Archived Messages from February 9, 2001 to February 23, 2001

Teekay Fri Feb 23 21:25:49 PST 2001

HOWARD: PHWWWOOOOAAAAAAAARRRRRR Dill pickles. I love dill pickles. Be still saliva glands!

I picked up & put down grumpy old men at the video shop about 400 times. Now I'm not going to borrow it coz you gave away the end. Part of it anyway. ;-^ (that's s'posed to be tongue in cheek.)

howard Fri Feb 23 20:46:58 PST 2001

MARY -- The pickles are crock-cured garlic dills -- not too sour, but with a bit of heat. I've been fiddling with the receipt, and got a bit too much red pepper in the mix to suit my wife.

THe virus seems to be gone. I ran the fix for it, and it indicated no infection. It only affected MS Outlook Express and MSIE Newsgroup Reader, so I guess it wasn't as bad as I first thought it was.

HEATHER -- I've got that same book around here somewhere!

Anybody remember the movie "Grumpy Old Men?" The one-liners they ran during the credits at the end were hilarious! One I remember specifically -- "It's time to take old one-eye to the optometrist!"
Going farther back, remember the movie "Porky's?" The scene where Miss Bolbrecher confronts the principal and the coach about the incident involving the peep-hole in the girls' shower room was rib-cracking funny! Especially the part where they went into hysterics over Tommy's "Tallywhacker!" Even Ike's picture developed a grin!

The new computer is almost finished (I hope) and I'm busily backing up the data on this one.


Teekay Fri Feb 23 18:57:49 PST 2001

HEATHER: I've had poetry, newspaper articles and letters published before, but this will be my first short story. It feels like a stepping stone to the big 'NOVEL'.
One of the reasons (I think) that I'm not feeling very excited about it is that I can't tell anyone, except you guys, coz what if it doesn't get published.
So, it's sort of like winning the lotto, but not being able to tell anybody.

I know you've been around, but you haven't seemed to be your usual happy self, that's all. I'm glad to see the old (young) HEATHER back. :-)

Now, back on your head!

Heather Fri Feb 23 18:45:31 PST 2001

Teekay; wait until you see your name and your work in print - the thrill is incredible! I thought it was something the first time I printed out the first chapter of my novel, long ago now, or the first little poem of mine being printed in a local collection. Well, that Writer's Digest article and the poem in the Library of Poetry anthology were quite the good score on the richter 'excitement' scale. I can't think about what it will be like when... uh, too thrilling entirely!

Heather :o)

I wasn't really away, just busy, and lurking on occasion.

Americo is expecting my novel to be completed in less than a month! Ulp. Back on my head...

Teekay Fri Feb 23 14:40:32 PST 2001

Thanks guys, for all your support and encouragement, but as yet I feel strangely unexcited by it all. No, I'm not usually a pessimist, but I guess anything could happen 'tween now and October and it just isn't real till it's real. :-)

HEATHER: I'm really glad you enjoyed my shorty. Thanks.
Welcome back, I've missed you. :-)

RRRRRAMON: Yes, sometimes we call it a third leg. One you could tie a broom to & sweep under the table with, if you wanted to brag. HAHAHAHA.
You know what I'm talking about.


Debra Fri Feb 23 13:52:38 PST 2001

I did leave instructions for all of you to wash after reading my posts.


I hope you all get well soon.

Hallee Fri Feb 23 13:50:46 PST 2001



Christi Fri Feb 23 13:48:04 PST 2001

Teekay, AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Published AND you're getting paid for it!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! (Clap clap clap applause) I'm bleepin' well excited FOR you, you silly! Get out there and celebrate! YOU DESERVE IT! :) :) :)

Howard, Hope your computer gets well soon.
Hallee, Woo woo! Aaoooogah! Nice shortie.

Rosemary, *sniff* Sad shortie. I hope the puppy went to a good home.

Richard, Thanks for the 'day in the life of ...' shortie. I enjoyed it!

Barnabas, I think marriage is heaps easier than being single! I love love it.
Real nice what you said about everyone's shorties, considering the source. Oh well.

Kru, I agree with you 100% about pet stores. The only pets we ever had either found us and needed a home, or were given to us. My sister bought a gorgeous white lab from a pet store and he was a complete spaz and pretty darn stupid. My favorite dog was a stray. His name was Barney and I still miss him.

Jerry, HI! I really enjoyed your post, and I think it's great that you're writing a book!

Heather, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa!!!!!!!!!!! I needed that, mate! The whole house is sick (including me) and I haven't laughed in quite some time. I think we caught it from Debra's family. :)

Mary, Too bad, I was looking forward to your shortie. :(

Wish I had more time, but gotta go blow my nose and then blow my son's nose. ;)


Mary Fri Feb 23 13:11:45 PST 2001

Manoeuvre: the egg that ate Manhattan. Now there is a horror story. RICHARD!!! You know I am just kidding, right? I don't want to get into a language argument because there aren't very many people who could massacre any language as well as USians. Just ask Americo...he knows.

Heather Fri Feb 23 12:59:44 PST 2001

How about manooover?

Hey, it's phonetic - sort of.

Richard Fri Feb 23 12:50:50 PST 2001

I know, but it resets the document template each time you start up Word, despite explicit instruction NOT to do so.

Maneuver - take it literally and you get the pronunciation wrong (ManUVER - ManOUVER). Manoeuvre looks cool anyway :p

Mary Fri Feb 23 11:57:21 PST 2001

Well I haven't laughed this hard in a very long time. Meat whistle? Oh my.

Hop and Richard: You do know that you can change the language settings in your word processor don't you? If you use Word it is under Tools; Language. I had to switch mine over when I was critiquing Tina's novel because my spell checker kept wanting to change all of her centres to centers. By the way, manoeuvre doesn't even look right. Too many vowels. Makes me think of eggs(fr). Maneuver is definitely better.

ALLEIN: I tried to get the Japanese font at Microsoft, but their site is acting up...will go back later and try again.

HOWARD: I don't remember seeing whether you answered me or not about your pickles. Are they sweet or dill? That is a legitimate question, not a pass, just in case you were wondering with all the talk about gherkins lately.

Speaking of gherkins, again, excellent passion shorties everyone. JERRY, you didn't surprise me too much, although I did think at first that you were referring to a horse. DEBRA, I like the longer version of your story much better than the version Hop requested.

HEATHER: My shortie got a little too graphic to want to share. I don't know when to stop, so it is best not to start. I should have written about someone else's passion then I could have posted it. Ah well, there is still next week.

Farewell to one and all.

LITTER: So sorry not to see a shortie from you this week. Sincerely. ;-)

Heather Fri Feb 23 09:49:58 PST 2001

To be sure, Jerry, there are at least 400 more words for it, at least in my book.

Heather :o)

Heather Fri Feb 23 09:47:57 PST 2001

Teekay, I REALLY enjoyed your new addition to P**! WONDERFUL!

Phantasium is humming and tingling right along.
I still haven't finished my ghostie, and might chuck the idea and start afresh. I am too busy with my novel right now to spend the time on it that it needs.

So that's the long and the short of it... (uh, bad joke, after my last post! Hope it was educational)


Heather Fri Feb 23 09:42:50 PST 2001

I have here a very interesting little book, called
'The Bald-Headed Hermit & The Artichoke, An Erotic Thesaurus', compiled by A.D. Peterkin.

Let's see... Under 'buttocks' there are quite an array of amusing words... (I looked them up on a hunch that 'sweet fanny adams' might be under that heading)
There's ampersand, arm cheeks, assterior (nice one), the basement, blind cupid, bogy, bootie, bucket, caboose, chuff, clunes, crumpet, cupcakes, dinger, dish, double jug, duff, duster, fanny, flankey, gazonga, glutes, hams, Hugh Jass, hunkers, kazoo, moon, mudflaps (MUDFLAPS? UGH!)
North Pole, oil bags, paddies, parking spot, pooper, pressed ham, rumble seat, rusty dusty, spread, sugar cookies, tail, toosh...

AND I picked only a few from the huge list of nicknames and pet names for the arse!

Let's see about the penis. I'm SURE there will be a fabulous array of zingers there....
There are eight pages of nicknames for the penis, but somehow I'm not surprised:
(I'll pick just a few) Anteater, bagpipes, bald-headed hermit, battering ram, bayonet, bazooka, big foot Joe, blue-veined custard chucker (or blue-veined hooligan), cannon, Captain Picard (HA HA HA HA HA!), carnal stump, charger, cherry-splitter, dart meat, diving rod, dohicky, dingus, drumstick, eel, eggwhite cannon, fanny ferret, flapdoodle, foreman, friga-ma-jig, gap-stopper, gherkin (after the pickle?), guided missle, gully-raker, Hampton Wick, honey-pot cleaver, horn hose, ice-cream machine, Irish root, jiggle bone, joy prong, ladies' lolipop, Little Elvis, love's lock-pick, Master John Thursday, maypole, meat whistle, milk bone, Nebuchadnezzar, OLD ADAM, old blind bob, Old Faithful, pile-driver (ouch); pen, pendulum, pink oboe, plonker (aha!) pondsnipe, pork sword, tonsil tickler, quim-wedge, radish, reamer, red rooster, Roto-rooter, schnitzel, Sir John T. Talliwacker, skyscraper, Sleeping Beauty, and the list keeps on.

Whew, that was a fun trip. And you wonder why I'm too shy to write about passion? Because that's completely different to me; it's not simply sex. And it's very personal!!!

So I'll just share with you the funny numbers in the book and blush myself into vertigo.

Oh, and here's one that I thought rude but funny: a feminine napkin is sometimes called 'dracula's teabag'!

Yikes, time to go...


Jerry Ericsson Fri Feb 23 08:11:02 PST 2001

Kru - I can understand your feelings about puppy mills, I detest such things myself, but, if we all boycott them, and get our puppies from say, an animal shelter, or a friend, then who will free those tortured puppies in the window? Oh and for the record, Renn was freed from the animal shelter in Fargo ND by my daughter many years ago. He came to our house to stay for a week and never went home. Strange how that works, I was sure I told my wife no more dogs, after our blue healer Lady had a stroke and had to be put down. Oh and Lady was also freed from the local pound way back when I was a cop, the chief told me there was a dog in the pound that was to be shot on my shift, I went to get her and take her out to the dump grounds where we did our executions, but when I opened the dutch door to the pound, she jumped up and licked me on the face. Who could shoot a dog when she does that, so I took her and her six puppies home that night, we gave the puppies away and had Lady for nearly seventeen years when she stroked out. It was possibly the hardest thing I ever did when I took her out to the vet and had her put to sleep, but she was paralyzed and could no longer recognize us, so it was the kindest thing I could do for her.

RRRRRRRamon - ok, a polonker, but you may not know all the names we here in the states have for the same thing, there are many, some are local dialect, others well known by all - they include but are not limited to - Johnson, the one eyed monster - prick - pecker - joint - peter - dick - cock - dink - short arm - third leg - love stick - dip stick (ie - get some lip stick on your dip stick), and I am sure there are about a hundred more.

Sweet Fanny Adams - maybe our translation would be "you bet your sweet ass"

Hop - you do understand that the short-shorties are a sort of spur of the moment stories, not stories that we spend hours writing, but those we whip out many times right there in the text box of the notebook, don't you?

Teekay - great news, congratulations, you must be so proud, I know should one of mine be selected for publications, I would be hard pressed not to pop a few buttons on my shirt.

Allien, we would have to install the Japanese text in our browsers to be able to read your text. It is available for free download from Microsoft.

These shorties just keep getting better and better, a reflection on the tremendous talent available here.

Ok, now don't anyone take this wrong, I know I promised no more politics, but am I the only one who is getting very tired of hearing of former President Clinton's deeds? Enough is enough already, lets just get on with the running of our nation, let Clinton live his life, and we can live ours.

Oh my ghost story took a break, but I will return to working on it tonight, these past few days have been bad ones for my back, and I have been hitting the pain killers all day long, a situation that I hate but must live with, it is a bit better today, and if I take it easy, I should be able to forego the drugs and be able to continue the story, so far in five pages, I have yet to put my characters in the house yet.

Well it appears I am writing a book so I will shut up and let someone else up on their soap box.


Debra Fri Feb 23 07:49:11 PST 2001


I can shorten that.

Tim sent her flowers. They were pretty. She bought him shorts and thanked him. End. How's that?

There is nothing wrong with black hair. I would just like to see what it would be like to be blond for a little while.


Mary Fri Feb 23 05:55:48 PST 2001

RRRRRRRamon! You can decide for yourself whether they are any good or not if you follow the link above. You will either love them or hate them. I don't like everything they do, but they have their good points. I like their enunciation, but some of their earlier stuff sounds like haunted house music.

Back in a few.

Kru Fri Feb 23 05:54:02 PST 2001

Hallee – Pretty heady stuff there in your shorty.

Rosemary – That was a sweet story. BUT..
GROUP – Does everyone know not to buy puppies in pet shops? Almost 100% of the time they come from places called “puppy mills” and they are horrible places. Dogs are kept in tiny wire bottomed cages and they are nothing but breeding machines. The owners, I will not call them breeders, do the absolute minimum to keep the dogs alive and to make sure they have AKC registration papers. They get no love and affection, no veterinary care and the cheapest food money can buy. Please, if you are going to get a new puppy go to a breeder. You will get a better puppy, a healthier puppy and you will not support those cruel, horrible places. I will be happy to use my resources to help anyone get in touch with a good breeder of any breed. You all have my Email address, write to me privately. OK, I’ll get off the soapbox. Sorry about that, it’s a pet peeve.

Richard – Reading your story of a high school day reminded me so much of my own high school days it was only different because of the obvious age difference. When I went to high school they had not yet invented hand held calculators, let alone computers. High school for me was a passionless time too. BTW, I have been amused by the differences between English and American too.

Teekay – Well, congratulations and good luck!

RRRRamon – Yes, before I got sick I was very competitive. We called it Killer Badminton, played full court, one on one and to get away from a game without skinned knees etc. was not to play it “right.”

RRRRRRAMON Fri Feb 23 02:11:18 PST 2001

HMMMMM my slang word seems to have everybody at a loss, I thought it might. The guys will appreciate this; a plonker is another word for a certain male organ, because you just plonk it on the table (or whatever) Plonk means to place or put down on a surface. I was wrong its not a sound. No doubt some people will be offended by that. New slang for today is "SWEET FANNY ADAMS" Any ideas?

MARY: The only Portishead I've heard of is a crummy little beach town here in Bristol. I went there once and never returned. Are they any good?

HOP: I read your comments on the notebook. You're not the only one who picked up on that paragraph. Teekay didn't believe it belonged there either. As I told her there I got the idea when I was reading HANNIBAL. Thomas Harris the author kept doing something similar and so I thought I'd try it. Of course I did have my reservations. Thanks for the tips though.

RICHARD: I know what you mean about American English or English American, although I don't find it annoying mate, I 've just gotten used to it. I think between you and me we can educate the world in the use of ENGLISH ENGLISH. I am doing a thing on English Slang that seems to have them a little stumped.

HALLEE: Sorry but under the covers passion does nothing for me unless I am a participant. It was a good Idea you stopped where you did because I think there are some youngsters online who may be getting some ideas. Still I did get the sense of passion from your piece so Kudos to you for the effort. Be interested to know how a man would write that. On second thoughts.............

KRU: A badminton player huh? My father and I don't play regular badminton we play what I describe as "Braveheart badminton" lots of cursing, aching joints, the flow of blood and my father throwing his racket around in fits of fury and me laughing. Hey we're mad what can I say. Glad you liked it.

Take Care & TTFN all.

Barnabas "Hop" Fri Feb 23 01:03:56 PST 2001

Hello, I don't believe we've met.

With all the misspellings and grammar problems it's obvious people aren't lying about
their headaches.
I'm not going to comment on the shorties or write one for that matter. Pointless and futile.

I do check the message board everyday though.

Renovations? Revelations maybe?
You're obviously having a mid-life crisis. What with the "I wish I was' parts.

Ramon (I'm going omit all those R's to save my fingers some repetitive typing)
Ah ha! Dialect tip!
Two people whacking white things at each other. Got to love the weird and wonderful world of sport.

I left a few comments on your story. It's okay I guess. But it isn't the sort of story I
usually read so I can't be too definite.

That was short.
What's wrong with black hair?

If only it were that easy to hold a marriage together....

Read your comments. The story is an analogy as you know.

A thought
Interestingly enough, most of the stories I write are confusing to people. Should I
continue the air of suspense or be a bit more obvious? I keep wrestling with this all the
time comments anyone? Does this make my writing intriguing where people want to
read more or just really really annoying?

Back to Christi
In fact the fishermen aren't human. They're extremely advanced alien scientists on a
mission to weigh and observe the fish who are in fact the races of different planets.
They're so smart that compared to them, humans and other races are like fish compared
to humans. The sentence "If they are intelligent, they must have a very primitive
intelligence. If they aren't, they must be very smart animals" is therefore crucial because
it shows one such fisherman's viewpoint about the "fish."

What I suggest about the fishing rod is that as the fishing rod is a primitive tool to us
(comparatively, I know the fisher men here in the notebook will start describing just how
complicated the modern fishing rod is) so is the technology used to catch the fish. To us
it would seem wonderous (e.g. teleportation, memory erasure) but to them it is but at the
bottom of the techno ladder like fire or the wheel.

As why not scan, I'm sure even advanced beings sometimes enjoy just doing things
themselves (remember they may be more advanced but in a different way). It's a little bit
boring looking at numbers all day long.

It's a job the narrator likes that's all.

Read your short story. I'm impressed (note: on my scale okay means it's a good story,
impressed would therefore be much better). I left my comments in the critique area.

Allein Thu Feb 22 23:02:32 PST 2001

No one can see my Japanese...phooey. Oh well.

Teekay - CONGRATS!! Let's celebrate!! :)


Heather Thu Feb 22 21:37:20 PST 2001

TEEKAY! That's incredible news! Congratulations!!!!
I think that's great. Try not to worry about things - I'm sure your story will make it in, and all will be well.(((Hugs))) Can't wait to read the ghostie!

*still blushing from my last post*

Heather Thu Feb 22 21:30:53 PST 2001

Your shorties are all wonderful!
I am still relishing the afterglow from yesterday but am not ready to spill the beans. I think I'm too shy to write about romance and passion!
Can you believe it?



Teekay Thu Feb 22 21:00:00 PST 2001

BLACK BILL: Well DUH! I was only poking around. :-). I know it's really restorations.

Well I'm not going to get too excited just yet, bu-u-ut today in the mail I received a letter saying one of my short stories I'd sent out has been short listed. They are looking at publishing it around October.

I'll wait till I have the $400:00 dollars in my sweaty little fist and the story actually in the magazine before I get excited.

Hope they don't go broke and close up shop.

Please forgive me for not writing a Thursday shorty, I've just finished typing out my latest ghost story (the one I'm not real sure about) and I'm really sick of thinking right now. It's in the workbook BTW.

Okay going to catch up on the notebbok. Read all the shorties and the longies.

Be good all.

Jerry Thu Feb 22 20:53:24 PST 2001

Howard - WOW, I have heard of the Kak virus, my son had it on his machine, but it never invaded mine. Horrible things these viruses, someone should take care of those who loosen those horrid little bugs in our friendly network.

I have heard of hundreds of ways to cleanse a machine, but my God man, don't sterilize yourself in the battle!


Mary Thu Feb 22 19:58:59 PST 2001

Figured I may as well come back here and read through the shorties while the virus scanner runs. Will post mine when I am through all the great ones here already.

Mary Thu Feb 22 19:47:25 PST 2001

HOWARD: Oh, my....I gotta go check. Hugs and good luck, but I don't exactly know if I would wish sterility on you. ;-)

Rosemary Thu Feb 22 16:54:22 PST 2001

The last time I saw written Japaenese, it didn't looke like little squares all in a row. (could be my computer doesn't speak the language.)

Wheeeww, I think you set off alarms across the world. Very visual. Excellent. You could have a job at that place MARY turned down. (I think it was Mary?)

Gone for now,

Richard Thu Feb 22 16:54:03 PST 2001

Opps, wrong set of HTML tags...

Allein, all I see is a set of boxes. You can probably see them as Japanese because you've got the fonts installed or whatever.

As a matter of interest, I assume to can see pound signs like this: Ł over there?

And I wish WORD wouldn't keep doing English: American. There is no such thing as American English, and manoeuvre is not spelt maneuver! Its defence not defense (the c looks cooler, so there!) And all these annoying Zs replacing the proper letters...

Opps, er, sorry 'bout that...

Richard Thu Feb 22 16:45:48 PST 2001

[b]Out of Time[/b]

Tired. Wasted. Cold. Wanted sleep.

The bedside lamp was still on, as it had been at one o'clock in the morning. [i]To Kill a Mocking Bird[/i] was spread open atop the table to keep the page - I could never be bothered to find a bookmark. To do so would have required me to leave the warmth of the thick quilts and expend energy that I did not possess at such an hour.

I had woken up, simply because I was trained to wake at this time. School - boring, endless routine - I might have been a programmed drone. After listening to the familiar sounds of my family going down to breakfast, I reluctantly rose and threw on my blue dressing gown, fastening the cord around my waste. Several strange, jumbled thoughts entered my consciousness like remnants of a forgotten dream, and I shook my head to clear them.

The alarm clock must've gone off at six, like I had set it too. I imagined I'd stayed awake only long enough to switch it off. Bummer. I was supposed to get up an hour early to write... now it was seven, and the next hour would be spent eating and getting ready for a long and torturous day at school...

With a groan, I stumbled to the tall chest of draws and picked up my glasses. Coloured blurs came into focus and gained edges. I'd put my contacts in after breakfast.


The sky was grey, as usual, and the crop field was particulary muddy. Globs of brown kept sticking to my shoes and making a right mess of them. I didn't mind; I had to pass through another field, and the water on the grass stalks would clean it off before I reached the shopping centre.

Something about the crisp air invigorated me despite the gloom. There was something strangely bueatiful about the golden halos of the street lamps, glowing powerfully in the light mist, masked by lines of trees and open fields. As I marched, I allowed my thoughts to wander, connecting words, ideas and themes, following whatever paths of thought I came up upon. Occasionally I would think of something I had to write about, and reach down into the pocket of my black trouser legs for the slim green notepad I kept there. Usually though, I had to remember these ideas, because I didn't have a pen or pencil to hand.

Even as I approached the road that seperated the fields from the shopping centre, I continued to appreciate the ethereal bueaty of the morning. Everything seemed so sharp, so clear - unlike most of the day, which to me seemed to pass in a blur. React, experience, react, illicitate, observe, react... Soon, I knew, I'd be joining the main column of pupils headed for High School, and my thoughts would be drowned by the melachony of another day in the jug.


Back in my room, after a long day of school, I took out my green notepad and began to write. Notes, observations - analysis of my own behavior. I had only just started to do this, and wanted to keep it up. I found recognising why I did what I did to be most valuable, both for my understanding of life in general, and my writing. Single words and sentances that could mean absolutely nothing to anyone but me went down on those thin slips of paper. Whenever somebody got a hold of it and looked through it in school, I always felt uneasy about it. It wasn't private exactly, but I knew how a high school pupil could twist whatever he saw or heard.

School left me physically and mentally drained, like a dried vegetable. I would slog through my homework, play on my computer... but I lacked the will to engage in any writing. I felt as though all my creative juices had been drawn off or exhausted beyond use. School always had that effect on me. The worst part was I knew it was my own fault. I stayed up reading so late. But it was the only chance I got to read. Thus I denied myself the sleep I needed to rise early, thus I became fatigued by the end of the day... it seemed like some sort of cruel, vicious circle.

It was half past ten when Dad finally sent me up, having been posting on a multitude of message boards and then flicking back and forth to see who was posting at the same time...

Flopping onto the matress, I could feel the aching in my limbs, the fatigue.

I flicked on the lamp and reached for my book...

There you go... a close approximation of 'A Day in the Life of Richard Scott'. Er... it's now one o'clock in the morning here in Britain, so there's some proof its the truth. Lucky its the holidays. I'm off to finish 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'...

howard Thu Feb 22 16:41:09 PST 2001

AAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I've been infected! Litter said that a mail I sent him triggered his antivirus program, so I checked, and sure enough, it's the Wscript.KakWorm - a worm that takes advantage of a known bug in Microsoft Outlook Express. Dunno when I got it, but it's in there now!
So anyone who's received any Email from me in the past couple of weeks please run your virus scanners!
I'll not be sending any more email until sterile.

Allein Thu Feb 22 16:37:35 PST 2001


Rosemary Thu Feb 22 16:37:07 PST 2001

Evening all,

Hope my shortie gives you all a chance to catch your collective breath.


"Steph. What am I going to do? I've just got to have him." Liz gripped her frosted glass of tea, slowly moving it in a circle.

"Honey, we can't always have what we want. Sometimes we have to settle for second best." Stephanie's big brown eyes were soft with concern for her friend.

Liz jumped and her glass sloshed icy tea across her hand. "There's a way to get him, I know it. I just haven't figured it out yet." She jumped again.

"Great, now you've agonized yourself into the hiccups." Steph signaled to the waitress. "A glass of water plese."

Tears ran down liz's cheeks then flew away with the next hiccup. "What if I said. . ." She shook her head. "What could I say that would make any difference?" She moaned. "I don't think I can go on without him."

Steph took a deep breath. "Let's go. Maybe after you've been away from him for a while, it'll get easier." She glanced across the food court in his direction.

Liz looked horrified. "You expect me to leave him here? Strangers will talk to him and touch him." Her mouth gaped in horror at the vision in her mind.

Steph stood up and slid her purse straps over her shoulder. "Sweetie, you don't have a choice. Now let's go." She put her hand under Liz's arm and pulled her to her feet.

"OK, but I've got to see him just one more time. Let's go this way." The two young women slowly walked across the court and stood looking in. In the window, a sad puppy gazed up at them. The SOLD sign partially blocked their vision of him.

Allein Thu Feb 22 16:36:24 PST 2001

私 の 名前 は アライン です.

Just seeing if I can write Japanese here. :) I got a new toy - Japanese word processor. :)

Allein Thu Feb 22 16:30:20 PST 2001

Hey People!
I gave my dog a bath today - and almost got one myself. Pepper wasn't exactly thrilled about it. She shook the water off and when we tried to get her to go in the bathroom, she wouldn't go in 'cause she knew what was coming. But, she was a fairly good dog and she got a doggie treat for it.
I have no short story about passion. :(

Richard Thu Feb 22 15:53:23 PST 2001

Bummer. (joking...)

Ohh... I gotta think of something... anyone written about their writing life yet... hmmm...

*hits himself over the head and scurries off into a corner to think*

Debra Thu Feb 22 15:51:23 PST 2001


I think you finished what I started.


Hallee Thu Feb 22 15:41:25 PST 2001


He crossed the threshold of his room and made it to the bed just as he felt like he couldn’t hold the strength in his legs any longer. He wanted to move fast, to rip the clothes off of her and bury himself deep inside of her, but he stamped those instincts, fought that drive and laid her gently on his bed.

She kept her arms wrapped around his neck, and he slowly eased down beside her, moving his lips from her mouth to her neck. She gasped and turned her head, giving him full access to the smooth column. Her spicy scent assailed his senses as he tasted her skin. He raised himself on one elbow as he worked his way back to her mouth and ran his other hand along her side, tugged her shirt from the waistband of her pants.

She moaned into his mouth as his teeth nipped her lip and his hand slowly moved up the path of her rib cage and found her breast. Her back arched and her stomach muscles clenched in response. Part of her wanted to rip her mouth from his and scream at him to hurry, that she couldn’t take it anymore. The other part relished in the gentleness, in the tenderness that was in every kiss, every stroke. Her arms were suddenly too heavy to keep their grip and they slowly fell to her sides.

Bit by agonizing bit her shirt was opened. He teased her as each button was released, stroking the newly exposed skin, sending sensations through her she didn’t know existed. Finally, his fingers completed their task and he slowly spread her shirt open, slowly traced the outline of her bra with the tip of his finger. She gasped as shivers were sent through her body, arched her back to meet his touch...

I, ah, believe I'll stop there. This is a family forum.


Debra Thu Feb 22 14:56:39 PST 2001


I blame myself for your thinking she might have been poisoned. I did try to scare the pants off of you last week with the dogs.


Kru Thu Feb 22 13:56:07 PST 2001

Christi and Debra, Thank you so much. That one was easy for me I live it. She just got home, it's time to get off the net.

Christi, It has been so long since anyone called me shorty I don't mind in the least. If you could see me you would know how really funny it is. My feet reach all the way to the floor.

Mary, This was a really good choice for a topic, it looks like most of the list is going to get lucky. Thanks.

Kru Thu Feb 22 13:55:32 PST 2001

Christi and Debra, Thank you so much. That one was easy for me I live it. She just got home, it's time to get off the net.

Christi, It has been so long since anyone called me shorty I don't mind in the least. If you could see me you would know how really funny it is. My feet reach all the way to the floor.

Mary, This was a really good choice for a topic, it looks like most of the list is going to get lucky. Thanks.

Debra Thu Feb 22 13:19:45 PST 2001


I liked yours. It seemed like we were privy to his thoughs instead of reading a story.


Yes, similiar endings. I wonder. Just who is getting lucky? Maybe both our husbands are.


Christi Thu Feb 22 12:43:26 PST 2001

*GASP!* Oh my sides are aching with laughter. Oh Kru, I'm so sorry. What a difference a letter makes; there was supposed to be an r after the y-o-u. I don't know whether or not you're short and certainly don't know you well enough to say I love you! ;P

Christi Thu Feb 22 12:38:35 PST 2001

Kru, I LOVED you shortie! It seemed very real.

Christi Thu Feb 22 12:35:18 PST 2001

Tina, WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad to see you here again. Big giant squishy hugs for you.

Teekay, I hope you're feeling better and not so blue. Huggers.

Hallee, Hi!

Mary, Your old pediatrician should be shot! How awful your last few days must have been. I hope your kids are doing much better, as well at their parents. :) Catch up on some Zzzzzzs now, won’t you?

Jack, Thanks for saying that. I think it hit home with a lot of us.

Hi Ramon. Yes you are maaaaaaaad!
Love your idea for the British slang. I’ve no clue what that last one means.

Mark, I tried your bonding ritual and it worked great. My son thought it was hilarious and spent the rest of the afternoon doing it. :)

Jerry, Hahahaha. I thought it would be a car, not a gun!

Debra, For a frightening moment I thought she’d been poisoned when she inhaled the roses scent. I liked how everyone was taken to a new awareness of the color red by seeing the roses.
Our shorties have a similar ending. Strange.

Here's my passion-shortie. It was written in haste but it was all I could think of. Hmmm. Wonder why.

A Man of Valor

She couldn’t believe her ears. Her whole life she’d waited for this moment—this single moment in time. It had seemed an eternity, but now that it had happened she didn’t quite know how to handle it.

She rubbed her eyes to assure herself that it wasn’t a cruel dream, from which she’d awaken first eager, and then heftily disappointed.

But no, he was still there. Still seated across from her, a bewildered expression on his face.

Oh thank you God.

With hands shaking, and her entire body lit up with fiery passion, she asked if he would repeat himself. If he’d said what she’d thought, she was going to have a hard time keeping her hands off him. “What did you say, darling?” she asked as innocently as she could muster.

Avery looked over at the kids. “Your mother’s gone completely daffy.” Then he turned back and eyed her, one eyebrow lifted with a smirk gathering the corners of his mouth. He reached across the table for her hand—over sticky sweet potatoes and the leftover meatloaf carcass. “All I said was that I’d do the dishes.”

“Oooooh, yes!” Jennifer nearly passed out with rapture. A certain man in her life was going to get very lucky tonight.

The End

Hee! Could I possibly have written this because I've got a counter full of dishes?
I have the sneaking suspicion that someone here has written a shortie like this in the past. Am I imagining things? I hope so.

Off to clean,


Jerry Thu Feb 22 12:34:23 PST 2001

Kru - I guess you are still a bit new here, those who know me the best would not be surprised, in fact I think they probably knew exactly what was coming, you see I am a retired police chief, who worked on the side as a gunsmith, I was also very active in pro-gun politics for many years.


Kru Thu Feb 22 12:27:31 PST 2001

Hi Group, Here is my short shorty on passion. I wrote another but it was too long.
Debra - I like yours better.
Jerry - A rifle, I thought you were going for a car.
RRRamon - I know what you mean, I used to love that game too.


She lives life so fully, I envy that. Her dad drove sports cars in races and rallies and I guess there is some of that in her. She loves the same way she throws herself into it, completely immersed in the feelings of the moment. Making love with her is like getting lost in a warm, soft, gentle, loving cloud. It can be fast and hot and thrilling and over way to soon but the sensations linger hours later when I am at my desk miles away. Or it can take all evening and into the night with conversations and jokes interspersed with long soft wet kisses, eyes wide open. I can get lost in the immeasurable depth of those eyes. When she is gone I think about her and recall the feeling of her softness nestled under my arm and the special smell of her hair next to my face. I can’t believe we have been together 12 years it seems like 12 weeks. Passion has changed, matured but not dimmed.
Today we have a sudden snowstorm that moved in quickly and made the roads treacherous places to be. This is the kind of snow/ice storm that driving ability cannot transcend. When she left for work they said it might snow late this afternoon. I made a quick trip to the store about 9 AM and the storm hit when I was about half way there. Within 10 minutes of the onset the roads were covered. I spun out and for a few seconds lost control of the car coming out of the parking lot and the whole drive home was like riding on ball bearings. With my heart in my mouth and every muscle tense I made it to the driveway. She is one of those drivers that we hope stays off the roads when they are slick because she panics and over corrects and slams on the brakes.
It is times like this that I worry. What would I do without her? Would my life have any joy? Could I appreciate a sunny day? Can I live without her passion? I hope I never find out. I’ll be glad when she gets home.

Mary Thu Feb 22 11:19:56 PST 2001

RRRRRRRRRramon! Enigma???? Do you ever listen to Portishead?

Debra Thu Feb 22 11:16:09 PST 2001

Here's my shorty on passion.

Passion Flower

Audrey sat at her workstation finishing off her morning at the investment company she worked for.
“Audrey someone is here for you.” Nancy, Audrey’s supervisor, called over the top of her cubicle.
“He’s at the front desk.” Her smile spoke volumes to Audrey.
Audrey skipped happily towards the front desk. She had to go down two halls and through three doors, but it was worth it. There stood a tall man wearing a dark, blue uniform holding a long, white box. It could only mean one thing. Tim had sent flowers.
“Gosh are these for me?” Audrey already knew the answer as she held out her arms to receive the box.

When she got back to her desk, it only took seconds for a crowd of her coworkers to form around her.
“What’s the occasion Audrey?” Her supervisor asked without hesitation.
“It’s our one year anniversary, in two days.” Her huge smile made it hard to form the words.
Audrey was smiling so much her eyes were nearly closed.

“Hhhooo aaaaaaah,” came a collective response from the crowd around her as the box opened to reveal one dozen, long stem, red roses.
“I have a tall vase at my desk if you need it.” Called one of her coworkers near the rear of the crowd.
“Thank you.” Audrey turned her head towards the voice letting her know to get it.

The vase came quickly, stems were trimmed and the flowers were placed neatly into the water. The crowd fell silent admiring the beauty of the flowers.
“Audrey those are the most beautiful roses I have ever seen.” Audrey’s supervisor was the first to speak.
“I know. I was just thinking that.” Her closest cubicle neighbor in the back added.
“They are the TUREST RED I have ever laid my eyes on.” Her neighbor on the right joined in.
“It’s weird huh?” Audrey grinned as she stepped back to take in the color.
“Boy are you going to owe him big.” Her supervisor whispered in her ear with one hand on her shoulder.
Audrey turned in her direction and agreed with a just a glance.

