Archived Messages from January 27,2001 to February 8, 2001

Teekay Thu Feb 8 23:01:24 PST 2001

DEBRA: HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA now that's gotta be in the top ten of burnout stories. HAHAHAHAHA

MARY: Either definition will do nicely.

BEN: Really liked your shorty. Great twisty end.

HEATHER: ooer, well done, was cringeing while I read it.

Heather Thu Feb 8 22:49:45 PST 2001

Jerry, I hope you have a better day tomorrow too!

:o) Heather

Heather Thu Feb 8 22:46:03 PST 2001

Hey, Debra, I just read your post, and it sounds to me like the recount of your day WAS your shortie on burnout. I really hope you have a better day tomorrow!

You know, I think I can whip up a shortie for tonight, but not the one I had planned earlier this week. That story doesn't need to be read. It's not great, it's not awful, it's just not terribly interesting. Well, perhaps it was simply a case of 'you had to be there'.

So instead, I post another.

And I think the shortie night plan for tomorrow night is a great idea - it's been a week I think we'd all like to see pass, and quickly. Tomorrow's shortie night will be like a fresh ladeling of creativity. One, I think, that will re-inspire us, give us that excited feeling that no matter what we imagine for our own shortie, we will always have an amazing smorgasbord of imagination to read from here.


Every ounce of flesh oozes lactic acid. My calves are on fire, my chest feels like iron, and for some reason or other, my eyelids are itchy. The itch is the worst of all; they bound my hands yesterday, and all there is to see is straight ahead. The lights are never turned off. I stare at the clock while the itch lounges around, almost passive in its nibbling. The red second hand on the clock is as loud as machinegun fire, and has begun to imitate my rhythmic movements, or I have begun to imitate it.
The nervous twitching in my legs relieves the cramping, yet brings me a lesser agony. The way they've strapped my wrists behind the chair has my ribs stretched so far back that each breath is a struggle. They won't let me die. Not ever.
They just hold me ever so close to it.


Jerry Thu Feb 8 22:29:54 PST 2001

I am a bit short on the shorty side tonight myself. I was messing around with this new 56K service and managed to put a check in a box what shouldn't have a check. This was at around 4:00 PM. Now I pride myself on my ability to fix computers, and I have been known to repair a computer that was rejected by the repair service as totaled, but be damned if I could find the problem. Earlier today, the ISP went down, and when it came back up, they sent an email about, so I just figured it did the same thing again. Not so, and around 10:30 in frustration I sent a note to the owner of the ISP telling him how glad I was to have signed up for the new faster service since it was down more then it was up. Shortly thereafter he replied saying it had to be my problem, as he was able to get anywhere, and had no other complaints. I went and checked, and when I saw what I had done, did one of those palm to the forehead things. So this means I spent about five hours trying to fix something that I broke myself, and had to call on the guy who usually calls me when he is having a hard time, to ask how to fix it. At least he told me that it was my problem, but you know I usually wonder when he says that because he is usually lieing about it. Anyhow that is my excuse, be it as it may. I shall indeed try to get a short-shorty in tomorrow. Sorry about that Mary.

Well I must sign off and get a bit of sleep, it has been a very long day, and I have to go to moms in the morning and fix her stool, as it keeps running and she doesn't want to call a plumber. I still haven't convinced her that these chores are hard on my back, but I guess I can suffer a bit for her, when I think of all the suffering I put her through from the time I entered this world until I was full grown.

Good night all, hope everyone is having a better day then I have.


PS The link above is our fair city's home page, in case your interested in where I live, it is a neat place, take a look. We are very proud of our fair town.

Jerry Thu Feb 8 22:28:52 PST 2001

I am a bit short on the shorty side tonight myself. I was messing around with this new 56K service and managed to put a check in a box what shouldn't have a check. This was at around 4:00 PM. Now I pride myself on my ability to fix computers, and I have been known to repair a computer that was rejected by the repair service as totaled, but be damned if I could find the problem. Earlier today, the ISP went down, and when it came back up, they sent an email about, so I just figured it did the same thing again. Not so, and around 10:30 in frustration I sent a note to the owner of the ISP telling him how glad I was to have signed up for the new faster service since it was down more then it was up. Shortly thereafter he replied saying it had to be my problem, as he was able to get anywhere, and had no other complaints. I went and checked, and when I saw what I had done, did one of those palm to the forehead things. So this means I spent about five hours trying to fix something that I broke myself, and had to call on the guy who usually calls me when he is having a hard time, to ask how to fix it. At least he told me that it was my problem, but you know I usually wonder when he says that because he is usually lieing about it. Anyhow that is my excuse, be it as it may. I shall indeed try to get a short-shorty in tomorrow. Sorry about that Mary.

Well I must sign off and get a bit of sleep, it has been a very long day, and I have to go to moms in the morning and fix her stool, as it keeps running and she doesn't want to call a plumber. I still haven't convinced her that these chores are hard on my back, but I guess I can suffer a bit for her, when I think of all the suffering I put her through from the time I entered this world until I was full grown.

Good night all, hope everyone is having a better day then I have.


PS The link above is our fair city's home page, in case your interested in where I live, it is a neat place, take a look. We are very proud of our fair town.

Mary Thu Feb 8 21:42:55 PST 2001

OK People, tomorrow is shortie night this week and the theme is POVERTY. Let's see if we can get it right this time. (Myself included. As leader of shortie night, it sucks big time that I didnt write one. Unfortunately I was busy doing sit-ups for Paulie then washing mini-blinds at the real estate office I clean one night a week.)

Speaking of sucks big time, the true definition of dork isn't exactly what someone else here said. That is for the slang term 'dork'. The real definition of dork is a whale penis. Don't believe me? Ask Shamu.

HOWARD: Congratulations on your award! Big hugs to you!

RACHEL: Hugs to you from everyone in my family since you are having one of those days.

DEBRA: Bless you, you have written my shortie for the night.

LITTER: So glad to see my favorite Scot. I miss your story, but I certainly understand. Tomorrow perhaps?

It seems that all this Ima business is blowing over, so I hope that everything is back to normal here tomorrow and I will have shorties to read Saturday morning. Please? Pretty please?

Mary Thu Feb 8 21:16:10 PST 2001

WELL! I haven't read all the posts yet, but we seem to be very short on shorties. Where is everyone? If we don't get a good turnout, I am making shortie night tomorrow too! Teekay this means Saturday for you. A double header.

Is IMA really dead or is she like a horror movie bad-guy that keeps coming back until you behead them, or shove a stake through their heart?

Yes, TEEKAY does give more than she takes. I think that her crit of Laura's work probably stung, but was she wrong? I didn't read Laura's piece so I don't know, but I doubt it.

HOWARD: You are a doll.

back to the posts........

Debra Thu Feb 8 20:42:25 PST 2001

I wanted to write a story about BURN OUT, but I couldn't. I'm sorry.

I got up this morning to find son has spilled milk all over the floor. I crawled around on the floor cleaning it up because the dogs can't clean up an ocean of milk witout making the mess worse. He had to eat dry cereal which he complained about for twenty minutes. Then he mentioned I needed to pull some sort of costume out of my ass. He did apologize for not telling me until this morning. Mean while I had to whip up something to eat for my twins and the little girl across the street I watch before she goes to the bus. We haven't been food shopping in almost ten days.

After my son and the little girl left. I chaced my twins around trying to put their clothes back on. It is freezing in this house and they insist on wearing nothing but red patton leather shoes and a diaper. I did that about seven times, then I had to empty the dishwasher. I did three loads of laundry and then took the dogs to the groomers.

By the time I got home it was lunch time. I gave my girls lunch which they quickly ate most of then threw the rest back on the floor. I was again crawling around on my hands and knees cleaning up food. The dogs couldn't help they were still at the groomers.

I decided to put the twins to bed. The threw out the pillows and blankets, took off their clothes and lost their binkis. I repeated going in and out of their room for over an hour until I was exhausted and decided I was too tired to give them a nap.

Later the dogs were ready, I had to take my two older children and two of their friends as well as the twins to pick the dogs up. It was dirty and slushy out so someone had to carry dogs to the car. I was carrying the twins. So I deligated the job to two kids. Everyone was willing to fight to the death to be the one to carry the dogs to the car. There were six kids and only two dogs. It got ugly when my son elbowed my daughter in chest and she told everyone he wet the bed. The groomer had to carry the dogs himself when the fighting continued in the establishment.

By the time it was time to make supper I was feeling a little dizzy. It is a blur how I made it threw since my husband had made arrangements to leave before cleanup to help someone paint the inside of their new house.

I sat down in my comfy chair after the kids fell asleep with my pad to write a burnout story and nodded off.

I'm sorry I couldn't paticipate.


Teekay Thu Feb 8 19:28:05 PST 2001

Ummm CHRISTI? Don't you have some exciting news to share???

Huh? Huh? Go on! Go on! Go on!

And yes, shorty night was abandoned because of you. I hope you're satisfied now.

Sweet dreams Christi, and there's no need to slink. Straighten that back girl! You'll get humps if you walk that way.

Rachel Thu Feb 8 19:15:55 PST 2001

Christi - Hi you :) Hugs back at yah.

Christi Thu Feb 8 18:56:19 PST 2001

Is it my fault that shortie night seems to have been postponed? Keeeerikey!

Americo, I don't know why I say mean things, when I know I won't be able to sleep after I've said them. I'm sorry about the hypocrite comment and the other one. (But not for what I said about Teekay.) I really was glad to see you back; you just hit a nerve. Friends?

HUGGGGGGGS to everyone! Heather, Teekay, Eddie, Rachel, Americo, Litter, Howrad, John, Richard, Ben, Rhoda, Rosemary, Hallee, AND a partridge in a pear tree! Bah dump dah!

Mary? Where are you?

Ima, We'll miss your spunk. Go towards the light!

Slinking away,


Hallee Thu Feb 8 18:26:51 PST 2001

TEEKAY: I absolutely, positively agree with you...except for the part where we disagree. haha. Writing a novel is SO much easier than writing a short story. (grins) Oh yeah, ((((BG HUGS TO YOU)))) I would mirror what Heather said, but I did already in the critique section.

HEATHER: (((BIG HUGS TO YOU))) I owe you an email. This morning my brain took a while to kick in. By then I was writing. (shrinking away apologizing). Oh, and Tina said what I was going to say - you look exactly as I pictured you. Except, I pictured hair to your shoulders. But, wow, just what I imagined (and beautiful).

TINA: I should have posted this earlier. (((MAY THE MUSE BE WITH YOU))). Sorry you're down on writing. But, good for you doing housework. Head south and hang a right to get to Florida when your done with yours. Hahaha.

I have no shorty this week. Ironically, I'm burnt out.

Love to all,

Teekay Thu Feb 8 17:44:42 PST 2001

(((((((((((((hugs to Teekay))))))))))))))))))
(((((((((((((((hugs to everyone)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Kick in the scrotum to Americo.

Ahhh, now that's therapy.
And creative too.

Thankyou Tai-bo and my anger management course.

Okay, now none of you can probably see how this is at all relevant to writing.
Well it is, I have placed some spelling errors in cirtain places.
See if you can find them.

Join us tomorrow for excercise 2.

Rachel Thu Feb 8 17:32:46 PST 2001

Heather - Thanks for the hugs. Thanks from Sebastian too! It has turned into one of those days when there can't be enough hugs in the world (smiles).

Take care you,


Teekay Thu Feb 8 17:28:00 PST 2001

Come forth and at least have the courage of your convictions.

Ain't no one here, but us chickens ma'am.

Thu Feb 8 17:19:53 PST 2001

da da daaaaaah
da da daaaaaaaaaah
da da daa da da daaaaa
da da daaahaaaaaaaa

da da daa!
da da da
da da daaaaaaaaah

(that was taps, by the way)

Ding dong the wicked witch is dead!

Teekay Thu Feb 8 17:11:56 PST 2001

I hereby stand before you all. humble pie at the ready.

It was not so long ago that I, in all my innocence and misguided....ness. (couldn't find a word to go there) That I said that writing a short story and writing a novel were pretty much the same thing, and that I would stand by that unless I proved myself wrong.

I have done that. I am wrong. It is heaps different. Writing a novel is soooo much harder (for me at least) i just can't believe how hard.

So here I am, eating my words and my humble pie.
They're both delicious BTW. i don't know why sometimws such a fuss is made of it.

*chomp* *chomp* ~slurp~ #gulp#

HEATHER: Thankyou for yor kind words and also thankyou for the reminder. Your talk of posting things made me remember that I sent 'midworld' on Monday and you should get it next week.

Ain't no mud slinging going on here. Nope. No siree. Nuh uh.

Litter Thu Feb 8 16:55:25 PST 2001

Hi All,

HORAWD -- Way to go on the award.

FRENCH EDDIE -- I looked and now I'm scared. I'll go back and read when I conquer my fear…

Shortie -- I was going to post one but there is too much angst and upset, so it'll have to wait until next week. I have a feeling that literary effort is going to be overlooked whilst great wodges of mud are being slung. Don't feel much like hanging around until things die down a bit.


Heather Thu Feb 8 16:54:10 PST 2001

John, I don't think you're a dork!

Ben, an excellent shortie! I didn't think the subject matter was 'off' at all. Hey, that sort of thing happens in reality. Maybe not in any court bathroom I know of, but I really don't 'know' any! Mmmm. That's a GOOD place not to have personal knowledge of.

I really should pay this parking ticket that's been sitting in my purse for three weeks, or I just might gain that knowledge.

Teekay, I love ya. I think you are honest and sincere in your critiques. If you didn't say what's on your mind, the critique wouldn't be genuine, and it wouldn't help anyone.

Americo, I adore you, and I was very surprised to see you join in... the flames have already blown over.

Christi, HUGS TO YOU!
Rachel, (((I'm reaching to HUG both you and Sebastian!))))
Viv! I might be able to dredge up a Canadian business letter, but I'm bad enough remembering to send out letter or BOOKS that I should have two months ago (right Tina?) and should get to both of those things in a short time. Tomorrow, actually. I have a few other parcels to mail too!
Good thing I remember to return movies and mail my bill payments on time. I am doing at least TWO things right.

Hop, yes, was what you might call an urban rebel, but I had my reasons. I wasn't a REBEL without a clue.

Hugs to everyone, and a bandaid to anyone with a bleeding heart.


John's Boss's employee Thu Feb 8 16:51:37 PST 2001

Yea!!!!....ooh oooh oooh ....gonna get drunk tunight baby!! yeah!! These databastards are history!! I'm outta here!

I'm done. I'm goin' home


John's Boss Thu Feb 8 16:34:47 PST 2001

Damn Tootin'! Screw the databases! Let's go get sloshed!
More sloshed!

John's Boss's employee Thu Feb 8 16:27:32 PST 2001

Ah...yer drunk again

John's Boss. Thu Feb 8 16:12:23 PST 2001

JOHN: Shouldn't you be building a data base there man? See me in my office ASAP!

John Thu Feb 8 15:58:09 PST 2001

So, TeeKay, uh...Does that mean I ain't a dork? I don't know what anal means and I never take myself serious...Don't have a strong arguement on the fool part though... Well...Let me know

Rhoda Thu Feb 8 15:57:11 PST 2001


Avoid any agent who charges money up-front. I learned this the hard way after many people warned me. Yes, Mr. Robert Lubbers submitted my work, but half-heartedly. I could have done a much better job myself. I hate to mention this subject because I find it a bit embarrassing, but if anything I say helps you to avoid a costly mistake then it is worthwhile.

Avoid any agent who charges a reading fee. Agents should make their money selling an author's work, not feeding on the efforts of writers trying to break into the field.

There are so many desperate writers who just want their work to get noticed, and unfortunately there are too many "agents" who take advantage, so be very careful.

As to the names of these people, I cannot say, for they are legion.

As for good ones, go only with established ones who have sold real books and will list their sales. There are lists of agents in the Writer's guides and such. Not all the listed ones are good, but there is enough information to make a judgment.

If you are currently unpublished, submit the work yourself to publishing houses and get an agent after you have sold something.


John Thu Feb 8 15:51:47 PST 2001


I'm just sittin' here at work, rebuildin' a hm hm....yep...just rebuildin' a database. I'm so bored, I cain't think a nuthin' to write about, so I just thought I'd write nuthin' so here I am writin' nuthin'.

Dang...I gotta see someone about this

Teekay Thu Feb 8 15:50:42 PST 2001

Hi All,

HEATHER: I just love that 'wisdom'painting. Every time I see it I love it more.



AMERICO: What can I say?? You're just one great big pompous ass! But I do get a laugh out of you, so don't stop. HAHHAHAHHAHHAHHAHA Dork. I don't know if they have Dorks in your country, well obviously they do, but I don't know if you know what it means, So-o-o-o Dialect word for the day:
DORK(m):Totally anal idiots who tend to take themselves rather too seriously and look like fools in the process.

MARK: No, this is not a reference from Websters.

IMA: Perhaps you and AMERICO are soulmates? I wouldn't admit to it though.

CHRISTI: You go girl!!!!!

Thu Feb 8 15:48:05 PST 2001

howard Thu Feb 8 15:38:46 PST 2001

TINA (especially) and everyone else that's interested:
Have you seen these two pages? The first, probably, but the second is rather new. Both are images from space.

I'mA -- R.I.P.

The last two pieces of my computer came today! yay! now I gotta put it together. The last time I had it together I forgot where I put it.

Nurse crapchatt Don of the rocky rest retirement villa Thu Feb 8 15:22:07 PST 2001

Daerest notebookers,
I and the rest of us here at the rocky rest would like to extend our heart felt thanks.

Last night when Ima didn't turn up for rest our, we held an exstensive search.

We found her here at the notebook. Autopsy reveals that she asphyxiated on a eeeerrggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. It was found lodged in the back of her throat.

On the bright side, and for those of you who enjoy happy endings, Ima would have been happy to go here. She loved you, her new found friends dearly, though she did say she found some of you to be somewhat emotional.
Do not take this as an insult. Ima loved emotional.

R.I.P. Ima, and if you do see fit to haunt anywhere, please make it here and not Rocky Rest.

Teekay Thu Feb 8 15:07:58 PST 2001

AMERICO: Up yer bum!

Eddie French Thu Feb 8 14:13:01 PST 2001

J A C K.
Please Please archive.
Just for a laugh, I copied and pasted the notebook into word.
75000 words
We wrote a book!

Friend Thu Feb 8 14:06:48 PST 2001

This is the last time you will hear from me. I would like to be remembered for all of the good times I had here, so I will not contact any of you again. By now you will all know the reason for this last post. You will have heard it on the news.
They are outside, waiting. They shall not have me.
The phone link was set up so they could 'talk' to me, to get me to come out so they can beat on me.
They don't know about the laptop, I fooled them, I still have some go in me yet.
I think it all started the day they took my credit cards from me. That was such a blow, I still went into
the shops for a while after that, reaching for my wallet. Then it would hit me, no plastic.
You can't imagine how that feels, to be disenfranchised, ostracised. Welcome to the gutter friend.
Six months ago I was good. I was the best.
Six months ago I had a wife and a job. They looked up to me in that place, tried to be like me, earn as much as me.
It just stopped working for me, I don't know why or how but it did. Everything I touched turned sour.
The first one to go bad was the Mexico deal, those bastards! Then the East coast thing. My fault -
My stupid fault they said. They talked behind my back after she walked out on me too. They pointed at me and stared when they thought I couldn't see them. Stupid fuckers, who's fault is it now? Who's fault is it that they're lying in great big pools of their own piss and blood.
They shouldn't have treated me like that, laughing behind my back, sticking the knife in on those last couple of deals. I had the fuckers sown up. They did it on purpose, kick you when your down. Well I showed them didn't I. I should have taken the shotgun as well. I should have got them all, still five out of eight isn't bad. Ha…. old Watson shit his pants right there, right there in front of that tart Melinda. She won't be laughing anymore.
They are shouting for me to come out again, I'll have to go soon. Not out there to them, I saved one bullet for the Browning, I'll be using that one real soon now.
I was good.
Just remember that.
I was the best.
Wasn't I?

Richard Thu Feb 8 13:50:27 PST 2001

Star Wars RPG - III flame points

Writers Note Book - I flame point


Fire reponse team, dampen the flames!

Christi Thu Feb 8 13:17:57 PST 2001

Curses! I find I must join in the fray. Apologies to all who are unfortunate enough to bear witness to it.
I wasn't going to get involved in this thing, but Americo, you've said some things I TOTALLY disagree with. Teekay critiques with her heart and soul and for her not to do this would be a travesty. Everyone has a different personality and a different style. Teekay is one of the only people here who consistantly reads most of the stories in the workbook and then comments on them or critiques them. In other words, she gives more than she takes. Personally speaking, she has ALWAYS made my stories better with her suggestions and has caught errors that surely would have embarrassed me. (Tina is also very good at this.) As far as I have seen , her critiques have always been right on target.

As for her education, character, and intelligence, they can hardly be disputed. She isn't a psuedo-intellectual like some I've known. She is the genuine article. If you have a personal problem with Teekay, I would suggest that you address it directly to her in email form. You've attacked her personally, exactly what you have just accused her of doing to Laura. I find that highly hypocritical. I wouldn't have written to you here, but felt forced to because of your post. If you have a problem with anything I've said (or if you want to give me a big apology-kiss, ha ha), please email me at the address above. I don't plan on doing any more arguing in this lovely forum.

NOW, can we get back to writing?

I apologise to everyone for getting personal. Maybe it's the full moon.

Love to all and a hopefully happy and interesting shortie night,


howard Thu Feb 8 13:14:39 PST 2001

I'mA -- Yes, your story is very good! I did enjoy it. Also Hop, John, and Laura! And I'll try to get to the rest of them shortly!

Hallee Thu Feb 8 12:32:37 PST 2001

AMERICO: I believe that no one said IMA wasn't a talented writer. Her story is actually wonderful. She's just jumping in and being flipping weird about nothing at all -- and most things posted were actually in defense; therefore, she is getting the respect that she deserves. Being a good writer doesn't excuse social ill-behavior. Though, I agree, it should end now. It is getting kind of absurd.


Eddie French Thu Feb 8 11:55:32 PST 2001

Thanks for the article, I will read it later.
If anybody else wants it just go to the end and you will find a button which will email it to you instead of cut & paste et al.

Thu Feb 8 09:59:43 PST 2001

Rachel Thu Feb 8 09:59:38 PST 2001

Americo - You know me well. I don't like conflict. (hugs for you).

All - Don't even one of you dare think that I am Americo. He could never make such a mess with spelling, punctuation and grammar as I do (grins).

Okay, I really, really, really am going to go eat now...


Mary Thu Feb 8 09:58:39 PST 2001

AMERICO: Very interesting article in the New York Times today that, in my opinion, would be an appropriate subject to talk of here. The link is above if you would like to read it and comment. Same goes for anyone else of course. :-)

Americo Thu Feb 8 09:52:47 PST 2001


I see that we are online almost simultaneously. You are probably as horrified with what has been going on on this page as me. I feel that I must inform the crowds that your post and my post were just a coincidence.

see the trouble you have been causing on this place? There are people with serious feelings and thoughts and reflections here from time to time. Now, don't run away in fear and just tell us who you are and what you want.

Rachel Thu Feb 8 09:41:29 PST 2001

Ima, Yura, hesa, shesa, wesa, PLEASEA!!!!!!

What is with this? Not since the advent of EJ and crew have I seen so much blither blather going on. Such temper, such claims. I for one did like EJ. I however, do not like all this crap.

Ima - Whoeva you ra. If you flub it up around here, the best thing to do is admit it, accept it, don't deny it, then get over it. People around this site are pretty good sorts, they just don't go for this dump and denial bit.

Dang! I keep doing things that I say I'm not going to do. I think Mary knows what I'm talking about (grin/wink).

Now I really am going to get something to eat.


Americo Thu Feb 8 09:39:02 PST 2001

I've noticed that there has not been an interesting conversation on this page for ages. With its yelling, chitchatting and kicking the NB has become an unpleasant place to frequent. Is there anything you can do to reestablish etiquette and a bit of discipline?

What do you mean by corrupting the name of Ima? Your implicit suggestion that she could be someone else but a newcomer does not contribute to a healthy relationship here. Hope you clarify your "I'mas" thing as soon as you can.

I had a look at the short-story critique and was appaled by what you said about a Laura's story. That's no way of helping but a rude attempt at discouraging. I'm becoming fed up with your bad education and ill manners (let alone ill feelings and bad character). Try to behave yourself, will you?

The best way to react to an unfortunate beginning is to ignore it. I became curious about the Ima's affair and had a look at it. After reading the story she published in the short-story section of the workbook, I concluded that she is an interesting writer and deserves at least the respect she has been asking for.

Don't give up at this page. Tell us more about you and try to prove that the negative reactions you've had so far from some notebookers is unjust and not very intelligent. If you are a genuine writer you'll do that quite easily, by being honest and yourself. Perhaps a word of clarification of your intentions would do the trick. I did not see anything against you or your writing, though I agree that the gang-on attitude I'm observing against you is deplorable. Above all, do not feel antagonized by the world.

Yura Thu Feb 8 09:30:38 PST 2001

Please excuse me everyone. I hate it when I faint like that. It is hereditary.

I have taken some time to read the posts and I am apalled at how you have attacked my favorite second cousin on the Nidiot side.

Heather, If you really must know what books Ima has written, go to any book store and look for the "Nidiot's Guide to ____________", and plug in just about any subject! My cousin is a genius and you should all be proud to be in her company.

Ima was kind enough to recognize me in one of her books. She dedicated her 1998, "Nidiot's Guide to Shmoozing" to me. So kind. So kind.

Rachel Thu Feb 8 09:26:48 PST 2001

Hallee - You missed my Birthday! I'm September 24th. Now, there will be no more of this missing my birthday thing. Many, many people missed it this year and I felt quite pissed about it at the time (sheepish grins). Funny how hinkey a person can get when people they care about forget them.

Teekay - I would have noticed if you hadn't posted. I hope you had a nice vacation :o)

Barnabas - Do you know that in the time you have been on this site, you have used two of the names of main characters from a set of books I am reading? That is some kind of strange...

Allein - Yes, I said party! I don't need a pity party any more. I'm feeling much better (grins). That was some kind of awful flu (very sad face). I have had a few more trips to the hopsital. My doctor is very antsy about me giving birth. I do it so quickly once I start that she sends me in at the least bit of anything. I'm getting a little sick of the hospital. Each time I go in the nurses all cheer for me (they really do). I guess we are all getting to know each other. I was in there for those ten days and had lots of nice visits with the staff. They are very nice people.

Mary - For breakfast I love to have toast with marmalade and a nice cup of coffee:o) I saw some talk of X-Men. My children have decided that I am either Matilda, all grown up, or that I am Rogue from X-Men. I think the Rogue thing has more to do with the one strip of gray hair that I have in the front than anything else. I make sure to keep it covered with colour these days (grins and laughter).

Ramone - Take care you :o) It's too bad you had to bug out before I got a chance to know yah.

Christi - Yup, that is quite the picture my little guy painted eh? I keep thinking about that one. YUCK! I would not want to try to yack up a baby. Daniel, my son who came up with the throw-up- baby idea writes. I think he is leaning towards horror with that one (grins).
Yes, I will take you up on the 7-up and crackers. I am still feeling a little bit off in the tummy department.

Heather - The glue came out of his hair very nicely (grins). I get the feeling that Daniel may want to try some other hair/clothing options that might leave me feeling a little surprised. I don't plan to make much of a fuss or bother about these things. After all, it could be worse.

Richard - I like what you wrote about perfection. I may post a short that I wrote about perfection in the workbook sometime soon. I don't tend to post much of my stuff on site. It's just a thing with me.

Heather - I have a couple of pieces that I am thinking of setting into your P* (hum, that sounds a little strange...) Well, you know what I mean (grins).

All - I better get moving. My baby is kicking me silly. I think he wants that toast I mentioned.

Take care all,


Yura Thu Feb 8 09:23:19 PST 2001

IMA!! Is that you? I have missed you so much!

Do you remember me? I am your second cousin. From Boston. Yura Nidiot of the Boston Nidiots!!


howard Thu Feb 8 09:19:43 PST 2001

MARY -- I once bet a girl (and not as pretty as you) a buck, that I could kiss her and she wouldn't even feel it. She took me up on the bet. Cost me five bucks before she finally caught on. Would have cost me more, but she wouldn't take an IOU...

Mary Again and probably not the last time today Thu Feb 8 09:03:36 PST 2001

Shortie Night, obviously!!

The theme is BURNOUT for any stragglers who don't know it. As always, the theme is purely optional. Write about whatever you want to write about.

JOHN: You get a prize for being the only person out of three who kissed me. Rrramon supplied me with my first email rejection letter and Hop publicly freaked out at the idea. (Which is a real shame because Hop is such a cool name.) Methinks I am losing my touch. I knew turning 30 would suck.

back on yer feet!

Rosemary Thu Feb 8 08:53:43 PST 2001

Hi all,
Now we have SKREEMEERS too. (I spelled it that way on purpose)

Perhaps you should try that rehab place JOHN sent TEEKAY to. Do you know I had to maximize the screen then move the bottom bar sideways to read the end of your rant? Now that's a RANT.

It sounds like BURNOUT is going to be the easiest subject this notebook group has had so far.

My small writers group that meets one Wednsday afternoon a month for a couple of hours has lost its meeting place. One member requested space from a nearby church who said sure we could use the space. Then last evening they requested a 'mission statement' for their board meeting. Our group usually concentrates on short stories, grammer problems, you know, basic things. We do not collect dues or follow long involved rules. A mission statement is overkill for us. The food court in a small mall is more our speed.

I would dearly love to see a shuttle launch. I'm getting a craving for the lush greenery of that part of our great country. Really miss giant trees covered with drippy green things.

Okay, okay. I'll shut up and go away for now.

Mary Thu Feb 8 08:38:45 PST 2001

VIV: Ok, I tested that link and it worked for me. That doesn't mean it will work for you, but at least you know it is worth a shot now. Goof luck.

Mary Thu Feb 8 08:36:13 PST 2001

VIV: I have no idea if this link will work or not, but there is an article on THEMESTREAM about teaching english in japan and I thought you might enjoy reading it. I haven't read it yet myself, so I can't vouch for it, but the title made me think of you. If this link doesn't work, I can email you one.

Mary Thu Feb 8 08:09:33 PST 2001

HEATHER: Visiflex seels has thousands of models available to fit all the different keyboards out there. They don't really look like keyboard condoms because they are molded with impressions for each key and one size does not fit all. ;-)
Since I found out about them, I have seriously considered ordering one for my home keyboard because I am constantly dripping coffee or the kids pour kool-aid down into it. Hubby dumped a whole spoonful of chili on it once. Crumbs and things don't end up on my shirt because there is nothing there to land Straight into the keys in this house. (o)(o)

Mary Thu Feb 8 07:59:38 PST 2001

JERRY: I am a touch typist, but I still have to look at the numbers if I need to hit those in. Or special characters. If someone like my husband needed to use a keyboard and couldn't see they keys.....oiy!

Tina Thu Feb 8 07:34:04 PST 2001

Forgot the 'http' part! This one should work.

Tina Thu Feb 8 07:33:11 PST 2001

Howard, just to calm your wildly imaginative thoughts, 'other things' would be science toys for kids, binoculars, science books, and funky nature stuff. It's the telescope part that I love, not the 'other stuff'! The link above takes you the store where I work.

Heather, I checked out your link and you are absolutely as wonderful an artist as I expected! And you're the first NB'er who looks something like I expected, too. :-) I love the 'Angel's Wake'.

Hallee, I just recently heard that there's a space camp for adults, too. Oh so tempting! When I was little I wanted to go to space camp, but there was no way that my family could afford it. NOW, you never know!
That teacher would get my vote!

Going now,

howard Thu Feb 8 05:37:53 PST 2001

I'm A -- sounds like a classic case of the old "kink in the Depends(tm)" syndrome. Don't worry, you'll get past it. Maybe you just need a dry pair...

I just got my copy of "Writing Down the Bones." Looks good! But I had no idea it was a "Pocket Classic." Neat!

JOHN -- Interesting chat! Small world, too!

TINA -- (can't resist this one) You sell telescopes for a living and other things? :-)

back on yer heads

Viv Thu Feb 8 05:07:12 PST 2001

Mary! I just found out the topic for Thursday night is burnout! Oh fantastic! That's exactly what I need to describe this cybercafe. Oh fun. Gotta' go! You're a genius! Somehow these topics don't get in the way of what I want to say. Thanks. Hope this works! See you all when I get done.

Ben Woestenburg Thu Feb 8 01:52:45 PST 2001

Ima seems a bit upset.

Hallee Thu Feb 8 01:51:15 PST 2001

HOP: The "Lah" would certainly be useful quieting a three year old in church. You wouldn't have to do one of those harsh whispers, you could just speak quietly. "Sit still or I'll take you outside and spank you, lah!"

TINA: My mother in law is a teacher for gifted students at an elementary school here. She wanted to take the kids to Space Camp this year, but couldn't get the principal to agree to the cost. So, she tried to take them to NASA for the day, and the principal wouldn't allow it because of the liabilities of a day trip or something like that. So, she contacted NASA, and discovered that they have a free program for schools in Florida where they actually bring space camp to the kids. Astronauts, modules, movies, this huge truckload came to the school and spent the day. PBS caught word and did a huge special on it, and now she is up for teacher of the year. Tuesday was her interview with the school district, and it's between her and four others. If she gets this, she goes on to the state competition.

In April, I'm going to a conference down at the space coast, and part of the conference package is a tour of NASA headquarters. I'm looking forward to it.

I don't even know why I just wrote all that. Could be the coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

Burn out, huh? That one should be easy.


Ben Woestenburg Thu Feb 8 01:48:49 PST 2001

He sat on the edge of the toliet seat, like a broken question mark, his arm tucked tight in between his knees. Picking the syringe off the back of the toliet, he began tapping it with his finger to coerce the small air bubbles up as he pushed the plunger in--slowly, slowly, he told himself--watching the tip moisten with the life of it. He slapped his arm, looking for the vein, and caught his reflection in the mirror through the crack in the door. He told himself not to look. He heard the door open--felt the air move around him--and looked through the crack, suddenly afraid of discovery. He couldn't see who it was, but him just being there was almost more than he could stand. He held his breath, thinking his heart beating as loud as it was would be a dead give away. He heard the urinal flush, heard the taps running and the paper being torn. And then the man was gone. He could hear voices outside when the door opened, and told himself he was running out of time. He needed this, and it was now or never.

He sat back against the toilet, letting the liquid run through his brain, feeling the fire burn up his spine and through his body, and then the familiar feeling of safety--the knowing he'd be able to go on for a couple more hours--and then the door opened again.

"Dan? You still in here? C'mon, the jury's coming' back in. They're waiting for you."

"How do they look?"

"I think we might beat it. We'll be celebrating tonight."

I know. It's morbid and disgusting, and I apologize for my insensitivity, but hey, it's just a story.

Eddie French Thu Feb 8 01:44:58 PST 2001

Dialect tip.
No no no....Lah is a scouse word, 'onest!
Like in 'wassup lah' or 'A lah'
It is actually a distortion of Lad.
Heard in every school yard in liverpool and outside every pup, the most used form is:
'Or'ight lah, ow are yeh. Ow's our kid doin''

Ima Thu Feb 8 01:42:21 PST 2001

HOW DARE YOU!!!! NEVER IN ALL MY BORN DAYGHHHHHHHHHHH AGHH AH AH.GHHHHHHHHHH..AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH GHU.GHU........AGHA AGHAAAAAAAAAAA ERKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.............................................ERKKKKKKKKK.ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH..ERGHHHHHHH............................................................................clunk!

Eddie French Thu Feb 8 01:37:06 PST 2001

One of my most treasured videos is one of Discovery launching from the cape.
The day before the launch I was on the observation platform with my camcorder and got some great shots of 39b. I drove back alone the day after to get the launch. It was a very, very special day. On the way back to Kissimee I had the camera on the dash filming most of the journey along the Beeline expressway. I had the radio on very loud. What a fantastic video. I watch it when I get a bit fed up.
Jack, you are so right, there is no way that you can feel that popping, growling vibration on the tv. It is an AWESOME experience.

Vocab tip of the day Thu Feb 8 00:51:54 PST 2001

After a village of that name in Massachuettes or Connectticut (hope I spelled those right).
Probably of American Indian original (or should that be the People, to be politically

Colloquial meaining
Any hypothetical or actual small town in the US, regarded as typically dull and insiginificant.

Ah ha! Dialect word!
From Webster's New World dictionary

Dialect tip of the hour Thu Feb 8 00:51:03 PST 2001

Dialect tip of the hour

Lah (lah)

Definition- Found in many dialects of Chinese and other Asian lanaguages "lah" is best described as a verbal exclaimation mark.

For example: "How could you do that lah!"
"Don't be like that lah!"

Barnabas "Hop" Thu Feb 8 00:50:21 PST 2001

Before I start...
I'm happy that the arguement between Ima and some of you has stopped because I was going to
post a message saying not to argue.

Since there already is a Word Tip of the day it may seem a little bit silly to post a Vocab tip but so far, I only post words that have been used in the notebook and not random words i picked from the dictionary, so I will not overlap the person doing the Word tip of the day.

Good bye ( if what you say is true). No ones really goes away.

Frosties are my favourite cereal (I like the sugar). But I don't take them regularly for breakfast.
Breakfast usually consists of a slice of bread with butter and jam.

I haven't seen X-men the movie but I did read the comics from the 80's (passed on to me from my cousin). Psionics there however don't really follow stated "rules," you're right in saying the ideas there can be developed since most are under-developed.
I got my inspiration from Japanese magna and Chinese legends. I noticed however that none of
them were novels or dealing with a world where Psionics were the main characters. Generally,
the Psionics were minor characters helping the heroes even though some heroes had what some
would call Psionic powers.

Burnout would be perfect for writing a side-story to my Psionic novel, I'll think about it...

By the way, that's an "a" (Barnabas) not a "u." Call me, Hop, it's so much easier.

As for kissing....(worried nervous look).

No one ever said going into business was easy...

Well, I'm across the Tasman Sea. Chances are you'll be awake around the same time I am.

I've heard the brown pants story many many times (too many times to laugh in fact). This is a statement not an opinion or insult.

You sound terribly grouchy at times. Would you be a stereotypical American grandmother???

A tattooist and once a blue haired teenager. Hmmm... sounds like an Urban rebel to me.... :-)

Have you thought of surfing the net?
I have a letter from a security company here (I'm not to sure if it qualifies as "business"). I could scan it and send it you. I must warn you though the only thing in the heading is a date, my address and that's about it really.

Heather (sorry, forgot link) Wed Feb 7 23:49:45 PST 2001

yippee, I get to type again...


Heather Wed Feb 7 23:45:35 PST 2001

Tina, I'm excited about the Canada arm too! I paint space scapes quite often. Take a look at my kitchen cupboards in my old house at the link above (it's down the page a bit). Most of it I painted with my fingertips instead of brushes. Thought it would be fun to touch the planets.

Teekay, I'm sorry if I have made you uncomfortable with the squirmish I've helped escalate. And to anyone else adversly affected, I apologize.
However, I do have one or two more things...

IMA: I should not get sucked into your void, but there are a few places where you left yourself wide open and gave your real nature away. You are in DENIAL that you started the whole pointless squabble in the first place. You claim that you didn't DO anything and were suddenly attacked?
Don't swirl your straw in honey and then try to poke us in the eyes! You may try to talk sweet, but I know the intentions those words carry. You may wish we hadn't blown the horn on you, but it's way too late, and we're not amused.

To top it off, you tout your 'published' books in so condescending a manner, I see that it is YOU WHO DOES NOT SEE. Did you know that horses can find their own way to the water, and will drink of their own free will? All these 'years' you've just been drowning the colts.

Oh, and a not-so-minor note, if your books were actually published, why would you put the word 'published' in single quotes? It appears to me that your book(s) have likely never made it into the mail, let alone wiped the sweat from an editor's desktop.
If you do have published work in print, let us know the titles. Your use of the quotations may be a mistake, and if that is the case, turning down the brightness of the computer screen often helps when reviewing your post. At least, I review my posts (that way).

And now for something completely different,

I will stop typin...


Tina Again Wed Feb 7 23:29:53 PST 2001

Jack, et tu? Yay! I'll be holding my breath, too. Should see me when they're working on the Hubble! I almost go blue...

Seeing a shuttle launch is way up on my list of must do's. Must Must Must! And touring the Space Centre, and seeing the VLA, and seeing Aericebo (sp?), and seeing the CSA... so much space stuff, so little time!

Going away for real now.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 7 23:08:10 PST 2001

One of my biggest annoyances about going to Florida and then coming home to discover that I had been laid off, was that I elected to go there with the least amount of time necessary and thereby missed being able to see the shuttle go up live. The pictures and video I saw, I was informed, do not do it justice, especially a night launch. And, yes, I am very very very space crazy as well. I am on tenderhooks about them fitting the science module to the rest of the space station given that the clearances are like 2.5 centimeters. In a word, not a lot. Lets all cross our fingers and hope that the astronaut who is going to be doing this pulls it off correctly. She indicates that she has had nightmares about this little task, but I suspect she is well trained and ready for it.

Tina Wed Feb 7 22:52:19 PST 2001

Me again.

Hop, I just visited the workbook, left a brief note on your story 'The Fisherman'. It's not a crit, cause I don't like to leave a crit until I've had time to think, but I wanted you to know that I'd read it.

I know that it can be frustrating to post something and then have to wait and see if anyone has even read it yet. That can be a looonnng wait, wondering if anyone has even opened the novel workbook lately, let alone scanned down and read anything..... let alone said 'I was interested enough to read your work'.

Time to go.

Tina Wed Feb 7 22:21:32 PST 2001

Hello everyone; Elders, Newbies, and Imposters!

Yay! Eddie, are you space crazy too? I read your post and got so excited! Most people I know don't have any idea what's going on up there, or why Destiny is so imortant! I didn't watch the launch, but I follow the daily posts and info on It's so exciting to see the ISS (apparently now to be called Space Station Alpha, cause that's what the resident crew is calling it) getting more components and pieces. I think the new Canada Arm goes up in the next couple of flights. I'll be anxious for that one! All during the next ten days while they're up there, their orbit will go right over my piece of the world. I am so hoping for clear skies! I'll be out there shuttle spotting!

As it happens, I sell telescopes for a living (and some other stuff), so I have daily encouragement for my interest. I love it when customers ask questions about space because I'd happily spend all day talking about astronomy and space. :-)

Finally got a copy of 'Writing Down the Bones' by N. Goldberg. I devoured over half of it in one sitting, and I'm thoroughly impressed. I will have to read and re-read this one! I can feel my muse rubbing her hands together in glee...


