearly 14... anyone below that?

Richard Sun Dec 31 11:57:05 PST 2000

Hi there to all the new arrivals - look forward to reading some of your work!

We hardly do anything around New Year, its just an excuse to stay up late :p I'm having some freinds round in a few days though, and we're going to watch all 4 Star Wars films at once, in chronoligical order. Always wanted to do that :D

That site on writing is good - I'm especially taking note of the 'habits' page, because I for one am guilty of thinking I can only write when sat down in front of my computer. No, thats not true, I *can* write on paper, I just find so annoying copying it up, and then finding the three or so pages you wrote in handwriting amount to about half that many pages on the computer :p I do carry around a little pocket-sized notebook though, so I can note down any ideas that I get.

Allein Sun Dec 31 11:56:02 PST 2000

Hi all,
Today's image is Queen Magiki with Rean at about 4 or 5 years old.

Vivian - AKIMASHITE OMEDETO!! Do you also drink Sake to ring in the new year? I tried talking my parents into this but they are anti-Japanese. Well, not really, they just think everything there is weird. Me, on the other hand, I love everything Japanese - my room has become a shrine to Asia, but mainly Japan.

Howard - Mmmm...lamb.... *drool*

Jessica - WELCOME!! I was 15 when I came here too and these past almost 4 years have been wonderful. I'm sure you'll enjoy it here. :)


howard Sun Dec 31 10:18:03 PST 2000

MARY -- I'm still here, haven't relocated my computers yet, maybe this afternoon. We still have a few things left to do before we move him in. I'll have to relocate my cable modem line to the upstairs bedroom where we're setting up the office, but that's not a top-o-list item -- yet...

I noticed that nobody has mentioned roast lamb yet. A good rack of lamb is one of my favorites! Also good beef, pork, chicken, some venison, and I do like liver and onions now and again. Also seafood! I made Dorie a nice pot of oyster stew Friday night, from some nice freshly shucked oysters we got at the store that afternoon. Then last night I made a huge kettle of New England Clam Chowder. We have about 10 pounds of shrimp to cook for tonight, and our new years day dinner is usually my wife's homemade lasagna. I'll be adding a dish (under development) consisting of roasted garlic, zucchini, peppers, onions, and portobello mushrooms, marinated together in a balsamic and olive oil dressing, with fresh basil and rosemary.

TINA -- Rouladen is another of my favorites! Cabbage rolls (halupki) too!

VIV and JESSICA -- Welcome!!

all this food talk has me hungry -- time for dinner.


Hallee Sun Dec 31 10:17:29 PST 2000

TINA: Eightish or so? What shall I bring?


Jerry Ericsson Sun Dec 31 09:23:23 PST 2000

Americo - I still see it too, must be you.


Like most here, we don't drink on New Years Eve, (known amongst law enforcement as amatrue night) for several reasons, the first of which is I no longer drink except that one eggnog on xmas eve. I find sobrity refreshing.

I am looking forward to a great new centruy millenium (just installed windows ME).

I wish all a great rest of your lives.


Tina Sun Dec 31 08:35:42 PST 2000

Happy last day of the century!

Mary, worry not. It's the holidays! I know that there are many other important things to do at this time of year.

Welcome Viv and Jessica Chaplin!
Jessica, what do you like to write?

Viv, I honestly don't have many traditions around New Years. We usually have a family dinner with ham or something special like roladen (thinly sliced beef rolled up with mustard, onion and pickles - better than it might sound) or cabbage rolls or venison steaks. Sometimes the family dinner becomes a party of friends, sometimes we go out, it changes every year. If I'm home at midnight I like to watch the fireworks on television. The one thing I don't do is drink heavily. Like Mary, I like to start the year the way I want to live the rest of it - in control and enjoying myself, not drunk! Perhaps the only firm tradition is a really nice breakfast on the first. I usually make a crepe or waffle brunch and have everyone over.


Hallee Sun Dec 31 08:16:40 PST 2000

In the south, the New Year's Day meal that is supposed to bring good luck is ham, black-eyed peas, and greens. A very simple, very southern meal that my family enjoys. I tend to be the only one in my husband's family who really knows how to make it, considering all of them are Italian - so I'll have a house full for dinner tomorrow - along with corn bread and cherry pie.

Happy eating all!


Mary Sun Dec 31 07:43:35 PST 2000

HEATHER: You are welcome! My mistake came from not paying close enough attention to your request. You needed word PERFECT, and I just gave you word 2000.

JERRY: I will eat shrimp and actually love the taste of it, but it has to be breaded and deep fried and at least butterflied so as I can no longer tell it is a shrimp. I stand my ground on the organs though. :-)

AMERICO: I can still see the logo at top.

VIV: The only tradition I can think of is that we have to eat pork New Year's Day. It supposedly ensures good luck in the coming new year. This year I am putting a pork roast in the crock pot and steaming some cabbage. Usually we have ribs and kraut so this is a switch. Also, I was raised to believe that whatever you are doing New Year's Day you will be doing the rest of the you better make sure you are having a hell of a good time.

HOWARD: Where are you?

MARK: Are you with Howard?

TINA: I am working on your book....honest I am.


Americo Sun Dec 31 04:50:55 PST 2000

Is it me or the image at the top is gone?

Americo Sun Dec 31 04:49:10 PST 2000

Rachel,Jack and Allein, will you kindly send me your list of corrections within the next 8 days?

If you have not understood this message, dismiss it. If you have, please start working.

Happy New Year!

Hallee Sun Dec 31 04:09:42 PST 2000


Stay safe tonight....


Viv Sun Dec 31 02:49:08 PST 2000

All this talk of meat eating has made me think about our recent buying craze. What is fun about New Year's Eve in Japan is shopping for vegetables and fish! The vendors shut down for a week so they try to sell everything at the last minute. Prices plummet! It's the time to buy a box of 100 tangerines for about fifteen dollars (which is about half the usual price). Sushi also goes for nice prices. I got huge amount of raw tuna today for five dollars then ran over to another shop and got half a pickled octopus for about five dollars as well. It was a great feast tonight.

Happy New Years (Akimashite Omedito) to all of you. I hope everyone gets to eat their favorite foods,and finds plenty to write about in 2001.

Also, I'd like to know Canadian and Austrialian "women's" customs for the New Year. In Japan (many women make special traditional meals called Sechi-han. In our family we just eat the best thing we can buy at the last minute rush shopping!)

Jerry Ericsson Sat Dec 30 22:01:21 PST 2000

Mary - oh come on, how could anyone not love shrimp? One of my favorite foods, right up there with venison and bison. I have also eaten monkey, dog, rat, squirrel,rabbit rattlesnake, and some other mystery meats that the Army gave us while in Nam. Many thought it to be water buffalo, but I had my doubts. Does anyone know if water buffalo has a green tint? Oh heck until this very minute I never got it, green meat in the Army, who would have figured? As far as organ meat, I love liver (pork or beef, not the liver that "Liver Eating Johnson was talking about)and roast heart. Head cheese is also one of my favorites. Back when I was growing up a poor farmers son, we used most of the beef too, one of our favorite stews was made with ox tail. It consisted of ox tail which was boiled or pressure cooked until tender, then add potatoes, parsnip, rudebagers (sp), cabbage, carrots, turnips, celery and some mystery spices that my dad always added for that extra bite of flavor. Also on my regular food list when I was a kid were pheasant, duck, all types of fresh fish from the local rivers, as I said rabbit was a rare treat. Well it is getting late, and I must be off to bed, just thought I would throw my two bits in this tasty discussion.


Heather Sat Dec 30 21:31:36 PST 2000

Hi Jessica, and welcome.

Thank you beyond thanks, Rosemary! For the life of me I couldn't find the #(&%#)*)@-ing word count! I needed it not just for my novel, but for that contest I entered yesterday. It was only a 300 word little essay, but I ended up counting it manually, just to be sure I didn't go over the word limit. THANK YOU for helping me find it. I used the help function as a last-ditcher, and the darned thing had nothing to say! Frustrating, when even your program doesn't know its own capabilities.

Thank you for trying to help, too, Mary. I'd already scoured the tool 'belt' for any hint of word counters, but it is the logical place for it! Right after
'proofread' would be a good spot. I suppose that the creators of the program aren't writers, so didn't realize how often we blarney-blowers may need that function.

Toodle oooing now

Jessica Chaplin Sat Dec 30 20:12:38 PST 2000

Hello, I'm new to the "Writer's Notebook" and just wanted to introduce myself.

My name is Jessica Chaplin. I'm a fifteen-year-old writer. Writing is my passion, and I'm glad to have found a website dedicated to it.

Hope to be speaking with you all soon!

Mary Sat Dec 30 20:03:02 PST 2000

HEATHER: Sorry for the bad info.

ROSEMARY: Amen to that.

Tina Sat Dec 30 19:47:35 PST 2000


Jerry, thank you for the link! Many good things to learn and to be reminded of. I've read two of Crawford Kilian's books - one many times over - and respect his writing. That gives his advice extra authenticity.

Mary, hope you're feeling better before next year.

Teekay, that was YOU dancing the rumba in the mall? I shoulda known...


Allein Sat Dec 30 19:11:33 PST 2000

Moses - I was wondering why you led your people in the desert for 40 years. Most people would say that you wanted them to really appreciate the promised land when you got there but my friends and I think it's because you refused to stop for directions. Please clear up this misunderstanding.

Rosemary Sat Dec 30 18:42:22 PST 2000

Hi there all,
Congratulations on your good taste in wordprocessors. I have WP8 and the Word Count feature is under file--properties--information. It's one of the few unreasonably located features in Word Perfect. My opinion. I find Microsoft Word's positioning lodgic completely beyond my understanding.