As the afternoon wore on, the flowers started to open. No one could pass by her without stopping to ogle the red roses sitting proudly on her desk. As she was getting ready to finish her day, she stood in front of the flowers just looking in awe. She brushed her nose close to one flower and drank in the aroma.
“mmmmmm aroma therapy is real.” Thought Audrey as her heart responded beating slightly slower.
She slowly cupped her hand over the blossom and was surprised by the cool air permeating from it. Letting the weight of the flower rest in her hand she was stunned how heavy the pedals were. She stood mesmerized by the magnificent red pedals. The hand on her shoulder jolted Audrey out of her trance.
“I’m sorry Audrey.” Her supervisor apologized.” Looking at your flowers today, has made me notice something about red I never noticed before.” She spoke never taking her eye off the roses.

She continued not waiting for Audrey to respond. “This particular shade of red seems to have one function and that’s to create pleasure. I really never experienced anything like it before. In fact it has had a profound effect on me all day.” Her eyes fixed on the efflorescence of color.
“I will never look at red the same way again.” She walked away deep in her own thoughts not waiting for Audrey to even say a word.
Audrey couldn’t agree more. She had noticed the same thing. She couldn’t go home without something for her husband that was for sure. Picking up the phone, she called her best friend, Sheri and asked her to meet her at the mall for some assistance. Wrapping up one rose with some of the left over paper it came in, she brought it with her to show Sheri the brilliant red she has been hypnotized by all day. On the way to the mall, Audrey kept catching little glimpses of red. There were taillights and red lights and just plain red that kept popping up everywhere she looked. Once at the mall, Audrey found Sheri in her usual spot effortlessly.
“So what’s the emergency dear?” Sheri asked pleasantly. Her blond hair was blowing in the gently breeze under the parking garage.
Audrey unveiled the rose she had in her long black coat pocket.
“Oooooooooh,” Sheri moaned the now familiar moan Audrey had been hearing all day. Sometimes it was coming from her very own lips.
“What are you going to buy HIM?” She asked in a breathy voice.
“I don’t know.” Audrey’s blue eyes glistened under her auburn hair. “That’s where you come in.”
“You DO realize that he simply called and ordered flowers. He didn’t specify magical red.” Sheri was waving her hands unable to contain herself. “He just got lucky!” She leaned forward with her green eyes blazing directly at Audrey’s to make her point.
“He’s going to get a lot luckier too.” Audrey bent over in laughter and slapped Sheri’s back as they walked into the main entrance of the mall.
“Down girl.” Sheri giggled as she held heavy glass door for her friend.

As they walked into the main floor of the mall, the usual smell of cinnamon buns filled the air. One thing was different. A flutist, violinist and keyboard player were performing live. They were in the middle of a river dance song. One brave spectator was river dancing to the delight of the crowd. Sheri and Audrey joined them to watch.
“Wow they’re good.” Sheri bounced happily watching the curly blond haired man dance.

As they finished up their piece, just the murmuring of the crowd could be heard. Audrey and Sheri walked into their favorite store, which was just behind the musical group. They always went there first and sometimes never made it to any other store. The group started again playing an instrumental of a top forties song and music filled the air as they shopped.

Walking passed shirts, watches and cologne nothing seemed right to Audrey. She was starting to think she would never find anything that would say flowers keep them coming. She stood in front of a counter deep in thought, holding a bottle of men’s cologne. The musical group started to play their version of titanic. Sweet sounds cascaded through the air. Instantly, Audrey got lost in the music. She pulled the rose out of her deep coat pocket and looked at its red brilliance while she listened to the melody. Her heart swelled with each note, and tears of joy filled her eyes. She didn’t notice that Sheri had wondered off without her.
“AUDREY come quick.” Sheri’s voice was shrill with excitement.

“Audrey snapped out of her trance and followed her friend’s voice to the back of the store. Sheri was waving her hands as she saw Audrey come into view.
“Come here. Quick!” Sheri made no attempt to hide the glee in her voice.

As Audrey got close enough, Sheri moved both her arms to the right the same way Vanna White displays letters. There it was a display of men’s red boxer shorts mounding up like a small hill.
“Aaaagh,” Audrey ran to the shorts grabbing several pairs and caressed her face with them.
“They’re silk.” She rubbed some of the fabric in between her thumb and index finger.
“Oh my gosh, what are the odds?” Audrey asked her friend who was now brimming with pride for making the discovery.
“Pretty good, when you consider you got married on Valentines Day!” Sherri quipped.
“Oh your husband is going to look great in these!” Sheri held the shorts to her swiveling hips.
“Down girl!” Audrey reciprocated playfully.

Audrey and Sheri were overcome with delight and began squealing like schoolgirls.
“Can I help you?” The salesman’s voice came from behind the screaming women.
Knowing they should have been embarrassed just made them laugh more. Audrey finally got a hold on her emotions and told him she wanted to buy a pair of the shorts.
“No two pairs,” she corrected herself. “I can have another pair ready and waiting right away as soon as the first pair wears out.”
“Well in that case I feel compelled to tell you if you buy three pairs you can get the fourth one free.” The salesman was sure she would want to know that after only spending a few seconds with her.
“Four pairs it is.” Audrey answered as if she were at an auction.

Audrey and Sheri grabbed each other’s hands and circled in a brief dance of joy they had done on many occasions. After saying their goodbyes in the parking garage, Audrey was off towards home and her husband.

He was going to be home in half an hour so she had just made it. Tim came home right on schedule and found her sitting in the kitchen with a mischievous grin on her face. She had just enough time to change into her pink sweats and tank top.
“Hi honey. Got your flowers.” She almost couldn’t contain herself thinking of how those shorts would look on her husband’s beautiful body. His being a half-inch from six four just added to his hansom, chiseled face and soulful brown eyes.

She stood up as he came near. With the shorts hidden behind her back, she jumped onto her husband wrapping her legs around his torso.
“Surprise.” She pulled the brilliant, red shorts out from behind her back and dangled them near his face.
“They’re silk.” She rubbed them gently on his cheek then pushed them over his head like a hat. Greedily pulling his face close to hers; she pressed her lips onto his passionately. Tim slowly twirled as they kissed holding her legs still firmly around his middle.
“So I’m putting them on NOW?” Tim asked as their lips parted even though he did not need an answer.
With his strong arms still covered by his business suit, he lowered her back on her chair. He thought it might be fun to model them for her so he put them on in private. As he walked back into the kitchen, sporting nothing but the red shorts, she rose as if in the presence of greatness. Tim turned back and forth a few times as if on a runway giving Audrey her favorite smile.
“Oh baby.” She walked towards her husband unable to take her eyes off his long, lean body covered only a small patch of red silk.
“So this is my surprise?” Tim asked nuzzling his nose in her ear.
Staring into each other’s eyes they embraced as he leaned to give her another long, loving kiss.
“Part of it.” She responded coyly. “I’m going to thank you for the flowers too.” The corners of her mouth fought to keep from smiling too much.
Tim picked her up as if to carry her over the threshold. Gingerly he walked towards their bedroom so Audrey could thank him as only she can.

Jerry Thu Feb 22 10:46:13 PST 2001

Howard, I read about King's book in the annual of Writers Digest, and ordered it online, I can hardly await it's arrival.


Debra Thu Feb 22 10:44:08 PST 2001

Jerry Jerry Jerry:

Jerry Thu Feb 22 10:22:18 PST 2001

Well allow me to be the first to post my passion short shorty. I know maybe it isn't what you meant, but what the heck, it deals with passion doesn't it?

Never had I seen such beauty, I knew she was born of the finest royalty that ever ruled any nation of Europe. She moved with such fluid grace that to see her move caused an almost sensual excitement, which I hadn’t felt since my youth.

She was dressed to kill, adorned with accessories lovingly crafted by fine European craftsmen. I knew if I could have her, I would never want again. To hold her would bring such ecstasy.

I approached her guards, and asked permission to touch her, just for a moment, a simple touch, that much could not be denied even by the most careful watchman. Oh how my heart sank when the simple touch was denied.

I was shocked however when the watchman told me that, for a price, I could take her home. My God, sacrilege, horrors, that they would even consider selling her.

Oh but how could I resist such an offer, my wife would understand, how could she not if I bring her home, show her off in the bedroom, how could anyone hold me in contempt for buying her. She was after all, a one of a kind. Only one in a thousand even came close to such perfection, one in a million would match her.

I took out my checkbook, and wrote the check while the watchman filled out the necessary paperwork so I could leave the gun show with my new possession, the hand assembled custom made Belgium Browning double rifle was mine.

RRRRRRRRRRAMON Thu Feb 22 05:56:39 PST 2001

Hi all, just checking in. I note that the subject for today's shortie is passion. I'll get to that in a minute.

LAURA: AHA you've not buggered off then good. I am in the middle of reading your story, and so far I like it. NOTE: I find the mood of your piece fits in quite nicely when listening to Enigma especilly Sadness Part 1, try it.

TEEKAY: Thanks for your comments on my piece. I am looking to hone it to perfection before I move onto another. I have a few more ideas that need looking into.

CHRISTI: Yes I am quite mad aren't I?

You know the thing about coming onto the site is the realisation that I am speaking to more people from America and Australia but not many Brits. It just hit me that it would be really chucklesome if I start throwing in some really obsecure English Slang. Some of you probably already know them but it would be a larf to test that. Also it would come in handy if ever you were writing about an Englishman (what a Pillock). See I've already started.

Slang for today is "plonker". Clue here is that its onamatapeoic. HA HA HA HA I am evil.

Right moving onto something serious: PASSION


I look dead in the other mans eye,
poised and ready to strike.
With a racket in my hand, and sweat down my face,
I’ll hit the shuttlecock high.

Badminton is not just a game to him and myself,
but a test of speed, endurance and guile.
So high and hard I shall hit my mark,
till a trophy of victory does sit on my shelf.

Of course the game is not just to win,
for if that were all ther’d be no point,
‘cause to play a game where victory is all,
would to my heart and soul be a sin.

But to win the game do this I intend,
And win the game I shall.
When my turn it does come, there will soon be no doubt
for With a hit to his left, the game it will end.


Take Care All


howard Thu Feb 22 05:47:44 PST 2001

I just received Stephen King's "On Writing," and so far it's excellent! I'd recommend it to any writer!

Black Bill Wed Feb 21 22:10:52 PST 2001


Don't blush again, but what you are looking for, me sweetie, is not relevations either, its revelations. You know I grant no mercy for these mistakes. None given, none expected. "Har Har Har, me hearties. There's Teekay on a pike, and quite right for it. P'raps better than going to Jerry's town and gettin' kicked in the arse enough to stop the itching in an elephant's piles and for no blinkin' more reason than looking at a brass buffalo's balls. There's Landlubbers for ye.

Black Bill, the irate pirate.

Jerry Wed Feb 21 21:46:40 PST 2001

Well I have the first five pages of my ghost story re-writen again, it does resemble the other two just a bit, but of course, it changes, improves if you will with each writing. Should have it done within the next couple of days, how is everyone else doing on their contributions to **P** I see there have been some additions, I should go read them now I guess. Passion huh, not sure if I can come up with anything that I would post here with that in mind, it has been a long time since I had any passion about anything.


Teekay. Wed Feb 21 18:43:03 PST 2001

Hi All;

GARIESS: How silly of me *blush*, I meant relevations. ;-)

HALLEE: My first and second initials are T. K. Maybe the same as the guy who owns the truck. :-)

Am feeling blue today. Mum and Dad left this morning and now there's a big empty space.
Going to catch up on the rest of the notebook and then wade in despondancy for a bit.

howard Wed Feb 21 18:23:46 PST 2001


Mary Wed Feb 21 18:20:24 PST 2001

Jake: Croup...penicillin and cough syrup
Faith: Double ear infection, chest congestion...pennicillin and cough syrup.

Two prescriptions for antibiotics and cough syrup: $22.00
Two bottles of children's aceteminophen: $7.00
Not waking up at 2AM to tandem screaming: Priceless

Mark Wed Feb 21 16:47:46 PST 2001

HALLEE -- Thanks. Try this bonding ritual.

A unique tactile experience.
Swan Wed Feb 21 15:23:58 PST 2001

My thoughts spread like a big drop of ink in a bowl of water
Slow and thin fingers of ideas, network
Fantasy and reality duel with dull swords and blank stares
I know what I want, but alone I watch
My thoughts focus on one main goal,
And then another battle rages, blurring the picure
I know what I want, but alone I watch
My thoughts center on a life of writing
Who wins the battle
Fantasy or reality

Richard Wed Feb 21 13:23:21 PST 2001

Allein: Holidays is keeping me away from school and now I'm bored stiff. On the other hand I've just realised I should be writing, drawing and reading to make up for the time spent on homework and all those late nights reading till 12 o'clock...

Anyway, I've started rewriting 'Perfect Child', thoughI'm trying to think of a different name. I thought of 'Silent screams' but I think I'm dropping the inability to express emotions part...

Debra Wed Feb 21 12:20:20 PST 2001


Stop with the blond stuff. I wish I had enough money to dye my hair blond. It is black.

Would you like to hear how I woke up this morning after not being able to sleep again?

There is no shcool so I didn't have to get up early. Well early the dogs were barking at the front door like madmen. They woke me up and I ran to the door. When I opened it there was a strange man there. I couldn't hear what he was saying so I picked up the little dog and reached down the grab the colar of the big one. I pushed my half inch long finger nail all the way back pulling it a little off my skin. I'm now in severe pain and pulling my dogs out the back door.

Instead of running straight out the back yard, they went to the gate towards the front. Yesterday was trash day so that can only mean one thing, the gate was left open by my husband. So I now had to run out side in my bare feet with my finger still on fire. I have only had my eyes opened for less than a minute bed to yard. Meanwhile the man is still at my door. He could be in the house kiling my kids. By the way, they were sleeping and now they are screaming. I ran back in the house beating my dogs back to stay outside to get to this man. He is from the electric company and wants to change my meter to one they can read without getting out of the car.

I agree shut the door and run down stairs to help my screaming twins while I flop back in bed. All this in less than four minutes upon opening my eyes.

I must have spit on a gyspy some where along the line.

Debra Wed Feb 21 09:03:54 PST 2001


Yes, passion. I'm going out on a limb. So expect that.

Hallee and Mary:

Thanks, I hope I wake up soon. It's starting to have a bad effect on me. Just so we are clear, fathers do throw up badly. Right?


Mary Wed Feb 21 09:03:47 PST 2001

Well, I am officially a pain in the ass mother now. It took me three years, but I finally did it. Big fight with the pediatrician and we have switched doctors. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

TINA: Yes, you read right....PASHIN and I can't wait.

Tina Wed Feb 21 08:46:25 PST 2001

Do I sense some angst against big-city dwellers, Jerry?
I live in a smallish town, and many Vancouverites move here to 'get away from the city'. Then they complain non stop about the lack of city perks and wonder how we 'country folk' can stand living so far away from 'civilisation'. Many is the times I've wanted to 'kick their ass'. hehehe

Did I correctly read that this week's shortie topic is 'Passion'?

Here and gone again...

Jerry Wed Feb 21 08:16:21 PST 2001

Oh, forgot to mention, my new "Big Foot Texan" Hard Drive came in the mail yesterday, and I stuck it in this machine, so my days of Linux accidents are over, I will put Linux on a different machine, and only use this one for writing, (and maybe playing a few games.)

Oh and by the way Hi to everyone, I always forget the greeting of the day, funney I used to forget that when I was in Basic Training in the Army so many years ago, boy do you get your ass chewed out when you salute and forget the "greeting of the day" and are a trainee.


Rhoda Wed Feb 21 08:12:24 PST 2001

Two children sick now.

Cold Artic blasts bringing in a new cold front.

Grey skies still.

BUT better spirits nonetheless.


Hang in there.

Jerry Wed Feb 21 08:12:18 PST 2001

Got this in the EMAIL this Morning, thought it was kind of cute, as it gives a taste of the true attitude of the good folks here in both Dakota's, some of it, however may loose something in the translation.

Issued by the North Dakota Tourism Bureau to ALL visiting Californians and Northeastern Urbanites:
1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Kroll's Kitchen. (NOTE: Kroll's Kitchen serves ethnic northern European food ie German, Swedish, Norwegen) It's a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know. If you upset the ladies in the kitchen they'll kick your ass.
2) Don't laugh at the names of our little towns (Minnewauken, Rolla, Gackle, Osnabrock, Cando, Walhalla, Zap, etc.) or we will just HAVE to kick your ass.
3) Don't order a bottle or a can of soda here. Up here it's called
Pop. Accept it. Doing otherwise can lead to an ass kicking.
4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you. We are also better educated and generally a lot nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hicks or we'll kick your ass.
5) We have plenty of business sense. You have to to make a living
up here. Naturally, we do sometimes have small lapses in judgment from time to time, but we are not dumb enough to let someone move to our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we would kick their ass.
6) Don't laugh at our giant fiberglass cows and our turtles made
out of car parts. Anything that inspires tourists to buy 50,000 postcards can't be bad. When you're in Jamestown don't point at the genitalia on the giant buffalo or we'll kick your ass.
7) We are fully aware of how cold it gets here in the winter, so shut the hell up. Just spend your money and get the hell out of here or we'll kick your ass.
8) Don't order the vegetarian special at the local diner. Everyone will instantly know that you're a tourist. Eat your steak well-done like God intended and have some potatoes with that, for heaven's sake! Also, don't ask what a hot dish is or we'll kick your ass.
9) Don't try to fake a NoDak accent. We don't have an accent. Do
NOT mention the movie "Fargo" as that will incite a riot and you will get your ass kicked.
10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know better. Many of us have visited big-city hell-holes like Detroit, New York, and LA, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Northwest Airlines is ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.
11) Yes, we know that ice fishing is "not your thing." We don't care. If you don't understand the beauty of being out on a lake when it's 10 degrees then you should go home and try fishing in New York Harbor. Also, don't hog the heater in the fish house or we'll kick your ass.
12) Don't complain that North Dakota is flat and that there aren't enough trees. If you whine about OUR scenic beauty we'll kick your ass all the way back to Cleveland.
13) Don't ridicule our mannerisms. We only speak when spoken to. We hold doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet, little grey-haired grandmothers or they will kick some manners into your ass just like they did ours.
14) So you think we're quaint or losers because most of us live on the prairie? That's because we have enough sense to not live in
filthy, smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or LA. Make fun of our fresh air and we'll kick your ass.
15) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come out here and tell us how the prairie should "go back to the buffalo." This will get your ass shot (right after it is kicked). Just mention this once and you will go home in a pine box. Minus your ass.
Enjoy your visit in the Peace Garden State!

Hallee Wed Feb 21 06:57:25 PST 2001

See, I should never try and just list people from memory to say hi to. I always forget people.

MARY: Hey there. I'm so sorry. That sucks. My daughter had an ear infection from about four weeks to about eighteen months, with just a week or two off at a time. The last time she had one, the doctor mentioned tubes, and that was it. I told him at her two year checkup that he should have said something about tubes a year earlier. ((Big hugs for mommy)).


Mary Wed Feb 21 06:46:49 PST 2001

DEBRA: I feel your pain. I have been knocking on wood for three years that neither of my children have ever had an ear infection. I guess I didn't knock hard enough because I feel like a zombie today from all the screaming last night. Not mine, theirs. Winks and hugs. Doesn't help that I myself have only been healthy for one week since Christmas.

Wish I could renovate my mind. Needs more closet space, and perhaps a skylight. I'm a blonde, so I already have central air. Pshaw!

Debra Wed Feb 21 05:18:04 PST 2001


We are getting better. The problem is that who ever needs help in the middle of the night gets it from the same person. Me.

So I have been up every night to help someone since the second week of January.

I feel just like I did when the kids were babies and getting up. I need some sleep.

Also the girls still have a cough and it gets really bad at night.

They cough like fathers throw up. Well I think all fathers throw up the same. Right? It sounds like someone is pulling their throat out. Well that's because they fight it.
Well anyway that's the way the twins cough over and over. They have their cribs in our rooms. We give them cough syrup but nothing really really works. NOw with so many product in question.

So yes we are getting better but I need some sleep.


Hallee Wed Feb 21 01:39:43 PST 2001

TEEKAY: I almost wrecked yesterday...I was driving down the road, and this big bubba truck passed me and my peripheral vision caught the sign on the side of his truck. TEEKAY'S LOCK & KEY. Tripped me out. How did you derive the name? (Oh, yeah, I think it's the writer - I do the same thing.)

MARK & JERRY: Nice bonding. *snort* Men never make sense to women. Hahaha.

GARIESS: It could have been a renovation, if you want to get really technical. hehehe

GORDON: Aww...what were the comments on your paper?

RHODA: ((((Big hug))). Hope you get some sunshine, and hope your kid starts feeling better.


CHRISTI: Hey there.

DEBRA: Is everyone feeling better yet?

Okay, all. I've learned that the prayer, "Please, God, not this week," works. Monday at noon I got a call from my daughter's daycare - chicken pox. You cannot imagine how busy I am at work right now. It's terrible. I left the middle of a meeting last night at 5:15 so that I could pick up my daughter and the pizza, get them home to my husband, and make it on time to a 6:00 meeting. Anyway, she had spots - she had fever, and Tuesday morning she woke up with nothing. Completely healthy and in a good mood.

All righty then, off to write the rest of chapter 7.

gariess Tue Feb 20 21:33:25 PST 2001




Heather Tue Feb 20 17:07:37 PST 2001

Oh, there certainly was, Trudy!

*big grin!*

back to the swamp...

I mean, writing (and some editing) on my novel.

I wonder I could be charged for defacing a bunch of paper?
(writing ON my novel, oh forget it.)

Headache in Havenville


Mark Tue Feb 20 17:06:49 PST 2001

JERRY -- "but then proceeded to claim the 1 gig too, as a swap partition for LInux, " HAHAHAHAHAHA. PHHEEWWWWWW. My eyes got moist. You probably know there are die-hard Linux guys out there who'd think using your Win drive for Linux swap is an ideal solution. However. I use Windows for a lot of stuff just because they make it so easy. I believe a little less of the hype about Linux as 'superior' Operating System and as I passed 50 began valuing more ease-of-use. When Windows98SE gave away free internet connection sharing, I quit being a Linux network administrator. I'll pick it back up with the next kernel, though because of what it promises in security.

Trudy Kelly Forsythe Tue Feb 20 16:26:13 PST 2001

Hi all,

Kind of funny to see Teekay talking about the addictiveness of the Notebook. I haven't been around for quite awhile. My life seems so hectic sometimes it scares me. But tonight I was lured here, just to see what was happening, and after a few private emails and an addition to the collaberative work, I had to say hi!

So hello everyone. I think I may try to pop in more often again...everyone needs a good addiction!

Trudy, who has returned to good old New Brunswick, Canada, after a year in Ontario...there was a purpose for that one-year move, wasn't there Heather? *grin*

Rhoda Tue Feb 20 15:06:40 PST 2001


Self-restraint has never been my forte either. I am just very busy right now with one sick child and many little pressing concerns. But I still check the Notebook once or twice a day. I am addicted and cannot completely stay away.

I am getting over a cold. It is also PMS time and I am a little depressed. I am not very talkative when I am blue. Perhaps my low mood is due to the weather which is overcast and a bit cool.


Allein Tue Feb 20 14:08:58 PST 2001

Richard - How about I break your leg and then you'll forget about your head hurting. Just kidding, of course. Take two aspirin and stay away from school and all things school related.

I've had an ongoing headache for a couple of days now. It's like this dull pain in the front of my head and sometimes near my temples. I don't know, maybe I'm just stressed because finals are this week.
But I still have time to write and draw but I have so much I want to do with both that I'm not sure which to do!!

Laura Milanovich Tue Feb 20 13:39:42 PST 2001

I'm here ramon,

The comp lab was closed for presidents weekend, and so I used most of the time to work on my portfolio for Grad school.

Teekay Tue Feb 20 12:55:20 PST 2001

Morning All,


JACK: Well said.

BARNABAS: 3 days since your previous post you say?? Well obviously you haven't hit the addiction stage yet. heh heh.
Sorry, can't answer your question about the collaborative writing.

RHODA: It would be a good thing if I had your self restraint, if I don't have anything to say, I juts babble. It helps me find where I left off the next day. :-)

MARY: HI!!!!!!! :-)

I had one of those renovations yesterday. Maybe this is something I should keep to myself, but what the heck.
I was walking down the street yesterday and I saw this uni student loaded with books and I thought to myself, 'wouldn't it be great to be a uni student, what a lifestyle.' and after a bit of thought I decided that I do that a lot. Think it would be great to be in someone else's shoes a bit, but you know what?
I really wouldn't. I like the thought of being a uni student, or a racing car driver or being or doing numerous other things, but the truth is I would rather only imagine it, because living it would be too restricting.
eg: If I were the uni student, my life would probably suck. I wouldn't know what was going on around me, I would be too busy with study and lectures etc, etc.
Being me I can be anyone. I can pick up a pen and I can walk in anyone shoes for as long as I want to.
I wonder if this is a writer mind state or am I just crackers.
Let me know, no wait, don't.

Okay, now I'm having one of those shall I push the submit butto....

Kru Tue Feb 20 12:42:26 PST 2001

Hi Tina, You don't know me, I joined while you were away. I lost my dad the same way. He was 55, that was in 73. I miss him to this day. It seems to me to be easier for the individual to go quickly the way our dads did but better for the family the way it was for Jacks Mother in Law. We didn't get to say good bye. But our dads didn't suffer watching death slowly pull them in. I'm so sorry.

Jack - That was beautiful. Thanks.

Gorodn Dale Tue Feb 20 12:28:20 PST 2001

Hello everybody,
It’s Gordon here and I finally received my paper back form my English instructor. I got a C+, which is disappointing, but I will live with it for now. I have always considered English my poorest subject and it has reflected in my grades. I hope I can take part in the ideals of this board to help better myself. So to cut to the chase: I would love to participate in the shorts and the repartee that exists here on this board. I want the strait forward critique of my writing; I’m thick skinned and can take it all. If you have any suggestion of books to read or certain textbooks to study fire them my way, as I am ready to improve my writing to a new level.

Kru Tue Feb 20 12:18:02 PST 2001

Mark and Mary,
Thank you both so much for taking time to critique the first 2 chapters of my novel. I don’t know what I want to do with this vast and growing collection of words I am putting together. The chapters that I have posted so far don’t even hint at what the book is about and maybe that is part of the problem I am having with the book. What the book is about is vague inside my head but it is strong inside my heart. I feel that it is one of those books that, to a certain extent, must write itself. Chapter one was to introduce Scott Gordon, John Millsap and the boys. Chapter two introduces Joey and Betsy. Both chapters mention the marriage of Bill and Melinda Brandt. I don’t really have a direction for the book, it doesn’t really go anywhere. It is not an action story but there is a little excitement in later chapters. It is not a love story but there is a lot of love of several kinds interwoven throughout the whole story. There is a marriage on the rocks, and another that quietly works very well. There is a father’s devotion to the young people in his community. Oscars Bend is a snapshot of a sleepy little neighborhood in a quiet town during the summer of 1960. It’s not one story it is several. There are a few children crossing the threshold from childhood to adolescence and they each do it differently. There are the adults trying and others too caught up with their own demons, but being role models. There is the competition to catch a fish and a stray dog that eventually find his way home. Maybe it is not such a good idea for a novel and when I’m done I may not send it anywhere. But, for now, I am going to pursue it as a practice novel and try to use it to learn the craft of writing. If I can take this non-idea and make it even a half way interesting read then maybe I will have an easier time with a couple of better ideas that I have.
I appreciate your criticism and thank you for it. I also want to thank Jack B. for creating and maintaining this site. Writing is about the only thing that makes sense for my life now and I want to learn to do it well. I hope you all stay with me and I hope I can give something back to the group. This seems like a good place to do the kind of growing that will be necessary to do that. Counting was’s – who knew? Thanks for your thoughts, now, as soon as I beat this flu I will get on with the re-write. So if anybody else has anything to add to what Mark and Mary have given me, now would be a good time because I expect to start the re write as soon as my immune system wakes up.

Debra Tue Feb 20 11:51:23 PST 2001



Please take something for your head. I like your imput.


Mary Tue Feb 20 11:42:02 PST 2001

DEBRA: Yes, the shortie night theme is either PASSION or write a true story about your writing life.

Richard Tue Feb 20 11:17:00 PST 2001

My head hurts.

Debra Tue Feb 20 11:03:35 PST 2001

So are we going with passion on Thursday?

I have plans for a story about just that. It's a bit of a stretch. But I hope you all will tell me just how much I stretched with it.

Looking forward to it.

I'm at the moment still struggling with the stretch part.


Jerry Tue Feb 20 08:43:48 PST 2001

Mark - I have this machine set up with a 1 gig and on that I have windows and office, along with a few games to pass the time. I used to have a 3.2 gig in it, but it began developing bad sectors, so I put it as my secondary master. Then I installed Redhat Linux on it, when it crashed, it took out LILO with it, and along with LILO, the boot for windows 98. The second time with Turbo LINUX, I told it to set it up on the 3.2 gig, and let it go automatic, well it did set up Linux on the 3.2 gig, but then proceeded to claim the 1 gig too, as a swap partition for LInux, thus formatting it and killing everything on the 1 gig. I do have a new 3.2 gig coming for this machine, then I will take out both of these and stick the 1 gig in an old Packard Bell 166MHZ that I am rehabing with a new Motherboard, the old board is shot. I found a fellow on Ebay who was selling pentium MB's for this machine but so far he has sent me 3 bad ones, this time he said he will check it before sending it out. That will be my Linux box when I am done with it. I got the old Mac Quadra 800 and set it up on the dining room table, my daughter is having a great time with it when she comes to visit, I think it will be hers shortly as she is doing web-design part time, and the Mac is set up with all the web design software. She also has Photoshop and Illustrator on the Pentium II 400 that I built for her and gave her for her graduation gift last spring, when she graduated from college. Between the two machines she should be able to do some nice web pages. I have a network card coming for the Mac so we can tie them together and she can share her zip drive with both machines.

I do love playing with Linux, but I guess I will keep my windows machine for most of the real work. Redhat Linux 6.0 came with Word Perfect on the same CD, and I do have the 5 disk set for that and a 6 disk set for Mandrake, along with Turbo LInux, and Winlinux, which is a strange OS but that is another story.

Tina, I am so sorry for your loss, loosing a parent is so difficult. I lost my father when he was 63 also, that was back in 1973. I remember every minute of what happened, I was in the Army stationed at Fort Bliss Texas at the time, Dad went into the hospital against his will, (mother said he was too sick to make up his own mind). He went in for a sore back and a sever chest cold. Well when he checked in, he called the Red Cross and told them he was dyeing, and that he wanted me home from the Army. The night I got the call, I was on guard duty, and had worked all day, been up all night on the duty. The First Sgt. came down to my guard post and relieved me, telling me that I needed to be home right away. I went home and got my wife and kids out of bed, and we left right away. I drove straight through, for 24 hours straight to get home. When I got to the hospital, dad was up and walking around, in fact he came out and sat with us in the waiting room for about a half hour, then tired out and went back to his room. A couple of hours later, he went into the DT's, and didn't know anyone. I went to his room, and he thought I was his brother. About an hour later he slipped into coma, and never woke up. Mom didn't have any idea he was so sick, in fact when I got there, she was so surprised, as she didn't know he made the call. Things like that stay with you for such a very long time. My daughter was only six months old, my son a year and a half. We always told her that her Grandpa did hold her for awhile before he died. My son, always teased her that she killed grandpa, because he took one look at her and died. She believed him for many years until she got old enough to figure out that he was only teasing. She only told us about that last year. Kids can be so very cruel some times.

Just know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Well back to my third rewrite on my ghost story, this time I will save it to a floppy before I do anything STUPID.


Rhoda Tue Feb 20 07:09:22 PST 2001


I am still here. I just don't have a lot to say right now.


It was several months after my mother died when I was able to write again, but when that happened the muse returned greater than ever. I am glad to see you back again. I know you are grieving. Take your time to work it through, though that never completely happens.


Debra Tue Feb 20 07:01:06 PST 2001


It was your shorty.

Allein Tue Feb 20 06:59:57 PST 2001

Tina - Glad to see you back. (((BIG HUGS)))

Mark Tue Feb 20 06:37:21 PST 2001

JERRY -- mandrake linux is based on RedHat. I've used both, like 'em about equally. Next linux install will use whichever one comes out with the 2.4 kernel first. Back in the good ol' days I used slackware and compiled the kernel in a 1.2 distribution. Have never experienced disk wipe. Bad sectors on the disk cause that?

I have a 20Gb drive for Win98 in this machine and a new 30Gb drive still in the box waiting for linux. As I buy parts and do upgrades I keep some pieces. I formated an 850Mb drive and ran RedHat on it. Pulled the drive from a 486 I couldn't give away, mounted it as slave in a Win95 P166. Found that it made a wonderful firewall/router for a home network. I like the Mahjong game, too. :)

Heather Tue Feb 20 06:29:26 PST 2001

Well said, Jack. Wish it didn't, but sometimes losing a close loved one hurts for long enough to call it a lifetime of grief. It took a long time for me to remember good things that a close friend and I did together before she was killed. After about a year, I could just barely recall what her laugh sounded like. Now it's what I think of first, when I am thinking of her. It still took over 3 years to get through the heaviest of grieving; and then another close friend died. Five years after that, I sat up one day and thought to myself that I still hadn't finished greiving. Maybe I won't ever be finished, because I still feel an empty space in my life that they alone could fill; even though I know I'll see them again, how I wish it could be now.
The grief hits me less frequently now, as it has been fourteen years since Jennifer died, and eleven years since Elizabeth. Just writing their names I feel it again.

Well, I think that's enough sharing; I don't want to depress anyone, as I know each of you have your own loved ones you greive for. Remember to grasp the depths of your emotions, no matter how terrifying and sad, and understand them, analyze them, turn them inside out. Take them and, instead of bottling them up, spread them thin on paper and see them take on new life before your eyes.

Nothing like a little self-inflicted therapy.

Mark Tue Feb 20 06:25:55 PST 2001

TINA -- Glad to see you back. More glad that you have real, live people around to support you. This long-distance love stuff feels a bit hollow, I/We share your pain, but there's nothing like a big comfy hug. I think Jack was eloquent. Time's a healer. Be good to yourself.

Mary Tue Feb 20 04:49:58 PST 2001

TINA: Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

JACK: Well done, Sir.

MARK: Thank you for the "plot" link and the plastic surgeon pun.

HOWARD: Haha. I remember the first time you ever told us that one. Are your pickles sweet or dill?

TEEKAY: Well, just...HI!

CHRISTI: I personally don't think you would ever kick a dog or anybody else while they were down. ;-)

HOP: I have a character in there who is so totally annoying I am thinking of evicting her from her apartment just to be rid of her. I would do it, too, if she didn't have three little ones and a dead-beat husband. Maybe I will kill off her husband and she won't be so cantankerous anymore.

Gotta love bad jokes.

Hallee Tue Feb 20 03:42:02 PST 2001

Hey everyone!

Well, I've finally caught up with myself. I've rewritten the beginning, and was able to utilize more of what I'd already written than what I expected to be able to use, so chapter 6 is finished, and I'm pretty sure I'm pleased with the results.

TINA: ((Warm hugs for you)). You'll stay in my prayers.

ROSEMARY: Hugs for you, too. Happy Tuesday.

Okay - I'm going to go see what I can do with the beginning of chapter 7 in the next 15 mins. Then I have to get the household moving and out the door.


Barnabas "Hop" Tue Feb 20 00:28:01 PST 2001

Technical writer question
What do you call a collaborative writing where everyone writes a different story about major
events that happened?

Apparently it's your birthday. Thanks to Teekay for reminding all of us. And happy birthday!

Drug addiction story number 8

Hello. I'm new.

Hello to you too. Are you new?
My hint is to play music suited to the genre you're writing. Heroic if you're writing action, scary
if you write horror. I get really motivated when I do.

I want to join the club too.

It's only been 3 days, Teekay since my previous post.

Killing protagonists is a sad business, but in every crime novel someone has to die.

It just so happens there's a dog treat called "smackos" which happens to be advertised on TV
every now and then. From the claymation advertising I can tell none of my canine friends want
to eat one (I'm really a dog as you may or may not have read).