Ima Wed Feb 7 21:44:23 PST 2001

Oh. my goodness me. Look what I've gone and done. I did not mean to upset anybody. I was just sitting here minding my own business when I fear I was attacked from all directions.
Now I'm terribly sorry if I caused any grief or pain, but what am I to do? Sit here and let certain people run me up down and sideways. There was a time when that probably would have happened, but thank goodness for the suffrogettes I can now stand up and defend myself from those who would malign me.

As for respecting age.
I, being the author of 20 'published ' books, obviously have a far more indepth knowledge of writing and what it entails.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Pick you adage.

Dear Hallee, please accept my apology.

Dear Heather, I have apologized to Halle as per your request.

I'm so glad I found this site. This is a far better recreation than spending the evening playing canasta with the old folk here.

It takes all kinds. That's one of my favorite adages.

John Wed Feb 7 19:04:46 PST 2001

HALLEE: 'sokay...just sharin' some thoughts....I gets so few, I gotta write 'em down.

TEEKAY: There's rehab for that ya know

I'm posting my shortie early cuz I gotta work late tomorrow...For me, Thursday is two hours away yet... My apologies.

The alarm clock blasts. Oh, I hate that sound. It’s not even a sound. More like a large annoying duck. Yak-Yak-Yak-Yak-Yak I swing my arm over my sleeping body and slam the snooze button. Oh, I can’t believe it’s morning already. Well, I can lay here for nine minutes and listen to that stupid clock again or I can get up and go through the same routine as yesterday. What a choice. Maybe I can just close my eyes for a minute... Yak-Yak-Yak-Yak-Yak... Slam! Alright, get up. Coffee. I need coffee. I’m not going to make coffee. I’ll buy coffee on the way. A shower should wake me up.

As the steaming water drills into my head, the plans for the day unfold in sync with the rate that the hot water makes it’s way through my hair and down my back. I just stand there. Waiting for a trouble-ridding water massage to take it all away. The upcoming day is becoming clearer by the moment...And water isn’t going to make it go away. The bathroom light burns out. Yep, that just about sums it up. I’ll be back here tomorrow, same time, same place.

Why bore you with the details?

TEEKAY Wed Feb 7 18:25:25 PST 2001



Hallee Wed Feb 7 17:41:28 PST 2001

JOHN: I apologize. I'm done with it.

MARY: My older brother lives in NYC - he doesn't have his own computer, and goes to cyber cafes to do his daily email. It's pretty affordable there, and he loves the "socialness" of it. But, a friend of mine went on vacation and had total internet withdrawls - so she went to a cyber cafe, where the charge was something like $1 per minute. I felt really bad, because I sent her a cyber card for her birthday and it was one of those really long stories. I think it cost her $3 to get her birthday card.

HOWARD: How hillarious. Somewhere, I've heard that before.

HEATHER: Thank you...((((Big HUGS))))

VIV: I'd help, but all the business letters I do are American - that is something I didn't know - the different punctuation in different countries.

Okay - birthdays - I have: Mark, Jerry, Eddie, Heather, Teekay, Jack, Christi, and Mary. Did I miss anyone who posted theirs?

Have a happy Wednesday all.


howard Wed Feb 7 17:34:23 PST 2001

I'm in the chat room now -- 8:35 PM EST.

John Wed Feb 7 17:26:50 PST 2001

I was married to a woman who found it quite the sport to inject controversial banter into public conversations. Her motive was to get everyone's voices raised while she stepped back to watch. As her husband, I was humiliated at the obvious ploy. Most other's didn't catch on. They simply were baited into voicing their opinions which conflicted with others who felt they must voice theirs. While this back and forth argument is interesting to read, I can't help but step back to a time, that is a chapter that brings out nothing but dark memories.

Sorry...I had to say that.

howard Wed Feb 7 16:52:07 PST 2001

Why does "I'm A" bring to mind the story about the guy (we'll call him George) who went to a party?

Actually it was a reception for one of the local college alumni who had been successful at one thing or another, and there was a cross section of the town's (and college's) VIP's in attendance.

George had no companion at this party, and was content to just mingle with the luminaries, making small talk. He met an attractive young woman near the punch bowl, who introduced herself as a graduate student at the college.

They chatted a bit about the weather and such, and she suddenly took a step back away from him and very loudly exclaimed "YOUR APARTMENT!?!? WHAT KIND OF GIRL DO YOU THINK I AM?"

Everyone turned to stare, and poor George was so bewildered by her outburst that he didn't even attempt to rebut her accusations, but shamefacedly sneaked off to a corner to finish his punch, intending to leave as soon as people stopped staring at him.

The hubbub died down, and the drone of the party soon resumed, and George turned to go. There was the young woman again, smiling as if nothing had happened. "I'm sorry for your embarrassment," she said, "but I'm writing a paper on crowd reaction to unfamiliar situations, and I needed to see how people would react to something like that. Can you forgive me?"

George looked at her, stopped his forced smile, and yelled "A HUNDRED BUCKS? A HUNDRED BUCKS?! YOU'VE GOTTA BE OUTTA YOUR MIND!"

Mary Wed Feb 7 16:31:59 PST 2001

TEEKAY!!!! Puleeeeeeeze come back.

Viv Wed Feb 7 16:23:47 PST 2001

Hi Mary - I like your idea of a cyber cafe. I thought they were only located in places where phone calls were too expensive and you had to get ahold of people on a daily basis for business or family matters. I didn't realize that folks were making them into fern bar psuedo-intellectual hangouts.
That's sad about what happened to the bookstore. A really nice bookstore turning into a den of snobs (and thieves it sounds from those prices) is really painful.
It'd be great if you turned your cybercafe into....hey, wait a minute. I think this would make a great theme for our shortie Thursday. Let's come up with a perfect cyber cafe for Mary. If we come up with one that turns a profit can we buy into it! It'd make a great meeting place for all of us. This could be the start of an "Alice's Restaurant." (For those who are old enough to hum that song, start humming.) For those who don't know the reference: I am sorry I don't know the singer. It's a sixties song. The main idea goes, "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. Step right in.... and whatever" I was also too young to really understand it, but it has a catchy tune. I'd love to hear it again.
We could use that as description of a place and an event that might happen there. Anyway,knowing the writers here, it'd be worth the trip and someone might be able to put together just the thing to make a business really rock.
Heather: Thanks for the painting tips! I took my daughter to the paint store to get the gold and silver paint and she said, "No, wait. Don't buy it! I want to change my mind!"
I asked her why?????? (With that "all the trouble you put me through to come up with the how to do this" whine in my voice.) She said, "I'm having such fun deciding about how I want my room to look I want to do it again!" I realized at that point she was just enjoying the creative exercise,and we'd had a lot of fun figuring it out. It gave us something interesting to talk about and we got a cup of coffee and then headed home again. She's designed three other decorating ideas, and now she says she wants to tie dye the entire room. Lately we decided sheets that fold down from the ceiling might be the answer. She could choose her room to match her mood of the day. It's the more mature version of LEGO. She's fun! I'm glad I have her. Well back to work. I need to come up with some creative ideas for teaching business letter writing.

ONE THING I DO NEED! I need a business letter from ENGLAND and another from AUSTRALIA and ANOTHER from Canada. This is because in America a great deal of punctuation is used in the letter heading whereas in England there is very little if any punctuation. I want to see the other letters from other countries to see if Canada and Australia follow the British rules or have developed their own method.
I want the students to know there are many ways, not just the "American way" and I don't want them leaving my classroom ignorant. Unfortunately, my book was written in America and I am American. I haven't any examples from England or other countries to show them. They need something they can hold and look at. So, if you have some old junk mail, please send it to:
E-Sensei/ 17th ASG CM Box 3443/ APO AP 96338-5013. I have a friend who will bring it to me. Thanks!

Ben Woestenburg Wed Feb 7 15:34:28 PST 2001

Well, this is just great. I take a week off to write a story, and I come back to find everyone up in arms, imposters too? But a discussion about religion? Love it. I had two J.W.'s at the door yesterday and talked their ears off. My brother's a born again, and I said the same thing to him that I did to these J.W.'s: there are two truths. The real truth, and the Gospel Truth. Ima seems to be a bit fiesty, but I think she'd sitting on a bit of a high horse--way too high. Excuse me for saying this woman, but if a person has an opinion, or something to say, why are they wrong, or snitty, just because you don't agree? And don't tell me to mind my own business, because this is as much my business as it is anyone's. Respecting your elders? I've been here just as long as anyone, and if I left for a while it was because of personal reasons--when my dad died I didn't feel up to being here--but reading what you have to say, well, I can see I didn't miss much, did I? If you want to fight and argue, fine, but don't look for respect just because you happen to be older than Methusala? If you say the things you say, make sure you read them before you post them--and just to show you what I mean I'm not reading this before I post it. So all I have to say to you IMA--by the way, what's that short for? I'M A...what?--is settle down, chill out as my kids say to me, and don't look for offence when none is intended. Personal views are just that.

As for the shortie, sorry I missed last week's. But I don't think I'll have any trouble writing about burn out. Like everyone else here, it seems we've all had our share of the wild life, doesn't it?

Now, having vented, Ima outta here!

Eddie French Wed Feb 7 15:29:24 PST 2001

Well, Atlantis made orbit ok with the new lab for the ISS.
I watched it live just now at, the streaming video was excellent.
I don't know why I watch it live. Since Challenger I am really on edge at the launch. Anyway thank God everything went well.

Tony Wed Feb 7 15:27:42 PST 2001

Does anyone out there have any knowledge or gossip concerning literary agents...such as, which ones to avoid or which ones are really good????

Jerry Wed Feb 7 15:09:46 PST 2001

Mary, sounds great, I was just wondering. Why would anyone need to see the keys? Most of us now type by feel, or am I again assuming things that are not exactly true?

I don't think I will get involved in the Ima thing, but keep going, it is very entertaining.


Heather Wed Feb 7 14:34:00 PST 2001

Ima, I'm afraid (for you) that you have insulted a good friend of mine. You must retract your ill-written and ill-researched statements to Hallee immediately. Many people are wise, and know many, many things, and age makes NO difference. You should know that and stop pulling your NON-EXISTANT RANK. You are a newbie here, and I am hereby requesting that you respect your notebook ELDERS. Being old doesn't mean you're wise. In fact, I think you have proven that you aren't. Before you take your foot and place it in your mouth, an apology is required.
Oh, and please stop claiming authorship of things that you haven't written. It's ridiculous.
If you wear glasses, you might want to get the prescription checked before you read another word here, let alone write any. You must have misread every post here that you have responded to. Else how could you make such grossly distorted assumptions?


Hallee Wed Feb 7 14:21:48 PST 2001

IMA: Okay..this is the way it is. YOU use Satan in a story; YOU come back to Heather and say something about Satan being a spirit and not physical form; and now YOU rebut the entire text in which Satan exists. I never suggested that he is made of flesh. I was merely correcting your inaccurate statement about whether or not Satan was a physical form. Flesh and blood never entered my post. Whatever that blibber blabber about ashes to ashes and dust to dust and the lord's (notice correct punctuation - and if you were referring to God, you should also capitalize the "l") handmaidens means, you make no sense at all. And whether or not my belief in the written Word of the Bible is strong, I'm not the one who incorporated any part of it into a story that I'm struggling and grasping to include in an anthology that it does not belong.

Here is the first paragraph of the intro to the Round Robin **P** as written by Heather: Across time, throughout all cultures, on every continent and isle, and over lake and sea, there are whispers that speak to us of the afterlife. Legends are made of these whisperings; of spirits still inhabiting familiar ground, caught between one world and the next. Whispers, and perhaps a glimpse of what lies just beyond our grasp, are the makings of a story that will not die.

Pray tell me where you don't see this as a collection of ghost stories.

And, as for the brag about writing 25 books in your oh so long lifetime, lady, I've written 10 in two years. You want to fight for bragging rights? Bring it on. Give me another 8 years and I'll quadruple your output. So the hell what? There are many people in this forum that could outwrite me in quality any day. Quantity only amounts to a fraction of worth.

I'm sad for you if this is what you have to do to amuse yourself.

Eddie French Wed Feb 7 14:12:53 PST 2001

I refuse to believe that this ongoing conversation is for real!
Ima, are you for real?
Is the real Teekay here?
Am I really saying all this?
Oooooh, my head hurts.

Teekay Wed Feb 7 14:00:05 PST 2001

HOWARD: That is wonderful news. Simply wonderful. It's just amazing that this has happened, you can't believe the delighted joy it has brought me. I'm over the moon, I'ma,... I'ma,.... Ima.... speecless!
Thankyou so much for sharing.

HEATHER: Maybe it's not even lamb. Maybe it's cooked up Christmas Beetles. Sounds like a horrible place. Too uncomfortable.

TINA: If you're ever confused, NEVER admit it. Just amble endlessly on like you know exactly what's going on. Nobody will guess any different. I do it all the time, and I'm pretty sure no one's guessed a thing.
I've just read Horwads post. Ignore it. I'm all for denial myself.

MARY: sounds good.


JERRY: Yeah, and what about the spilled coffee? You'd want to have heaps of insurance.


HEATHER: That sounds great.

IMA: Well I don't care what anybody says, I still like you. You're a strong woman who knows her own minds and is not afraid to speak them. Why don't you do the quiz HALLEE posted a link to and see what it says about you?

Do you guys have free internet access at your libraries?
Australia, leading the world in long distance communications. Coz we have no bloody choice.

Ima Wed Feb 7 13:57:38 PST 2001

Oh yes, and before you throw that one back in my poor old wrinkled face. I meant revelations.
Only when I first made up that word, people couldn't pronounce it properly and kept saying revelations.

Ima Wed Feb 7 13:48:14 PST 2001

*sniff* I can't believe that you would throw my alzheimers right in my face like that. Shame! Shame on you, whatever your name is.
And personally. I think you planted that post there just to frame me Miss.......Miss.

Ima Wed Feb 7 13:30:36 PST 2001

My dear Mark,
I'll have you know I made those words up myself. Is it my fault the dictionary company found them so appropriate that they coveted them for themselves. And not a penny did I see, not a penny. I should have copyroted them.

I don't think it was websters who stole them though dear. It was some cheap tacky dictionary company who were selling their dictionaries for $5:00.

That is why my dear boy you can not accuse me of falling back on the dictionary. Why, they didn't even have dictionaries when I was born. We had to make up most of our words ourself. And did.

Oh yes, and Miss Hallee dear, you can knock that smart mouth tone off with me. I haven't lived on this earth for all this time to take lip from a sassy little miss as yourself.
Now my dear, it is obvious that your belief in the written word of the bible is strong, but please, do not bring it down to your mortal realm, for when it comes to relevations, my dear it is more than your mortal, human mind can possibly understand.
Humans are flesh and blood. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust as my dear departed Walter could tell you were he here today. None of the lords handmaidens were ever of our kind.
It is beyond most human capabilities to recognize this. I guess they who wrote within the bible could only use terms and descriptions of which they had an understanding.

You are young yet dear. You will learn and grow with the years.

This old heart holds no wrath toward you for your disrespect and you ignorance. Only sorrow and the hope that one day you shall rise above it.

Tina Wed Feb 7 12:04:17 PST 2001

Richard, 'The Club' would be the one reserved for notebookers who've managed to mess up an HTML tag and throw the book for a loop. Myself, Hallee, and Allein all belong (italics, bold, and underlining, respectfully (I think)) and probably a bunch of others! :-)

Totally brain-dead about writing these days. Sucks big time. I AM getting a lot of neglected house work done though....

Still confused...

Heather Wed Feb 7 11:32:06 PST 2001

Mary, I think your idea is stellar, and if there is a University in town, you'd make a bigger profit. Not everyone in University has their own PC, and if they have one to share, a roommate could be a net hog. Plus students (here, anyway) often have more money these days than they did ten years ago. Probably just the student credit cards the banks seem to give out as complimentary mints. You're a student? Here! Feel free to get into twice as much debt! The E-Cafe (Bookshelf) is indeed full of students. I don't know what they charge per minute or hour, or how they calculate the charges. The card swiping idea should work, but it would be expensive. Perhaps you could just use menu cards and stamp the start and stop time on them until you decide if the electronic card would be worth it.

You would probably end up working at your cafe much more than any other staff to cut down on costs.
But you could surf as long as you wanted...

Reubens all around at Mary's! (I'd charge half price for refills if the coffee is primo, otherwise you'll lose money on coffee - have you seen how much coffee a single person can slam back during one hour on the net?)

I should think a music and book store adjacent to the e-cafe would boost business tremendously, but you wouldn't want to have to open them yourself.

My best friend and I have made plans to open our own store in about 5 or so years, with me being less involved than she. She's a top-of-the-line hair stylist, and an artist as well. Our store idea is to combine all sorts of things:
We will sell my framed b+w prints, and other artwork, Tanya's band's CD's, hairdressing, tattoos, and another friend is a body piercer (though I stay strictly with tattoos - piercing makes me shudder, even just ears)
We will also bake our own muffins and cookies, etc., and serve coffees and espressos etc. I have taken a bit of massage therapy, but I think the place will be diversified enough already. We may have a few clothing items for sale, but I don't know. I also make specialty paper star lamps (about 2 feet wide), which are a hot item around town since the late 90's. My best friend also paints, so there are endless possibilities to this store. I would only have a few appointments for tattoos per day at most, not because of the quality, but because my friend Laurie is a fellow tattooist and she is terribly swamped. I don't want to get into 10 appointments per day, six days a week with no vacations. My neck and hand hurt just thinking about crouching over people, tattooing all day. I used to get worn out after one tattoo, and was starting to get a weird kind of hand cramping from the weight of the tat gun.
But every year lighter equipment comes onto the market.

Yes, you may wonder if I'll be writing at this point, and the answer is OF COURSE.
I might even fix up a little office at the back of the store so I can write in between appointments. I like that kind of scheduling, and find my most productive time to write is when I've finished a physical task, and have two hours or so before another task. If I don't have a follow-up task I tend to end up in daydream - but not on paper.

So there are some of my plans for (one aspect of) the future. You should see the addition for the house I've designed, and the mental picture of my husband at 40+! (sexy)



Rosemary Wed Feb 7 11:25:06 PST 2001

Hi all,

Your information was excellent. Thank you so much. I copied it and sent it to My friend. Also, why would anyone who could get Random House to publish their work really go to the internet?

An internet Caffe sounds wonderful. Here in San Antonio, we are always the last to move into the real world. If there are more than two of those places here, I would be very surprised. Things cost a lot less (Well, some less) down here so come on down. I'll go into it with you. The class in computer maintenance is teaching me to build a computer so I should be able to Provide them at a fairly low cost.---sure I will---.

We're up to our eyebrows in Tourists here, and the downtown area has tons of closed up stores. Right next to the Alamo. Davy Crocket might drop in. I'm getting carried away again.

Going to try to work on the burnout shorty. Should be able to get something going, it's the story of the last 7 years of my life.


Richard Wed Feb 7 10:47:19 PST 2001

Opps. HTML tag typo. Ouch.

Er, thanks Mark, but I have been here for a little while now. Or am I still the newbie even after Christmas? :(

Mary Wed Feb 7 09:47:31 PST 2001

Realistically in our area, I would probably have about 10-15 PC's, but I doubt there would be more than an average of five people per hour using them if I sum up the dead hours with the busy hours. If I could keep five people per hour spending $12 per hour, my profit would actually be about $1300 if my overhead cost guesses are close. More if the food is good and it also depends on whether the business is independent or attached to something else. I would think it would have to be attached to either a music, book, or news store for the increased traffic. That would be ideal. Well, that was fun to figure out, but I don't have the drive it would take to launch it. Good luck to your daughter, Jerry.

Mary Wed Feb 7 09:23:04 PST 2001

CHRISTI: If you ever actually did come to my internet cafe, I wouldn't charge you anyway. But I see your point and I considered that when I set the price. I took what I pay for internet service per month and divided it by how many hours in a week I use it to kind of figure out how much I pay per minute to use my home computer. Then I doubled that price. Which gave me 25 cents a minute and that sounded like too much so I knocked it down to 20. The cost per minute also reflects upkeep on the systems.

However, that 20 cents a minute comes up to $12 per hour which does seem exceptionally high. On deeper contemplation of this whole venture, it seems that the PCs are just the draw and the actual profit would be made off of the food. 15 cents@ minute gives $9 per hour. What do you think of that? Still too much? 10 cents gives $6 per hour. That is sounding more like it.

So a typical visit for a customer would be as such if they stayed an hour:

$6.00 for 1 hour of computer time
$1.00 for a refills
$4.99 for a reuben platter
30 cents for the ten pages they printed out

Round that all off to $12 for an hour at the cafe. Hmmm. I wonder. That would have to be one hell of a reuben.

If you figure that same amount for (let's just say 5 PCs for math's sake) at 8 hours per day. That is about $480 of business in a day($11,520 per month). Overhead, business loans, internet charges, employees, utilities, the beginning I would probably profit about $5.00 per month. Crap. Back to the old drawing board.

Americo Wed Feb 7 09:09:20 PST 2001


PublishAmerica was founded by the boards of Netcrafters, Inc and America House, LLC. Netcrafters is one of the oldest Internet service providers in Maryland, and America House is part of a conglomerate of publishing companies with a presence both in the U.S. and Europe (Holland and Spain).

It is, as you defined correctly, a "hybrid POD", which means that the success of their publications is dependent on direct demand rather than on solid distribution and storage. Traditional publishers are not very different, except that they rely on established markets (bookshops, libraries and bookfairs-- those on the business know that readers are just an appendice to that), while PublishAmerica expects the authors to do their home work. Only after selling about 1000 copies of a title, do they invest on advertising it-- an intelligent attitude, as only after that will they have the money to invest without putting in danger the financial base of their company. However, they promote the book locally, in their site, entirely free of charge.

In other words, PublishAmerica relies on the Internet rather than on the old means of information. In this sense they are more advanced than any traditional publisher, but, the Internet being what it is, I would rather publish in Random House or Simon and Schuster, if I had a choice, in America, between the traditional and the new.

The success of your friend’s book will depend on his/her capacity for promotion. It would not be very different if she should publish in a traditional publisher, except that he/she would initially sell 3000 copies without difficulty, and have the illusion of being a "successful" writer… With similar effort, investment and will, a book published by PublishAmerica could sell 3 million copies in the twinkling of an eye if the Internet was what it should be -- I won’t give any comment about what the Internet IS.

There is a rumour that some titles published by PublishAmerica have already been bought for movie adaptation. Others are being translated in other languages. As I said, a lot depends on the initiative of the author -- and on the quality of the book, of course

PS. I am not prepared to discuss this subject here any further. There is an aura of publicity about it that does not interest me. Sorry.

Christi Wed Feb 7 08:24:05 PST 2001

Well that's it. I'm throwing away my detective hat. No more guesses! *mumble mumble*

Mark, I don't know whether I should come to the next family reunion or start throwing my money into Swiss bank accounts. Oh wait, I don't have any money.
PS Nice bullets! (heh heh)

Mary, I want to come to your cafe, I really do, but twenty cents a minute is more than a long distance call! Can we renegotiate?

Howard, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh my gosh, I need my yellow skirt!

Jack, Thank you so much; I can use all the luck I can get. Bravely we go.

Happy Windsday, all. It's a rather blustery day outside.


Heather Wed Feb 7 08:23:17 PST 2001

Do the Visiflex people make similar shields for dashboards?

Do you have one of those vinyl cover numbers, Mary? I should think they'd have to offer quite a few different molds to fit different keyboards. I just turn my keyboard upside down and shake it before I vacuum the carpet, and any crumbs will fall out then. Then I take a slightly damp cloth with a touch of windex in it and rub the keys. Do the visiflex thingies go in the dishwasher? Have you used one? Is it like a condom for keyboards?
Will the company reps come over and take dental molds of my kids' teeth to make covers for them too? They hate brushing and I've nearly exhausted my repertoire of induction methods. Showing them slides of tooth decay and gum disease from my nursing manual is next!

I wonder if a vinyl cover is available for my shirt? I find most of the crumbs fall there instead.
Umm, I guess a bib would be cheaper...

Debra Wed Feb 7 07:46:49 PST 2001


Could you email me when you get a minute?



Mary Wed Feb 7 07:44:06 PST 2001

JERRY: The solution to the crumb problem: Visiflex Seels. 11.95@~~a waterproof, anti-static vinyl keyboard cover that fits like a glove and protects 24 hours a day without hindering use in any way. Its non-glare finish ensures visibility of all keyboard buttons and you dont even know it's there.

Word of the day: Wed Feb 7 07:27:46 PST 2001

bosky (bos' ke) adj. overgrown with bushes; shady.

Grammar tip of the day: Wed Feb 7 07:18:39 PST 2001

Trite language:

Trite words, phrases and ideas are ones used so often that they have become stale.

It may interest you to know that all folks here are hale and hearty. I should finish my report quick as a wink.

BETTER: Everyone here is well, I should finish my report this week.

Trite language shows that little thought has gone into the writing and that the writer is relying instead on the words of others.

Hallee Wed Feb 7 01:43:23 PST 2001

IMA: I merely responded to your obvious misinformation, dear. Following is your post that I responded to, in case someone who is as old as you are maybe can't remember all the way back to Monday:

Ima Mon Feb 5 13:59:18 PST 2001
Heather dear I am sorely disappointed that you feel my little offering is unsuitable for phantasium. You based your rejections on the fact that satan was a physical being, though he isn't at all my dear. Satan only lives in the hearts and minds of men (being the human race).
If seen at all it is only with the minds eye and not the physical one.
I have not lived so many years on this earth to not know this.

Hallee Mon Feb 5 15:21:44 PST 2001
IMA: Actually, to some, Satan is physical, as he was part of the hosts of angels that were sent from heaven. There are numerous examples in the Bible of angels being in physical form, and even a passage about taking care who you turn away because it might be an angel. That would leave you to believe that angels walk among us. And since one-third of the heavenly hosts were thrown out of Heaven, you must also assume that thousands (or tens of thousands or whatever) of Satan's angels also walk the earth.

And, IMA, I still think **P** is intended to be GHOST stories. Your story, as good as it is, isn't a GHOST story, it's HORROR. They may intwine in certain instances, but not this one.

TINA: Me, too.


Mary Tue Feb 6 22:39:36 PST 2001

JERRY: That would be Bug #432. How to keep crumbs out of the keyboards.

Jerry Tue Feb 6 21:34:50 PST 2001

So much to read, so little time, what with all this new found speed, I am as busy as a one armed paper hanger with the crabs. Howard, I am jelous, I can't afford all those high priced parts, I have to settle with what I can find on Ebay, so my systems all have AMD k6 2 Processors, but with the current price of RAM, I have insured that they all have at least 256 Meg. I just added a 3d Voodo Video card to my living room computer, the one I do most of my work on, so I can sit in my recliner. Anyhow now I can play Toruk and some of those types of games when I wish to escape reality and don't have a new book to read.

Teekay and the rest who are discussing the wonderful world of internet cafe's - My daughter is talking of opening one of those up here, but I keep telling her that these old farmers will not put out the necessary funds to support such an adventure. I would love to see her succeed with one, but I do fear in an area this size there won't be enough business to support such a venture. Oh and I was wondering how you were keeping the keyboards clean what with serving pastery in yours Mary?

Well back to surfing with my newfound speed.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Feb 6 19:12:44 PST 2001

Took care of the errant bold tag, so that things now appear appropriate. Will most likely archive sometime in the next day or so since things are broaching 300k.

Christi: Good luck with your project as I do mine. We will see. Take care all.

howard Tue Feb 6 19:00:23 PST 2001

TINA -- Acknowledgment is the first step towards recovery!

Perhaps y'all have seen this before, but I just received it again and thought it just as funny as the first time I heard it.

Long ago lived a seaman named Captain Bravo. He was a manly man's man
who showed no fear in facing his enemies.

On day, while sailing the seven seas, a look-out spotted a pirate ship
and the crew became frantic. Captain Bravo bellowed "Bring me my Red

The First Mate quickly retrieved the captain's red shirt and while
wearing the bright frock he led his mates into battle and defeated the

Later on, the look-out again spotted not one, but two pirate ships. The
captain again howled for his Red Shirt and once again vanquished the
pirates. That evening, all the men sat around on the deck recounting
the day's triumphs and one of them asked the captain: "Sir, why did you
call for your red shirt before battle?" The captain replied: "If I am
wounded in the attack, the shirt will not show my blood, and thus, you
men will continue to resist, unafraid."

All of the men sat in silence and marveled at the courage of such a
man's manly man. As dawn came the next morning, the look-out once again
spotted not one, not two, but TEN pirate ships approaching. The rank
and file all stared up in worshipful silence at the captain and waited
for his usual reply.

Captain Bravo gazed with steely eyes upon the vast armada arrayed
against his mighty sailing ship and, without fear,

"Get me my brown pants."

Mary Tue Feb 6 18:58:54 PST 2001

HEATHER: My internet cafe will be nothing like the snottery you describe. Snot I am not. My ideas include:

Membership cards. The membership is free, but you have to have the card to use the computers. They will work like a time card. You swipe the magnetic strip when you come in, swipe it at the counter when you finish and pay for how long you were online. I figure something like 20 cents@minute sounds about right.

The food will be more modest in flair and price. Maybe like a deli/bakery place. Sandwiches, pastries, good coffee, soft drinks blah blah blah. I don't think many suits will be walking in and out ordering lamb, but by golly the college kids can do their thesis research with some munchables on the stipend their parents allot them.

I think that the most important thing after speed of service and speed of connection is going to be atmosphere. It will have to be contemporary for the electronics to not look out of place, not intimidating to people who don't have much computer knowledge, and comfortable enough that people would want to spend time there. Muted colors in a minimalistic approach to neo-classical design sounds like just the ticket.

Maybe offer computer classes, internet classes or whatever else I come up with. I have no idea how many computers to have. There are beaucoup bugs to work out in this, and I am no business woman. I would imagine you would have to have exactly the right location to pull this off. Not to mention a catchy name.

Most likely there are places like this all over the US already and I just live in such a Podunk that I haven't been exposed. Day late and a dollar short as usual.

Tina Tue Feb 6 18:45:26 PST 2001

I'm confused. %-{

Mark Tue Feb 6 18:19:56 PST 2001

CHRISTI - I love you like a sister, well, maybe an adopted sister, or maybe the next-door-neighbor's sister.

Until then, however, see sentence 1.

IMA - One of the weakest ploys in writing is the old "It says in Webster's" gamut. Essentially it means I have no authority of my own, and I want to look like I know something, so I will quote from a known reference like I understand it.

Mark Tue Feb 6 17:42:53 PST 2001

Make that <b> and </b>

Mark Tue Feb 6 17:40:17 PST 2001

RICHARD -- Welcome to the club.

I checked the source for this page and spotted your html faw paw (that's faux pas to you Ima). There's no slash in your end tag. HTML tags have the logical sense of "start bold" and "stop bold." Slash is the 'stop' indicator.

 "" and "" 

Heather Tue Feb 6 17:35:03 PST 2001

Mary, we've got an internet Cafe here. It's part of the Bookshelf (Bookstore) and The Bookshelf Internet Cafe/Theater/Bar/and (deep breath) the Bookshelf's own Restaurant-Snottery. Did I say snottery? Oh, yes.

I suppose they felt justified being rather snotty; the Italian leather booth seats cost more EACH than the yearly wage of the chef. God forbid I even JOKE about spilling my coffee on the seat.

If you eat in the dining room these days it costs you $75.00 for a postage stamp sized portion of lamb, swimming in a bowl of 'I'm Not Sure It's Chili'.

Do they have postage stamp sized lambs in the U.S.? I thought not. I've never seen them here either. Must be part of a scientific accident, when they tried mixing the DNA of lambs with the DNA of dwarf titmice. And you can have a somewhat tasteless nibble of it, right here in good old Guelph. We should be amply rewarded for the most dangerous part of the experiment: Swallowing the check.

I haven't used the internet cafe, where you can fork over five dollars for a one ounce cup of cappuccino (mostly froth) while you surf the net, in a room full of students who can't afford the coffee. Yes, they will stare at you when you not only order the thimble-full of cappuccino, but take a chance on affording a beer.

What was that about hyperbole? He heh. (But I guarantee the lamb was $75.) Honestly, it's one of those places that even charge you for a glass of water!

It used to be so down-to-earth there. It used to be affordable. It used to be a great spot to wander, peeking at all the latest books and sipping coffee in the aisles. It used to be friendly. What happened? *sniff*


hordaw Tue Feb 6 17:34:46 PST 2001

Now wha'd I doo to upset I'mA? (the extra o in "doo" is the one missing from "for you to, Mister...")
I would ask what in hell is going on here lately, but I'd probably get the argument that hell is just a figment of fundamentalist imagination... :-)

TEEKAY -- You'll be pleased to know that I now have most of the parts for my new computer. The hard drive arrived today -- a 30gb IBM Deskstar. Still waiting for my SOYO mobo so I can mount the 750mhz Duron processor, SONY CDRW and ATI All-in-wonder video card on it. The 256mb memory will help also.

Must be a full moon somewhere.

Teekay Tue Feb 6 15:45:39 PST 2001

MARY: Surely you must have them in the states. The one we have here in Bathurst is located in a music store, and yes you can drink cappaccinos, but i'm not sure what you can download.
They just have these laptop computers and I guess it's for surfing the net and checking in with sites like this and checking your email.
I haven't used one because I have home computer. But it's great for if your travelling.

Teekay, for maybe the last time. today Tue Feb 6 15:32:07 PST 2001

RRRRRRRRRRRamon: I'm pretty sure your company are referring to porn sites.
But anyway, why don't you go to the library and use the computer there or an internet cafe?
We'll miss you if you go.

Eddie French Tue Feb 6 15:29:11 PST 2001

Bloody confusing here sometimes. Teekay is not Teekay. Ima is really pissed off. Richard likes it bold. Howard is Dowra....haroo..oh never mind.

Take a look at the handsome writer under you at laughsend in the jounalists section.
I loved your article about England sinking by the way.
Keep well everybody

Mary Tue Feb 6 15:28:58 PST 2001

TEEKAY: What is an internet cafe? Can you eat tiramisu while multi-tasking and drink capuccino while downloading mp3's? If so, we need that here in the US. Maybe attach them to bookstores or something. Hmmmm...I feel a higher tax bracket stampeding towards me. Oh, pool boy...

Teekay, for maybe the last time. today Tue Feb 6 15:18:58 PST 2001

RRRRRRRRRRRamon: I'm pretty sure your company are referring to porn sites.
But anyway, why don't you go to the library and use the computer there or an internet cafe?
We'll miss you if you go.

Teekay Tue Feb 6 15:16:40 PST 2001

Sometimes it's lonely on the other side of the world.
Especially when you feel like having a natter and all you guys are wrapped in your beds.
Sometimes it can turn a persons head.

BTW: What's html? How do I do it? And why are your posts in bold and mine aren't.

Teekay Tue Feb 6 15:13:47 PST 2001


Oh my goodness, I see I am being misrepresented!

If the person who was impersonating me said anything to offend anybody please remember it wasn't me.

If the imposter said anything extremely pleasing or artistic then I am willing to take the credit for it in the imposters abscence.

Gee wizzikers, it's lucky I came back. Who knows what may have happened!

Teekay Tue Feb 6 15:09:18 PST 2001

Well hello everyone, I'm back from 2 weeks delightful vacation on the carribean. I s'pose none of you missed me, probably didn't even know I was gone. Oh well. Though not here in body, I was here in spirit. Thought about you guys practically everyday.

Welcome to all the newcomers.

Must go and catch up on all the posts.

Glad to be back. :-)

Ima Tue Feb 6 15:06:14 PST 2001

Oh Heather dear it wasn't you I was referring to. It was that nasty naughty Hallee and Mr. Horwad. I would never even think that you were even slightly capable of doing anything so hurtful. I have been able to discern from your posts that you are a truly spiritual person and would always consider the feelings of others.

Halle dear, i thought you were a sweety and you may still be, but when you turn against a sad old woman the way you did, well, it's enough to give one the heeby jeebies.

And that goes for you to Mr. Hordaw you young whippersnapper. i don't know what this world is coming to.

BTW: Ralphs head was delicious.

John Tue Feb 6 14:39:46 PST 2001

MARY: ::}>SHLAMOOCH<{:: That's kind of a big shloppy kiss :)

How am I supposed to write a shortie about Burnout? That's the story of my life...It'll hafta be a novel...A long long story filled with bad punctuation. :)

Tue Feb 6 14:18:04 PST 2001

Way to go RICHARD! whoop! whoop! whoop!

Richard Tue Feb 6 14:10:36 PST 2001

! I'm sure I put in the right bold tags ???

Richard Tue Feb 6 14:02:52 PST 2001


Rachel: I've had similar thoughts along the lines of perfection. I wrote this at school a few days ago;

Should Have Been Perfect

"It should have been perfect."
"It wasn't perfect."
"It had to be perfect. Why wasn't it perfect?"
"A word... an action... anything."
"Could it have been perfect?"
"Nothing's perfect."

Well, I seem to be doing a lot of drawing at the moment; I'm hooked on the evaluation of paintshop pro 7, because it allows be to scan sketches I did on notepad paper and school and then fix it up, erasing the lines as if they were never there.

Oh well - back to real life. Wish I could spend longer here but I gotta lot to do...

Heather Tue Feb 6 13:58:03 PST 2001

Oh, and Jerry - thank you!

Heather :o)

Heather Tue Feb 6 13:56:30 PST 2001

Ramon! Sorry to hear that you won't be able to post on this page for a while, though you can sneak in to read what's going on. You can email me your work any time. Kisses not required, but happily accepted none the less.


Heather Tue Feb 6 13:53:06 PST 2001

Ima, first of all, I did not say ANYWHERE that I rejected your story. Want the reference?
Here is my post concerning the issue, from Sat. Feb. 3, 18:43:47 PST:

Ima, I don't know if it will fit! I was thinking of beings without physical bodies when I wrote the introduction for Phantasium. I suppose satan could be bodiless if he liked...

Other opinions?
(I'm not in the mood for decisions)


How did you read that as a rejection? I think you are reading far too much into what I said. I said I DON"T KNOW if it will fit. I did NOT say IT WON'T FIT, nor did I say your story was not welcome in the collection.
Secondly, I do not believe whining is a good way to get approval. I could understand a breaking heart if PERHAPS I had said that your story sucks. IT DOESN'T. I liked it.

My other post regarding this issue said things clearly enough. It is up to you to read it carefully.


Rachel - ouch - did the glue come out of his hair? OUCH.
I used sugar water with a high sugar content. Only problem was if it rained too hard. I remember one day when it was very foggy/humid out, and I had my hair spiked into what is termed a 'flat-top' and in the weather the ends curled down. It looked neat anyhow!
I never had blue hair permanently - instead I bleached my hair as white as I could get it, and put food colouring onto a comb and applied my 'daily colour choice' that way. It was neat because it came out with one shampoo. (Not my hair; the food colouring!)

Hope all is well in everyone's respective corners of the globe, and may your muses bring you flowers and dynamite.


Mary Tue Feb 6 09:26:07 PST 2001

CHRISTI: Your hug is more than welcome. I am bikissual.

Christi Tue Feb 6 09:07:40 PST 2001

Here's one vote for Ima. Gooooo, Ima!
Having a hard time writing this ... laughing too hard.
Oh, and here I see that Teekay has thrown in her two cents for Ima as well. That's two plus Ima's and however many personalities she allows to vote for her. Now I've lost count.

Jack, That's a lot of blood for one evening. How'd it go?
There. You've already answered my question in your next post.
I'm gearing myself up to work on a fairly disturbing story myself. Good luck and good dreams to you.

Rachel, That was quite a picture your son painted for me. Throwing up a baby, indeed! You poor thing. Pity party is on me. What would you like for dessert? (That probably doesn't sound too appetizing. How 'bout a nice 7up and some soda crackers?) Here are some get-well kisses. XXXXXXX

Rosemary, I'm sorry, I wasn't ignoring you! I had never heard of that company. Let us know what your friend's experience is like with them, won't you?
I hope you'll be contributing to shortie night this week.

Ramon, I was wondering what happened to you. Hopefully you will have a computer at home soon. Email me anytime; it's above. ;)

Mary, {{{{{Hugs}}}}}} I'm not a guy, but what the hey? My favorite cereal was Lucky Charms for many years. I still love it but my body likes shredded wheat squares better. My body can be so incredibly boring. It likes exersize too, what a sap!

G'day all! Happy Tuesday/Wednesday!


Mary Tue Feb 6 08:45:43 PST 2001

BARNABUS: Have you seen the movie "X-Men"? It deals in a school for super powers (mutants mostly) but a lot of psionic development ideas if you need fodder. Now you owe me a kiss too.

Mary for lack of anything better to do again Tue Feb 6 08:40:06 PST 2001

What is everyone's favorite breakfast cereal?

Mine is Fruity Pebbles or Cinnamon Life

My birthday is October 10 by the way, for whoever asked that.

Mary Tue Feb 6 08:30:45 PST 2001

RAMON: Feel free to email me anytime, IF you send me a kiss. Hehe.

Mary Tue Feb 6 08:29:11 PST 2001

RRRRRRRRamon! You will be missed and you can feel free to email me anytime.

Mary Tue Feb 6 08:27:15 PST 2001

JOHN: I won't take your money, but give me a kiss and I will forgive you. Actually, I wasn't even upset about anything, I am just always looking for a way to finagle a man into kissing me. I am getting fairly good at it, as I am kissed at least twice a day. C'mon John, hit me with your best shot, but don't try anything tricky; I am a married woman.

(PERSONAL) - Ramon Tue Feb 6 08:22:19 PST 2001

Hi all. I see there are some new faces. I am keeping this short. This will be my last posting in The
reason being that our IT security people have introduced
new e-mail and internet policy, basically saying that
anything considered offensive or inappropriate would
result in disciplinary action. They are also going to monitor all internet access which means they can read thismessage. Despite the policy being
several pages thick their interpretation of it all is very
vague. So in in order to keep from being disciplined Iam
not going to post anything. I should be okay to read stuff
but I am not risking anything more. This doesn't mean you have heard the last of me Oh no. I still have stories I want to share so I will find a way to do this. I do have e-mail at home so may I contact some of you individually. Of course if you would prefer I didn't then e-mail me a one worded message "NO", I'll take the hint. Of course feel free to mail me if you like with stories, thoughts, reflections, etc etc etc. One day I will have a computer so my work can........better not just in case.