Going back up to read now.
Good luck

*Moses* Sat Dec 30 18:35:20 PST 2000

Pigs, shrimp, venison--NOT!

Mary Sat Dec 30 17:35:36 PST 2000

TEEKAY: Your acceptable food list got a good chuckle out of me. My list would be a lot bigger. The only animal food I won't eat is if their whole body is one shrimp. I can't take the thought of popping their whole body in my mouth. Talk about nutso...that is one screwed up reason not to eat something. Oh yeah, organs. I won't eat anything that filters bad stuff out of an animal's system. How can that possibly be good? Ahh well, to each his own.

Sat Dec 30 17:29:41 PST 2000

The word count feature of word 2000 is in the 'Tools' drop down menu in the task bar. Good luck hon.

Mary Sat Dec 30 17:27:16 PST 2000

TEEKAY: Maybe that is where I got the idea for my last shortie. You don't know what you've got until its gone whether it be a lover, your health or a nickel piece of glass in the shape of a unicorn. Big hugs to you, and I second you motion to haul Gary back here.

Hi Heather.....word 2000 does word count, but not character count. As soon as I get back to the top and see if that is indeed what you asked, I will come back and let you know how to get to that in your program. :-)

Heather Sat Dec 30 16:52:42 PST 2000

Anyone know if there is a word count feature on Word Perfect 2000? I know there are page counters and that sort of thing, but was looking specifically for a word counter so I don't have to estimate or sit there and count each word! Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller...

Jerry, went to the site you posted and it did have a few things I printed out to hang on to, in case I forget...
and it's so nice having a reminder of what I'm doing right as well as where to make improvements. I like how the author condenses and simplifies processes that have taken me a long time to get good at. I look at his reasoning and realize that it's what I've been doing without seeing the structure behind it. I've been searching for a basic structure to keep my head from wandering the clouds, and here it is. Take a good look at the sections on Symbolism, Irony and Plotting. Most of what is there is what we've heard and utilized before, but this is so succinct it doesn't take three days to sit back and chew through the bulk to find tips. There are also some connections he makes between character motivation and other parts of writing that make some of what I've been doing more cohesive in the mind. Worth checking out.

Anyway, thanks Jerry! Good site.

for the moment

Teekay Sat Dec 30 16:28:34 PST 2000

GARIESS: Now where are you??? Would you please come back to the notebook and share with us your charm, your wit, your style. Would you once again entertain us with stories of lightbulbs and underpants, missing kitties and postal workers.
We miss you GARIESS and if your absence is a plea for recognition, then by God, you are a heartless soul.
If you're not here because you are out fishing or lazing on the beach or just doing the holiday thing in general, well, as it is the Christmas season I guess just this once you can be forgiven.

Teekay Sat Dec 30 16:22:35 PST 2000

RICHARD: Argument?? Argument?? There was no argument. We were just airing our thoughts aloud. And some of those thoughts weren't really even solid thoughts, they were more like musings. :-)

HEATHER: I know your not a bitch. That was just the green eyed monster rearing its ugly head. :-)
I can't paint. I can draw, but I can't paint. And mainly what I draw are faces, but I haven't really drawn anything for quite a few years.
I would love to be able to paint though and indeed one of these days, when it is safe to set up an easel and leave some paints lying around without fear of them ending up smeared all over the furniture, I am going to try.

JERRY: great site. Thankgoodness for printers. I'm going to print some pages out and take them to MIL's today.

MARY: I hope you're better soon. You really don't appreciate how good it is to feel well until you feel ill, don't you think? I now that's the case with me. Whenever I feel like crap I look back to when I was happy and healthy and wish I'd appreciated it more. You know, gambolled in the fields, ran along the river bank, danced a rumba in the shopping mall.
Thank goodness I don't get sick all that often. (touchwood.)

For any of you in doubt, here are a list of animals that it's okay to eat.
SEAFOOD!!*slurp* *slobber*

rabbits- they are for cuddling and looking cute.
deer-because of Bambi and they look cute too (and because Dear Diedre Deer is probably reading this.)
And any other animal because I was not brought up on it and therefore psychologically my mind does not recognize them as foodstuffs.

I'm sorry if anybody disagrees with this, but it is written and therefore it is. Don't look at me,, I didn't make up the rules. Well actually I did, but don't look at me anyway. Especially with that nasty gleam in your eye. And put down that knife and fork. I say put down that AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH......................

Well, I've lost it! I started my 3rd ghostie a while back and last night I went to continue it and I can't find it anywhere. I could start again I s'pose, but it was half done.
That'll teach me to have 5 notebooks and to just leave them lying about any old how. No wonder it felt neglected and left home. Oh, come back precious notebook, come baaaaaacck...

Mary Sat Dec 30 13:22:54 PST 2000

Has anyone here read "Ender's Shadow"? I have a paperback copy of it that I will gladly send on to whoever wants it when I am finished. Probably it will take me more than two days though because I am still pretty sick. As soon as I sit still for more than two minutes I fall asleep. Let me know.

RICHARD: Good point...not to mention the Native American Indians...or any other group of people who hunted for survival.

Richard Sat Dec 30 13:17:17 PST 2000

I wonder how the stone age men would view this arguement?

Allein Sat Dec 30 12:19:54 PST 2000

Today's picture is a cute one of Tanek writing something.

Jerry - Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to check it out. Willy Wonka is a great movie - saw it for the first time in November.

Jerry Sat Dec 30 09:07:59 PST 2000

Almost forgot why I came to this page this morning, the above website is a wonderful introduction to the mechanics of writing. I ran into it yesterday and had a very hard time leaving. Give it a look-see, I think you will like it.


Jerry Sat Dec 30 09:04:42 PST 2000

*Deidre Deer* - I forgot to mention, I purchased a copy of Bambi several years ago, and it one of the many movies which I own that are watched several times a year. I do love the movie, that along with Willie Wonka, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the entire Ma and Pa Kettle series are among my favorite movies. Oh did I mention the Wizard of Oz, another regular in my VCR. So you see, I am not the monster you portray, but a very loving peaceful human being who happens to have a taste for the flesh of deer, antelope and their playmates on the range, the bison.


Mary Sat Dec 30 08:59:37 PST 2000

Hello Everyone:

Awesome shorty night! Thanks so much. I am sorry that I am only now getting back, but I was sick AGAIN and spent a lot of time sleeping.

Seems I have upset the chickens.

Teekay...thanks for emailing me. Made me feel great.

Mark, thanks for the compliment. :-)

sasquatch...welcome home.

I am feeling a little lightheaded...will come back later.


Tina Sat Dec 30 07:44:41 PST 2000

Deidra Deer, I'm impressed by the enlightenment of your family. I'm sure yours is the first deer family in history where the father stuck around after rutting season and had any connection whatsoever to his fawns. If I shared your herbivore physiology I would not savour the taste of meat, but I will be an omnivore 'til the day I die, thus by neccesity I will eat meat. Yours happens to taste better than beef!

Hallee, good luck. Do publishers pull such dates out of thin air? Do they want your finished story or just a chunk/draft to begin the process with? I know you'll amaze and astound them, regardless.

Teekay, I'm not out to point fingers at all! I honestly don't 'get' it. As for sport hunting, there I draw the line. The world is not big enough, or full enough of game, to support that desire.

Sasquatch, you have wisdom in plenty. And beauty.

Off to work now!

Jeremiah Johnson Sat Dec 30 07:41:23 PST 2000

Perhaps we should all be cannibals and only eat our own kind. Then nobody would have any 'beef' with anyone else except steers.

Hallee Sat Dec 30 01:34:55 PST 2000

HEATHER: Thanks. My ritual is just to plop down and start writing. So, I guess I'm following it. Really, though, I think I need to just relax, let it all go, and just write.

TINA: I'm on your side, babe, even if I post sporadically for a few days.

JERRY: HAHAHAHAHAHA You had me laughing out loud at 4:15 in the morning - pre java, even - HAHAHAHA

And now I must (seriously) take a venison roast out of the freezer so that it can thaw. These posts reminded me.

JERRY: HAHAHA So well done.


Okay - my first cup of coffee is starting to flow through my veins. Off to write.

Happy Saturday All!


Heather Sat Dec 30 01:00:51 PST 2000

Teekay, I'm not a bitch, really, really, really, I am not, I am not I am not a bitch...
at least I hope not. Have you ever tried painting? Believe me, if someone as talented as yourself took a brush in hand, wonderful things would happen. Art transcends the medium.

Deidre Deer, I have never held a gun in my life, but I have eaten meat. What of the grasses and berries you eat? Do they scream when you pluck them with your teeth? Fruits and Vegetables have feelings too.
What of the other berries you didn't eat? Do they mourn the loss of their brother and sister berries?
I wonder if rice cries.

...Let them eat poly-vinyl. Or space pizza.

Fooling around with nutrition is nasty business!

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Dec 30 00:55:59 PST 2000

Oooops. Insight it is. I will be setting up the new bio page sometime tomorrow.

Heather Sat Dec 30 00:51:58 PST 2000

Did I joke about the importance of coffee? No, only that of drinking it. I myself take my morning java intravenously.


Jerry Fri Dec 29 23:00:53 PST 2000

*Deidre Deer* = I only became a hunter when I began having to dodge your idiot cousins who insisted on running out in front of my vehicles.
But later I hunted not for revenge, but to properly deplete the population so your race could thrive. I always ate what I shot, and never hunted just for the fun of the kill, however I will admit that there was a certain thrill in unleashing the power of a bullet and seeing it strike home, instantly stopping the fleeing deer in its tracks, at times causing them to tumble head over tail, other times causing them to go head-first into the plowed fields that were my hunting grounds. Were it not for the hunter, many more deer would starve in harsh winters, they would become diseased through inter breeding, they would wither and die, but with proper management through hunting your race thrives in the wild.