Got your e-mail.

That's a good idea. Now all I need is to find a place where writer's frequently visit. Suggestions
Sorry, I love to be "master of the obvious." Now I'm also being a real psuedo-intellectual.

I see you've picked up my joke. Where are the laughs people?

Okay, okay, stop kicking, I tenderise easily. Just like you to kick a dog when it's down.

I can't help it, these lame jokes keep coming and coming and going and going and going.... uh
oh. Another one! Confound it! It just creeps up now and then every few weeks so bear with me,

I wish I felt energised to write my novel. Right now I'm writing the exciting "fight to death" part
and have yet to feel excited by my own writing. I'll try playing some heroic music.

Join the first novel club! Just be careful, those characters will run all over and natter at you to
put pointless words in the novel. I've had to argue with them about this on several occasions

I'm not sure how you connected my story with a letter format. Are you sure you're refering to my

It's about soldiers who are given the option of using a drug to ease their pain while training.
Unknown to them, the drug also erases their personalities until they forget who they are. Just
remember training and the the drug. Then when they collapse they are taken away and their
brains are placed in metal suits or their body parts are replaced with metal.

Just pointing some facts out. I wasn't offended or anything just annoyed at the world as a whole.
My perception of myths comes from American TV. I'm not American myself so I don't really
understand much about being one.

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Feb 20 00:15:04 PST 2001

Tina: Take time. Lots of time. For yourself. You will need it. Having lost my mother in front of me from a heart attack when I was ten and my father as a relief when he died of natural causes after ten years of strokes and being in a nursing home, I can well relate with the feelings of exhaustion and the sense of being overwhelmed and not being able to make sense of it all. It will take time. The average grief process takes approximately eighteen months. The range can be short months to a lifetime, but the bottom line is that it has its own track of time that we as participants can only begin the fathom. Grief groups are a good thing. After my mother-in-law's death we are taking a more active approach to this all, including anti-depressants and grief groups. In our case, this perhaps was more for us than for Genevieve. At 91, she was ready to join her deceased husband that she had lost 61 years before. Also, the fact that she spent most of three weeks secumbing to death in a hospice situation at home, gave us all time to share, cry, touch, feel and make sense of it all. I cannot script what you will have to do for yourself and only share what I have had to do for myself and Fran has had to do for herself. Each day is a new day, one pregnant with new discoveries and new ways to stub our toes or find release. Fran could not cry for most of two months. Then one night we were listening to the radio as we drived and someone requested the theme music from Titanic. Given the theme of Titanic, it very much fitted what my mother-in-law had experienced in her life and Fran finally broke down and cried. Her tears spawned my own and, though I did not pull off to the side of the road, I felt the gentle release of those tears, hers and mine.

Sleep and know all here on the Notebook care about you and each in our own way have shared the same experience in the human condition and know in our own ways the grief you are just now beginning to process.

With all of our love and prayers and energies, we hope the best for you and yours and that you have the time and the wisdom and the special epiphanies that will carry you through all this to another place. Maybe not better, but another. At that point, use what is inside of you to express in your writing this time of extremes. Not for anybody else. Not for any of us. For yourself. Hold that close and cherished to come back to. With caring, we wish you well.

Tina Mon Feb 19 22:43:19 PST 2001

Hello everyone.

Thank you everyone for the well wishes and thoughts and prayers and hugs. I only returned home this evening, and it gave me strength to read the posts. (Although I admit that I only skimmed. Hopefully I'll get back in and read the shorties.)

It's been a long week. My dad had a massive coronary last monday, and despite instant CPR and a fast ambulance crew, he didn't make it. My husband and I drove to where my family lives that night, to stay with my mom during the onslaught of dealing with such a sudden, unexpected tragedy. He was only 63. I'm completely, utterly drained, physically and emotionally and mentally.
We cried a lot, and hugged a lot, told memories and stories, and had to be reminded to sleep and eat. My husband has been great, feeding us and doling out hugs as needed. He's an awesome hugger. The memorial was perfect, exactly as dad would have wanted.

I don't know when I'll get back to writing. Right now I just can't imagine. But I'm sure he'll turn up in at least one story.

Welcome back Gariess and Arik. It was good to see your names.

Gotta go get some sleep now. Thank you everyone again for the prayers you sent out. If it hadn't been for the strength of loved ones and friends I don't know how I couldv'e made it through this last week.


Jerry Mon Feb 19 21:29:37 PST 2001

Oh I would have been so much better off joining in on the jokefest, but NO, here I sit thinking "must have done something wrong when I put LINUX on that computer, maybe, just maybe if I try TURBO LINUX instead of REDHAT, it would work. So what do I do, but grab my TURBO LINUX disk and toss it in my computer, never thinking that maybe I should back up that story, and -- well --- you know the rest. I have just reinstalled Windows 98, and Office and the rest. I will learn one of these days. Well maybe not, I was just this second thinking maybe MANDRAKE LINUX?


Debra Mon Feb 19 20:33:56 PST 2001


Good one hahahaha Peter built.

ah yeah! That's a knee slapper.


Debra Mon Feb 19 20:30:42 PST 2001


In fact it sounds really cruel. I hope that idea never falls into the wrong hands.


Debra Mon Feb 19 20:04:51 PST 2001


I am having a hard time imagining a high school student on viagra.
In fact, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.


Mary Mon Feb 19 19:41:05 PST 2001

And now for something completely different:

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree and reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.

Mark Mon Feb 19 18:43:12 PST 2001

Oh, the depths we have sunk to.

How's the water?


Didja hear about the plastic surgeon who hung himself?

howard Mon Feb 19 17:43:20 PST 2001

Okay - I wrote this one and sent it to Letterman. He never answered my letter.
--- I met a trucker in New Mexico who said he'd hauled so much Viagra that he had to get a new Peter bilt ---

Gariess Mon Feb 19 16:54:03 PST 2001

Quoting directly from Debra's text: "Then Debra says I hope that clears it up." Does this mean she is now recommending Viagra for Acne patients? And you thought things were bad enough already in our high schools.


Debra Mon Feb 19 16:48:46 PST 2001


I'm scratching my head on that one. I don't know.

I don't always have all the answers.


Gariess Mon Feb 19 16:45:19 PST 2001

Okay, Debra,

Then maybe you can explain this one. The next guy in line at the counter asked the druggist if he could just get some small Viagra pills. He said, "I don't want to have sex. I just want to quit peeing on my shoes."


gariess Mon Feb 19 16:34:59 PST 2001


I don't know where you get your Chinese myths from but around here the myth about Chinese food is the 'one hour later' thing. One hour later you are hungry again. For me it can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour-and-half. This is not very important, but one time I shot myself with a Chinese gun and one hour later I was fine. That might be how the myth got started. Like one hour after you light a Chinese firecracker you don't hear a bang. Then there's the 'one hour after you kiss a Chinese girl, you have to kiss her again.' I changed that a little to protect the guilty, who is what I am for political incorrectness. I fully expect to catch hell for that, but just remember, folks, I'm not the one who started all this Chinese stuff. And for that matter, I never started all the Italian stuff, either. If you look at my shorty, you will find that I never mention the word, "Italian" in the whole thing. All I talked about was different foods. If I talked about corn would I be alluding to Indians, Hindus, or people from Kansas?



Debra Mon Feb 19 16:31:01 PST 2001


For Pete's Sake no wonder you don't get it.

You heard the joke all wrong.
It goes like this:

The guy says to the pharmicist. Does that Viagra really work? The pharmicist says yeah.

Then the guy says can I get it over the counter.

The pharmicist says it depends how many you take.

Then Debra says I hope that clears it up.

Mary Mon Feb 19 16:12:01 PST 2001

GARIESS: Totally hysterical.

Gariess Mon Feb 19 16:06:40 PST 2001


If the guy had his head chopped off, it wouldn't matter much how hung he was.


Gariess Mon Feb 19 16:02:34 PST 2001


If you think walking into a crowded room with the hem of your dress tucked into the back of your panty hose was embarassing for you, just think about how embarassing it was for me. I was with J. Edgar Hoover that night and he didn't speak to me for weeks afterward.

That reminds me. The other day a man was asking the druggist if he had Viagra. When the druggist said, "Yes." the man said, "Can I get it over the counter?" The druggist said, "Mister, if you can get it over the counter, what would you want with Viagra?"

That's supposed to be funny, but I still don't get it.


Teekay Mon Feb 19 15:50:28 PST 2001

BARNABAS: The after death guy wasn't hung, he had his head chopped of. And it rolled across the stage and the experimant guy picked it up and that's when it bit him. I think that's important. I had to come back and tell you.

Teekay Mon Feb 19 15:46:50 PST 2001

Sorry about all the spelling areas guys. heh heh.

Teekay Mon Feb 19 15:45:29 PST 2001

Hi every one,

HEATHER: I had a dream about you last night. Some kind of schooly thing I think.

EDDIE: Poor Anita. I feel for her. Once I was crossing a busy city main street. Jaywalking I think I must have been. A huge gust of wind blew my skirt over my head to the chous of a million car horns and to make matters worse, when i got to the other side of the rode I was scolded by the police women for not crossing at the lights. I've blocked out what ever came after. I blame that on the trauma.
On the bright side: I was wearing undies and they weren't Grandma ones.

JERRY: I'm glad to hear it.

MARY: I did that too. Except it was in a shop. Coles to be excact. Anyway, I was getting all these looks and was beginning to think I must have worn the right type of perfume, only when I was going up my step at home I couldn't feel the material of my skirt against my leg, so I felt it and it was STUCK IN MY KNICKERS WAISTBAND!!!!
On the bright side: It was late and there were only 2325 people in the shop. Could've been much worse.

One of my favourite maxims: What doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

MARK: Hyuk hyuk hyuk. (an Archie comics chuckle.)

JACK: Good to see you.

BARNABAS: Good to see you too. Was wondering where you went.

I read a story about what happens after your dead. Can't remember who wrote it, but after this guy was hung, he bit the guy who was doing the experiment. Stayed in my head.

HOWARD: Good to see you too. I've been looking and looking and I can't find your ghostie contribution anywhere. :-)
Please do write one, I would love to read it.
Something like the one with Jemmalyn would be good.

CHRISTI: Definitely an addictive personality.
I remember your gym story.

ROSEMARY: Hi there. :-) and a little peck on the cheek to beaky too.
Sorry, one of those days, and it's only just begun.

RACHEL: How are things with you?

RHODA: Where are you?

Mum and Dad are going home in 2 days, then I guess I can get my story on the computer. I really don't think I like this one, maybe it's just the mood I'm in.
Anyhow, if you don't like it, scrap it, it was really just a freak of nature anyway.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Bye all, be good, be productive and be nice to the posties, CHRISTI, that last one was for you. :-)

Mary Lou Mon Feb 19 15:30:59 PST 2001

Debra, A contract should state the amount of the fee, which is normally 10%, but some agents do charge 15%. As for other expenses or fees, they, too, should be spelled of in specific detail. Also, how and when the agent makes an accounting; such as monthly, quarterly, etc. Some agents charge a base rate per month for office expenses but, personally, I would stay away from one that did. Have you ever gone to a conference where publishers and agents were there? That's a good way to meet and talk with them one on one. Otherwise, unless you know somebody they have represented, or check their reputation out THOROUGHLY, you just have to take a chance. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck. Keep me posted. Mon Feb 19 15:20:32 PST 2001 Mon Feb 19 15:20:30 PST 2001

Hallee Mon Feb 19 13:43:58 PST 2001

STEPHANIE: Every writer has his or her own style. Personally, I figure out a character's name and start writing. The rest comes easily. Others need to research, plan, plot, outline. Some do a combination of both. If you have a hard time staying on track, or feel things fizzing out, you can do one of two things. Either create a detailed outline prior to starting to write. That means every scene is roughly sketched out without all the fillers. Or, two, you could actually write the end first - if you know where you're going. I never know where I'm going, so that wouldn't work for me. But, by writing the end first, it might give you a goal to work towards that helps the books from fizzling out.

Anyway, I have no clue whether or not I made sense. Good luck. Welcome.


Debra Mon Feb 19 09:19:31 PST 2001

woops two entries.

The top one is more complete.

Really sorry.

Debra Mon Feb 19 09:18:44 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

What does the average agent charge? The one I am looking at now stated he gets 15%. Also, he stated he sometimes chages a fee for phone calls and stuff like that.

Can I insist I don't get charged for things like that as long as it's before I sign the contract? Of maybe even insist that it be put into the contract that he only get 15% and nothing more. I like to stay in contact.

If anyone else knows the answer to that queston please feel free to jump right in. I'm terrified. I sent him my stuff and I'm sure I will hear yes he wants me or no he doesn't really soon. So I need to be ready.


Debra Mon Feb 19 09:16:19 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

What does the average agent charge? The one I am looking at now stated he gets 15%. Also, he stated he sometimes chages a fee for phone calls and stuff like that.

Can I insist I don't get charged for things like that as long as it's before I sign the contract. Of maybe even insist that it be put into the contract that he only get 15% and nothing more. I like to stay in contact.


Rosemary Mon Feb 19 08:57:34 PST 2001

Morning all,

It struck me that you would be a good candidate for co-writing a novel. (You said you didn't like to do the inbetween parts.) Find someone who likes to write the in-between parts, and you can write the action. Perhaps a female writer who is good at developing characters and personal interactions. ps. The idea for short shorties is for them to be short. (maybe that's what you meant by 'wait a sec.) some humor doesn't translate well in writing here. I should know.

I picked up Enders Game at the library to see what everyone was raving about. Have to read two other books first. Dianne Day's latest Fremont Jones mystery is out. Seems like I remember a notebooker mentioning she liked them a few years ago. This is the fifth book (I think)in the series and sounds like it might be the last for a while. Ms. Day is moving on.

I thought someone on the notebook said the author of 'Clan of the Cave Bear' series was dead, but I read an article that said she has just about finished her next book of the series and had another one about ready. The long period of time between books was because she did enough research to fill two books.



Christi Mon Feb 19 08:48:03 PST 2001

Yup. Did it again. It figures.

Mon Feb 19 08:46:02 PST 2001

Sorry guys, I must have been PMSing.

Howard, I'm glad to see you and that everything's okay. I haven't had homemade pickles in forever! Yummmm. Eat a couple for me, won't you?

Gosh, Hallee, Thanks! You guys are the best.
I finally figured out what happened. I faintly remember a window popping up when I hit 'save' that asked if I wanted to save to the reverted file. I thought, whaaaa? My brain was burnt from writing too long, so I hit 'yes'. Don't ever hit 'yes' if it asks you that.
So far it's never been my computer's fault. Just operator problems. :)

Tina, I hope you're doing okay. (((((((((HUGS))))))))))

Stephanie, Sorry, no help here. We do have a few people here who might have some tips, but I've never finished a novel ... yet.

Teekay, Hahaha! Thanks for the cheering up. I think I've been stressing way too much about writing lately. I went to send off my children's story at the postie and when the woman took it from me I grabbed it back from her! Of course I apologised and gave it back. I think I wanted to make sure another re-write wasn't needed! Now THAT'S addiction. Or obsession. I'm going to take some time off I think. ;P

Eddie, Hahaha! Poor Anita!
I had a similar experience where I was walking home from Jr. High school in my pretty, new, red knit dress. So proud I was. Then a dust devil swept through and lifted my dress all the way up and over my head, while a pack of boys behind me got an eyefull. Maybe even two eyefulls, since I had to catch it before it blew away and get it back on. Memories, gotta love 'em.

Barnabas, If they ever are able to transfer memories from the dead to the living I'm outta here! Haha. I've got enough memories to handle, thank you.

Bye ya'll.


howard Mon Feb 19 06:18:00 PST 2001

EDDIE -- Chilling! Remind me not to read stuff like that just before I go to bed. Gave me nightmares! Great story!

Kudos to all on the addiction shorties! WIsh I could have joined you but I can't break away from these other tasks I feel compelled to do. Compelled. Hmmm. Mary? Maybe one on Compulsion sometime? There's a whole range of differences between addiction and compulsion. Or are there? Might be fun to explore.


Debra Mon Feb 19 06:02:00 PST 2001


I forgot to tell you. That women didn't actually burn her kids. A neighbor saw the flames and saved them.

Even though I can never picture me getting to that point, I feel strangely bad for her.


Debra Mon Feb 19 05:48:40 PST 2001


When I read your story I read it as though it was a letter from one of my sons. I have two. It ripped my heart out when I thought of it in that way. I know how deeply innocent my sons were when they were little and that's all I can stil see.

That's why it made me so sad.


Barnabas "Hop" Mon Feb 19 02:42:56 PST 2001

I liked the shorties. I've tried to give a few comments on each but most of them are rather short.
Wait a sec....

I was just thinking. Only in America is the metric system sci-fi.

I was reading your shorty and your comments about mine. My shorty is suppose to be sad but I
didn't expect you to cry though. It's sort of like your story in the sense that it's sad. You dredge
up what you fear to write about a mother sacrificing herself for her children, I dredge up what I
fear to write about a soldier who is forced to become a living machine.
Hope you didn't stay sad for long. By the looks of it you weren't. It is but a story. At least, I
hope it stays that way. If such things really happened then I would shed a tear.

About the two children being burnt alive, wow. She must have been really stressed. It's scary to
think about that.

Maybe one day, they can transfer a person's experience to another person so they can record
what happens after a person's dead.

Whoa. Never realised what a horrible addictive nicotine is. Drug addiction story.

You're back! I'll try to read the short story. By the way, can you check your e-mail at home?
What I don't understand is if you can check your e-mail at home why do you need to go to an
internet cafe to come here?

What a true story. Drug addiction story.

You're right, it is a bit vague. I'll have to work on that I know most of my writing is a bit cryptic
at times. But revealing too much detail could be disasterous. Actually, I've a pretty complete
mental map of what the situation it's just that I try not to reveal too much to gain suspense.

If anybody really wants to know the whole story I'd be only too happy to share.

I manage to hit over 40 pages to my novel it's sort of getting easier now. Not alot easier but
ideas are starting to flow again.

I like the story. It struck me how difficult parts of people can be walled away.

Everyone who's interested in my novel
There will be a Mega-battle between the creature (who has possessed the figure) in my novel and
all the major good Psi-users. We're talking destructive! Psi-blasting galore! I'm really excitied
but I have to write what's going to happen inbetween though :-( .

Different kind of Horror story I see. I must say it's... unsettling.

As for my short story, I decided its better if it was a beginning of a longer story. You are right in
assuming my robots look more like humans then those metal shining things.

Thing was though, when I wrote the story I knew my robots would feel and think like humans
but I didn't know how they worked or looked for that matter. Then I got a weird idea. I'll
probably include this in the novel or book I write about what happens next.
I don't take the internet has me addicted yet. But I'm getting there...

I'll try to read your short story too.

Your shorty was funny as you said. Maybe you should take migraine pills on a regular basis.
Just kidding, making sure you were awake.

Thanks for the words of encouragement in the e-mail (I sure needed it).
Another drug addiction shorty.

What do they call that addiction? Self-damaging addiction?

A war story. Scary.

Isn't it addiction?

That was a weird shorty. Seems like she suffers from dual personalities. Drug addiction story.
Sort of.

Shouldn't the guy take the kids as well? If I was the person, I would.

Another drug addiction story. Format reminds me of a CV.

Chocolate addiction story number two.

Kru Ben, Allein and other novelists.
I'll try to get round to reading your novels. Hang on.

Your story was good but it also reminded me of Chinese myth.

Chinese food makes you seem full and is oily.

Myth buster
Some Chinese food makes you seem full especially those deep-fried (it's the oil as I've said).
But, the Chinese are divided into many diffirent groups. In fact oily Chinese food is the
characteristic of only one such group. The other groups do have oily food as treats but their
daily menu consist of other more wholesome food.

Cheese. I love Mozzeralla and Coby, now that's my addiction! None of that processed cheese. I
hate them.

Why does everyone think Italians are in the Mafia? Some Italian want to do a myth buster?

Another self-inflicting pain damage shorty.

Drug story count: 7 (including mine)
Self-inflicting pain count: 2
Chocolate addiction story: 2

By the count drugs and addiction are a popular topics.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Feb 19 02:26:14 PST 2001

Looks like everyone have been very busy. As I have a moment or two I will try to do surgery to various aspects of the Workbook, including acceding to one request that I eliminate the older offerings. Just a bit beat at the moment. Still among the unemployed and hoping for a turn around soon. Also, Fran and I are going to be doing our advanced open water diving training in the next several weeks. Probably next weekend. A navigation dive. Night dive. Deep water (100 foot) dive. And some others to fill in from there. Hoping for some sunshine instead of snow so we can see what we are doing in Puget Sound. And, yes, we have dry suits, so it is comfortable even if it sounds cold.

Also, am trying to get a handle on Dreamweaver Ultra Dev for a presentation on ASP and tying things into a database that I will be doing for my Seattle HTML SIG that I will be doing in about 9 days, February 28 to be precise.

Looking forward to have a moment to add to my beginning that I did on Rebecca. Well, maybe go watch a movie and go to bed. Take care everyone.

Mark Sun Feb 18 19:14:42 PST 2001

MARY -- You know HTML! Bravo!

em-bare-assed? maybe, but I thought that when the Selective Service had us lined up for Army/Air Force physicals it was a military de-briefing.

Mary Sun Feb 18 18:17:29 PST 2001

Em-bare-ass-ment: Coming into a crowded room with the back hem of your skirt tucked into the waistband of your pantyhose. Holy shnikies.

Allein Sun Feb 18 17:39:44 PST 2001

Eddie - Funny story! I don't remember those skirts though. Everything before 1989 is kind of a blur.

Jerry Sun Feb 18 16:59:21 PST 2001

Well my contribution for **P** is coming along fine AGAIN, I can't get things to jive the way they were before the crash, it might take a bit more work to have it all come together again, but I am working on it, have about three pages so far (single spaced yuchh)


Eddie French Sun Feb 18 15:59:59 PST 2001

This is embarasment. (Anita will kill me for this, but what the heck)
Remember those maxi skirts you girls wore in the late seventies? The ones that brushed the floor.
One day Anita was waiting for a bus with an arm full of kids and some shopping. The bus came along and she went to step up onto the boarding platform.
Those skirts had elasticated waists remember.
She stepped up. Her foot caught on the inside of the skirt. Two steps later the skirt is around the ankles! Remember those Tiny Tiny Knicks you wore then?.
Look on the bright side, the driver let her off with the fare. :¬)

Teekay Sun Feb 18 15:03:42 PST 2001

aint nuthin' goin' down there. Think I'll go to the shops instead.

HEATHER: I'm so glad the books arrived. I've had it for ages. It was a wonderful read, I'm just a bit slack, that's all.
I've printed out JACKS R.R. and I'm yet to read it.


CHRISTI: What's that hanging out of your undies. HO HO HO tricked ya!


Teekay Sun Feb 18 14:53:39 PST 2001

Hi All,

MARY: HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA you are sooo cute. Is that a 'P' on your head?

CHRISTI: I loved your story. There were 1 or 2 errors but it was a wonderful story. I'll have to go see if you've planted the other one yet.
Do not be embarrased for reasons not of embarrasament. Embarasment is having toilet paper hanging out of your undies and everybody to be seeing.
That reminds me, where's SASKY??

HOWARD: Sounds like you've been in a bit of a pickle. *groan*

STEPHANIE: Join the club.

Nothing of any interest to impart today, but I guess you've already picked up on that, so I guess I'll just amble on over to the workbook and see what's goin' down.

Stephanie Sun Feb 18 14:19:03 PST 2001

Hey I was wondering if anyone had any advice they could give me on novel writing. It seems when I sit down to write, I end up getting lost. Or when I have something really good, it just doesn't work. If anyone has any advice on getting a system that works, I would greatly appreciate it.

Hallee Sun Feb 18 13:00:05 PST 2001

CHRISTI: Your story was wonderful - I'm all teary eyed right now. Now I can't wait to read the "tweeked" version.


Sun Feb 18 12:48:36 PST 2001

Hey everyone.

CHRISTI: I'm on my way to the notebook to check out this story! Did you try doing a search - what kind of computer do you have?

HEATHER: Thank you. I guess you just never know what you can do until you sit down and do it. So far, I've written 3 short stories in my life - that's one of them.

TEEKAY: You're welcome.

**Happy birthday to you...
Happy birthday to you...
Happy brithday to you.
*******BIG SMACKING SMOOCH********


John Sun Feb 18 10:34:43 PST 2001

HOWARD: I was pickled at midnight a couple of times. Glad to hear everything's alright! Be cool.


howard Sun Feb 18 10:02:40 PST 2001

Hi - I'm still here, just very busy, and totally drained. Just to give an idea of my recent schedule, I was making pickles at half-past midnight Tuesday night - didn't get to bed until 1AM! It's got so that every time I sit down I fall asleep!Maybe another couple of weeks of this and it'll slow down.
I hope
And the new computer is almost finished! :-)

Gotta go eat some home made NE Clam Chowder - I made it last night. And the pickles are just about ready. (been sneaking a few already)


Christi Sun Feb 18 09:36:35 PST 2001

AHHHHHH! That was me below, twice! I'm getting out of this house and going to Phoenix for the day. I need it! BYe all! ;)

Sun Feb 18 09:34:21 PST 2001

Sun Feb 18 09:33:01 PST 2001

Heather, Thank you so much for your generosity. Only a generous and kind person could say anything nice about the mess I left over there. You've no idea how your kind words soothed the gaping wound of my ego. I suppose it was time for another public humiliation; Lord knows I was due. :)
SHIT! Sorry to those with sesitive ears, but sometimes it's the only words that fits. I still haven't found the file where I fixed the plot. That's the very first time I've lost anything on my computer. Funny isn't it, that it's right after your email to me about saving things to paper and disk? Ironical and all that stuff.

Mary, You're too kind! Ditto above! Thanks. (head down, shuffling out the door)
I can't believe you're already that far on your novel. That's just wonderful.
OH MARY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I just read that your brother's been published. I know how you feel ,sister. But just watch, yours will blow his outta the water!

Thanks guys, for your support. I was going to go cram my head into the oven. Now I guess I'll just have to do a re-write tonight. Or tomorrow. Don't much want to look at it right now.


John Sun Feb 18 09:03:45 PST 2001

HEATHER: Funny thing...I never made the analogy to cancer until I wrote that summary for this Notebook. I was trying to keep the summary short and still get the idea across. This is proving to be damn near impossible. You've convinced me that if I intend to keep the cancer analogy, I'll have to interview my father.(He's an expert in the field and I know virtually nothing) I guess the idea that I'm trying to convey is more of a viral spreading or something exponential. Cancer, being noncontagious, might not be appropriate unless I were to maintain that a single human body can be analgous to society as a whole. Hmmm. The book itself is filled with examples that nearly everyone can make some kind of personal identification but I sure would like to find a common thread that will grab everyone in the first couple of pages. I decided a while back that I would write the beginning of the book as my last step. Any ideas would be appreciated.

As far as talking about it, sometimes I feel like a volcano when it comes to this subject. I fear you won't be able to shut me up. I find that a little ironic. But, sure, I'm ecstatic to be able to talk about it. Living with tunnel vision is a dangerous thing when dealing with this subject. You can slap me in the face and say, "Whoa cowboy, I think yer going off the deep end here..."


Mary Sun Feb 18 08:41:51 PST 2001

hdgh gth rt krjh gelrugh wiuthg wilpowtj

Mary Sun Feb 18 08:40:54 PST 2001

My brother is published. My younger brother. Can I never win at anything? My only consolation is that it is a scientific article on Murphy's Law. Physics. I truly am happy for him.....banging my head on my keyboard.

John Sun Feb 18 08:32:11 PST 2001

I'm wondering if Howard is having problems with his new computer...Last I talked to him in the chat room, he was about to build it from scratch... That can lead to days of silence. I hope that's all it is

Debra Sun Feb 18 07:21:30 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

Thank you. I will ask those questions. I don't want to pay. I want to get paid.

As do we all.


Mary Sun Feb 18 07:07:03 PST 2001

KRU: Anytime. :-)

Good luck and have fun with it.

Kru Sun Feb 18 06:46:39 PST 2001

Mary - Thank you. Your critique is very helpful and I am most appreciative. I live in a virtual vacuum, getting to any kind of writing seminar is out of the question. But writing is the one thing that makes sense for my life. You have given me the kind of feedback I really need to improve as a writer. I cannot thank you enough.

Mary Sun Feb 18 05:51:45 PST 2001

CHRISTI: Just ran over to read your latest Phantasium story and I enjoyed it very much.

Mary Sun Feb 18 05:31:22 PST 2001

CHRISTI: There are gaping holes in my plot, but the more I get to know about my characters, the more they fill in the blanks for me. That's kinda cool. Didn't expect that. This isn't the story about the dream I had though. I couldn't take that anywhere, but saved my outline 'cuz ya neva know.

Heather Sat Feb 17 22:44:20 PST 2001

Jack, thanks for the compliment! Rebecca is on her way!

Christi - I enjoyed your P** story very much, and if you can't find the revised one then don't worry. We can fix it up later if Jack can't remove it, or just go ahead and post the newer version when you find it. I loved the description of the food on the little guy, and the description of the cremated ashes/bones on the floor. Very VIVID.

Phantasium sure is lookin' good! Thanks, everyone, for cultivating your talents in search of a few ghosts, and donating your results to P**. By cultivating, I have the image of a gardener in mind; gloved hands lovingly mixing peat moss and composted mulch into sparkling black soil; the perfect nutrition for prize-winning blooms.

And now to get back to my own cultivation.


Heather Sat Feb 17 22:34:51 PST 2001

I get it next, do I Mark? :'o

*wicked grins*

Hey, it sounded funny.

I would like very much to read 'Ender's Game', after hearing such wonderful revues!

Teekay! I got Midworld! Thanks! :o)

Tina, Holding Wonder is off Monday morning to you!!!
Sorry for the holdup, wonderful.

Christi Sat Feb 17 22:27:04 PST 2001

Hey all,
I feel majorly sorry for anyone who's gone to **P** and attempted to read my new story. Apparently I pulled a major bone-head and put the wrong version in there. I don't know how it happened and now I can't find the version that had the corrections. AHHHH! (Running around pulling my hair out)

Jack, would it be possible to take out my story from Phantasium? I'd like to re-write the corrections and repost it if I could. I would be so appreciative!

What a nonkimpoop! Hahaha. Fifty shades of red are flashing across my face. That last one was magenta. :P


Jerry Sat Feb 17 21:49:04 PST 2001

Mary LUCK - Oh and a piece of advice, never try writing a ghost story when SNL is on, makes the ghost story funny.


Mary Lou Sat Feb 17 20:59:20 PST 2001

Debra, my association with Kelly O'Donnel was several years ago. The novel that was accepted is my fourth. I'm not looking for an agent although I tried for a long time before I finally gave up. As for what to ask, the main concern is that they DO NOT CHARGE A FEE. Sometimes they charge for office expenses, but that's something to watch out for too. Although the publisher will do some publicity and marketing, I'm not sure how much. I expect to do some regional(Texas)work and have some contacts lined up. They distribute through Ingram and I think they have other distributors but don't remember who they are. Since I just signed the contract, I don't have any idea when the book will be released. (The contract allows them up to a year.) Wish I could be more helpful. Mary Lou

Christi Sat Feb 17 20:52:17 PST 2001

Mary! GOOD LUCK! How strange that we're both starting a novel at the same time! I'm still fleshing out the plotline of my first novel, and getting ready to start the writing very soon. Congrats! There must be some major creative sparks flying around here, because I feel energized every time I come! Again, good luck. I know you can do it, and do it well.

Mark, I'm really glad everyone has enjoyed EG. It's one of my most beloved books. You should read the next in the series, "Speaker for the Dead." It's extremely different than EG, but it's wonderful. Character-wise, it's better. Ender is older, and while it's hard to see the little boy Ender grow up in what seems to be a shockingly short period of time, it's truly an amazing story. (You'd think I was OSC's mother or something the way I go on.)

I thought your crit was great. I hadn't thought of several points you brought up, especially that last section on foreshadowing.

Swan, I like this poem. Why don't you introduce yourself? Have you already done that?

Happy Birthday to youuuuu, dear RICHARD!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your day and eat lots of junk food! :)

Teekay, You MUST post your ghostie; I'm dying to read it! I hope you finish up soon.

Hallee, I still haven't had time to read your story. I'll bet it's fantastic! :)

G'night peeps,


Mary Sat Feb 17 20:23:01 PST 2001

Well, I have started my first novel today. I must be really freaked out about it because I feel totally calm. That works really well for me in emergencies because I keep a very level head all the way through it and then after it is over I go to pieces. This ought to be good. (rolling my eyes here)

Wish me luck. please

Jerry Sat Feb 17 19:41:41 PST 2001

The link above gives you a taste of the local paper.

Mark Sat Feb 17 19:11:12 PST 2001

For those of you who have read "Ender's Game," I have a crit on my website. The link is above. I think the notion of a common book (or set of books) among us will help establish common lingo here. Thanks Christi for a good book. Heather gets it next.

Swan Sat Feb 17 19:01:22 PST 2001

Today I feel like an orange without a peel
My covering is folding, emotions escaping
Today I feel as if I no longer can connect
My touch with society crippled, a wreck
Today I feel like I want to crawl in my old cave
My darkness wet with alcohol and covered in weed
Today I feel like staring in the mirror
To see if I still look real

Mary Sat Feb 17 18:55:09 PST 2001

Happy Birthday Richard!!

KRU: Left you a critique on the novel workshop critique page hon.

ps....JERRY....cute dog.

Allein Sat Feb 17 17:37:19 PST 2001

Richard - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :)

Gosh I'm old - my birthday is two weeks from Monday! :O *shock*

Ramon - Is that one of those big fluffy white dogs? There's a guy who lives by me who has two huge white dogs and I think they're from Siberia, but I'm not sure.

Kru - Don't worry. This place is for writers of all subjects. :)

Jerry Sat Feb 17 17:34:40 PST 2001

Well the good news is the computer lived, it now has a brand new installation of Windows 98, and Office, so I can get back to work, I left the linux disks in the other room. I did consider making them targets for my next trip to the skeet range, but gave them a reprieve, since it is my fault for mixing pleasure with business.


Kru Sat Feb 17 16:42:53 PST 2001

Hi Group, Today I posted the first chapter of my draft of my practice novel. I haven't gotten any response yet to the posting of Chapter 2. Chapter 1 and 2 are now available for your critique. I have noticed that most of the other stories are Science Fiction. Am I in the wrong group, since my stories are not SF? I look forward to hearing from someone.

Teekay Sat Feb 17 16:05:41 PST 2001

Hi All,
RICHARD: Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
Happy biiiirthdaaaaaay dear Richard,
Happy birthday to youuuuuu.

I'm not early. It is the 18th here. Have a fantastic day won't you. :-)

HALLEE: Thanks :-)

JERRY: That link didn't work for me.
okay, that one did. Cute doggie. I had one just like it. His name is Benji (very original I know.) He went to live with some friends when the baby came along. He just didn't have the temperament to mix with babies or toddlers.

HEATHER: I loved your story too. It really stood out in my mind as well. She reminds me a little of me on very rare occassions.

That's the trouble with naming individual posts. I'm always sure to miss someone, or more.
Can't wait to see your addition to JACK's R.R.

ARIK: Hey there. I've been wondering about you. Glad to see your still in the land of the living. :-)

MARY: I love your topics too. :-)


CHRISTI: I've printed off a copy of your story and am looking forward so much to reading it.

RHODA? HOWARD? Where are you guys??

JERRY: Drat it! I was really looking forward to your next ghostie. Bloody computer!

Well, despite all my intentions to leave my ghostie until after my parents left, my muse dragged me out of the bath last night and told me if I didn't start writing he would 'smack me around the head with his wand.'
I was a bit suspicious at first, I didn't think muses had wands, but apparently they do.
So anyway, on my muses orders I sat down and wrote my ghostie, which is nothing even remotely similar to the ghostie I have been intending to write, so I guess I have at least one more ghostie story in me.