Take Care all

(sniff sniff)

Rosemary Tue Feb 6 07:34:15 PST 2001


It looks like winter is just about finished here. It's heading into the 70's most days now.

You make schizophrenia sound almost comforting. It would be nice to have someone with you when ever you need to assign blame.

If Mary won't forgive you, I will. I don't even know what you did but it didn't bother me.

Your last post didn't sound like you. The tone of voice was wrong and--horror of all horrors---there were typos in it. That is really unusual for you. I'm beginning to wonder if we are having imposters among the skitzos and unsigned posters.

I didn't hear from anyone about and my friend will be receiving a contract from them by the end of the week. I'm going to assume none of you had heard of them and were not just ignoring me. (erased 'as usual')

Writers don't really have to be solitary souls.

Allein Tue Feb 6 07:18:09 PST 2001

Rachel - Did someone say party? *grins* I never wanted blue hair - I always wanted purple hair. I have no idea why - just to be different I guess. My parents said no.
*smiles* and *hugs*

John Tue Feb 6 06:25:09 PST 2001

MARY: Please accept my most humble apologies. My rash assumption that you were the grammer-tipper was based on rumor. If I give you money, will you forgive me?

howard Tue Feb 6 05:26:54 PST 2001

Schizophrenia means you never have to be alone!
My doctor diagnosed me as having schizophrenic tendencies. I was beside myself with worry!
Then I told him to send the bill to the other guy...


Rachel Tue Feb 6 03:41:38 PST 2001

Heather - GRINS! Hum, know what I did the other day? My son wanted to have blue hair. His hair is dark, as is my own. I thought and thought of how I could do some blue hair. Then I came up with sidewalk chalk. I mixed this with glue and gel to come up with some very hard, blue hair that delighted my son to no end. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not so very easy going that I would allow blue hair just any day of the week. It was for a special spirit day at school. I had to stop a few of the wild punk kids on the street to ask them what they suggested for making hair stand up and that sort of thing. Each person I spoke to was full of great ideas. I thought that the glue would be easiest. I hoped that the gel would help make the glue come out easier. I wonder how I will feel if my son ever really wants to have blue hair. I guess i wouldn't worry too much.

Teekay - I just make casual conversation, or sometimes I will do something nice for a person. Now, I don't think I'm going to say much more about this. I'm just a casual Joe, people seem to like that (smiles).

Christi - I do not feel better at all. I feel like death warmed over. My son asked me if I thought that I might be able to throw-up the baby. Now there is a thought I don't want to ponder (yuck)! I guess this morning I feel a little better, but I'm still not right. I keep thinking that this can't last much longer, then it does (argh)!!!! Look at that, I'm so fed up that I'm using repeating exclamation marks. I really do try to avoide that sort of thing (grins).

Now I need to go back to bed. Yes, lets have a pity party for Rachel (grin/wink).

Ciao for now,


Jack Tue Feb 6 03:12:50 PST 2001

Manhunter was thorough chilling. Rewatching Silence of the Lambs had its own moments. All of that said, I am wondering if I have the power to delve into the mental disturbance that the author of Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hanibal, has the power to create in character and plot and all the more. I have ordered Red Dragon in book form so I can see what it is like in written form. I am still wondering if I have the power to render a certain plot line that I have toyed with for ten years and see if it will come to pass. The time is available so maybe it will become a reality. We will see. I can only say that Thomas Harris is a master and I can look on in wonder.

Vocab tip of the day Tue Feb 6 02:11:18 PST 2001

1) Person having schizophrenia

1) a major mental disorder of unknown cause typically characteristed by separation
between the thought proceesses and emotion
2) a distortion of reality accompanied by delusions and hallucinations
3) A fragmentation of the personality, motor disturbances, bizarre behaviour etc. with no
loss of basic intellectual functions.

Sounds like most writers when they put themselves in their character's shoes...
From Webster's New world dictionary

Barnabas Tue Feb 6 02:10:28 PST 2001

Argghhhh! Pant, wheez sigh. Sorry, had to get that out of my system. I think I'm repeating
information but...

There are English dialect words by the way, you must remember. People often forget this,
what means one thing in one area of the world and another in another part. That's what
makes it a dialect.

Following the above logic and if you were looking at number 3 definition of Dialect,
"hawker" is indeed a deviation from the standard speech because it actually means "food
hawker" from where I come from even though else where it would mean just peddler of
wares. Therefore there is a preconceived idea there, that's what makes it a dialect word
(in my opinion). Back to you Jim...

Kiasu was brought over from Chinese dialects but its use in English sentences makes it a
dialect word because it is peculiar to us, no one else in the world uses the word "Kiasu"
in English sentences.

Like I say, I don't follow the books so I have no idea. I don't know if I'm right or wrong.

Ima/ Nurse (whatever personality I'm talking to here)
I personally don't care whether the inmates are psychotic or not, if they are Psionic, I
want them in the club! We need to nuture the talent (this conversation has given me a
brilliant idea for a novel, have a psychotic Psionic! What chaos would be wrecked!).

I'll have to work on the detail.

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Feb 6 01:46:52 PST 2001

Ordered and got Manhunter - the movie version of Red Dragon . I had heard that it was more disturbing than Silence of the Lamb. They were right. At any rate, I am looking at both Manhunter and Silence of the Lamb and then going on to Hannibal. Having actually read the book Hannibal I am wondering if Ridley Scott pulls off what is in the book. It would take a certain amount of chutzpa if he did, but I plan to watch Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs and then going to Hannbibal and seeing what happens. We Will see.

Mon Feb 5 23:18:59 PST 2001

Ima Nidiot.
Occupation: retired.
occassional head cook.

Mon Feb 5 23:16:53 PST 2001

Sometimes I am just too much person for one body.
Ima Nidiot
(schizophrenic and recently daignosed MPD)

Teekay Mon Feb 5 23:13:30 PST 2001

BARNABAS: Let's just clear this up a bit. Now, I understand your first word K?????? was a dialect word from your birth language and that is what I thought you were going to be sharing. but then you took an English word and using the English meaning, you tried to pass it off as a dialect word of your birth country.
So that is why I'm a teensy weeny teeny tiny weeny bit confused.

IMA: I am so sorry for the shoddy treatment you are getting her. People should be paying to have your story in Phantasium. I just don't know what this world is coming to. Respect your elders. That's what my Mama always told me, and I respect you Ima and I'm just sorry that no one else seems to.

BARNABAS: You won't find Ima's works under that name. She write under the name of, well, she asked me not to tell you, but the initials are V. H. and also P.C.
And GET OUTA HERE is Baxter really Harry Potter's middle name???
Any way, Ima sent me an email and told me this, because she knew I respected her. She said she sensed it, it was just a feeling she He-e-e-y wait a minute. Could that mean she's psychic?

Nurse Crapchatt DON of the rocky rest retiremnet villa Mon Feb 5 22:54:45 PST 2001

Dear people of the notebook, I appeal to your sensibilities. I hope sincerely that I am not breaching patient confidentiality ethics in telling you this, but it is a matter of life and death.

You see Ima Nidiot a patient of ours, some of you may know her as Ima Ryder. She is not Ima Ryder, she imagines herself married to Dr. Ryder who works here part time.

Anyway, I digress. The reason I'm here is to beg you to be nice to Ima. You see,at the moment she has Ralph Nuggets head stuck in the oven and there is nothing we can do or say to make her remove it.

You can understand that this is causing considerable distension amongst the other patients. They thought they were getting roast pork for dinner.

No one, including Ernie Gobb is going to eat Ralph Nuggets head, and if you ever knew him you would understand why. That man had th3e snottiest nose, and I'm certain Ima didn't clean it out before she basted him.

So c'mon guys, give us a break. Let Ima put her bloody story in phantasium, by the time it's ready for publication she may be dead and gone by then, but if we eat Ralph's head, well, we've gotta live with it forever.

Also Mr. 'Hop' was it a psychic club you were starting or a psychotic club.
Ernie Grubbs said Ima said it was a psychotic club and there are about 15 inmates here who want to join.

Thankyou for your time and I do hope you decide to help.

Jerry Mon Feb 5 21:39:46 PST 2001

DRINKS ALL AROUND! My ISP just gave me the new number for the upgraded server, I am now online at 53,333 kbps instead of the old 33.6, a nice increase. Now if I can just stay online without getting bumped every five mins. I will be very happy.


Heather Mon Feb 5 21:36:40 PST 2001

Barnabas - I got your drift. Did you get the one I posted below?

Heather Mon Feb 5 21:27:50 PST 2001

Barnabas, what you describe needs to be written into the story! Use what you just said about what you imagine the market place to look like and you will have solved the dilemma.

Heather Mon Feb 5 21:24:27 PST 2001

Ima, I did not mean to imply that your story wasn't ALLOWED in Phantasium. I intended to give you an honest opinion about how well I thought it would fit with the subject matter. The idea of including a story about satan did not occur to me since I likely wouldn't have written one. That most assuredly does not mean it can't be in the collection. Whatever I did or did not imagine for this round robin is irrelevant. You are perfectly welcome to contribute, as is anyone who has the workbook password.

Hallee, the first image of satan in my mind is indeed a physical being. Most people fall into the trap by not believing that he is a real person.
Perhaps those first impressions stuck with me, so I didn't immediately picture it as a ghost story.

Instead of griping about the imagined loss of some virtual rights, post it.

Mary Mon Feb 5 21:09:08 PST 2001

Well, I for one have absolutely nothing of value to post today. Only a slight down-grade from my usual chatter, I know. So I will just send best wishes to you all and good luck on your latest projects, whatever they might be. Write strong.

Dialect tip of the hour Mon Feb 5 20:57:26 PST 2001

Definition- Shortened form of the word "sabotage."
When used it implies that someone has created problems for something or someone.

Used as a verb, for example "How could you sabo me?" and "How could you sabo your own team mates?"

This is used mostly in casual conversation and rarely in newspapers or Televised speeches or news.

Sabo King
Shortened version of the phrase "Sabotage King"
Describes an individual in a group. Someone termed "Sabo King" is so called because he or she usually creates problems for the group.
Used as a descriptive noun.

Used sometimes as a minor sentence(?), for example "Sabo King!" as an exclaimation of despair at the problems a person causes.

At other times a noun. Example: "He's the sabo king of our squad. If something goes wrong it's always his fault."

Vocab Tip of the day Mon Feb 5 20:55:20 PST 2001

1) the sum total of local characteristics of speech
2) the sum total of an individual's characteristics of speech
3) popularlay any form of speech considered as dviating from a real or imaginary
standard speech.
4) The form or variety of spoken laguage perculiar to a region community, social group,
Taken from Webster's New World dictionary.

Barnabas "Hop" Mon Feb 5 20:54:22 PST 2001

You forget, I'm from an Asian country too...
I wasn't talking about food hawkers just hawkers in general.

The stalls are covered to shade from the sun if you get my drift. Basically, I'm imagining
counters with some green cloth supported on sticks hanging above the counter.

From the confusion I'm causing I'm glad someone knows what a hawker is.

I checked what "dialect" meant in the dictionary. Its above this post as I hope you can see (looks
like I'm the Vocab tipper of the day). As you may or may not know, the word Kiasu appears in
Chinese dialects but people from my country use it even in English sentences. It is not peculiar
to my country but its use in English sentences is. So, I would consider its usuage in my country
as a dialect word.

The same goes for hawker and hawker centre. In most places "hawker" is a seller of wares but
from where I come from if we talk about a "hawker" we usually mean "food hawker."

That's why we need a Psionic organisation, to stop the frauds and to show who is really a

Wasn't "Baxter" Harry Potter's middle name? Maybe I'm just confused because I don't read the

Nope, sorry to disappoint you. The name "Hop" came to one day when I was visiting a chatroom
when they asked for a name at least 3 characters. Since "Barnabas" was just too long and I didn't
want to reveal my name I put in Hop and since I liked the name so much it became my chatroom

Glad your shortstory won the "pot of gold." One day, I hope to become published as well.

I state my reasons above of my to call me Hop.

It's great that you've written so many novels. and gotten them published. I'll have to look some up
in the library.
Technically, the short story is correct, that is it follows short story format. Single plot and a
beginning, rising, and a climax or twist at the end.
Compared to you (and everyone else in fact) I'm an amateur (probably worse). So my advice may
be faulty if I do post some advice.

I always thought Angels could morph and be physical or etheral as required.

That's a great, funny story. I was chuckling as I read the ending.

Christi Mon Feb 5 20:31:49 PST 2001

Ima, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I think you have an excellent point, ma'am.

Hallee, I also think you have an excellent point.

With all these points flying around, I'm reminded of when my momma taught me it wasn't polite to point. Haw haw.

Mary, I now believe the Grammer Tipper to be Mark. Can't BELIEVE I missed it! Duh! And dang it, if I'm wrong again, well MARK, just sue me!

John, HAHAHAHA, as well. Tres funny.

Heather, You sound to be on the upswing. It's nice to see you laughing again!

Howard, Congratulations! A pot o' gold cannot be a bad thing. And since we all know you're loaded now, may I borrow some money?

Debra, Yikes. I think you just wrote your own little horror story. It's bad to be sick when you're the mommy. Hang on!

Rachel and Mark, I hope the two of you are feeling better also. :)

Teekay, Happy very early birthday! ;]

All, Mine's on May 21st. Don't forget! ;)

Barnabas, If I'm to call you Hop, I must know why. Can't go around calling people things like 'Hop' without good provocation, you know.
I read your story and didn't know quite what to say. I'm still mulling it over. I think I'll have to read it again and let you know later.

Hi Jerry.

It's great to see the WB AND the NB getting so much action lately. Woo woo!


Debra Mon Feb 5 19:24:19 PST 2001

Thanks guys:

I don't mind faking sick, but I hate actually being sick.

My kids are sick too. My twins threw up for the first time ever in their two year old lives. It was awful. The look on little Gracie's face when that substance came out. She was horrified and confused.

Then their butts started to go off. Oiy. I thought that would never stop.


I need info. please e-mail me.


Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 5 16:49:12 PST 2001

Isn't it great that we have such a diverse bunch in here now. A hint to the new folks though, when a story line such as *P* is started, one must stay with the intentions of the person who took it upon themselves to do all the work involved in starting and maintaining the project. Should one wish to start another, I am sure there would be contributions. A simple note to Jack about the topic, and a write-up for the beginning is in order, oh and you MUST be willing to do all the work involved in keeping such a round robin going.

Just a thought.


howard Mon Feb 5 16:26:08 PST 2001

I'mA -- What Hallee said.

John Mon Feb 5 16:23:15 PST 2001

Sorry to deviate from real horrible things... I found a Grammer Tip in my archives:

As the delightful aromas swirlled around in the kitchen, little Sally watched her mother prepare the annual family reunion feast. Sally’s mother unwrapped the dinner ham, promptly cut it in half lengthwise, placed the two halves into two separate breadpans and placed them in the oven. Sally had never seen her mother prepare a ham is such a way so she asked, “Mommy, why do you cut the ham in half and bake it in separate pans?” Sally’s mom answered, “That’s the way my mother taught me to bake a ham and her ham always turned out delicious.” Sally accepted the answer, but being an inquisitive tyke, she decided she needed further research. Sally approached her grandmother. “Grandma” she began, “Why do you cut the ham in half and bake it in two separate pans?” Sally’s grandmother smiled and placed her hand gently on Sallys cheek, “Well, my mother, your great grandmother, always made the most perfect ham and that’s how she taught me to do it”. Sally was pleased with the warmth but determined to get to the bottom of this puzzle. She found her great grandmother and inquired in her sweet little voice, “Grammer...why do you cut a ham in half and bake it in two separate pans?” Sallys great grandmother rocked a bit in her chair and thought carefully. After a moment, she rocked forward, pointed her crooked finger at Sally and said, “It’s because your great grandfather was too damn lazy to get a decent job and all I had to cook with was those two old bread pans that I got as a wedding present!”

Ima Mon Feb 5 16:14:22 PST 2001

Entity:(n)- 1:A things existence, as dist. from its qualities or relations.
2: Something that has a real existence.

Horror:(n) terrified shuddering: intense dislike (of);(md.) shuddering, as symptom of disease; horrifying thing' the`s, fit of horror or depression, esp. as in delerium tremens.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm let us ponder.

Ima never gonna let it rest. Mon Feb 5 15:43:31 PST 2001

'Open every door, welcome every entity. And tell your tales, that they may become legends.'

Oh look. I do believe that was written in the Phantasium introduction, could somebody please explain exactly what it means? My poor old brain isn't quite as quick as it used to be.

Ima Mon Feb 5 15:38:01 PST 2001

Well dears, my decrepit old heart is breaking. Seems I shall either have to go and stick my wrinkled ancient head in an oven (gas, not electric)or seize my trusty quill and take another stab at writing a suitable little something for **P**

Hallee....again Mon Feb 5 15:28:54 PST 2001

Well, I had an error when I tried to post this, so I'll try again. If there are two posts from me with this similar theme I apologize.

What I was saying was that it's my belief that **P** is intended to be ghost stories, not horror. While ghosts stories usually fall under the horror category, horror does not always fall under the ghost category.

I think.



Hallee Mon Feb 5 15:21:44 PST 2001

IMA: Actually, to some, Satan is physical, as he was part of the hosts of angels that were sent from heaven. There are numerous examples in the Bible of angels being in physical form, and even a passage about taking care who you turn away because it might be an angel. That would leave you to believe that angels walk among us. And since one-third of the heavenly hosts were thrown out of Heaven, you must also assume that thousands (or tens of thousands or whatever) of Satan's angels also walk the earth.

That is...if you believe.


John Mon Feb 5 14:59:43 PST 2001

The night we all went a grammer-tippin' was the last night that I saw grandpa laugh....
Gotta be a story in there somewhere.

Ima Mon Feb 5 14:34:34 PST 2001

Dear barnabas Hop, I am very pleased to meet you and I would be delighted for your input on my story.

Incredibly I have written 25 novels in my lifetime, 20 of which have been published, but this is my very first short story ever, so I really am not at all sure wether I'm doing it correctly or not.

Anxiously awaiting your comments.
Ima Ryder.

Mary Mon Feb 5 14:32:30 PST 2001

OK, I want to know why so many people think I am the grammar tipper. ;-)

JOHN: Oh yes, the topic for shortie night is indeed BURNOUT this week. Heather, I tip my hat to you...thank you vera much.

Write strong.

Teekay Mon Feb 5 14:28:58 PST 2001

BARNABAS: Hawker is not a dialect word from your country?!?!? I thought you were doing dialect words from your country.
And how about Uri Geller?? Sucked all those people in for years. turns out he's a fraud.

RACHEL: I just can't get beyonf strangers hugging you. What do you talk about? I imagine it would have to be pretty intense, but then how do you get in a pretty intense conversation with a stranger in a couple of minutes. Unless it's a brawl that is. Honestly please tell, coz I'm trying to figure if it's in what you say or if you're blessed with charisma. Or not blessed depending on who's doing the hugging heh heh.

JERRY: I want you to know that I would have really enjoyed the post you lost. Thanks, it would have been terrific. :-)

DEBRA: I've ordered your book so get cracking on that lovely little personal note that you're going to send to me so I can stick it in the book.

Grammar tipping, is that the same as cow tipping. And is it illegal? And what does Grampa think of it?

HOWARD: Whoooeeeeee, congratulations!!! Am off to take a lot. I subscribed to your stories, I thought they'd send me links by email.

BARNABAS: Harry & Potter, yes, I see the connection, but what has Baxter got to do with anything?

If you don't mind awfully, could you all get cracking and write a novel so I can buy it?

Ima Mon Feb 5 13:59:18 PST 2001

Heather dear I am sorely disappointed that you feel my little offering is unsuitable for phantasium. You based your rejections on the fact that satan was a physical being, though he isn't at all my dear. Satan only lives in the hearts and minds of men (being the human race).
If seen at all it is only with the minds eye and not the physical one.
I have not lived so many years on this earth to not know this.

Heather Mon Feb 5 13:44:02 PST 2001

Oh, avoid hyperbole 'cause it's worse than all the plagues of Egypt and a ten tonne transport (driven by Stephen King) bearing down on ya! (Shall I give another example?)

Actually, John, I'd say it's ok to use hyperbole in dialogue, if one of your characters uses that sort of humour, or is prone to exaggerating. I would refrain from using it in your exposition.
The topic for Thursday shortie nights is suggested by Mary, and I gather that she posts her ideas for the shortie night whenever she feels she's got one ready. She posted this weeks topic yesterday or Saturday, if my memory serves me elephant cake. The topic is 'Burnout'.

Howard, Congratulations! Pot of Gold - wow! Did you get it in the mail? Was there a leprechaun hiding in it? Smack him over the head and tell him to share if you can catch the little snoot! And don't fall for any 'red ribbon' tricks. Ok, I know. The Pot of Gold was an award. But I like the thought of Howard chasing a leprechaun around the house, outwitting him, and then writing a short story about it. I would believe you.

Gariess, where are you? Were you changing lightbulbs again and fell off the chair? I hope not! I'd hate to think of a glass bulb imploding in a pair of jockey shorts. What that could do to a man? Eeeeeek! I hear tungsten filaments promote rashes.

Eddie - great to see you on board again!

Debra - do get well. In fact, get well sooner.

Americo, have you turned on your computer since the weekend?
Do stop lurking and post! Tell us what adventures Jon and his cohort have been into/up to!

Rachel, continued blessings your way. I think I would have been burned alive in this life if it there wasn't such a noticeable lack of Puritans in the area! I haven't seen the guy from the Quaker cereal box, but if I do, you can bet I'll be running far away. It won't matter to him that I was raised on his evil oatmeal.

Litter, do tell us another tale like the one last Thursday!

I enjoyed it vera vera mucha.

Teekay? Have you fainted from the heat? Where art thou?

Jerry - sorry 'bout the woes of your ISP.

And to everyone I've missed saying hello to: HELLO!

John Mon Feb 5 12:55:45 PST 2001

GRAMMER TIPPER (I assume is Mary): Does that mean that I should avoid hyperbole even if I am trying to be sarcastic? Exaggeration is one of my favorite avenues. Just curious.

See ya

Grammar tip of the day: Mon Feb 5 10:55:20 PST 2001


Hyperbole is an exaggeration to achieve emphasis or a humorous effect. It is a figure of speech often employed in advertising and comedy, but it should seldom be used in formal writing.

The mechanic charges a gazillion dollars for a tune-up.
There is nothing on earth like Ambia perfume.

John Mon Feb 5 10:10:25 PST 2001

Hi All!

I’ve been keeping up with the posts but I just ain’t had nuthin’ to add. It’s just so interesting to read along a stay caught up on things.

I’ve been working on a story about Scuba Diving and Trust Relationships with a Hawaiian backdrop. It’s pretty fun so far. I’m going to see if I can get rid of that scattershot approach to story-telling that I can’t seem to shake.

Can anyone tell me the earliest time I can get the Thursday Topic and from where? I seem to find out about it late in the day. I feel so...(sob) very left out..(sniff)

Allright allright...I want a head what?


howard Mon Feb 5 09:43:07 PST 2001

JERRY -- When I've typed a long, complex post, and have not used a notepad (I normally use NoteTab Light) I use the COPY function just before I hit the POST button. Then, if my post doesn't make it, I can PASTE it somewhere so I can try it posting it again later without losing it. At my age I don't like to have to do things twice, except for some things, which copy/paste wouldn't help me with anyway, and which I probably should stop thinking about because it isn't April yet.

SASQUATCH -- "She had a little Yeti in her!?! No wonder your sire was embarrassed! :-)
Is yours a matriarchical or a patriarchical society? Who wears the pants in the family? Figuratively speaking, of course. (That last sentence fragment used with the blessing of the Grammar Person -- Thanks for the tips! They're very useful!)

HOP -- Are you the "Hop" that Dr. Seuss wrote about? :) I'll read your short story as soon as I can cut a break from this routine.

ALL - My short story "The Girl Who Played Debussey" (on Themestream) just won the coveted "Pot of Gold" award, which I do sincerely appreciate but had never heard of before my notification. Apparently someone on Themestream posts links to what she considers very good stories, and people subscribe to a newsletter containing those links.

Hot&sour soup's almost gone, so lunchtime must be over...
back on yer heads...

Debra Mon Feb 5 09:32:33 PST 2001

I'm still living in a sick house and now I'm behind the times but one of the funniest things I heard on the Simpson's was when Marge said Homer were driving down the street and Marge said

"Homer when did we become the bottom rung of society?'

and Homer said

"I think it was right after the cold snap killed off all the hobos!"



Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 5 08:33:45 PST 2001

I have considered using word, or notepad or some such software to use in posting here, but it is rare that such things happen. Right now our ISP is changing over from 33.6 equipment to 56K, so I guess such interruptions of service should be expected, just not when I am ready to post, if you don't mind.

Oh I was aware of the use of hawker, from my law enforcement days, our laws use the term for such things as carnival side shows to farmers markets.


Heather Mon Feb 5 06:42:08 PST 2001

Barnabas (Hop!) So I gather that the hawker stalls, being covered, were not in use, and the people milling about were those who either hawk their food or were waiting for it to open?
I think this needs to be clarified somehow so that the reader gets a definate idea of what the purpose is for choosing this setting, and what the people/Paladin worshippers are doing there. Thanks for clearing up the hawker issue! Nice to learn new things.

I've seen asian market places that sound similar to what you describe, selling food, and also I've seen markets with little stalls selling everything you could imagine in both an African setting and a middle eastern setting - all on TV or in movies. I have seen actual footage of the African market, taken by a friend who visited. Very neat. You should see what the 'hawkers' can do with used sneakers they purchase at a bulk rate from used clothing suppliers in North America! (they bid on bundles of used items that shoppers here wouldn't buy; from second-hand stores like 'Savers', or 'Value Village') They use a pail of water and small stones to scrub the running shoes to a shining white again. So white I would have thought the shoes to be new. The condition of the shoes before they scrubbed them was bad enough that no one wanted them, and they would have been considered garbage here. If we tried scrubbing our old shoes the same way, we would throw out a lot fewer pairs!

Off for now,

Barnabas "Hop" Mon Feb 5 02:53:59 PST 2001

Dialect word of the hour

Dictionary Definition 1- A peddler/ seller of goods.
Definition 2- One who rears hawks.

Colloquial use
Where I come from most hawker's (using definition 1) have small stalls much like the
Middle East is portrayed in the movies. In the olden days the stalls used to be mobile and
usually sold food.
These days the government has banned such stalls since it is difficult check the hygiene
of a hawker. Now only hawkers selling non-edible products are allowed to continue.
When someone in Singapore says "hawker", he or she usually means "food hawker."

Hawker Centres
As hawker's are part of my country's heritage (and the fact that closing down their stalls
would put many useful cooks out off business) the government created buildings/centre's
known as Hawker Centres. Here hawker's can rent stalls from the government (I think) and sell their food.

As far as I know this is unique to Singapore and are similar to food courts except much

Barnabas "Hop" Mon Feb 5 02:51:49 PST 2001

My story about fishing is up in the workshop, it's a Sci-fi story... again. Its about fishing. Of
course, knowing my style with 'the stone' its an analogy. Please comment. Please, please, please
(just for good measure).

Call me "Hop" rather than "Barnabas" if you like since Barnabas takes rather long to type and Hop is only 3 letters.

Here's something I found out about Magic Knights Rayearth. I finished playing the rather
average game (find magical power, find weapons, find armour go kill bad guy) the ending was
interesting enough, the princess who summoned the Magic Knights is actually the one causing
the monsters to appear because she loves the bad guy and forgets to pray for peace. So the Magic
Knights have to kill her. It is a younger version of the princess who has summoned the Magic
Knights to do the deed. I must say for such an otherwise linear plot the ending is pretty good and
imaginative. In the end you have to fight the older princess.

Ima read your story. Can't say anything about it, maybe when I've given it some thought although
the names (Harry Baxter and Potter) seem awfully familiar...

Litter suggested you should use a word processor and cut and paste. I strongly suggest it as well.

All that talk about hawkers reminded me that perhaps I should explain the term from how I see
it. Hoped the above cleared it up, the hawker's I refer to in my story are just small stalls selling
goods and food.
I was thinking of my country before WWII where such places were comman.

I had two endings because half of me (the writer half) wanted a dramatic tragic ending. The
other half of me (the reader half) wanted a happy ending. I was torn apart so I wrote both down.

Here's to hoping, so far no psisonic's contacted me which probably means I'm doomed to fail.
I suspect no one collected because if you could see into the future, you would realise what a
meaningless life you would have and no peace with the media haunting you. What about all
those documentaries on psionics?

Jerry Ericsson Sun Feb 4 21:54:19 PST 2001

Rassenfrazening sosnndlaek@#$#DFj ISP - just did a long post, covering everything from hugs to the weather and the STUPID ISP bumped me off, just when I pressed the POST button!

Anyhow you WOULD have enjoyed it, but I simply don't have the gumpshion to type the whole dang thing again this late at night. Suffise to say, I will have a few words with the fellow who furnishes our Internet service when I drop off the check for next month.


Jack Beslanwitch Sun Feb 4 21:32:08 PST 2001

Been a bit busy completely updating and revising the Norwescon 24 web site, a major science fiction convention that takes place in the Seattle area on Easter weekend. Noticed that someone was mentioning birthdays. Mine is May 27 and I will not mention what year. The Notebook's birthday is April 2, 1996, so we are working our way towards five years here. Not too bad, actually. Right now I have been obsessing between 3D graphics ala Poser and learning Action Script and Flash, so you may see a bit of all three at some point either here or on forwriters. We will see. Take care everybody and glad to see that Americo is back.

Rachel Sun Feb 4 19:02:33 PST 2001

Teekay - Yes, strangers hug me. The hug thing will most often happen after a brief encounter. People will touch me without even having talked to me. Just pat me on the arm or shoulder and smile at me, call me dear, that sort of stuff. People will make comment on my smile, or my voice (when they hear me talking to my children or husband), or some other thing about me. I'm not sure why. Children gravitate to me. I'm sure that had I been born in a different time I would have been burned alive (grins).

Take care you,


Teekay Sun Feb 4 14:40:40 PST 2001

Morning All,

HALLEE: No, you didn't offend me at all. In fact I was quite chuffed. Your note was exceedingly tactful and I don't think it could possibly have offended even the most sensitive personality. Was it public relations you work in, did you say? :-)

MARY & HEATHER: I cut off my eyebrows once. I think I was about 10. I was standing in front of my mirror armed with a pair of manicure scissors and I don't know why (maybe genetics) but I just gave a snip here and a snip there and before you know it, I was eyebrowless. When I surfaced for breakfast the next morning my Mother knew there was something different about me, but she just couldn't put her finger on it. Long fringe. Took ages for them to grow back.

BARNABAS: I don't know. I couldn't tell you unless I read it. :-)
Also there was this organisation years ago offering huge amounts of money for anyone who could prove their psychic abilities or psionic abilities. Nobody collected. So I think you may only get a really small gathering.
Your shorty made me laugh with the pick your own ending bit.
Thanks for the dialect tip. I'm going to use that word today. I hope the opportunity arises. Anyway, if it doesn't I'll just make it up. Nobody wil be any the wiser, unless they're Chinese or read the notebook. :-)

MARK: You just thank the good Lord you have eyebrows to ache!
Hope you're better soon.

RACHEL: Strangers come and hug you???

My birthday is November 8th.

Heather Sun Feb 4 09:34:11 PST 2001

Hi Barnabas, and you're welcome. I did realize that 'hawker' could mean those who care for or keep hawks, but in your story there are no mention of animals/birds other than the cages. Just noticed that there wasn't any reference to the stalls after that, or what is in them, so you may want to add a short sentence detailing what's under the green tarpaulins somehow. Perhaps you could do so near the beginning. Also, what were the people doing among the hawker's cages before the attack? Is there any way to start off there, with the main character attending to a hawk or something? I don't know what the character's role is in daily life (before the character is incarcerated).
Doing that would give us some sort of reference point at the beginning without paring down the action scenes that follow. Even if you don't add anything to clarify that, I'm sure some would figure it out! :-)

Hallee, I was something like your younger sister with tattoos and weird hair colours, 'pushing the envelope of fashion'. I didn't do it, however, to test my parent's rules or values (or their embarassment quotient) but did it to express something in myself that was as a stone, left unturned by convention. I played with unusual means of expression. I found comfort in others who found the same thing absorbing, but not for the purpose of angering anyone, or making people uncomfortable. I know I made my parents uncomfortable in public, so toned down when I was with them. Sometimes it was just my hair - I'd be out shopping with my mom in jeans and a T-shirt like practically everyone else, yet have wild blue hair tucked under my hat. These days no one really makes a fuss about blue, green or whatever colour, but in the early eighties, by jove, I was, to the majority, an indisputable freak. Especially because I could look normal 'if I wanted to'.
I didn't.
I am not the 'baby' of the family either, but I am the only female child. I was the baby for seven years, but that was long before I took to finding the less-travelled road of attire. My older brother was nerdy, my younger brother a mix of both brain and jock, and I am still on the wacky side. I was a mix of nerdy, brainy, and jock as a kid.
Oh, and SHY too. I swear it!


P.S. Mark - Moonmomma is a friend of mine, and her birthday isn't her email. Sorry to ruin the statistics.
My birthday is May 13th.

Eddie French Sun Feb 4 09:01:22 PST 2001

Yup, you are right Jerry. Mine is May 18th

Rachel Sun Feb 4 08:39:21 PST 2001

Allein - Hey you! Thanks for the hugs. I am a hug lover, a lover of hugs! Well, most of the time. I really do get a little weirded out when strangers hug me. Dan is the one who gets really upset about that sort of thing. He doesn't like when strangers come up and touch me. This happens when I'm preggers and when I'm not preggers (weird eh)? Chocolate milk sounds great!

Richard - I read your story. I liked it, only thing is that a really perfect child has lots of imperfections. That is what makes them who they are. I have some things that i wrote about perfection. I don't really believe in perfection as somthing that is tangible. I think that perfection is something that we need to feel with our heart or soul of both, these are the only places where it can have any form of reality. Its an elusive, fluttering sort of thing. It changes with every day of our lives. Ah well, enough of that from me.

Teekay - You cheeky thing! I really do wish that I had gained more weight. In past pregnancies I got nice and round. This one is different. I am all out front and have only now at the end of my pregnancy been able to get back to my pre-preggo weight. I have been sick on and off through this whole event and have lost weight again and again. I think you should feel very sorry for me (grins and a wink). Know what? I did manage to eat three slices of pizza the other night. YUM!

Sasquatch - Your mother must have been wonderful. I do not have big feet! I have very little feet. My feet are small for me (grins). That is a true fact. My son on the other hand has HUGE feet. My husband has HUGE feet and is tall and covered in hair! He is the yeti! naw, just kidding around. It's good to see yah back. Oh, I'm not kidding about your mother being wonderful.

Christi - Grins and hugs.

Mary - This is a very special time I'm so close to getting to meet Sebastian in person. It will be wonderful!

I would like to say hello to the new people. Hope you stick around for a time. It is always so nice to find new voices here.

Ciao for now,


Jerry Ericsson Sun Feb 4 08:00:23 PST 2001

Here I am! Been messing around with this stupid hard drive, finally took it out and chucked it in a corner for Ebay auction, which by the way, is where I got it. I will however tell prospective bidders that it is a very sick hard drive, not cover that fact up as did the person who pawned it off on me as a "WORKING HARD DRIVE NO RESERVE"

Anyhow, I have been checking in from time to time, and reading all the posts, but the mood I have been in lately what with these computer ailments have kept me from posting lest I get in a brawle with someone, anyone.

Birthdays, mine is a day or so before Jacks if I remember right, May 26th. I believe there are a few others around the same date.

Hi to all the newbees, even those who are in reality old folks with a new twist.


Mark Sun Feb 4 06:48:46 PST 2001

Hi, all. Caught a flu bug. No energy. Don't-give-a-damn attitude. Ache from eyebrows to knees.

Several things to smile at in the last several days' posts. Didn't feel like even opening notepad. What the heck, you guys know you're good.

p.s.; Birthdays. I wondered if someone was playing a joke. Moonmomma came aboard w/ email of aprile13. hmm. april 13 is mine. In any room of 25 people, two will share a birthday.

Barnabas Sun Feb 4 03:55:24 PST 2001

Since there's a Grammar tip for the day what about a dialect word for the hour? Seeing as how I have no amusing stories to tell it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share a little bit of me. If you would like to put up a dialect word I would love to read them and expand my cultural horizons just as you are by reading this.

Here's my dialect tip. It's a word commonly used from where come from and has its roots in the Teochew and Hokkien dialects which are Chinese dialects in case you wonder.

Kiasu (Kee-ah-sue)
Literally- Scared lose
Translated - Scared to or of losing, often implies someone who works constantly to stay ahead.
Examples of Usuage: The word Kiasu is often used as an adjective to describe someone. For example: He is a very Kiasu person. Meaning he is someone who is afraid of losing.
At other times it is used as a noun. E.g. : Don't be Kiasu. Which means not to display characteristic associated with a Kiasu person.

Pronunciation: As in English the word Kiasu and all dialect words should be pronounced as if one were speaking the native tongue and not in an English tone. Unfortunately, I can't pronounce it for you.

Barnabas Sun Feb 4 03:53:51 PST 2001

Almost forgot to say hello to Moonmomma, swan, Ali, Ima and Silvia Snake I'm a new comer as well.

That reminds me, I'm working on two stories on a similar vein to The Stone. Only problem is I faced with the fact that I'm repeating my story telling (albeit with different themes). Do you think this is wise?

Liked the stories and the poems.

I'm sort of cutting down on internet usuage. My ISP is no longer free, don't expect frequent posts.

To those who are interested...
Speaking of Psychics I like to know if there is some sort of Internationally recognised Psychic society. First of using Psychic is actually the wrong term. Psychic is in Webster's dictionary means possessed by a demon which I doubt is true. I prefer to refer to people with such abilities as Psionics are people with Mind-talents/powers (for lack of a better name).

I would love to start some kind of International Psionic society which admits proven Psionics. That way people are assured that the person is genuinely able to use Mind-powers. So far most Psionics are not taken seriously nor do they have schools or places where they can learn about such stuff.

Actually, my novel (if I ever continue to write it) is based on the idea of a future where academies are set up to train Psionics and they battle to increase their powers.

Thanks for reading my story, I'm sooooo very happy you liked it. As far as I can tell by the responses, it's by far my most popular story.

Silvia Snake
Tell us what kind of writer you are so we can help you. I know a particularly good Sci-fi/fantasy website which has plenty of links to e-zines of that genre.

First of all a big THANK YOU. Not many would bother to do that.

As I was reading you mentioned you didn't understand what a hawker was. I humbly point it out its not a made-up word. According to my Webster's dictionary hawker is ‘a peddler' (of wares), alternatively a person who rears hawks.

Try programs which do html for you like Microsoft Internet publisher (I think that's the correct name).

Here's my revenge story its a bit late (okay, a lot late).... I'm sure you know what the moral is. I find it somewhat Oriental in flavour, its been done before I'm pretty sure.

Green Dagger picked up the sword.

The sword had a tradition, a tradition dating back several hundred years when a Chen had killed one of his ancestors.

According to the records, his ancestor had won a lawsuit but the Chen weren't happy and the Chen who lost came in the middle of the night and killed his ancestor. The son of the ancestor had taken up this very sword and used it to kill the man who killed his father.

The son of the Chen who had been killed grew up and like his father before him, came in the middle of the night killing the son of the ancestor. Some years later, the son of the son of the ancestor rose to become a great swordsman who set about to kill the Chen who had killed his father.

And so it had continued for many generations, the eldest male in his family killing the eldest male in the Chen family, then the eldest male in the Chen family killing the eldest male in his family who had killed the former eldest male in the Chen family. If there was no male, then the eldest female.

Now, only one person in each family remained. Him for his family and his fiancee for the Chen. He stared at the sword. Honour dictated he must carry out what all his ancestors had been doing all this time.

He stared at the sword. He knew what must be done.

They found his body the next day. Sliced open using the very same sword. Next to him was a note which read: "It ends here."

For those who prefer a happier ending
The last paragraph would read
He stared at the sword. Then taking a hammer, he smashed it and buried the pieces.

Hallee Sun Feb 4 02:05:04 PST 2001

Morning all!

CHRISTI: You're right. It did look like you were talking to yourself. And the crit, though it went along with my feelings entirely, could have been part of the whole thing. I apologize, IMA.

TEEKAY: I worried I offended you or one of the others in here that I hold so dear. If memory serves, that was a pre-coffee post (this one is just a half cup coffee post so everyone will have to forgive me.)

JERRY...MARK: Where might you be?

HEATHER: Hair is one thing we were not allowed to really mess with. I think the premise is that you can make your kid take off those earrings or change clothes, but you can't make them lengthen their hair for whatever event you might be attending. I have never dyed my hair. Even as an adult, I have never had the guts to really try. It just stays a little longer than shoulder length and is its own auburn color. BUT - my sister, who was not a huge fan of my father or his rules growing up, pushed the limits in every conceiveable fashion...and got away with it. I went out - partied - smoked - things I may or may not have been caught at and terrified that I would one day get caught...she got tattoos and dyed her hair - daring him to do something about it. But (sigh) she was the baby - haha - and got away with every flipping one of them. But, she also had to push her wedding up by 5 months because she's going to have a baby - I asked her if she thought there was a correlation to being a spoiled baby of the family - she didn't think it was as funny as I did. HAHAHA. I still think it's funny. (Oh - I love my sister - she's a terrific person..she just wasn't when she was 15..or 16..etc.)

OKAY...Everyone post their birthdays. Mine's March 2nd.

I think that catches me up. I feel the caffeine kicking in, so I'm not even going to re-read what I just wrote, because I'd probably delete most of it.

Off to finish the fourth chapter.


Heather Sat Feb 3 23:30:13 PST 2001

I could think of a few people I wouldn't want to meet sans eyebrows. My mother, for one, since she's seen me without hair, and frowned upon it deeply. You should have seen the weight in the air from one of those frowns!
I've even dared a family reunion with bleached WHITE hair, all out in a mess of spikes. I spent more time concocting sugar water for hair gel and mixing carnival coloured dyes than I did talking on the phone. Need I mention how many hours teenage girls spend on the telephone? Didn't think so.

I saw a man in a hospital in the middle of the night once who had no eyebrows. (I know, that sentence sounds weird, but so was the experience!) I was there with friends, making sure that another friend of ours was going to be all right. So those of us that were healthy were wandering the halls. The eyebrowless man was in one of the halls, on the telephone, and I don't know to this day if he was putting on an act, or if he was the real deal.
But that will be my short shortie for the 'Burnout' event this Thursday! Funny how it will fit right into that topic.