*Deidre Deer* Fri Dec 29 22:32:30 PST 2000

I have often read these pages with good cheer as my greatest wish in all the world is to be a writer. Sasquatch is my inspiration, for this creature of the wild has proved that an animal does not have to exclusively walk on two legs to be proficient with the written word.


You disappoint me greatly. I have often read your posts and looked upon you as a friend or a kindred spirit though I have previously been too timid to add to these pages. Because I admire you, I must set you straight on this matter of hunting. My poor husband, my magnificent stag and mate of many moons, was just killed by hunters. Since he was shot and made into chopped venison, I have been left to fend for my three fatherless fawns. Needless to say, there is little time for writing now. I feel that I must be fair to you and tell you that are horribly mistaken in your sentiments. If you could see the sad faces of my sweet children and if you could comprehend my loneliness and fear, you would never harbor such thoughts about the harmlessness and benefits of hunting.

I am desolate and so sad that I no longer wish to go on living. When my dear deers have grown up and can make it on their own, I intend to find the next deer crossing so that I may run out in front of a Yugo and do considerable damage of my own to a human and his automobile. Yes, I may die in the process, but I will have exacted my revenge.


I have read with disgust your love of guns. No doubt you have done your share of hunting and killing innocent creatures of the wild. Shame on you.

I think you participants of this webpage should see the movie Bambi so that you not forget that those you term as dumb animals and game have feelings and intelligence also.

Teekay Fri Dec 29 21:22:08 PST 2000

HOWARD: Ignore that last question.

Teekay Fri Dec 29 21:20:09 PST 2000

Hi All,

TINA: You are so right and it's very hypocritical of me I know. I think it is best to hunt as the need requires rather than to have animals lined up waiting outside an abbatoir for death to lay its cold hand upon their poor old rumps.
I see the error of my ways.
I don't know that I could kill anything though. First hand that is. I know I'm abetting in abbatoir murder simply by eating the meat.
I don't think it's shameful to hunt for meat to eat but I do find it awful when people hunt for the sport of it.

MEGAN: I agree with TINA, the because is a little bit sticky outy.

SASQUATCH: Well by the sounds of it the death scare is over and you shall recuperate here where the fires are warm and the wine is flowing and if not wine, well then a nice cuppa tea or perhaps a bonox. Glad your back and hopefully to stay.

HEATHER: feel free to email me any photos you want to. I love looking at photos and I've only seen the one of you at that art website.
I also really admire the way you can take a paintbrush to your words and transform them into works of art. (bitch!)

HALLEE: Deadlines ugh! ~shudder~. You have my sympathies. Personally I think I perform better with a deadline even though I hate them.

HOWARD: Where doth wander you??

howard Fri Dec 29 21:13:15 PST 2000

SASQUATCH! -- Welcome back! Poet and Philospher too -- that's some deep stuff there, my hairy friend. The meter of your poem put me in mind of Xanadu, but somehow different. I liked it.

JACK -- Beautiful job on the page updates! And thanks for all you do to keep these homefires burning brightly!

A big HI to all -- I've been very busy this past couple of weeks with holiday and family, and now getting ready to relocate my computer/office. It looks like we're taking in an elderly man from our church who is now in a nursing home for rehab following a partial hip replacement. He has no family, and can't go back to his home to live by himself for some time. So we're bringing him to live with us for a time, so we can keep an eye on him.
There's quite a story behind this man -- he's nearly 80, never married, lives alone, and sleeps in the same bed, in the same room, in the same house he was born in. He took care of his parents until they passed on, and now his only remaining family is a distant cousin. So we've kind of adopted him.
Barring complications, we'll be moving him sometime in the next week, so I'll be off the air for a bit, except for the occasional break at work.
It's late -- gotta run.


UPmost? Fri Dec 29 19:55:47 PST 2000

. . . upmost . . . ?

The coffee gods have feet of clay

The Coffee Clan Fri Dec 29 19:19:20 PST 2000

Heather - You have forsaken the coffee gods by joking about drinking coffee being of upmost importance - as it is. Coffee gives life to all things. If you do not show the proper respect for coffee, twinkies, sprees and all other important things, we will have to make our vengence known and the coffee gods will smite you.
Thank you and have a smiley day.
The Coffee Clan representative,

Heather Fri Dec 29 18:09:13 PST 2000

Well, thank ye, Hallee! *blush*
I don't really know how to advise you on writing for a deadline (and a near impossible one at that)... in fact, most of the time I write more efficiently with an imminent deadline in place. Is it possible to write as though you have forgotten the pressing need to have it written by early January? What are your usual writing rituals, if you have any? (I mean besides plunking down in the chair and turning the computer on)
What I now suggest is following your usual rituals, and clearing your mind before sitting down to write. Don't keep calendars with January 3rd circled in red beside the monitor, either.
Chickens, I did not say PLUCK, I said PLUNK. Ooops, now I've gone and dunnit.

Oh, yes, and Hallee, keep the humour alive.
It is our last-ditch leg to stand on. Sometimes our whole world balances on that leg. It got scritchy stubble, knocky knees and gimpy looking veins, but it's still a leg and it's still supportive. MMMmmm. And the foot wears an odd scented shoe.

I just entered a Coffee House for Writers December contest. Hey, I could win some yummy coffee, and 'tuition' for an online writer's course of sorts. I prefer to think that my writing will be read by more people by entering the contest, and thus give my writing a bit more exposure. That's more important than winning coffee. Drinking coffee, however, is of utmost importance!

Sasquatch, with open arms we receive you, and we are delighted to be in your presence again. Cozy up to this fire, for it burns on into eternity. It is fanned by the kinship of these fine writing folks, kept hot by the passion for language, and stoked by many wonderful, ingenius minds.

Onward, Writing Quills!


sasquatch Fri Dec 29 17:34:50 PST 2000

i sasquatch thank you all for your welcoming. it was your voices, the voices of friends, that drew me back from the dark wanderings. this i think is love. this we must be doing.
Yes Mark person, i sasquatch have changed but do not know about elevated style as you say. in much wandering and fear of darkness there is much thinking and remembering needed to keep the mind from departing. and these things caused me to increase. i look upon former things and see them as some call child like. but it is necessary to be child like before increasing. i sasquatch have seen much as a child and have learned much. and now to learn wisdom, which is not the same as knowledge. i have learned this also the difference. wisdom is not knowledge, but the using of it rightly. not even correctly, for there is at times a difference there also between what is correct and what is right. i sasquatch have learned this much, and that there is more. i must go.

Mark Fri Dec 29 15:28:36 PST 2000

MARY -- Good shorty night. Good shorty, too.

ROSEMARY -- That was a goo (comment continued next week)

ALL -- A few weeks ago we had an insure-ensure-assure night. I just got an email from a web development source that I value. A well-done article on grammatical issues like insure/ensure, like/which. The article also contains links to grammar resources on the web. If you write at the PC and want to look up some quandrifying word, pop out to the net for a resource. The link above will give you a start.

JACK -- incite? insight!

SASQUATCH -- My how you've changed. I rejoice in your happiness. I wonder if new surroundings and happiness have contributed to your elevated style?

Hallee Fri Dec 29 14:45:51 PST 2000

Hey everyone!

TINA & RHODA: Thank you, thank you, thank you. As soon as I figure out how to write a "short build up" to the scene, I'll send it your way. Still trying to figure out how to do that without sounding like an idiot on the page.

MEGAN: Thank you for you offer. Actually, there are a host of free emails out there - and are the first that come to mind.

SASQUATCH: Welcome back to our fire, hon, you've been missed.

TINA: I loved your short.

HEATHER: I love your posts.

Okay all ... that catches me up. Back to writing. The January 3rd deadline? HAHAHAHAHAHA What a riot. I have had a fear since I began the process towards publishing that once it was required of me to be able to write - I would no longer be able to write. (Sob) Help!

Kisses to all I didn't say hi to -

Allein Fri Dec 29 11:33:41 PST 2000

Hi all,
Today's pic is a cute one of Cassidy.

Rachel - Peace and quiet sound nice. At least it will give you a chance to get some writing done. I can't wait until my brother is back in school - he's on the computer almost 24/7 now.


Tina Fri Dec 29 11:27:16 PST 2000

Hello hello hello!

Welcome Sasquatch! You've been keenly missed. As soon as I read your name posted my day became brighter! I'm very happy for your happiness.

Megan, that's nice. Yes, it flows, yes it's clean. The only change I'd suggest is 'If I looked away he would know that he had won.' Using 'because if' adds an unneccesary word, and they each mean the same thing. Using a few short sentences you've captured a test of wills.

A thought about meat. I'm always a bit surprised by the squeamishness around hunting, by non-hunters. Ground beef, carefully squeezed and measured and wrapped in clear plastic in a little tray with an absorbent pad underneath still came from a cow. The cow was alive, then killed, and butchered, and often lived a much less humane life than a deer or moose or pheasant. But somehow that meat in the little tray is removed from the reality of the process that put it there, made clean and sterile and attractive. Wild meat doesn't have any antibiotics or growth hormones added, no colouring to keep the nice red colour, and is often more nutritious.
It's all a matter of perception. Our society eats beef. Cows are just animals raised for slaughter. But in many cultures cows are revered, and killing them just for meat is taboo. In our culture, we've romanticised the ungulates, assigned them intelligence and personality. We assign shame to hunters who are doing what people have done for hundreds of thousands of years, and only in the last century has become 'shameful' to a portion of our population.