I don't really know if I like this one yet. I have to distance myself from it a bit, it's still just in my notepad, I still have to edit it onto the computer..

Fascinating how the mind works. I know what story I wanted to write, but this one just came out. You really have to marvel at the human mind.

Going now,
have a great day.
Especially you RICHARD.

Jerry Sat Feb 17 15:00:31 PST 2001

Ok, now I am mad, a bit of advice to the computer literate, never, NEVER, absolutely NEVER install Linux on the same machine you use to write, especially if there is a chance there are some bad blocks on your hard drive, because IT EATS THE HARD DRIVE and everything that is on it when it crashes.

My story for *P* was among the eaten, I am now typing on my laptop, while my computer is being reformatted, to await the re-installation of Windows 98 and Office.


Debra Sat Feb 17 14:07:26 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

Was it a one time fee or is this person your agent? Did you get to pay that person after you got paid?

I'm looking for an agent now. I sent some stuff to a person whose number I received after calling one of the numbers off the Wage page. The agency I called didnt' specialize in young adult so they gave me that number. This agent is not on the internet.

I don't know what to expect. Do you have any suggestions? Do you have any questions I should absoultey ask?

Please let me know. I'm so very scared of getting taken advantage of again.

I need a distributor for my first book, that's already out and my publisher is dragging its feet. Why? Baker and Taylor picked me up but they don't get orders. They only fill orders as they come in. I need a distributor who goes out and gets orders and works with Ingram. That's another story.


Mary Lou Sat Feb 17 13:49:47 PST 2001

Debra, the agent I paid went by the name of Kelly O'Donnell. She lives in the Catskills in NY. I think she's still doing business since I see her ad now and then in Writer's Digest.

Christie, thanks for your support. It has been a LONG HARD struggle

John Sat Feb 17 13:32:35 PST 2001

HEATHER: Oh..Ok. I didn't understand. I'll go sit in my thinkin' chair. Thanks

Christi Sat Feb 17 13:27:10 PST 2001

Well everybody, I did it! I submitted a new story to Phantasium and it only took me three days to write it. (Not WHOLE days, mind you.) Please tell me if it sucks or not. I can take it I think.

*Sigh* Wish I could write as fast as you, Hallee. Speaking of Hallee, off I go to check out her newest.

Gariess, HA! I nearly spurted coffee all over my screen. Bad boy.

John, I'm sure I read your post all wrong. It was probably a knee-jerk reaction to a few buzz-words I saw. Are you finished with your book? Where do you plan to submit it?

Jack, 'Rebecca' is lookin' good, isn't it?

Bye ya'll.


Jack Beslanwitch Sat Feb 17 12:54:21 PST 2001

Heather: Nicely done. I will try to throw some more wood on the fire as I have time, but think you have made a good start for a lively beginning.

Heather Sat Feb 17 12:06:10 PST 2001

JOHN: With a round robin like 'Rebecca', we just pick up where the last writer left off, being careful to keep the characters as they have been developed. We don't each write our own version of the whole story ourselves. You can write something that picks up from where I left off, or after the next person; writing to whatever length or place in the story you feel ready to leave off. If it's not time to reveal Rebecca's character yet, don't worry about it. There used to be an example of this type of round robin in the WB but it's been archived by Jack.


Allein Sat Feb 17 10:38:16 PST 2001

Jerry - Your dog is cute!! :)

Unlike my dog who woke us all up at 4:00 AM because she barked at the person delivering the newspaper.
Now she's outside having a staring contest with a squirrel.

gariess Sat Feb 17 09:44:18 PST 2001

I noted the discussion on who is a master and at what. It takes me back to the story about the fishing crew that were sitting in the Gloucester bar. Fred was asking about the division of duties on the boat. John explained to Fred that he, John, was the skipper because he was a master seaman. Al explained the he, Al, ran the engine because he was a master mechanic. Fred just sat there with a dumb look on his face. Finally he said, "Now I know why I'm the one who baits the hooks."


John Sat Feb 17 09:40:47 PST 2001

I've got a question about Rebecca. I've started writing about her three different times. I can't make up my mind whether she should be sweet or a mean, spiteful "glad she's gone" sort of woman. I even started something that made her out to be a roamer, affecting the lives of everyone in her path. What's everyone else's thoughts?

John Sat Feb 17 09:32:46 PST 2001

CHRISTI: Thank you for for taking the time to look at my write up. From time to time, I am tempted to post exerpts from the book, especially when they make an impactful statement. I worry that a short piece, out of context with the rest of the work, would lack the necessary background and be misinterpreted. But I'll try.

Reading what you had to say convinced me that I am unable to be as clear as I'd like about the nature of my theory in such a short summary. I'll have to work on that some more if I intend the book to get the attention I desire. I have an analogy of road-rage to morality that, I believe, sums up our moral interactions. I do not paint a rosey picture of the solution, rather, I suggest a re-evaluation of our perceptions of what "bad" is. The ten commandments give us a pretty good structure of the rudementary bad things, but the complexity comes in the "intangible bad or good" where even the people with good foundations can hurt, be judgemental to, or have lasting negative impact on the people around them unintentionally. Conversely, someone who's actions are perceived as bad may very well have a consistantly positive impact.

It's really been a fun book to write. The research has been quite a learning experience. With so many viewpoints to cram into a single idea, the task sometimes feels insurmountable.

Christi Sat Feb 17 08:44:18 PST 2001

WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry, just thought the page was getting kind of slow and needed a kick in the pants. Is everybody saving up for Thursday or something?

Gariess, That was awesome! I wish the vp character's name was Tony so I could call him Fat Tony. ;) Boy have I got a hankering for Italian food after reading your story. But then I remember what happened at the end of your story. Really great job!

Mary, I personally love your topics.
As for you shortie, your writing was terrific! It is strange that you and Eddie thought of the same subject, but so interesting to see how differently you both wrote about it.

Mary Lou, Good thoughts coming your way! You deserve them, from the sound of it. Good luck!

Debra, Your ideas sound great.

Hallee, I agree with you; Teekay IS a short story genius! She's just shy. ;)

Teekay, Thank you humbly.

Hey there Rosemary, Allein and Richard.

Heather, Your addition to Jack's round robin is wonnnnnderful!

Jerry, Your dog's adorable!

Arik, Great to see you!

Ramon, Great to see you as well.

Bye all,

RRRRAMON Sat Feb 17 02:13:04 PST 2001

Woohoo I am on again. Twice in one week can you believe it.

GAREISS: I read your addiction shorty. Whoa that is harsh
what you did to him, mind you it would make a really good chapter for a crime novel. Do you like killing your protagonists if so then I think you and I will get along just fine.

TEEKAY: I'll do you an e-mail about my POV on my creation. And I agree with you that MASH is a really cool show and that Hawkeye Pearce is the best character in it (next to Corporate Clinger - What a name).

HEATHER: Thanks you for the e-mail you sent me at work. Did I ever do a reply? No matter I have a hotmail account now and making good use of it at the wonder that is the internet cafe. Hope life is good for you and your other half.

LAURA: Where are you mate?

MARY: Hi there stranger looks like you've been busy.

BARANABAS: Hello there matey.

BEN: We haven't spoken for a long time but its good to see you're still dropping in now and again. Did I ever thank you for all the advice you gave me? Well thank you its been a big help, and I appreaciate the time you put in to write those e-mails and send them. You're a sport.

EVERYBODY: Addiction, dogs and snow. Well I guess topics of conversation couldn't get more varied, well I have a dog who is white (like snow) and is addicted to a treat called SCHAMKOS. No honest I am not joking his name is Sam and he is a breed of dog known as Samoyed; they hail from Siberia. I am delving into writing poetry at the moment so I might compose a piece about him. But not now.

Anyway I am going to work on another piece but I'll drop in a minute to see if anybody has looked in.

See Ya

Arik Sat Feb 17 00:55:05 PST 2001

Guys.... I cant belive you still remember me...
I got an e-mail from rachel, but I really dont have time to answer anything right now... I'll post here agin in 5 hours or so, and I'll tell you all about the time since desember :-)

Heather Fri Feb 16 23:51:32 PST 2001

Debra: the woman in my Addiction shortie isn't suffering from PMS. At least that wouldn't be the main concern. The character is a controlling, manipulative type, with a co-dependency problem, as well as full-blown addiction to medicinal substances. I think it's a tad worse than PMS, but, PMS has been proven in a few cases to be a good defense for murder. I don't know about you, but I've never had PMS to THAT degree. Not even close. I think my closest would be the 'I don't feel like folding socks and underwear today sighs,' and the 'I dare not shovel the driveway lest I crease my bloated abdomen syndrome'. Gee, I can't wait to see what laundry day is like after menopause.

I'll hire Alice, from the Brady Bunch, at that point.
I'll have fulfilled my lifetime quota of 'items to be folded' by then. I really hope.

Coffee break's over!

Heather Fri Feb 16 21:16:20 PST 2001

Jerry, Ren almost looks like the cartoon Ren!
Does he have the nerve fairy visiting him when his teeth fall out?


Heather Fri Feb 16 21:13:48 PST 2001

Just posted the first addition to Jack's 'REBECCA' in the workbook. Anyone care to take up where I left off? *rubbing palms together*

And now, back to our regular programming...

(For me, my novel.)

I have yet to finish my own ghostie for P**, but it'll see the light of your computer screens in the near, near future. Preferrably this weekend, if I can get this last big scene done on my chapter!

Hallee, I loved 'Magnolias'! Awesome! Who told you that short stories weren't your thing? I'll swat them with a giant fly-squisher. Oh, was it you, yourself, Hallee? Take it back, now. That's it... ever so gently. The what? Oh, sorry, I'll put the swatter down now. :)

Americo, darling three-in-one, (two-thirds cat) I am trapsing along towards the deadline, and oh! Oooh! Ahhh! The cricks in my fingers tell me I have been working hard.
You would be proud of me, even if I miss the deadline, wouldn't you?

Christi, sweet thang! Go, you frisky novelist!

HALLEE! (another note!) Millions of hyperbolic thank you's. Yes, the basement has been dry now since last Saturday evening, and no recurrance yet. The ground was frozen when we were pounded with two days of almost-freezing rain last week, so I am hoping, feverishly hoping, that the rest of the winter season will not reach such dreary, waterlogged heights. I shall look into the drainage solution as soon as possible. Pray for a slow melt for our snow!
:o)))) (how's that for a lot of smiles)
No, it's not supposed to look like quadruple chins!

Richard, nice to see you back... were you busy with schoolwork?

Great shorties this week. Mary, I thought it was neat that you and Eddie both used the visual description of the blood against the white sink. Excellent job of creating vivid imagery, both of you. Bravo!

Jerry Fri Feb 16 20:40:17 PST 2001

Ok, lets try that one more time, dang persnikity internet.

Jerry Fri Feb 16 20:33:26 PST 2001

All this talk about dogs, click the web page link above and see who takes care of me all day, every day. He insures that I am out of bed in the morning, that I get plenty of exercise during the day, what with letting him outside and back in several times. He lets me know when the mail man comes, the UPS man, the Schwann man, and anyone else that should happen by. In the summer he insures that at least once a day, I get to walk around the block, holding onto his leash, and insures that I am in bed by 11:00 pm. (He fakes an "I gotta go out" and when I get out of my chair, he jumps in it, and makes himself ready for bed.)


PS I celebrate because today the ISP got it right, pages now load properly at a fairly good clip, and I can, at last, get to the emulator page that has been impossible to load since the big switch to 56K.

Allein Fri Feb 16 19:20:20 PST 2001

Hey everyone!! Chapter 21 of Mali and Azol is going up on my webpage tonight!
((((BIG HUGS)))) all around!

Rosemary Fri Feb 16 19:06:28 PST 2001

Hi there,

Why is everyone making me stay out at the garden gate? I haven't been especially bad. It's winter people. Rain, Snow, Sleet, Hail, all that stuff. Not here of course, but mostly where all of you are.

Finally got around to catching up on *P* and there is some good stuff in there. Amazing what notebookers can produce without threats and bullying.

I'm out-a-here for tonight.


Hallee Fri Feb 16 15:48:58 PST 2001

TEEKAY: I wasn't being sarcastic. Your ghost stories send that chill up your spine and stick in your head. That is what I mean - you're a master at that. Okay - never mind. I'll stop.

MARY: I can do passion - I'm good at passion.


Mary Fri Feb 16 15:08:04 PST 2001

JACK: I keep rosemary by my garden gate, add pepper to my mashed potatoes and fall in love more every day. I don't plant roses and I can't keep lavendar growing to save my life, but three out of four isn't bad. Hope all is well with you and Fran.

Eddie French Fri Feb 16 15:07:52 PST 2001

Strange how we both highlighted the contrast of the red blood and the white china sinkware. I have not found that aspect in my research. I put it in just for color. Now I'm not sure if maybe that image isn't part of the issue. The troubled mind is so complex.

Mary Fri Feb 16 14:54:48 PST 2001

Okay, it is almost 6pm and I have just now gotten back to finish all of the shorties and I must say, wow. Seems that addiction really struck a chord in some of us. EDDIE: Here I was thinking I was being original and creative and you had written about the same topic already. I am the cheap knock-off it seems. Good for you.

Apparently some of you think that my topics are downers, so I will indeed come up with something light and airy for next week. Will be like spring cleaning. (Just for the record, I didn't suggest horror. I don't even remember horror being one of the themes. I must be losing my mind.) :-)

Ok, I think I've got it. How 'bout if, for next Thursday, we all write a true story about our writing life? Could be funny, could be inspiring...our own Chicken Soup for the Notebook's Soul, if you will. If you don't want to write about that, the alternate theme is PASSION.

Cowboy Up!

Teekay Fri Feb 16 14:42:12 PST 2001

I knew I'd forgotten something.

DEBRA: Thank you for the thought, but it's to much hassle to work out the exchange rate and the shipping and blah, blah, blah.
I went into the shop yesterday and made sure that they were going to order it, but thanks for the offer. :-)

Teekay Fri Feb 16 14:37:53 PST 2001

Great shorties everyone. Jolly well done I say.

JOHN: I can't believe the guy left the kids!! I'm shocked. Is that what you were going for? Shock value?
Very emotive. I feel that guy needs to be beaten around the head with a big heavy stick!

GARIESS: Oh that was sooo good. What a loveable thicko that character is!

MARY: Original and excellent as usual.

CHRISTI: Wonderful insight on an illness that people feel is a conscious decision rather than a sickness.

EDDIE: Same. I once nursed a girl like that and it was amazing how there were people who were so scornful of what she was doing.
For attention they said, but by God, if you need to do something like that for attention, you have one major problem, right?

RACHEL: Very insightful and I thought the ending was very true and very well done.

All the others are fantastic too, these are the ones that just stood out in my brain today. I thoroughly enjoyed each and everyone of them.

HALLEE: The Master???? grhemephhe *snort* *snort* grmphle.
Ya Think!?!?!?!
I don't feel like 'The Master.'
I don't think I want to be 'The master'. Too much responsibility, too much to live up too.
But thanks anyway.
Wait! Maybe it would be good to be 'The Master'.
I think it's a case of the emperors clothes, and you're the emperor. :-)
Or maybe you're being sarcastic. :-)

MARY: How far into the book are you. It's very insightful. You can see now where and why he moved on from the horror stage.
How's the door coming along?

TINA: My thoughts are with you.

BEN: Sounds like an idea.


Hallee Fri Feb 16 13:36:35 PST 2001

Howdy all! Happy Friday!!

TEEKAY: I humbly thank you...especially considering the fact that you, my dear friend, are the master. I hope one day you compile all your ghost stories and get them submitted somewhere. Of course, what I really wanted to do was keep going, create a love affair between the cop and the girl, create the conflict that he would have being in love with a young socialite and have them end up living happily ever after in the mansion on the beach, but you'll notice my restraint in ending the story. Hahaha.

TINA: I hope you're doing okay, honey. I've been thinking about you and praying for you.

ALL: Great shorties. Uh, Mary, could we maybe do something light this Thursday? Horror and addiction have filled my quota of dark for the year. (NOT that I'm complaining...but I don't like dark. I like happy.) Ugh - that sounds so terrible.

HEATHER: Are you dry yet?

Okay - hot date with the husband tonight. I must get everything done so I can leave right at 5:00.


Debra Fri Feb 16 13:34:54 PST 2001


The thing is the first book is supposed to warn them of the things boys will say and how it will make them feel.

They will hear these things long before they have permission to even have a boyfriend. I know because I try to keep my 12 year old daughter close at all times. But she wants to do more and more things that don't include me. She wants to go to the mall tomorrow without me. It will be the first time. The thing is she will hear boys say these things. So she has to know it now.


She won't be able to have a real boyfriend until she is older. She won't be in a situation that she needs to know about the horrors of an abusive relationship until it is almost upon her. Also I don't want to jade her. You know what I mean? Plus if she doesn't understand how it happens she won't see the importance of the imformation.

It's kind of like timing. Well it is all about timing. You can't really appreciate the information until you need it.

I hope that helps.

The mothers would buy all three at once and it would be up to them when they hand them out.

It's still in the dream stage even though all three books are fully written.

I need an agent. I finally admit it.

I am activly pursuing one now.


Rachel Fri Feb 16 13:31:09 PST 2001

Garries - Hugs.

Debra Fri Feb 16 13:26:32 PST 2001


Would you like me to send you one.

You could just send my publisher a check and I would send you one signed. Make sure you tell them it is for a book you arleady received. The last time I sent the book and then sent another one so I was out a copy and lost all my money. I still owe them for that one. We are arguing about it.

I would be happy to.

Let me know.


Richard Fri Feb 16 13:25:27 PST 2001

Schools out! Whoohooo.


A sudden flash
An ugly thought
A chapter of feeling
In a passing moment

Want it out
Gotta get it out of my head
Knot of frustration
Point of pain

Debra :: The series idea is good, but do you think someone whose read book 1 will not read book 2 because its supposed to be inappropriate? I get a lot of stick from my freinds about not being able to watch 18 films - my parents are very protective about that sort of thing. I'm just saying that someone who likes book 1 will want book 2, and not want to wait until they're older. Especially if they devour books in under a day like me!

We did World War poetry in Year 8, then again this year. We saw a documentary called 'Letters from the Trenches'. The commentary came entirely from soldiers letters, being read while images of the war pertaining to the letter's content where displayed. It was shocking and very sad. Unfortunately we got kind of 'hardened' to it as we were made to watch it three times over and take down notes etc. There were some great quotes in there though. One was really scary - the diary or letter entry was that of a nurse who had voluunteered to go out to France, and she said something along the lines of, 'but one cannot help but think that this is human nature, and there will be another great war, on an even larger scale, # years from now' - sorry I forgot the number (never was good with dates) but it was pretty accurate! The other one was when they were going onto the ships, all merry, excited and full of gusto about going off to fight in the 'glorious' war. Someone shouted down from the boat, "Are you dishearted?" Everyone shouted back, "NO!".

His reply was, "Then you bloody well will be."

Oh well - a whole free week to write and draw and wonder who on earth I really am.

Rachel Fri Feb 16 13:21:50 PST 2001

Allein - Yup, we got some of the white stuff. Right now it looks more like rain than snow, but we had some very pretty snow earlier today. Zoe passes on a message for Pepper "Woof, arf and a short bow wow." Apparently Pepper will know what that means (grins). I hope its nice...
Take care you,

Teekay Fri Feb 16 13:20:58 PST 2001

Morning All,

BARNABAS: I've been thinking about your robot prose and I have decided that it was a perspective thing. I was coming to it from the 27+? point of view, where my robots are like the ones from 'lost in space', 'the Jetsons' and 'star wars.'
I guess to the younger generation robots are immediately pictured as Arnie in the terminator, and painter in that case is a very accurate title.
Stepping into the world of new and modern robotics, your story was very good and I like the analogy too.
If you were sending this off to a sci-fi magazine, you probably wouldn't need to make anything clearer at all, because everybody who reads them would have the same perception on robots as you.

HALLEE: Who eeee. Now next time you tell any one of us that you can't write a ghost story, we'll all be lining up to give you a slap up the side of the head. Well done girly!

DEBRA: I rang the bookshop yesterday, and it turns out that they HAVEN'T EVEN ENQUIRED ABOUT THE ORDER!!!! I found this out coz the guy on the end of the phone forgot to cover the mouth piece when he was talking to someone else there.
When he got back on the phone to tell me they hadn't heard back from them yet, I told him that I'd heard everything and that if he was going to do that, he should really cover the mouth piece first.
Boy, was I pissed. Not with him, but with the fool that took the order in the first place. Especially as I went in last week to see how it was all going and the thickheaded woman told me 'don't worry, we'll ring you .'
This is the 3rd time I've enquired about your book.
It's definitely on order now though.

Gotta post this so I can catch up with all the long shorties.

I'm going to take a rain check on my ghostie. My Mum and Dad are leaving next week and I want to spend this time with them while I can.

Debra Fri Feb 16 12:16:37 PST 2001

Note to husband who likes to check my favorites, especially my writersnotebook.

No I do not release air from you know where.

So you can spend the another two decades trying to catch me but you never will!


Debra Fri Feb 16 11:48:18 PST 2001


By the way I have a dog named Pepper too.

I also have one named Max.

Pepper is a Yorkie.

Max is a wheaton Scottish Terrier.

Two dogs, five kids and one husband.

Debra Fri Feb 16 11:42:43 PST 2001


I just saw it. I really liked it. Especially when you consider chocolate is one of my vices. See I don't consider it an addition when I have no intention of giving it up ever.

I do understand the unwraping like an animal. My husband has never seen me do that though. In fact I have my husband convinced I don't do a lot of things one of them is release air from you know where. If you know what I mean.

He has spent nearly two decades trying to catch me doing that. Of course this has nothing to do with chocolate now does it?

Great story.


Allein Fri Feb 16 11:23:44 PST 2001

Debra - You missed my shortie, but that's ok, 'cause it sucked. But, I'm going to write another snow-related shortie, then take Pepper out for a walk. :)

Debra Fri Feb 16 10:18:30 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

You have my good thoughts. I did the same thing. What's the name of the publisher that took you?

What's the name of the publisher you have now?

Did they say they usually don't take unsolicited work?

I wish you a lot of luck

I just sent another manuscript to an agent yesterday. I sent it overnight. He has it now.

I'm trying to get a series published all at once and packaged together. They are three small books but would be great packaged together. They are young adult books.

The first one is out now. It is called Sweetie here's the best reason on the planet to say no to your boyfriend.

It tells girls of the begging and pleading for sex that they will be faced with with they first start to spend time alone with a boy.

I have two more that go with it. The thing is each one has information that in inappropriate for them at certain ages. The first one has to be given when they are 12 and up. Wait until they are 16 and it may be a little too late.

The second one is inapproiate until they are 16. That one disects the abusive relationship It is meant to get a girl out of an abusive relationship and also to give a girl all the information she will need to recognize one if she ever gets into one. So it's best as a preventative book.

The third on is inapproiate until they are 18. It's all the stuff you need to tell them but they are sitting in the car with their bags packed and the car is in reverse. The problem is they are short and concentrated. I don't want to dilute my message with fluff.


Mary Lou Fri Feb 16 09:58:24 PST 2001


No, I don't have an agent. After I had written my first two novels, which are sequels and still unpublished, I paid a fee to be represented. Needless to say, I got took! She didn't do anything except keep asking for more money, which I refused to pay, and I finally demanded to void the contract. Since then I have done a lot of searching but had no luck. I submitted Tarnished Honor a few times and did get lucky. (It is my fourth novel, by the way.) Just hope it comes out in the fall as I have several book signings lined up. I did a tremendous amount of research and was invited back to the sites when the book gets published. Hold good thoughts for me.

Debra Fri Feb 16 07:35:42 PST 2001


I just love that story. Everything we do has an effect on someone. It doesn't have to be someone we love either.

The sad part is the cleaning lady is the lucky one. Her problem ends in just under a minute when she is finished cleaning the mirror.

It's like I tell my kids when they are confronted with bullies. You're angry and hurt, but when it passes you will be fine they will still be all messed up. You're the lucky one. I know I have to tell them over and over so they will really know it. I never waste an opportunity.

Great story.


Mary Fri Feb 16 07:22:30 PST 2001

Good Friday Morning to everyone where it isn't Saturday already. Good Saturday Morning to everyone who had Friday yesterday.

I haven't yet read any of the shorties from last night because I wanted to get mine pasted in here before too long. I did write it last night, but couldn't get online for some freak reason. So, here it is(not exactly an addiction, more an obsession, or impulsion):

"Damn, this bitch uses a hell of a lot of hair spray," Rita said.
"Well, I cleaned it last week. Your turn."
"It's like she stands here and sprays it all over the mirror on purpose."
"Maybe she just hates you, Rita. Yeah, that's it. She stands here in her big-time office and thinks of ways to piss off the cleaning ladies."
The two women finished up and left the office.
After all these years Carrie was finally able to look the clerk in the eye as she handed over the bills and change for the yellow plastic slide case of double-edged razor blades. Nobody would guess what she wanted them for. Nobody would care if they did. She left the drugstore feeling calm and slipped them into her pocket.

Back at her office she collected the messages from her secretary, barely listening to his monotone account of what was expected of her that day. He was still rambling when she closed her door behind her, shutting him out. She needed the lift,and absent-mindedly fingered the plastic case in her pocket, loving the familiar rattle of the blades. The blood in her ears started humming just at the thought of it and she latched the door. She stood there for a moment, with her back leaning hard against the door, and then pushed off with her hips, taking slow steady strides toward the tiny little bathroom in her office.

The cool white porcelain of the sink practically smiled at her and she ran her fingers along the edge of it. She caught her reflection in the mirror and quickly took the bottle of hair spray from the counter and sprayed the mirror with it, distorting her image. Breathing in the fumes she rolled up her sleeves. Her heart pounded in her ribs as she slid open the case and pulled out one of the oil covered blades. The steel glinted as she turned it over and over in front of her face. She hesitated no further, but brought the blade to her arm, and with the skill of a surgeon, perforated her skin. Two parallel cuts about an inch long dropped full-blown red roses onto the white porcelain and the adrenaline coursed. She fought to keep her breathing slow, fought to keep her eyes open. Fought 'til she shook, then turned the cold water on, letting it run over her arm sending candy-striper swirls of blood down the drain. She sat on her heels with her arm still in the sink and gradually the flow stopped. Her breathing came back to normal, and she felt clean. The same high she used to get from running, the same clarity.

"Dammit, she did it again. You aren't telling me she ain't doin this on purpose."
"Rita, you are a friggin nut case."
"Well, I cleaned it up last week. Your turn."

Debra Fri Feb 16 07:11:34 PST 2001

Well I didn't write a shortie on addiction. I am still sick I was lucky to squeeze out one the other day. I can say I used to be addicted to the idea of being in love. That was in my teen years. I didn't feel alive unless I knew there was someone I thinked I loved. Not a lot has changed since then.


The big lug. Well at least he had a last meal.


You wouldn't have wanted to be hear last week. We ran out of salt and kept on forgetting to buy it when we went to the store. We don't buy it much. I need my salt.


I guess your shortie makes me want to say you should watch out what you wish for. You might get it.


I'm glad I didn't have a drinking addiction. I know I wouldn't have the courage to overcome it. Your story was really moving.


I had heard many times about the cutting of one's self. I never thought of the senses being alive in just that way. I will never think about that subject in the same way again. Thanks.


It was so say your story. Such loss. Such depths. Hopelessness has got to be the bottom. I fear what could be below that.

If I missed anyone let me know. There was a group of people I got yesterday.


Allein Fri Feb 16 07:06:54 PST 2001

Hi All,
There's six to eight inches of the white stuff out there! And it's still falling. I feel a snow-related short story coming on. There's no school today for me or my brother. Four day weekend! YAY! Tamago! Tamago!

"What is a wedding. Websters defines it as the process of removing weeds from ones yard or garden."
- Homer Simpson

gariess Fri Feb 16 02:42:09 PST 2001


Hello, Barnabas. Welcome to this nightmare we call the Notebook.

Welcome all newbs. Glad to see you all.

Tina, dear. I look forward to seeing you back to your old self. I am so sorry for your loss. There have been so many, lately. It has been a bit overwhelming.


Gariess Fri Feb 16 02:34:28 PST 2001

Addiction Shorty

Did you ever have a small pizza and it just wasn't enough? You see, I've been in this Pizza place over an hour. The Boss and Joey dropped me off here on the way to the job. I don't know why I get this part to do, but I got planted here so somebody could wait for Tony Samola to come in for his order. Tony calls it in every night around seven and he takes it to his house. After him and his wife eat, he goes down to the Palermo and has a cigar and a some chianti. Then He's ready to go back to the store.

Those two were pretty cross when they left here, The boss and Joey. You would think I did something wrong or whatever. "You watch for that bum," the boss says. "And don't you screw up. Soon as he hits the sidewalk with that dinner order, you call me on the cell phone. I want to know just how long we got so we can clean that high price stuff out of the strore room. We got it figured to twent-two minutes from the time you call. So don't you start feeding your face and forget what your here for." Then he tells Irene not to bring me anything. Like he's my padrone or somethin'.

Joey says maybe I should sit in the car across the street and watch so I can't order food. What a Patooze that Joey is. The boss says that would give me more chances to screw up and miss Tony. So here I am. It's after seven and I ain't seen Tony yet. That's why somebody's got to be here. Can't tell for sure exactly when he get's here, but it's always around seven. I been keepin' my eye glued right to that counter from here. Here comes Irene with my meatball sub. "Thank's Irene, put it right down here. Yeah, I wanted the cheese on it. Tell you what though, it looks like it could use a little more, but just bring me the bottle of parmesan and I'll sprinkle some of that on it. Good girl, Irene."

Like I said before, Those small Pizzas ain't enough to fill a man up. I know I said I was gonna polish it off and I'd be all set, but a couple minutes later that big hole in the middle is right back, you know what I mean, and they talk about Chinese food being like that. Well, that's true too. I like Chinese food, but me and Rosie usually get a few different cartons, you know. That way you get a little of everything. That's the thing with Chinese. The fun is eating all the different stuff. But like I was sayin,' It don't fill you up for long.

So what is it now, about quarter past, huh? Looks like Tony is takin' his sweet time tonight. If he's gonna be this late, I better get Irene to bring me a couple of Canolis. "HEY IRENE, BRING ME A COUPLE CANOLIS, WILL YOU. AND SOME FRESH COFFEE. I DON'T WANT NONE OF THAT COOKED DOWN STUFF." Boy, they got great food here. That was a good meatball sub. They make all their own sauce and stuff right here, no bottled or canned stuff. The old lady makes everything right in the back, there. The Lasagne is the best in town. "Hey, thanks Irene. Say, You ain't seen Tony Samola tonight, have you?"

"Yeah, Tony was here. He came right to the counter, like he always does. I would of thought you seen him. He got his order and left. Why, Didjoo wanna talk to him?

"He was, damn! How long ago, shit, I wasn't supposed to miss him."

"It was right around seven, his usual time, about twenty minutes ago."

Yeah, okay, damn, now the Boss is gonna be really crabby, He's probably gonna blame me for missing Tony. I could call him now I guess, 'cause it's gonna be just about time. Maybe I better let it go for now. He's only gonna be mad at me, and it won't do no good botherin' him when he's really busy.

You know, the boss has been cross a lot lately. Seems almost like he got a grudge or somethin' but I don't know what its about. He don't say nothin' much, you know what I mean? Like last week he said we gotta have a little talk sometime, but he don't say when. He just says sometime, and he's got that sulky look and walks away. Three or four times last week he said that, the same thing every time. We gotta have a talk, soon, and always that scowly look like he don't like me, no more. I don't know. "Oh, that looks great Irene, Get me a glass of water too, will you.

Well anyway, that's the best Tiramisu in the neighborhood. I'd get another one of these, just cause they're that good tonight, but I figure I better give the boss a call about now...... "Hello, boss, guess what. Tony got by me in here tonight. Came in through the kitchen to get his stuff, so I never got to see him. Irene told me about it, but it was way too late..... Oh you did, huh. Is Joey okay.....? In the leg and in the chest? And you got nothin.....? Well, that's good then..... You say you got the fix in so Joey is gonna be taken care of off the record, well that's good. Those Hospitals, you know how they always want to meddle around with the law when they get gunshot cases....."

He ain't sayin' nothin, now, the Boss. Just holdin' the phone. I bet he's sulking again, I can hear it in his voice.

"So, Boss, whatta you gonna do now. You gonna pick me up here, or should I get a cab and come down there.....? Come down there, Okay. What's that....? We're gonna have that talk, now? Okay.... Were gonna take a ride too, huh.....? Okay, I'll see you in about ten minutes. What's that? No I don't need nothin to eat..... Thanks Boss, but I already took all the time I need here, No, I don't need nothin' to eat. I'll be right there.

Christi Thu Feb 15 23:56:18 PST 2001

Just got back from a date with my hubby and I'm so exhausted my eyeballs are on fire. But still I had to come here to read all the latest shorties. How's that for addiction? Teekay, you said it best!
If I make no sense or I miss anyone, please understand.

Hallee, A mini-romance all in a neat little package. Coolness! (I know I sound like a kid when I say that, but sometimes it just fits.)

Ben, At first I thought you were speaking in metaphor, so it took me a while before I caught on. I liked your writing.
I like the idea of collaboration, but I've always been terrified of it. I guess I'm scared that I'll screw it up or something. (That's probably why I haven't added to Jack's round robin yet.) Anyway, throw it out there and we'll see if something sticks!

Debra, Thanks! Yes, it was fiction but parts were from real life. It's the way I think most people write; fiction with echoes of truth. :) I hope I don't sound like a man-hater. Guess I have been kind of hard on the boys in some of my more recent contributions. I love the menfolk! Can't imagine a world without testosterone.

Hey, Richard!

Allein, I know how you feel! Chocolate ... drool, slobber.

Heather, Your shortie was great! I couldn't get my mind off the little girl though; I'm still concerned about her. What happens to the little girl?!

John, That was quite a ride.

Teekay, Ambassador School ... hahahahahaha!
I loved your shortie! So true, so true!

Eddie, Thanks so much. And you're positively right about the causal incident. I re-read it and can see that I was quite vague there. I had it in mind that she'd been attacked by a serial rapist. It's funny how sometimes you get a thing in your head so strongly that you assume that everyone else can read your mind!

Hey Rache! How incredibly poignent your story was. And the way you ended it wasn't as horrific as I'd envisioned. Nice!

Rosemary, Ha! Another cool one! Oh man, if my hubby was responsible for taking away my sugar he'd be a dead man. Fortunately for him he keeps me well supplied.

Mark, I was just wondering where you were. Thank you for sharing a very real addiction. {{{HUGS}}}

Rhoda, That was sad! Did she get all her zits from eating too much chocolate? :( Poor thing.

Sleepy time. Love to all.


Allein Thu Feb 15 22:16:45 PST 2001

Rachel - Are you getting any snow up where you are? There's white stuff falling here. Pepper is confused. She's sniffing at it and tasting it trying to figure out what it is.

Jerry - I will try posting more funnies. Yours made me laugh. :)

"I smoked before...when I was ten, I smoked four cigarettes, my dad caught me and I quit cold turkey."
- Apollo San (From M&A)

Rhoda Thu Feb 15 21:01:05 PST 2001


Roxanne frowned at her reflexion in the mirror. She had an important meeting today with vice presidents and here was her face broken out in half a dozen zits. She applied her make-up as well as she could, but no amount of blemish cream was going to hide the disaster that was her face.

She had control over this problem. She could stop eating chocolate. Of course she could muster up the will-power. She colored her eyes and ended her toilet with lip-stick. She was ready to go.

At the door to her apartment, she picked up her lap-top and folders and walked out to her car. As was her habit she pulled down the sunshield and inspected herself in the little vanity mirror. Acne covered her face from her forehead to her chin. She looked like hell and no amount of makeup was going to change that.