Great idea, Mary!

Richard, I loved your shortie on Perfection. You say you're going to re-write it? Post it again when you do.


Mary again Sat Feb 3 21:07:19 PST 2001

HEATHER: I suppose I should say I would shave off my eyebrows if I knew I wouldn't be meeting Sean Connery anytime soon. He is definitely not someone I would want to meet sans eyebrows.

Did I say I don't know html?

Mary Sat Feb 3 20:57:35 PST 2001

Hello Everyone!

Personally, I thought Ima was Teekay, but that's just me.

Me? The grammarian? Ha! I don't even know html!!!

AMERICO: Newspaper headlines and article titles can be so radical that they make late night comedy show spots about them. Jay Leno does that occasionally. He features ridiculous newspaper clippings, be they photo captions, headlines or whatever. Those writers really should think about the double and triple meanings some words have before throwing them about.

TEEKAY: If you aren't Ima, then I'ma sorry. Also, you were right about the dream thing and me being excited. :-p

RACHEL: Great to see you...this is such a miraculous time, isn't it?


Where's Mark? Hi Richard.

HEATHER: I have your Writer's Digest Clinic success here in front of me and would shave off my eyebrows to trade places with you in that concern. High fives!

Contemplating a theme for next week's shorties, I have come up with BURNOUT. Any better ideas?

Gotta run!
Write strong!

Christi Sat Feb 3 19:50:20 PST 2001

Heather, GADS! A whole year? No wonder you're miffed. I still think it was great though.

Hallee, I THOUGHT it sounded like you suspected I was Ima, but I wasn't sure. I swear I'm not, but thank you for the compliment! I suppose it did sound as if I was talking to myself last night, but it just so happened that Ima and I were there at the same time and kept bouncing off each other. Feel like I've known her for years, I do. I double-dog swear that I am not she. (I'd have to be pretty conceited to gush over my own story like that! ;])

Richard, Chilling story. The title could do with a change, I do think it's a bit too obvious, but I loved the whole idea of your story. This could be made quite a bit longer if you felt like hacking it out.

Silvia, You seem as if you want everyone else to do the work for you. Seems like a lot of effort for someone we've never met before. I would suggest research. Lots of it. Buy a 'Writer's Market 2001' or the 'Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers and Literary Agents'. They're great to have IF you're ready to send your work out. Oh yeah ... and HI!

Rachel, The brew was delicious and I thank you for it. Funny, I don't usually like dark lager ... wonder if I'm pregnant. (!!) Just kidding! Glad you're feeling a bit better.

Hiyo, Rosemary!

Ima, funny but I was going to suggest that you submit Nameless to Phantasium; I thought it was fitting. I kept thinking of your story today and a brrrrilliant title flashed through my head and then I forgot it. *sigh*

Sasquatch, Hi!

Hi Eddie! What a great crit; may I use your services sometime?

Stay loose,


Heather` Sat Feb 3 18:43:47 PST 2001

Ima, I don't know if it will fit! I was thinking of beings without physical bodies when I wrote the introduction for Phatasium. I suppose satan could be bodiless if he liked...

Other opinions?
(I'm not in a mood for decisions)

Heather (again)

Heather Sat Feb 3 18:40:26 PST 2001

Swan, I hope my comments helped and didn't embarass you! It's hard for me to get into the story itself with typos and the like, no matter who the author might be.
I've had my share of typos and mistakes, and you can be sure I'll make more...
the accidental kind, I hope.


sasquatch Sat Feb 3 18:22:20 PST 2001

rachel person i do not think you are part of Yeti no matter you have the large feet or your cub has them also. there is much different with Yeti and humans persons. i sasquatch have memory of my mother said she only had a little Yeti in her and my father was embarrass at that and says to her not to tell all but she was all Yeti as he was so i do not understand very much how she was meaning that. other Yeti shes had much laughter ao that also. i must go.

Swan Sat Feb 3 18:09:36 PST 2001

Heather--I appreciate your comments.

Heather Sat Feb 3 17:58:50 PST 2001

Teekay - the critique I meant was the one in the article that was printed in the February issue. The comments on the website are by people who visit and choose to post one. Those comments aren't bad at all!
Go for it, and send them a short story if you want! You don't have to submit a novel excerpt. Take my advice, however, and don't send in something you feel is 'rough'!
The one thing I do feel good about, though, is that out of all the manuscripts submitted, mine was the one they chose to RIP ASUNDER - or at least scratch up a bit.

Anyway, I am now famous in my family, who have all rushed out to buy a copy of my undoing! But the crux is thus:
I have already fixed the problems that were pinpointed, BUT only you who read this post (or my revised chapter 1) shall ever know. Frustrating? Ooh yes!

Perhaps my fifteen minutes shall stre-e-e-tch out a little, with a whole bundle of LUCK. Besides, the man who said that had a lot more than his fair share of the minutes. (It was Andy Warhol)

Well, enough about public humiliation... how is everyone ELSE? Ima, WELCOME! I am headed back to the workbook to check out your story. 'Phantasium' is for ghost stories, but stories about other 'spirits', angels and the like would fit too. I will read it and tell you if I think it would fit!

Barnabas - your critique is in the short story crit page! Sorry it took so long. :o)


Ima Sat Feb 3 16:47:16 PST 2001

Hello Dears, I hope you are all having a lovely day.

Christi dear and Hallee sweety, I would like to thankyou very much for taking a peek at my story.
What did you think of my title ideas? I though perhaps 'the nameless'. Do tell me which you would find more suitable 'the unnamed' oh dear, I don't know if I should use 2'n's' there or just one. Or 'the nameless'. A title is a very important thing dears, as I'm sure you realize. I would be honoured to hear what you think.

Is it appropriate for phantasium do you think? There are no ghosts, but reading the introduction to the project I got the impression that they did not strictly have to be ghosts.

Have a lovely day everybody.

Eddie Sat Feb 3 16:26:11 PST 2001

Please, do not be depressed because of your work on Perfect Child.
As I read the first two paragraphs earlier tonight I thought - This is not the Richard I know, this is by an older, more experienced writer. I continued through the tale and realised - yes it was you. How did I know?
In the last two thirds of the tale your innocence shone through.
Then you went and spoiled it by posting that last remark about hating it and wanting to re-write it. (Well, you didn't use the word hate, but you know what I mean)
Richard, we have all been there. We have all written stuff that we wish we could have pulled back from the eyes of our peers. The morning after is a sobering time of the day!
You have more skill now than I ever had when I was thirteen years old. You will grow in skill and expertise as you learn your craft and project it to a delighted public.
Perfect child has probably done you more favours on this forum than you could ever imagine.
I would say write it again. Next time don't try to tell me all about the sons' unexpressed me how he felt inside while describing his autonomous body language. Make me feel for him in the way that you did as you wrote it down. It can be difficult to wait while these half formed pictures and ideas resolve themselves into words for your convenience in writing them down but you will aquire the patience necessary to do them justice.
Overall, a nice job, but I would like to see a re-write that shows instead of tells.

Rosemary Sat Feb 3 16:04:43 PST 2001

Busy, busy, busy.

A friend has had her book accepted by It seems to be a hybrid POD. They don't accept just everybody and they don't charge for publishing. You do have to buy any books you want from them but everyone does that. The royalties they pay are good and they agree to do some editing and publicity without charge. Has ANYBODY heard of them or had dealings with them?

I took the personality test yesterday, and I already forgot the letters and didn't print out the webpage. It started with an I---. One of the traits was that I was judgemental and the top suggestion for a job was Lawyer. It said I was in the 6% section of people. The third from the bottom job was Computer Specialist which was at least in the area of my main job. A lot of the questions were difficult to answer for me because what I would do in an office setting might not be the thing I would naturally want to do.
Oh well, Whatever.

I think a lot of the newspaper headlines don't make sense because no one edits the work. Just look at all the typos. No one in the newspaper offices could possibly be looking at that stuff ahead of time. (Mine are not typos, I just can't spell.)

At our last writers meeting, we were reading up to 10 pages out loud and the members fill out critique sheets. The reason I mention this is that I read BEAKY to them and most of them seemed to get a kick out of it. So thanks to this venu for getting me moving.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Debra Sat Feb 3 15:55:33 PST 2001

Living in a sick house.

I shall return!


Teekay Sat Feb 3 15:53:55 PST 2001

MARY: YEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAA at least I know there's a nother coming.

HALLEE: Thanks for the note. :-)

HEATHER: I think it's fantastic. YOUR FAMOUS (sort of) ! Your names in print. I wish it were mine.
Oh Heather, don't be embarrassed you silly. I'd gladly swap places with you!
I just went and checked out the story on site. What are you talking about??? Nobody said anything bad about it!
I saved the site to favourites. I'm going to send something in (once I've written it) and hope that happens to me!
Right, now I have just read CHRISTI's post about it and I guess I must have missed something. *sigh*, I'll have to take a more indepth look later.
On the bright side (and it sounds like you need one) you get a free writers digest.
Okay, went back to have another look at that site and it seems the critiques I read were from people on the net. Seems like I'll have to wait till November.

RACHEL: Dinner was lovely, but I think you must've eaten a little more than your fair share. Look how fat you've gotten. *groan*

RICHARD: It is exactly that type of thing which makes me wonder at your being thirteen. Maybe I was a real duncehead then. Too long ago, can't remember.

AMERICO: Wether you like it or not, I have decided to forgive you. Life is too short to be pissed off for long.

Am going now.

Richard Sat Feb 3 15:43:47 PST 2001

Okay, I'm depressed now. This time its the net's fault. Log on here and burn my hand in the Critique section. Hop over to SWRPG net where flames are being exchanged between D6 system and D20 system supporters. Go to XWA Upgrade and find that a member of their team is being tactless to someone who nonetheless pushed him too far and was become downright annoying...


I've decided I didn't like 'perfect child'. I'll rewerite when I get some spare time.

Hallee Sat Feb 3 15:04:57 PST 2001

AMERICO: I think that in some instances, the title is intended to draw you in - to find out what it IS supposed to mean.


Americo Sat Feb 3 14:31:23 PST 2001


The trouble with newspaper/magazine titles lies in the wording (too much slang and journalese these days) and in the extraordinary flexibility of English — the only language I know that can make a verb from a preposition or a conjunction, for instance. Take Shakespeare's sentence "But me no buts" (meaning "don't keep interrupting and contradicting me all the time"). This would be impossible in any Latin language. It's this capacity for synthesis that newspapermen use (and abuse) — sometimes in such a way that only after reading the entire article (or mere piece of news) the meaning of the title becomes apparent.

Here's a recent example: "Oiling of the species". It comes in the latest issue of "Time Magazine" (European Edition). A French, Spanish, Italian, etc., title had to be less syncretic: "oil accidentally spillt kills/endangers the life of the species", or something like that.

I wonder whether speakers of English as their first language have also trouble with titles like those.

Silvia Snake Silvia Sat Feb 3 14:25:49 PST 2001

I need some help really bad. I am a very young writer, I want to publish some of my books but I haven't the faintest ideal how to do it. Please e-mail me to give me any tips, comments, or questions.

Ouch! Sat Feb 3 14:13:58 PST 2001

Just visited the Short Story Critique page and I think I just burnt myself on some of the harsh words.

Richard Scott Sat Feb 3 13:53:32 PST 2001

The Perfect Child
by R J. Scott

Standing there, before the dim glow of the computer boards, both were daunted. Where to start?

The medical technician, a helpful chap, began to talk to them - he was trained to handle this moment, critical as it was.

Finally, the woman stirred and mused thoughtfully; "A boy."

"Brown hair," added the man, his arms around her shoulder. "Like his mother's."

Nodding, the tech typed in the commands. Changes were made to the chain-like string that scrolled across the monitor.

She sqeeuzed her eyes shut and tried to imagine the perfect son. What should he look like? Blue eyes? Green?

"I always admired Ben's chestnut colour," her husband whispered, sensing her thoughts.

"Yes," she agreed softly. "Yes."

When they'd finally formulated their son's appearance - lovingly crafted it, the mother thought wistfully - a whole new bank of data appeared.

"He's going to be good at maths," the father grinned. "No need to break tradition."

"Don't neglect his english skills," she scolded him.

The technician shuffled in his seat. "You only have your own genes to draw from..."

"Then he shall get the best of both of us!" the proud mother declared. "I wouldn't make my son anything less."

* * * *

War had taken their son away for almost six years. He, along with all the other young men, had been called up to fight. His father had been sent home after a energy slug to the foot. The Ko'lann Allies had only recently been halted in their advance.

So he was coming home. She felt apprehension and joy at the same time. Her son, though a literally a genius (if not for the war, he surely would have been a highly acclaimed professor or scientist by now) lacked the ability to express emotions. A mistake that had occured during the engineering process, despite all their tests and checks.

When she saw him, something was not right. As always, his face was blank. No hint of emotion could ever reach his face. But somehow, his eyes bled with carried feeling.

"J'lia...?" she whispered.

"Mother," he replied, his voice monotone.

She reached out to him, but he stepped back. His mother stopped in shock.

"Why?" he asked. "Why did you make me what I am?"

"I... I don't understand..."

"Why did you make me," he droned, "to suffer? Why did you make me, so I could see... the pain on the face of each person I killed? Why did you make so the their screams of agony echo in my head? Why..." He flicked his head slightly. "My recall is so crystal... I see every night, when the guilt and horror reached my mind but never my face. I see the blood that stained my hands and the symphony of anguished vioces inside me, unable to escape. And never could my body respond. Always a wall, a wall of perfection, deviod."

Stricken, J'lia's mother put a hand over her mouth and tried to come to him, but he batted her away from him. "They called me brave! But inside I was screaming, I was suffering. Never was it on my face but it was there." He looked up at her - she could feel his anger and hatred radiating from him, though his face remained eerily unchanged. As he reached into his jacket pocket to withdraw a short metal cylinder, he spoke coldly;

"Thank you, mother, for my perfection. It has allowed me to relive every painful moment of my life every night and for every night to come!"

Hallee Sat Feb 3 13:33:31 PST 2001

IMA: Left you a note in the short story critique page.


Allein Sat Feb 3 10:56:38 PST 2001

RACHEL!!!! - I'm so glad to hear from you. I have the flu too, by the way. A toast to Rachel with chocolate milk! I can't wait to see pictures of your baby. :) Hang in there. ((((((((((BIGGEST HUG YOU'VE EVER HAD)))))))))))))

"Hey, guys, just so fou don't hear any wild rumors, I'm being indicted for fraud in Australia."
- Bart Simpson

Rachel Sat Feb 3 10:21:32 PST 2001

Hallee - He kicked you! Did you feel it? Ohhhh, now he is pressing so hard against my side that you can see the outline of his foot. Wow! This kid has a big foot.

Sasquatch - Do you think I could be part Yeti?!

Christi - Thanks for having the drink for me. Tell me, did you enjoy the Black Lager? Yum! One day soon I'll drink for myself (grins and laughter). I also think that I shouldn't have to have flu (I stamp my foot). Today I feel a little better. Mostly it is just a headache, runny/stuffy nose deal with a side of coughing just for kicks.

Americo - If you didn't turn on your computer all weekend I would be one very sad lady! I guess if you turn it on for fun it doesn't count as turning it on at all (hugs). Thanks for the post dedication (more hugs).

Yikes, I better get going. I need a shower, I need breakfast and I want some coffee. I don't need coffee anymore, but I do like to have a cup in the morning. I used to be addicted to coffee, time in the hospital fixed that. Wow, does their coffee ever stink.

Take care all,


Rachel Sat Feb 3 10:21:13 PST 2001

Hallee - He kicked you! Did you feel it? Ohhhh, now he is pressing so hard against my side that you can see the outline of his foot. Wow! This kid has a big foot.

Sasquatch - Do you think I could be part Yeti?!

Christi - Thanks for having the drink for me. Tell me, did you enjoy the Black Lager? Yum! One day soon I'll drink for myself (grins and laughter). I also think that I shouldn't have to have flu (I stamp my foot). Today I feel a little better. Mostly it is just a headache, runny/stuffy nose deal with a side of coughing just for kicks.

Americo - If you didn't turn on your computer all weekend I would be one very sad lady! I guess if you turn it on for fun it doesn't count as turning it on at all (hugs). Thanks for the post dedication (more hugs).

Yikes, I better get going. I need a shower, I need breakfast and I want some coffee. I don't need coffee anymore, but I do like to have a cup in the morning. I used to be addicted to coffee, time in the hospital fixed that. Wow, does their coffee ever stink.

Take care all,


Heather Sat Feb 3 10:15:48 PST 2001

Christi - I sent the chapter to Writer's Digest Writer's Clinic almost a YEAR AGO. I included a self-address stamped postcard in with my novel excerpt so that they could pop it in the mail and I'd know that they'd received it for certain. I got postcard back in under two weeks. I checked the online workshop for months, to see if my ms excerpt was used. Nope. I suppose they receive a tonne of them anyhow, so I shouldn't be surprised that it surfaced almost a year later. However, you must know how much chapter 1 has changed since then, because you edit like I do! It's much the way I might tell a long joke to three different people. By the time the third person hears it, I've winnowed it down to the essentials and it's actually funny. My apologies to person number 1 and 2.
Well, it's all fun and games until someone publishes the story on the lost eye.


Christi Sat Feb 3 08:39:21 PST 2001

Hi Richard, and welcome back!

Christi Sat Feb 3 08:37:59 PST 2001

Heather, I think it's pretty darn crappy that they didn't contact you about it. From reading the article it would appear that you had been in contact with them--hell, even had a relationship with the workshop person. Anyway, I thought it was great--so exciting! It was awesome to see one of our own in print!!! I thought they went a little overboard, but what can you do? Especially since the buggers didn't ever let you know.

I know how you feel regarding editing. I think you're a lot like me in that I redraft every time I reread one of my stories. Well, maybe I'm not quite that bad, but believe me, it's close. The end product only loosely resembles the original. I think we all know that, so don't worry! :) Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Americo, I'm trying to stop watching so much television too. It's an incredibly hard habit to break. I've been weaning myself off it little by little, and it's working!
Your life sounds dreamy. Would you like to trade places for a week? Please?

BTW everyone. Though I gave Ima quite the shameful welcome, the poor dear went ahead and posted a story on the SS section of the Workbook. And WOW what a story! Great job, IMA!

Mary's the Grammar Tipper of the DAY!!! You gave yourself away! And how I do love the grammar tips; please continue to post them. (Hope I'm not wrong.)


Richard Sat Feb 3 07:36:52 PST 2001


Heather: Mum brought back a copy of Writer's Digest from her holiday in Canada. Unfortunately we'd have to pay subscription if we wanted to get any more. Wish I could've seen your work in it.

Everyone: Been out of touch lately. I'll post a shortie soon to make up for the shortie nights I've missed.

Big hugs all round!!!

Grammar tip of the day: Sat Feb 3 07:23:19 PST 2001

Titles of works in your text

In text, titles of works that are published as separate entities are italicized (or underlined). Shorter works are enclosed in quotation marks.

Books and literary works:

A Tale of Two Cities, The University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary

Titles of holy books and legislative documents are not italicized.
the Bible, the Koran, the Magna Carta

Titles of chapters in books, essays and short stories are enclosed in quotation marks.
"Rip Van Winkle", "A Modest Proposal"

Titles of poetry in collections and long poems are italicized; titles of short poems are enclosed in quotation marks.
The Iliad, The Waste Land,"The Road Not Taken"

Titles of plays are italicized.
King Lear, Raisin in the Sun

Magazines and Newspapers

National Geographic,the Los Angeles Times

Titles of articles are enclosed in quotation marks.
"Wielding the Scalpel" in Writer's Digest, January 2000, written by Nancy Kress on editing.

Americo: If the trouble over newspaper titles is in the word usage, sometimes off-the-mark references or slang, my advice to you would be to just look for the buzz words to help you in your translation. If you are referring to something else involving newspaper titles, please elaborate so I can answer you more appropriately.

Heather Sat Feb 3 07:23:15 PST 2001

And now for the real news:


Heather Sat Feb 3 07:21:36 PST 2001

Oh, yeah, the link is above all right.
Above my last message!

Teekay and Christi! Thanks you two, for spotting the article in the first place and having the heart to tell me! Wondered why on Earth I got a Writer's Digest Magazine in the mail without ordering it. (Did you all have a good laugh yet?) I even posted here, wondering if there was indeed a magazine fairy. I hadn't read the WHOLE magazine yet. Imagine my surprise!
Well, I certainly wasn't expecting my work to be IN IT. There was no note in the parcel telling me to check out page 40...
Had it been an article I'd submitted for publication purposes, perhaps I wouldn't have been caught unawares.
You see, I did get a newsletter informing me that someone will have their writers' clinic submission printed in the magazine, but I never dreamt it would be mine. SO much for the glory of being read. (Humble pie anyone?)


Heather Sat Feb 3 07:14:16 PST 2001

Americo, I am very happy to see you posting!
I missed YOU.

And... before anyone else sees it and has a good laugh, some of my work is in Writer's Digest this month, in the writer's clinic section. Unfortunately, it has been revised and improved since I sent in the chapter, so the critique is useful, but only to a small extent. Most of what the critique pointed out has already been changed, months ago. But, it's still neat to see some of my writing being picked apart in a national magazine... (*GROAN*)

It's online as well, on the writer's clinic forum page. link above. If only it were the revised chapter 1 that I have before me!
Oh, well. At least I hadn't sent it off to publishers expecting it to be wonderful.


And now that I am completely embarassed, today's news:

Americo Sat Feb 3 06:31:40 PST 2001

Daily routine (cont'd)

... And on the weekends (from Thursdays to Mondays ---I've long weekends) I change life completely and try to not even switch on the computer. I go to the cinema, theatre, concerts, visit exhibitions and museums, read books and watch a lot of TV. TV watching and newspapers reading are the things which I'm trying to avoid.

And I must walk more than I do.

This post is dedicated to Rachel, who has returned to the world of the living.

a suggestion: how about a post on newspaper titles? I have trouble understanding some of them. That's one of the most difficult aspects of English usage. At least for foreigners like me.
As for the who/whom thing. The easiest rule is the following: who is subject, whom object (direct or indirect).
Even easier: do not bother using whom, tends to be obsolete.

Hallee Sat Feb 3 01:48:45 PST 2001

TEEKAY & LAURA: I left you a note in the short story critique section that I now wonder if I should have left at all. Sorry.

RACHEL: Big giant hugs and a pat on your tummy.


Okay, time to write.


Mary Fri Feb 2 23:30:14 PST 2001

TEEKAY: Yes, the next one is called "Seven Up", but I don't know a release date yet. Enjoy that Six! I can now relate to the dog issues.

Christi Fri Feb 2 20:51:10 PST 2001

My oh my, I certainly don't want that. After all, they already know I'ma blonde!

Ima Fri Feb 2 20:49:03 PST 2001

Oh my, dear. That's rather forward of you. Now you becareful or people will start to think you're an 'easy' rider.

Christi Fri Feb 2 20:43:55 PST 2001

Psssshhaw. You've gone and made me blush, Ima. Will you be my very best friend?

Ima. Fri Feb 2 20:39:27 PST 2001

Now don't be modest dear. I've seen your work. I know a Ryder when I see one. And a Nidiot.

Christi Fri Feb 2 20:37:17 PST 2001


No Ryder blood. In actuality, I've got Nidiot blood in me too! Yeeeeeehaw!

Christi Fri Feb 2 20:34:34 PST 2001

Well sheeeeot, no one never did tell me thaot! The regular way, don't that beat all.

Teekay Fri Feb 2 20:31:48 PST 2001

CHRISTI: I think I read somewhere that peanuts are brainfood, but I beleive the idea is to eat them the normal way and the body will take care of it from there. You're not supposed to just go sticking them straight into your brain!

Ima Fri Feb 2 20:22:42 PST 2001

No dear. My name is not pronounced 'eema'. It is pronounced Ima as in I'm a.

I used to be a Nidiot. The South Nidiots dear, not the West, but then I met and married Jack Ryder. You may be related to him dear, I hear you're a bit of a Ryder yourself.

It was very nice of you to make conversation with me dear

Christi Fri Feb 2 20:11:38 PST 2001

Hello, Ima, and welcome! Is your name pronouned 'eema'?

Wow, seems to be a lot of us ENFPs here.

Rache!!! You're back! Hi to you and Sebastion. Hang in there, Mommy.
*sploosh* (That's me cracking open your favorite drink.)
Pregnant women should be exempt from the stinking flu. It ain't right, I say. {{{{{{{{{{{HUGS!!!}}}}}}}}}}

Teekay, it stands for EGREGIOUS NOXIOUS FUMES PATROL. That was supposed to be clever but it wasn't. I think there's a peanut lodged in my brain.

Bye bye,

Rachel Fri Feb 2 19:43:37 PST 2001

Teekay - That is so neat! Well, if she is born on the 24th of September then she must be beautiful. You see, it goes with the date (wicked, cheeky grins).

All - Does anyone else have the stinking flu! I am about done in with this thing. I don't like it when my skin hurts. That just isn't much fun at all. This is the part where you all feel very, very sorry for me. Somebody should have a drink for me. Any takers?

See yah:)


Teekay Fri Feb 2 18:58:23 PST 2001

RACHEL: You have the same birthdate as my eldest daughter.

HOWARD: What does that mean...?

Rachel Fri Feb 2 18:44:10 PST 2001

Heather - Sebastian is still not born. I have seen lots of scan pictures of him though (smiles)! I am feeling excited about seeing him soon.

I wanted to tell you guys that it wasn't my birthday. Most of you missed my birthday. It was in September, on the 24th. Still, thanks for the wishes (hugs all around).

Teekay - I think I see you coming up the drive.

Ciao for now,


howard Fri Feb 2 18:37:18 PST 2001

Would you believe I'm an ENFP also...?
go figure

Welcome newbies!

Teekay Fri Feb 2 18:12:27 PST 2001


RACHEL: Has it only been a week? Seems heaps longer than that. BTW I've booked a ticket on the next boeing and I should get to your place around dinner time. Thanks for the invite. :-)

Well things are really shaping up today. I've been reading HOT 6 and there's pizza at RACHELS. And I just knooooow I'm going to write something sometime soon.

MARY: Is there another book after hot 6. Oh please, please tell me there is. This book is being read by three people at once. I have first dibs then my eldest daughter has declared second rights to it, and my youngest daughter will doubtless run off with it when no one is looking and lock herself in her room until she finishes it.
I'm trying to eke it out, make it last, because I just enjoy it so much.
I'm raving on about it to the wrong person aren't I? You already know how brillianty funny it is.

Heather Fri Feb 2 17:57:56 PST 2001

Oh, sure, now you tell me, Teekay! I did it again, and critiqued on the NB. Well, shoooooot me, then.
No, Jerry, no! It was a joooooke!

(Kidding aside, I don't mean to discourage anyone. I don't point out typographical errors in the NB, since we've all made our fair share of those, and I'm sure we catch most of them after they've been posted!)

*slug me*

Heather Fri Feb 2 17:51:20 PST 2001

Rachel - thank goodness you're doing well! I was getting very worried! You sound so happy and excited to finally see Sebastian.

Swan, the punctuation in your work is incorrect, and throws me off when reading.

"Why don't we go back to the hotel?" he asked.
Notice that the punctuation that belongs to the end of the spoken sentence is INSIDE the quotation marks? That's where it should be. There shouldn't be any punctuation between the end quotes and the tag line, as some call it.
A tag line is the 'he said' or 'she said'. If, however, the tag line comes before the dialogue, then it goes like this:
She licked her lips and said, "What took you so long? I was starting to dry out in the heat!"

It might not seem like much, but correct punctuation keeps the attention of the reader on the story that is taking place, and not on the technical aspects of what's written.
This incorrect punctuation is something I've seen in work lately that would certainly bother readers and editors, so I hope you don't mind me pointing it out.


Heather Fri Feb 2 17:41:09 PST 2001

Ali - please put your name on the top (or the bottom) of your posts so that we know it's by you! I've been wondering who the anonymous poster was!
Welcome to the notebook, by the way.

Swan, welcome.
Your posts are very short, and contain what I gather to be short excerpts from a larger work, or a very short story in themselves. Give us a hint!


Rachel Fri Feb 2 17:07:24 PST 2001

Hi all! I'm back, I'm back on line! Yikes, a week without internet was strange stuff. I didn't like it at all. Well, I'm back on now and that is what matters.

I still have not given birth. Sebastian seems to have hooked his feet under my ribs and is contented to swing there for the rest of time! Just kidding. I don't think it will be much longer before I have some fun news.

Howard - If you were to send me an e-mail now it would reach me (smiles and hugs). Thanks for thinking of me. I laughed when i read your poem. You are such a funny duck!

Heather - Love the vibes.

Americo - Wow! Did I ever miss you! Big hugs:) A queen? Me a queen... Hum, if I am a queen, does that mean that I get, well, everything! Yeah, yeah, yeah!

All - I want to read over all these posts. There are so many new faces.

Eddie - Hello to you. It is nice to see you lurking about.

Teekay - I'm having pizza tonight. Want some?

Take care all,


Mark Fri Feb 2 16:22:26 PST 2001

I don't know about taking that test. Litter says "restricting in parts." OOOOOhhh. I don't like having my parts restricted.

Ima Fri Feb 2 15:27:23 PST 2001

I remembered that I forgot to mention that my story has no name so I have titled it unnamed, I wanted to know if anybody had any suggestions, but then I thought 'The Unnamed' would be a good title because Harry couldn't remember 'his' name. It was a delightful little flash of inspiration. I have been trying to think of an appropriate title for it and all of a sudden, out of the blue, like a little miracle it came to me.
Do tell me what you think in regard to the title.
Thankyou once again.

Fri Feb 2 15:11:13 PST 2001

Oooer, yer gave me goosebump all over yer did. Say it again luvvy.

Swan Fri Feb 2 15:08:12 PST 2001

"Well, I've seen you, always alone", she said while running a hand through her hair.
"Lets walk, I don't like staying in one place to long on Washington St.", he motioned with his hand.
"Nah, just come by my room later, number 7, around the back of the building. I'm Barb by the way."
"Barb?, I'm Joe--so you've seen me around huh?"
"Yeah, come by later---Joe...I gotta go, bye.", Barb turned away and walked back towards Sands Motel.

Fri Feb 2 15:07:08 PST 2001

Show, Mish Moneypenny, come with me and I will show you the shites…

Ima Fri Feb 2 15:06:23 PST 2001

Hello everybody,
You don't know me yet, but you people feel like family to me.

I have posted a story in the short story work book and I'm hoping that somebody will take a look at it.

I thought maybe it might fit in the phantasium round robin, but I wanted to get some feedback on it first and see if perhaps anything needed changeing.

Thankyou for your time.

Litter Fri Feb 2 15:01:07 PST 2001

OK. Took the test and it looks like I am a ENFP -- "The Observer"

Let's see if they are right


TEACHER: Done it.
PSYCHOLOGIST: Thought about it
SOCIAL SCIENTIST: Social Worker -- Close enough!
PUBLIC RELATIONS: Done a bit -- didn't like it
SALES: Done it!

Pretty accurate I would have to say, but somewhat restricting in parts…


Teekay Fri Feb 2 14:57:32 PST 2001

LITTER: I dreamt I met you last night. You were Sean Connery, I can't quite remember what we talked about, but I wanted to let Mary know coz she would have been so excited.

Perhaps I'm spending far too much time here.

Well shorty night has been a great success again.
Do you think guys, that we should leave any critiquing to the workbook.
People may feel reluctant to post their shorties if they feel it is going to be judged and besides, they're only quickies done on the spur of the moment for fun and writing practice.
Just a thought. Lots of them buzzing around here today.

must dash. Ta ta. Toodle-oo then. I'm orf.

Litter Fri Feb 2 14:25:28 PST 2001


I always felt smug when people would complain about losing long postings from the Notebook -- coz I cut and paste from Word!

However, tonight I had a whole lot of comments about the shorties, thanks to those who commented on mine, some sparkling wit, some gay repartee, some pearls of wisdom, etc., etc…

Then my daughter came down with some stuff to print from Works 2000 and, after printing it, my PC froze and I lost my (unsaved) comments. :o(

So, abridged version, good shorties people. Sundry thanks and welcomes and to those who want details -- read my thoughts -- Okay?

Ciao for now,


Fri Feb 2 13:28:10 PST 2001

TEEKAY- Thanks for the welcome. Although I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post here, rest assured that I'll be keeping up on what's going on. I can't believe it took me so long to find this place!

CHRISTI- Yes, I'm ok. That poem was actually written a year aho when my cousin died. It's been waiting around until I could find the courage to show it to someone. I don't often share my writing with people, but hey- at least it's a start!

Grammar tip of the day: Fri Feb 2 11:22:22 PST 2001


Sentence fragments are sometimes employed intentionally for emphasis or effect, especially in fiction. For example, the series of fragments below help convey the fast pace, the frustration, and the anonymity of a waitress's work.
Then there was dinner. Drinks. Wine. Specifics as the doneness of steaks or roasts. Complaints. I ordered medium rare. Is this crab really fresh? And heavey trays. The woman who managed the restaurant saw to it that waitresses and bus girls "shared" that labor, possibly out of some vaguely egalitarian sense that the trays were too heavy for any single group. ---Alice Adams, "By the Sea"

Intentional fragments should be used sparingly in formal writing, however, and they work only if the missing words are clearly implied by the context.
In view of these facts, is automation really useful? Or economical? [The words missing from the second question can easily be supplied from the context.]

Heather Fri Feb 2 10:59:57 PST 2001

John - don't be apologizing! It was a GOOD story. I sensed that nearing the end you didn't put as much into it as you did at the beginning - but you know what? Think about what happens in the end of the story. The main character feels terrible about the stolen VCR but can't do much about it. He even feels like moving away so Big George won't drive by his house and threaten him on the phone. I sure would too! The slowing down of the ending suited what happened IN the story. The way it came out was great. I just couldn't let the punctuation pass me by (sorry, I can be a nit-pick). Don't be afraid to post your stories by writing them off the cuff like that. I almost always do! It gives you a kind of writer's high to write furiously and then post it, without the opportunity to change what you've written.

I guess I sort of neglected to include the thought that her happiness was the revenge? I didn't really say that.
Teekay - thank you.
Mary - thank you.

Howard, your sonnet is beautiful.
Hallee, I didn't see your shortie anywhere, so I'll have to go hunt it down...! I wouldn't want to miss out on one.

Jerry, gee willikers! I didn't really like the story, but the images stayed on my mind; that in itself is proof of a good one. The description of George's head being 'removed' was more than enough for me.

Tina, I really enjoyed your shortie! Well written and an interesting way of dealing with a student that seems uninterested in class. A+!


Fri Feb 2 10:04:36 PST 2001


Wow. That's some echo. Where is everybody?

Mary Fri Feb 2 07:29:58 PST 2001

Great Shorties!! If I had to choose a personal favorite, it would be....ummmmm....nope. I'm not gonna do it. They were all good.

JOHN, shorties are great written that way. There is a lot of truth in something written on the fly. You stuck your neck out, and, "Bravo!" If the story wasn't good, I dont think that Heather would have commented on it the way she did. I wrote mine that way too and there are a lot of things I would change about it this morning. I had a few misused words in there and it could use a good clean-up.

HALLEE: Took the test you linked to. High fives to TEEKAY!! I am in the 1% too! I am an INFP (Searcher) and my number 1 job suggestion was psychologist, then counselor and writer was dead freakin' last. Oh, well....whatcha gonna do?

HOWARD: Kudos on the sonnet. I can't write one to save my life. They always come out like a psycho nursery rhyme.

HEATHER: Intense shortie last night. "closed the lid of my heart".....doesn't get any better than that. Perfect image and suggestion.

JERRY: Holy s**t! I figured the guy was gonna shoot him but I didn't think he would blow his head off. Shock value: 8.4 on Richter scale.

Write strong!

John Fri Feb 2 06:25:09 PST 2001

First things first...I have to apologize for forcing a half-baked cake on everyone. My story about Big George should have been more explicit and more colorful at the end. The simple fact is that I put less than two hours into it and I was tired half way through (Long crappy day at work)

I posted it without re-reading or editing. Then I had the audacity to throw it at y'all.

JERRY: Cool George story! My weapon of choice woulda been a baseball bat.

HEATHER: I just could have died when I read your critique and realized that I did exactly the opposite of what you told me. Can I blame that on a bad day too? Mark is a character all his own. He enters a lot of my stories and he needed to be in that one because he is a key antagonist of the problem. I'll do better next time. Thanks

TeeKay: That was too kind....No, really.
Revenge Stew was great. Being a cook m'self, I think I'll clip that one out and save it.

HOWARD: On "Revenge"...Wow You just touched someone who normally "doesn't get it".

Here's my lame first attempt at Haiku (revenge style)

the rapist is dead
no joy no satisfaction
too many others


Hallee Fri Feb 2 01:51:08 PST 2001

The test listed my number one occupation as lawyer or judge. Then it went on from, teacher, administrator, executive secretary, etc. All of those kind of jobs you must be completely anal to do (before anyone is offended..I'm an executive secretary/office manager). There wasn't the first artsy type job - haha - who is surprised.

Great stories all. I'm curious if the word revenge sparked the stories - and if those were the first scenarios that immediately came to mind. Mine was. (And I'm glad everyone ignored the obvious mistake that said, "daddy promised me"...when it should have been "daddy made me promise")

I must go see where I am in chapter 4.


Hallee Fri Feb 2 01:30:05 PST 2001

LITTER: WOW. What a story.


Tina Fri Feb 2 00:57:49 PST 2001

Okay Hallee, I went and took your test. Turns out I'm exactly what I always knew, an 'Artisan', or ISFP. Number one on my occupation list is artist. No surprised for Tina!

Now I'm really going.

Ya sure.



Tina Fri Feb 2 00:37:42 PST 2001

Okay I know it's late but writing this took longer than I expected. It also got a bit long. Sorry.

Had much fun reading the shorties, as always. Howard, I love your sonnet. I'm always impressed by how willing you are to experiment.

Speaking of the book exchange, I finally sent off 'Ender's Game', Mark. No good excuse, just me being too lazy to go to the post office! :-)

Okay, without further rambling, I'll paste in my shortie. :-)

The bell rang and most of my students settled down to work. One by one, each student came up to discuss their progress, show me their ideas and ask questions, then head off to the library if needed or work at their desk. Of course, keeping a group of fifteen year olds focussed wasn’t easy, but they all knew that I allowed some leeway as long as the work got done.

Joanne, however, always tested my patience. She gossiped, complained, and talked about clothes and music with complete disregard for the work or the other students. Asking her to work never helped, and ordering her to be quiet created only temporary results. I wanted to shout at her, to kick her out, to be rid of her disturbance. The only reason I didn’t was because she reminded me too much of me.

How many times had I sat in Mr. Brookes English class gossiping, giggling, and trading insults? I certainly couldn’t remember. Most of grade ten, I suppose. He’d had no qualms about kicking me out of class and shouting at me. The only reason I’d passed English that year was because I aced the final exam, not through any effort on my part or his. And after that test result came in, and I’d stolen his satisfaction at seeing me fail, he said those words to me. “You’re grades don’t matter! You’ll never amount to anything anyway! Teaching you is a waste of time.” I’d hated him then, and wished that somehow I could have revenge.

I remembered those words as I sat and looked at Joanne, the only student not to come see me yet. I knew that she hadn’t done any work yet, probably hadn’t even started the assignment. Even as I called her name and told her to come up to the desk, I didn’t see much point in making an effort.

“So let’s see where you’re at,” I suggested, knowing full well that she had nothing to show me.

“I’m at your desk,” she giggled at her own joke.

“Joanne, have you even started?”

She didn’t answer, just lifted her chin defiantly. The saucy look in her eyes made me want to scream. I didn’t want her in my class, didn’t want to deal with her at all. Then she smiled a bit, because she thought she’d won.

Just as I was about to go into lecture mode, I remembered how every time I’d been thrown out of that English class had been a victory, an hour won away from the tyranny of authority. I stopped myself from saying the words I’d been about to let loose, refused to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Brookes, English Teacher from Hell. Instead I asked her a question.

“What don’t you like about this assignment, Joanne?”

She didn’t expect that. “Ummm, it’s boring,” she retorted but not with her usual sass.

“What makes it boring?”

“I don’t like poetry.”

“Okay. Poetry’s not for everyone. Do you like music?”

She eyed me suspiciously, as if she sensed a trap. “Yeah.”

“What kind, hip-hop?” She nodded slowly in response. “How about this. Instead of finding three poems you like, find three songs and analyse the lyrics for the devices in the assignment. Is that more your thing?”

Joanne nodded again.

“Good. You’ve even got your disc-man here to get started with.”

With that unexpected permission to listen to her music, Joanne returned to her desk and pulled the player out of her bag. After a few minutes of listening and punching buttons, she pulled the CD case out and opened up the lyrics.

I thought again of Mr. Brookes and his words. I thought about the six years I’d spent in University, the three years of teaching on call, and the last two years since getting a full time posting. I smiled, because despite his words I’d earned my degree and I had amounted to something, a teacher. A good teacher, not one who’d use words and authority to belittle a student and poison their confidence. It felt good, knowing that his poison had not become a part of me. And I knew then that I had my revenge.


heather Fri Feb 2 00:07:29 PST 2001

I forgot to mention that I did that personality quiz earlier today, too! I'm a 'Knight'(INFJ) and they make up 1% of the population. The first occupation listed for INFJ's is CLERGY!!!
Next is English or Art teacher. Writer or journalist is a little ways down from there, but I can't remember what number.
I thought I'd see if my husband would take the quiz, but as soon as I mentioned it, his face had this silly, 'Not So Long As I Breathe' grin. Are quizzes known for converting men into drag queens? C'mon guys! It's not like the test will suddenly find you singing Marilyn's version of 'Happy Birthday', or make you pluck your eyebrows and wear fishnet stockings! I mean, you can do that anyway, if that's your heart's desire.

Need sleep. Too far from original topic.


P.S. Moonie! Come back will ya? Moonmomma is a very good friend of mine! We've been mistaken for sisters for years.


Heather Thu Feb 1 23:39:01 PST 2001

Teekay! Thank you for remembering to send on Midworld! I'm now positively excited, and also terribly ashamed. I have forgotten all about sending TINA 'Holding Wonder'!
Where is that little Bart Simpson? I want to make him eat his hat. If he weren't a cartoon, that is.