Oh oh. I sense a debate coming up. Really, that's not my intent. I genuinely don't understand the bias and squeamishness against hunting. And I qualify my definition of hunting to mean humane hunting, for meat not trophy/sport, and in a properly managed wildlife system so that no population is threatened or attacked from ignorance.

I'm gonna leave now that I've stirred the pot. :-)

Rachel Fri Dec 29 10:15:48 PST 2000

Sasquatch - I'm so pleased that you have returned. You have been missed. I give you a big hug!

Mark - I'm not sure why, but I read the note you left for me with a Bugsy Malone sort of accent (grins). Good luck with the animated wink!

Allein - Yup, I have lots to write right now. When my kiddies go back to school I will get back to work on my novel. At least I think I will. I need to feel right about what I write. Maybe I'll stick with the shorts, who knows. The only thing I know for sure is that I will need a few days to adjust to the quiet when my children return to school. They will have been off for a month by the time they return. I know that at first I will find it too quiet. Isn't that strange?

Teekay - The sets of shorts are interesting to me. I only hope that they will be interesting to others as well (grins and laughter). I find it fun to write this way. I guess I'm also thinking about a time when I might want to move forward with a set of shorts. I'll need to see what happens.

Take care all,


Rhoda Fri Dec 29 09:16:59 PST 2000


Welcome back to the fold. Your poetry is beautiful as always. A warm hug for you and a cup of steaming tea.


sasquatch Fri Dec 29 08:18:15 PST 2000

in solitude the lost one wends
his way through damp and dark and cold,
with none to guide,
no hand to hold,
no voice, no lamp, nor sun of gold
to warm the heart,
the body's chill
from cold winds blowing
'round the hill,
the long night never ending.

when through the dark there comes a sound
at first unsure, now heard, now still
a murmur hushed
a quiet trill
now ebbs, now flows, now brings a thrill
to lift the head
to clear the eye
to see the bright'ning
in the sky
the new dawn now revealing

in gratitude he stumbles on
toward voices calling, calling "Come"
come share our fire,
our word, our song,
our welcome for one gone so long
and then he sees
through brimming tear
the arms outstretched
the faces dear
and knows his home forever.

i sasquatch have returned

Heather Fri Dec 29 07:40:03 PST 2000

A neat idea, Jack! I can email a photo as an attachment, if that will work for you in creating a bio.
A BIO? Doesn't it feel grand? Perhaps a tad scary.

Teekay! To ask, or not to ask... Now tell us the question!
Is this proof I didn't skim your post?

Lovely shorties, everyone.
Chickens, welcome aboard. Beware the idle axes.

No further comments today.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Dec 29 01:56:30 PST 2000

I was just redoing the bio page to conform with the rest of the look and feel and was wondering if it was not time to archive or otherwise retire the existing bio page and invite everybody to send in new updated biographies or more precisely your bit of incite into your existence and perhaps a picture either of you or something that uniquely identifies you. If you wish to add URLs or what not else, that is cool. I am more than happy to host the pictures, but you can send me URLs for those as well.

This might even be interesting way of putting faces with names or something like that. Anyway, not required (as if there could be anything required here :-) but a thought. Take care everybody.

Teekay Fri Dec 29 00:19:35 PST 2000

Huwo, huwo, huwo,
Well I have absolutely nothing of any interest to impart this day so I shall just rave on mercilessly until I feel like stopping.

BE WARNED I am going to be doing a question check at the end of this post and if any of you are thinking of skipping it.....THINK AGAIN!!!!
Or skimming! Skimming shall not be tolerated.

Okay, lucky for you guys I have read over my post and I think I've probably typed enough and should perhaps go now.

BTW The shorties are great.

RACHEL: Your shorties that all go together sound really interesting.
The baby 'busting out' gave me shivers though. :-)

MARY: Do you really shoot them? Yourself? Do you close your eyes?? Who plucks em? I think I'll become a vegetarian - again. Not that I've been a vegetarian before, but I have thought of coming one before.

Roight! That's it then.

The question is...........tune in next Thursday because I can't think of one right now.

Megan Fri Dec 29 00:09:13 PST 2000

I held his gaze, longer this time. Much longer than I normally would. I could feel the heat travel from my collar and spread slowly over my face, but I didn't look away. Because if I did then he would know that he had won. And I would once again be the loser.

This took ages. I hope it runs a little bit more smoothly. Don't ask me what it means because I have no idea. :-)

I have to go. Nan and I are going to visit my Aunt Maud tonight. She's my moms sister. She's great.

The Village Idiot. Thu Dec 28 23:54:24 PST 2000

Whooooeeeeee! Well, whooooeeee whooooeeee whoooooeeee

Us chickens. Thu Dec 28 23:52:28 PST 2000


Tina Thu Dec 28 23:32:07 PST 2000

Just finished a sterling game of Scrabble, and lost by 5 measly little points! An awesome game; even the three letter words were high quality!

I'm loving these shortie nights! They're really making me push my brain into new places. And reading everyones pieces is great fun! What happens to Beaky? Stay tuned....

Here's mine.

Hear trees shouting in multihued voices, rocks breathing deeply under their mossy blankets. Listen to clouds singing symphonies in the sky, watch the sun paint masterpieces with brushes dipped in pure light. See the trusting grass welcome the wind's gracious touch, smell the salty ocean as it dances along respectful shores.
See beyond the blood of man and find the spirit of the world, it's heart beating with each tear born from the sky, each birth errupting from the soil. When faith fails, trust your senses to confirm the knowledge in your heart. Silence your ears; let your soul listen.


Rosemary Thu Dec 28 20:37:19 PST 2000

Hello all,

Here is my effort at a short, shorty.


It was 4:30 on a dreary winter afternoon. The approaching cloudbank promised to soon add rain to the blustery 40 degrees.

I was trying to spread the bread bits equally between the ducks and chickens. The smart ones knew to circle around me, getting another share at each new position.

The gate that led to the goose yard was wired shut, and it was a juggling act to get it open. I didn't dare lay the bread down, the ducks would snatch it and be gone in no time.

A final twist and a push and I was within reach of the seven great honking birds. Each one weithed a minimum of twenty-five pounds and stood four-feet tall including their long snaky necks. The bread vanished almost immediately.

The tiny bantam rooster that lived with those monsterous birds darted in and out, snapping up crumbs. Poor little Beaky, he was too small and a little long-in-the-tooth to have his own territory. Despite brilliant red, black, and gold feathers and a proud tail--undamaged by battle, he had never been able to entice one of the petite hens to join him. Those geese were a lot to ask anyone to endure. I made sure some of the bread fell within his reach.

I watched beaky, knowing he was really safer here than the other chickens. Those geese would not allow snakes, cats, possums or anything else dangerous in their yard. But Beaky was so lonely.
---Continued next Thursday---

This Short Shorty seems to be getting longer than planed so I am going to continue it until next Thursday.
Now I am going to read the postings.


Mark Thu Dec 28 20:21:36 PST 2000

RACHEL -- I saw what you said and I said that, see? Look back and see what I said and see what you said and how I said what you said.

Maybe what that needed was a wink.

And maybe what it needed was me not being (*it* being my original reference to your 'not put one in' statement) . . . uh, entendreful.

I've been working on an animated wink, one you can click on and see a real picture of my eye open and close in an actual wink. It's huge, 400 mb. Gotta get it way down before I can guiltlessly post a link to it.

Until then - - ; -)

Shorty Night:

Ah, man. These freakin wimmen. Ya can't live with em and ya can't kill em. She didn't really tell me tuh put the couch back on the front wall again did she?

"I think it needs to be centered."

Yuh. Like it wuzn't centered on this wall two hours ago.
-- I'm done.

"What do you mean you're done?"

-- I'm done. I'm not movin no more furniture until you get it straight where it really goes.

Freakin wimmen. Not only gotta tell her what 'done' means, gotta tell her she's rearranged everything. In all positions. Seen every possibility. Done every combination. Don't know what she wants. I know what I want. Want to be doing something not useless. Want it settled.

"You don't think you're going to sit around this house and do nothing, do you?"

-- Yup. Exactly what I think. I'm moving this furniture one more time. Until you can figure just what it is you want, I'm gonna sit around here and do nothing. If you wanna see this couch on the side wall again, you can move it. I ain't seen the sports section yet.

Mary Thu Dec 28 19:39:58 PST 2000

Here is my shortie everyone.

The first time was an accident really. I backed into a table while vacuuming and knocked the vase to the floor. It shattered and I felt terrible. The same vase I hated when intact was suddenly more valuable to me broken. The realization puzzled me and I began to experiment. An odd drinking glass dropped into the sink or an ashtray purposely lost from my hand onto the patio. They all were followed by the same remorse. If someone had slipped away quietly with any of my sacrifices I never would have missed them. Never would have noticed they were gone.

I began to test myself on items I cared about. My great-grandmother's gravy boat or my husband's eyeglasses. For these I was sorry, of course, but it didn't measure up to the relative sadness I felt over the first pieces I had tried. I went back to them and became quite creative in my destruction.

Sometimes I would even frame other people to break things. Those were my favorite scenes. I would watch their faces as they realized what would happen and not be able to avoid the catastophe. I especially enjoyed leaning glasses against the insides of cabinet doors so the next unsuspecting person to open the door would only be able to watch helplessly as the glass crashed to its end. They would apologize profusely, stumbling over their words. It worked for everyone the same way. Take a perfectly worthless dimestore candy dish, 'accidentally' break it, and you get priceless, sincere regret.

Allein Thu Dec 28 19:28:16 PST 2000

Rachel - You've been struck with the writer's frenzy too? I was up past midnight on Tuesday working on Mali and Azol - probably will be tonight too. I hope to have a new chapter done soon.