Tears fell from her eyes and smudged her eye-liner. The day had hardly begun, and already it was a disaster. All she wanted to do was get out of her car, go back into her apartment and hide in bed the rest of the day. The idea of going into work looking like this sickened her. But the meeting was important. It was much too late to cancel. She had no choice; she had to carry through with her day. But how?

She grabbed her purse and sorted through it. Used Kleenx, grocery receipts, loose change, flew through the air as she searched for those little goodies she needed in order to go on. She despised herself for being so depended on this crutch. Persperation broke out on her brow, her breath came out in gasps. Could she have run out? No! Surely not. Cold chills engulfed her as panic set in. She was already late for work. She did not have time to stop and get more.

She emptied her purse out onto the passenger seat and dug through the debris. She saw a brown wrapper. Could it be? She seized the wrapper and there it was. She sobbed with relief. All would be well. She tore opened the wrapper and
poured the M &M's into her hand and stuffed them into her mouth.


I too suffer from that addiction.


Jerry Thu Feb 15 20:45:39 PST 2001

Mark - I lived much of what you said, but I lived it from the age of 15 until I married at 18. I thank God that I found a good woman who understood the illness, and offered support so I could stop drinking.

Growing up in an alcoholic family, I learned very early what the results of drinking lead to, when we were children, my cousin and myself often discussed growing up, we decided that to be a man, you must be able to drink whisky straight up from the bottle, and shoot a high power rifle, prefferably at a deer, and hit it. Smoking was also on our list, and by the time we were 14 or 15, we had done all but the shooting, and we did that when we were 15, taking two does from my cousins farm out of season. We gutted them, like real hunters and drug them home to his fathers grainery.

Such things should never happen to anyone, (growing up in such a situation) but they still go on today, well I can't say for sure, as I rarely ever get out anymore, but up till the day I quit the PD, they were still going on, and I have no doubt that they happen on an all to regular basis even now.


Jerry Thu Feb 15 20:27:35 PST 2001

Allien = I miss your funneys so much, just had to post this one, in memorium:

Is it OK to use the AM radio after noon?
What do chickens think we taste like?
What do people in China call THEIR good plates?
When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
Why do they sterilise the needle for lethal injections?
Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor when you can't drink and drive?
Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?
Why is the word "dictionary" in the dictionary?
Why are cigarettes sold at gas stations where smoking is prohibited?
Have you ever imagined a world without hypothetical situations?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes, why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
If a firefighter fights fire and a crimefighter fights crime, what does a freedomfighter fight?
If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, how do they get baby oil?
If you are driving at the speed of light and you turn your headlights on, what happens?
What would Geronimo say if he jumped out of an airplane?
Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Mark Thu Feb 15 20:22:40 PST 2001

I came to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as I had been living it only by looking back at the increasingly desolate history of my addiction.

In the last week of my drinking, I worked only one day. I spent two days shivvering in my basement room. I watched things crawl on the walls even though I knew they weren't there. I knew it would all be better if I could just get over the shakes and get a bottle of whiskey. On the third day of shaking, sick hallucinations, I knew it would all be better if I could just stay off the whiskey. I went to find somebody who would appreciate that.
Rosemary Thu Feb 15 19:23:40 PST 2001


I absolutely identify with your shorty. I have been visiting the Notebook almost from the very beginning about five or more years ago. A lot of lurking and lately more posting. If that's not addiction, not much else is.

Write on,

Rosemary Thu Feb 15 19:15:07 PST 2001

Hello there all,

This is my shortie for this week.


Christina stared up into the cool depth of the big simmering red sun. "How much longer will it be?" She looked down, and her accusing stare made Ronald wince.

"I told you I was sorry. It was an accident."

"How much longer till the supply ship comes?"

Ronald bit his lip and took a deep breath. "Three twenty-day periods."

A small wounded sound came from the middle of Christina's body. "You're sure no one else can spare any?"

A seven foot tall, bright orange plant covered in long blue spines waddled past the miserable couple. It swayed politely in their direction. Ronald swayed back and added an arm wave for good measure.

"Wasn't that Orakeu?" Christina still had trouble telling the natives apart. "Maybe we could try again to get him to let us plant at least beets or cain."

Roland's head shook in negation. "We've tried over and over. They were so horrified the first time we suggested planting vegetables to eat, they almost ordered us off the planet." He gazed after the receding back of the native. "Try telling them you want to grind up what they would consider relatives just to sweeten your tea."

Tears coursed down Christina's face. She turned and whacked him on the arm. "I can't work, I can't sleep. It's your fault, you clumsy oaf. We're three-hundred light years from the nearest sugar and you drop the last bag into a sink full of dirty dish water." She stomped away from him toward their plastiformed hut.

Roland's shoulders slumped. He ran his hand through his hair and said to no one in particular, "It's going to be a long sixty days."

This sounds like a frivilous addiction, but I have had to give up sugar a few times, and you really don't want to be around me at that time. I'd rather give up coffee.


Debra Thu Feb 15 19:07:28 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

By the way, thanks for the title.

I'm interested already.

Do you have an agent?

I'm just now trying to get one.

I give up trying to do it on my own.


Allein Thu Feb 15 18:11:46 PST 2001

Eddie - Cool! :) Thank you.

Rachel Thu Feb 15 17:59:17 PST 2001

Hi guys,

I'll give fair warning. This story has some langauge that could be considered offensive to some.


The bells on the door jingled letting her know that a customer had entered the store. She set aside the story she had been working on, looked up and offered a warm smile of greeting. The smile on her face didn’t waver in the least when her eyes took in the sight of the rain drenched junkie. There had been a time when such a sight would have alarmed her. That time had come and gone. She had been working in this area for months, nothing much alarmed her at this point.
When the grime smudged, scrap of humanity rasped out her name, now that did alarm her. It set off all kinds of alarms.
The smile had now left her face. It was replaced by a faint frown of apprehension as she asked him what she could do for him, if he needed help.
He reached a hand up and removed his ball cap that had shadowed most of his face from the eyes of those who would have bothered to look.
“Rich!” Her tears were instant, “Oh my God, Richard.” She was around the counter and across the room in seconds. Her arms closed around him, drawing his to thin body into a protective embrace. Words failed her for a few moments as she held fast to her childhood friend. When she regained her composure she draw back, “So you’re all fucked up again?”
“Again, still, for ever. I can’t shake this...” His voice wavered and fell away, tears filled his eyes.
“You have to stop. It’s going to kill you.”
“Do you think I don’t know that.” His anger was like a flash, it came and was gone just as quickly.
“I’m going to die.”
“Fuck you,” was all she could think of to say.
“I’m sorry.”
“Fuck you. Get out of here.” She was crying again.
“I wanted to say good-bye.”
“I can’t live anymore.”
“Please don’t.”
“I’m sorry.”
“If you do this I’m not going to your funeral.”
“I’m glad. I don’t want you to do that. How about you celebrate my life instead of my death. Could you do that for me? You’re about the only person who can remember me before. The only person who could think of something to celebrate.”
“You can beat this.”
“I can’t.”
“You can.”
“You don’t understand.”
“No I don’t.” Her shoulders slumped in defeat. She knew his mind was made up. “When?”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
We exchanged a few more strangely casual pieces of conversation. Shared a few laughs about the things we used to do. Then he turned and walked out of the store.
A couple of weeks later she received a phone call to tell her that he had taken his life. She didn’t cry that day. She had cried her tears all ready, had cried for him for years. It wasn’t what he would have wanted from her or for her. In a way his death really was cause for celebration. He had taken back his life the only way he knew how. He had beaten his addiction. Sure, there are people who would say that he didn’t beat anything, that he was beaten. She didn’t see it that way, neither did he.

Hallee Thu Feb 15 17:46:44 PST 2001

Ben: You're on. I got a basic idea just reading your post. I'll wait until after shorty night, though. Everyone has enough to read tonight.


Eddie French Thu Feb 15 17:14:05 PST 2001

I presume that you mean Mali & Azol.
I hve downloaded a couple of chapters and I will get back to you when I get a chance to read some more.

John Thu Feb 15 17:01:04 PST 2001

That's me again down there with no name or nuthin'

Thu Feb 15 16:59:17 PST 2001

HEATHER: Our lives are volatile. We rarely know the hand we're dealt. Unfortunately, the kids are the ones who suffer greatest. They carry it with them and you can see it in their actions through adulthood. While we are busy learning our lesson, they're paying for it.

John Thu Feb 15 16:53:50 PST 2001

ROSEMARY: Actually, I'm guilty of an offense. My addiction piece was poorly written. Because it was a true story, it probably needed to be reinforced with all the background including the time following the walkout. To be honest I was in a hurry and massacred what is actually a very sad and interesting story. I guess I owe everyone the long version.
To give even more validity to your statement... It would have been better if he stole the kids rather than lose them in court.

Heather Thu Feb 15 16:41:05 PST 2001

John - I've been the one leaving; but the couple in the story is actually based on a couple that I know. I try to be a good friend, but there's only so much I can do. No matter how much I advise, listen, or come to the rescue, they aren't going to change by my will. If only!
I had hoped my own experience in this sort of crap-filled 'relationship' would help them to see their own situation more clearly, but alas, I feel useless. It was years ago for me, before I had any children.
I couldn't imagine kids in that sort of home.



Rosemary Thu Feb 15 16:16:30 PST 2001

Hi there you all,

I'm in the process of reading the shorties and JOHN's is the first one that really hit me. My first thought after finishing it was, "No woman writer would ever walk out and leave the kids in that mess, no matter who's point of view the story was from." Made me wonder if that was a basic difference between the minds of men and women.

Ok, I finished reading. There are a lot of powerful stories here. This subject brought out the talent in a number of our writers. BUT, Please, MARY---choose a more cheerful subject next time. I'm going to have nightmares tonight and I have enough trouble sleeping without that.

I'm still going to try to write a shorty before the night is over. So probably be back this evening. (After Survivor) Love to hate those sleezy people.


Allein Thu Feb 15 16:07:03 PST 2001

I like the shorties I'm seeing today, by the way. I'm going to try and get into this more but I need more time than just a day's notice to come up with something really good. Looking back on my shortie, it's not that good, though true to my life, however. My only other addictions are coffee and ER. That reminds me...ER is on tonight. YAY!!!

PS: Eddie - your shortie has inspired me to put a little more detail into my character's life and to how he is, because I feel that he's a bit vague. I don't know if you've read my story (not many people have), but if you have the time I would like to hear your opinion because you're a much more experienced writer than I am and I'm very eager to learn how I can improve.

Bye bye! :)

Eddie French Thu Feb 15 15:26:08 PST 2001

So true.
I have seen that happen so many times. I have friends who have gone through that sort of trouble. I have been the shoulder that gets cried upon.
You described it just the way it happens (speeded up a little, I know. But it was a shorty after all)
Well done

At first I thought it was going somewhere else. Extremely well written. Perhaps a bit more revelation on the causal incident. Gripping!.

Poignant, a tale all too real and all too common. The Northern/Canadianish setting makes it so convincing. Your first shortie. Well done.

You are right of course. Addiction can be fun. I enjoyed the change of pace.

Colourful as usual. I enjoy what you write, no matter what. You embody the American way of life. You have lived it.

More later, if I can.

Debra Thu Feb 15 15:11:43 PST 2001


You hit a nerve with your shortie.

Do you have a camera in my room?


Debra Thu Feb 15 15:10:15 PST 2001


I don't know anything you don't. I always share.

Fine on the note. Let me know.


Teekay Thu Feb 15 15:04:48 PST 2001

Hi All;

MARY: The man is one of my heros.

BEN: Left a critique for you.

DEBRA: Read your story. It was great. I felt very emphatic with Rose. I just grabbed at horror coz I thought you knew something I didn't.
I think you've caught up for the next 6 weeks though. :-)

CHRISTI: I KNOW!!!! Now that is the true meaning of horror. That and running into street lamps and getting stuck in sliding doors. :-D
Happy Birthday Wishes to your Mum.

BARNABAS: Way too gappy for a shorty. There's no guts to it like that. Well so far anyway. It sounds like a thought or something.
But even if you want painter to be in there, it's got to actually make sense. People who design robots, don't paint them - do they? I picture robots to be all shiny and matallic, maybe you are picturing them like Arnie Schwarz in the terminator.
You need to make it clear.
I guess you could do the whole lot. Design them, build them and paint them when they're done, though you'd really have to get in there and explain that, coz as it is, I don't see it happening that way.
I like your Thursday short shorty.
RRRRAMON: Good to see you back.
Yeah, I think my tell it like it is approach was what got me flunked outa ambassador school.

JERRY: Have to come back later to read your story. We're off to Orange today for a bit of sigh seeing.

DEBRA: No rush for the note yet. The jerks at the bookshop haven't even ordered it yet. I'll let you know, as soon as they've gotten back to me. I might give them a ring actually, hurry them up a bit.

KRU: I'm going to have to come back to yours later too. And any other long ones. Sorry.

JOHN: It was a pleasure.

HALLEE: WHHOOOOO HOOOOOOO. CAN'T WAIT!!!, but I have to, coz my Mum and Dad are pacing around restlessly waiting for me to leave. This arvo I'll take a look.

Okay, haven't even got time to finish the posts. Here's my new shorty. It was easy, I just took it from life. (sometimes anyway, and exaggerated a bit.)

Tossing and turning, fighting with the bedsheets wrapping there way persistently and annoyingly around her legs, she squinted over at the clock on the dressing table.
2am. Would she never sleep?
She buried her face in her pillow, willing herself to sleep. Willing herself to let go. To not think about it.
It was no good.
With a sigh, she kicked back the tangled mess of sheets and in the darkeness made her way from the room.
This was ridiculous. She had to get some control because her life simply couldn't go on this way.
Flicking on the office light, she clicked on her computer and waited an age for it to boot up.
Then with fingers trembling and excitement barely contained she clicked the mouse onto 'writer's notebook.'

Thu Feb 15 14:53:15 PST 2001

John Thu Feb 15 14:42:19 PST 2001

Oh that's me below

Thu Feb 15 14:41:48 PST 2001

"Where've you been?"


"It's 4:00am...Where've you been?"

"I said Out... Leave me alone"

"Where's the car?"

"I got a ride home."

"From who?"

"Oh, a guy I met"

"What guy?"

"Just a guy. I had too much to drink. He gave me a ride."

"The bars closed 2 hour ago. You're a mess. The car is gone. We've been married for ten years and you're still picking up guys in bars."

"Leave me alone!"

"You know...I've had enough. The kids have had enough. I'm not sure what to do."

"If I want to go out and fuck someone, I'm going to go out and fuck someone and there's nothing you can do about it."

He thought a moment. In an instant, he made a commitment to last a lifetime. After 10 years of embarrassment, tears and gut wrenching pain, he finally a descision. When he was younger, he thought how wonderful it might be to marry a nympho. But ten years of catching her in back seats of cars, fondlings in the booths of dirty bars, the children not knowing where their mother is. It was enough.

"You're not going to hear from me. When the kids grow up, I will contact them. Not until then."

Without taking anything with him, he walked out. He started over.

Debra Thu Feb 15 14:33:00 PST 2001


I'm emotionally drained.


She is definitely siffering from something like PMS.

I never had it unitl I hit my late thirties.

It's not so bad but.

Any way a woman around here just tried to burn her two children alive the other day. All her friends came on TV and said she was fine. Who knows.

Great story.

I want more.


John Thu Feb 15 14:18:45 PST 2001

HEATHER: Wow... That happened to me 15 years ago.. You must have been there.

John Thu Feb 15 14:17:40 PST 2001

Debra Thu Feb 15 14:13:46 PST 2001


I wasn't complaining. I really wasn't.

It was just hard to think of human bodies and another human suffering in this way.

I did like it very much.


Heather Thu Feb 15 14:12:15 PST 2001

Bad Habitats, and Other Addictions
by Heather Myles

"Get out!" she screamed, her fists two jagged stumps. "Get out of my life, get out of my house and get your stinking feet off of my carpet!"

He looked down at her, the sheen of tears in his eyes.
"If that's what you want, then I'll leave." He started for the closet to get his coat and shoes.

"That's what I goddamn want! I've wanted it for seven years and you're still just putting on your coat!"

As he bent over, fumbling with the laces, his tears spilled down his face. "I'll pick you up on Friday, honey." His voice wavered as he called to his daughter, crouched on the top step by her bedroom door, her face hidden in her arms.

The only sound now was the whisper of nylon against hands as he put his coat on, and the tinkle of keys as he took his set from the hook. "I'll be back to pick up my things tomorrow night," he said, not looking at her.

She took a deep breath. "Wait, Micheal," she pleaded. "You don't have to go, really... You don't have to leave."

"What is it this time, Elaine? YOu just wanted to see me cry? You didn't REALLY want me to leave, did you? You just want to string me along another two weeks until you scream at me to get out again! Just what the fuck IS your problem?" His voice was no longer tear-choked.

"Michael, I still need you. Your little girl NEEDS you! You can't leave us like this!" Her face was strangely contorted, as though a second Elaine fought her way to the surface.

"What kind of prescription did that guy give you? Are you delusional? You just yelled at me to get out, and now you beg me to stay. I can't take your Sybil shit anymore, Elaine. You're a goddamn mess. Your mind is a goner. I'll take you to court for her, and I'll win." With that he took hold of the doorknob.

Elaine went berzerk. She looked wildly about her for something to grab. The broom. She yanked the broom from the wall-mount and heaved it down onto Michael's wrist. Elaine whirled the broom back and smacked him in the nose. "That's for being an asshole!" she shouted. "And THAT is for being stupid! GET OUT! Get the hell out of my house! I never loved you, you piece of shit! And Melanie? Melanie's not even YOURS!"
Up in the hall, tiny sobs were lost among the loud voices.

Micheal held his nose. He reached for the doorknob again, cursing under his breath. A hand on his stopped him.
"I'm sorry, sweetie, I'm so sorry!" It was Elaine, the broom hanging limp in her hand. Michael yanked the door open and shoved her hand away. "See you in court," he said, his voice a stone. He left, the house behind him now silent.

The door stood open, and fall leaves swirled inside the house. Elaine lay curled in the front hall, her hand still on the broom, the pill container in her pocket empty. She knew who to call. She'd call the pharmacy for refills. She'd call her doctors, for a few more prescriptions. Then she'd call Greg, she'd call every single person Michael knew; his parents, his co-workers, his friends, and his sister. She'd call the whole world if she had to, to talk to him. To tell him he had to come home...

Thu Feb 15 14:00:50 PST 2001

Ben Woestenburg Thu Feb 15 13:58:38 PST 2001

Debra: I guess it wasn't to the point. I'm sorry, but I was trying to show the horror of war as seen through the eyes of a man in the trenches waiting to go over the top in the first world war. He was writing a letter, waiting. In fact, I was thinking it would be a neat beginning for a short story--or even a long one--a one sided view of a man's life on the front. I could start with his early enthusiasm of going to war "to fight the Hun", and show his eventual decline into a sort of madness as he realizes the futility of it all...the trenches, the machine guns, the tanks, the gas, the mutilation--the terror he feels as he starts to think that maybe he made a mistake. And all the while he's writing to his girlfriend back home, trying to tell her that it's not as bad as she might think, but his words tell her a different story. He's gotten used to it. It's commonplace to him now. Rats, death, stench, it's all become a way of life.

Any comments from anyone? In fact, even sitting here, I'm thinking it would be kinda neat to put it into the workbook as a correspondence--the guys all write from the poor bastard's p.o.v. on the front, and the girls from the woman's p.o.v. back home. Any takers? Christie? Teekay? Hallee?


Allein Thu Feb 15 13:14:14 PST 2001

Eddie - You wrote about the addiction I was going to write about. A character in my story cuts himself all the time. Guess I'll write about his daughter's addiction then.

Princess Sheena closed her bedroom door tightly. No one could know the drug she had. No one could find out...especially not Rean. She knew too much could be bad, but she didn't care. She hungered for it day and night. She walked into her huge closet and over to a safe which she opened. Inside was the beautiful jewelry box that Apollo had given her for her birthday. But she didn't use it for jewelry. She used it for her drug...her best friend. She felt as though she couldn't get enough of it. She suddenly turned into an animal...ripping the wrapping off of the chocolate bar and shoving it whole into her mouth. That should keep me satisfied for about an hour, Sheena thought.
Hee hee, chocolate is my addiction too. And my boyfriend knows this because he gave me chocolate for Valentines Day. He's such a sweetie. :)

Richard Thu Feb 15 13:11:58 PST 2001

Okay, this isn't really on addiction *shrug*;

I wasn't going to do it. Not this time.

Nope. Definately not.

Better leave this just in case though...

And this...

No, I'm not going to.


Try again next time.

Richard Thu Feb 15 13:04:29 PST 2001

Looks like Napster's gonna be shut down.

D'oh! Quick! Download spree!

Kru Thu Feb 15 12:31:49 PST 2001

Hi Group, I finally figured out how to post part of my novel, if thats what it turns out to be. I look forward to hearing from you.

Christi - Thank you, addiction is a sad thing.

Debra Thu Feb 15 11:57:43 PST 2001


I have been wondering how to prove that we in fact leave our bodies when we die.

After reading your story I will begin again.



Debra Thu Feb 15 11:54:43 PST 2001


That was hard to read. I always tell my husband that men are the root of all evil even though he knows I love men and have been boy crazy since first grade.

I hope that was just fiction. It was good fiction horrible reality.


Debra Thu Feb 15 11:49:00 PST 2001


I don't like it either.

I love it.

I really love it. Juicy addiction.


Thu Feb 15 11:40:19 PST 2001

Okay - that should be a touch of lightness to addiction, not addition.

Hallee Thu Feb 15 11:35:23 PST 2001

Okay - it's time to bring a touch of lightness to addition (please, bear in mind that I'm flying high on migraine medicine right now, and any mistakes or funky writing is not my fault - har har):


Byron tossed aside the tangled sheet and pushed himself out of bed. He couldn't take it anymore. A week with little to no sleep, irritability from lack of sleep, the gaping hole where is heart used to be - it was all going to drive him insane if he kept it up.

There was little traffic on the rain slicked streets as he made his way across town. When he pulled up in front of the little bungalow that sat on the lake, the little licks of nervousness that danced around inside his stomach became full-blown fists of fear. A light shown in the window, making him hope that he wasn't the only one suffering from the calamity.

He tapped on the door when he all he really wanted to do was pound on it with his fist - better yet, kick it open. The wait was long - interminable. Finally, it opened, hesitantly, and Robin stood there, clad in a silk robe, her thick auburn hair curling around her shoulders.

"I can't take it anymore," he said without preamble. Not waiting for an invitation, he pushed himself inside and ran a hand through hair already spiked from dozens of similar actions.

"Please come in," she said sarcastically, shutting the door behind him.

He whirled around and pointed a finger at her. "This is your fault, you know."

Robin cross her arms and raised an eyebrow. "What is my fault."

"Everything." He whirled and paced, only to turn back to her. "I can't sleep, I can't eat. Hell, I can even smell you everywhere I go. You're like an addiction or an affliction. I can't get you out of my system."

She threw her head back and laughed a husky laugh. His eyes narrowed dangerously. "What are you laughing about?" he asked.

"You. It's so funny. Mr. No Strings Attached. Sir No Committment. You're in love."

"The hell I am."

She took the chance and stepped forward. "You are. Admit it. You're as in love with me as I am with you." His face remained impassive so she took another step. "You've been thinking thoughts like forever and a house with a picket fence, haven't you?"

He closed the distance between them and grabbed her by the arms, giving her a small shake. "This has to stop!"

"Then leave." Her voice was steady enough to scare him to death. He moved to shake her again - something - but instead found his arms wrapped around her.

"God, you're right." He looked down into her eyes, allowed himself to sink into the pool of blue. "You're right. I am in love with you. I don't like it, but I am."

Robin put a hand on his cheek. "Poor Bryan," she mocked.

Unable to take the wait any longer, he crushed his mouth to hers, sweeping them both away in a flood of hidden love and longing. When he finally raised his head, he swept her into his arms and started towards the bedroom. "I don't like it," he said, grinning down at her, "but I think I can learn to live with it."

She simply looped her arms around his neck and laughed.

***disclaimer*** I typed this directly into the box - and didn't have any of my auto-correct or spell check. Sorry.


Ben Woestenburg Thu Feb 15 10:35:19 PST 2001

I thought I did something on addiction last time. So I was at work thinking about Madness, and Horror. I even came up with something, but I don't know which category to label it, so you guys can decide.Here goes.

Dearest Katherine:

I saw Orion tracking across the western sky last night, spread-eagled and looking like a giant domino, and just for a moment I imagined it falling over, tumbling into the other stars and planets--like the unviverse was falling in on itself and there was no one there to catch it--and when I looked up again later, it was gone. I thought, Maybe it did fall over? Maybe it's gone--taking everything with it--and this is what it's like when you're dead? Maybe this was the eternity everyone's always talking about? And when the night lit up with the familiar sights and sounds of flares, I could see No Man's Land stretching off into forever, the wire cutting through the distance and holding up yesterday's dead like scarecrows in an empty field. I hate looking at the bodies after we go over the top. They're like living ghosts, moaning and crying out for help that never comes--suffering in their wait for death like crucified criminals begging for forgiveness. A man can last for days out there, like bait. And when the guns come again and the captain blows his whistle, we all go over the top, looking for bodies we know won't be there. I wish there was someone who could tell me when it will end instead of fearing how it will end.


There you are, short, sweet, and to the point I hope. See ya all later.

Christi Thu Feb 15 10:21:51 PST 2001

Is it really Thursday already? GULP.

Hi Heather, Sure missed seeing you around here.

Howard seems to have disappeared again. Hope all is well there. Where rrrrrrr u Howard?

Jerry, Totally awesome shortie!

Barnabas, Freaky and well written shorite, but I didn't get quite enough of an explanation as to the 'why' or the 'who'. Maybe I'm slow.

Ramon, Thanks! I look forward to reading yours as well.

Debra, :)

Kru, That was very sad. I liked the style you wrote in.

Eddie, oh Eddie. My stomach churned with every sentence. Amazing shortie.

Great shorties one and all.
I tried to throw my inner-perfectionist aside today in my shortie. Hope I got my thoughts across.

One More Mile

She rolled out of bed thinking about it. She'd have to do it anyway, might as well start with the sunrise. No, she'd better wait until she had something in her stomach. Food was energy; that's what Denise Austin said, anyway. But what the hell did Denise Austin know; Tracy had surpassed her exercise segments months ago. Okay, split the difference--a Powerbar would do in a pinch. She slipped on her running shorts and black sports bra, lastly throwing on a white T-shirt and her tennis shoes. Grabbing a hair-tie, she pulled her dishwater-blonde hair back into a tight ponytail, making sure that there were no fly-aways. She was uniformed. It felt good--powerful. She walked briskly to the kitchen to grab a Powerbar--chocolate-banana-- and filled up her water bottle. As she waited for the water bottle to fill with purified water, she pinched the side of her stomach. Would it ever go away? She pinched her upper thighs, the dreaded thighs. A pox on the family curse of big-legged women.

Quickly she popped the lid on the water bottle and made for the workout room. As soon as she walked through the door calmness took over her. She relaxed as she began warming up her muscles with a stretching routine. Then she flicked on the television her husband had so kindly installed above her treadmill, just like in the health clubs. She was about to saddle up to the treadmill when something caught her peripheral vision. Her head spun around, her breath constricting. Jeremy must have wanted to surprise her, for a large ceiling-to-floor length mirror had been installed on the opposite wall. Staring back at her was a pathetic emaciated girl, sunken in cheek, legs like toothpicks. And the eyes. The eyes had black circles surrounding them. They looked dead.

It wasn’t her. It couldn’t be her. She was in the best shape of her life, even though she had another ten pounds or so to shed. As she stood there, riveted, the phone rang. She made no move to get it, and after several rings the answering machine picked up.

“Uh hi, Tracy. This is Selma Highland from the D.A.s office. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk to you in person. I feel you should know that Fred Gearheim is up for parole. His hearing will be in two weeks, on October twentieth. I hope that you will come and tell your story to the parole board again. We don’t forsee him getting out, but it always helps to have the victims come to testify.

“Well, thanks for your time. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. We hope to see you there.”


Tracy stared at her reflection for a moment longer. She no longer saw it, however. She was living in her head--reliving. Shaking her head to snap out of it, she walked slowly to her treadmill and flipped the ‘on’ switch. She began to run faster than usual, and then faster still. She figured she could pull off ten miles easy today—maybe even fifteen. Yes, fifteen, then she would feel cleansed. Then she would be in control.

Hallee Thu Feb 15 07:47:21 PST 2001

TEEKAY: Okay, you asked for it you got it. (grin) My ghost short story is in the workbook. Have at it.

RRRAMON: Good to see you!

These shorties are hard to read today. Wow. I don't even know if I want to delve there.


John Thu Feb 15 07:40:35 PST 2001

TEEKAY: Thanks for taking a look at my essay. Right now, I’ve constructed 23 Chapters at various stages of completion. I have 43 points of research left to complete, out of 120. My track record suggests that this 43 will turn into 60 or 70. I’m trying to limit my word count to 80,000. Overall, I guess I’m 60% complete, but this is just the first draft. I should be ready to start the 2nd draft in 4 months.

Thanks again for reading it.

Eddie French Thu Feb 15 07:32:00 PST 2001


I will not do it today.
My arms feel like they're on fire all the time. The pain remainds me that I'm alive.
I will not do it today.
I will eat some food instead today,
I have to change the dressings too. That's it, change the dressings first, then eat.
Ahhh, the pad is stuck to the cuts on my forearm. It peels away slowly. exquisite pain fills my soul
with its pulsing waves, cleansing, healing.
A tiny river of red slowly makes its way along my arm towards my elbow as I lift up my hand, inspect
another long scab on the back side. The river is slightly diverted by the hairs on my arm which are standing up
in anticipation.
I will not do it today,
The fresh scab looks soft and weak. I pull at each side ever so gently, it opens just the slightest bit. A short canyon of opened
flesh fills slowly with red blood. It seeps over the lip and hurries to join the river on its way down my arm.
I close my eyes against the burning soreness. It's a sort of sticky, wet soreness that confirms my existence.
Without it I am nothing. I melt away into nothingness.
I pick up the razor blade. It is never far away.
I start just below my elbow, in the tender skin between the bone and the muscle of my forearm.
I feel alive. I feel the pain as the blade cuts into my eager flesh.
A new river flows to meet the first, drips form an amost continuous stream to the white sink below, contrast, red on white, real colors
they remind me that I'm real.
It eventually slows, then stops. I wrap my arm in new, sterilised dressings. The fire builds, I feel so alive.
Tomorrow, tomorrow I will stop. I will get the help I need.

Debra Thu Feb 15 07:21:47 PST 2001


I wasn't at a board meeting but I did think people were really interestd.



Kru Thu Feb 15 06:46:21 PST 2001

Hi group, Here is my first submission for a short shorty on addiction.
Addiction Short Shorty

I wake up. I’m cold. I’m wet. I can hear an engine and smell exhaust, there is road grit on my face. Where the fuck am I? I’m in a ditch next to a railroad track. I remember, the train dick slapped me around when he found me and threw me off. At least the train was stopped. I got under this bridge and must have fallen asleep. I reach into my coat pocket for some breakfast. Shit. The bottle broke and I cut my finger getting it out. Fucking ass-holes stole my metal flask.
This looks like a rural train yard. There are piles of tree trunks they look like pine. It’s cool but not really cold. Through a heavy fog or maybe a light mist I can see a fellow, ooh, he’s a big one, getting into an old truck. “Hey, buddy!” He looks over, one foot on the running board. “You got any work?”
He does but it is hard work. He has me haulin brush, workin the other end of a 2-man saw. Sometimes I swing an axe and lop off limbs, I get better at it in time. I need to be careful, you can get hurt doing this kind of work, the ground is wet, the trees are wet, the axe slips a lot against the wet bark. There are 3 of us. I don’t get dry all day long, the rain on the outside and sweating from the inside. All day long I’m either too hot or too cold. We cut down pines, take off the branches then pile the brush out of the way and put the trunks on the back of the truck. When it’s full, Johnny, he’s the one that hired me takes it to the train yard about an hour round trip. Billy and me keeps workin while he’s gone. The cut on my hand heals a little then gets broke open again and again all day. We don’t stop, not even for lunch. I haven’t eaten since some time yesterday.
Finally, it’s almost dark. Johnny reaches into his pocket and pulls out a roll of bills. It must be what he got paid for the logs, I try to count, somewhere close to thirty smackers. That’s good money in ’28. He counts out 3 bucks each for me an Billy. “Can I drop you anyplace?”
Shit, I still don’t know where I am, someplace in Virginia bout 30 miles from Richmond. “I need to eat.”
They drop me off at this little country store with a food counter. I notice some liquor on the shelves. I look at the prices of the food and the hooch. I can’t do both.
Back outside, it’s still misting. As soon as I get out of the lights of the store I pull out the bottle. Oh, but that burn feels good all the way down. I’ll be warmin up soon. The bottle is big enough, I can eat tomorrow if I don’t break the bottle and Johnny still wants help.

Debra Thu Feb 15 06:33:39 PST 2001


I didn't forget you.

Wow. That has happened to me too. One thing though it makes me glad that the zippers are not in the back.

Can you imagine?


Debra Thu Feb 15 06:29:37 PST 2001


Your story chilled me to the bone. I don't smoke and never did but I love people very much who do. It was great as usual.


Your story made me want to cry. It that what you were going for?

To everyone who had nice comments about my shortie:

Praise from my friends at the notebook is the greast prize of all.

Thanks very much. I hope I can continue to entertain you.


RRRRRAMON Thu Feb 15 04:53:27 PST 2001

I just posted a message on here onto have pressed "START OVER" D'oh. Anyway hi to everybody, including the new faces. I am enjoying the the wonder of the internet cafe and I shall frequent it, frequently.

I have posted a short story in the workbook. All I can say is hold your nose and dive in. And be as scathing and brutal as you like as I like being told what I've done wrong, because that is the only way I will get better.

CHRISTI: Thanks for your e-mails. They've been a joy to read. I shall look forward to reading your stuff.

HEATHER: Thank you for your e-mail, it was good to hear from you and hope all is well in your corner of the globe.

TEEKAY: I've been into the workbook. What have you been doing? Tut Tut. Seriously though I see where you are coming from, and I appreciate that you tell it like it is. Say what ya mean mate. I await to see what you think of my depressing creation. Oh and by the way another High School re-union flick PARALELL LIVES starring James Belushi and Levar Burton (Geordi ST: TNG).

LAURA: i like what you've done so far and I am in the middle of reading your latest. Will let you know what I think.

TINA: Sorry to hear about your father. My thoughts and best wishes with you.

Just thought you would like to know I've been headhunted by another firm for more money. WOOHO.

Anyway must dash as I've finished my coffee which sucked, and I am now in search of some tucker (any Americans who dont know what this means - Na Na). Take care all and I shall check in again. Feel free to drop me a line if you have something on your mind.

(Click on "Publish My Message)

Barnabas "Hop" Thu Feb 15 00:45:49 PST 2001

About Kanji
Will someone please explain to me what's the difference between Kanji and Mandarin

My story is a short story. I just said it might become a novel or first in a series. What did you
think of it? Maybe I should change Painter to artist but it won't work because I want the words
"painter" and "painting" to be in the story. That way the idea that the creation's reflect the
creator is emphasised.

Downloading Anime takes too long. I prefer to download manga scans. By the by did you know
of the Ranma 1/2 scan project? And do you know where tp get complete manga/comic book
scans? Not many sites have them.

Hello gariess.

Hello Hana. Are you the 13 year old Viv mentioned once in her posts?

Since its Thursday on my little side of the world, I wrote a story. This is sort of related to
addiction. Here goes... its a cyborg related theme. Sorry, I just can't get it out of me.

"Pick the pace up, move it quick!" The instructor yelled at us.

"Owwww! I'm aching all over. My legs are fire," I complained to anyone who was listening.

Murmur of consent. We were all tired out. What with the training day in and day out. I plugged
myself into the medicine dispenser and felt the cool feel of multi-drug numb the pain as it
always did. I needed more and more of it these days.