Ay Carumba! It's me twice twice Thu Feb 1 23:35:37 PST 2001

Sorry, folks. Haven't goofed and posted twice in a while. Must be that Jacob Two-Two Flu Virus Virus going around around...


Heather Thu Feb 1 23:33:44 PST 2001

John - Forgive me if I critique your shortie on revenge?

I enjoyed your story about Big George, but the ending two paragraphs hadn't as much vibrance as the first. I do think it adequately reflects how the main character is feeling, however, so you may have done this on purpose. When you mentioned 'Mark, the cartoonist', near the end, perhaps it would help the reader to include something such as 'Mark, the office cartoonist'. Otherwise this added person is distracting and we have no idea what he's doing in the middle of a story about Big George and the guy who lost his VCR (who's name isn't Mark).

You're still putting the punctuation on the outside of your dialogue quotes. Periods, commas, and question marks that are punctuating the sentence(s) of dialogue need to be inside the double quotes.
"It's not every day you get to hear stories like these," Kathy smiled.
"How 'bout lunch?" he asked.
"I'd rather die than eat that mouldy tuna!"

I really enjoyed the story. I could picture Big George and how awful it would have been had he been seeking revenge on me! I think your writing style is compelling. It is as if we were standing around having coffee, and you just told me this strange tale!

Teekay, your poem was pure genius! A teaspoon of that potion is enough for a lifetime's worth of antacid.

Must get back to reading the rest of these hum-dingers!

Barnabas, I haven't forgotten, but I will have to re-read your stories before I give you an indepth critique. Don't worry, I don't bite (usually)!


Heather Thu Feb 1 23:33:26 PST 2001

John - Forgive me if I critique your shortie on revenge?

I enjoyed your story about Big George, but the ending two paragraphs hadn't as much vibrance as the first. I do think it adequately reflects how the main character is feeling, however, so you may have done this on purpose. When you mentioned 'Mark, the cartoonist', near the end, perhaps it would help the reader to include something such as 'Mark, the office cartoonist'. Otherwise this added person is distracting and we have no idea what he's doing in the middle of a story about Big George and the guy who lost his VCR (who's name isn't Mark).

You're still putting the punctuation on the outside of your dialogue quotes. Periods, commas, and question marks that are punctuating the sentence(s) of dialogue need to be inside the double quotes.
"It's not every day you get to hear stories like these," Kathy smiled.
"How 'bout lunch?" he asked.
"I'd rather die than eat that mouldy tuna!"

I really enjoyed the story. I could picture Big George and how awful it would have been had he been seeking revenge on me! I think your writing style is compelling. It is as if we were standing around having coffee, and you just told me this strange tale!

Teekay, your poem was pure genius! A teaspoon of that potion is enough for a lifetime's worth of antacid.

Must get back to reading the rest of these hum-dingers!

Barnabas, I haven't forgotten, but I will have to re-read your stories before I give you an indepth critique. Don't worry, I don't bite (usually)!


Jerry Thu Feb 1 22:47:11 PST 2001

Just a note for those of you who have yet to try Opera give it a try, if you have tried earlier versions, give the new one a try. Latest version is 5.0 and it is the absolut FASTEST browser available. Page loading is about three times faster then IE or Netscape. This version also has built in e-mail and simply pops up with a new window when email is received. Not that I am selling it or anything, just thought you might want to give it a try. I finally got this stupid hard drive working, sort of, well good enough so I can use it anyhow, also put a used 3D video card in so now I can play Toruk again, I missed that game, had it on my old computer that I sold my sister, but I fond a good card on Ebay that will handle the game so scarffed it up. Well I know how bored you all get when I talk computers so I will sign off. Thanks for the comments on my shory tonight, wrote if off the top of my head just seconds before I posted it. I was getting a bit worried, as my wife and daughter had to drive up to Dickinson, about a hundered miles north of here tonight, my daughter had to deliver the Newspaper for printing up there, the wife went along to keep her awake. They just got home, the daughter dropped the wife off then went home. That was at 11:30 PM, and the wife has to go in to work her last day at the hospital in the morning. Guess she proabaly won't have much to do on her last day, but say good-bye to all her friends and clean out her desk. Kind of sad to see her have to quit her job, she loves the work so, but her arthritis is just getting the best of her and she can't stand working anymore. We are hoping that Social Security will put her on disability, as there is no way she can work anymore, but that usually takes so much time, guess we will be tightening up the belts for awhile, but we have done that before and always managed, and I am sure we will this time too.

Read you all in the morning, bedtime for this bonzo.


Teekay Thu Feb 1 21:43:26 PST 2001

Dratted fingers have a mind of their own.

JERRY: For fear of repeating myself over and over again, I just read your revenge story and I love it.

Teekay Thu Feb 1 21:41:21 PST 2001

CHRISTI: Mine said writer/journalist too!!!! It must be true!
Although it said it 10th.
The first was lawyer, or was that liar?
Then scientist. I'm flattered.
No detective though. I just can't understand it. heh heh.
I'd love to swap books.

HEATHER: I have midworld all bagged up heading your way Monday. I'd forgotten that I hadn't sent it. Sorry.

Christi Thu Feb 1 21:18:26 PST 2001

Hello all!

Mark, Thanks, I hadn't heard that one.

Teekay, Let's exchange books! Wanna? But I must finish 'Telling Lies for Fun and Profit' first.

Grammer tipper of the day, Thank you! I have learned some things.

I'm happy to notice that Americo and Rosemary are back. Hi guys!

Teekay, HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Laughing my ass off. Your daily routine is brilliant to behold! I couldn't say it better so I won't.
Wow, great poem and great joke.

Welcome, Moonmomma. Moonmomma?

Ramon, *WHHHHHOOOOOOP!* That's the sound of a whip swirling 'round my head. I'd suggest that you get cracking or soon the whip will be!

Mary, Poor Duke! Is he okay? Did you think he had rabies at first? :)

Hi to EVERYONE! And thanks for all the funnies and stories. I'm too far behind to say something to all but I read everything.

Hallee, That was an amazing test. It named me an ENFP, or "The observer" (5% of the population), and the number one occupation was reporter/writer! Is this test supposed to be for women only? I know the website is a women's website but the test appears to be bi-sexual (wink wink), or, rather, unisex! Guys, you should check it out too!

Jerry, Heather, Mary, absolutely great shorties!

Litter, Wow. That was good. :)

Ali, Are you okay?

John, I really enjoyed your shortie!

Howard, Your jokes are the milk and your poem the cream. (This is meant as a compliment for both!)

Oh I'm so tired I barely was able to read the posts, but I enjoyed them so. My sister kindly stayed over for several days while my husband was away. The only downside was that we stayed up until the sun rose for four days in a row. Got some great bonding stuff in! Please excuse me if I make no sense. No shortie tonight, only bed. Ohhhh, bed. What a wonderful word.

Jerry Thu Feb 1 21:17:48 PST 2001

Ok, here is a little try at the revenge thing. Oh by the way, the weatherman says it is -3 F right now, but will warm up to +44 tomorow. Neat when it does that.

George Bastion was one mean son of a bitch. Everyone in the little town of Minta knew that. Everyone in town stayed out of George’s way, they would cross the street to the other side if they saw him coming. In fact they were so afraid of George that it rubbed of on Marne, Georges wife. Marne was not mean, not so's anyone could tell anyhow, but then nobody ever crossed her for fear George would beat the hell out of them. So it was natural that when Marne walked down the street most folks would cross to the other side too, just in case.

George was sort of a legend around Minta, he lived there all his life, the trouble with George all started when he was just twelve years old, and young Martin Anderson crossed him the wrong way on the way home from school. Martin was a small sickly pale kid who couldn’t whip his way out of a wet paper bag if his life depended on it, everyone knew that. George knew that too. Well George was walking through the park, that one over by the school behind City Hall when he met Martin. Martin was carrying most all his books like he always did, so he could keep his grades up. George slipped his leg out in front of Martin, and Martin tripped, losing his books, one of which flew in the air, and landed squarely between Georges legs, right where it hurts the worst. George figured that Martin did this on purpose, but we all knew it had to be an accident because Martin didn’t have a mean bone in his frail little body. George grabbed little Martin and began beating him. We all gathered around, as kids do and watched the fight. Well it wasn’t really a fight, it was a beating. After Martin took several punches to his belly, and one to his nose, he fell to the ground on the soft green grass, and George put the boots to him, kicking him in the belly, the legs, and finally several times in his head. When George walked away, we went to help Martin up, but he didn’t respond. He would never respond again. He lay in the hospital for weeks in a coma, and was finally transferred to the old folks home where he could be cared for until he died.

The laws back then said we had to rehab kids not put them in jail, so George had to attend anger management classes for two weeks for what he did, he laughed all the way home every night, he knew he got over and that nobody would take him on.

That was fifteen years ago, Martin still lives up in the old folks home, I used to go to visit him every day, when I am there, I read the latest Archie comic to him. They tell me that he can’t hear me, but I knew better. Last week, my big brother Martin died. He went very peacefully, just when I got to the end of the Archie comic, he just quit breathing. There was no gasp, no death rattle, what ever that is, he simply quit breathing and he was gone.

When I left the Old Folks Home, I knew what had to be done. What I should have done months ago, years ago, had to be done now. I went looking for George, and I found him with his wife Marne, in the Busted T café. They were sitting at the counter, and the rest of the café was empty, as it always was when George was in. Helen was behind the counter, and looked scared to death, in fact when I walked in she looked a little relieved. I told George that I needed to talk to him outside, and he laughed. “Why can’t we talk in here?” he asked laughing.

“What I have to say must be said in private!”

George got up off his bar stool, and made his way out the front door. I was amazed to see half the men in town standing there. George saw them too, and he stopped laughing. He turned to leave, but there Alfred Pierce and Adam Drake blocked the way. Then I realized that those fellows standing there were the same ones who were standing around that day that George put my big brother in a coma.

“Get the Hell out of my way!” Demanded George, I could see Marne peeking out from the window in the café door.

Nobody said a word, but the circle of men closed in tight around George. Then Ralph Pierce took the first swing. He hit George in the belly with a baseball bat. Anders Samson struck next with a two-by-four to the right shoulder, and I heard the collarbone snap as it broke, George let out a scream that had to be heard by the rest of the town. Clayton Nelson hit next with a shovel, which he struck George over the top of his head, and put him to the ground. Everyone backed away, as Sheriff Anderson walked up to George.

“H h h help me Sheriff, they’s going to kill me!” George begged.

Sheriff Anderson drew his .357 Mag Smith and Wesson Model 19 revolver and pulled the hammer to the rear. George started backing away; using his hands to push his body backward, as he realized that Sheriff Anderson still limped from the beating he took from George when he was growing up. The Sheriff squeezed the trigger, and the gun barked causing a ball of flame the size of a basket ball to burst from the short 4 inch barrel. The top of George’s head flew off, spraying brains and blood all over the wall of the café.

The Sheriff turned to us, and with a calm level voice said, “Move along boys, nothing to see here.”

Teekay Thu Feb 1 21:04:20 PST 2001

HOWARD:........................That was absolutely amazing! I shake my head in awe and amazement.

Teekay Thu Feb 1 20:48:57 PST 2001

Whoooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee HOT SIX IS IN!!!!!!!!

JOHN: Good story. well done. I feel patronising. Sorry, don't mean to be.

HALLEE: I copied and pasted that site.
My personality type is 'the conceiver' (I'm pretty sure that's not pregnancy type they're meaning.) 1% of the population. No wonder nobody understands me!
What did you get?

SWAN & ALI: Welcome.

LITTER: Bravo. Knock 'em down ending.

ALLEIN: That Simpson's quote reminded me of a far side card that went something like this:
'Harry Bolt had been trying for years to invent a machine to understand the language of dogs.'
and there's this picture of Hary with this huge contraption stuck on his head and all the dogs are saying 'woof, woof. yap,yap, woof,woof.'
I thought it was funny.

Ummmm, I think that's it.

howard Thu Feb 1 20:35:10 PST 2001

I got thinking about the topic for tonight, and thought I'd try a sonnet instead of a short story. Sometimes revenge doesn't work out quite as planned. Sometimes it backfires. Most times it's the unforgiving, not the unforgiven, that ultimately suffers. I just wrote this - haven't punctuated it yet, but I guess it gets the idea across.


how then to know that I willed not to say
the things that hidden in my heart did lie
so you would go in darkness all your days
while I in bitterness hid from your eyes
forgiveness I could give to ease your pain
the cold and lonely silence of remorse
the knowing that your grief will be in vain
that you may never come to comfort’s source
what vengeance unfulfilled could be as sweet
what wages never paid would satisfy
what destiny could ever be as meet
as knowing that each day you wait to die
but if this guilt be borne by you alone
why is my heart the one that turns to stone?

(c) 2001 howard tuckey

John Thu Feb 1 19:10:04 PST 2001

Well...Here's my stab at Revenge

George wasn’t much of a talker. In fact, it was rare he said anything at all. Being a bit slow of wit and having such a large physique, both in frame and obesity, folks referred to him as “Big Dumb George”. But not to his face. You see, he had a violent side and since he apparently lacked the ability to think, George had a tendency to settle all his disputes with his hands. The dents in his ’74 Chevy were mainly the result of George losing his temper and punching the car, so mostly everyone just called him Big George.

Since his position at our factory was that of general maintenance I never really had a reason to talk to him, me spending most of my time in the office and rarely making it out on the factory floor. So the day George decided that I should do him a favor, took me a bit by surprise.

Big George came to me on the Friday afternoon of a fine Spring day with a request in mind. His VCR was acting up and he was told that I knew everything about VCR repair, so naturally I would be willing to cancel all my personal plans over the weekend to accommodate his repair needs. “My VCR don’t work and I heard you’ll fix it for me”, George opened. No small talk, no introductions. Just a work order for VCR repair from a complete stranger to a complete stranger. “How much”, he said. I was still in shock. I just stared at him, and I’m sure my mouth was hanging open. Not only was I no longer a technician, I was struggling to figure out where he would get such information. “How much what”?, I asked. He answered, “How much to fix it. I need it back by Monday”. I really needed to get back to work and wasn’t sure how he’d react to me telling him to get the hell out of my office. “Gee George, I don’t even know what’s wrong with it. I’ll tell ya what, I’ll take a look at it and if there’s any charge for parts or anything, you can pay me for those”. George nodded his head, walked out of the room, went to his car, brought the VCR back to my office, and set it on my desk, owners manual and all. “I need it Monday”, he said as he walked back out on to the factory floor. Not a “thank you” or a “have a nice weekend”. All I could think was, “What an asshole”.

It was a nice VCR. Sony. Lots of buttons and gadgets that nobody uses. I couldn’t imagine George being able to find the power button. So there it started. I put the thing in my back seat and headed home for the night. But, I needed to stop at the store for a couple of things. So I went to the local grocery, but by the time I came out 15 minutes later, the VCR was gone. No damage to the car, just a neat little heist. The thief humorously placed the owners manual in the drivers seat, like he was leaving a note to let me know that I’m an idiot. I just wanted the last 15 minutes of my life back. Having my share of financial difficulties, there was no way I could get a replacement and something told me that George wasn’t going to be too understanding.

Monday came soon enough. I tracked George down as soon as I arrived at work and explained what had happened. “What about your insurance”?, he asked. I explained that I contacted my insurance agent and my deductible was higher than the value of the VCR so I couldn’t place a claim. Remarkably, George didn’t understand. “I want my VCR”, he demanded. I said, “Well, I don’t have much money George, and I feel really bad about this, so how about I find a used VCR”? “No”, he grunted, “I want a new VCR, just like the one you lost”. I said, “I just don’t have the money for that George, hell, I don’t even have a VCR of my own”! George said, “Just like the one you lost”, and walked away.

There was no way I could get a new replacement, but I felt bad so I took my last 100 dollars out of savings and found a nice used VCR anyway. Lots of buttons. George refused to take it. In fact, I think he was trying to decide which of my bodily orifices were most suitable for it. That was the last time we spoke. For the next nine months, George made it his mission to get even with the jerk who lost his VCR. Seeing his car drive by my house became a regular event.

It was terrorism, George-style. Nine months of drive-bys, tossing garbage in my lawn, messing up my desk at work, stupid phone threats. Nothing more than an annoying pestilence that seemed to creep into every day. My guilt of the theft kept me from complaining and I felt that the terrorist tendencies would eventually wear off but George was a purist. He finally got a thought in his head, and that thought was revenge for his lost, broken VCR. There was no shaking it. To make it worse, someone in the factory was drawing pictures for the company bulletin board of the continuing saga of Big George and his vengeance. I started to think about quitting my job. I started thinking that maybe he would do me a favor and get hit by an airplane or something. So when the news came, everyone was anxious for the look on my face. Especially Mark, the cartoonist.

It was now winter. The snows of December were heavy, both in volume and consistency. George, in his mid forties and grossly overweight, was in no condition to be shoveling snow that evening. The heart attack was swift and he died alone on the sidewalk of his home. “George died last night”, Mark said. “Really”?, I asked. It was all I could eke out. “Yup”, he said, “Died of a heart attack shoveling the snow”. “I guess I don’t know how to feel about that”, I said. The weather had turned quite warm that morning and most of the snow was melted by noon. I looked out the window by my office and watched as water poured from the eaves and grass began peeking through the snow. I thought about the storm the night before and the one over the past year. I thought how the snow came and went…. and took George with it. It was over. I still don’t know how I feel.

SWAN Thu Feb 1 18:52:34 PST 2001

ALI--strong, and descriptive verses. It makes me feel a lonliness that sun could never warm, or melt away.

Allein Thu Feb 1 18:52:05 PST 2001

Teekay - I liked Romy and Michelle's high school reunion. Romy reminded me a lot of my friend Ruth. :)

"I know you can read my thoughts, boy: Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow."
- Homer Simpson

Ali Thu Feb 1 18:38:55 PST 2001

I'll be gone

alone in a dark room
voices, through the walls-
heard but not comprehended.
emptiness, complete and total;
nothing penetrates the pain.

there was a time,
long ago,
when it wasn't so dark here.
life, light, and happiness
all joined together
in the joyous dance that was my life.

but the lights went out
and I exist in my cage.
every day adds a bar
and my life is slowly ebbing.
pain adds strength to iron,
to the bars that hold me in.

no one sees
no one knows
no one cares
I'll end my days here,
in this armoured room,
and my going won't casue a ripple-
by the time they break into the box,
supposing they ever do,
it'll be too late.
I'll be gone.

SWAN Thu Feb 1 17:23:30 PST 2001

Joe unlocked his motel door. Thick smoke rolled out of the cheap and dirty room. He stepped out into the night, like an owl ready to roam the woods. Smelling the raw city air, he stalked his way to the liquor store. "Hey, you live in room 35, right?", shouted a hidden face from behind. "Yeah, on my way to the L, I havn't seen your face around.", Joe smoothly answered turning around in the woman's direction.

Thu Feb 1 16:22:08 PST 2001

This man walked in to a bar. "Ouch!" - It was an iron bar.

Litter Thu Feb 1 16:12:39 PST 2001

"I was there, the day he took his revenge. It was savage and bloody and, years later, I still cannot rid myself of the image of such wanton barbarism, try as I may. But I did not look away -- I could not look away, so compelling was the final reckoning.

Understand, though, I wasn't a participant, only an onlooker. I was on the edge of the crowd that surrounded him. I knew my place and I wasn't about to get embroiled in political irresponsibility, let alone the violence that was inevitable.

Truth to tell, I reckoned that he had ploughed his own furrow and probably deserved much of what he got. (I wouldn't say that in public back then, of course.) But he must've known what was likely to happen? Still, he would take his revenge, and I did find myself taking more kindly to him afterward. Strange that!

When his time came he knew exactly what to do. He left them nowhere to go. He let them do their worst and then he and he took his revenge and, oh, it made me smile to watch.

They thought he was there to denounce them, those pompous fools. Then, they would have won and stand vindicated before the crowd. But he didn't denounce them -- he forgave them. Would you believe that? He hung there, bloody and dying, and he forgave them. Then he died and they had nowhere left to go.

You could feel the heat of their anger, as they withdrew from that place…


And now off to look at the other contributions. Where does all the time go?

All good things,


Teekay Thu Feb 1 13:46:31 PST 2001

Hi All,

MARY: Hilarious. Poor Duke. He just won't be the same anymore. First time a gun fires, that's it - therapy!
Soooo funny, and you're right, hasn't happened to me before, and probably won't (thank goodness)

RRRRAMON: Thankyou. Before you come to any conclusions Michelle and Romy's high school reunion is the only high school reunion movie I've ever seen. Oh wait, except for Peggy Sue got married, which I have seen about 6 times. Oh yes and then there was...........

HALLEE: Good one. That site looks really interesting (and long *gulp*)
Must duck over later and see if I have a personality. What if I have a horrible one? Maybe it's better not knowing. I don't want to have to go to the effort of having to change it I had this one for years and it feels so comfortable on.

HEATHER: WOW! Powerful stuff.

MARY: Fantastic. And brilliant detail too. Added those perfect touches and I could see it all.
I didn't get the impression he was reading his trenchcoat. Just so you'd know.

This man walked in to a bar and he had a frog on his head.
"Where'd ya get that from Mate?" askd the bartender.
"Ah, it started as a pimple on me arse and just kept growin!"
said the frog.


No Im not. It's funny, I guess you just have to tell it right.


Take one cup of anger,
and one ounce of rue,
a dollop of bitterness,
and mix into a stew.

Now turn up the heat,
add a splash of turmoil,
throw in hate and pain,
and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down to simmer,
then stir it a bit,
now add some malice,
and allow to let sit.

Remove from the fire,
to take off the scald,
for 'tis said this dish,
is best when served cold.

And now it is ready,
take a spoon named avenge,
and sip from the ladle
the sweet taste of revenge.

I must warn you however
only use a small bowl,
for revenge has been known
to cause rot of the soul.

Serves 1.

Earl Grey is callin' my name, catch you all later.

Debra Thu Feb 1 13:25:24 PST 2001


I wouldn't beat myself up for that if I were you. First of all if you make sure that people know he is reading the letter some people will accuse you of too many words to say the same thing.

I clearly knew he was reading the letter. I wouldn't have ever wondered what he was reading and thought you were at fault once I figured it out.


howard Thu Feb 1 13:25:03 PST 2001

MARY -- No, that's not quite the same. The context resolves the "it" (that's being read) back to the letter. I can't explain it, but there's no conflict here. Neat twist!
Kinda reminds me of one of my favorite lines to use in the pet food aisle of the grocery store (if there are other people in the aisle). While my wife is getting the dog food, I'll go on to the cat food shelves, pick out a few cans, and call back to her "Honey, which one of these had that good casserole recipe on the label?" You should see some of the looks we get! :-)

Mary Thu Feb 1 13:10:42 PST 2001

HOWARD: I did it again. The first line of my shortie sounds like he is standing there reading his fireplace, or maybe his trenchcoat instead of the letter. Sighs. I seriously need to work on that tendency of mine.

Mary Thu Feb 1 13:02:19 PST 2001

John came home from work that night to an empty house and a letter. He stood in his trenchcoat beside the dead fireplace and read it slowly more than once, letting it sink in nice and deep.
"Ha! The stupid bitch finally left me," he said to his reflection in the beveled glass mirror above the mantle. He threw his coat across the arm of the couch, relishing in the idea that it would still be there in the morning.

He made his way to the kitchen, casually flipping on light switches as he went, and opened the refrigerator door. The shelves were freshly cleaned and absent of their usual stacks of plastic containers full of left-overs. In the middle of the top shelf was a large stock pot. He lifted the lid. "Well, wasn't that nice of her? Spaghetti and favorite."

John debated not eating the last meal Kate would ever cook for him, but after all, she was famous for her meatballs and it could very well be the last time he would ever get them. He carried the pot to the stove and turned the burner on low, kicked off his shoes and loosened his tie. His whistled rendition of the "I Dream of Genie" theme echoed off the cool yellow tiles as he stirred the pot.

John was soon at the table, lifting swirls of sauce covered noodles with his fork, immensely enjoying his future ex-wife's meatballs even though they were still cold in the centers. Was strange how different they tasted when they were cold, but John was too tired to try heating them again and ate until he had to unbutton his pants.

With a huge bachelor belch he leaned back in his chair with a cheshire grin to survey his domain, and noticed the over flowing garbage can. His first instinct was to empty the can and take it out, but he stood up and was walking right past it when he noticed the empty Beef Dog Food cans perched on top. "Funny, we don't have a dog."

Jerry Ericsson Thu Feb 1 12:22:39 PST 2001

For those who wish they could use download managers with MP3's try the site above, it is a search engine for MP3's but they are on file servers rather then on Napster so your managers will work. Not as large a varity but I usually find some that I want when I go searching.


Heather Thu Feb 1 11:12:16 PST 2001


Once upon a simple life, a single uneducated decision altered the entire course of her existence. She stayed with him, even after he took his fist and drove it into the bridge of her nose.

Blood trickling down over her lips, she took flight up the decaying staircase and hid behind the bed in a small unheated bedroom. She drew her knees up under her chin, fresh crimson soaking into her threadbare jeans. She listened to the frigid wind howl outside, and the strange sound of her heart, beating in her eardrums.

In minutes he was standing in the doorway. He heard the hushed whimper that escaped her as she cowered, crushed up between the window and the bedframe. There was a long silence.

His promise echoed in the walls of her heart as she reached for his now-tender hand.


She stared into the mirror above the sink, scrutinizing the latest cuts and bruises. Easy to concentrate on the pain, her damaged features, instead of staring into her own eyes. She had avoided it for nearly two years. What was it that had changed? For today at last, she confronted those eyes in her mirror, and felt the shock eddy through her body. This is not me, she thought. This is not the real me at all.

That afternoon she closed the lid of her heart, and walked to meet him, a resolve pulsing inside her that she had never before felt.


She heard of his arrest not long after her life was once again changed by her single choice. His crime would imprison him far longer than he had imprisoned her heart.
His crime would lift his shadow from her future, long enough for her to find herself, a self he had never known.
A self he could never cage.

Her footsteps are free.
Her laughter is light,
her soul fresh from a very long bath.

(c) Heather Myles 2001

Hallee Thu Feb 1 11:06:23 PST 2001

To all you ladies out there:

This webpage address was too long for the link thingy above.,6103,7119_127651,00.html

This is to a Jungian (sp) personality test for women that was extremely interesting and insightful. I scored as an ISJT, "The Elder" (hardee har har) which is supposed to be about 6% of the population.

I'm not positive if you have to have AOL to access it or not - I don't think so. Try it out.


Hallee Thu Feb 1 10:49:46 PST 2001


“Here we go! Frozen margaritas!” Betty set the frosty glass on the table in front of Gerald.

“It’s damned hot,” Gerald said, draining half of the glass in one swallow. “Coming from a New York February, the islands are a little hard to take.”

Betty smiled brightly. “Well, you have a nice cold drink. Do you want to take a dip in the pool?”

“Not really. I’d rather get to know you better. We seem to keep running into each other, and I’m thinking it must be fate telling us something.” Five minutes later, he paused in mid-sentence, gasping.

Betty moved behind him and looped her arms around his neck. “Having a little trouble breathing?” He wasn’t able to speak, so he nodded his head emphatically, his breath coming out in quick rasping sounds. She kissed his cheek. “Good. Just relax and let the drug work.”

He brought his hands up to claw at his throat, but they were heavy and barely made it off the chair arms.

She put her mouth close to his ear. “Years and years ago, you ruined my father with a scam investment, and he killed himself over it. I was stuck in the foster system until I turned eighteen, and since then I’ve been plotting. It was pretty easy, you know. I know all about your preference for busty blondes, even if the blonde is out of a bottle. And I knew if I showed up everywhere you went for a while, you’d eventually notice me. Especially here, with all these beautiful island girls with the dark hair. I knew I’d stand out.”

His lips were blue and his eyes were glazing over. She lowered her voice even further. “See, Gerry baby, daddy promised me to take care of it, to make sure that you didn’t get away with it.”

His body went limp and slumped in the chair. Betty eyed the still frosty glass. “And revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Heather Thu Feb 1 10:36:48 PST 2001

Don't fib, I know you all laughed.

Heather walk-by-slowly-posting Thu Feb 1 10:35:00 PST 2001

Mary! Shaving cream also has an unusual use: It cleans vomit out of carpets nicely - smell and all.
You don't want to know how I discovered that.

Interesting shades of humour, everyone. I have a friend from Newfoundland who tells Newfie jokes - ones I haven't heard!

They aren't appropriate for the notebook, I'm sure.
What can I say? I clean the offices of a small factory, and for some reason the jokes that circulate factories are the kind I can't share here!
My husband comes home and shares some 'doozers' once in a while! Thankfully they are most often sexy jokes, rather than sexist.

But for some reason I still like this one, no matter how sexist it is:

Why do brides wear white?

Answer: Because the dishwasher has to match the fridge and stove.



Litter Drive-by-posting Thu Feb 1 10:13:10 PST 2001

HOWARD -- My wife is Polish. I know what the joke means.

MARY -- Sorry, that very same thing happened to me yesterday. Small world, you owe me $100…


howard Thu Feb 1 09:40:13 PST 2001

ANON POSTER -- TEll it slow -- that's great! Reminds me of one I heard a while ago:

Guy walks into a bar, has a few brews, and asks rather loudly "Anybody wanna hear a good Polack joke?"
Bartender (a real big hairy dude) says "Hang on a minute. See that 295 pound ex-linebacker sitting at that end of the bar, looking real mean? He's Polish. And see that six foot broad with the tattoos and the buzz haircut sitting at the other end of the bar, slamming shots and eating jalapenos? She's Polish. And," he says, reaching under the bar and bringing out a sawed off Louisville Slugger, "I'm Polish! Still wanna tell that joke?"
"Naw," says the guy, "I really don't wanna hafta explain it three times."

JERRY -- Gotta remember, this is a family affair -- we've got quite a few folks (me included) that might just take offense at certain shades of off-color.

ALLEIN -- Nice haiku!

MARY and HEATHER -- ditto!

I hadda come home early -- got the same stomach bug my grandkids had. Only lasted a day, but was rather intense while it lasted.


Mary Thu Feb 1 09:31:31 PST 2001

I bet $100 that this hasn't happened to anyone else here before:

I am standing in the kitchen, making bologna sandwiches, one with cheese, one without, when all of a sudden from the front room I hear a loud pop and the dog yelping. Next thing I know, Duke is running toward me down the hall with white slime hanging off of his face in gobs. Yikes. I dash to the living room to sleuth out what happened and couldn't believe my eyes. This white gunk was everywhere. Running down the television screen, all over the couch cushions, my new carpet. I was like, "What the hell???"

Then I see it. The metal can of hair mousse with the warning, "Do not puncture or incinerate," dented into the side. This thing looked like it had been through the Paul Mitchell Demolition Derby. Apparently it had taken Duke several chomps to get through the metal and he still isn't acting right. One thing I did learn was that hair mousse will take a grape juice stain right out of light beige carpet.

Top that!

Debra Thu Feb 1 07:59:23 PST 2001


Oh gosh can barely keep up with the posts I have a husband with migraine and now two year old twins with throwing up and the butt problem that comes with the throwing up too.

I'll be back.


Allein Thu Feb 1 07:39:52 PST 2001

Lying in my bed,
My mother surprised me with,
A Frappucino,

The ultimate treat,
Smooth, mocha, chocolate...wake up!
It's time for school again!

Yep, going to school. Hope I don't fall to the floor dead. No fever today, so I'm going but I wish I didn't have to go to the dentist today.

Moonmomma - Welcome!

Heather - liked the Haikus. Willy Wonka's cool too. I just saw that movie for the first time in December.


"Aye Caramba!"
- Bart Simpson

Ramon Thu Feb 1 06:00:59 PST 2001

I am afraid I haven't got anyting for todays shortie the theme of which is REVENGE. However I will use the time to finish my sci-fi piece on the workbook.

I've been thinkig lately that I've been a little neglectful with this piece I want to post. So I am going to get moving on it this weekend. I love writing I really do its just my work leaves me mentally drained and the only idea I look forward to having is whether I should sit on the sofa or lay on the floor to watch TV. But all that will change.

TEEKAY. Okay you can call me RRRRRAMON, as you're being so nice to me. I haven't seen Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, but then after watching the excellent GROSSE POINT BLANK, high school union flicks held no interest for me.

BARNABAS: I did read your story THE STONE, and I liked the idead of giving natural occurences their own personalities. It reminds of me of the how they portrayed blazing fires in BACKDRAFT and volcanoes in (HA HA) VOLCANO. I have seen it done many times but its not often the trick succeeds. You certainly seem to have hit the mark on the head, keeping it simple and avaiding elaborate features. Well Done.

JOHN AND LAURA: I've printed off your stories as I cant read them at work. I will take them home and give you a critique by Monday (hopefully). If you dont like what I have to say then dont worry you'll get your chance for revenge (an idea for tonight maybe??? HA HA HA HA). If you would prefer I can e-mail you my critiques.

CHRISTI: Any chance of a kick up the butt so I will get my story finished?

Take care all.

(Desperately Seeking a push)

Thu Feb 1 05:38:20 PST 2001

"Hey anybody want to hear a good Swed/German/French/etc joke?"
"Hey, wait just a minute there! I'm Swed/German/French/etc!"
"That's okay, I'll tell it slow"

Heather Thu Feb 1 00:31:13 PST 2001

Wait! Wait! Now Mary's being FUNNY!

Moonmomma, liked your Haiku very chocolatey much!


Willy Wonka's after me!


Heather Thu Feb 1 00:28:12 PST 2001

the one who is afraid? Teekay!
Brilliant riddle, you!

Is it me, or am I having the worst chocolate cravings in my entire life?

Haven't even read 'Like Water For Chocolate' recently. I do, however, believe in the Chocolate Bhudda. I must have had a vision.


Heather Thu Feb 1 00:23:37 PST 2001

Welcome, Moonmomma!!! :o)

Barnabas, I didn't critique your short stories because I haven't had much time, and I felt I'd be writing a long one. I will give you reasons tomorrow. Don't be frowning! We are all here to learn. I didn't say I HATED your stories!

Am I part of the 4 am club? I am sometimes just heading to bed at that time! (Eeeek)

Teekay, you are so hilarious and I just have to send you a giant hug and three pounds of handmade chocolate.
Uh, sorry about the chocolate. Must have left it on the register...

(*slurp, gobble*)
But you are still loved and funny!

Rachel, I am sending oodles of positive yummy thoughts your way! (Must be the chocolate interfering, who wrote that 'yummy'?)

Well, I haven't written a Haiku since grade something or other... but I'll TRY

Finest chocolate smudgings
Craving my palette
And I their sensuous tease


Mary Wed Jan 31 23:03:35 PST 2001

JERRY: I almost had a psychic boyfriend once, but he left me before we got together.

I have been contemplating your dilemma, but it is hard to come up with an answer because there are so many different types of psychics. There are the tarot reading psychics, the telekinetic people, etc. None of the psychics I have ever heard of are so psychic that they would know every move a person makes. Generally a person's greatest strength is also their weakness or their downfall. Could you find a way for another psychic to send the target false vibes? Or block signals or something like that? Maybe over load him with information? Hmmmmm. I punched, "How to fool a psychic" into my search engine and got hundreds of sites but no good ideas. Good luck.

Wed Jan 31 22:34:56 PST 2001

Have to agree with Rhonda about TV programs being racist. Simpson's for example, Apu having that stereotypical accent.

I'm not good at poetry. I can't tell if it's good or bad. If everyone says it's good it must be.

Right now if I was a smiley face I would be a frowning face with question marks around it. I thought my grammar suggestions were okay. I didn't realise they were that terrible. It would nice if you tell Viv (and me) what exactly you didn't agree with, it can't all be that bad. I tend to mouth what I read so if it doesn't sound natural to me I tend to make comments about it. I know for a fact that any onomatopoeia should be in italics, like "Ka-chunk" for example. I am a reasonable person so I would love some reasons.

That reminds me, that if you do find grammatical mistakes in my stories should you not tell me about them? It would be nice to know. Most of my stories are unpolished.

Wed Jan 31 22:21:13 PST 2001

Don't ask me how she sams her mother, it was supposed to be sees

Jerry Wed Jan 31 22:15:03 PST 2001

What this place could use is a bit of cop humor.

By way of explanation, up in this country there lives a healthy number of Norwegens. Now around here we tell norwegen jokes the way many tell polish jokes etc. So anyhow:

One day Lena tells Ole that she wants to learn how to drive so she can go to town, pick up the groceries, see her mother and come home. So Ole begins to teach her to drive, and after a couple of months, Lena gets the hang of driving, and Ole tells her she can go to town by herself. So Lena leaves, and that evening she pulls back in the yard and goes in the house where Ole is pacing the floor with worry. "Where have you been?" Demanded Ole.

"Oh Ole, it was just horrible, I went to town, picked up the groceries, sam my mother, and starts home, but the cop, he stopped me Ole."

"Well, what the heck did you do Lena"

"I didn't do nothing!"

"Well next week try it again." Says Ole.

So the next week, Lena gets in the car and goes to town. Late that evening she returns, and this time she is crying even harder. She relates to Ole that the cop stopped her again.

"Well tomorrow I have to go to town anyhow, you can drive me and I will hide under the dashboard and see what you did wrong."

"Ok Ole."

The next day, Ole and Lena drive to town, Lena is driving, they pick up the groceries, stop and visit with Lena's mother, then head for home. Sure as heck they get about half way home, and the Highway Patrolman pulls up behind them with his red lights on.

"Oh Ole, the cop he is stopping me again!"

"I see Lena, and you didn't do nothing wrong!"

"Oh no, here he comes to my window and he is un-zipping his pants!" "Oh Ole he is going to make me blow in the breatholizer again!"

Ok, so I thought it was funny when I heard it in breatholizer school way back when.

Oh don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Norwegens, I married one, and my kids are half Norwegens too. I am Swed/German/French/etc. myself.


Ben Woestenburg Wed Jan 31 22:06:28 PST 2001

The 4:00 a.m. club? I guess I'm a member. I get up at about 4:30 though, sometimes I sleep in til five, depends on how long I stay up the night before. When I'm on the night shift, I stay up 'til about three-thirty, sometimes later. I write until seven, then I go to work at 7:30. I work until 4:00 in the afternoon, then go home, sometimes have a drink (most times not though), sometimes I make a snack because I don't eat my breakfast and I don't take a lunch. I shower, shave, dress, and then have dinner. After everything's done, it's downstairs where the wife watches the toob, and I try to sit at the computer and figure out what I did in the morning. If I want to get up earlier, I go to bed earlier, but usually I get to bed around this time becuase my eyes are red and sore and I want to sleep because I can't wait to get to the keyboard if the story I'm working on is going the way I want it. So I guess I should be going to bed now.

Teekay Wed Jan 31 21:45:47 PST 2001

Sorry guys. Am having one of those days. Think I'll go and find a debating site now and get into a really good argument with someone. Nicely though.

Teekay Wed Jan 31 21:44:07 PST 2001

He who is afraid, I'm onto you,
I've solved the puzzle liked you said we should do.
Now your identity to me is perfectly clear,
and I have to tell you, I hold your heart dear.
For you are so wonderful, so honest, so wise,
I would that others saw you through my rose coloured eyes.

HE WHO IS AFRAID. Wed Jan 31 21:38:08 PST 2001

My first is in mountain,
But isn’t in hill.

My second’s in tablet,
But not in pill.

My third is in grape,
Though not in sultana.

My fourth is in monkey,
But not in banana.

My fifth is in apple,
But isn’t in pie.

My sixth is in g’day,
And also in bye.

Now if you are curious and feel so inclined,
Look to the riddle and my name you will find.


Teekay Wed Jan 31 21:34:11 PST 2001

HE WHO IS AFRAID: Have the courage of your convictions! Come show yourself you yeller bellied, lilly livered coward!

MOONMAMMA: Welcome. Nice haiku.

Moonmomma* Wed Jan 31 20:50:45 PST 2001

She finds her way in,
Uncertain of her footsteps,
Ever so quiet....

Though I would throw that Haiku in for good measure!

Moonmomma* Wed Jan 31 20:44:09 PST 2001

Hmmmm, the writing life to me, is simply the part of my life I wish to express. I am new here, and have found all of the posts interesting, to say the least! I hope I may offer some creative insight and humour, as well as learn and grow from this experience. In all honesty, I was rather intimidated about exposing my innermost thoughts to people I have never met, yet something in my soul LONGS to be heard. I think that is the case for many writers, this desire to shed new light on be heard and understood, to touch, as well as be touched. I hope that my time here will be enlightening, as well as a fantastic learning experience. Writing can be painful, tiring and bliss all in one, yet I honestly feel, worth every minute of it. So, once again, greetings all, I look forward to sharing and recieving with all of you. A*

Teekay Wed Jan 31 20:33:00 PST 2001

Haiku from Natalie Goldbergs writing down the bones.
"For instance, we are taught that a haiku is a Japanese
short poem form. It has seventeen syllables and is written in three lines. It often mentions a season and something from nature. Children in elementary schools all over the United States are taught to write these three-line poems, but in truth, they are not haiku. If you sit down and read a lot of Basho, Shiki, Issa, Busson for of the greatest Haiku masters, in good translation by R.H. Blyth, you will see that, in fact, his translations do not even follow the form of seventeen syllables with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third. Japanese is a very different language from English. Each syllable in Japanese carries a lot more weight than it does in English, so in order to write haiku in English, just use three short lines."
end of quote.

HOWARD: That 2nd blonde joke was hilarious.

Litter Wed Jan 31 20:09:31 PST 2001

Mark -- Sorry, It is not often these days that I feel up to being pernickety but tonight I had a lapse, I had a pernickety moment. I was just pulling your chain, ever so gently. I used to be a Haiku purist but then I found that the so called purists found it hard to agree among themselves. Very few people actually conform to even the most basic of Haiku tenets and some even, sigh, think of a Haiku as only a syllable count… I prostrate myself in apology and offer you my topknot.

apologies in Renga
Autumn mist occludes my tears

This from T H Barret, Professor of East Asian History at London University, writing in 'Haiku -- The Poetry of Zen'

"The art of Haiku is to frame reality in a single instant that will lock the poet and the reader into sharing the same experience. It is the thunderbolt-like encounter that has made haiku the poetry of Zen -- it is the voicing of those moments that cannot be described in prose or logic… …Haiku poetry is a rendering of an experience, not a comment upon it."

Ah well,


Mary Wed Jan 31 19:54:29 PST 2001

sorry...hit the publish on accident...

I don't know why that song made me think of you, but I hadn't heard it in years and the humor seemed familiar.

howard Wed Jan 31 19:53:36 PST 2001

Or a brand new one...