Mary Thu Dec 28 18:32:22 PST 2000

I see we are off to a roaring start tonight with the shorties. I have no idea what I am going to post. right back.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Dec 28 18:17:11 PST 2000

Ok, here is my short-shorty:

Voices in the dark

"Look darling, a moving van!"

"It will be so nice to have people living in downstairs."

"Now Robert, I don't want you to scare them off like you did the last tenants!"

"Ok, hon, I'll be more careful this time, but that couch just looked so comfortable, how was I to know that the man would get up at midnight for a glass of milk?"

"He sure ran fast though, I thought I would die laughing, that is if I were alive."

"Yes it was fun, but it gets so lonely here with nobody but the two of us."

Slowly Agnes walked back, arm in arm with Robert, they took their places on the old sofa that sat in the corner of the attic, Agnes gave Robert a quick kiss on the cheek, as they both disappeared, "Make sure you don't become visible where anyone can see you, these folks look very friendly."

Rachel Thu Dec 28 17:50:30 PST 2000

Jack - I really like the page this way :o) Nifty, wifty changes!

On dog names, I found it was easy to name my dog. We called her Zoe. The name just seemed to fit with her.

Mary - You get your puppy about the same time that my baby will be busting into the world:D I hope you enjoy him (I mean your puppy).

It was nice to read that you have all been doing well. I also have been having a good time. I'm writing up a storm. I didn't really expect to write much in the last part of my pregnancy. I was so tired before. Now, all at once I'm full of energy, staying up late, the whole deal. It's kind of cool. It has been a long time since I've felt this full of energy.

I have some shorts that I have been writing. I'm not going to leave on just right now. Maybe I'll leave one later. The only thing with the shorts I'm writing is that they belong to sets of shorts. I'm not sure I want them out as singles.

Okay, I better go. My son has a hockey game to get to.

Take care all,


Jerry Ericsson htttp:// Thu Dec 28 17:31:01 PST 2000

Computer games, love them. I play them all, have about fifteen different pinball games, several versions of Yahtzee that I play with the wife. Tetris, about fifteen different versions in the MAME Emulator. Not into the roleplaying games though, guess they never caught my fancy. My son loves them though, he is always trying to get me to play the ones he likes on the computer. I had a great idea for a shorty, but have not had the time to get it done as of yet, what with the rain storm we had yesterday that left a couple of inches of ice on the streets and sidewalks, I had to give the wife a ride to and from work, also tried to get some of the ice off the sidewalk so I could get to and from my 4WD pickup, then there were the computers, mine is not behaving itself properly (the main one in the dinning room) the one I use most of the time in the living room needed a hard drive transplant, which I performed yesterday, and installed Windows ME, so I have to play around and learn the new items that came with it. Also my son gave me one of those little egg cameras that sit on top of the monitor and take my picture digitaly all while I am working (if I have it enabled, which I do not)

Back later

Tina Thu Dec 28 16:46:42 PST 2000

Hello all!

Don't know about role-playing games or pinball, but oh my goodness try and take away my Tetris and see what happens! Happy short-shortie night everyone! I'll be back with mine later.


Richard Thu Dec 28 14:09:10 PST 2000

Sorry, don't have time to post a shortie today - gotta go to bed (grumble) but I'll see about getting a late one in early tomorrow morning :D

I'm studying the new Star Wars RPG from Wizards of the Coast at the moment, so we can test it out and see if its better than WEGs D6 system.

I think I'm going to write a lot again tomorrow. No school to dry up my creative juices. Hooray!

Jerry Lee Thu Dec 28 13:29:35 PST 2000

Yo all,

Rhoda, Happy Birthday!!!

Chickens, Should the worst happen and small, cuddly dogs descend on you, just build a plane and fly away. (I saw it once in a movie) Oh, and Heather, please dont mention the 'pluck' word until the chickens have calmed may upset the poor things even more.

By way of literary input,

In 1555, Nostradamus wrote:

Come the millennium, month twelve,
In the home of greatest power,
The village idiot will come forth
To be acclaimed the leader.


Take care,
Jerry Lee

Jack Thu Dec 28 12:45:39 PST 2000

Actually, my wife and I met at a D&D game and we were definitely adults at the time :-) . And, yes, I too have no time to play role playing any more.

Allein Thu Dec 28 11:14:48 PST 2000

Hi all,
Today's picture is Princess Sheena in a fur wrap. But, fake fur, Princess Sheena doesn't believe in wearing real fur.

sasquatch Thu Dec 28 10:41:39 PST 2000

it is cold in this place

Rhoda Thu Dec 28 09:32:14 PST 2000

I love all types of games, roleplaying included. Trouble is that I simply do not have time to play them. I do have a partiality for The Legend of Zelda on our Nintendo 64. We got the new Zelda game, but the kids have so taken it over I don't have a chance of looking at it for at least the next 6 months. Does anyone here play the pinball game seen on some editions of Windows 95, 98, and Me? I love that one. It is a great stress buster.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I had a wonderful time yesterday.


Mary Thu Dec 28 08:44:13 PST 2000

RICHARD: No sweetie, I wasn't implying that role playing is for kids. Far from it. Can't wait to read your shortie tonight...hope you are working on it now.

CHICKENS: No need to be afraid of my doggie. You will already be dead by the time he comes for you. His job is to flush you out of your cozy little homes so I can shoot you. Then he will go find you and bring your broken little bodies back for me to pluck,roast and feed to my family. Quite frankly its a lot better way to die than if you were raised on a chicken farm like Purdue. If you lived there, as soon as you were big and fat enough to be called "Fresh Roasting Chicken", they tie you upside down on a conveyor belt, run you through a pool of water then drag your heads over electified roller bars. I know this because I worked in a butcher shop for three years. Being shot is much less violent. Not to mention quick. Hope this sets your little three chambered chicken hearts at ease.

Wonder if I could get away with that being my shortie. Hehe. Just kidding. Write strong everyone.

Richard Thu Dec 28 07:01:24 PST 2000


MARY :: I hope you're not suggesting Roleplaying Games are for kids, because there's a lot of people I know who would object :¬p

Hmm, Shortie, I'll come back later when I think of something...

- Richard

Thu Dec 28 01:46:15 PST 2000

Us Chickens Wed Dec 27 23:27:39 PST 2000

Dear Mary,
Could you please keep your little doggie away from us and our other wild life friends for we are but innocent chickens wot never did a days work in I mean, we never done no harm to nobody. Just pecked Mary Janes ankles every now and then and only when she came to take our eggs away.
Please, please, we and our other wild life friends jus' wanna live nice peaceful lives peckin' in the grass and shopping and stuff.
Don't get me wrong, we really like your little doggie, but we scare Mary, we really scare.
Your friends I hope,
us chickens.

Teekay Wed Dec 27 23:23:17 PST 2000

Sometimes Annie couldn't help but go outside. Even though she didn't want to. Sometimes she'd just wake up to find herself there and once there it was so hard to get back. Back to her place, her world, her home.
She didn't let on to anyone that she was there though. Oh no. If they knew. If they even suspected, there'd be no leaving her alone. And so she would keep quiet. Very, very quiet and if she was quiet for long enough. If she sat there long enough feeling them move around her, keeping her breathing even, then they wouldn't even know. And if she waited long enough eventually she would return to the darkness.

Okay, I'm not really early with this coz it is Thursday here. Aah, what a weight off. My homework is done.

MARY: Nudge nudge, wink, wink.

Heather Wed Dec 27 22:57:50 PST 2000


Enter that contest! Go for it! You deserve another win.

Hallee, enter that contest too! You deserve another win!

Perhaps I should make a doctor's appointment. Seems I've caught the Jacob Two-Two virus.

Perhaps I should make a ....


Heather Wed Dec 27 22:53:51 PST 2000

Tina: I grew up on moose meat - that my father hunted. Venison once in a while, duck and pheasant once a year. Nothing quite like it. Except maybe fresh lobster from the coast while you're actually at the coast; or lamb with mint sauce, while you're at the table.

As you may be able to tell already, I'm primarily carnivorous. A fact I know Jon will love.

Megan, I like that you have pluck. I would suggest letting go of the stigma that your parents have ingrained in you. You can do this by writing about it. Let it bleed from you - the hurt and self-doubt it has caused. Decide on paper what effect it has had on your life, and by that act you have laid a lot of the weight aside. From there you can go on to be a freer person. Writing stems from freedom directly. It is not a product, but a prerequisite. We must be free thinkers to write fresh, blossom-ripe material. If you write from your insides, it will be.

I do not mean the body has to be free; but rather the mind... both would be terrific.
By the way, I believe your writing would improve substantially if the story was something you had experienced personally. Reading more is one of the best things you can do as well. It is surprising the worlds that open up to us if only we but open a book and enter therein.
Souls in Solstice
(c)2000, Heather Myles

Wonderful, this stream, this fleshy provence of passing spirit; this gurgling brook that spreads its banks and swells with the sweetness of breath! Glorious, this beating warmth to fog the gales above with dew; giants kneel to witness snowflakes in the twinkle of the sun, and smile at their unique beauty as they move.


There's my shortie. I'm a little early.


Tina Wed Dec 27 22:06:36 PST 2000

Hello hello hello!

Wow! Lookin' good Jack! I'm glad you put the parchment background back in, but the rest of the graphics rock! I'll have to pop over to forwriters later on.

Vivian, ava, hello and welcome! I don't know nearly enough about poetry to have an intelligent conversation about it, but I love reading it!

Megan, good to see you back. :-)

Hallee, I know my record for critiquing is currently lacking (guilty grimace) I'd be glad to offer what critique I can. Send it on!