"Much better," I said as my mind dimmed and everything slowed. Images of light and darkness
flashed past me. I forgot about the war we were training for and the reasons for it.

It was morning by the time the drug wore off. We assembled for training. I was stronger then
ever. "Ready to train SIR!" I shouted.

The instructor turned to me, "Feisty are we? Alright then all of you five times round the obstacle

We climbed through the equipment I raced past the others and scaled the wall. I scrambled to the
top when the ground seemed to loom infront of me. I crashed into it.

I heard them talking. "His brains are lost to the drug as we predicted...he may as well be dead.
It's time to ready him for transformation."

Transformation-metal replaces flesh. I nodded away. I would be much better after it.

Heather Wed Feb 14 21:37:32 PST 2001

I'm just valentined right out, after a long, silly day of spiced candies, red construction paper, white lace and glue.
Oh, and stinky markers, glitter and googlie eyes.

I think I shall try the google search, but I'm betting my name will turn up far more things on the country singer Heather Myles than me. I'll probably find my webpage, too, though it's not lost.

Surrounded by flowers and full of chocolate and nuts!
(or is that nuts; but surrounded by flowers and chocolate smears?)
Too tired to grin or wave, but thinkin' of all of you.

Tina, we're still sending out our warmest love and empathy to you and your family.


Jerry Wed Feb 14 21:21:48 PST 2001

Addiction huh, well ok, here is a long shorty, (arn't mine always a bit long?) Hope it makes the grade.


By Jerry Ericsson

Time changed on that day. In fact we began to refer to the time before “The Day” and the time after “The Day.”

“The Day,” was the day that they dropped the nuclear missiles on New York, LA, and several hundred other major cities. Things didn’t change all that much for us up here in the upper Mid-west. Our electricity was still generated by the Garrison Dam, which remained intact despite all the doom sayers in what used to be Washington D.C. Gas was still delivered via pipeline thanks to Montana Dakota Utilities, so we could stay warm. There were however some things that were beyond our ability to produce, the worst of which, of course was tobacco.

Bill Jacobson, who lived next door to us was probably the heaviest smoker I ever met, and believe me I knew many heavy smokers. Now when Bill heard about the possibility of war, he rushed down to the Super Value Store, the only store in town that sold cigarettes, and he bought up their entire supply of Winston’s, his favorite brand. When the bombs started dropping, Bill saw the news reports from CNN until Atlanta ceased to exist anyhow, and again he rushed down to the store, and stood in line four three hours waiting to buy the last five cartons of Eagle brand cigarettes.

Well those cartons were locked up in Bills deep freeze, and he restricted himself to only three packs a day, cutting down from his normal four and a half, but three days after “The Day,” while Bill was at work at the slaughter house, someone broke into his home, and stole all those cigarettes. That was when Bill came over to get my help.

I explained to Bill that I no longer did any sort of investigatory work since the accident. In fact I couldn’t do much of anything since the accident, but Bill wanted me to try. I told him I would think about it.

Bill was at my door the next morning, and he looked like death warmed over.

“Man, you gotta help me, my god, I haven’t had a cigarette since yesterday, and I am having a nicotine fit.”

“I told you Bill, I can’t do anything like that, now I have a pouch of old pipe tobacco in the back room, you can surely have that if you want, and some old papers I found in my sons room a few years back, I still wonder what the heck he wanted with Zig-Zag rolling papers.”

Well Bill took the papers and tobacco and left, I sat and pondered, with all that was going on, Bill was worried about smoking, I couldn’t believe it. Hundreds of Millions of dead on both sides, trillions of dollars in damage, the probable end of civilization as we knew it, and Bill was worried about smoking.

The next day, Bill was at my door again, begging for me to take the case, he looked like death warmed over. “You gotta get my smokes back for me, damn the wife left me last night after I ran out of tobacco and papers, said she would come back when I got my smokes back!”

“Look Bill,” I said, “Even if I took the case and found your damn cigarettes and brought them back to you, just how long do you think they would last you, and when they are gone, what will you do then?”

“Well by then we might have trucks coming back from the east coast with more smokes, don’t you think?”

“No Bill, from what I have picked up on short wave radio, there is no east coast any more, there are no more tobacco fields, no more peanut farmers, nobody is alive on the east coast.”

“It can’t be!” Bill shrieked, grabbing me by my collar and shaking me so hard I thought my teeth would fall out. “You gotta get me some smokes, before I go crazy!”

“No Bill, I told you I can’t do anything like that any more Bill, good God, I am half crippled up now, and without gasoline, our cars and pickups are worthless, how the heck do you expect me to get around and investigate your burglary, have you checked with the cops?”

“Cops, what cops, they quit working the day after, when they heard that money would no longer be honored, they took off to try and get food and things.”

“Well Bill check with the drug store, I hear they are still open, maybe they have some of those nicotine patches left.”

“I already checked with them!” Bill said, with a sob in his voice. “ Someone broke in and stole all the patches and all the narcotic drugs too, all they have left is some antibiotics and Tylenol.”

“Well then I don’t know what to tell you Bill, I guess you will just have to go cold turkey, like I did seven years ago, back when you could still get tobacco, it should be easy now with no temptation.”

Bill stomped off, and I knew he would be hard to get along with for a few weeks, but I never realized how bad he would get until the next morning, when Ralph Anderson stopped by.

“Hear about Bill?” Ralph asked, as he sat at the table in my kitchen sipping some coffee I had stored away for visitors.

“No, what did he do now?”

“Way I hear it, he was down at the bar, drinking a bit of what they have left of beer, when he smelled someone smoking a cigarette back in the pool room, he went running back there expecting to find the fellow who broke into his house, but it was only Deefey Thompson, and he was smoking some butts he picked up out of the ash tray. Well old Bill he grabs Deefey and starts shaking him trying to get him to tell where the cigarettes were, hell Deefey had no idea what Bill was doing, and after being shaken for a few minuets he got tired of it, and pulled a knife. Slit Bills throat clean down to the neck bone.”

“Oh well,” I said, “I always said Bill would die for a cigarette, guess I was right all along.”

Debra Wed Feb 14 20:28:26 PST 2001


I didn't actually say it was horror. I am trying to catch up on shorties that I didn't do yet.

I have been and am still living in a sick house.

It's awful.

I can't do the shortie on POVERTY.

I don't suffer from it at the moment.

For instance.

Last Sunday morning I was still in bed, oh yea the twins sleep in our room cause our house is too small, I was just waking up and I heard my twin Jill sneeze.

Grace said "Bless you"
Jill said "Thank you"
Grace said "Your welcome"

Their cribs are lined up so they can see each other. I couldn't help but smile. They are only two.

I know riches beyond my wildest dreams. I don't know poverty.


Christi Wed Feb 14 20:04:45 PST 2001

Mary Lou, I meant to add my congratulations earlier as well. Belatedly: Congratulations!

Kru, You aren't limited to the chosen topic. Myself, I never seem to be able to write a topic on demand. Anyhow, just write your story right in the text-box or copy and paste it to the text-box.

Debra, I really enjoyed your shortie. Good job!

Jon, Happy Valentine's Day you naughty kitty. *scratch scratch*

Allein, Your story was adorable! Very fitting for today, indeed!

Hallee, Betchya don't remember what you said, but thanks, you! I had just had a breath mint.

Eddie, Thanks, google rules! Guess my name's too strange; the only thing it found was the time I signed Charles' guestbook. How boringly normal.

Jack, :0) That's lovely.

Teekay, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh gads, how many times have I done something like that. That was perfect! *snort*

Ramon has submitted a short story in the Workbook and has failed to come here and tell everybody. So I'm snitching. :) And that's all the news from chatty cathy.

Hi to everyone. I hope Valentines was Valentiney. My Mom's birthday is today so V-day gets put off 'til another day. It was a primo day, though.


Mary Wed Feb 14 19:05:14 PST 2001

Shortie night theme is ADDICTION. I was straddling the fence between food and madness, but went with addiction.

TEEKAY! I am reading that very same book. The ear doctor visits? Oh my goodness. That is horror fodder. No wonder the guy can twist minds. Just started it this morning(v-day gift from hubby).

JACK: You mean somebody hacked the Notebook and turned it all red? Musta been Cupid.

Rachel Wed Feb 14 17:25:16 PST 2001

Jon - Welcome back! Thank you for the Valentine's. I send you kisses and hugs. What a dear, sweet cat you are. Do you know that just today I sent an e-mail to Arik asking him where he was? I heard from him in December (I think it was December), but have not had word since then. He had been away, and from the sounds of things had been enjoying himself very nicely.

Jack - I liked those words from "Practical Magic" I think I should check that video out.

Ciao for now,


Teekay Wed Feb 14 16:57:38 PST 2001

Hi All,

HALLEE: That's fantastic. I can't wait to read it.
I've got a new idea as well, but unlike you I have to mellow out a bit before I put it to paper. Let it fester so to speak.

KRU: Go to the panel at the top of this page and on the one that says 'notebook' some more panels will open.
Go to workbook and click on.
Pick the appropriate section for your your story.
At the bottom of the page you will see a place to paste your story.
To see a critique on your story, at the top of that page you will see where it says critique section.

MARY will tell us the topic for shorty Thursday usually fairly early.

Here's my Thursday shorty. I usually wait till Friday, but I'm being organized.

Here goes:

HORROR (I got this from DEBRA, I must have missed the post which named the topic.)

What a fantastic day! Lauren practically floated through the front door of her apartment, her mind replaying the glory of that afternoons presentation brightly in her mind.

She had been a huge success. They had been enthralled. Everyone of those stuffy business suits had had their attention totally focused on her, as she'd stood before them and breezed through the proposal for the new ad campaign. Oh yeah. She had them wrapt around her little finger.

On cloud nine she floated into her bedroom and caught sight of herself in the full length mirror.

She looked good. Yes she did. The epitome of the woman on her way to the top. From her glossy short bob her eyes ran down her dark blue power suit jacket, slowly down.
And then her mind went numb, before recoiling in sheer and utter horror. Her impeccably manicured hand flew to her mouth, blocking her scream.
Oh dear Lord!
Her fly was open.

Later all. i'm reading Stephen King on writing at the moment - interesting.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 14 16:41:21 PST 2001

Back to black. What I want to know :-) is how you got everything to turn to red or green quite that way. When I downloaded it to do the correction I discovered that the body tag had been changed to red. Strange. Oh, well. Take care everyone and Happy Valentine's.

This is wishing all the love you deserve or do not deserve showers down around you. Or, to quote from the closing sentence in Practical Magic (the book as well as the movie) 'Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavendar for luck. Fall in love whenever you can'

Ben Woestenburg Wed Feb 14 14:25:58 PST 2001

Okay, I posted a piece of something I wrote last month or sometime like that. I felt I wasn't being honest with you guys, or myself, by not posting anything. It took a while because I had to type it all out. I refuse to use this computer for my work when it took me so long to get the old one just where I want it. But it's part of a novella that's been kicking around in my head for some time now. Just the title though. The story part was the hard part. I used flash backs. The story goes on to the father's P.O.V.m and how he and his brothers and sister react to their father demise. The two stories blend into one as the two young sons pick up an uncle and then all the family skeletons come out of the closet. It's 26,000 words, so there's no way I'm going to be typing it in one word at a time. I just wanted to give you all a sample of my writing. I'm open to any comments ya'll might have--but that doesn't mean I'll listen (he-he)--because I'm sending this one out as soon as I can afford the stamps and the entry fee. It seems everytime I go to mail it out, something else comes up and the money has to go somewhere else. I want to send a short story out with it as well, 15,000 words or something silly like that. I found a great contest you should all check out.

Anyway, I got to go and get myself ready for work, make dinner for the kids and all that other domestic stuff we all try to put off just so we can wrestle with the muses one more day. I'll be back tonight, around two'ish.

And oh yeah, what's the subject for the short shortie?


And happy Valentine's day too. (And my birthday's March 4th)
...that's a lot of Ands...

Eddie French Wed Feb 14 13:39:32 PST 2001

Here is the URL for Google

Hallee Wed Feb 14 13:39:02 PST 2001

A special valentine's fish treat for Jon (err..and Pussy).

TEEKAY: Damn you. Now I have a ghost story in my head that I have to write.

Bye all - I'm going to see how much I can get written in the last 15 mins of the work day.


Eddie French Wed Feb 14 13:37:17 PST 2001

This is interesting.
I did a search using Google on my name. Click on the link above to see one of the results.
Try it. Enclose your full name in quotes " "

Wed Feb 14 13:31:53 PST 2001


Allein Wed Feb 14 13:20:47 PST 2001


I know short shortie day isn't until tomorrow but I wrote one and I'm posting it here today. It fits today anyway. And I think it's really sweet! :)

Prince Azol entered the room and gazed at the girl he loved. "Hello cutie."
She looked at him.
He walked over to her. "You're looking so beautiful today."
She smiled at him but said nothing.
He took the teddy bear out from behind his back. The bear held a heart that had 'I love you' written on it.
The girl's face lit up. She reached for the bear.
Azol handed it to his baby daughter and kissed her cheek. "You're always going to be my one and only valentine."

Now I must depart and check on my asparagus cooking downstairs.
I hope everyone has a happy Valentine's day. (((BIG HUGS))) and a scratch behind the ears for Jon.

Richard Wed Feb 14 12:24:08 PST 2001

*climbs out from under his rock*

Why is everything red?

*climbs back under again*

Jon Wed Feb 14 12:20:18 PST 2001

A very special kiss to Tina, who is so much in our hearts and thoughts.

Jon Wed Feb 14 12:15:07 PST 2001

Happy Valentine thing to all, mainly to Pussy and the other girls of course. And to Rachel two valentines.
PS. Who painted the house red and green? Kind of colourful. I'm enjoying your posts, mainly, well, all posts. And a kiss to Rachel, Pussy, Allein, and all the girls. I was away but now I am here. And a hug to Arik. And greetings to all the newbies and.
PPS. I forgot how to write. Cat's block.

Kru Wed Feb 14 12:09:48 PST 2001

Hi Group,
I got my login and password and got a little example of my writing ready to send but can't find the place to put it. I'm sure someone will have fun with that so I'll leave it alone. If someone could tell me how to post it so you can do what you do? Do I send it with to an address as an attachment? Do I find a site and copy and paste?
But, I did find the archives, you guys are good. I hope after reading my work you-all don't just decide to send me back to elementary school.
And, again I ask about the Thursday night what ever you call it? When do we get the topic and do we send our submissions to this site or to the place I can't find? Thanks again. Kru

Mary Lou Wed Feb 14 12:04:23 PST 2001

Teekay: thanks for your kind words.

Debra: My novel is set in 1865 in Texas and tells the story of a returning Civil War veteran and his struggle for survival. The title (unless the publisher changes it) is TARNISHED HONOR.

Mary Wed Feb 14 10:24:26 PST 2001

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be mine?

Christi Wed Feb 14 09:50:33 PST 2001

I'm in a terrible hurry today, but I wanted to say HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to everyone!

Also wanted to warn everyone about a new virus running around. Anything that says ANNAKORNIKOVIA.JPG, or any mail at all with that name (Annakornikovia) is a virus. Don't open it! Someone I know just got smacked with it and it sent out to everyone on his address book. I wasn't on it, thank goodness.

Have a great day! Gotta catch up on the posties later. Oh, I did catch one earlier though, and JERRY, I'll try to write a ghostie for *P*. We're on, baby! Hee!


Heather Wed Feb 14 09:43:33 PST 2001

Wait, Debra, THREW is only used when an OBJECT is 'tossed' at something. If it goes 'THROUGH' the window, then you must use 'through' and not 'threw' or 'thrown'. 'Through' implies that an object passes into and out of another object. 'Threw' implies that something was thrown - ie: an object, a look, a voice. 'Threw' does not imply that something passes into and out of anything, unless you count a baseball passing out of a hand and into the air.

I threw my voice, and it echoed through the hall. I threw the ball and it crashed through the car window.
Through the sky a baseball was thrown, and it sent slivers of glass flying through the air. When I threw it, I was through with the game.

(I know, they're really awful examples!)

Anyway, now that I've confused things further, I'll wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day,

and skedaddle

Oh, and thanks for the life preserver tip, Litter! Knew they were useful for something other than crumb catchers!


Rachel Wed Feb 14 09:12:11 PST 2001

Rosemary - I wasn't offended. Hum, for the record I would still like the cat you mentiond, no matter what anyone said (smiles). I miss that cat.

Jon - Where are yah? I suppose you are on some wonderful adventure. Maybe you are in Paris, or are on another trip to the moon. Could you still be working on your Cat Dictionary? I hope you haven't done anything awful to Americo. I would need to kick me some kitty, kitty can if that were the case.

All - Happy Valentine's Day :D


Debra Wed Feb 14 08:48:27 PST 2001


I actually did make that mistake. I know that when you are talking about something physical it's threw or throw.

The rest is through.

My spell check only checks spelling. I spelt the wrong one right.

You know whatta mean jelly bean!


Gariess: Wed Feb 14 08:46:44 PST 2001

Wed Feb 14 08:14:14 PST 2001

Wed Feb 14 08:12:50 PST 2001

Wed Feb 14 08:12:43 PST 2001

Wed Feb 14 08:11:46 PST 2001

I like green too
Yep, Green it is then

Wed Feb 14 08:09:40 PST 2001


Wed Feb 14 07:34:41 PST 2001

Red is nice
So is green

Allein Wed Feb 14 07:30:44 PST 2001

I seem to have made a mistake and put the entire notebook in red. Oops!

Allein Wed Feb 14 07:29:39 PST 2001



Litter - One of my characters, Prince Baka, has a birthday on April 1st. His name meaning "fool" in Japanese, it's only fitting. :)


Debra Wed Feb 14 06:52:54 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

Forgive me. I didn't get to find out the title of your work or any other details.

Please fill me in.


Teekay. Wed Feb 14 06:52:41 PST 2001

One more thing.
HALLEE: Do I have to remind you that you won a short story first prize?????
Now get cracking!!

Teekay Wed Feb 14 06:50:32 PST 2001

Hi All,

LAURA: Have left a critique for you.

BARNABAS: I left a comment for you.

JOHN: I'll get to yours tomorrow.


JERRY: You're on.

HEATHER: That's a bit much for me just at the moment.

GARIESS: I hope the Tippi Hendren conversation comes up real soon, now that I have all the facts. Thanks. :-)

DEBRA: Haven't gotten to your shorty yet.

MARY LOU: Sorry. I meant to congratulate you yesterday.

VIV: I still need you email address.

Is that it? I think that's it.

It's 2am I'm going to bed.

'night all.

Debra Wed Feb 14 05:09:55 PST 2001

Thanks for your comments guys:

I actually did break down like that, but I didn't have to get out until I was in civilization. I told my husband that the radio was going off sometimes when I hit the brakes and he laughed at me. Turns out the battery cable was the problem.

I was with my daughter on a road just like that, but I was pressing the gas the entire time even around corners. It wasn't until I came to the first red light in a populated area that I had to come to a complete stop and then stop I did.

I worried about the rest while I was driving. I did say the Lord's Prayer. My daughter ask me if I believed in monsters while I was driving through the canopy part. Nice!

It was a long time ago. I don't drive a "79" anything.

Hallee Wed Feb 14 01:39:23 PST 2001

I plan on adding to Jack's. Already have it in my head - I just have to get it out. Sorry to leave it hanging - but I've been mulling this book over in my head, now I have to mull it some more to restart the stupid thing. The only thing salvageable (sp?) is the the first page of the prologue.

And...I can't write short stories. So, I'm not even going to try to write a ghost short story. That takes even considerably more talent.



gariess Wed Feb 14 00:22:50 PST 2001

Here is an anecdote in honor of our freind, Jerry from the ranks of law enforcement. A freind of mine swears this is a true story.

Years ago a sergeant on the Revere police force answered a call to a shooting on Revere Beach Boulevard late one night. When a number of police were on the scene Sgt. Cain was writing out the report. He asked one of the officers how to spell Boulevard. The officer didn't know how, nor did any of the others. Sgt. Cain looked around and asked, "What's the name of this side street?"

"That's Pine," one of the cops said.

"Joe," Sgt. Cain called out. "Pull that sonofabitch over here."

gariess Wed Feb 14 00:06:05 PST 2001


I saw your reference to Tippi Hendren/Hendrix. It seems to me it must be Tippi Hedren you speak of. I don't know what was being discussed, but Tippi Hedren was the discovery of Alfred Hitchcock and starred in his famous "The Birds." She also starred the following year in his "Marnie," which I rate as possibly his worst effort.

Tippi Hedren was born Nathalie Hedren. She was from Minnesota I believe, or somewhere in the upper plains states where there is a large Scandinavian population.
Before she met Hitchcock she was married to a guy named Griffith and became the mother of Melanie Griffith. Actually, that sounds rather dumb, saying she became the mother etc. She was the mother of Melanie Griffith. It sounds better that way. Come to think of it, she still is the mother of Melanie Griffith. I guess that means Mr. Griffith was the father of Melanie Griffith, or at least that is what we are supposed to believe...and still is. Anyway, that's how the spelling goes.

Speaking of spelling, DEBRA. If I had a spell checker like yours. I would have THROUGH it out long ago. Nice story.


Heather Tue Feb 13 23:15:02 PST 2001

I'll up the ante, Jerry! Who can add a story to Phantasium AND Jack's 'Rebecca' round robin?

Uh, I'll have my excuses ready if the flood returns, but otherwise I'm included.

On your marks, get set...


WRITE! (gotcha)

John Tue Feb 13 22:54:02 PST 2001

Debra: I was squirming in my chair. It is stories like that one that convince me to take good care of the cars.

Jerry: I'll try but I fear I ain't no good at Ghosties..But I'll try

To All: I've posted something in the Short Story section of the workbook that I would appreciate any feedback...

It's 2am I'm going to bed

Allein Tue Feb 13 22:11:12 PST 2001

Barnabas - We have Pokémon, Digimon and Dragonball Z too. I used to watch Pokémon but I got so sick of that darn Pikachu! He's cute but he's so annoying. Infact, all of them are, except for the giant cobra and the green guy with blades on his hands - those ones are cool. Digimon is on too early in the morning for me. Some of my friends back in high school are obsessed with it though. One of them wants to marry TK (I actually don't even know which one that is but I hear her talking about him all the time). Dragonball Z is cool but usually we're eating dinner when it's on. Here we also get Sailor Moon, Ronin Warriors, Tenchi Muyo, Cardcaptors and a few others. There's also the U-district and the International District in Seattle where there are LOTS of anime shops so it's pretty easy to get. My boyfriend also just got this thing called Bearshare that's like Napster only you can find anything so he's downloading tons of anime on that - including one of my all time favorites - Ranma 1/2. My other favorite is Kodocha. If you want to check them out I have sites dedicated to them on my webpage.
And yes, I think capturing animals and putting them in little balls is bad. I would never do that - unless it was a hamster in a hamster ball, but they like those. *petting Pepper on the head* I love my puppy and she's my friend. :)

Jerry Tue Feb 13 20:34:06 PST 2001

Wow, I just got back from the round robin workshop. Boy is it empty. Nobody has added a thing to Jack's new Round Robin, and the last thing added to *P* has been a while ago too. Have we all given up on the projects? Just wondering, I know I am just as guilty but we should support the projects more if we want them to continue. I plan on begining a new story for *P* this week, and CHALLENGE each and every member of the notebook to match me. Lets say the stories are due one week from today.

Any takers??


Mary Tue Feb 13 17:24:41 PST 2001

ROSEMARY: "As Time Goes By" is one of my favorite all-time telvision shows. I hardly ever get to see it anymore, but I just adore Dame Judy Dench(hope I spelled that right).

There are a few other shows that air here from the BBC. "Allo! Allo!" is hysterical. I always pictured Howard as being Rene. "Black Adder" reruns which I was hooked on for a while. "Are You Being Served" is the other one. They are all on really late night and I spent many a sleepless hour chuckling at them over some Chunky Monkey. Maybe I will see if I can find "Allo!Allo!" tonight for old time's sake. The last time I watched it the British Airmen, in another attempt at escape, were going to jump out of an airplane in empty missile casings, trying to unscrew their nuts, crawl out of the tubes, and open there chutes before they hit.


Rhoda Tue Feb 13 16:48:42 PST 2001


Great story. I think I held my breath through all of it.

Rhoda Tue Feb 13 16:38:25 PST 2001

In the chat.

Rosemary Tue Feb 13 16:13:41 PST 2001

Sorry that link doesn't work unless you want to send an e-mail to them. I'll fix it tomorrow.

My post was a lame attempt at a joke, I didn't really believe you would name your baby after a cat no matter how much you liked him. Sebastian is a great name and I'm sure it will fit the new baby perfectly.

By for today for sure. (maybe)

Rosemary Tue Feb 13 16:05:44 PST 2001

I'm Baaaack,

Above is a website for my hometown. It's one of the radio station's website, but at least it had a picture. One of the other main sites started out with the Spurs Basketball team and went downhill from there.

Just to show you how well I handle stress; my earlier post listed the heavy schedule I had for today. Sister's van to garage, go to Dr. for eye, take her to work, go to class. The way I solved this delema, we got her van to the garage, I make an appointment with the Dr. for tomorrow, loaned her my truck and blew off the class. So much for handling stress.

My favorite British comedy is pretty much whatever they will run. Right now 'Time Goes By, A Fine Romance, and The Vicar of Dibley' are about all that is available. Appearances is still running but the main character (can't spell her name) drives me up the wall and besides I've seen them all at least three times. Probably more on cable, but I don't have cable. Spend too much time watching TV now.

I think it was you who recommended the article in the NY Times. The article was very good but I mostly wanted to thank you for the connection to that website. I had to sign up to read your article so now they e-mail a list of interesting articles daily. It is so nice to read well written articles for a change. This world has gotten sloppy. I'm not saying I'm any better, but I'm not being paid for it either.

So much for my rant for today.

Rachel Tue Feb 13 16:02:37 PST 2001

Rosemary - Hi you :o) My husbands middle name is Jon. It is a family name. The use of it will please my husbands mother and I think it sounds very nice with Sebastian. Still, I happen to like the cat that you mentioned. If I were to have a litter of kittens I would name them all after him.

Christi - Thanks for the hugs! I am feeling pretty good today. I went out on a tour of the shops with a friend. We went for lunch, hung out and did a lot of nothing. It was the very kind of day I needed.

Ciao for now,


Laura Milanovich Tue Feb 13 15:47:37 PST 2001

Ok, try that...

Viv Tue Feb 13 15:31:57 PST 2001

That story really held my interest. It is great! I like the way the children behave. These are real children, not stick figures. Your mother also behaves in a realistic fashion although not everyone would understand her fear at the beginning of the story. She might not be so frightened as frustrated and inconvenienced by the breakdown. Personally, when my car breaks down, first thing I do is the "blame game". My poor husband is a great mechanic but what do I do...instead of thinking of all the times he's done this or that to keep our $200.00 special chugging, I say, "Oh! I told him this car was running funny. Now look at this!" The Lord's Prayer is a great touch!

You got tricked by your computer's spell check. It put in THREW not through, right at the very height of the action. There are demons in my spell checker too. They LOVE to do that right in the most critical part of the story.

My verdict, this one is a keeper! I'd polish it up, tighten the beginning, and send it on.

Allein: Thanks for the encouraging words to Hana. She's really the writer in this family. I'm encouraging her to work a little with it because she's stopped sharing lately. She needs her own e-mail address and another site where I won't go...but that's a little worrisome for me. There's no reason it should be because she's a smart kid with common sense, she'd know and back off from someone who wasn't kind. For now we'll share posts.

Gotta' get going. Have to run Hana over her English before she takes a test.

Mary Lou evans_hagen2@prodigy Tue Feb 13 15:17:01 PST 2001

To Heather and Hallie: Thank you for your kind words.
Waiting for the book to be released will be almost as hard as writing it (I think!).

Teekay Tue Feb 13 15:02:52 PST 2001

VIV: That email address you gave is definitely not working. Please repost. Thanks.

Teekay Tue Feb 13 14:59:45 PST 2001

Hi All,

TINA: I am sooo sorry to hear about your loss. (((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))

VIV: I tried to send your letter and got a failure notice. Have tried again. If you don't get it, could you please retype the email addy. Thanks.

GARIESS: WELCOME BACK!!!! And stop trying to freak me out!

BARNABAS: I honestly can't remember writing 'not to worry MARY.' :-) Quick, quick, run hide! There are those men in white coats again! :-D
Thinking about those pokemon creatures: I did have a thought on it, but then i realized I didn't know enough to make a proper judgement, so I just shut up. Yeah, I know, when has that ever stopped me before.
I'll take a look at painting. If you don't want a critique from me you have about 20 hours to say so.

CHRISTI: Mum and Dad are great. It's fantastic to see them again. They're only staying for a week though. *sniff*.
I thought it was Tippi Hendren, but my sister in law insisted it was Tippi Hendrix and I just wanted to check up ao that next time the topic came up I'd know for sure. Thanks. :-)

HEATHER: I didn't post about being slender. Sometimes I have slender posts, though not often.
Heeey, maybe someone with a head shot has attached a nude body and is sending it round. Ah well, so long as the body is thin and unwarted and moleless that's cool. NOT that there's anything wrong with warts and moles.

MARY: You lucky thing!!! We have a table like that at play group. I love it. Although, the top of this one isn't unmarred. It has cracks and crayons and play-doh and paint all over it. i think I like it all the more for that.

HALLEE: It's only wasted if you learned nothing from it. Chin up. :-)

Going now.

Debra Tue Feb 13 13:30:12 PST 2001

Here's my shortie on horror. I'm trying to catch up.

From bad to worse

Rosie was heading home from a nice afternoon at her mothers. Four-year old Johnny and two year old Nikky were dozing off in the back seat. She noticed a mist starting to form on the windshield. Turning on the wipers, Rosie realized that they were moving slower than usual. No sooner did she notice the wipers, but the headlights were clearly going dimmer too. Rosie could feel panic starting to form in the pit of her stomach. Taking the back roads home was against her better judgment, but her husband Paul had insisted on the phone earlier that it was the fastest way.

As each slow down and turn would come up she could feel the car start to lose power. Remembering her old days Rosie used two feet to drive the car, keeping the gas pressed at all times. Finally no amount of gas could keep her old “79” Buick Regal going. She tried repeatedly to start it as it coasted towards the side of the road. Rosie steered the car up the side of the embankment while it was still rolling so as not to be in the road. It was a dark side street and anyone coming down the road would be on top of her before they saw her.

Her breaths were coming faster now trying to figure out what to do. She decided to say the Lord’s Prayer over and over hoping for a good outcome.

“Mommy are you praying?” Johnny finally came out of his nap.

“I’m just thinking honey!” Rosie didn’t know what to tell him.

Peeking in the rear view mirror his little familiar face was exactly the thing causing most of her fear. She was responsible for both their safety and she prayed she were up for the challenge. Not one car had passed in nearly twenty minutes and she considered getting out to find a phone. It was so dark and empty out there Rosie teetered on both ideas until she could stand it no longer.
“Okay Nikky wake up honey.” Rosie looked at her in the mirror.
“Johnny wake her up for mommy please.” Rosie turned in her seat looking at her two precious children.

Once the both kids were awake enough she made the first frightening move to the door handle. She hoped a single car would come saving her from this trek, but none did. Gravel crunched under her foot as she reached in to pull out her two kids. Looking at the trees that had grown together forming a canopy over the street Rosie’s hands started to shake. It had been overcast all day and even though the sun had just set it was unusually dark.
“Well at least it hasn’t started to rain yet,” she thought.
Carrying Nikky and holding Johnny’s hand they started to walk in the direction she should have been driving. Panting from fear looking at the dark and the unfamiliar empty street Rosie thought she might just start screaming. Knowing this would upset the kids, she fought back her terror.
“Mommy are there such things as real monsters?” Johnny suddenly wanted to know.
“No sweetie there’s no such things.” Rosie wished someone would convince her.
Living in New England, she knew that she wouldn’t be faced with any real monsters like lions and tigers and bears. Still she was as terrified as if one were already upon her.

A gentle breeze sprayed mist into her face bringing some brief but much needed shift in her thoughts. Nikky was clinging to her left shoulder sensing her mother’s trepidation.
“Hey Peanut!” Rosie looked into her big brown eyes and she squeezed her little body slightly closer to reassure her.
She looked down at Johnny holding her right and hand and gave him a forced sincere smile.
“Mommy I’m scared.” Johnny looked into his mother’s eyes and seemed to know for the first time in his young life he might be in real trouble.
“Don’t be scared honey. Muma would never let anyone hurt you.” Rosie shook his hand trying to send him some strength.

Off in the distance, on the right side of the street, Rosie saw a street light glowing. On the left side of the street she could clearly make out the corners of a chain linked fence. Remembering she had seen a used auto parts dealer right there on a few occasions, relief started to make its way threw her.

She picked up the pace, causing Johnny to trip a few of his steps.
“Come on guys we’re going to call daddy.” Rosie was starting to believe everything would be okay.
She knew it might be closed but a business had to have a pay phone outside somewhere.

They all crossed the street to walk along the chain-linked fence towards the main office. Rosie looked at the mountains of old cars and parts. After walking another eighty feet along the fence they entered the parking area filled with gray pea stone. Rosie’s feet made sounds akin to walking in snow. Johnny was tiptoeing threw. She could see the door to the office. She pictured how the man might look sitting at his desk conducting his business. As she got to the door she looked threw the window. Her heart sank realizing it was closed.

Johnny amused himself circling around her knees. Nikky struggled in her arms to join him. Her mind filled with thoughts of what to do next, she let her down to join her brother. They both circled her legs playing tag. Scratching her head trying to figure out where the owner would put the outside pay phone, Rosie sensed the decreased activity at her feet. As she looked down to see her children, her heart almost stopped. Johnny was alone.
“Nikky!” Rosie called. Panic-stricken she started to searched the dark lot.

Off the left corner of Rosie’s eye was Nikky finishing up squeezing herself in between the bolted gates, leading to the mountains of cars and used parts.
“NIKKY NOOOOOOOOOO!” Rosie screamed reeling in pure instinct.

Grabbing Johnny’s hand she ran towards the fence.
“Nikky come to mommy.” She pushed her hand threw the fence beckoning her daughter to take it.
Nikky gave Rosie her familiar come get me smile and ran deeper into the fenced in lot.

Rosie ran to the gate and quickly ascertained that she would never fit threw the gates. Looking up she decided to climb the fence.
“Johnny stay put!” Her voice was saturated with command. She looked deep into his eyes to make sure it took.
She pushed her toe into the hole carved out by metal chain links and started up to the top.
“NIKKY!” She called one last time hoping she wouldn’t have to make this dreaded trip over the fence. Nikky just laughed and continued to run.
“Johnny don’t you move. Okay honey? “ She was half way up and looked down to make her sure her words were obeyed.

Johnny looked up his eyes filled more fright than she had ever seen coming from them. She took her last look and made her way up the fence. Reaching the top was surprisingly easy. She wavered at the top for a few seconds then put her left foot over to the other side. As she was bringing her right one to the other side too her pants snagged and dragged the inside of her chin into the pointed metal on the top of the fence. Blood immediately gushed from the newly created gash.

Rosie screamed in pain as her feet hit the ground. The warm blood rushed into her sock. She didn’t have time to worry about that now. Nikky was almost out of sight.
“NIKKY!” Rosie called again her voice filled with penetrating authority in the hopes Nikky might at least stop scampering further away.

It worked Nikky stopped dead in her tracks and pushed her arms out as if she were balancing on a beam. To Rosie’s horror, it was not from her authoritative squeals. Even at her tender age of two, Nikky knew she was in real danger. Three Rot Wailers had come out of nowhere and surrounded her little body. The blood rushed from Rosie’s brain. Stinging sensations invaded her arm pits while millions of thoughts swirled through her mind. The one blaring thought that could not be ignored was she was incapable of watching her daughter die in this manner. The biggest dog and the one with Nikky’s back toward it began its crouch to pouch on her.