I slipped on the ice
now my butt is really sore
I'll sand it next time
Just for Tina: (or was it Hallee?)

Nina (the blonde) had been married about a year when one day the she came
running up to her husband jumping for joy.

Not knowing how to react, the husband started jumping up and down along
with her.

"Why are we so happy?" he asked.

"Honey, I have some really great news for you!", Nina said.

"Great", he said, tell me what you're so happy about."

Nina proclaims "I'm pregnant!".

The husband was ecstatic as they had been trying for a while.

He grabbed her, kissed her, and started telling her how wonderful it was,
and that he couldn't be happier.

Then she said "Oh, honey there's more."

"What do you mean more?", he asked.

"Well we are not having just one baby, we are going to have TWINS!"

Amazed at how she could know so soon after getting pregnant, he asked her
how she knew.

"It was easy" Nina said, "I went to the pharmacy and bought the 2 pack
home pregnancy test kit and both tests came out positive!"
Or this one:

There was a blonde woman who was having financial troubles,
so she decided to kidnap a child and demand a ransom.
She went to a local park, grabbed a little boy, took him
behind a tree and wrote a note:

"I have kidnapped your child. Leave $10,000 in a plain
brown bag behind the big oak tree in the park tomorrow
at 7 AM.
Signed - The Blonde"

She pinned the note inside the boy's jacket and told him to
go straight home.

The next morning, she returned to the park to find the
$10,000 in a brown bag, behind the big oak tree, just as
she had instructed.

Also inside the bag was the following note:

"Here is your money. I cannot believe that one blonde would
do this to another!"

It's getting tired around here!

Mary Wed Jan 31 19:52:09 PST 2001


HOWARD: I heard a song on the radio tonight that made me think of you. Remember the song about Ahab and Fatima and the Sultan? Out of the tent they went?

howard Wed Jan 31 19:45:49 PST 2001

Geese honking northward
One leg of vee is longer
More birds on that side

Mary Wed Jan 31 19:36:31 PST 2001

LITTER: Call me collect, we can discuss butterfly migration or something.

Mark Wed Jan 31 19:24:36 PST 2001

LITTER -- Haiku syllables are usually 5-7-5, right? OK I had 6-6-5 and 5-7-5, Yes? At I learned that the syllable count is considered more important in Japanese than in other languages. Both still had 17 syllables.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Some poems rhyme,
This one doesn't.

What's really important about Haiku? The season, the change from external to internal, the gem-like quality of experience voiced in something so small.

Yes, yes, yes. If I messed with the syllable counts in Limericks . . . {sigh}
OK. I'll do better next time.

He who is afraid. Wed Jan 31 19:14:46 PST 2001

scarey place the short story critique section. He who dares to enter does so at their peril.

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jan 31 19:13:29 PST 2001

Gotta see the 3rd Rock every week, and reruns every day Monday thru Friday on Channel 12 KXMB out of Bismarck ND. Fraser is on just before the "Rock"

Hallee Wed Jan 31 19:01:34 PST 2001

JERRY: You don't strike me as a Third Rock from the Sun type of guy.



Teekay Wed Jan 31 18:24:34 PST 2001

JOHN: pressed that dang 'publish'button too quick. A true ghost story is fine, but it's gotta make our skin crawl, our hearts beat faster and little drops of perspiration to break out on our forheads.
Enjoy yourself.

Teekay Wed Jan 31 18:22:32 PST 2001

JOHN: fragmented writing/thinking is fine, but when it comes to having a story ready to be read by others, well, that's where the *&^%* editing part comes in. Fir most of us it's an unavoidable evil.
And there are thosse who really enjoy it.
To be honest, I've gotten to the stage where I actually enjoy editing my work. RACHEL gave me a whole new perspective on it and now I don't find it the chore I did.

ALL: This is not an average day.

John Wed Jan 31 18:18:35 PST 2001

Well I just got back from the video store...Guess I'm gonna watch "Affliction" with Nolte, Coburn and Spacek. Don't anything about it but it had a nice box.

Thanks for your critiques Y'all

HEATHER: I really need that punctuation help. Between you and TeeKay, I think I figured out where my head ain't connected to my hand. My thinking is so fragmented and it ends up on the paper. I gotta work on that

TEEKAY: Thanks for the note. A ghost story would be fun. Can it be a true story? or would that be lame?


Rhoda Wed Jan 31 17:52:47 PST 2001

My routein:


Mon-Fri. in general

Wake at 6:05. Wake Barbara, go back to bed and doze 1/2 hour. Wake Russell and Daniel. See Barbara gets the bus at 7:13 and then make sure the boys get dressed and have their breakfasts. Take them to school at 8:20.

Go to the gym and work out about an hour. (3 times a week if I am lucky)

Return home, check mail and look at the Notebook on my computer. Take a shower. Pick up Daniel from Kindergarten at 11:10. Sometimes I go to the grocery or run errends until 12:00.

1:00pm - 3:00pm

Housework or writing or combination of both. Sometimes I give Daniel some ABECCA worksheets to do. Usually involves a peek at Notebook and e-mail.

Pick up Russell at school about 3:20pm

3:20 - 5:00 Housework or writing. Perhaps Internet

5:00 - 6:00 Prepare dinner

7:00 -9:00 Help with homework and misc.

9:00-10:00 Star Trek Voyager reruns.

10:00 bed

6:30 on Wed.--take Barbara to basketball practice. STAR TREK VOYAGER from 8:00-10:00.


The same as Mon and Wed except take Russell to basketball practice at 6:30


Breakfast at MacDonalds and then off to Bible Study from 9:00 to 11:00 am.


Lunch with husband in Tulsa from 12:00 to 1:00.

Weekend routein--Are you kidding! Nonexistant.

So there it is,


Teekay Wed Jan 31 17:48:50 PST 2001

Okay, I'm not in there anymore. That was far too boring. And if I minimised it to do something else, well then it would close down and disconnect.

Teekay Wed Jan 31 17:41:13 PST 2001

Am in chat for a bit if anybody is lurking in these long dim corridors.

Teekay Wed Jan 31 17:27:34 PST 2001

JERRY: hmmmm....yes......yes.....mmmmm....I go on.............hmmmmmm.yesss....uhhu..I see........
I've got it! We could make the psychic guy read a reeeaaaallllllyyyyyyy long post about computers and how they work.

Only joking. I was riveted. really.

Jerry Wed Jan 31 17:21:29 PST 2001

I have a problem, maybe it can be an exercise or something, I was watching some really stupid TV show the other night, and they came up with a question that needs to be addressed. Here is the thing:

There is a person who is so bad that they must be killed, murdered, slaughtered if you will. It is your job to plan and execute the murder. The problem is this person is psychic. They know the future and can read minds. How will you plan and execute the plan without forewarning the person?

Other then that, things are going CRAPPY - I spent half the night last night formatting that stupid Quantum hard drive to prove the tech support that it was the drive and not a virus or something. Well around 12:30 AM I finished the format, and went to bed. Got up this morning and tried to install Windows 98 (Per instruction of tech support). Now I have probably installed windows on machines at least several hundred times, but this time I would not install. The first time it went so far and locked up. The second time it installed but froze up when I began loading device drivers. Ok, so I tell Tech support this, and they suggest I try a different OS, if I have one available. Now I don't understand what he was getting at, because if it freezes up with Win 98 it will probably freeze up with any other system. Anyhow I told him I had Windows ME and went ahead and reformat ed the drive and installed Windows ME. Wonder of wonders, it worked, sort of. The install went off with only a couple write errors (A sure sign the stupid drive is bad) but in the end it worked. The tech support guy was very happy, and said it was fixed! Ok so I told him we would see, and just minutes after I hung up the phone Windows ME crashed. I couldn't get him back on the phone, the line was busy but I did manage to send him a very long email, we will see if Quantum will stand behind their products I guess.

Sorry for the long post, just one of those things.


Oh in case you are wondering, I am typing this on my old faithful 486 laptop.

Eddie French Wed Jan 31 17:06:17 PST 2001

My favourite Homer Simpson Quote is:

I think you'll find escape is quite impossible..........

John Wed Jan 31 17:06:05 PST 2001

I guess I have a routine

7:30am Wake up
7:31am Take Shower
7:45am Drive to Work
8:15am Arrive Late
6:00pm Drive Home
6:30pm Work
11:00pm Watch a movie
1:00am Sleep

I know...You wanna be me

Allein Wed Jan 31 16:46:53 PST 2001

Litter - I only drink strawberry daiquaris actually and they're non-alcoholic. Truth be told, I've tried different types of alcoholic drinks and I didn't like 99% of them. I'm part scotch because I eat scotch tape. :) Yummy yummy.

Homer: "Lisa honey, are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?"
Lisa: "No."
Homer: "But what about pork chops? Spareribs? Ham?"
Lisa: "Dad, those all come from the same animal!"
Homer: "Oh, right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal."

Teekay Wed Jan 31 16:40:01 PST 2001

Morning All,

GRAMMAR TIP OF THE DAY: Good one. That always confused me.


TINA: Your negative view was all about the people. Your positive was all about the land. Just though I'd point that out for the sake of pointing that out. :-)

RHODA: Unfortunatley you are right, racism runs rampant throughout the world. I simply had never seen it expressed so openly before.
You wouldn't see that in Australia, because we're only a small country and if one started mouthing off like these R.L. people did, we-e-e-ll, there's no where to run really, except overseas.
And you won't see the British doing it because that is just tooooo shocking and anyway the Queen might see.
I guess you see it in America because it's huge and there are lots of places to hide if you happen to upset anybody who has a nasty temper.
Can't really comment on the other countries as I know little about them.
Also RHODA, I don't think anyone here would make you a poster child for the USA. You are not accountable for your nation as a whole. Each and every individual is responsible for his actions. You are you, and a very nice you at that.

HALLEE: To reject their rejection would be brilliant. You'd have to use a pseudonym after that though.

MARY: You are so funny. I loved your posts today and had a good old chuckle. Thanks.

Here is my daily routine: Matchsticks to the ready everyone.

I wake up at about 4 am, obviously this is my creative hour. I ignore it and go back to sleep.
Get up at about 8am make a cup of earl grey (very English, I know) and sit at the front of the house with hubby while he has his coffee. Daughters make unecessary and impossible demands, fight and whinge for a bit and then leave for school, I sigh with relief and make another cup of tea and wonder if it's too early to check out the notebook.

Toddler wakes and begins making unecessary and impossible demands so I feed him and myself at the same time and make another cup of tea.
Make the bed, throw in some laundry and turn on thecomputer.
Chase toddler around house with a cloth to mop up spilled drink, piddle, cake crumbs. Remove tongs from toddlers vice like grasp and then remove cat hair from those and boot the cat outside where it should have been in the first place.

Look for misplaced cup of tea. Find it. Reheat it and take it to the computer. Toddler finds me and persisit with demands. I share my tea and packet of twisties. Toddler then plays around in his Fathers desk drawers for a good 15 minutes. I allow this on the grounds that I can actually read the notebook uninterupted. get all inspired, vow to definitely write today. Check emails. Recheck for any new posts in notebook.
Turn off computer. Still inspired.

Do a bit of housework and think about writing.
Play with toddler and think about wrtiting.
Have lunch and think about writing.
Go to the shops before I start writing.

Oops, spent too long at the shops, come home to find daughters making unecessary and impossible demands on me and wanting to know why I never bought decent food and what's for dinner and YUCK! there's no way they're going to eat that!
Get dinner on the go.
Feed the cat who has somehow managed to get in the house again and keeps weaving in and out of my ankles and meowing like there's no tomorrow. resist the temptation to kick it into the cupboard door.
Hubby comes home. Tea and coffee time on the front veranda, talk about the days events. His are funny, I have to sometimes make mine up.
Think about how I am definitely going to write tomorrow!
Bath toddler and me and leave to play a while with Dad or toys or whatever takes fancy and is not too dangerous.
Listen to daughters bicker while they do the dishes about who's job it is to remove ALL the fat and grease from the frypan.
Put toddler to bed and then get up and throw all toys and miscellania into the toy box.
Find the cat who is hiding under the coffee table and put him in the laundry.
Leave hubby in the computer room to indulge his computer nerdism and go to bed feeling guilty for not having written anything. Does that rather creative note I wrote to to the avon lady count?

Read for hours in bed telling myself that it's research and I have to read to improve my skills.

Hubby comes to bed.
I read.
Hubby rolls around and grunts a bit.
I read.
Eventually Hubby asks me how lonf till I turn off the light.
I sigh. lay aside my book, flick off the light and promise that tomorrow I'll buy myself a little torch to read in bed with, and wasn't there one more pressing thing I had to do tomorrow?
I frown and rack my brain.
Oh yes, I remember.
Tomorrow I write for sure.

Schedule may sometimes be varied due to outside influences and PMS.

Litter Again Wed Jan 31 15:21:28 PST 2001

Some of my favourite Haiku

"kochira muke
ware mo sabishiki
aki no kure"

Will you turn toward me?
I am lonely too,
this autumn evening

"rakugaki ni
koishiki kimi ga
na mo arite"

Among the graffiti
The name of
Beloved you

"tsuki mo mite
ware wa kono yo o
kashiku o kana"

I have seen the moon
I sign my letter to the world
"Respectfully yours"
Deathbed verse of Chiyo

"dokadoka to
hana no ue naru
bafun kana"

thud thud
upon the flowers
drops the horse turd

That one is a beauty!


Litter Wed Jan 31 15:18:47 PST 2001

OOOOOOOOPS! That was me...

(specially for Americo :o)

Litter Wed Jan 31 15:18:29 PST 2001

OOOOOOOOPS! That was me...

(specially for Americo :o)

Wed Jan 31 15:16:50 PST 2001

Ooh! Lots of activity and I've been keeping my mother company again… Lots to catch up on again…

Mark's syllable count
Different from Haiku norm
What a liberty

HEATHER -- Labyrinth, great film. I think Bowie is underrated as an actor -- he has some fine films to his credit.

RICHARD -- Voice recognition software :op
As for Americans, I think we get too much negative input from some of the tv we import from the States and certainly from some of the tourists I have met. However, I have spent a total of 7 weeks in the US, touring round some 7 States and mostly I was impressed with those I met along the way. I had a great time there and met/stayed with some real friendly people. I think, maybe, I was a bit spoiled though as all 7 of theses States were in the south and south west. Maybe I'll go a little further north next time. Maybe not -- N'Awlins was so laid back I just feel the need to return there some day and sit in the sun with a 'Hurricane' or a Daiquiri … Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………

MARY -- on the Scot talking thing -- I was regularly asked if people could talk with me when I was over. I would ask them what they wanted to talk about and they would invariably say something like "anything you want, I just want to hear you speak." Or something such like. On more than a couple of occasions I/we were joined by staff, much to the chagrin of sundry employers. It was strange but flattering at the same time. And as for when I affected my speech by pronouncing 's' as 'sh', Sean Connery (from Edinburgh) style, welllllllll… (As aforementioned Sean said to Billy Connolly on meeting him for the first time in the US -- "Billy, you're a shite for shore eyes!" Hahahaha, ah hahahahahahahaha!

ALLEIN -- I'm overlooking the fact that you said you were a part 'Scotch' a few days back -- bit to you to be an alcoholic, no?

To everyone else -- multifarious felicitations.


PS what is a routine? Don't have one, can't form one, don't want one...

howard Wed Jan 31 14:54:59 PST 2001

ROSEMARY !! Welcome back! I guess we get so used to people coming and going that sometimes we take them for granted.

I sent a note to Rachel, but it came back 'E-dress unknown'

Daily routine? Wake up at 4-4:30, wait for the clock radio to go on at 5. Listen to the news, hit the snooze bar (dunno why, 'cause I never get to snooze) a couple of times, wait for my wife to get out of bed and go downstairs. (That way the seat's warm when I get there).
Get washed up (shower's broke until I get it fixed) and dressed for work. Go to work, listen to a bunch of crap for a while, then come home. E-mail, supper, routine stuff, depending on the day, take a long hot bath and get to bed around midnight. Real exotic life we lead. Summer's a little bit different - we swat mosquitoes in the evenings, and watch the grass grow.

I just took the plunge, and bought motherboard, Duron processor, big hard drive, cdrw, memory, etc. Thingking about building one of them computer machines.


Wed Jan 31 14:32:41 PST 2001

Comedienne Lily Tomlin once said "I have always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific."

Rosemary Wed Jan 31 13:37:09 PST 2001

Hi all,

Thanks for noticing I was gone. It's been a few weeks since my last post. Partially, I had nothing to say, partially I was busy.

I'm taking a class in computer maintenance. I thought maybe I would be able to clean the inside of my computer. It's 10 classes, 2 1/2 hours each. Teacher says by the end, we each will have built a working computer from scratch.

We keep goldfish in the 32gal garbage cans that we use to hold water for the horses. In the summer, the water gets mosquito larva and the goldfish eat them. After a year or so, those fish get really large. I had a fantail in one of the tanks and he lasted about 4 years until one of the horses dumped the whole thing over and the duck ate the fish. It must be the size of the containers, because we don't change the water or clean out the tanks. Of course, the horses drink some and we continually refill. Maybe that's why they do so well. We feed them oatmeal sometimes and the horses dribble feed into the water when they drink after eating.

My daily routine usually starts about 8:00am, Live with Regis on TV at 9:00am with breakfast. Then out to feed the horses, ducks, chickens, geese, and anyone else that looks hungry. The rest of the day varies with whatever is going on. My sister feeds in the afternoon right before she leaves for work at 5:00pm. This schedule seems to work for us.

Recycling is done in San Antonio, although I don't know how well it's working. One of the TV news reporters caught them hauling some of the recycled plastic to the garbage dump because they were runing out of room or some reason. Out where we live, there is no recycle service available and I don't know of any drop off points. Everything goes into the trash pickup.

I tried to catch up on the postings, took forever and I don't think I made it all the way, but I noticed we weren't hearing from RACHEL again. Hope everything is going ok with her.

Keep writing, no matter what else falls apart around you.

Allein Wed Jan 31 13:07:53 PST 2001

Hi all,
I'm sick today, but normally here's what I do:

Wake up at 6:50 AM, bang on bathroom door to evacuate brother from shower, take shower, get dressed, check e-mail, go to school, come home, walk dog, eat lunch, check e-mail, watch TV or whatever, dinner, work on writing, drawing, etc, maybe TV if it's a good show on like ER, and bed about midnight.

On weekends, I wake up at around 10:30 or 11:00 and spend the day with friends or my boyfriend but that's after chores, cleaning room and laundry.


"Oral thermometer my eye! Think warm thoughts boy, 'cause this is gonna be mighty cold."
- Grandpa Simpson

Hallee Wed Jan 31 12:51:24 PST 2001

Daily Routine:

Up at 4:15. Turn the coffeepot on, let the dogs out, log on to the internet, let the dogs in, finally pour that first cup of coffee. By 5:00 I'm done checking and responding to email, and usually writing.

At 6:30, I wake my husband, talk to him for a while, then go back to writing.

At 7:00 I wake Kaylee, make her breakfast, make Conan's lunch, get him out the door by 7:30, get Kaylee dressed and her lunch made, and we're out the door by 7:45. (err...that is unless I'm on a major writing roll and I look at the clock and I'm still in my t-shirt and boxers and it's 7:45.)

Work from 8:00-11:00, home at 11:00 for lunch, spend 50 minutes writing, back to work by 12:00.

Work until 5:00, pick up Kaylee, go home, play with Kaylee, talk to Conan, veg on the couch, do some laundry, or straighten the house, whatever gets priority that day - until about 6:30, then make dinner.

7:30 - Kaylee helps me do dishes, fold laundry, sweep the kitchen.

8:00, put Kaylee in the bath, sit on the front porch with Conan. 9:00, Kaylee's bed time, 10:00, our bed time.


Mary Wed Jan 31 12:10:04 PST 2001

HEATHER: Don't you just love those felt story boards? My kids have such fun with that.

Jerry Wed Jan 31 12:00:59 PST 2001

Daily activity? Well I rise about 8:15 to 8:30 and take a very long very hot bath. By this time the wife has left for work, so I have the house to myself. After dressing I go to the kitchen where I grab the coffee that my wife has thoughtfully made and left in a thermos container for me, and head for the living room. There I chase our dog out of my chair, the one he thinks is really his bed. Sometimes when he is grouchy he pouts a little while then acts like he wants outside only to jump in my chair again when I get up. Anyhow I drink the coffee, while watching Murder She Wrote on A&E, and checking my Email on the computer that I have setting to the left of my recliner. When that show is over, I turn to CNN and catch up on the days news, while checking the posts here at the Notebook. When that is finished, I surf the web till 11:30 when my soap opera Days of our Lives comes on. I watch that while eating a TV dinner, or sandwich which ever I decide on. Once Days is done, I return to my computer and probably play a game, or maybe go to the Pogo Keno Politics room where I can argue politics while playing Keno. That lasts till 2:00 PM when I again turn on the TV and watch a couple of old sitcoms on a local channel. Then the TV is off again, and I check the email and notebook for new posts. Back to the games again, with breaks throughout to let the dog out and back in several times. TV is back on again at 3:30 to watch Jeopardy, then 1.5 hours of local and national news on NBC. When the news is on, the wife returns from work, and joins me for the local news and weather. While watching we discuss her day. At 5:30 she goes to the kitchen to make supper, while I continue watching TV and playing with the computers. This continues until I hit the hay at about midnight.

This is all going to change next Monday however because the wife will be done working per Dr.'s orders and will join me here every day. Then I will have to include her in all the above. Oh, and should the mood strike me, I do spend an hour or two writing.

That story I was working on for *P* is GONE! I forgot to back it up before formatting my hard drive last night, per orders from Quantum Inc. It is a Quantum Fireball hard drive and has been getting lots of errors. I checked with the company, and yes it is under warrantee, but there are lots of hoops to jump through before they honor it. The first of which is downloading their software and low-level formatting it to see if this stops the errors. This is what I did last night. Today I have been attempting to put the system back on, with very poor results. The hard drive is shot, now if I can just convince the company . . .

I am writing this on my old faithfull 486 laptop that sits as a backup beside my recliner.


Heather Wed Jan 31 11:24:23 PST 2001

Daily routine? Oh, dear God.

Up at 7 am. Husband already at work if it is a week that he works the day shift. Shower fast so the kids don't get in a brawl before I'm dry. Breakfast for me and kids + lots of coffee. Feed cat, guinea pig, ants and chameleon. Clean up spilled milk and any cereal used as ammunition. Make daughter's lunch and see her off to school.
Son and I then play with lego, puzzles, etc, and read books. Sometimes the books become a fort. Clean/tidy house. Start loading the day's dishes into dishwasher. Start loading day's laundry into washer.
Ignore any toys on floor since tidying up.
Turn on computer while son plays by himself for a whole fifteen minutes, (or when he naps in the afternoon).
Check email, visit here, fart around online for the whole remaining two minutes. Lunch.
More coffee, and aspirin if necessary. Play some more with cars, trucks, lego, felt board, cat, guinea pig, or outside, weather permitting.
walk to pick up my daughter from school. Clean the kids off. Clean the floor from boots and so forth. Start dinner. More aspirin if head is exploding, and lots of water. Wayne gets home. I get a break, and usually sneak up to my studio for a while as supper burns.

After supper/dinner, I clean up - unless my husband is in a mood to clean. RARE.
On weeks that he works days, I work at night cleaning offices. I head out after the kids are in bed and have had their goodnight kisses and hugs and all that bathing and toothbrushing. My husband and I might fit in our own kind of hugging and kissing session before I hop in the car to go to work. (blush)
2 1/2 hours later, I'm home. Scrub hands. Check emails, visit notebook, and write, not necessarily in that order!
Fall into bed anywhere from 1 am to 3 am.
Repeat as often as necessary.
Weekends are much more relaxing.


Eddie French Wed Jan 31 11:10:38 PST 2001

Strange that you should ask that question just now. I have just published a follow on article on that theme. You can find it at the above link.
You may not like my vision of the future of the net though.

Tina Wed Jan 31 10:16:45 PST 2001

Daily routines, hmmm?

Work days...
Get up around 6:30 or 7, check notebook, e-mail, feed cat, go to the gym. Run on the hated treadmill. Shower, go to work. Write on my lunch break. Come home, eat, clean up a bit, feed cat and dog, then a)write b)watch Star Trek Voyager (yay Rhoda!) or JunkYard Wars c)walk dog d)jiu-jitsu practice. The last four can occur in any order, or not at all. Check notebook and e-mail. Sleep by midnight.

Days off...
Anything I want! No kids, so I can spend all day writing if I want, or go skiing, or go shopping, or take my dog hiking, or bake, or cook a fancy dinner, or visit friends, or lurk around here... I love days off! Today is one, and so far I've been writing since breakfast! Gotta love it!

Now I'm going back to writing. I'm in the middle of a big action/climax sequence, and it's both tough to write and exciting!

I'll be back.....

Wed Jan 31 10:15:31 PST 2001

Americo Wed Jan 31 09:51:15 PST 2001


Here's my daily routine (on weekdays).

Get up at around noon, have a looong shower (that's when I think about my best posts for the day), check the Notebook (now also Eddie's Writer's Retreat), edit my looong book, go to a restaurant and have luuunch, come back to my den, work on my looong book, have an ice tea, go see some people to earn a living, come back to my den, check the Notebook, get mad about any posts with shouting letters or slang, work a little at my loong book, give a ring to everyone I love, lie on a couch and read that book which... but let me have a look at the Notebook again. Time to bed, I suppose (3 am).

PS. Must change life obviously.

Rhoda Wed Jan 31 08:52:28 PST 2001


The goldfish appear to be fine. I heeded Mary's advice to back off a bit, and I think that helped. I also got a couple of books at Borders about Goldfish and acquariums. I currently have to do a 20%water change every three days to keep the water quality good. Since mine is a new acquarium, that will probably change once I establish some bacteria in the system. Thanks for asking. Goldfish in stasis, interesting. How do they do after being frozen? Let me know how.


"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions." Proverbs 18:2

Heather Wed Jan 31 08:46:52 PST 2001

Oh, dear Rhoda, I did not mean to make you feel badly! I didn't know whether or not you had ever visited Canada. It's so easy to think that our own countries are the best at anything when we haven't been or read about others. I myself have never been outside of North America, so I can't compare North America to anywhere else until I have seen it myself! I am happy to hear that you thought Canada to be pristine when you were here.
Mary, I'm not surprised that your community recycles very little. Guelph is the best in that regard in most of Ontario, and I'm lucky to live here. If I lived in the States where my parents do, I wouldn't have the opportunity to recycle very many items, and would likely acceot it as adequate! But I see the possibilities and see how this wet dry facility has benefitted not only our environment, but our economy too. Millions of dollars are paid yearly for the raw materials we produce simply from processing the recyclables from our city alone. We don't take wastes from cities or towns nearby, our facility can't handle it...yet. There might be plans coming for an extension or revamp on the facility. The towns near us don't have the resources to build a whole new centre at this time.
I hope Toronto implements the system soon. Millions of people within an hour from here are throwing out metric tonnes of garbage every hour, and the wet dry facility has proven itself not only great for the environment, it's a money-maker. It's about time!

Anyhow, that's my extended rant for the day.

John Wed Jan 31 08:12:33 PST 2001

Just got out of a meeting involving our implementation of ISO-14000 -- The environmental specification for companies. During the meeting, it was pointed out that this worldwide specification was the result of combining the exemplary efforts of Canada and Great Britain (Canada being the most strict). Their individual specifications, were combined and massaged to create the world specification. Just thought you'd like to know who is the coolest and cleanest is, in the eyes of the International Community.

I think I'll go chase the cat for a while

Mary Wed Jan 31 08:07:36 PST 2001

EDDIE: What changes are you expecting in the internet? My typical internet day is as such:

Morning: Log on, check email, come to writer's notebook, go to to see who everybody thinks is getting voted off next, go to yahoo games and play literati, check the notebook again, log off. (Takes about 25 minutes if I don't play literati)

Afternoon: Log on, check emails, chat with somebody, do research for whatever I am working on, check the notebook on and off during the day, Log off. (Takes longer because most of my emails arrive in the afternoon. I had over 80 yesterday....40% of which were spam)

Night time: Log on, check emails, chat, then I open my word processor and write...but I am always connected even when my browser isn't open. I write until I want to stop, then I browse around through my bookmarks, read the next day's newspapers, I threw napster in my recycle bin so I don't do that anymore, then right before I log off, I stop here one last time (God forbid I miss anything).

I am interested in what parts of that you think I will have to change. Your article at themestream was a teaser.

Eddie French Wed Jan 31 07:54:29 PST 2001

Me, I usually get into bed at about 1-2am, read for an hour, stare at the cieling for another hour then give up and haul my weary body from the bed to get a coffee.
If I'm lucky I will get back in bed at 6am and sleep to 11am. I must be crazy.

Mary Wed Jan 31 07:39:35 PST 2001

Do the people in the 4AM club, get up that early? or stay up that late? If they stay up that late, I guess I qualify.

Rhoda Wed Jan 31 07:29:59 PST 2001


I have to agree with you. The places in Canada I have been are more pristine than here. As far as environmental stewardship, Canada is probably best in the world. I made an oversight. We down here could take a lot of good cues from Canada. Culturely we are behind a bit too, because there are parts of the United States where people think nothing about throwing trash out of car windows even though it is against the law. Sorry about the oversight.


I am sure it is a comfort to you to know that your daughter is alright. How worried you must have been. I am also sorry that you were rejected, but at least you tried. You write well and work hard. I have no doubt that you will soon succeed. Thankyou for clarifying the term "treehuggers."


Racism is alive and well all across the world, I am afraid. Despite attempts to irradicate it, it will never completely go away, just like hatred and ignorance. I just never, ever thought of British as racists, because I had never met any like that. I suppose every country in the world has as least one racist, even Austrailia, and I just happened to meet the British one on the Internet. I have never heard of the show you watched, but then again I have not had cable for over five years. I just started watching television again after moving to Tulsa. The only program I now watch on a regular basis is STAR TREK VOYAGER (will they ever make it back to the alpha quadrant???), so I am a bit behind the times as far as television is concerned. But from what I have read and from what previews I have seen, there is not only a lot of racism on our programming, but much sexism and God knows what else.

Please, people, do not make me a poster child for all the ills of the United States. I almost feel that way after reading some of the recent posts. I am not Miss America or even Mrs. America. I do not go around wearing red, white and blue all the time. I do not own a gun. I never litter trash. I try to run my heater efficiently. I care about the environment, and I certainly hope I am not a racist. I do not even own an American flag. Personally I would rather live here than anywhere else, but that doesn't mean I think the rest of the world inferior in any way. Had I been born in Austrialia or Canada, I would have been just as bullish on those places. Home is home.

I will try to shorten my posts in future, because these long winded ones get me into a hell of a lot of trouble.


mary Wed Jan 31 06:52:54 PST 2001

PS. Yes, JERRY, the account your neighbor moving away from the snow was comical. Thanks.

Mary Wed Jan 31 06:40:00 PST 2001


Lot's of topics this morning. Guess I will comment briefly on each one and try not to fly off on any tangents.

RECYCLING/ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Hanging my head low. I don't recycle hardly anything. I wouldn't even know where to go to recycle it. I do donate all my expended printer cartridges to some charity that does something with them for the schools here. I used cloth diapers on my babies unless we went somewhere. I have a compost pile for all my bio-degradable kitchen garbage. I burn leaves. To tell you the truth, at least in my town, that is pretty typical. My father-in-law recycles cans. That's all I can think of right now. It is shameful and I promise to do better. There are an awful lot of adopt-a-highway signs here in Ohio, and it seems that the roads are the cleanest in the sections of road that were adopted by Boy Scout Troops. In a show of good faith, I have linked to a recycling website that has a few stats about American recycling.

On the SIERRA CLUB: I was never a full-fledged member, but I did subscribe to their magazine for a year. I enjoyed the articles and the photography. I respect the land and don't litter(except for my lack of recycling), but I would never go out and heckle hunters. Unless they were poachers. Then I probably still wouldn't heckle them because they might shoot me, but I would want to.

VIV: You cracked me right up! Welcome back.

Hmmmmmm.....what else? Ahh yes. Brits. Well in general I would say they have a much drier sense of humor than Americans. You would never get a Monty Python out of The States.
Maybe more ceremonial, and by that I mean routine oriented. I can't think of a single thing I do at exactly the same time every day, but isn't high tea around 4pm? Maybe it's earlier but I remember being told that the purpose of it was to tide you over to dinner originally. That is a national thing like Mexico's siesta time. Brits have tea, Mexicans take naps, we don't do anything as a country that I can conjure up. I guess its a little harder to rally everyone together when there are so many different time zones in the same country.
I agree with whoever said that the English accent sounds intelligent and cultured, but some of the dialects don't have the same affect on me. Australians have a much more fun lilt to their speech, but I would pay money to hear a Scot talk. I wouldn't even care what they were saying....just talk. Ok, I feel a tangent coming on, so I will change the subject.

THEMESTREAM: HOWARD, EDDIE...made you guys some money last night. Read everything I could find by you two(even rated them, honestly). There was quite a bit from HOWARD that I had never read before. My favorite was the road rage one. Checked out your site too EDDIE...nice work.

Well, I guess that is enough for now. Tomorrow is SHORT SHORTIE night.....the theme is REVENGE I reckon! Write strong.

Wed Jan 31 06:16:37 PST 2001

Hallee Wed Jan 31 02:41:49 PST 2001

Hi everyone. I've been really caught up writing this new book, but I've been lurking here and there. Then my daughter was sick yesterday, again, and I was able to stay home and kind of catch up with my muse.

I finally took her to the doctor yesterday. Since around October, every 10 days to 14 days she gets a high fever that lasts a day or two then it's gone. I kept calling and calling, being told it's this virus or that virus, until finally yesterday I asked if they could just see her. I was surprised, really, to discover that this flu season has been so bad that about every 10 days to two weeks a new strain of the virus hits. Apparently, Kaylee's completely healthy and is able to fight off each virus before it puts her down for the full cycle. Now, if I could just convince my boss of that (ugh) - she told me there have been kids who have been sick since October because they're immune systems or antibodies or whatever are down and they've gotten each virus full course. So, there's nothing deathly wrong with her, which was what I worried, and all of these 1 to 2 day fevers are actually good things.

JERRY: That was hillarious - the neighbor moving. Too funny.

JOHN: I sent that story off to my mom - she's a sick woman. She loves the snow - loves shoveling the snow. When they got stationed in Ft. Drum, NY, which is right smack dab in the snow belt of upstate NY, I thought the novelty would wear off after the first winter. Nope. She looks forward to the snow and loves it all winter long.

EDDIE: I'm actually a 4:15am person myself. That's when my mind is fresh and clean and ready to write. Good luck finding a job - sorry you've been down so.

RICHARD: Coffee tastes like ash? Hahaa- Never have I heard that. I love coffee. Even when I was pregnant and not drinking caffeine, I still made decaf coffee every morning. There is nothing better than that first cup of coffee in the morning.

As for Rainbow Six...which was not one of Clancy's best, let me help clarify something. There are extremist groups who put the value of their "causes" above human life. The "tree-huggers" as they are refered to in that book, are not the common person who loves the Earth and wants to do their part in helping to maintain a planet that wasn't designed to support mass industry. They are like the fanatics who kill abortion doctors - I'm pro-life but lumped in the fanatical (is that a word?) category in many minds because that's who makes the news. Clancy was refering to the fanatics with the term. Not the every day man, or even the groups who atually do good. Not all good, mind you, sometimes special interest groups see only their interest and not the whole spectrum - as is the case with any situation. But - I can ramble for hours so I'll stop now. Just wanted to help clarify.

Oh, yeah, when I think of British...I think of - royalty, regency, Monty Python, Time Bandits, James Bond, and John Cleese (who is by far a genius).

Americo - good to see you.

I got a rejection letter yesterday from a major publisher. It was a long shot, I know, to submit the trilogy I submitted for their specific line. But, sometimes, longshots pay off. Anyway, this letter was one paragraph and riddled with punctuation errors, gramatical errors, even missing words. They even misspelled their own company name. I'm tempted to mark it up with a red pen and reject their rejection. But I wont. Probably.

JERRY: Your posts are a little lighter these days. That's good to see. How's your wife's leg?

And that is that. Off to write some more of Chapter 3.


Heather Wed Jan 31 00:24:46 PST 2001

Here's a big windy speech, Richard. Hey, you asked!

I have to disagree about Americans being the best at keeping their corner of the Earth clean and healthy. They aren't the worst, by any means, but I'd have to say that Canadians are a bit better at taking care of the environment. Now, part of that is not America's fault - there are simply so many more people who live on a land mass that is actually slightly SMALLER than Canada. Yes, it's fact! I have lived in the U.S. and my parents still live there, and I've travelled all over Canada and the U.S. (The only states I haven't been to visit are Arkansas, South Caroliina, Texas, and California; and in Canada, the province of British Columbia)
... and Canadian streets are not littered with trash, even in big cities. Canada has more trees per person, more bilaws and restrictions on motor vehicle and factories (etc) regarding toxic emissions. I live in Guelph, which has had a total recycling centre here for more than 7 years. It is the prototype that many other cities are following. In this recycle program, we have blue bags for ANYTHING that is dry (bottles, cans, cardboard, plastic, paper, clothing, you name it - if it's not easily biodegradable, or better to recycle it, it goes in there.) We have green bags, used for all biodegradables, from food scraps and bones to diapers and kleenex. At the Wet/Dry recycle center they recycle and sell all sorts of the stuff we put into the dry bags, and only the 'wet' stuff goes into the landfill (they will remove the plastic parts on diapers as far as I have been told - what a shitty job!). In the spring all branch clippings and lawn 'garbage' is gathered from the curb, and put into the landfill or chopped up and sold as mulch. In the fall the leaves collected from the streets, parks and lawns, which are all composted and sold (cheap) for gardening. After Christmas we throw the trees out at the curb, and our city comes along with a chipper shredder machine and makes more bark mulch. COOL, huh? We have the streets cleaned in spring and at intervals all year - even the sand that is sprinkled on the street in the winter is recycled.
Canada is full of the non-violent brand of 'tree-huggers', and proud of it. We also plant a lot of new trees - at least in my city we do. We also have preservationists, keeping their eye out for all the trees. We have river cleanup days that the whole community takes part in each year. Everyone gets into the water and cleans out any junk!

Now, I am not as 'up' on the bilaws in American cities in regards to emissions, but I know that Canada's are more strict in comparison. There are American companies/factories that have sister companies here, and the bilaws we have to follow are definately so. Also, I know that the U.S. has programs called 'adopt-a-highway' where companies and individuals have the opportunity to clean a certain section of highway, to help the environment. I don't know how successful that program is. Canada's highways still look a lot cleaner. I also don't know what sort of street cleaning goes on in many U.S. cities, but the evidence of a lot of trash floating around a lot of places is enough for me.
My parents (who live in Michigan) can only recycle certain things, and they make a lot of effort to do that. If someone didn't want to bother taking each type of recyclable plastic and styrofoam item to the grocery store (where it is collected), they would just throw it in with regular trash, which goes to landfills. A lot of what we can and do recycle here goes into the trash in the U.S. which is unfortunate, because the U.S. have far more people, throwing far more things into landfills!
Here, we have to use see-through bags so that the trash collectors can see inside the bags. If there's something in it that shouldn't be, they won't take it until you remedy the situation!
Again, I'm sure sometimes things go where they're not supposed to. It's still a responsibility of the individual, the community, and the country to do what we can to help save the environment. I feel guilty just thinking about how much stuff I threw into landfills before there was recycling! EGADS.

Please pardon the tornado that just flew from my fingers!
What a windiness I have made.

Heather *sneaking away now*

Tina Tue Jan 30 23:53:39 PST 2001


Richard, I'm gonna abstain from the 'American viewpoint' discussion. As one of their northern neighbours I have a few thoughts on the matter... but I won't go there.

Now, North Americans in general are energy hogs, we consume way more energy (food, electricity, fuel, water, etc) than any human being really needs to, and we make more waste than any creature should. That ties nicely into environmental issues, 'cause everybody agrees that we need to take care of the environment but only if they don't have to change their lifestyle and habits, or fork out any money. We talk big about policy, as long as we can still have oversized homes with inefficient central air furnaces and antiquated water heaters. We don't force our manufacturers to make cars as good as they can be and use alternative fuels, because that would be too big a change and we don't like real change. We want big green lawns, even if we live in arid areas where grass is just plain stupid (my front lawn dies every summer because I refuse to waste water keeping it green). And we'll sue anyone over anything, even if it's our own fault for being stupid.

Okay, there is my negative rant for the night.
On the good side is the land itself. Within an hours drive from my home I can, depending on the season, ski on a world class ski hill, golf on a world class golf course, swim in an unpolluted lake, or hike/mountain climb in rugged wilderness mountains. It takes 30 minutes to drive to the nearest city to mine, and the land inbetween is almost empty of 'civilisation'. My province is the same size as three or four European countries, with a quarter the population. Or less.

And what kind of stereotypes do I have about the British? Too uptight, but more accepting than Canucks. Great sense of humour. Too caught up in 'culture'. Bad cooks. Can't say 'aluminum' correctly. I base these observations on the Brits I've met and know. I'm sure that they are far too general, but you asked for it!

Jerry, just want you to know how much I enjoy your posts. I often have to stop and decide if you're pulling my leg, and how hard. But I always get a chuckle!

Hey, Rosemary! Where are you? And Rachel, hope all is well. And Arik, are you off buying swords again? Hope you're safe. And where, oh where, has Gariess gone?

Must go. Good jiu-jitsu. Sore. Bruised. Lovin' it.

Allein Tue Jan 30 22:28:12 PST 2001

Viv - Your daughter's name is Hana? That's neat because in my Japanese class we chose Japanese names for ourselves and mine was Hanako (Flower Child - but you probably knew that already). Two reasons - one: it was the closest I could fine to Heather and two: my mom always said I should have been born in 1952 so I would have been a flower child in the 60's. I love hippie clothing and vintage everything so I was 30 years too late.
Do you watch any Japanese Anime? I love anime. Ranma 1/2 is my favorite - it's really funny, especially Ryoga and Shampoo! :)

For everyone I have a deeply religious experience to share:

The other day, I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day, because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting; so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, I'm glad I did! What an uplifting experience that followed!

I was stopped by a red light at a busy intersection, and was lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is.... and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It's a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed that the light had changed. I found out that LOTS of people love Jesus! Why, while I was sitting there the guy behind me started honking like crazy and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, "For the love of God - GO Jesus Christ GO!

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus!

Everyone started honking!