Mary, I just received Ender's Game today! Can't wait to get started, but Santa gave me the first Robert Jordan 'Wheel of Time' novel, and I'm deeply into that right now. But it's quite a novel feeling to hold the book that so many others here have read and enjoyed! (pun intended)
Will you be hunting with your puppy? Power to ya girlie if ya do!
A guy asked me this year why I don't hunt, since I enjoy the meat and the outdoors and the idea doesn't make me squeamish and I don't have a problem with eating Bambi. I'm still trying to come up with a good answer. Guess I just never thought about it much. I'm starting to think that I might try it out, one day.

Fireworks? For Christmas? Sure. Halloween and Canada Day are our big events for fireworks, but why not Christmas?

Happy Birthday Rhoda!

Don't mention chocolate Richard! Some time last night I returned to puberty and broke out the zits something wicked! Chocolate! My bane and my passion!

Okay this started out short and got long. I have a hot bath waiting me, so I'm outa here!


Jack Wed Dec 27 21:16:58 PST 2000

Richard: Most decent graphic programs have the option to maintain proportion when resizing. One possibility is Paint Shop Pro. You can download a trial copy at, but there are a number of others you might want to take a look at. Also check out both and You will need to weed through a bunch of stuff on either site, but should come up with some other options. Still, overall, Paint Shop Pro has many of the features of Photoshop at a fraction of the cost and it comes in a trial format.

Rhoda Wed Dec 27 21:10:51 PST 2000


I would be glad to look at your submission. I have had mixed luck with these contests, but I do like to enter them. I did win Best First Kiss for one I entered last year, so maybe I can be of some help. Actually I personally don't do well with anything over PG-13 (that is why I choose best kiss over best love scene), but I will still be glad to look it over and offer some comments. The one I am entering is not a romance writer's one which is good since I discovered that I do not actually write romance. I have been wanting to enter this particular contest for about three years and have not for one reason or another.


Two holes in each ear is nothing. I see it all the time. That reminds me of a sad story. My husband and I bought some books at Borders a couple of months ago. There were two cashiers. When the cashier with at least twenty piercings on his face called me to his cash register, I begged my husband to pay in my stead. Frank refused, and so I had to go and stand before that guy and try to hide my revulsion. He was a nice fellow, efficient and personable, but his eyelids were pierced as well as his nose and his lips. I had the feeling I had back in high school when we watched films on open heart surgery. I felt light in the head and wanted to pass out. I was not being judgmental. I was just grossed out. I just thought of the problems this guy was going to encounter because people could not stand to look at him. Hopefully he will figure it out. As far as I know piercing is reversable.

Actually two earrings in an ear is a nice look, and I have toyed with the idea of doing it myself. Trouble is that I have a hard enough time taking care of my original piercings. Anyway, your mom will get used to you making your own decisions.

Better run,


Mary Wed Dec 27 20:54:39 PST 2000

ALLEIN: You know who has really awesome shoes?....BARBIE!

RHODA: Happy Birthday to you! Hope you are having a marvelous day. It is my mother's birthday today too. Her party was here. Did I say that already? I hope not.

I just wish I could have gotten all of the 34 posts I made today condensed down into two or three so I wasn't taking up so much space here.

See you guys. I will try not to post again for a while.

Dont forget that tomorrow is shortie night.....I can't wait!!

Mary Wed Dec 27 20:51:07 PST 2000

RICHARD: At the risk of sounding like a Bill Gates advertisement...Microsoft Picture It! has an option to "maintain proportions" when resizing images. Does an excellent job of keeping everything on the up and up and doesnt cost much at all. See ya.

As far as the role-playing goes....nevermind. I have nothing valuable to contribute. Sometimes I forget your age.

Allein Wed Dec 27 20:46:33 PST 2000


I went to the mall today with a friend I haven't seen since graduation - I didn't even recognise her at first because she was wearing her glasses and had gotten a haircut. But it was great to see her again.
I got my ears pierced a second time at the mall. My parents haven't noticed yet and I don't think they'll be particularly happy when they do. *guilty look* However, I am eighteen, they are my ears and I can legally put as many holes in them as I want. Not that I need anymore holes in my head.
I also got this cool jacket that looks like a cross between snakeskin and leather - I'm not sure what it's really made out of but it's really nice and it was originally 62 dollars but I got it for $27 because it was 60% off! I was so happy. My mom would have liked it if I'd consulted her first, but it was my Christmas money and it was the last jacket like that in my size, so I don't feel bad about it at all.
Anyway, I had a great time and when I got home, I found a package from my German pen pal with German chocolates in it. I sent her some gingerbread cookies from Starbucks and a little snowglobe with an eagle figure in it. I love the chocolate - it's much better than the chocolate here - even Hersheys!!
I hope you all had a nice day too. Tomorrow I'll have another pic and hopefully my boyfriend will get the new ones to me by the end of the week so I can put them on my webpage.

Mary Wed Dec 27 20:34:28 PST 2000

JACK: Now it's perfect! Thank you very much.

MEGAN: You are still cracking me up.


Jack Beslanwitch Wed Dec 27 20:17:33 PST 2000

Teekay: Hint taken. To keep things such that all resolutions can visit, it has to be off center, but I have made the graphic transparent, so it should be fine now. I have other projects I am going to move on to now, but hope to take a closer look at the Workbook and plan over the next several weeks to work on the functionality and the look and feel of the Workbook as well. Take care everyone.

Megan Wed Dec 27 19:34:38 PST 2000

I almost forgot. Halley I would love to look at what you wrote but I havent got an email adress.

Teekay Wed Dec 27 19:31:11 PST 2000


I hope you have a wonderful day. I've gotten to the age where you begin to lose count. Where you need to count back the years to find out how old you are.

MEGAN: I thought a german shepherd/pitt bull terrier would be more into body piercing (with his teeth-get it???) :-)

In answer to your question I've not been writing very long. Off and on really with big gaps inbetween. I used to write heaps of poetry, but I hardly do anymore. I'm more into short stories these days. Building up for the grand novels, I'm hoping.
But I have been reading all my life. It is a huge part of writing and self discovery.


Going now.

megan Wed Dec 27 19:15:05 PST 2000

Heater thank you so much for your advice. I had posted a thankyou earlier but it has disappeared. I think you are really talented. You are one of the people I really loop up to here. I'm going to start reading more. I dont normally read much because my mom and dad never encoraged it much. They thouht anything other than the bibnle was the work of the devil. I dont live with them anymore though. i live with my Nan and she doesnt really know what I do in my room so I will start to read more.
Christi I loved all of princess bride. I think Ive watched it 100 of times. I especially love the end because I love happy endings. Who do I remind you of. Is it a famous writer or something. It must be a writer because you dont know anything else about me.
Mary I don't think you should call your dog at all if he is going to be doing such vile things. I think you should just let him keep on running into the wilderness.
Teekay why would you call a german sheperd crossed with a bull terrier labret? And you didn't ask my question about how long youve been writing for.
I cant wait for new year. I have made a resolution to become a better person. I'm determined that this year Im going to get a boyfriend. My mom and dad says that boys are the root of all evil.

Teekay Wed Dec 27 19:05:50 PST 2000

JACK: I dunno. Something doesn't look quite right with the page. Maybe because the top part is off centre or too white and open or something.
I liked it better in the inbetween stage. The parchment background and before you fixed it for the last time.
Okay, that's my 2 cents worth. :-)

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Dec 27 18:19:47 PST 2000

OK, last time commenting about the new look. I think I have gotten it right this time. Take care everybody and this is wishing everybody

a very happy and prosperous and published new year.

Jerry Lee Wed Dec 27 14:29:00 PST 2000

Yo all!

Here's hoping that you all had a 'Holly-Jolly Christmas'! Mine went just great.

Too many calories and too much stuff! Now I've got to find room!(for both)

Mary, How 'bout 'Shark'? My sister had a tiny little puppy when we were young that never got too big, but the fierce name made everyone do a double-take when she called him.

Jack, the new page design is perfect! Don't change a thing!...although maybe stark white is a little hard on the eyes...
Thanks to you for provinding such a terrific (can one still use that term?) site for all of us to gather.

Bye'ya! Jerry Lee

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Dec 27 14:10:42 PST 2000

Hello everyone: I have put the parchment background back. Also, made a quick attempt at making sure the Notebook looked correctly on narrower resolutions. It does!
:-) However, now the drop down menus are misaligned on resolutions greater than 800x600. I will look at this when I get back later tonight. Still, things are heading in the right direction.

Wed Dec 27 13:30:42 PST 2000

Oh yeah...Mary...I vote for DUKE.


Hallee Wed Dec 27 13:30:03 PST 2000


((((BIG HUGS))))

Speaking of contests...I'm thinking of entering a love scene contest for a Romance Writers of America group. Would someone like to critique it for me? I'm not entirely comfortable putting it in the workbook.


Mary Wed Dec 27 13:02:30 PST 2000

CHRISTI: Snorkles is adorable, but no...he won't be retrieving from water. Mostly grouse and pheasant in the fields. Thanks!

ava Wed Dec 27 12:59:24 PST 2000

hi there.
I'm a new comer. dying to talk about poetry

Richard Wed Dec 27 12:15:02 PST 2000

Ohhh - I think I've eaten too much chocolate. I'm going to be sick...

And can someone give me the name of a good program that will let me resize my scanned drawings without distorting them?

Heh - I got mostly books for Christmas, which is good. The only toys I got were some small figures and vehicles for my roleplaying game sessions. I went off toys awhile back - growing up, and hey, why spend £10 on toy when you can describe it in words and make it do a whole lot more on paper?