Pure instinct took over her and she raised her arms and let out a screech from the furthest depths of her middle. It was just enough to make the dogs stop and look in her direction. Rosie ran straight towards the three dogs. The smell of wet dog permeated her nasal passages. They turned their heads towards Rosie and showed their teeth as if to say this is my food. Without thinking, Rosie kept running until she reached her daughter. Still screaming she lunged at Nikky and threw her body over her, making sure she didn’t fall right on top of her. She had grabbed her husband’s suede jacket that morning and had enough room in it to scoop it around Nikky.

She was now the center of attention for the three dogs. Wasting no time she zipped the coat around Nikky and held her in place with her left arm. The other arm she waved frantically at the ominous dogs. The three dogs were closing in around Rosie and raising their noses in unison sniffing the air. It was the blood dripping from her leg.
“MOMMY!” Johnny suddenly called. His face filled with abject terror.
Rosie looked at the gate where he was standing “Stay put. Don’t come in here. I mean it.” She realized she had forgotten him for a second.

As if sharing a brain, the three dogs descended on Rosie. The biggest one grabbed her jacket in the back near her neck while the second grabbed her shoe pulling her leg out straight then flipped her onto her stomach. The third dog wasted no time and sunk his teeth deep into her right buttocks. He twisted his head and tore away the flesh he had in his mouth. Her thoughts were briefly lost, immerged in terror and pain. She pulled her foot away from the dog that still had it in its clutches and wriggled for a few seconds towards the gate on her right elbow and knees. Nikky was holding on for dear life inside her coat. Rosie almost felt she was snug enough to use the left hand she had clutched around her little body but quickly changed her mind.

The attack was back on. As if to repeat the process again, the dogs came back in the same formation. Rosie was waving frantically to keep them away. That’s when she saw it. It was a rusted heavy metal pipe that fit neatly into the palm of her hand. It was only a little longer than the average size ruler but she grabbed it, and instantly clipped the third dog’s teeth that were heading back towards her buttocks again. She threw her arm over the top of her head and caught the dog on her jacket in the right eye. He pulled away for only seconds and grabbed her jacket again and dragged her on the now open wound on her right buttock. Sand and rocks ground themselves deep into the gaping hole in her backside.

Rosie’s thoughts suddenly became incredibly lucid. She remembered one day in particular of a little boy she grew up with who always got picked on. Five boys had surrounded him and meant him harm. He balled up his fists and pushed his arms up straight by his side and spun around. Even though all five boys were bigger than he, no one could get close to him. Smashing the dog at the back of her neck one more time hard she rested all her weight on her left buttock. She swung the pipe from left to right so fast she thought it might fly right out of her hand. The dogs retreated just a bit giving her time to push her now bleeding body a little more towards the gate. She used her feet and left elbow and pushed backwards on her left side. She shimmed like a person on a military maneuver.

It seemed like an eternity but she kept this up until she reached the gate. With her back against the gate she called to Johnny.
“Johnny when I tell you, grab Nikky okay?” She looked to find Johnny in tears shaking his head in agreement.
Rosie increased the waving of the pipe as she got to her feet. She sporadically lunged at the dogs to give herself time to shake Nikky loose from her coat. Once on the ground, Nikky wanted out. She on her own power ran straight to the hole in the gate she came in on.
“PULL HER THREW!” She screamed at Johnny.
He skillfully squeezed her body threw the locked gate while his mother fought back the dogs. Their growls and barks were vibrating threw Rosie’s torso. Her fear had been replaced with determination. Once Nikky was safely on the other side she started to edge herself towards the fence. The dogs charged at her. She didn’t break her swing and caught them on the noses. With only seconds to make her move, she jumped with as much strength as she had left and grabbed the chain link with her left hand. The dogs charged again which lined their three heads up close together at her now swinging feet. With one last-ditch effort she focused on their heads and threw the pipe hitting the middle dog sending them scrambling just long enough to grab the fence with both hands.

The pain was immense but she forced herself to block it out. The big heavy dogs where now jumping on the fence shaking it; almost shaking her back on the ground with them. Rosie found herself teetering back on the top of the fence this time bleeding and terrified. She mustered all the strength she had left to lower herself halfway down. At that point she realized she would have to jump the rest of the way, since the dogs were angrily biting the fence.

Once on the ground Nikky and Johnny ran to her. She put her shaking arms around them grabbing both hard. Tears ran down her face as the actuality of her conquest found its way to her mind. Throwing her head back she let out a scream that could be heard for some distance. At that moment, headlights blinded her. A car pulled into the parking lot.

“Rosie, Rosie, wake up.” Paul’s soothing voice floated threw her head.
Rosie slowly opened her eyes. She immediately remembered her kids and the dogs.
“Nikky!” Rosie struggled to sit up.
“Calm down Rosie. It’s all right.” Paul was sitting in a chair next to her bed. Voices calling for doctors rang out from the ceiling.
“Where are the kids?” Rosie demanded.
“Their fine. Thanks to you. They’re at your mothers.” Paul held her hand as he spoke.
Paul’s words told her volumes. It was not all a bad dream it actually happened.
“How did I get here?” She asked looking around at her room in the hospital.
“You passed out just at the guy who owned the place pulled in the lot. Johnny filled in the blanks of how and why you were there. You saved Nikky’s life honey.” Paul’s usually controlled blue eyes were flowing with tears now.
“If only I had stayed in the car.” Tears ran from her eyes too soaking the pillow under her head.
“Stop! The blame game is a game for two.” Paul quickly interrupted.
He stood up and looked her in the eyes.
“Remember what I told you two days ago when you told me the radio kept turning off whenever you hit the brakes?” Paul glared at Rosie.
“Yeah you told me I didn’t know enough about cars and to let you know when something really happens.”
Rosie was looking straight at Paul, who had a concerned look on his face.
“Well the car has been towed to Dennis’s Garage and it turns out the battery cable was falling off of the terminal.” Paul looked at the ceiling in embarrassment.
“When you were hitting the brakes the cable was slipping off just enough to make the radio go off and on. Just like you said. So if I had checked………Paul dropped his head in shame.
“Stop.” This time it was Rosie who interrupted.
Paul sat back down in his chair and twisted his thumbs.
“Someone heard you screaming and called the owner. That’s why he came back.” He lowered his head shamefully thinking about his wife alone with attack dogs all because he didn’t believe her.

Rosie pushed her hand under her butt to sit up. Pain stopped her in her tracks as she fell back into the laying position. Remembering all the bites she took she realized how she might look later.
“You’ll never make love to the same person again.” Rosie lowered her eyes and tilted her head to the right side of her body.
“Nope.” Paul’s voice showed no hesitation.
Rosie was thankful for his candor.
Paul held her hand and kissed it. “Every time I see your scars I’ll be reminded I’m making love to a hero.”

Allein Tue Feb 13 13:10:11 PST 2001

Hana - I love your haiku. It's exactly how I feel in the morning. :)

Viv - I have trouble with Kanji too. :)


Litter Tue Feb 13 12:19:10 PST 2001

Oops! Forgot the header...

Tue Feb 13 12:16:39 PST 2001

Hi People!

This'll be short as my wife is a little peeved at the time I have spent writing of late, which is strange as she wants me to be successful?????

Haven't had the time to keep up much of late so any failure to mention any momentous or significant stuff is not to be taken as any sort of slight or lack of interest. Okay?

Welcome to all those I don't yet know. Hope you all have fun and learn something here.

TINA -- my heartfelt condolences to you and your family for your loss. It is still less than two years since my own father passed, so I can appreciate how you must be feeling. My prayers are with you.

HOWARD -- sorry to hear about your trials also.

HEATER -- sorry to hear about your flooding. Still, if it gets too deep as least you won't need a life jacket/preserver ;o)

BIRTHDAYS -- Nearly was April 1st but my mum held on for another five and a half hours so it is actually April 2nd. (PS that IS every year…)

ROSEMARY -- What British comedies do you like best?

Did anyone correct 'Fiord' to Fjord yet?

Must dash -- wife due home in 10.

Ciao for now,


Jerry Tue Feb 13 11:39:43 PST 2001

Hallee - one of the "thin ones" huh, I was once that way, as was my son. Now I tip the scales at 240, and my son is even bigger, while he won't say, I would say he has about 10 pounds on me. Now I am not saying that it catches up to everyone, it caught up to me when I got out of the army with all the PT and things, and went to the sedentary job as a cop. My son gained it all when he got a job working with computers. Now this also brings to mind a young fellow I knew in the service. He was the same way, in fact he was an embarsement when we went out to a place called Paul Perry's Smorgess, in El Paso. It was one of those all you can eat places, and he would go back for thirds and even fourths when the rest of us were unbuckeling our belts after seconds. He and his wife stayed with us for some time as we were getting ready to move from El Paso to Arlington Va. We moved together, as we both were selected to serve with The Old Guard in FT Meyer VA. Anyhow, I lost contact with them after I was transferred to Recruiting Command and he remained with The Old Guard, that was back in 77. On Christmas Day of 1980 I got a phone call from him. He got out of the service in 78 and moved home to Utica NY, where he got a job with the Sheriffs Department. He said it all caught up to him and that he now weighted over three hundred pounds, we were in shock as he was always so skinny we figured there was something wrong with him, especially the way he ate all the time. It was the change in jobs that did it I am sure, even thin people gain weight if they become sedentary. Well not all, my sister has always been thin, in fact today she is thinner then ever, we keep after her to go the Dr. but she hates Dr's and refuses to go. I guess there are some who are just thin, but I know she is never sedentary, she is always up at 4AM doing housework, so she can have a clean house when she leaves for work, where work begins at 6 AM. She works as a nurses aide at the local nursing home, where my wife used to work until we moved down here.

There I go on another ramble, I am going to have to learn to control my keyboard lest Jack ban me from the notebook for taking up to much space.

Have a great day all.


Debra Tue Feb 13 11:03:01 PST 2001


Yes, please wash your hands after reading any of my posts.


Rosemary Tue Feb 13 10:38:39 PST 2001

Hello all,

My thoughts and hopes go with you during this rough patch.

Have you named your baby after a cat? A pushy, opinionated cat at that.

Welcome back. Always need another mature point of view around here. (That was not a swipe at anyone, so all of you forget it.)

Everything happens at once. My sister's van threw a fit and a blood vessle broke inside my right eye and I have to go to class tonight. That means, We have to get her van to the garage, I need to have a DR. look at my eye, We have to get her to work 30 miles away then I have to get to class. So why am I sitting here boring all of you?


Hallee Tue Feb 13 10:28:30 PST 2001

TINA: My heartfelt condolences to you. I am so sad for you. You and your family will be in my prayers.

CHRISTI: Your posts are like a breath of fresh air. (grin)

GARIESS: Good to see you back.

MARY: Thank you. And what a find - that is something that will last through their kids and there kids....

HEATHER: Wow. Even in a medium where no one can see me, my thinness is a topic. You should hear everyone in my life. Because I eat like a pig - constantly. All day long. It's just one of those metabolism things, but it seems to be a source of conversation at least once a day.

Okay. Life sucks right now. Well, not life. Just my muse. I'm mad at (her)(him)(it). I'm scratching the entire 6 chapters I just finished writing and starting over. I can't stand my female protagonist, and it's getting to the point that I really don't care what happens to her either way. So, I'm starting over, giving her something major in the prologue to deal with and maybe get her to change her attitude. That's two weeks of wasted work. 28 hours of missed sleep. I could go on.

Happy Tuesday all!

Mary Tue Feb 13 10:08:11 PST 2001

HEATHER: Our local schools are revamping the art department and bought all new tables for the primary school art room. My brother teaches there and snagged me one of the old block top art room tables. It is awesome, and just the right height for my little ones. They have been doing poster paints, play-doh, chalk, cut and paste, and all kinds of messy stuff. The table in itself is inspiring. It is five feet long and two feet wide and sturdy as an ox. The maple top is unmarred even after all those years of kids being creative on it. I thought you of all people would understand my excitement over such a find.

Mary again Tue Feb 13 10:00:11 PST 2001

GARY: I missed you. Glad to see you back.

HEATHER: Get some rest. (Hey, I clean offices too. Ok, only one office, but still. It is the real estate office in town. Hmmmm...feels like I already told that sometime. Sorry if I did.)

Trying to get to the door today, but am busy helping little fingers fill out Bear in the Big Blue House, and Toy Story valentines. My daughter wanted her easel moved to the window, so I had to move my stair stepper into the "office". That sucker is heavy. I think I will come out with a line of exercise equipment that you just move around for the workout.

me again yawn) Tue Feb 13 09:50:51 PST 2001

Sorry, that came out wrong too - I've been working 18 to 20 hours a day, for the past 5 days. That's what I meant. And regular work and daily schedules included.
I think I feel a nap coming on.


P.S. Gariess, I am pleased as the breeze that you've decided to spin back into the NB.
It's interesting thinking that we women turn heads in this forum with words alone. I like that!

Teekay, did I miss your mention of slenderness?
I know Hallee is naturally thin (I was going to say 'naturally curly' as Sally from Peanuts used to say all the time)...
I could go on but my mind has already gone to bed.

Heather Tue Feb 13 09:45:36 PST 2001

Pardon my last rambling post... I have been working over 20 hours for the past two days with work (Ben, I clean offices too) and with cleaning up the mess from the flood. This is the worst flood we've ever experienced, and it still wasn't much deeper than 4 inches. I can only imagine the work of restoring a home that has water up to the ground floor or higher... probably not worth it!

I'd buy a tent.


Mary Tue Feb 13 09:45:19 PST 2001

TINA: This poem isn't overtly about death or loss, but it is comforting just the same. Christina Rossetti is my favorite poet, and I wanted to share this with you. Big hugs.

Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when 'ust in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labor you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

Heather Tue Feb 13 09:39:31 PST 2001

Tina, my prayers and warmest thoughts are on the way.
I am very sorry to hear this news.

Viv, basement has been dry now since Saturday night. The flood started on Friday, and we cleaned it up four times only to find that the water just kept coming in. So far so good today - it's not warm enough for any running water.
But I'm exhausted. And our sump pump broke down so I can't do laundry today (and I need to!) There are a multitude of basement sumps fizzing out since Friday, and many others had floods in town, so there aren't any sump pumps at the hardware stores. I'll have to go out of town to find one...

I've been clearing out boxes of damp/wet things (on the bottom third of the boxes) and washing all the clothes that got wet, but I'll have to wait to finish that until the new pump is FOUND, installed and tested. I've bought a bunch of new plastic tote boxes to replace all the cardboard ones, and have spent several hours each night transferring stuff and going through everything. I won't need a garage sale this year - all of the stuff we might have sold is damaged and hence, garbage. Hey, I don't mind! I've also been disinfecting the floor and some of our things that had to sit in the water for a while before we could do anything about it... had to try to stop the water before we worried about the material stuff. A whole box of computer disks and CD ROMS were swamped, so we chucked it all. Those were from our old computer and we didn't need them anyway. This brings to mind the question: Why on earth didn't we throw that out when we got the new system? Because my husband is a pack rat and I am a back-up the back-ups kind of person. I guess we felt we might someday need a second and third copy of windows 95 on disk? Sure. We've got 95 and 98 on CD rom, stored upstairs. Silly! So the packrats have been found out, and their 'treasures' evicted.

No great loss there!

Never thought I'd be anxiously hunting around town for sump pumps...


Christi Tue Feb 13 09:28:51 PST 2001

Tina, My heart stopped when I read your post. I'm so sorry. {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} I wish they could be real ones. We're all thinking of you and wishing you good thoughts and strength.

Mark, Can't wait to check out your link. (Did that sound bad? I think it did.)

Mary, Whatta story! And thanks for the link; the article was great. Where do you find all this stuff? You should give a course to boneheads like me who only go to one or two sites.

Teekay, Just say to yourself over and over: "Pay NO ATTENTION to those ads! They just want my money. I am a wonderful writer." ;)

And it's Tippi Hedren, I think. I loved her in 'Marnie'. Shaun Connery was in it too and he was shooo shexy. That was then and this is now, eh? Hehehehe.
How's your Mum?

Jerry, Hi there.

Gariess! You know, I always thought that the term 'like a breath of fresh air' was hooey until now. WELCOME BACK! I missed you! It's sounds like your vacation away from your computer was good for you. I'm glad you heard our wistful murmurs. :P

Howard, I missed you too, but I didn't know you were gone. ;-) I hope your daughter is doing much better. This has already been a tough year for many of us. Let's hope that more joy is in store.

Hop, Good luck. When you do get past 30, let me in on the secret. I suspect it's perseverence. And BTW, I never thought of you as a psuedo-intellectual. I've known a great many of those in my life and if one is near me for any amount of time I run off shrieking.

Thank you, Viv! Your daughter sounds adorable. And smart. Really smart.

Debra, Send that virus someplace else!

Rachel, {{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to you and your little hitchhiker.

Hugs, good wishes and good health to all.


Rhoda Tue Feb 13 08:05:44 PST 2001


Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it.


Rhoda Tue Feb 13 08:03:22 PST 2001


I don't know what to say. My prayers and thoughts are with you.


Rachel Tue Feb 13 07:54:32 PST 2001

Tina - I am so sorry to hear about your dad. My heart felt consolences.

Debra - A sick house is not a fun place to be. I hope that good health will return to all of you soon.

Garries - I'm having a boy (smiles). I found out in January while I was in hospital. We are going to name him Sebastian Jon. I am due to deliver on the 26th of this month. My doctors didn't expect me to make it this long (grins). I am always turning around and doing what people least expect. It is a good thing that Sebastian has stayed on the inside for as long as he has. I send you hugs.

Barnabas - You make me laugh:D Your secret is safe with me.

Take care all,


Debra Tue Feb 13 06:27:47 PST 2001


There are no words. I just hope you find a way to get back your happiness. Your father would want you to be happy.


Tina: Tue Feb 13 06:27:00 PST 2001

Tina: Tue Feb 13 06:26:59 PST 2001

Debra Tue Feb 13 06:26:22 PST 2001

Guys as you all know I have been living in a sick house for nearly three weeks now. We have all moved from the stomach to the respertory problems.

I am working on a short horror story. Could I submit that one this Thursday? Maybe I can get caught up.

Whatta say?


howard Tue Feb 13 05:50:24 PST 2001

TINA -- I'm truly sorry for your loss, and will be praying for comfort for you and your family.

Americo Tue Feb 13 05:23:27 PST 2001


There are not words that can express the sorrow and sadness of moments like this. Sincerest condolences.

Viv & Hana Tue Feb 13 05:12:19 PST 2001

Allein: Here is a little Japanese poem from Hana. It's in Japanese Haiku format. Oh God, she wrote it in Kanjii. Disgusting. She can enter it. I don't want to deal with this.

Whazzup Allein: Hi! I'm Hana. Here's my haiku.(I was the queen of haiku in Japanese school.)

Asa ni okita
Asa made neruwa
okinakereba eiena
toke ni okiruwa

In English it is:
In the morning I awake
to the morning I wish to sleep.
If only I could sleep,
woken by the clock.


My turn - It's Viv again.
I am so sorry you lost your father. I hope we hear from you soon. Hang in there! Viv
Is your basement dry now! Yuck, nothing like moping up a big mess. I hope you take yourself out for long walk and a big treat after this is all over... maybe coffee and a big slice of chocolate cake.

Mary, What is Themestream? I hear it mentioned time and again and I don't know what this is! Could you tell me a little more about it. I like your ideas and I don't mean to second guess you as to the source! I enjoy writing those little pieces.
I won't be on line for about 10 days unless the cyber cafe in Koh Chang will let me plug in my laptop. I'm sneaking off for a bit of a vacation. I hope to reach Anwarquat but I'm not sure...Koh Chang may be where I end up. Anyway, I need to charge my batteries because they are getting a little low. Time for a little trip to Margaritaville!

Thank you Barnabas for the letter. It was absolutely what I wanted. I have that heading and now I have that class on format. I hate to scan letters so a HUGE thank you. It's really hard to scan and send something! I spent about three hours trying to find a picture I scanned and incorporate it last night. If not for that I could have gone to bed by 2:00AM.
Teekay, please send your letter too and anyone else who has a British letter...send it please! I have BIG classes and I want everyone to get time to see it and really LOOK at it. I'll make lots of copies but if we have two or three different letters going around they'll find it more interesting.

Rhoda, I loved your Poverty! Boy, can you write! That one should be sent in where-ever to be published. It's one of those stories where you'd never guess that ending. I loved it.

Christi: Thank you!!!! Congratulations too on your publication! Writing is hard work. I just finished second to final draft of a textbook written for a good friend who is starting up a business. It's been a week of little sleep, ending in last night's no sleep and today's 7:00-5:00 second day of intensive day of Excel class. Ugh! Well, now I know what to do with my grades...I'm so glad to go to bed but I have to get up very early and get that final draft ready, and do laundry...dishes.. Viv

Eddie French Tue Feb 13 03:40:09 PST 2001

Sorry to hear about your loss. It happened to me three years ago. Don't forget to take some time for yourself over the next week.

Dialect tip of the hour Tue Feb 13 02:56:06 PST 2001

Kallang Wave
Meaning and background
The Kallang Wave is what one calls a "Mexican wave" in certain parts of the world.
Basically, it involves an audience in a sports stadium standing up and sitting down with
their hands in the air a fraction of a second later as their neighbours do so, creating a
"wave" of human hands.

I'm sure most people will know what I'm talking about. We call it the Kallang wave
beacause it sounds original.

Seriously though, the Kallang wave is named after the Kallang stadium, a famous
stadium where I come from. It used to host soccer matches and the fans used to do the
"Mexican wave" thing. To "personalise" it they decided to call it the "Kallang wave"
instead. The name stuck and that's where it comes from.

If I'm not mistaken, the stadium burnt down about a decade back so no one can do a real
"Kallang wave" anymore since there is no Kallang stadium. But they still keep the spirit
alive by still calling the wave the "Kallang wave."

Kallang is the name of the area where the stadium was built. I think.

Barnabas "Hop" Tue Feb 13 02:55:20 PST 2001

Hope you feel better.

Barnabas "Hop" Tue Feb 13 02:03:15 PST 2001

My short story "Painting" should be up in the Short story Workshop. For those of you who like to
paint real paintings, this story is not about you.

That's writers for you. Full of mood swings.

My opinion on rice is too little is bad, too much is bad. It has to be just right (now I sound like a
page out of "Goldilocks").

I eat rice everyday, it's a staple for me.

Don't tell anyone I'm a dog. The coporation which tested these intelligent enhancing chemicals
on me might find out I escaped. Right now they still think I'm in isolation chamber 2 (humans!).

Hello. I'm a n/Sh writer (that would be novel/short story writer, but I feel I'm not good enough to
use all the letters).

Wow. Co-incidentally I too hit about 30 pages then stopped in my novel. Maybe it's some
magical number which all novelists come across. I'm trying hard to continue my novel (or long

In my case though, I have too many thoughts about the novel, having written them down I realise
none of them relate to the main plot.

Another General message
I've just wrote an action Psi-packed scene in my novel remiescient of a mafia-execution. I got
inspired by all the violent scenes which appeared when we wrote those shorties. It won't be up in
the novel section though. At least not yet.

Ah... anime. I'm into that too although the lack of any anime in New Zealand (except for
Pokemon, Digimon and Dragon Ball Z) it's really annoying having only those three to watch.

General message
Speaking of Pokemon, does anyone find capturing creatures in balls and forcing them to fight in
pointless battles seem sad to you? What terrible values.
At least in Digimon the monsters are pals and help you fight to save the world.

I use to keep a diary but it ended up with entries like "today was a boring day." So I don't keep a
diary anymore but I keep a journal where I jot down any ideas I get for something. Short stories,
novels even inventions and bogus scientific theories for my stories.

You're right Teekay. People should be able to recognise their own limitations. But there are
others out there....

Having a vivid imagination, I don't even dare listen to the medical show dialogue I start to tingle
and "feel" their pain.
Here's what you wrote:

"NOTEBOOK ETTIQUETTE PAGE????? No way Jose. Writers should not embrace limits, they should fight against
I'm extra fond of MARY due to our stormy beginnings. And I know a lot more about her personality too. Don't
worry MARY, I mean that in a good way.
One more thing, Americo and I are not at loggerheads. He's at loggerheads, but he is beating his head against a brick
wall. "

So you did say (write?) not to worry Mary. Your imposter must be around again.

Ben Woestenburg Tue Feb 13 01:47:09 PST 2001

Tina: So sorry to hear about your dad. It hurt.

gariess Tue Feb 13 01:21:37 PST 2001

Hello, good people. It is I, Gariess. I have been away… from the computer… I have been as far as the den where one finds the ice box where the beer and the cantaloupe play, and seldom is heard a publisher’s word, cause the skies are so cloudy and gray. In my dreams I have flown far and wide, and I have found my humble chamber, where there are books to read, to be a journey of days or more from this instrument of the web. I have been in an ethereal miasma of the mind and body in which nothing moves faster than the final two minutes of an NBA playoff game… the time outs, the commercials, the resetting of the clock.

In my mind I’ve been to Carolina. I asked Sweet Baby James if I could say that and he said okay, as long as I don’t sing it. If you ask Sweet Baby James if you may sing "Carolina In My Mind," he will agree as long as you don’t ask him if it is North or South Carolina. After all, when a popular song refers to Carolina as though there were no geographical division, as though only a single Carolina exists, this patently pre-empts the possibility of another state of the state. "We recognize a single Carolina for the sake of sweet James’ song. But in my case James has an appropriate disdain for my vocal prowess. He doesn’t want his song croaked out by a frog who lost a wrestling match with a small alligator. He doesn’t want me to sing it either. It’s not a judgment. He doesn’t say, "Gary, you stink. Don’t offend me." And I’m not miffed in the least because James feels that way. After all, if you listen to him do it, it’s clear that he has a voice that recites words and rings out tones as though he himself is an instrument. He adds tone like a hybrid of a horn and a country fiddle. To a devotee of the sophistication of Basie, George Sherman, or Diana Krall, the literal expression of that might bring forth shudders, but it is hard to discount the unique whole that James brings forth to a song. He has brought the folksies and the jazzies to the table in the same way that scrumptious food brings cats and dogs to the dinner bowls.

So I have been adrift. Except for the island for a week, I have been adrift at home. I have been remiss in my commitment to the NB. When I have felt up to facing the beast on my desk, I have seized the opportunity to do a little business, after which no inspiration came to set me on the path. I have not, until now, felt the call of the pen. The wistful murmurs of your voices calling me to show myself. I hear Christi and Teekay, Heather and Debra. I hear Mary. I know there are guys here, too, but I happen to be attracted to the girls. Impeach me if you will, guys, but you know you wouldn’t have it the other way round. Besides, I just glimpsed a brief piece of a post that claims Teekay has a beautiful slim body (somebody peeked). Scrolling down the page at the ramming speed of Agamemnon’s barge didn’t stop me from spotting that little tidbit.

Rachel, How could I not mention Rachel. My favorite huggee and hugger. Is there news on that front? Is there a Rachelette yet?

I am so glad to be back among the 'bookers. I love you guys, too, even though I made the remark about the girls, but I can’t be the only one who reacts that way. Like my old Grandpa told me once in his quivering voice. "I still look at the girls. I just can’t remember why." Besides you know that all I see is your souls, ladies, as I let them take form in my mind. It seems to be Americo in who’s mind your earthly forms take shape. And, of course, there is Teekay sending those pictures around. She’s a devil but I adore her.


John Jop Mon Feb 12 22:55:14 PST 2001

My name is John and I am writing a book on paramedics and the way they mis-treat the general public. This book will be a true look at the profession and all that goes on as I have been in this line of work for 14 years. I would appreciate it, if you could please read the first chapter and rate it. I want to write a book that everyone can understand and appreciate. Please let me know what you think? I also need help getting published if you know someone that can help.

Allein Mon Feb 12 22:45:08 PST 2001

Tina - I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. My deepest condolences to your family. I will be thinking about you and praying for you. *hugs*

Viv - I speak more Japanese than anyone in my family. My grandpa learned some when he was in WWII but he said it wasn't anything too nice. I know Japanese swear words - I have a book that has all that stuff in there. My friends and I also know the rude dialect, we call each other 'ore' for 'you' instead of 'anata'. I'm sitting here listening to some cute little Japanese songs. Here are some of the lyrics:

"Funny Funny Little Girl"
Kyou mo funny funny beat, itsu demo.
Watashi bugi ugi dance, jiyuu ni.
Dakara very very good, hashaida.
Haato ni yume ga afure dasu.

Jitto shite nai no, watashi no.
Mune ni ring a ring a bell, sukoshi mo.
Jitto deki nai no, sutoki na.
Yokan wa dare yori mo wakaru no.

Hora ne funny funny beat, itsu demo.
Watashi bugi ugi dance, jiyuu ni.
Dakara very very good, hashaida.
Haato ni yume ga afure dasu.

"My Omlette"
(the first part is basically nonsense gibberish - actually, the entire song is nonsence gibberish, about eggs)

Tomato wa dame
Watashi no mono
Tako wa ageru
Mitame ga kirai

Pappara funi funi pappara hoe hoe
Pappara funi funi tamago
Pappara funi funi pappara hoe hoe
Yuden akaya nama tamago
Pappara funi funi pappara hoe hoe
Pappara funi funi biiru
Pappara funi funi pappara hoe hoe
Yuden akaya nama biiru

Tamago wa dame
Watashi no mono
Yan tamago tamago

A lot of these anime songs don't make sense. There was one anime song I heard that said "We were born on the same planet...a miracle romance." If that's all it takes, then where's my romance with Prince William? He was born on Earth, I think.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Feb 12 22:08:33 PST 2001

Tina, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Having lost my mother-in-law in October I can empathize with the sorrow you are experiencing and the time of grief.

On a completely different subject, just got back from going to Hannibal. I was sorely worried that they would not do justice to the book. As it happens, they did it just as well. They were actually surprisingly close to the book in many ways and where they diverged it made great sense. The ending in particular resonates in a way that works. I still prefer what took place in the book better, but this works very very well indeed. Take care everyone.

Jerry Mon Feb 12 20:13:52 PST 2001

Tina, so sorry to hear of your loss, loosing a parent is a terrible thing, I know it took me ages to get over the death of my father. I will keep you in my thoughts a prayers.

My daughter-in-law is in college studying to be a RN. She enrolled in a creative writing course this semester, and is using me as a story generator, I guess would be the best description. She can write quite well, but has trouble coming up with the basic idea, so writes me an email asking for suggestions. I can usually come up with something she likes. She sends me a copy of her story once it is done, and I offer encouragement. It is hard not to tear into it and rewrite it the way I used to when I was in college, but I know she must learn how to do it on her own, so I try not to be too critical. She got an A on her first story, using my suggestion as seed. Her latest is very good. The assignment was to write from another's point of view. It should be in the words of someone who you dislike or hate. I suggested a story from a child molester's point of view, using the person I most detest as an example. She did a very good job, in fact reading it is a bit like looking into the very mind of a molester. I recall responding to a call where I ended up arresting such a monster. It seems one of his victims escaped, and ran to her mothers boyfriend. The boyfriend caught up to him before we did, as we were called by the child's mother. When we got there, the molester was extremely happy to see us, as the fellow beat the living hell right out of him. When we were finished with executing the search warrant on his trailer house, we knew exactly how the fellow felt. We found well over two hundred explicit photos of what he was doing to the little girls in his neighborhood. He was convicted by his own photos. The children were not even called, the photos were allowed to speak for them. I never did hear what happened to the children, I hope the grew up all right, they were all kids from broken homes, who the molester stepped in acting like a father to them. The mothers never suspected a thing until the one child broke free and ran home, the reason she was angry was that the molester spurned her and was paying more attention to another girl. These kids were so messed up by this monster, but I can't help but wonder where the moms were, some of them thought it was great that this guy would pay attention to their kids, glad that he would take care of them so the moms could have a break. I guess it is easy to point fingers. The fellow was sentenced to twenty years in the State Pen. He is still there today, but at the trial, out in the halls I heard the parents talking of what they would do to him should he ever return. I have no doubt that the fellow would not long survive should he get out of the prison and come home, not if these folks knew about it anyhow.

I guess I am rambling again. Have a great day everyone.


Mark Mon Feb 12 19:23:57 PST 2001

HEATHER and MARY -- Here's a link to Alice Walker's "Everyday Use." It's a short story, will load in your browser quicker than the Notebook sometimes.

An altavista search for "Everyday Use" and "Walker" (both terms, both in quotes, with the word 'and') got me here, and got me several interesting critiques from professional, academic and student readers. "Everyday Use" is probably the second richest short story I've seen in terms of critiques available. The leader, in my experience, is Stephen Crane's "Open Boat."

HOWARD -- So on the one hand you have good news, and on the other hand you have bad news. Does one feel heavier than the other? Glad to see you posting.

Mary Mon Feb 12 18:44:45 PST 2001

TINA: My heartfelt condolences. So sorry to hear of your loss.

Mary Mon Feb 12 17:42:42 PST 2001

JOHN: My brother teaches at the high school, but lives very close to Thiel College where he attained his degrees. A lot has been done to the campus lately. It was so beautiful when we went to his Masters ceremony last year. I couldn't believe the differences in the place since I had been there for his first graduation.


I didn't get to the door today. I was too busy trying to reconnect phone lines to my office that had been sliced in the basement. I never did get it. I am afraid I will have to call the phone company to come do it. Grrrr. Oh well, all the furniture is moved in. Was a fairly productive day.

Write strong.

Tina Mon Feb 12 17:24:54 PST 2001

Gotta be away for awhile. My dad died this afternoon. Be back when I can.


John Mon Feb 12 16:57:57 PST 2001

HOP: Thanks for the critique on the Banister...After all the feed back in the same direction, I've done some rereading and decided that my writing reflects the way I think....Scccaattered. I'm going to be working on that.

MARY: That's pretty cool. Does your Bro in Law work at Thiel College or the High School? I went to Reynolds High School a million years ago. (hyperbole violation)

TEEKAY: Well ya know..when it rains, it pours. (that's three)

Teekay Mon Feb 12 16:16:50 PST 2001

I found this, I haven't looked at it yet, but my Mum & Dad have just arrived and I haven't seen them for 2 years, so

Teekay Mon Feb 12 16:07:07 PST 2001

Whoopsy, sorry, that last post is mine.

Mon Feb 12 16:05:58 PST 2001

Morning All,
MARY: I think you should saw it in half. Just do it right and make it gorgeous. :-)
Great shorty.

HALLEE: Thanks. Me too. With you that is. I have conversations with myself all the time. :-)

VIV: I've sent the letter. Hope it works out okay. The battle got soooo ugly, my hubby ended up doing it.

HOWARD: You know we missed you. Glad all is sort of well.

JOHN: Coincidence. I got an email from my girlfriend this a.m with the subject title 'it doesn't rain, it pours.' Now you don't hear that everyday do you? Let alone twice. Hmmmm, wonder if it's going to rain? Fingers crossed.

BEN: Good luck.

ANYONEWHOCARES: I bought the writers digest for the first time in ages yesterday (it was late in, if I do buy a writing magazine it's usually writers news, which is an English mag. Lovely and glossy and half of it I'm not even interested in, but it looks real purty.)

Anyway, reading through it I found it to be rather depressing. I find it amazing all those ads for writing courses. Actually most of the ads I find disheartening. It makes it seem like it's impossible to do it on your own. I think in future I'll just skip the ads and just read the articles.
Oh, in it I saw an ad for Stephen kings book on writing so I raced out this morning and bought it. Hope it's really inspiring. I lurve inspiring!

Now I must see if I can find a link to my home town, and then I've gotta work out how to link it.

Does anybody know the name of Melanie Griffiths mother?? Tippi Hendrix? Tippi Hendren?
Tippi ???

Kru Heller Mon Feb 12 14:28:09 PST 2001

Hi Group,
Thanks everybody for the welcome and the tips. I am waiting for the password so I can post something. But then I will be in a bind to pick something to send. The Thursday night thing you do sounds interesting. When and how do you get the topic for the coming Thursday?