I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love! There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling about a "sunny beach"...

I saw another waving a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my grandson, in the back seat, what it meant. He said that it was a Hawaiian good luck sign or something so I leaned out of the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing... why, even he was enjoying this religious experience!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. I waved to all my sisters and brothers, grinning, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again, and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared; so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away.

Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!


I got that one through e-mail and thought it was funny.

Homer: "Aww...this isn't going to be about Jesus is it?"
Reverend Lovejoy: "Everything is about Jesus...except this. Your son has been working in a berlesque* house."

*Spelling is more than likely really wrong.

Grammar tip of the day: Tue Jan 30 22:17:27 PST 2001


There is a long drawn out definition of the instances where one should use the words who or whom, but I wouldn't be able to remember it in a million years. So here is a general rule of thumb to use in your editing and creating.

When in doubt about whether to use who or whom, mentally substitute a personal pronoun. If he, she, or they fits, use WHO.

ie~ She is a research assistant who also likes to teach. (SHE also likes to teach.)

If him, her, or them fits, use WHOM.

ie~ The new teaching assistant, whom I met yesterday, is also doing research. (I met HIM/HER yesterday.)

Do not let an inserted clause--such as 'you thought' in the following sentence--mislead you.

ie~ These are the men WHO you thought were the architects. (You thought THEY were the architects.)

Viv Tue Jan 30 21:47:56 PST 2001

Hello! I'm back! I'm taking free computer classes. They are something I've always wanted to try. The price helped get me in the door but it's fun! Powerpoint is neat! I finish Microsoft Word tomorrow. Then I try Excell and Acess but I think I should combine those two and call them excess! As Dozo Yoroshuku always says, "A Rittle Bit of Rearning goes a Wrong Wrong Way."

Not a nice thing to say but this was a tv program 20 years ago where a woman taught Japanese sayings. At the end of the program she tried to say, "A little bit of learning goes a long long way!" For years the American's enjoyed her pronunciation.

After 1980, Japanese understanding of English became sophistocated. I liked the Dozo years! I think the woman actually was making a subtle joke of her own. In our mouths very often a rittle bit of rearning can go wrong!

I have no idea what a tree is or where Jack will plant it in the workbook but it will be interesting. This website is really something, a bit of genius that brings us all into a cheerful little place. Thank you for your knowledge and the tree...whatever it is...that you are creating.

I'm half finished painting my study/daughter's room when she's home from college. We decided to do a sunset last time she was here. I've done yellow and pink so far, and I'm debating if I should open the can of green paint or leave that until tomorrow...

Mary, those Haiku are great! I love the one on spring. I noticed buds on the cherry trees when I was sledding last week. Did you write the bear story? Who did? I love it. I'm glad she got a little nice moment before she died. It was a stroke of genius to have that strawberry there!

Ben, I sympathize. I hate loosing something I've written. No matter how hard I rewrite, it bothers me that what went before might have been better. I hope it shows up again afterwards and you see that what you wrote on the second go-'round was much better and clearer.

Well like Howard, my break is over. Back to the green paint can and in the mean time I'll think about Haiku and hummm, how can I paint my other daughter's room. She's asking for silver and gold.

Anyone know much about interior paint. That sounds so dark. I need a light silver and a light gold because the weather here is silver grey most of the time and the room is rather small. Any ideas?

This is great fun! I'm allowed to paint the house because it's scheduled for destruction next December. We must leave the house the day after Christmas next year. I decided to paint it up like an Easter Egg! I've never had a house I could paint "My Way" before. It's temporary art!

Rhonda, how are the goldfish? The goldfish at my daughter's juku froze the other day...literally. Here the houses aren't centrally heated. The fish bowl was downstairs and it included. Hana said her teacher was using a hair dryer on them when she left yesterday night! She's excited about going back tonight to see if any of them are still alive.

Heather, you're 100% right! I do need to clarify that ending! That's why this site is neat. I can bounce my ideas off people and see what is confusing.

Ok, no more putting off this job. Back to it. I'm going to think Haiku while I paint. See you soon. Viv

Reading back through this I'm convinced I'm dislexic!

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Jan 30 21:43:27 PST 2001

Speaking of prejudice, I guess I was raised to believe that we are all created equal no matter what color our skins are, and no matter who we do or don't worship. Well I do remember being told tales of nun's burying their babies under the nunnery but I always thought them to be a bit on the false side. Oh and I guess should I have taken them seriously, I should never have converted to Roman Catholic faith. However there are plenty of folks around here who regularly use the "N" word and the "S" word, along with the "C" word. Sadly many of them are my relatives. They have stopped using them around me, as I usually tell them that sort of talk makes me a bit uncomfortable. They look at me like I came from outer space or something, but hold their tongs when I am around. Strange too, as there are no minorities in our fair city, with the exception of a few Naive Americans. I guess when you don't have to deal with it, it is easy to hate for the color of your skin, or the prayers you say. Maybe my folks were a bit conservative as I never heard them speak with disrespect of any, other then those Native Americans, who my mother still fears. My dad however used to help them when they needed help, like he helped anyone else in trouble, much to my mothers despair. Mom came up to visit us when we lived near Devils Lake ND, and we took her up to an Indian Casino on the Reservation. She was terrified when we crossed the line and entered the Reservation, scared that the Indians would get us. It spoiled her fun at the casino too, as most of the workers were Native American, other then one of my classmates from college, who happened to be black. When he came over to visit with us, mom liked to scream, but she held back. I don't know where that came from, but no matter what we say, we can't convince her that people from other races, cultures and religions are all the same under the skin. We have long since stopped trying, as it will do no good, and mother now stays here in town almost all of the time now anyhow, it is unlikely she will run into those she fears.


Teekay Tue Jan 30 21:02:38 PST 2001

Er, that's Simpson's quotes. D'OH!

Teekay Tue Jan 30 21:00:13 PST 2001

Hi All,

MARY: If I don't like it I wouldn't write it. I know I couldn't write about kids getting hurt. There are heaps of things that would repulse me to write about them and I don't think I would even try. I don't think it's because I have buried issues, it's just that I don't like subjects and I don't want to give them any energy.

BEN: You poor thing. I've had that happen to me and it's made me almost vomit.

RRRRAMON: I do like your name, but it must be said RRRRRAMON like in Michelle and Romy's high school reunion. If you don't say it like that then you may as well be called Harry.

JOHN: I hate giving shitty critiques. I hate getting them too and believe me I've had plenty, but I've found that everyone has improved my skill as a writer. One day you'll be thanking me, and meeaning it. :-)

CHRISTI: I bought it. You want I should send it to you? You'll love it.

JERRY: I thought 'diary of a snow shoveller' was yours. God, no wonder you never published it. heh heh.

RICHARD: Sorry can't help you on that one as I'm not American.

RHODA: What are you talking about??? I saw an episode of RIKI LAKE. Yes, I admit it, though I am blushing with shame, and there were these people who were so incredibly racist and damn proud of it. That shocked the shoes off me. I thought somehow the human race had somehow gotten above such low minded bigotry, but apparently it is alive and well in the USA.

MARK: Gorgeous quote. Funny joke.

ALLEIN: I love all these Simpson votes. They are soooo funny.

School is in.

The weather is cold and rainy.

This morning I needed a jumper.

Life is good.

Jerry Tue Jan 30 20:50:21 PST 2001

I was there too, but when I talked, all I got was an echo.

Tina Tue Jan 30 20:49:52 PST 2001

Sorry Mary. After awhile I got writing 'Shadow' - working on a climax point - and didn't shut down the chat. I would've loved to talk! Did get a chuckle reading your monologue (sp?) though. Catch ya next time! Now I'm off to jiu-jitsu.

Mary Tue Jan 30 20:42:19 PST 2001

TINA: I waited twenty minutes in the chat room for you... did quite a monologue actually. Your name was there, but you weren't. :-(

Hope you got to read all the funny stuff I wrote to you. Bye bye for now.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Jan 30 19:55:31 PST 2001

Howard - take heart, I have played around on themestream for about six months now, my first three months, I was a regular, posted a weekly commentary on politics from a conservative point of view. Well one thing led to another, and I ended up posting a commentary on animal rights. Now that was the most commented on article I ever wrote, most of them were bad, some were threatening, others good, but it did draw a crowd. That was about my third month there, and I got my first quarterly check of $34.00. Kind of neat getting a check for writing, but then the newness wore off, and I became very involved in the long election thing, so I sort of quit writing for them. (The drop from a dime a hit to 2 cents a hit didn't help either) Well I dropped in the other day, just to check you know and low and behold, I have made another 10 bucks. Well to celebrate, I wrote another article, this one an open letter to President Bush, copies of which I sent off to about ten major newspapers. I am sure none of them will publish it, but I figured what the heck, I don't have much better to do right now then seek out email addresses and send off letters to editors.


Tina Tue Jan 30 19:47:26 PST 2001

I'm at the chat room for awhile. It's 7:45 PST.

howard Tue Jan 30 18:59:36 PST 2001

EDDIE -- Just tried to get out to your page, but hung up and had to C-A-D out of it. Dunno why, except that RoadRunner has been crapping all over the place tonight.
I saw your comment on TS - Thanks - I remember that story too, but I almost think it was Bradbury. Long time ago. I've made all of $3.76 so far on TS! I figure at this rate I'll be able to retire, say, in 2093!

Pepper Tue Jan 30 18:10:02 PST 2001

I'm the 4:00 AM type too. Last night I woke Allein up at 4:00 AM because I had to go outside. She took me into the hall and closed the door on me. So, I went into her brother's room and left a gift on his carpet.

"Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement." - Snoopy

Mark Tue Jan 30 17:44:24 PST 2001

HEY !!

Jeez, a few of us would like to sleep here.

CHRISTI -- Three blondes came into KayBee Toys at the Mall of America. They gave each other high fives, and gave 'em to the sales clerk, the store manager and several customers. They went to the jigsaw puzzles and started looking over the selection. Two of the women bent down to pull a couple of boxes off the bottom shelf; I asked the one standing (was that you?) what the celebration was all about.
"We did it in 84 hours, man."
Uh, did what?
"The puzzle, guy, the puzzle! Here look at this box. See? It says '3 to 6 years!' We did it in 84 hours."

Hi! to everybody I didn't get to here tonight.
More later.

Americo Tue Jan 30 17:31:48 PST 2001


I left a little message on your site. I saw that you improved it one hundred per cent. Gorgeous!

Speaking about queens. Rachel disappeared again!

PS. This new group of newcomers sounds quite interesting. Very good posts lately. Welcome to all!

SWAN Tue Jan 30 17:26:18 PST 2001

I noticed the memories sinking back in

Rippling soft fingers touching me within

All from a picture found dusty and faded

Hidden to attack my present senses

Barnabas Tue Jan 30 17:13:32 PST 2001

I have to agree with Heather on writing, it is VERY difficult to write something close and painful to your heart because you are litterally opening your innermost thoughts to strangers (whoever reads your book).

To those who love snow
Since I come from a tropical island, I never liked winter in New Zealand because it was so cold in the mornings when I had to get up. Its not even cold enough to snow during those times. If it was I would probably never get up.

I've got an idea brewing in my head, expect to see it up. It involves the old and used idea of how one should not judge on physical appearance alone.
I've also changed a little of my story, Soul Merchant. Probably won't put it up.

If anyone isn't busy check out my website which features a battle card game I created myself.
The address incase the thing above doesn't work is

Do people really do that?

I don't belong to the 4am club. Different time zone. I would belong to the early morning 12-2am club.

Its a vicious cycle problem with the gun. Criminals won't stop using guns and good citizens have to have guns to protect themselves, which means the criminals have to have even more guns or the citizens will not be afraid of them and fight back so the citizens get even bigger guns to protect themselves.

My solution? Don't have any. However I think trust would play a big part in it.

Its sad that there are still minority groups who are biased against other races forgetting they were once "the other race."
Its difficult to think of US as "another country" because it is the most powerful country in terms of Economic and military power.

I'll tell the citizens of Mercury Saturn and Pluto your opinion, although I'm sure some of them agree with you.

I think although theoratically possible it may no longer be practically possible thanks to consumer choice which happens to be influenced by advertising. On a similar note, ban advertising and have the revenue spent else on research and making production efficient would be a good thing.

That reminds me, British are not British if they do not live in Britain even though their ancestors are British. The descenesents always adapt to the local main culture but may retain some of their former culture. I know this for a fact because although I'm Chinese I'm not like a Chinese person from China. I have different views, ideas and a different accent.

Mark Tue Jan 30 16:23:27 PST 2001

I get weekly updates from (the 'it' stands for Information Technology). This week they recommend a book by Radia Pearlman called "INTERCONNECTIONS:

Here's a quote: "When my son was three I saw him in the hallway crying, holding up his hand, saying, 'My hand! My hand!' I took his hand lovingly and kissed it a few times and said, 'What's the matter, honey? Did you hurt it?' He sobbed, 'No, I got pee on it.'"

Jerry Tue Jan 30 16:02:38 PST 2001

Richard - I am one of those who play with guns too much, in the eyes of many. Well I can't say that anymore, I used to play with guns. Now my gun collection simply lays there collecting dust. I have offered several up for sale, and indeed have sold three of them. This leaves my home unprotected, as I only have 9 of them left. Seriously though, I used to be the Chief of Police in a small town in North Dakota, and to make a few extra bucks, I dealt in guns. I had a Federal Firearms License, that is needed to buy and sell guns, and did the majority of my business at gun shows in the Dakotas. I have never seen myself as araqent, but have met a few who are. There are what we call here "Gun nuts" who feel that they must have large arsenals just in case the wrong guy gets in power and we need another revolution. The closest I have ever been to those guys was when I first signed on the PD, and I joined a survivalist group, at the behest of the Chief of Police, and the SD Crime bureau. It was interesting to say the least, scary at its worst. I could tell you stories of their plans that would make the hair stand on the back of your neck. Up here in the Dakota's there is no problem with the environment, we have clean pure water, and the air is as pure as it was a hundred years ago. When we go hunting, we never run into the anti-hunting nuts from the Sierra club, but I have met folks who come up from the south west to hunt who tell stories of encounters with them. That group and those like them like to go out to where Hunters are seeking game and make loud noises to scare the game away. I think if they did things like that around here they may find themselves under fire, as many of our local hunters take hunting very seriously.

What do I think of the British? Well many years ago when I was in the Army, I met several British ladies, who were wed to American soldiers. I found them to be very nice ladies, and to tell you the truth, I found their accents almost sensual, very sexy. Maybe it is just the different sounds, but should I ever seek a new wife (but I never would) I think I would look until I found a nice English gal.

I did get a chance to serve with some good fellows from Australia when I was in Viet Nam, well it was in a training center, where I attended some NCO courses I needed for promotion, and I found them to be very nice fellows, very easy to talk to and friendly. I know you are from England, I just throw this in for our Australian members, Teekay in particular.

You must understand the American love affair with the gun, we being a relatively new nation remember the tales of our great revolution when citizens needed their firearms for survival, and for freedom. There are sayings that go around the table when groups of gun nuts have a beer and play a quick game of poker, such as "Guns God Guts made America Free" and "They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hands!" "an armed America is a Free America!" Of course there is the other side that advocates the confiscation of all firearms, allowing only the military and police to have them. This would be a good idea, except there are way too many guns to ever get them all, and so long as the criminal has a gun, I want one to defend myself should they come into my house.

Well I am getting way to long again so will shut up and see if I can post this without loosing it again, I hear my main computer just dialed the ISP again, so I best get while the getting is good.

Again Hi to all.


Rhoda Tue Jan 30 15:04:50 PST 2001


Over here across the pond, we Americans get the pleasure to know and interact with many ex-patriot Brits. There were even ex-patriot Brits out in the middle of the Texas panhandle where I use to live. On the whole, my experience with such folks has been positive. I do agree with John that there is a tendency to view British people as overly proper. I have found on the whole, that view is utter rubbish (hope you apprecitate my British slang) promoted by the many of us who grew up watching Masterpiece theatre on Sunday evenings where we received the best, or what we thought was the best of the BBC.

On the whole, British people seem to have a good sense of humor, better than that of Americans, some of whom have no sense of humor at all. But British people come in all shapes and sizes and quality just like anyone else. And I almost cry to admit that some I have met have been just plain mean. I remember the time I chatted briefly with some British racist on the Internet. I could not believe that people in enlightened Europe and Britain could be that way--a rude awakening indeed!

I think it is the accent that defines British people in American eyes. It should be bottled and exported all around the world, for it has done much for those who possess it. From Cockney to Eton/Oxford, there is something about the speech that makes British person come off as intelligent, well-balanced and trustworthy. I told my husband if he wished to succeed in business he should go, take lessons and acquire a British accent. Then people would invite him to parties and trust his judgment.

There was an ordinary, middle aged man sitting at one of the large roundtables in the dining room during the Romantic Times convention. I sat down with him and his wife before he ever opened his mouth, and when he did and this lovely speech poured forth, my round table immediately filled with ladies. This rotund, short, plain looking Welsh guy became the center of the conversation at this table during the whole dinner. His American wife sat back calmly with an amused look on her face. She was evidently used to this type of attention.

Americans, what can I say? I haven't known too many gun toting guys like Jerry here. Americans love and value their environment. Only an idiot wishes to breath dirty air and drink toxic water. Unfortunately too many people believe that you cannot have a vibrant economy without pollution, and that is patently untrue. I support laws and efforts to clean up envirnomental messes and to maintain a good quality air, soil and water. I think we do that better than almost any country in the world, though we could do much better than we are doing.

The only problem I have with many environmental organizations is their extremism, much of which has nothing to do with the environment. Much of it has to do with the acquition of political power. Furthermore, many of their arguments and policies have no bearing in logic or in science. Many environmental activists have a weak background in science and history. Weak and sensational science--I won't tread down that road today, but I could write a book on it. But there does seem to be a belief among many environmentalists that life styles have to change radically in order to save the planet. Oh yeah, then there is the draconian Armageddon language that the planet is deep, serious trouble and that we much take steps now to change the social/political structure of the world in order to save it. The earth has been in the process of being destroyed for my entire life. According to many pundents of previous decades, we should all be dead by now. Anyway, I realize many will disagree with me, and I would be happy to join anyone on the chat late some Friday night and discuss it.


Got to run,


John Tue Jan 30 14:21:39 PST 2001

EDDIE: Dang...I thought I had something original there. Guess I'm always a step behind.

RICHARD: Here's my insights based on my biases and the observation of others: Most Americans see themselves as mutts...sorry, I mean multi-national. And there is a pride in that. As a superpower, the average American is not as arrogant as you may perceive. Your perceptions are probably influenced by the loudest individuals, who are in the minority. Most folks just want the other countries to stop thinking of us as anything except another country and get along with each other. I could be a little off, but methinks the gist is there.

My personal viewpoint of the British, in a word, is "over-proper" This is based on the media and the characterizations portrayed in fiction, plus a few personal encounters. As a mutt, I don't have much breeding but I'm friendly and loyal. I feel like we're still connected to the Brits in a way, but y'all can win a blue ribbon whilst I have to stay at home and chase the cat around the house.

Environmentalists? Well folks are getting tired of groups. Everyone wants to help the environment but nobody wants to be associated with fanatical groups whose purpose appears to be the acquisition of fame rather than getting something done. I think people want a new, streamlined, efficient vehicle with which to accomplish a common dream.

Just my perspective. This opinion, in no way, reflects the opinions of anyone else in the solar system. Any inference to other parties is purely coincidental.


Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 30 13:48:24 PST 2001

(*&@* (&)(%&(*&)% &)!@#$*)!@ )%(^)(&@0187

Just typed a very looooonnnnnnggg post and my (*)*%&ing ISP dumped me just as I pushed the publish button! They are upgrading our system today, or so my daughter who works there tells me, and I have been getting DUMPED about every 3 mins, weather I need it or not! I have issued forth one extremely large complaint with the head of the outfit, but I am sure he will just laugh when he gets it.

Any how, my post dealt with the current weather situation here in NW South Dakota. Since about 11:30 PM we have been under what they call a "non participation advisory" This means that while it isn't going to snow, we will be getting some bad weather. Well they were right, since about that time the wind has been blowing steady at around 40 MPH with gusts approaching 70 MPH. I have been watching out my picture window, the bird feeders that normally hang down and are usually occupied by several species of birds now stand straight out pointing east, the seeds forming a cloud as they leave and blow across the driveway. A small dog just blew by, hope he finds a soft spot to land when he comes to a stop. The weatherman is advising no travel for almost everyone, and especial for high profile vehicles such as semi-trucks and vans.

As far as taking the dog for a walk, no problem today, I just hook up his chain, and he gets plenty of exercise trying to stay on the ground.

I am becoming concerned with this horrible split of our nation that grows wider every day, with every word of all who speak on C-SPAN, and the talking heads on television. Where will it stop? I have no idea. As I type, CSPAN is airing the Ashcroft hearings, and the split is so evident. I am not going to side with either side on this matter, as the last time I did that had horrid results, and I never wish to do that again, but we must do something to stop this madness, before it is too late. I only hope that the new President and his administration can work some sort of magic and bring our great nation back as it once was.

Greetings to all, I hope everyone is feeling fine, and may the muse bless you with a tap on the head.

Jack, I know we never say it often enough, but thank you so much for providing us with this wonderful slate to express our feelings, and communicate. For allowing us to meet each other, and grow from these meetings. This place is the main reason I keep writing, and the reason that my writing has improved as much as it has.


Richard Tue Jan 30 13:28:58 PST 2001

John: how can he write strapped to a chair?? ;p

Forecasters say we're about to get the COLDEST weather in, er, decades? Was it years? Hmm, dunno... man, I keep trying to get up early but I just have to curl up in my bed and stay in until I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO...


Anyway. I'm just curious - what conceptions to do Americans tend to hold of British people? Don't worry about hurting my feelings or anything. For myself, I just tend to think Americans play with guns too much, and are sometimes arrogant because they're the biggest country in the world. I know it isn't true, but like I said, impressions. We met some scottish kids who others in my school started to take the mick out of, going on about bagpipes and such, and they started doing impressions of brits drinking tea. It was hilarious! I don't like tea... definately not coffee, it tastes like ash...

Another thing I wanted to ask about is this; whats awareness of the environment like in America? I'm only asking because having read Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy, all the heroes seemed to be very ignorent and kept calling environmentalists "tree-huggers" and stuff like that. Obviously, this is just one book I've read, but it was noticeable. The "environmentalist" group involved were nutters, obviously - they deserved what they got, but toward the end, Clark says something like, "You planned to wipe out humanity just to hug trees?" (or something along those lines). It just struck me as very ignorent - we DO need to take better care of the Earth - and it seemed all the Americans in the novel had very negative and biased veiws toward anyone concerned with saving the environment.

Now, I know that all Americans, maybe not even a lot of them, are not like that. I just want to know what the general attitude is.

Don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings or upset anyone. All these comments and inquires are made in complete ignorance of true American culture :p

Eddie Tue Jan 30 13:25:10 PST 2001

I just noticed that my guest book hasn't been signed since March 2000. If you get a minute hop over and give it the once over.

Eddie Tue Jan 30 13:17:23 PST 2001

Welcome to the 4am club.
It seems that we are all suffering from the same affliction!
I too have been waking at around 4am most mornings. Sometimes after a nightmare and sometimes just for no reason (or I've forgotten the nightmare). Incidently, one of the reasons for my infrequent posts lately is related to this ongoing problem. I know it will pass and I will soon be my old self, but everything seems just so much hard work. I have been writing though!
Did I tell you all that I am also out of work right now? You and me too Jack.
Remember that great job I fell for last summer? Well it turned out not so great after all. Some people just shouldn't be part of the Human Race.
Enough of my moaning and crying, It's not your problem and I will get through this rough patch.

Somebody posted Diary of a shoveller last year on the notebook. I think it was Jerry!
Sorry about missing the shortie on Thursday. The spirit was willing.....
I left you a message at the bottom of 'Perfection' over at TS.
Hi to ......
Teekay (See, I remembered)
Americo Jon
And of course, Jack and Fran.

John Tue Jan 30 10:37:57 PST 2001


December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a lovelier place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.
December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry; we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the
end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man. I'm glad he's our neighbor.
December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. MAN that hurt. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think, was very cruel.
December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. Man I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.
December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the darn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.
December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again.
I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.
December 23: Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she...nuts??? Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's darn well lying.
December 24: 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the jerk who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his feet. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the darn snowplow.
December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3Dx@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. Man I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to kill her.
December 26: Still snowed in. Why in the world did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
December 27: Temperature dropped to-30 and the pipes froze.
December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE WOMAN is driving me crazy!!!
December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave-in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a milliondollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to her mother ... 9" predicted.
December 31: Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep
giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

~Author unknown

Jerry Tue Jan 30 10:04:42 PST 2001

Writing from a personal experience is OK, I guess. Seems almost everything I write has just a little bit of me in it. Where it gets hard is when you try to put way too much traumatic personal experience in it. Then it becomes hard to make the story sound interesting, and not as if you are complaining about what a life you have lead, or at least that is the way it works for me.

Christi - You gotta love that snow. I am not yet tired of it, and we have it by the piles, have had for months now. Oh sure I used to hate shoveling it, or using the snow blower, but the days I could do that are long gone. I have a wonderful neighbor named Jon, who has a big old snow blower. He comes by the house after every snow storm and cleans away the snow for us. In return I pick up all his leaves in the fall with my riding mower/bagger. Up here in the Dakotas we like to tell stories of snow, because it keeps the riff-raff out. Or at least that is the excuse most folks have up here.
Which reminds me of a friend who complained year after year about the snow. He hated the shoveling, he hated it when the snow plow came through and plugged up his driveway only minutes after he shoveled it clean. He hated it when his kids came running into the house from playing in the snow, and left a trail of snow and dirt on the rugs. He hated it when the lakes froze over and his boat had to be stored for the winter. He hated it when his car became stuck in the morning after a big snow. Well I listened to this complaining for years and years at morning coffee. When he was complaining, everyone in the cafe became sort of despondent, depressed if you will, and stayed that way until he left, then they perked up when they were able to talk about him behind his back.

Then came the day when he retired. He was done with work for good, and true to his word, he was going to move out of this God forsaken ice covered, frosted north country. I was driving by his house on patrol a few days later, and I saw he had his pickup loaded with his furniture all tied down with ropes. A large U-Haul trailer was hooked to the bumper, and was squatting from the weight within. On the side of his load he had tied a snow shovel and a set of tire chains. Now this got me curious, because it was after all the middle of June, and the snow was gone now for a couple of months so I had to stop and ask him.

"Well" he said "It's like this, I am going to start driving south, and when I run into someone who asks what the hell those things are for, that is where I will stop and make my new home."

That was the last I ever heard from my old friend, but I am sure he is warm and happy by now, or at least I hope so.


John Tue Jan 30 09:38:41 PST 2001

TEEKAY: Thanks for the critique. It was most helpful and objective. I'll modify my style.

Ramon Tue Jan 30 09:34:13 PST 2001

Once again it looks like everybodys been having fun and lots to say.

ANNIE; JOHN; I see you've stuck around. Thats good.

TEEKAY: Gald you like my name although I can't take the credit as my parents gave it to me. Bu Bump.

I am trying to branck out more in my writing as evidenced by my thoroughly depressing poem. Its probably down to you all by inspiring me. Anybody have any tips on writing comedy? I seem to miss the mark on this one.

I noticed people touched on writing from real life experience. I have to admit I empathise with johnhart when he says that writing about what you know and feel is much easier than something that is beyond your scope of experience. I tried to write a story with a legal angle. I did research and study but found that I was writing complete crap, or at least that's what I felt.

I dont necesarily believe that you should always write from personal experience, but I do think it helps. I am not looking for advice here, I just wanted to share this. When you think I am not the sharing type(just ask my partner of 8 years) that's quite a big thing for me to do. Did that sound arrogant? Sorry, and much pleadings for forgiveness.

Anyway I shall go now as its getting late. Take Care all.


howard Tue Jan 30 09:23:31 PST 2001

HEATHER -- The bridge being the sweater???

MARY -- At least you can take your dog for a walk! My dog doesn't have any legs -- what a drag!

FOUR AYEM -- I woke up at 4:00 also, with one of those hang-on nightmares. I'm claustrophobic, and this time I was under a car (a big Oldsmobile) and it started settling down on me, slowly cutting off my breathing, and I couldn't move. I got up, went downstairs for a minute, then back to bed, but the dream kept coming back.
I did have a real experience similar to that a few years ago, when my daughter's car (a compact) developed a fuel line problem, and I had to change the fuel filter (under the car) in a plaza parking lot. It was so hot that the jack actually sank into the blacktop, and the car came down on me. My son-in-law lifted it enough that I was able to get out of it, but if I'd been alone then, I'd not be writing this now.
I guess that's partly why I've been putting off the next phase of my plumbing chore. It involves crawling through a small hole in a stone wall under my house, and working back under a crawl space, on my back, to hook up a drain pipe.
The last time I crawled into a tight spot in that house I found an old baby shoe, and a pair of old army uniform gaiters. The time before that, an old doll's head. Lots of story ideas there!

WonTon is gone, back to work...

Mary Tue Jan 30 08:18:05 PST 2001

CHRISTI: In haiku, it's not the word count, it's the syllable count. 5,7,5

There might be other forms, but I don't know them.

ps. How crazy is this: I used suntan lotion as hand cream today because I wanted to smell summer!! I am SO done with this snow. I know that living in the snow belt I shouldn't complain, but I am tired of dressing like an Inuit every time I take the dog for a walk. Where is that freakin' groundhog?

Heather Tue Jan 30 08:02:17 PST 2001

TWO correct guesses on Labyrinth!
(And I thought it was a kiddie film, and I a silly person)

On the topic of writing things that are emotionally hard on the writer? Oh, yeah. That's what my novel is. Incredibly hard to write, for that very reason. I've experienced it. I have to dredge up the painful things in order to keep the action and so forth realistic/accurate. The whole reason I began writing the book was to shed (new) light on a subject all too often shoved back into closets. Now, I don't know if I'll be able to shed NEW light exactly, but I'm trying. I've used third person omniscient on purpose, so the reader could see into each character's thoughts. I am aiming to show what type of thinking CAN go on and rationale behind why some people do such things, and why other people insist on being victims. I believe people choose whether or not they pull on the victim role, as one might pull on a sweater. You may disagree, but I speak from experience. But again, I might just be a silly person.

Like it when I can tie two things together with one bridge!



Allein Tue Jan 30 07:41:40 PST 2001

Tina - The Guestbook seems okay now. :)

- Homer Simpson

Heather Tue Jan 30 07:32:22 PST 2001

Tina - just in case you weren't here at the time, Mr. Wizard has been here before. He dropped a similar H-bomb and hadn't come back until now. (H bomb meaning HUGE)

So that's why some of us got a little peeved.

I got the impression he just wanted to try to 'blow us away' with his 'genius'. Not happening.


Christi Tue Jan 30 07:28:29 PST 2001

Mary, I'm the same way too. I've been working on a novel idea that scares me to death and I'm having difficulties wanting to do it but something keeps pushing me. Why can't I write about little fluffy bunnies named Jasper?! Okay, so I don't want to write about bunnies, but something more mild than murder and the like.
Good luck with your story, I'll bet it'll be great.

Christi Tue Jan 30 07:24:15 PST 2001

Hi you'se guys!

Laura, I'll scoot over to read your story as soon as I can. Got company at the moment though. Welcome!!!

John, see above. :)

Jerry, You sound good. I'm glad.

Mark, I've heard a few blonde-puzzle jokes, which one is it? People who have never seen me before somehow feel the urge to walk right up to me and tell me the latest blonde jokes. (I secretly love it.) My favorite is: Q: What do you call ten blondes in a row? A: A wind tunnel.
Soooo, what DID you picture?

Love the haiku, y'all.

she wishes for snow
and she dreams of snowmen
tumbleweeds don't made good snowmen

THat was my very first haiku! Ugh. Uh oh, I see that some have used three-five-five, and some use three-four-five. Which is correct?

Teekay, I looked at the library AND at the online bookstore and they had nothing by Catherine Alliott (the dolts). I'm incredibly bummed. :( Did you buy it or rent it?

Heather, It's Labyrinth!!!!!! It's on my top five right near the top as well. How goes the world?

Hi, Tina!

Hello, AMerico and Jon!

Hope everyone's peachy-keen. Bye!


John Tue Jan 30 07:07:23 PST 2001

MARY: I agree completely. It seems when I come up with a story that involves pain in my life, everything flows. If I'm not involved, it's garbage, like that banister story.

It must be easiest when we've personally had intense emotion some where in the story and conversely more difficult when we approach something as an outsider.

Just thoughts..I'm no expert

Ben Woestenburg Tue Jan 30 07:04:44 PST 2001

Hey there.
I can't believe I just wrote this great big thing in here, and then pushed the wrong button! My heart just about skipped a beat when I saw it go blank and realized what I did. Kinda reminded me of the story I was working on this morning.
I couldn't sleep, so I got up at four'ish and began working on this story I've been working on in my head and on scrap bits of paper at work. I wanted to write it from a female p.o.v., and tell the story of an old grandmother and her young granddaughter. Theirs is a dysfunctional family, of sorts--actually it's the granddaughter's mother who is the dysfunctional one, having been divorced four times. So I got up with the understanding that I had to do this. I'd already written five pages which I pretty well ignored, and started over again. I was on my fourth page, and finally into the flow. I think I wrote four, maybe five pages. And then I went to save something, cutting and pasting big blocks that I didn't need, but couldn't throw out because you never know when you'll want to use them, and what happens? I lose everything I wrote for the morning. I saved the stuff I didn't want--and still don't want--but lost everything I wrote this morning. God, I hate it when that happens. I've looked and scoured through the damned thing, but can't find it anywhere. So now I have to start all over, but the problem is, what I write now might be as good, might be better, but then again, it might not, I just won't know because I don't have anything to compare it to.
So now I have to sort of cleanse my mind and start again.
At least it's still early.

Mary Tue Jan 30 06:21:13 PST 2001

I had a nightmare last night that would make an excellent novel, but I don't know if I can write it. I can't stand reading books or watching movies where the people in jeopardy are children. I don't know how I could ever resolve myself to write one. I am going to work up a plot outline later just to keep my thoughts straight and see what happens. Probably the best stories are the ones that hurt the author a little bit. Any opinions on that?

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Jan 30 03:53:51 PST 2001

Been a bit busy, so just catching up on questions and answers. Think the queries about whether the Notebook will remain the same have been settled. As for turning the Workbook into the tree format, just to explain for Debra and whoever. It is really very simple. The posted manuscript will the subject for subsequent postings and you will just see the subject heading. Click on it and you will be able to read the story and then post a critique. The critiques will be nestled underneath the story and only apply to that story. This is why I am inclined to use it on the Workbook if I can get it to work in a password protected area. I was planning to improve the methodology for password protection anyway, so we will have to see. The change may take a while. I have a bunch of jammed up duties that I need to attend to, not the least of which is trying to get back to work. That may be a longer chore than I thought. Seems like every in sight is self destructing all of a sudden. I have a huge back log of link requests for that I have to attend to as well. Take care everyone and excuse the long winded babble.

Teekay Tue Jan 30 02:17:03 PST 2001

JOHN & LAURA: Have posted a critique for you.

Tina Mon Jan 29 22:58:26 PST 2001

That would be 'Labyrinth'. Unless THEY took it from another source. In which case I don't know.

Allein, I went and found it. Read some. Your guestbook wasn't working so I'll say 'hi!' here! :~D

Didn't read Johnny Wizard's post. A small level of etiquette still rules the world, and a proper 'hello' should come before ranting. :-(


Heather again Mon Jan 29 22:34:09 PST 2001

Simply LOVELY Haikus here tonight. Welcome, Haiku.

Smack me. I'm ridiculous.


Heather Toothy Bear Mon Jan 29 22:32:34 PST 2001

Pardon my flatus jokes.

Having a rude day.

Tomorrow should be titilating. (Litter!)

heather Mon Jan 29 22:30:35 PST 2001

"I have fought my way here, beyond the Goblin City, to take back the child that you have stolen!"
--quote from my favourite movie in the world.

Can you guess what movie, huh, huh?

Johnny 'Inflated Ego':
If what you wrote wasn't so convoluted and arrogant, we might have actually tried to read all of it. You're making things more difficult than they really are, NOT AS THEY ARE. Remember KISS? Keep It Simple, Stupid. Want to know why? The principles of Life are, in actuality, very simple. No need to cloud up what's already crystalline.

By the way, 'inflated's' close relative is 'flatus'. Can you guess what the fart that means?


Jerry Mon Jan 29 21:58:58 PST 2001

Well, started another story for **P** this one is going very well, however it has been a long day, so I am going to put it on hold for tonight, and try to get back to it in the morning. Not that I have millions of things to do, I don't. Usually I do my writing in the evenings, just a habit I think, during the day I am always kind of busy playing around with my computers. They will be my downfall I guess from a writing point of view anyhow, but these dang machines are just so addictive. That is a good thing for writing though because I always write on the machine, well almost always, I have tried pen and paper with success but it seems the pen is more for journal entries, life stories, fiction for me flows easier in the word processor. I think I take life way to serious when armed with the pen, is that just me? I guess the pen was always used for writing reports, traffic tickets, for drawing diagrams at traffic accident scenes, inventory lists when conducting searches, stuff like that. The computer however has been used not only for writing fiction, but for playing games, for downloading and listening to music. For drafting letters to the editor and emails to my congressman, and the President. For keeping my check book straight and paying the bills, these items graduated from the pen to the computer. Anyhow I am rambling again (slaps himself across the face) and best quit before I fill the notebook with mindless drivil.

Have a GREAT night everyone!

Allein Mon Jan 29 21:51:55 PST 2001

Tina - Yep, it's all on my webpage, you can access it by clicking the link above.


Winter in the south,
Living in Florida, might
Have to wear sunblock.

Lucky Grandparents,
I'm in freezing Washington,
Thank God for Starbucks!


Teekay Mon Jan 29 21:32:24 PST 2001

LAURA & JOHN: I'm going to print out your stories and read them at my leisure, that way I'll be able to relax and contemplate them. I shall get back with a critique tomorrow.

Why don't you guys write a shorty for PHANTASIUM?????? Go on. I dare you. :-)

Teekay Mon Jan 29 21:26:50 PST 2001

Hi All,

Do we think what is a mistake?
I think you are right in saying wether Debra survives or not is irrelevant. The story is complete as is.

CHRISTI: *sniff* I finished the book today. I'm so depressed. I hate it when I finish a good book. Let me know if you can't get it. I've just discovered that there's one before it called 'old girls network' so if you can, get that first. I have it on order and am expecting it any day now.

MARY: HAH!!! I knew it. Well, I thought it, and I didn't go and stick your name in after reading your post, it was already there. Taa -daaaaaaaaaaaaa.

RHODA: JACK only means to use the tree format in the workbook. I think it was MARY who led us all off the straight and narrow.

JOHNNY WIZARD: Sorry. Wa-a-a-ay to long and clumped together. My brain would've fallen out if I'd tried to read it like that. Try breaking it up. It's much more easily digested that way.

Am off to the S.S section of the workbook.

Mary Mon Jan 29 21:18:14 PST 2001

safe and warm inside
snow whips around the windows
while we drink hot tea

here is a spring one for good measure:

light purple leaf buds
water bubbling over ice
we smile more often

Mary Mon Jan 29 21:07:37 PST 2001

TINA: Seems I might have stuck my foot in my mouth inadvertently. Christi asked Heather at the end of one of her posts if she wrote the bear story, and I answered the question by saying, "No, but thank you for the compliment of considering Heather an option." At later glance, it looked like I considered the "Heather guess" a compliment, but not the Tina or Eddie, or Richard guess. Of course that is altogether incorrect. I was flattered by all of the incorrect guesses. A benefit I hadn't expected actually. I figured everyone would guess who wrote that right off the bat. Anyway, TINA: Big hugs for you and Richard and Eddie and everyone else too!

EDDIE: Where are you? You promised us a perfect shortie Thursday! Remember....hell hath no fury.

Tina Mon Jan 29 20:47:45 PST 2001

Hello all!
I'm gonna be brief tonight...

Christi, thanks for the compliment. Mary, great little story!

Laura, love your post in the workbook. PLEASE let me read some more of your story, huh huh huh? :-)

John, read yours too. Gonna think on before further comment. It's got me thinking... :~}

Jack, I like the idea of a tree format. It would allow you to get rid of old drafts that are just cluttering things up, without wiping out everything in the file. And about 'The Artist's Way', give yourself a treat and read it. I purchased it a few years after I finished college, at a time when I felt my creativity draining away and I was losing confidence in my artist-self. It really helped remind/convince me that I do have an artist-soul.

Allein, do you have your full story on your website? I should just go and check. Maybe I will when I'm done here. I'd love to read what you're posting, but I don't want to jump in at the middle. Love the quotes!


Mark Mon Jan 29 20:26:28 PST 2001

Snow packed on the drive.
Funny how it warms me,
To shovel it away.


Hear the crunch of snow
underfoot. Smell wood fires burn.
Wintertime senses.


Mark Mon Jan 29 20:09:19 PST 2001

I think Jack has made it clear that the WB is in line for tree-shaping, NB will stay as is. Fine by me.

Debra Mon Jan 29 20:02:21 PST 2001


Great story:


Thanks, I agree I might miss something with the tree format.

I like to quickly scan and I read a lot in doing that. When it comes to clicking and then scanning, I might miss something.


Mary Mon Jan 29 18:56:45 PST 2001


fishing through the ice
the wind is like a hacksaw
I dream of warm days

John Mon Jan 29 18:14:46 PST 2001

Hi all. I posted a story in the Short Story Workbook called "The Banister". It was pretty fun to write. If you have a minute, let me know whatcha think.

LAURA: I read your story...twice. I thought it was a cool idea. I want to read it a few more times and see if I can find all your analogies. ( I ain't too swift )


Word of the day: Mon Jan 29 18:13:30 PST 2001

verism (ver'iz-um) n. the attempt to depict reality in art and literature.

Mark Mon Jan 29 17:48:20 PST 2001

CHRISTI -- "The Blonde"? Funny, I never thought of you that way. Were you one of the three doing that famous jigsaw puzzle?

Art? Nope.
Secret Code? Nope.
Pretty obvious. Dope.

Odd coincidence, Swan posts a short narrative on the external experience and you post one on the internal experience. You two know each other? Were these handed to me in a classroom I'd give Swan a B and you an F. But they weren't.

DEBRA -- Tree format -- follow a main (trunk) line to a branch, follow branches to smaller branches and leaves. In Windows, click Start, then Programs, then Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer). The Windows Explorer is an example of files organized in tree structure.