Speaking of which, anyone here ever played a roleplaying game? Do you think its useful for writing? Probably good for developing a head for plots and stuff, and you have to come up with descriptions and stuff on the ball (if you're the long-suffering Gamemaster like myself ;) Hmm...

Well, I spent alot of today writing CTA - I'll post some to the workbook soon for a critique.

Rhoda Wed Dec 27 11:32:50 PST 2000


I love the new look. I think a change is good once in awhile. I do like the pull down menu.



I spent a horrowing morning driving on icy roads today. What a winter! I can't remember a worse one since '77 where from January to March I never saw the ground. I guess this year is payback for three years of incredably mild winters.

Everything is cozy and nice here at home. I am getting close to a deadline for a contest I wish to enter. So I had better get to work.

Today is my birthday. Last year I turned forty and decided that I would never count again. So if anyone wishes to know how old I am, then do the math yourself and figure it out, for I will never tell.

I would like to redo my web-site. I don't think I have done anything to it for two years, but where will I find the time?

Take care, all


Christi Wed Dec 27 10:47:05 PST 2000

Whoa! I guess I'm not much of a mover and a shaker because big changes take a while for me to adjust to.

Jack, I loved the parchment look the page had before; like someone else said, it felt like home. I think that writers, more than other people, depend on certain things to stay the same. Probably it's a good thing to shake us all out of that every now and again. Great drop-down menus, by the way! No one can complain about not being able to access the Workbook anymore!

Teekay, Hiya! I'm still here, just trying to shake off the last of Christmas. Is there any of it left on my clothes? Are you sure? I feel some of it is sticking to my shoes. I really like Christmas, but I like it even better when it's over. I'm ready to kick this year out with a bang. Sad thing is, I'll probably spend it relaxing on the couch with my hubby. Not many babysitters around these days.

Hello everyone! Have you all recovered or do you need a few more days like I do?

Megan, It's good to see you around again. You remind me of someone; I'm not sure who.
The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies too! I just got it for Christmas on DVD. What's your favorite part?

Mary, Will your dog be retrieving from water? If so, I think you should name him Snorkles.

Hugs to all,


Mary Wed Dec 27 10:40:02 PST 2000

HEATHER: Congrats on your new scanner. You will have a blast, I am sure. I would say that if you don't have any experience with Microsoft Picture It!, you might want to give it a whirl as I find it much more user friendly than Adobe Photo Deluxe. That, of course, is my personal opinion.

ROSEMARY: Thanks, I am rather partial to 'Duke' myself. He is a pretty macho looking dog or will be at any rate. Right now he just looks like a little brown furball. His eyes arent even open yet. His father's name is Flyer.

We usually save our fireworks for New Year's Eve. My father in law owns a campground and has the 'real thing' that he saves back from July 4th every year. He only keeps a couple, but they sure do light the sky. My Dad has this really loud electric siren that he blares and I always bring confetti guns, the kids bang pots and pans together. Quite the noisy bunch we are. I would hazard to say that the neighbors hate us. Little do they know that we are trying to make up in one night, the amount of noise we get from their dogs at all hours for the whole year. Eight, that's right 8 K-9 unit German Shepherds that bark at the lightest footfall(The lady next door trains them for different police forces). We will undoubtedly lay off for this year though since she just had a beautiful baby boy Christmas Day. Don't want to scare the little tyke.


Rosemary Wed Dec 27 10:02:48 PST 2000

Whoosh, It's over for another year.

I don't know if the whole country goes in for firecrackers at Christmas, but they do down here. (you might notice I said "they", not "we".) We wind up spending most of the evening babysitting the horses because they really don't like the noise and flashes. Luckly, this year it was wet and cold. It wasn't as bad as it has been in the past.

Congrats on the puppy. There isn't much in this world I care more for than a new puppy. My new poodle is now about eight months old but, poodles don't ever really grow up. I had a smaller poodle for seventeen years named Turkey and this new edition is named Chicky. Of course my two outside dogs are Gizmo and Bozo. Two cats named Zorro and FuzzFace finish up the group. Also, My sister's big boxer/pit bull is named Ulysses S. Dog. We call him Useless. I was just mentioning this so you will consider it when I give you my name recommendation. I would choose DUKE. I think he would have to be a macho dog to carry off that name. Good luck which ever way you go.

The new logo and drop down menus are very nice but on my computer, the menus get mixed up with other stuff and are hard to read. I don't need them but newcomers might. Maybe that doesn't happen with everyones computer. Heavens knows mine does other one-of-a-kind things.


Allein Wed Dec 27 09:30:43 PST 2000

Hi all,
Todays pic is of Baby Azol - he's looking right at you as if to say "What are you looking at?" It's cute!!
I'm going shopping and to the movies with two friends I haven't seen since graduation and I'll start getting ready as soon as my brother quits his showering marathon.

Jack - I LOVE the new look!! :)


Heather Wed Dec 27 08:01:20 PST 2000

I'm a goof. I didn't realize that a little list pops down from 'writer's notebook' that includes links to the workbook and all.

Heather ;->

Heather Wed Dec 27 07:59:47 PST 2000

Jack - I agree too. Liked the parchment backdrop. I do like the new logo, but I also miss the old one! It was like home. Are there going to be links to the workbook? The bios? The archives?


Heather Wed Dec 27 07:55:23 PST 2000

Megan - flow is the 'feel' of the piece, the feeling of connectedness to the characters and situation. It's the feeling when reading it that you're there, a part of the story, not sitting at your computer trying to figure out what is going on in a paragraph. I found that in the short excerpt you posted, there was no noticeable flow - the sentences were included in the excerpt only to try to list off some erotic circumstances, however did not evoke any real feeling in me, erotic or not. I think technique is your first big challenge, including the more technical aspects of grammar and spelling. If you've been writing seriously for ten years, have you read any books on writing? What have you been writing in those ten years?

We may believe we know enough about writing and not need to read about the 'how-to's', but believe me, no matter how good we perceive ourselves to be, there will always be things we can improve upon and pick up from books on writing. Just make sure you're reading the best of them so the tips you pick up and utilize are in fact, good ones!

I will recommend a book for you as soon as I get back to the library and find it again. I've read it twice myself and still can't remember the title. It's a deceptively boring title, like "How to Write Great Fiction" or some such thing. I know the author's first name is Barnaby. The book has bits/tips from famous authors hosting workshops at the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference; including Ray Bradbury, Eudora Welty, etc., etc... Bradbury is incredible. Incredible! Welty is pure genius. The moment you open the book you begin an adventure in learning to write better, no matter how long you've been writing, no matter your calibre.

Another book I've heard so much about is "Writing Down the Bones". I'm sure it will give you the 'how-to's' on plot development, and chopping extraneous aspects so that what's left are the bones of the story. I might pick it up myself, and see if there are any ideas and tips I haven't heard before.

Now Megan, the reason I have told you that you need to read first before you can write well is because it's very true. All of us have to keep in touch with as many words in our languages as possible. Only in loving words and knowing them intimately can we place them effectively in strings to make a beloved thing; a carefully woven gift of thoughts and dreams.

I suggest writing something other than erotica for starters. Erotica is very difficult to write well, especially since most of erotica is based on the unsaid. A good story is not based only on erotic components as far as I'm concerned. People are not just their wet dreams. They are a bundle of surprises, disappointments, goals, strengths, weaknesses, obsessions, passions (not just sexual passion) art, fury, fear, compulsion; people float in and out of relationships that are like mathematical tangles. I find compelling characters are well developed in as many areas as possible, and the characters themselves are revealed through every thought, word, situation and action. Showing us your characters in action (or repose) is so much more important than telling us 'Susie likes Brian's abs'.

Watch Superman (the first one). Take extensive notes. Notice that there is sexual tension between Lois and Superman, but only one or two scenes that actually come close to being erotic at all. The tension was created on the rooftop, when Lois and Superman meet privately and he tells her what colour underwear she has on. There are no real erotic scenes, but we feel it anyway when Lois and Superman interact.

Anyway, enough of the pointed stick.

I am off to scan in some photos, and I'm rarin' to write too. Yup, got a scanner for Christmas. I haven't set up a photo site or anything... but I could email some. I'm having a hoot playing around with Adobe photodeluxe. Yeeehooooo! BLOP. Oh.
Don't think I should scan chocolate. Wipe, wipe, chase kids, chase kids into the kitchen....!


Jerry Ericsson htttp:// Wed Dec 27 07:46:02 PST 2000

Jack - I agree, the site looks new but somehow sterile with the change in background, I liked the old parchment background better I guess, this is sort of hard on the eyes being so bright and all.


Mary Wed Dec 27 07:25:07 PST 2000

I love the new look and the way the links work. I must admit I thought I had entered into the twilight zone at first, but I am over the shock now. The text is easier to read. Love the logo.

The only thing I miss is the background because it 'felt' warmer. Everything looks so clean, not that there's anything wrong with that. Ok...that's my two cents.

Thanks Jack, bet that took some real time. :-)

Debra Wed Dec 27 07:00:57 PST 2000


I think I will just stop trying to get to the bottom of this heckler thing.

How does that sound?



Jack Beslanwitch Wed Dec 27 01:49:00 PST 2000

OK, lets try this again. Hope everybody likes the new look for the Notebook. It carries on the heels of the changes I have been making in proper. If anybody has any problems with this please let me know. The width of the Notebook is now set at a default 800x600. Although, on checking, I notice that there is a bit of an overlaps. I will attempt to work on this issue in the future, but it only effects the slide bar at the bottom and not the actual lay out of the page. I have also archived things through December 25 or will sometime tomorrow. Getting the Notebook itself up and running has taken a few steps and it is getting a bit late.