I"ve wondered why Micro$oft would name two different tools Explorer; but one explores your PC, the files on it and the Windows available to you, the other explores the Internet.

In Windows Explorer, the window is broken into two sections ( called panes -- get it? Windows' panes). The left one is called Navigation pane, the right one is called the Content pane. In the left pane, you'll see folders with plus signs next to them. Click a plus sign and all the subfolders under it will come into view. In a complex area like the Windows folder, you can see folders open into subfolders which then have their own subfolders beneath that. As you keep opening folders, you can see how the system branches out. Thus, it's called a tree system -- it branches.

Now I'm going to make like a tree
and leaf.

Jerry Mon Jan 29 16:03:27 PST 2001

Christi, I am doing fine, the worst part, that being the funeral is over and now I just get back to the grind and get on with life.



Laura Milanovich Http:\\\~mcqofh Mon Jan 29 13:35:51 PST 2001

I just posted a story to the SS archive... what do you think?

Debra Mon Jan 29 13:31:02 PST 2001


I'm sorry but some people have to be spoon fed everything. Okay me. But what is a tree format?


Mon Jan 29 13:15:32 PST 2001

What's a bammer?

Rhoda Mon Jan 29 12:50:29 PST 2001


It seems many like the tree format, and I will accept it if I must, but I perfer the Notebook the way it is. I think the present format has been part of the secret of the Notebook's success. As it is I am forced to read some of everything posted. On the tree format I would have the tendency to skip over things, and I would not feel as connected to everyone here.

That is my two cents worth. You must do what you think is best. Perhaps the tree format might actually attract more participants, but I would really like to keep it just this way.

Happy writing,

Rhoda (waiting expectantly for Americo to bless us with his wisdom and good cheer).

Anon not on your Mon Jan 29 12:32:02 PST 2001

A Thicket of Irishmen

A Thicket of Canucks (?sp)

A Thicket of 'Bammers'

Jon Mon Jan 29 12:27:53 PST 2001

Dear President Howard,

A* will soon make his apparition on these premises. With a gracious bow to the blue.

"must go [now]" (sasquatch).

Richard Mon Jan 29 12:15:31 PST 2001

We seem to have a page of writers...

John Mon Jan 29 12:15:20 PST 2001


Christi Mon Jan 29 10:59:38 PST 2001

How 'bout a smorgasboard of restaurants? NO?
An upchuck of models? :)

John Mon Jan 29 09:28:14 PST 2001

I just caint tell who wrote the story...I'm too new here I reckon. As for the strawberry, I really like it in the story...It makes me want clarification. The roots are giving way and she is about to die (bear or no bear) Does Debra know this? Her eyes were closed before she saw the strawberry. Is she eating the strawberry as a frivolous act or, in her mind, is it her last act?

TO ALL: Since coming here over a week ago, I am compelled to write something...anything everyday. And it's been productive writing. That's quite a diversion from my previous path. Thank you all y'all

Collective Noun

Christi Mon Jan 29 09:13:29 PST 2001

Dang, dang, dang! I shoulda listened to my gut! Good job, Mary!

Mary Mon Jan 29 09:03:20 PST 2001

T'was I who wrote the bear story...

howard Mon Jan 29 08:49:46 PST 2001


See also my earlier story "Grammatical Ambiguity" re Barlow and Cletus Farnsworth, posted right here a couple of months back, and also in

MARY - Thanks! "a block of writers" just occurred to me a few months ago when we were discussing collective nouns here.

AMERICO - Where'd you go?

UNKNOWN WRITER -- Good story! Maybe you're EDDIE!?


Hallee Mon Jan 29 07:38:47 PST 2001

Hi everyone. VERY busy. Barely time to read the posts, much less post.

My guess is Richard wrote the bear story.


Grammar tip of the day Mon Jan 29 06:09:33 PST 2001

The village blacksmith finally found an apprentice willing to work long hard hours for next to nothing. The very first hour on the job the smith began teaching him everything he knew.

"When I take the shoe out of the fire, I'll lay it on the anvil, and when I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."

The apprentice did EXACTLY as he was told.

Ten minutes later he was the only live blacksmith in the village.

As scriveners of the published sort our words can make a similar impact. Let us be careful.

Debra Mon Jan 29 05:59:31 PST 2001

To who wrote the bear story:

I don't know who it was, but don't worry about using my name. It's fine.

Not only that, giving a moment just before death, I think I might have been up for enjoying one last bit of pleasure.

You might try including the fact that Debra, not me really, was allergic to strawberries but always loved them.

The death she suffered from the strawberry might have been more humane.

Just a thought.

Great story.


Mary Mon Jan 29 05:37:10 PST 2001

Good Morning Everyone!

Collective nouns? How 'bout a "PILE of carpets"? Huh? Pretty bad, isn't it? HOWARD: That "BLOCK of writers" is rather clever. 'Tis my favorite.


Oops, gotta run. More later.

Mon Jan 29 05:17:45 PST 2001

CHRISTI: No, Heather didn't write that story, but I will tell you that I am exceedingly flattered that you considered her an option.

Allein Sun Jan 28 22:21:42 PST 2001

Hi all,
I just posted chapters 19 and 20 in the Novel section of the workbook. Hopefully some of you will take time out of your busy schedules to critique them.

Jack - Unfortunately, I wanted on underline one thing in my chapters and it underlined everything in Novel section and I'm not sure how to fix it.


"Homer, a man calling him self 'you-know-who' just invited you to a secret wink-wink at the you-know-what."
- Marge Simpson

Christi Sun Jan 28 22:13:36 PST 2001

Hi ho, everybody! Christi the blonde here.

Jerry, How're you doing?

Viv, Wonderful writing! I loved your perfection shortie; it felt like an Aesop's fairy tale to me.
Whoops, now I see Teekay has said much the same thing! :)

Teekay, THANKS for the compliment! And I'm going to check that book out of the library ASAP. Puttin' it on hold tonight, baybee!

Echoing the others, I feel compelled to say THANK YOU, JACK! It never seems like enough when I say that to you. A poor thanks indeed compared to all the blessings I've received from coming here. Need a favor? :)
I'm glad to hear the Notebook will be unscathed by the changes and I quite agree that said changes would be great in the Workbook. On a personal note, I know I would critique more by downloading one story at a time rather than hopping around and smelling all the other flowers in the meadow. But I digress ....

To the anonymous storywriter, First I thought, "Tina!" then I thought, "Mary!" and in between I thought, "Heather!" Why all women? Don't ask me! Okay, methinks it's Tina.

Hiya Heather! Was I wrong? Was it you? Oh, I'm so confused! This is why I DON'T write mysteries.

Love to all,


Heather Sun Jan 28 21:37:10 PST 2001

Howard - Halcyon is also the name of a sedative/hypnotic drug (spelled Halcion). The name is very fitting, but also sad, isn't it?

Ah, yes, those halcyon days indeed...

Jack - I've had Julia Cameron's book, 'The Artist's Way' for years, and although I must say it is stimulating, and much of what's in it is sage advice, not to forget the wonderful 'taking time for the creative self' exercises; but I find I don't end up finishing books like that unless I have the dreaded writer's B. I think it's a good sign that I haven't used the book very much, since that also means I haven't felt WB creeping up too often. Now, Cameron's book isn't necessarily designed for hurdling WB, so I should stick my foot back into my oral cavity, and go dredge that book out. I'm sure my produtivity could use a boost - that's something that her book has been hailed for.

*grinning with Nike face*


Jerry Sun Jan 28 20:54:39 PST 2001

Howard, I have always liked a gaggle of accountents. But then what do I know?

Oh then there was the flock of blonds. A quandry of lawyers. A covy of criminals. A coil of attornies. A slip of crooks. Ok, ok, I made a few of those up.


howard Sun Jan 28 19:16:16 PST 2001

Collective nouns?
My favorite is still "a block of writers"

Jerry Sun Jan 28 19:05:38 PST 2001

Barnabus - should you desire to chat, just leave a note in the notebook that you will be there from such and such time to such and such time, those who check in will usually jump at a chance to chat. That seems the only way to get it working, since we are all from different time zones, and have different lives and different schedules it is hard to say specific chat times, so leaving a note, then sitting by waiting for others to arrive works best.


Sun Jan 28 18:17:14 PST 2001

Hello. My apologies to Debra first off, for writing such a story when I know that she is terrified of bears, or at least has nightmares about them. Secondly, I just wrote this story directly into the message box and upon getting ready to post it, decided it might be fun to see if anyone here can guess which one of us wrote it.

Debra walked along through the woods, breathing in the fresh scent of the low lying hemlock branches and keeping her eye out for deer. The stump of a fallen tree beckoned her to sit. If it hadn't been for the noise she made rummaging through her pack for crackers, she would have heard the leaves rustling behind her.

The huge grizzly raised up onto its hind legs just as Debra reached for her thermos and she caught his charge with the corner of her eye. All thoughts of climbing a tree, throwing her pack, or playing dead left her conscience and she bolted. Debra knew the trails well, but after only 50 yards her legs betrayed her and she stumbled. She could feel the vibrations of the bear's footfalls through the mossy earth and braved a glance over her shoulder; the white gnashing teeth were all that registered in her mind.

With legs ready to give out and lungs ready to collapse, Debra's last ditch effort was to catapult herself over the side of the ravine just seconds away. She never even slowed down.

The edge of the ravine dropped off sharply in a rock ledge with the roots of the oldest trees jutting out from the eroded soil like a wooden web. Debra grasped for the roots as she fell from the ledge, the rough bark chewing her palms. She finally came to a stop about ten feet from the top of the ravine and loose dirt and gravel fell into her eyes as the grizzly paced above her. Adrenaline buzzed through her veins as she assessed her situation. She had picked a bad spot to jump. The sheered face of the glacial rock started about three feet below her and ended about 50 feet further than that. No hand holds. Rock bottom.

Frantically she looked side to side, from where she hung the roots gradually thinned in each direction to a point where they wouldn't hold her weight. She was trapped. She shifted her weight from hand to hand as the roots dug into her body, wondering if she could outwait the bear. Pressing her cheek against her forearm, she closed her eyes and tears silently rolled down her dirt streaked face. When she opened her eyes they instantly focused on the bright red of a single wild strawberry, flourishing there on the side of the same ravine that Debra clung to for life. With the root she was holding on to slowly pulling away from the earth, she reached out and plucked the berry, popped it into her mouth and thought nothing had ever tasted quite so sweet.

OK, I know this is a cliff-hanger(pun intended). But I don't think it really matters whether or not Debra gets away from the bear. That is not the point of the story. The moral of the story is the strawberry. I wanted everyone to come to their own conclusions about whether or not Debra survives. Do you think that is a mistake, or something workable?

ps. I also realize that the actions of the bear aren't typical, but they are not impossible either, so I went with them.

Allein Sun Jan 28 18:00:52 PST 2001

Jerry - My boyfriend also has BearShare. He's downloaded the first season of Ranma1/2 and is working on getting other animes.
I'm watching the Superbowl. YAY!!! HOMERUN!!!

"It was his mother's job to love him and stuff, I was mainly in it for the spanking."
- Grandpa Simpson

Jerry Sun Jan 28 17:37:39 PST 2001

Oh almost forgot, BearShare is a gnutella clone, thus you can share not only MPP3's but ANY file, and you can also search for ANY kind of file that you need, if it is out there, you can download it. Guess that is a bit more serious when it comes to copyright stuff, but hey, in for an inch, in for a mile.


Jerry Sun Jan 28 17:33:19 PST 2001

For those of you who would like a better behaved Napster, try the BearShare version available at the above link. It is much like Napster, but you never connect to a centralized site, thus it can't be interrupted or shut down the way Napster does some times. Also you have control over the download to an extent too, if you are watching, and it starts to time out, you can click on it and renew the download from where you are. I love it. I know I was lecturing about copyright stuff with Napster, and the same applies to BearShare, but I guess there is a touch of larceny in all of us.


Barnabas Sun Jan 28 17:11:26 PST 2001

Just wondering if there are any times where the chat room is busy. Everytime I go, no one seems to be there.

SWAN Sun Jan 28 16:56:28 PST 2001

"Dustin, crack the back door, and sit over there by the trash cans," he directed.
"Yeah, but I still don't like this, you never see me taking chances like this at my parent's house."
"Just do it, and sit down."
I watched him surgically place the herb into the clean white paper. A focused look on Joey's face. I loved getting high, I loved the smell, and I loved the slipping away of reality. Like the foam, in a blue ocean tide.
"Man pass it to me,," smoke penetrated my narrowing eyes.
"You let it run, damn, now I gotta fix it!", he always did things neat and nice, even with a joint.


"Joey, it's your parents!", I shouted as if in a crowded room.
"I know, I know, get out the back door!"
"I told you man, we shouldn't be gettin high in the garage!". I got up, got out, and ran---FAST.
If there's one thing I hate about being high, it's being in the hot sun without my sunglasses.

Johnny Wizard "Johnny Wizard" at MSN Sun Jan 28 16:23:35 PST 2001

Hold The Horses!

Unknowable eternal soul element presence is here being,
warmer than the warmest sunshine, wider than the sky,
brighter than than brightest star than shines every
night above, and there is nothing in this world that
can change our love as God's recreation. The only
thing being constant here, is change. It is
understanding that this relationship is impossible to
quantify into meaning through the very act of your own
as the universe, provides yourself a relationship to
all as a perfect stranger. Anxiety is possible when to
be everything you reach for, would be to more than you
could understand, but you can imagine, and yes John,
you are you. It's the wariness of possible distrust to
commitment and loyalty for yourself, you there that I
am writing to as the reader, to something you know does
all together, live to feel happy as pie. It would be,
that there is life to this as it forever is. Of such
simplicity, that thinking about it, make's it something
amazingly unbelievable. See, I'm losing ya, but I'm
not, and in totality, as we've elaborated through
deduction, your universal design doesn't want to have a
rotten time. Plus, we can enjoy easy living, even when
we are alone by ourselves learning the piano. I
wouldn't want one to consider that this is not here for
them, as the man or women of everything they are, or
have inspired to be by themselves. (But, you do know,
as a plug, John has brought up some very good elements
for us to consider, and I'm hoping Mr. Greenspan will
join our monster team, as our Ace in the hole, with an
eternal legacy as the man who actually got the job
done, by knowing what he was doing by ignoring his
critics. Forgive my son Mr. Greenspan, he just
sometimes doesn't have a clue, and he gets kinda stupid
sometimes as the do anything for a love song says, but
I try my best to live with him as my own, as he was
born to such a fool as me, lost forever in a love that
brings to mind a favorite line... Ackem. Now that I
say it... Mmmm? Oooh, that's my que.) Thinking of
yourself as nothing else than everything you are, is to
know you are here, just the same pondering our
unquantifiable freedom, (which can fall us to our own
devices), love, the gift of life, and science fiction.
A life of infinite wonder to yourself, and free to
speak your views about this too. I was just here to
liven the place up a notch as the creative genius I
know I might be, by believing I am not all that you
are, but could be. Also knowing, that this is not even
all that this is, but what words are to a lover, wrote
convincingly, same time again but differently all the
while. So the stranger in the mirror, is the love you
have of this life called living, this even farther more
beautiful than we can imagine. As you can manage too
for laughs, John swimming in our eternal love as the
spokesman for a lonely foolish God, who doesn't want to
be, can leave this silliness to really get out of
hand.. But oh well, what the hell eh? You are so
beautiful it can make me feel giddy, I mean also as a
super duper God bless ya, tough guy though really soft
left righter, yes no? You know, this could become
allot of fun. I love this being natural thing.
Anyway, um, see ya sooner or later.

No really, I'm better now,

Mr. Wizzardy, caught up in a case of mistaken
identity. Asking himself what he thought, he aptly
named you in with a King of foolery. Carrying himself
with pride, and a reassurance unparalleled in
convictions, that from all for what he wasn't, it
wasn't all bad. Thank you here is you too, or where
would this not be without God to get out of something
your not in completely to receive from ourselves, but
you know this already, don't you? Wow! I am pretty
amazing to myself to do this on my own eh John? John?
Bha ha.. I love these crazy ways, you really cheer me
up sometimes God, knowing you love me honestly like
this, really makes this wonder.

..... . .
. . . . .
. @ @ . . . x
. l . . . .
. \_/ . . .
.. .. . .
... .
. .

(Why yes, a piece of art work to some, but to others, a
diabolical uncrypted secret code to keep'em guessing.)

A remark at the end of this paper: Did you know that
250,000,000 people times $5,000 equals a 1.25 trillion
dollar investment of ourselves in wealthy no nationals?
We are mistaking out in other neat ways too by working
for nothing.

The jiggly-con fairy Sun Jan 28 16:04:35 PST 2001

LITTER: Multitudes of jiggly-cons come of age each day; that in itself should be will to live.

Good wishes,
Your #1 Fan

Litter Sun Jan 28 15:34:42 PST 2001

Hi peeps!

JERRY -- my sympathies on your loss. The loss of a friend is never an easy one to deal with.

JACK -- I have to say that I like the Notebook the way it is. Trees work well for following specifics, but for following general chat they suck -- too easy to overlook things. The Workbook, follow up comments on specific stories and such, however, I can see working well.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS -- my favourite would have to be 'a flock of cows'. It can be fun coming up with new ones though, like 'a Concern of Social Workers', or 'a Warming of Fire Fighters', or 'a Confusion of Adolescents' or a '$*&^$% of Editors'. How about 'a… no, never mind. Bring out your new collective nouns people.

Now I have ran out of steam, energy, hope, the will to live…


Jack Beslanwitch Sun Jan 28 15:24:28 PST 2001

It seems I need to make myself a bit clearer. When I was referring to the tree format guestbook script, I was just referring to the workbook. The reason I was eyeing it as a potential alternative was that the starting story could be the first message and all subsequent messages could be the reviews of the manuscript.

As for the Notebook, I have no intentions of changing it. It remains as is with the messages appended. This allows for a much more free flowing format that has worked for the close to 5 years that the Notebook has been running or 5 years as of April 2, 2001. Somehow I wished it could have been April 1, that somehow would be appropriate for the Notebook :-) . Take care everyone and I will keep you posted. Being unemployed at the moment has allowed for some intensive web design on several of my sites and in that it has been good. Still, hoping that it will end soon and I will be back to the work aday world.

Oh, BTW, has anybody else discovered Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way Fran started reading it as part of class she is taking and some of the aspects of it are extremely interesting for the writer. Others that also look interesting include Vein of Gold and The Right to Write In reviewing some of the material here, I think it may prove very very helpful in breathing new life into my muse and prompt her to give me a good swift kick in the pants. Take care all.

Teekay Sun Jan 28 15:19:56 PST 2001

Hi All,

VIV: I enjoyed your story very much. I understood it all. It was rather dramatic and larger than life,and exaggerated, but that was fine. That was the type of story it was. To me it was like one of those fables only this one didn't have a happy ending. But you made your point.
Even if it wasn't clear to some readers that it was a different country, it was clear that it was a different place and in fiction land that's fine.
As a matter of fact I kept thinking about it all yesterday. It really stuck in my head, and that's great. Rather like CHRISTI's Mother's Burden. It's one of those larger than life pieces which throb with energy.

JACK: I think the notebook should remain as is, and the workbook would work well in tree format.

I love the words of the day and grammar tips. Well done whoever.

I wish I could tell you all that I have been writing furiously, but that would be a lie, er, I mean, a bit ficticious, but I have been thinking about it. I keep telling myself that once the kids get back to school my brain will be uncluttered enough to put pen to paper. Hope it's true coz I feel very deprived and lacking when I don't write, but it's very difficult to get into that mind frame. Takes me about a good 10 minutes of writing uninterupted, but with the kids home about the most I get is 5 uninterupted minutes.
Not complaining mind, just making airy fairy excuses for my lack of productivity.
Plus I'm reading this hilarious book by Catherine Alliott called 'going to far.'

HOWARD: I agree. I find this place amazingly stimulating and I feel very close to all the souls here.
It would be bleak indeed if this place no longer existed.

JACK: Thank you again for this wonderful place. I for one appreciate it immensely.

Have a good day guys.

Grammar tip of the day Sun Jan 28 13:44:02 PST 2001


Collective nouns are singular in form but name a group or collection of persons, places, or things.

band, class, cluster, family, flock, group, herd, jury, staff

When a collective noun refers to a group as a whole, it is treated as singular:

The jury was deadlocked, it had to be disbanded.

When a collective noun refers to individuals within a group, it is treated as plural:

The jury were allowed to go their homes for the night.

John Sun Jan 28 13:15:14 PST 2001

Thought I'd check in on this fine snowy afternoon. "Well the weather outside is frightful..but the fire, so delightful...." I've read all yer comments about change so I feel obligated to throw my wee bit of brain in the stew.

All I've learned about change is this...It's only a change if you saw it before. If you're born into's home.

Have a nice whatever's left of your weekend!


howard Sun Jan 28 11:15:09 PST 2001

TREE vs ?

I like it the way it is, but I really don't care, AS LONG AS I CAN STILL GET HERE! I think of you all as essential to my survival, and I would have to think twice about waking up tomorrow if I knew I'd have to go without you all.

That said, I've been thinking that it would be nice if we had some way to reverse the order of the posts, keeping track of where we left off reading, and pick up with the next new post when we next visited, loading the whole thing only if there were new posts. We have something like that on a mainframe system where I work, and it really works well. We can summarize on subjects, names, keywords, etc, and a quick look tells us if there's anything new.
I'll look and see what I can find, and forward it on to Jack, so he can evaluate it in his spare time... ;-)

VIV -- Halcyon is a synonym for Idyllic -- "those halcyon days of a youthful summer..."

Mary Sun Jan 28 09:20:15 PST 2001

Maybe I didn't read Jack's plan for the Note/Workbook closely enough. I thought that he meant changing the Notebook to the tree format. I have nothing against the Workbook being tree, but I like the Notebook the way it is for the simple reason that I read all the posts anyway. Why would I want to have to click on a link to each individual message when I could scroll down a page to where I left off and just begin there?

That has nothing to do with fear of change. I just think it is a lot of hassle. Now, maybe I have the wrong idea of what the tree structure is. To me, that is where the latest main thread is at the top of the loaded page, and subsequent responses are listed below it. (Resembles an outline form.) Janet Evanovich's website is like that and you have to click on each thread and each response individually. Is that what it is? If so, I think that would work very well in the Workbook where messages aren't added every couple of hours. In the Notebook there would be anywhere from 5 to 30 messages in a day to hunt down.

Am I thinking of the wrong thing? Mark?

Heather Sun Jan 28 07:55:25 PST 2001

Mark - another notie note (wink)
I am not so afraid of change as I may seem. I have weathered many changes in my life, and in the lives of those I love most dearly. Sometimes I cling to fear because if I let it go, I might attain the thing I am afraid of instead of the fear itself. Is it really that simple? It can be.

I rather like the way the notebook has changed. Could we be clinging to the 'old' workbook because it is the only part left that is unchanged?


Jerry Sun Jan 28 07:50:52 PST 2001

Jack - I think the tree format for the workbook would be just fine, in fact it would probably be better, that way we could have comments below the stories and it would make things easier for that part of the site; but the notebook is different. I love the way the notebook works, coming here every day is like a visit home, and I thank you for providing it for us.


Heather Sun Jan 28 07:46:18 PST 2001

Viv - your explanation settled the questions. I think you'll need to weave a little bit more information into your 'longie' if people are to understand it better. I didn't realize that the family moved from one country to another; I thought they had merely moved to a nearby town, albeit one with a more relaxed idea of clean!
I know sometimes it might seem to bog a shortish story down to include more setting and backround on characters, but some of it is necessary for the reader to grasp the logic behind a character's actions. It isn't always easy to include this information in such a short piece, but without it, you can see what happens!

Write onward, fellow scribes!


Heather Sun Jan 28 07:33:16 PST 2001

Yes, perhaps you are right, Mark;
but if there are many new stories, or if I wanted to read three or four in one sitting, it would be a pain to load. It is precisely why I don't enjoy message boards. More time spent loading than reading.

It might be better here, since the stories aren't so short. And of course, they are much more worthwhile to load in the first place!

Now I'm like a hung jury. Thanks a lot! :0)


Mark Sun Jan 28 06:44:29 PST 2001

On the TREE structure -- loading a branch would be quicker than loading the whole WB. Right now we load a whole book of stuff just to read the top few stories. Many times I have loaded a whole book only to see that there were no new additions.

Change is good. Change keeps us from getting too set in our ways. Wanna kick drugs, get sober, lose weight, shake yer brain? Change.

JERRY -- Sorry to read about your friend. If you are one of the lucky ones, his death will change something in you, make you take some improved path. I've lost friends and relatives in untimely, tragic ways. So far none has made me get up and rearrange my life the way I hear people do.

Sometimes I feel guilty about my lack of change, that perhaps I'm just too lazy to really get up and do the remarkable right thing. Other times I see no remarkable goal. Finally I see that no one else can affect me as deeply as I can affect myself. My own death and recovery in 1981 were the change-making issue of *my* life. Had I failed to follow through, I wouldn't be here today.

Some of us have to lay on a hospital stretcher. Some of us can learn from the pain of others. In big ways and little the true rule of life is this: Change or die. I vote for the tree structure.

Mary Sun Jan 28 05:35:58 PST 2001

I'm with Heather on the tree format.

Barnabas Sun Jan 28 02:43:03 PST 2001

I always thought the tree stucture was better because having one page full of text was mind-boggling.

Is there anyway to know the amount of text that can be placed on the message boards and the workbook areas?

I'm like that actually, even though I'm in New Zealand I still tend to be studious and hard-working. I need the stress, otherwise I slip into depression.
Instead of being hard-working on work alone and I can be hard-working on my stories as well. Which makes a load of difference.

Viv Sun Jan 28 01:24:38 PST 2001

Hello again,
I'm so happy! I can't believe you guys liked it. For those of you who thought the ending confusing, maybe you can help me clarify this idea with action rather than explaination.) The explaination is that the mother only adapted to her environment while the child was shaped dramatically by the strictness happening at a time when she was most vulnerable. I watch children make the transition from happy go lucky little four year olds to first & second graders. They give up their toys for an all day stay in a classroom. They learn to sit still and to walk everywhere in a silent line (at least in American schools). They learn discipline. Take that and multiply it by a strict, clean, home atmosphere, plus being told that "you are different, it's your responsibility to be better".
An adult can act a certain way and rationalize that they are adapting to a foreign culture. A child becomes the culture. It's hard to explain to someone. The mother wasn't being a slob, but in America, it doesn't matter if your windows are clean and your laundry out at 6:00AM. If you go out and scrub your front step you'll probably get turned in to the "clean police"! That woman got busy and enjoyed her life. The kid however had culture shock.

Anyhow, that's the reasoning behind all that.

Jack, I'm amazed at this site. I'd like to start one at Tokai University among the ESL (English as a second language) students. A lot of people think Japanese are not creative but I can tell you, my kids will knock your socks off sometimes! I think it'd be a go as long as I kept a good eye out for "mean spirted actions". I love the format. I can't understand all the terminology though. I also wonder how long it takes to maintain each week. I don't get a whole lot of free time but I think if I could maintain the site from home on my "off days" I could get this thing to work. I know you don't have much time, but sometime if you do, I'd appreciate knowing what halcyon is. It sounds like something sasquatch would eat! I get an introduction to microcomputers course and another one on microsoft word this week. That might help a little. Would it be ok if I immitated you if I ever get enough knowledge to pull off even a sloppy copy? If it's not please say, it's ok. Also, I'm not sure it doesn't take years of computer experience. I'm just getting started.

Heather Sun Jan 28 00:20:49 PST 2001

Jack - just to state my opinion on the matter, I rather like the format of the workbook. I find the 'tree system' annoying, because of waiting to load each segment.


Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jan 27 23:22:02 PST 2001

OK, folks. The halcyon servers seem to have plummeted to a very slow load and on top of things the Notebook had reached 600k. Sorry for taking so long to get back here and get things archived. For those who have had trouble getting into the Notebook, you should be able to reach it now. And, with any luck, the halcyon servers are going to be up to something bordering on reasonable download time in the near future.

I will let you know that I am looking into moving everything over to, but this will mean looking at some alternatives scripts for the notebook and the workbook. If it happens I will make sure everybody is aware of what is going on. The workbook in particular could benefit from a subject oriented tree structure, rather than one message on top of another. That would allow for a story with subsequent messages being the critiques. The tricky part is setting things up so they all work behind a pass word protected area.

Annie Sat Jan 27 21:52:45 PST 2001

The feast is usually in late September, Early October, in honor of San Gennaro whose preserved blood changes from a dried specimen, to liquid on this day each year... I am not Catholic, or Christian, or any mainstream religion but, my Nonna, "Grandmother" force fed me this story as a child and I guess I have never forgotten it. But in all honesty, I really go every year to eat the food and drink the wine and listen to Frank Sinatra and old Italian men serenade young Italian women.


Barnabas Sat Jan 27 21:20:05 PST 2001

I was reading the news when its said that they were to cut down trees to stop sparrow droppings, which spread diesease. The public protested against killing sparrows. The consultant for this, an MP I believe, advised them to kill the sparrows because tree cutting would only relocate the problem else where.
Its annoying really because if it was rats they would probably hire exterminators. Instead they want to save the "poor defenseless" sparrows.

The story was quite okay, but it got a bit confusing at the end. It seemed like they moved else where but at the end the reference implied that they were still in the same town.

Jerry Sat Jan 27 20:23:36 PST 2001

Well the deed is done. I guess I didn't mention, he was in Law Enforcement too. Third one of my LE friends I have had to bury now, and I can't say I enjoy it very much. I guess it just shows us how mortal we are. He had an interesting funeral though, since he knew so far in advance that this was coming (the cancer was found 3 years ago) he planned every detail of his funeral, what the readings would be, the songs, and in what order they were to be sung, even the exit music, as we left the church - his favorite blue grass banjo music. Different, and if you have never been to a law enforcement funeral, you are missing a bit, with the exit and the final salute from all the officers he knew and worked with. But I guess that is life, to live we must all die, so there is no sense in fearing it, or dreading it, I guess I just look at it as part of life itself.

John - I will turn 50 this year, so you aren't that far behind me, but I guess we in Law Enforcement live a hard life with the change in shift, the sedentary life style interrupted with brief moments of extreme exercise, high excitement, and quick decision making. Sometimes I wonder how many of us live as long as we have. I left Law Enforcement back in '92 and although I left because of a disabling injury, it probably extended my life expectancy quite a bit. When I was working I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, that along with the rest would have probably put me to rest by now.

Well I ramble on, and when I do that, I take up way too much of Jacks space. I will sign off for the night, and hopefully be back writing something, anything by Monday afternoon. Tomorrow is pinochle day, MANDATORY pinochle at moms.

Oh Viv, loved the long shortie.

Night all and



Allein Sat Jan 27 19:20:45 PST 2001

Teekay - But everyone's doing it! And don't tell me "if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do it too?" Actually, it's true that lots of people do it. It's a good way to get a great mix of songs on one CD.

"Ow, pointy, ew slimy, oh, moving...awww, 20 bucks, I wanted a peanut..."
- Homer Simpson

Richard Sat Jan 27 17:43:16 PST 2001

Howard: I love that story, and its on eof my first memories of the notebook. I'd decided I wanted to find somepalce where people would criticise my stories so I could improve my writing. I looked at all these writers groups on the net and they all needed membership, age limits, works published or other whatnot. In the end I came here, and that story was the first I ever read. Wonderful to read it again. I came back to the notebook a few weeks later and said hello after a few days...

Now where was I? Oh yeah, on my way out. I'll come back and try to catch up on everything tomorrow.

Heather Sat Jan 27 17:42:54 PST 2001

Viv - I'm not quite sure I understand why the mother would lapse on her housework and helping her daughter when she was back in a neighbourhood of 'their own'. Were people in their home town messy and sluggish, so they fit right in?
She felt no need to excell in anything any more?

(Perhaps that is exactly the point, and I've clarified the issue already...)

I thought your story was well written, and I was interested in finding out how it ended!


Richard Sat Jan 27 17:32:52 PST 2001

Whoa! Too much to catch up on!

Sorry I missed Shortie Night. Unfortunately I don't have time to post anything now. I've got to write a story about a possible childhood for Lady Macbeth since we're doing shakespeare (that's gonna be a hard one to do justice to) and hopefully another for an online competition - both have to be in on Tuesday (PANIC PANIC PANIC)

I'll just drop by the workbook on my way out.

Teekay. Sat Jan 27 15:08:24 PST 2001

HOWARD: You're a gem. Thanks. I thought it was otapi.

howard Sat Jan 27 14:57:31 PST 2001


Teekay Sat Jan 27 14:51:59 PST 2001

Hi All,

VIV: That is a terrific story. Thanks.

BARNABAS: That worked. I like the way this notebook works a lot better though. It flows really well. I'll have to take a more indepth look at another time.

ALLEIN: Sssshhhhhh. Should you say that out loud? Isn't it terribly illegal to go around burning CD's??

Does anybody know the name of an African Giraffe like animal? o_a_i.

Mary Sat Jan 27 10:54:16 PST 2001

VIV: Bravo.

Viv Sat Jan 27 09:23:00 PST 2001

Hi everyone! I'm back. I hope you all do come visit! Then I can turn around and visit you! Right now Tokyo is grey and dreary. It will be until middle July. Today it is raining on a layer of snow. Everything is covered in black gritty soot. About March it will get ok again, then we'll move into the rainy season in May or June. It will stay chilly until July. So, I'd like to dig the tunnel too! Luckily I only have a week and three deadlines plus one night job to finish before vacation. That's why my "longie" is late. Notice, "longie" I can't get it shorter!

Heather, Mary and Rhoda I got going on the idea of people pushing children to become perfect. This came out! I think it's a little on the melodramatic side. Actually I probably ought to break it as they move. Anyway, it combines revenge and perfection. (Both bad ideas!)

Jerry, how hard to have a good friend die! I don't know anything to say except ouch. I lost a wonderful friend, and I really miss her.

Rhoda: Goldfish suck. I have a graveyard in my front yard. It's complete with little stones with all the dates on them. It looks awful! One time my little girl called up her father and a co-worker answered. My husband was with a big-wig so the co-worker tried to cover for him. He said, "I can't get your dad right now, he's really busy."

My daughter replied, "You have ta' get him! My goldfish,Sushi, died and he's too big for the net."

He said, "Where's your mother?"

It was then the truth came out! "She's over there in her nightgown (it was about 10:00AM! I hadn't had time to get dressed) She's got her arm in the tank and she's crying!

Actually, I wasn't crying. I was just making little OOOOOHHHH YUCK! sounds."
Anyway, the man went and got my husband and said,"Sir, you have a family emergency!" Oh my red face when my husband rushed into the house.

Don't get goldfish. You don't need the little kamakazi. Go to a pond this summer and take a little scoop net. Dip into the pond and under rocks. You'll get crawdads, snails, leaches, medaka (little fish and I don't know the name in English)and eels. Sometimes you get a water bug. Keep them a week and return them. Keep the eels longer if you catch any. They are tough. You can't kill them.

The Imperfect Revenge
Perhaps it was because they put their Christmas lights up on a Sunday. It could have been because they used twinkling colored lights instead of the pure white favored by everyone in town. Whatever the cause, the lights were on the front porch that morning. Every wire had been neatly snipped so that they could never be pieced back together.

"Those lights were the only thing our three month old could enjoy about Christmas," the mother yelled out the front door.

"Hush," the father chided. "You'll only give them the satisfaction of knowing they hurt you."

The little five year old watched quietly. "Mom, why'd they do it?" she asked as her mother closed the door with a resounding slam.

"They did it because they don't know us," the mother said. "We'll show them!"

That was when Mama started her campaign. She was out scrubbing her front porch long before her neighbors. Her laundry was always hung, snapping in the wind, by six in the morning. Her windows twinkled and in the summer the gardenias in the windowbox outshone even the old woman's up the street.

Not only was the house picture perfect;the baby was always dressed in a fresh outfit; the five year old child was quick with her please and thank you. Every day the five year old went out for school,immaculate right down to her well polished shoes.

"Be better than the rest of them!" the mother would say. "You are different. Be different. Be better."

Surprisingly it wasn't hard to be better than the other children. Mama had taught her how to sit straight and tall, and quiet in her chair. She taught her to listen hard to the teacher. Every afternoon when she came home, Mama went through her book bag and took out every book.

"What did you do in this book today?" Mama would say.

"The teacher didn't use it." the five year old often replied.

"In that case, you memorize this lesson and then we'll go on to the next one early." Mama always knew the exact place the teacher stopped in the lesson and did three pages ahead so she'd be prepared perfectly for the next day.

The five year old sighed. There was no way around it. Mama had made up her mind. This town was going to see their qualities. As Mama put it,"I'm going to rub their noses in it! We may be different, but we're the best."

Slowly, everyone began to notice the little girl. "That one, she's a good child. She's so quiet though. They say she speaks perfectly, and she makes better marks than my daughter! The other children like her too."

Slowly, the town began to see. The next Christmas, the lights were put up, and they stayed right where they were. Three doors down, colored lights appeared on another house, and the tree at the church sparkled and blinked red, blue and green.

They walked through the town. It was snowing. The five year old saw the lights. "Mom, look THEY have colored lights now!"

"Yes," the mother smiled. "You worked so hard this year. You were perfect! Thank you! I guess we showed them. Different is sometimes BETTER!"

Mother never did warm up to the people in that town. She always stayed to herself, just a little above and apart. The little girl played with their children, and was well liked. She was happy though when she heard they were moving home. "I'm glad I don't have to be better anymore!"

When they got home, she wasn't the same. The others had known each other since kindergarten. Again, she had to be Different. Different had to mean Better.

Mom said, "You can relax now! We're home again, child. You're with your own."

Mom let her windows go, but she cleaned them. Mom didn't seem to have any pride anymore. She even slumped when she walked. She didn't bother to dress up when she left the house.

The girl saw she couldn't make things better or cleaner alone. There were too many people coming into and out of the house. Mom didn't seem to care much about the housework. She said it didn't matter here.

It bothered the girl that there were dirty dishes in the sink when she left for school. She had to go to school. When she came home the dishes were always still there. She had to do her homework, but first she washed the dishes, swept the floors, and folded the laundry. After that she cleaned the bathrooms. She sat up late studying. She had to know this. She had to know it to get a good grade on the test. When she couldn't get it all done, she washed her hands. The warm water felt so good running over her hands. They itched. They were dry. They itched so much that she turned the water to hot and let it run over them, buring out the itch. She had to please them all. She just had to be better.

Mama shook her head sadly, and one night she quietly admitted, "I wish we hadn't taught those people anything at all. I wish we'd walked away and left them just as ignorant as when we began."

Debra Sat Jan 27 08:31:03 PST 2001


When you see it please try to picture it as 90 pages.

Some day I will tell you the long drawn out stroy about how they got away with printing it even though I told them it was unacceptable.

My words are there. I will be adding some more facts in the next edition too. They are things that were sent to them long before the final proofs were approved. Well nothing was approved, really.

Never mind.

It will help girls in this format and the right one too. That is the important thing. Right?

I don't want to get started. From what I now understand all books are works in progress,just like women, even after they have been published.

The first editions are always the best ones to collect if the author ever gets famous.

With me, that's a big IF.


Mary Sat Jan 27 07:37:49 PST 2001

Hello All

Great shorties this week! Sorry to acknowledge all of you so late, I have been a tad distracted.

MARK: I finally got to your wink! You closed your eye and it just stayed that way, but when I hit refresh, you would blink three times and then stop. Once I figured that out, I had you fluttering those lashes like a debutante on the prowl.

BARNABUS: I put new speakers on my pc right after Christmas, but I generally play music on it only when I am not sitting right in front of it. I can't write with anything that has lyrics playing. Solo piano turned very low sometimes helps me write when I am stumbling over passages, but that is about as far as I go. I, hopefully, am getting a cd writer very soon, so I am downloading whatever I want now so I have it when I am ready to burn the disks.

I fought dowloading Napster for a long time, and boy am I sorry I did. My only complaint is that downloading a song takes over 20 minutes there. I was spoiled by it only taking 8 or 9 minutes with my Download Accelorator Plus which I can't use with Napster.

C'est la vie.
At least it's free.

Word of the day: Sat Jan 27 07:25:22 PST 2001

maunder (mon'der) v.i. talk or move about in a rambling way

howard Sat Jan 27 07:04:38 PST 2001

MARK -- How's your eye? It just closed and stayed that way. Must be this P166 I've got -- it's really slow doing graphics. Must upgrade soonest!

JERRY -- I remember that short from when you posted it before. It's heart-stopping. I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

JOHN -- You brought back memories with that one! Not exact, but reminders of the way we were. I did hit someone with my fist once, a bigger guy than me, just to prove I had the stones to do it. I picked a fight with him, and worked myself into hitting him. Didn't hurt him, but I've always felt rotten about that, and I always will.

SASQUATCH -- It's good to see you, but I have to admit I liked it better when you just posted poetry! Where is "here?" Are you saying that there will be another quake? When? I've read that animals are sensitive to the sound frequencies generated by the earth's compressions just before a quake. Are you? Tell us more!

LITTER -- Your sense of humor and timing are impeccable as always!

BARNABAS -- Your poem is frightening, and I also read and enjoyed your short stories - "The Stone" is especially intriguing.

RICHARD -- "Peek-a-boo!" is a wonderful look into the human psyche! So true!

BECKY -- Haven't had a chance to really read yours yet, but I will.

AMERICO and EDDIE -- do you merely lurk?

break is over, back to the plumbing!

Debra Sat Jan 27 06:55:21 PST 2001


I'd love to.

In fact that is the first edtion. It is also the worst one. I will be reformatting it when I sell out the first edition.

It was supposed to have 90 pages. I have 100 lines that girls might hear in it. My publisher was supposed to put them on fifty pages, two per page. They were supposed to put the illustration of the boy and girl on the cover in the middle of the two lines. That would have been fifty pages just for the lines. Also, I wanted the lines to have more power that's why they were supposed to format it that way. They didn't.

I wanted actual photographs of sunflowers I got illustrations. The boy and girl on the cover came out the way I wanted though.

I hope you reccomend it to any teen girl ages 12 and up you know. I didn't get preachy or use morals or the supreme being as my reason not to have sex. Yet, it is still the best reason on the planet to say no.

Let me know how you like it.


Barnabas Sat Jan 27 02:23:08 PST 2001

Sorry Teekay, apparently something was wrong, here's the address. if that doesn't work I'm not sure what will.


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