Just to let everybody know. I also have moved my email newsletter for to a topica email list. It has been so long since I actually sent out a newsletter I suspect some will have long since forgotten. To the best of my ability I will be sending out a newsletter about new links and anything else that anybody can come up with here that they might think appropriate.

Oh, on a final note, among the drop down menus for the Notebook you will now find a direct link to the Workbook. You will still need your login and password. Take care and hope everybody has a happy and prosperous new year.

Teekay Wed Dec 27 00:59:44 PST 2000

MEGAN: I have to agree with MARY here, though I think Labret would probably be a good name for say, a German Shepherd cross Pitt Bull Terrier with a really bad temper. HOHOHO, I mean HAHAHA. :-D

Mary Wed Dec 27 00:17:05 PST 2000

Megan: I would never name my dog labret mainly because it is a funky looking body piercing. You are cracking me up.

Megan Tue Dec 26 23:53:59 PST 2000

Mary why dont you call your dog Labret or Dorver? That is the first 3 letters and the last 3 letters of labrador retriever. Then when people ask you can tell them how you got the name. I really like it when things have a deeper meaning.

Megan Tue Dec 26 23:48:55 PST 2000

Tekay I am not new. I have been here before a while ago. I have been writing seriosly for nearly 10 years. I havent had anything published yet but I havent sent anything out I just write for me most of the time. How long have you been writing for?
Heather how do you make a story flow? I thought my story did flow. How can you tell if its flowing or not?

Teekay Tue Dec 26 23:22:42 PST 2000

MARY: I think Hershey sounds like a good name. I think.

DEBRA: I wasn't saying you were a terrible person coz you used the phone to ring up the neighbour, but deep down inside I think you must be and that's why I typed what I did.
HAHHAHAHAHA only joking. I was just really upset about being called a heckler that I thought I had to retaliate somehow.
Aah, I'm only joking about that too.
I didn't really mean anything hurtful by what I wrote. I was just comparing you to my hubby, but I guess he's a bad guy coz he does damage the ozone layer with his technological abuse. Not that I ever thought of it that way, I just thought he was bloody lazy. He was the one that occassionally gets up my nose doing it, not you, you silly. :-)

CHRISTI: You seem to be rather quiet on the notebook. Wachoodoon girly?

JERRY: It sounds as though you had a wonderful Christmas, I'm so happy for you.

Hello Vivian and Megan. It's great to see new people on the notebook. Hope you stay for a while.

MEGAN: How long have you been writing for?

Okay gotta go. Got our son a go-cart for Christmas and I've been walking him around the block in it. Now I'm giddy and I think I have sun stroke. He's not very good at the steering yet and he kept driving into walls and bushes and I had to keep extracting him. It was a very long short walk.

Megan Tue Dec 26 23:11:55 PST 2000

Hello everyone and thanks for your advice again.

I think if I waited to feel erotic I would not write anything. I don't have anybody in the way of a boyfriend so I think I might write to compinsate for this.
I really hardly go out at all. After work I usually go home and watch TV or hire som movies. Princess Bride is my absolutely favourite movie.
Has anybody else ever read thaty comidians are depressed all the time? I think thats because they have to try to make people laugh all the time. Well I think writers want to write all the time because things work out better that way and they can have control over there lives. They can sort of live heaps of lives without having to do it and it doesn't matter what they look like or if there fat or not. Anyway thats how I see it. I can be and do anything I wont in writing which is why I love it.
I am going to try to write a ghost story too. I'm not really good at ghost storys but I'm going to try it anyway.
Racel thank you for all your help and Mary too.;_)

Mary Tue Dec 26 23:00:01 PST 2000

ALLEIN: Thanks for the Bo vote and the boot info. I have a bit of a shoe of the only vices my hubby wholeheartedly finances. ;-)

Allein Tue Dec 26 22:23:43 PST 2000

Mary - I think you should name your dog Bo, Pepper agrees with me. She's sitting here watching me and her tail is wagging. Lunika's boots - umm, they came from my imagination, but maybe you could try Hot Topic (if you have that store in your area), Spencers or even some of the adult stores might have something like that. I want those boots too. Lots of clothes I draw are things I want - I've considered being a fashion designer, but I guess not. I don't know.

Mary Tue Dec 26 20:23:15 PST 2000

Thursday is Shortie Night Everyone. Now that we all have this Holiday Hysteria out of our systems we can really work on being productive. Maybe not all of you are affected the same as I am by this time of year, but I felt as if I were being drawn and quartered. So many things to do in such a short time. Hope everyone has a lovely story to contribute! See ya.

Mary Tue Dec 26 20:11:13 PST 2000

RACHEL: Something you said in your last post reminded my of something I heard jazz singer Abby Lincoln say on the radio today that really struck a cord with me. She said something like Muses don't need anyone. They can whistle around the corner or babble in a brook. But they love to serve sincerity. A Muse will only visit when you are being sincere and true to yourself, trying to express feelings. Writing (or in her case singing) for the sheer joy of it, not to turn a dollar, or get published, or even to say ,"Hey look, I wrote something." So what you said to Megan makes perfect sense. If you try to write and you really aren't 'into' it, it will most probably come off as hollow. That was good sound advice. :-)

ALLEIN: Those are killer boots that Lunika is wearing in the picture of her with the multi colored hair. Know where I can snag a pair of those? That's the kind of thing we daughters love to buy just to roll the eyes of our mothers.


I got my puppy! Well not yet...he was just born and won't be ready to come live with me until the middle of February. I am taking suggestions for names. He is a chocolate labrador retriever and will be my companion and bird dog. Right now in the running are Buck(short for Buckshot; since he will be a hunting dog at least partially), Bo(short for Bo Jangles), or Duke(After John Wayne because who doesn't like John Wayne?) I hope these next six weeks just fly. I can't wait to get him home.


Heather Tue Dec 26 16:54:46 PST 2000

Merry (belated) Christmas everyone!

Thank you to Jon for thinking me good at writing. I sincerely hope so, and I work towards being the best writer I can be.

Vivian! WELCOME! Glad to see you posting.
Just jump right in - have no fear. We won't bite. At least, not hard! (heh heh - a joke for Litter to cheer him up)
I liked your poetry!

Megan, there is a stilted quality to what you posted. Work on the flow, the flow, the flow... and technique. Start reading books on writing; it's the best way to learn how to tell a compelling story, no matter the content.

Hope all had a warm and happy holiday and from the looks of it, most of us had a white, fluffy Christmas/Channukah, etc...

Snowflakes are wonderful things.


Jerry Ericsson Tue Dec 26 14:46:16 PST 2000

WOW the notebook sure has been busy over Christmas. I never had a chance to drop by until now, so a belated MERRY CHRISTMAS to all. We had a wonderful time, the kids both made it home, and we celebrated our traditional Christmas dinner, followed by hours and hours of pinochle. Yes I guess the card game runs in the family.

I received one of those little egg cameras for my computer so I am almost live on the www now, should I decide to use if for anything except maybe a few stills. My son gave it to me so we could meet up on the web and have video family meetings of sort. Great idea I guess, it is a USB device, so I had to learn how to use that. What a simple way to use new devices on the computer. All my desktop machines have the USB ports so it can travel as I do from machine to machine depending on my mood.

Well again I ramble on. Hope everyone has as great a holiday as I have.


Allein Tue Dec 26 11:13:32 PST 2000

Hi all,
Today's picture is of Cassidy and Troz. Cute little kitties.

Rachel Tue Dec 26 10:48:48 PST 2000

Hi all - I see this place is still up to speed, even at Christmas!

Americo - I loved the Christmas hugs. Thank you!

Welcome to Vivian.

Yum! I am just having a little nip of chocolate. My son has made what smells like a very strong pot of coffee. I like coffee that is nice and strong. Some chocolate, some wicked coffee. Now that sounds like breakfast!

Megan - I tend to write erotic things only when the mood takes me. I need to have some sort of investment in the writing or it will only sound empty. The question is how much of me am I willing to lay open on the notebook (grins and laughter)! For me, erotica is an adventure of imagination. It is not different than writing anything else. It needs, truth, honesty, a splash of reality, and the strength to write what is in your heart without fear of what others will think. When I write openly and honestly without care for if something will or will not sell, will or will not be liked, that is when I write my very best. If I think about what will offend, what is one thing or another thing, that is when my writing turns into a jumbled up mess.

If I try to write erotica when I'm not really into it, what will happen is that as i said it will sound empty. It will also sound overly poetic. Of course there are times when the erotic is poetic. It isn't because it is not sincere erotica, it is because I'm feeling more romantic than erotic. That can also be some nice writing. The only trouble with my romance writing is that it does not lean towards happy romance. I like to explore all of the aspects of emotions and feelings. I want the good, the bad and the ugly of romance when I write a story. I also want the playful aspects. Love and romance isn't all fun and games, nor is it all grim business. It is a wild ride full of everything.

Ah well, enough of a blah, blah, blah from me. I really have to run. I've got a few people who would like to see me darken their doors today. There is also a birthday to attend.

Ciao for now!


Debra Tue Dec 26 06:21:42 PST 2000


If it wasn't a joke then technally you can't be a heckler. I get a laugh from people who do that. I don't. Of course I don't see any envoronmental problems to using the phone. If you do,please share. I take care of the envoroment.



Eddie French Tue Dec 26 03:46:41 PST 2000

Happy Christmas.
Welcome to our home.
As you are new to the internet I feel I must give this little warning.
You have reached a safe site with lots of good people, Stick around.
Be careful as you surf because not all sites come near to this one for honesty and good advice. You will get to know the people here and you will learn lots of good stuff. Participate as much as you can and be comfortable.

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