Ben Woestenburg Mon Feb 12 12:45:50 PST 2001

Eddie you wanted to see where I live. Then you'll want to see Vancouver, considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I don't live downtown. I live in a place called Surrey--it's the butt of every joke in town, sort of the Cleveland of B.C. But they do call it the "City Of Parks", so you figure it out. I'm sure they have a web site as well, but I didn't go looking for it yet.

I'm up to my armpits in laundry. I have to go to the video store and drop off last night's movie for the kids; the post office to send off a story--I decided to try PLAYBOY just for the heck of it, but I'm not holding my breath. I have three others I'm supposed to send off. I wanted to try GLIMMER TRAIN, but they're not taking anything until April. After I get back from all that, I have to get dinner ready for the kids--wife's working and has to go to some other work related function after. Then I have to get ready for work. Unfortunately we only have one car, so I have to try and get a ride in.

So I guess I better run now, or I'll be so far behind I won't catch up.

Mary Mon Feb 12 12:45:19 PST 2001

HOWARD: Bet you are relieved about your daughter. My appendix ruptured when I was 16, but being a freak of nature mine was on the wrong side, so it was ruptured three days before they just decided to do exploratory surgery and figure out why I was dying. I lost several feet of small intestine to peritonitis over the affair. Lost six weeks of school, but during my absence, the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony was held in my high school and I had been selected. I had to show up and when I got there, one of the star football players carried me up all the steps and up to the stage, then back down again and I went home. There is my appendix story.

JOHN: My brother and sister-in-law live in Greenville now. He teaches physics and coaches football there. Beautiful town with those old Painted Ladies.

My husband and I used to spend a lot of time at the State Theatre in Cleveland. Then we had children and now we spend a lot of time at McDonald's. Hidy-ho there, neighbor.

John Mon Feb 12 10:28:00 PST 2001

Welcome back Howard... Glad to hear that everyone's mostly intact. When it rains, it pours donit?

howard Mon Feb 12 09:48:17 PST 2001

I'm back! I know, nobody even knew that I was gone. O well, such is life in the passed lane.

No. 2 daughter is much better now. The doctor decided to do an appendectomy, even though the only symptom was the pain. He said that because of the family history he'd go ahead. Now he's glad he did. He said that it's very uncommon, but there was a stone in the appendix, and that inflammation was just beginning. The surgery was on Friday noght, and it was the old-fashioned kind, so he'd have room to look around if he needed to. She sent home from the hospital Sunday afternoon, and feels pretty good. Just can't lift anything, which makes it rough on Stephen, who'll be two next week.
Meanwhile, no. 3 is still hurting, and kinda down, because she's facing major surgery again in a few weeks. It goes on.

MARY - Great article! Thanks for the heads up!

MARK - Lem is great! Lots of good stories in "Pirx." Where to next? Who's up for some good basic science fiction? Send me your Edress -- mine's atop this post.

Thanks for the comments on "Offering." I've done a major re-shaping of it now, and am considering the idea of sending it to one of the Christian magazines.

Welcome to you newbies too! The neighborhood is growing and becoming more eclectic every &insertfavoritetimeunithere.


John Mon Feb 12 09:07:03 PST 2001

MARY: Oh I'm about 60 miles west of you, near Cleveland. I grew up in Greenville PA though.

Mary Mon Feb 12 08:54:37 PST 2001

John! Where are you? Did I miss it?

John Mon Feb 12 08:46:10 PST 2001

MARY: I didn't realize we were neighbors until you put the website link up there. That's cool

Viv Mon Feb 12 08:43:36 PST 2001

I'm completely impressed. YOU GOT IT! It's a rice poem that goes (and some of the words are "sound words") First it boils, Then the lid bounces, even though the baby is crying, don't lift the lid!
I don't speak all that well either. I can say what I want when I want...and I can cuss too, but politely. My daughter is the real Japanese. She's been here since age three and she has the ability to change between levels from polite to really horribly rude and obnoxious. (This occurs when she's hanging out with her Juku buddies and they begin their usual between class banter.)
I don't read well, or write well. My class enjoys it when I make my terrible attempts to write! I also talk like the mother of a child. I have all kinds of "little kid" pacifier, diaper, get your finger out of your nose...nice stuff but you don't really use it in business.
Back to work. The damned scanner has finished. I get to do battle again on it. It's 2:00AM and I have to be coherent and in a class to learn Excel tomorrow. Still this *#*)(*& text is nearly ready to print out. I have to scan in a few more pictures, and then get it to print in color. I also have to edit out anything yellow because that's not showing up well. Looks like I'll be watching the sunrise again. What's nice is the quiet I get at this hour. Ahhhhhh!
I hope you don't all think I'm picking garbage for a living over here. That was fiction guys...fiction. I was listening to the propaganda about Bush visiting the troops so I threw in a nice politico for the military. Maybe it will help them get a pay raise. Why not...everyone needs a payraise now and then. That COLA issue is just something that comes up when the yen rate goes low. I earn yen, my husband earns dollars so we're not picking garbage for anything except the interest value. Gomi picking is a past time here in Japan. We all tend to do it, but as a hobby. I've had a couple great garbage bicycles, and a neat set of dishes...and yes, Sister Marleen and I did raid the commissary garbage one late Tuesday evening. We had a great time! (You can get some really great vegetables on Tuesday it's worth a look! Why let things go to waste?) But no, I have to let you know, we aren't starving this week. After my husband retires...that might be another story. I guess that 60's radical press style kind of got ahold of my muse!

Mary Mon Feb 12 08:36:21 PST 2001

I highly recommend that everyone read this article. Link above.

Heather Mon Feb 12 07:14:33 PST 2001

Viv - I live in Guelph, Ontario. It's about an hour away from Toronto, if there isn't rush hour traffic to battle.

Mark - both books, but I the comment was in reference to "Everyday Use".

Jerry, I loved the anecdote about the signal orange door! Priceless!

Mary Lou - Congratulations! And thanks for reminding me about the perserverance bit. :o)

Hallee! Thank you thank you thank you... my basement thanks you!


Mary Mon Feb 12 07:09:56 PST 2001

I didn't know our town had a website! It is even pretty nice. Link above.

HALLEE: This buds for you! @>-->---
Now you can't say there weren't any posts just for you! :-)

OK, that's it. I am cutting the door. Today!

Mark Mon Feb 12 06:41:48 PST 2001

MARY -- That was delicious. Thank you.

HEATHER -- Which Book? "Ender" or "Everyday Use"?

Hallee Mon Feb 12 01:55:02 PST 2001

HEATHER: I tried to call a couple of people, but I couldn't get anyone home, and their cell phones were all off. There should be some sort of an epoxy patch you will be able to buy at your local home supply store, and if you call one of your local guys, they'll be able to tell you the brand name. Either way, I'll check when I get to work this morning.

MARY: That shorty was so sweet. Oh, and I'd cut the door.

MARY LOU: Congratulations. That's exciting.

ROSEMARY: I've been having problems, too. And, I had a character that would get really stiff and speak almost formally when he got mad enough. He said "to whom.." once, and it opened the door to a hillarious verbal sparring match with the girl character. I was chuckling when I wrote it.

TEEKAY: I would love to have a conversation with you. You're a riot.

AMERICO: Hugs to you. Did your team win?

HOP: Lamblasted...hahahahaha.

EVERYONE: Hi! Happy Monday. It took so long to read posts, and nothing was really to me, so I'll just give a general wave hello.

Okay, time to go finish chapter 6. This week is going to be absolutely nuts. Tonight is the only night I don't have meetings or something, and we still haven't bought and filled out Kaylee's valentines, which means I need to do that tonight or I'll end up doing that Wednesday morning early.

Oh, yeah, we live in Tallahassee, but my husband grew up in St. Augustine, which is where our heart is (just no good paying jobs). So, that's the link I provided. If you want my hometown, you'll need to go to (or something like that) hahaha. Anyway, the link above is the "official" St. Augustine site, but it doesn't do the city justice. I'll find a better site when I have more caffeine in my bloodstream.


Mary Sun Feb 11 23:40:28 PST 2001

HEATHER: Your "movie premier" comment inspired this shortie. It is not about burnout, and it is not about poverty either. We were mighty poor, but not poor enough to qualify as "impoverished", I don't think. Treats like this were a big deal.

Lined up at the sink in the little green bathroom, my two kid brothers and I were scrubbing our faces and slicking down hairs. Under our bedroom doors that morning, our mother had slipped invitations to a tea party around her kitchen table and we were due there shortly. The kitchen door had been closed tight for over an hour, but the smells crept out through the cracks. Drying our hands, we guessed back and forth as to what would be on the cookie plate in the center of the table beside the chipped teapot. At eight years old, I was the only one of us who could tell time, but my brothers could count the chimes on the clock when it struck two and not one of us was late.

The kitchen door opened and there was my mother in her apron. She had many different aprons in wild patterns and colors that had been passed down to her from my grandmothers, but she wore them seldom. When she had one on, we knew it was "best behavior" time. She kissed our foreheads as we filed past her, making a fuss over how nice we looked, and we hopped up onto our seats.

Petticoat Tails, sugar cookies and shortbread teased us from the round platter in the center of the table and only now, as a grown woman, do I know that the cookies she made were chosen because they didn't take any eggs.

The mood turned festive and jovial after the cookies were served and the tea was poured. We would spend over an hour around that table, poking fun at each other, or telling home-made jokes that weren't particularly funny. Nevermind the hole in the tablecloth or the mismatched plates. Nobody cared. When bellies were full of cookies and tea, and the time came to clean up the mess, we were all sure to scavenge our tea bag tickets. They were good for admission into movie night, or sometimes piggy back rides. The older my father got, the more tickets piggy back rides cost until we could no longer afford them. You know you're poor when you can't afford a piggy back ride. I think he charges my children 10 tickets a piece. That's outrageous.

Yawns........its 3am. Forgive me if that is choppy. Nytol.

Heather Sun Feb 11 22:52:35 PST 2001

Mark, I like the sounds of that book.

Heather Sun Feb 11 22:49:17 PST 2001

Mary: It is, indeed, a travesty to let those beautiful antique doors rot in the garage! Saw one in half, make a little counter-like slab to fit the bottom half but lie flush with the edge of the cut, sand and varnish; and voila! One dutch door, with an attendant's sill to use as a lemonade stand when the kids are bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon in August. Or, to sell tickets to your family for the movie premier which is based on your novel.
Your imagination, no doubt, is already off to the races!

Methinks that would be a neat idea for my studio door, but I can't bear to saw the image of the Virgin Mary in half. She's plain to see in the knots of curly maple of that door, and you can see her from both sides.


Mary Lou Hagen Sun Feb 11 22:12:51 PST 2001

Writing is some of the hardest, if not the hardest, work I have ever done. Although I have published a few articles, and a short story, my novels have collected nothing but rejection slips and dust. Finally, I found a publisher who is willing to take a chance on me. The book will be out sometime this year. I'm excited and can hardly wait to see my work in print. Perserverance does pay off!

Jerry Sun Feb 11 21:27:45 PST 2001

Mark - damn, I used to do that to transistor radios myself. Did you know that if you take one of those old 8 transistor AM radios and take out the 9 volt battery, then hook it up to a 6 volt lantern battery that you can get shortwave? I used to do that, but it did look a bit strange walking down the street with this big six volt lantern battery to which I had black taped the jade green transistor.

Cut that door in half and use it! Way back when, I think it must have been 1971, the Unit I was stationed with in Fort Lewis was transferred to Fort Bliss Tx. Since my wife was three months pregnant, we had to move with the advanced party, or stay in Fort Lewis and be transferred to another unit, which of course was out of the question in my mind. So away we went in my old 1963 Ford Club van, back to the Dakotas, then on down to Fort Bliss. When we got there, the Barracks, which had not been lived in since sometime in the mid 60's were turned over to us to ready for the troops. What a mess they were what with everything covered with about three inches of desert sand, scorpions, tarantula's and snakes, but in due time, we had them looking a bit military. I was with the Regemental Communications Section, and was given the task to make ready the message center. Well to begin with, a message center must have a dutch door, to serve the unit with their messages, so one of my chores was to cut the door in half and build a little shelf on which I could place the messages. The cut itself went very well, and looked almost professional, but the shelf was a different story. The wood was a different color, and in fact a different type altogether. Well to cure it all, I went to the R & U Section (Repairs and Utilities) And requisitioned a gallon of Signal Orange paint, and covered all that gorgeous oak with bright signal orange paint. I would bet that that door still serves the unit well. Good luck, cut the door and if it looks bad, there is always another gallon of paint somewhere, but I would advise against signal orange in the home.

There I go again, rambling on about the past, hope all is well with everyone, time for this one to go to bed.

Night All.


Mark Sun Feb 11 20:39:53 PST 2001

Hi all. It's 11 p.m. here. Just finished Ender's Game. Excellent reading material. Now to read it again more slowly (maybe take two days). The second time through is for critique. This book works, now find out why. mmmmm. I used to do that with transistor radios.

MARY -- That's an excellent question :: "is it sacrilegious to saw an antique, solid oak door in half?" Alice Walker has a wonderful story called "Everyday Use." In the story, two sisters argue with Mom for rights to a Mom-made quilt. One sister wants to put it to everyday use, the other sister wants to put it into a museum. The story is generally seen as Walker's statement on one of the quandries of Art. Some university critics see it as Walker answering the question, I see it as Walker fleshing it out with no real answer. Like most such questions, both answers are right.

Personally, I think Art should be shared. Rotting in a garage is out. Cut in half for use in the house is much better and constitutes a personal statement, but if the doors are noteworthy for their design (rather than just because they are oak), then I'd feel obligated to use them where some traffic would pass.

A friend and former partner of mine is of the Sikh religion and from India. He and his wife agonized over whether to enroll their son in a private religious school or public school. The boy would wear a turban all the time and be an obvious target in grade school circles. But the public school would integrate him more firmly into American life. When he presented his dilemma to me (albeit more fully), I said 'Hey, kids will be hurtful and kids will make friends in either school.' For me it all came down to a question of make him an American Sikh or an Indian Sikh. Either way, I didn't believe he would lose any friends.

An oak door is much less important than a child's religious upbringing, yet it has the same delicious aroma of a dilemma waiting to be bitten.

Nothing make better reading than good human conflict, and that's just what a choice is.

Tina Sun Feb 11 20:16:14 PST 2001


Laura, your link didn't work for me. Site not found. Try again, I'd love to see those pages!

Eddie, I checked out your town and it looks lovely. I'd love to live someplace with that much history.
There are two pages for my home town. I put the better one up above, and the so-so one is

Hello and welcome Kru!

Think I'll go check out the workbook. :-)


Rosemary Sun Feb 11 20:15:52 PST 2001

Thanks to HEATHER and TEEKAY for the spelling. Who would have suspected that lousy 'g'. I know it is pronounced vin*yet. And yes, when I entered vig into my dictionary, there it was.

Glad TEEKAY is not the sick one.

That's it for me for tonight. British comedy's on PBS now.


Rachel Sun Feb 11 18:45:45 PST 2001

Americo - Thanks for the hugs. Here is a hug back for you. I'm having one of those days again. I think it must be an end of pregnancy thing. I feel kind of tired and grumpy.

Barnabas - So, you are a dog... Woof.

All - Don't you just hate when you write a post and it vanishes? I had that happen just now. My first post was pretty much the same as this one. I'm happy I didn't write one of those long posts and then have it vanish. That would have ticked me off.

Take care all,


Mary Sun Feb 11 18:44:53 PST 2001

Spent the whole day wallpapering a spare room to turn it into my office! Finally, a place with a door and a window that I can call "Mine Mine Mine" and not have to share. I feel like putting about six dead-bolts on the door like in those apartments you see in movies set in New York City (takes the tenants three minutes to unlock and let anyone in). Ahhh, who am I kidding? I give that wallpaper six days before it has crayon stick figures drawn all over it. neck aches. Actually, I wish I could find a good price on a dutch door. Those are so charming in an old house. I will have to scour the flea markets this summer. Is it possible to saw a solid wood door in half and make it myself? Hmmmmm...time to investigate hardware, I think. There are four solid oak doors in my garage that were there when we moved in. If the panels cooperate, it is possible. But is it sacrilegious to saw an antique, solid oak door in half? No, I think it is more a travesty to let them rot in the garage. HEATHER, what do you think of that?

Heather Sun Feb 11 18:04:30 PST 2001

Rosemary - look under 'vig' and you will find 'vignette'. The word is french in origin, if I am not mistaken. French has some strange silent letters as does English! (As many english words are taken from the french language). When you least expect to find a 'g' in a word, there it is.
Though, it is a lovely letter. Ag Ag Ag Ag gggg! (Popeye laughter)


Heather Sun Feb 11 17:51:02 PST 2001

Oh, Mary, it's not a question of calibre to head a round robin! I just wrote the intro and now I read everything posted in it, and prepare my editing pen. There isn't much I can do about whether or not people get inspired to write more into the collection save saying,
"Hey now, everyone, the Phantasium round robin has been quiet too long! Put some eerie haunting noises into it soon!"

WELCOME KRU! I sent you an email with a suggestion that I hope will help!

Hallee, you are terribly sweet! I will call some concrete people in Guelph Monday morning, and I hope they aren't swamped - in more ways than one.

I wrote this in the morning, hope it's still relevant!

Laura Http:// Project Sun Feb 11 16:51:43 PST 2001

uh...I think this is right

Laura Milanovich Sun Feb 11 16:49:38 PST 2001

I thought you might want to see one of my two sites based on my work....

laura Milanovich Sun Feb 11 16:47:33 PST 2001

I just reposted my revised version of my story.... I hope you like it....


Eddie French Sun Feb 11 16:45:14 PST 2001

The above link will take you to my home town.
Please post your home town URL (If you can find one)It would be great to get a picture of where you are. I was delighted to see where Jerry lives.

Eddie French Sun Feb 11 16:33:07 PST 2001

I suppose I'd better own up. I wrote Burnout as 'Friend' not to play clever or try to fool anyone, but merely to get an unbiased reaction from those who know me here.
I do realise that it may have been a bit close to home because of events in America over the past few years, but I do think that a writer must stretch his/her ability to reach into any subjects mind.
I am sorry if I touched any nerves.
I also messed up Poverty quite a bit. It was very dependent on formatting and it did not come out the way it looked in the box.
I have just completely re-furbished 'The Retreat' if anybody would care to take a look. I have opened an on-line store. What do you think. (I AM NOT TOUTING FOR SALES HERE AT THE NOTEBOOK!) I would value your opinions though.
I thoroughly enjoyed the shorty nights this week. Well done everybody who participated.
It has been an interesting week here at the NB.

Teekay Sun Feb 11 15:55:26 PST 2001

BARNABAS: It sounds like your trying to talk yourself into being a psuedo intellectual dork. If that's what you want,, that's fine.
When you watch those medical shows on TV do you have all the symptoms too?? heh heh.
When did I say not to worry MARY?? You can worry MARY. Sorry MARY.
About limits at this site. I don't know about you, but I feel like a grown up who can recognise my own limitations. I can choose my behaviour and the beauty of this being on the web is that you don't need to read my posts if you choose not to. We all have that choice.

But sometimes crazy people are interesting. Sometimes bigots are interesting, sometimes fools are interesting. Granted, not for very long, but they exist and we can get insight from them.

If you don't want insight from them, skip the posts, but don't suggest turning this place into some stultifying gemtlemens club where only the very normal and the very decent are welcome. You are only cutting your own throat by doing that and by having that attitude.

I remember that Stephen King said something like it was human nature to peek at a car accident when going past. Actually I don't, I cover my eyes. But according to Jung, I'm only 1% of the population.

ROSEMARY: I think its vignette.
No, I'm not sick. Americo is playing 'gaslight'. He is sooo cute isn't he.

Okay, am going again. i hope no one else has posted so that I have to come back for another 15 minutes and put some more 2 cents worth in. :-D

Christi Sun Feb 11 15:43:37 PST 2001

Ramon, Can you ever forgive me? I got so excited with what's happened in the last few days I completely forgot to relay your message!

Ramon is well and is still frequenting this place. He emailed me letting me know that he's finishing up a story and is going to put it in the workbook when he can get to a cyber-cafe in his area. He sends a big "HI!" to everyone! Come back soon, Ramon!

Teekay Sun Feb 11 15:32:58 PST 2001

BEN: I was just trying to figure if you meant Americo was angry or wether you meant he was insane, but your description was very artistic and I enjoyed reading it and I'm not sorry I asked. :-)
Haven't been personally involved with any flood encounters -touchwood.

KRU: Welcome, I'm not quite sure wether or not this is the place you're after. we don't seem to hold writing workshops as such. All of us here love to write and we do, but we also talk about a lot of other things as well.
To me it's a place of people who already write and just come together to talk - about anything. give each other advise, look at and critique each others work.
It's a wonderful place and you are very, very welcome.
Other people may see this site differently, but this is how I see it.
About the certain point in your novel where you get into trouble- well you just have to go back and work through it. Or you have to be able to recognise if the horse is truly dead. But if you had the idea clearly in your head to start with, chances are you can get through the tough spot with a bit of hard work, or a lot of hard work. Writing isn't always easy KRU, there are times when it's frustrating and hard work, but you know it's for you because you have to keep coming back, because it just won't let you go. There are soo many people in this world who want to write that 'best selling novel', I'm one of them. And if it was that easy then everybody would be doing it. :-)
As for forgetting what you have written, you could keep notes to refer back to. I read somewhere about using magazine pictures for your characters and pictures of landscapes. I haven't tried this and I probably wouldn't because I think once you're so engrossed in your novel that you live it and you remember where you've been and what you've said. This part is only theory though.
I'm assuming by your post that you haven't been to the workbook section yet.

AMERICO: Back track any faster and you'll probably fall over your feet and do yourself an injury.
My definition of the word dork came from the 'Australian Dictionary of Worldwide Fools and other Idiots'. I know it to be correct as I wrote it myself.

VIV: Sure. I'll do my own battle today. :-)

HOWARD: I'm so sorry. I forgot to say. Me too. I hope everything is going fine with you and yours.

GRAMMAR TIPPER: So is whom obsolete or not??? You can't just go around making up your own grammar rules you know. heh heh heh.

JOHN? HOWARD?: You guys talked about writing in the chat room?? Weeeeeelll now I'm curious.

AMERICO: I did not shriek!!!
About your diary. You told us what your daily routine was. I think a diary need to be just a leeeeeeettle bit more riveting. you could write a diary on all your wise and world changeing thoughts though. heh heh
*kisses to you*

I'm going. It Monday. I have things to do, people to see. Food to eat.

Rosemary Sun Feb 11 15:26:33 PST 2001

Happy Sunday to all,

I don't know about you, but I would rewrite an entire story to keep from using 'WHOM' The grammar person may be right but "...and whom do I find?" doesn't read or sound right. I have about 50 years of steady reading behind me and the use of 'whom' right or wrong, will throw me out of the story line.

Thanks for the 'whimsical' I never know what to call that piece. It was suposed to be a vynette using a color as the subject. (obviously I have forgotten how to spell vynette, venyette, vinette?' and my dictionary didn't seem to have it.)

My sympathies with the flood. My Sister's house used to flood downstairs anytime we'd get more than 4 inches of rain at a time. (not that often here.) The downstairs part was an add-on and the slab was too low. She found that if she lined up garbage cans to catch the runoff from the roof, it prevented overflow into the house. Great to water plants.

Yahoo, I've written something "COOL". That's never happened before. Many thanks.

I've been having trouble loading the Notebook off and on the last few weeks. This morning (Sunday) the message said the Notebook was not accepting transmissions. Or something like that. Am I the only one having these problems?

Is TEEKAY sick? Why are we singing to her health? I think I missed something.

I really must learn to think before I write. It would save a lot of erasing.

Vocab tip of the day Sun Feb 11 15:14:20 PST 2001

A word from Norwegian brought into English (Dialect word alert!)
A narrow inlet or arm of the sea bodered by steep cliffs.

Barnabas "Hop" Sun Feb 11 15:13:37 PST 2001

Been reading the shorts on poverty. Excellent shock value.

Completely understand what you're going through.

Congradulations on getting published.
Maybe I do qualify as a psuedo-intellectual...
and maybe I do try a little too hard.

Really...oh sorry about the mistaken identity. It's just that the shorty you posted co-
incided with Ima getting lost and being found "dead" after committing suicide. I'd like to
know more about you. Are you new or just been away?

John (e-mail address is in case there are any other Johns reading
this thinking it's them)
Finally got round to reading the Banister (I've been busy writing my own stories and
working on my web site). I've got some critic in the critique area, so please check it out.

Read your short story but I was a little bit confused about some parts thanks to the
terminology. From the other critic's I know you have been "lamblasted" (whatever that
means, I suspect it involves sheep in a weird and wonderful way) but I hope you can
tolerate a little bit more critique. My words await you in the critique section.

I'm gearing my "critique critique umbrella" and "critique critique catcher" in case you
start criticising my critiques. Okay, ready to repel the critiques and capture a few for

Interestingly, I'm talking about umbrella's while your house is flooding.

Hello. I see you require help, at least I hope you still want it.
Here goes... oh, before I start, just want to say ignore this if you like. I probably have less
experience in writing and I positively abhor "slice of life" stories (no offense to you, just
a general loathing).
Your story reminds me of a story I once wrote about a street I used walk down to
everyday. It was a stupid assignment by a teacher in retreospect because that wasn't my
writing style but the education system demanded writing like that.

I added a comman between. "outside" and "too"
"It looks small from the out side, too small to hold an auto collision repair shop".

I think you may need to add some spacing between the paragraphs. My eyes are popping
out trying to find where a new paragraph starts.

" I had constantly seen ..." I think it should be "I have constantly seen..."

I noticed that you switch from formal to informal language. For example, "That’s what
..." then "and that is how it portrayed" which kind of changes the tone dramatically,

I had constantly seen it from the inside and that is how it portrayed itself to me and I
loved bringing my customers in to show them the shop I had come to know.

The above has a mix of grammar. Here's a possible way to change it "I have constantly
seen it from the inside and that's how it portrays itself to me. I love bringing my
customers in to show them the shop I have come to know.

Once my customers stepped foot into the shop it was obvious that it re-introduced itself
to them and made it clear that it had plenty of space;

Same problem of mixed grammar above.

Once inside, the most noticeable feature is an eight-year-old paint-booth.

The sentence above needs the comma between "inside" and "the"

It has enough electrical conduit and those types of things strung on the outside to notice
its presence as more than just a room, but as the host to something serious.

That "on the outside to notice its prescence" struck me as strange.

It has some ruff edges
Perhaps it should be "It has some rough edges."

The following paragraphs were well done.

"To me before I left it behind, it could be summed..."

Added a comman between behind and it.

The ending definite suits the story.

Now I bet there will be repercussions on this lengthy critique.

I think Ima's just dead to this web site.

Well, it's nice to have some ettiqutte or some sort of general rules. Otherwise chaos. We
don't have to follow them strictly, just use them as a guide. Besides, not all writer's want
to fight limits. What if their self-imposed limits should we fight against them? In the end,
you'll end up with no limits, no direction and a silly fight.

Teekay said not to worry you so I won't.

I'll have to go look it up in the local library (once again, I'm a dog).

Americo Sun Feb 11 12:42:11 PST 2001

Okay, girls (Mary and Christie mainly -- could't read all posts: my footbal team is playing and I can't miss this match), well said. Let's sing a song to Teekay's health and return to the good old posts (no shrieking, no bad language, no ill feelings, just kisses).

Jon will probably make a speech to the empire later in the year. It will be a speech on love and its wonders. Let's prepare the room for his address. Jerry, could you spare an old microphone for out favorite cat?

Somehow I feel the need to give a hug to Rachel, Hallee and Heather. Perhaps I was not entirely fair to them, don't know why. And to Laura, a marvellous science-fiction writer.

Well, the best to all. Are you having a good Sunday? I'm reading the Diary of Virginia Woolf. Thought that it would be a good idea if I also wrote a diary. I have written fourteen volumes of a diary, but that was a long time ago. Perhaps I should resume my diary. What do you think? Is anyone writing a diary? Virginia Woolf's diary is quite good. Recommended.

John Sun Feb 11 12:36:00 PST 2001

I'm back. Couldn't get into woodworking today. More in the mood to eat. Something good. Stuffed pork chops maybe or barbecued chicken...Baked yams.. That's it! Chicken and Yams.

I went to the Poetry Workshop for the first time. Per Howard's suggestion, I started reading some of your poetry and I was quite surprised at my own reactions. Heather...You moved me. I must really enjoy your style. Mary...Same thing. As a matter of fact, I found myself engulfed in these works and realized that my facination with human nature is quenched while I read them. I was amazed. I'll spend more time there. But I don't want to critique, seein' how I don't know anything 'cept I enjoyed them.


Kru Heller Sun Feb 11 11:53:26 PST 2001

Hi Group,
Ok, lets try this again, this mouse is going to make me crazier. Thanks for all the feedback and so quickly. I will try to join and hopefully soon will have something for you all to critique. I am looking forward to this, it looks like it will be fun. Thanks. Kru

Allein Sun Feb 11 11:16:20 PST 2001

Viv - All I could get of the rhyme was: At first I walk slowly baby cover/cap/lid came off. My Japanese isn't very good. No one in my family is Japanese, actually. I don't know where my interest comes from. Maybe from anime, which is becoming increasingly popular in America. I like rice too - especially jasmine rice, though it's not Japanese. :)

Tina - I'm glad someone is reading my story. I've actually been working on it a lot lately. :) Azol is about to make his big appearance.


John Sun Feb 11 10:28:43 PST 2001

Hi All

This is my Sunday Afternoon post. Not much going on in the writing world. Just had a very trying week at work (Late nights and troubleshooting). Sorry I missed poverty. Think I'll work up a shortie anyway since my life began in the impoverished section of Kansas City.

I'll be spending the remainder of my Sunday in my woodshop. I'm working on a shadowbox for a friend of mine that collects lapel pins. I'm making it like a giant flat jewelry box with a window.

HOWARD: I truly enjoyed our chat in the chatroom. You gave me some great insights on getting started with my untroddened facets of writing. "It's a small world" is an understatement. Not many folks out there that have witnessed that aspect of the world that you and I have.

Have a great day everyone!


Grammar tip of the day Sun Feb 11 09:32:02 PST 2001

MARY: Your last post "and who do I find" should have been..........."and whom do I find"

Christi Sun Feb 11 09:13:08 PST 2001

Jerry, Your shortie was so touching, and then you had to go and make me sad. Nice. Really.

Thank you everyone. *sniff* I'd never finished a story before I came to this site. Lots of starts--no finishes. All the friendship, encouragement, and just trying to keep up with you, my peers, has been good for me. I owe so much to all of you. I hope the friendships bonded here will last a lifetime.

Howard, I'm sorry for all the troubles you've been having, and I'm relieved to hear your daughter is okay. My heart goes out to the family of your friend.
I adored you shortie.

Teekay, You nut! XOXOXO

Viv, I always love what you write. It's so interesting.

Ben, Ditto. What you do for a living amazes me. Everybody I know works in an office; it's nice to know that there are those who still earn their living in the great outdoors.
Don't know what to say about your last post. It was powerful. Sounds like you've got a lot to pull from, creative-wise. Don't ever give up and never say die!

Mary, When you came down on your price for the cafe I was geared up to go, only now you say it is not to be. :( Wish I had the dough to spot you.

Heather, Think warm, sunny beaches. Ahhhhhh!

Kru, Welcome! Mary said it better than I ever could. Don't feel bad, I've had lots of thirty page starts on novels just to have them fizzle out. I think my problem is that I don't know enough about the story before I start; I get all gung-ho and take off running. I'm sure an outline would help. That and persistence. If I ever learn the secret I'll let you know.

To Jon, I think elegance is overrated.
Thanks for the promotion. I feel I have moved on--grown up really. Feeding the poor would be ever so much more important than my last job. Say 'hi' to Americo for me, won't you? ;)

So, in closing on what may very well be my last post as NB Minister of Love Affairs, I'll be brief. Love well and be well. That is all.


mary Sun Feb 11 09:02:21 PST 2001

I just came back to see if KRU had returned yet, and who do I find? VIV!

VIV: Did you read the story at THEMESTREAM? Did you like it? As far as the themes for shortie night....I wish I knew knew where you thought I was getting them because it would be much easier than coming up with them on my own as I have been! Hahaha. If you were going to guess what I would have put for next week, would it have been ADDICTION? Because that was what I was going to say until HOP said food, and somebody else (BEN?) said MADNESS. Now I don't know what to choose. Maybe you have another idea as well from your new-found list? Pray tell?

Viv (again) Sun Feb 11 07:38:14 PST 2001

Wow, I re-read that last post and what a load of errors. Allein: I was thinking about the meal one more time and added that the rice is the best part isn't it. Then the rhyme. Sorry for the confusing statement. My brain isn't all there tonight. I went for a run with my 13 year old and we ended up at the pool. She said, "race me" so I did. Unfortunately, I can't keep up with her energy. My brain is as shot as my legs! I'm in utter thorough I can't sleep. When deciphering the rhyme, think about cooking rice and how it sounds. I'll give you the translation if you like tomorrow. It's just a ditty, nothing of great note.

Mary, I know know....boy I guess I got a little excited by all that knowing didn't I.

Teekay, could you please send your letter to the above address? Thanks for taking the time. I sure appreciate the work involved. I fought a valient battle with my husband's scanner tonight. I'm still mad at the thing. It scanned all right, but I couldn't get the darned pictures to burn onto the CD. It was a real pain in the prosterior.

viv Sun Feb 11 07:16:13 PST 2001

Liked your shortie! The bit about the older sister was neatly done. I liked it that the older sister gave comfort first, before the parents even woke. I also liked the fact that it was the sister who knew the wish for a gun.

Kru, welcome to the site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I think you've come to the right place because I've seen some very kind yet useful criticism. It's the kind of criticism that makes you say, "Yes, I can fix this and if I do this it really does improve things."

I'm stuck right now into doing just shorties because I have all kinds of NON-creative (but makes a profit) stuff to write. I like the shortie's though because without them I wouldn't get much of a chance to enjoy writing at all.

Heather- I'm glad my rain dolls worked. I guess they turned your world back into ice cubes. Where do you live that it is soooo wet in February and the snow is beginning to melt. I'll leave them up!

Allein - your meal sounded mouth wateringly good. Tempura is a little on the expensive side to buy out in Japan. I usually make my own. Still, it tastes so much better if someone else cooks it. There's nothing as pretty as a dish of tempura. Allein, I don't know the name for the dolls. I haven't thought about that in years. I'll get that name for you by Wednesday! I think it's neat you knew about them. Is your mother or father...or grandmother Japanese?
The best is the rice isn't it! Hey, a rice rhyme for you since you probably can figure it out: "Hajime soro soro,
Nakaga pa pa, Akago Naite mo, Futa tore na!" It's an old rhyme not something I made up.

Mary, I know know where you are getting the themes for the shorties! I like it! I'm going to have a wonderful time because I'll be able to start on Monday or is that cheating. I will also be able to be ready for Sunday...very clever. Gottcha'! Thanks because I needed a little more of that.

Oh brother...12:11AM on Sunday. What a way to begin a week. I'm off to sleep.

Mary Sun Feb 11 06:42:05 PST 2001

JON: If it's all the same to you, I would like to remain Shortie Night leader. I don't think I am the right caliber to fit in the round robin chamber. (A girl's got to know her limitations.)

Americo Sun Feb 11 06:22:55 PST 2001

The Quadra 800 was a fascinating computer some ten years ago. The darling of graphic artists. Now it is too obsolete, but it can probably still be of some interest in a small business. Glad you asked, I was not going to answer...

It would be very easy to play with your own words and tell you, for instance, that *dork* was put by Joseph Conrad (or was it Jack London?) in the mouth of a cheap whore who suffered from herpes attacks, a very sad, though minor character, of one of his wonderfol books. The feminine of that word is *dorkess*, nothing which could fit your slim, young, beautiful body, of course. (I keep your photo that you kindky offered me in my treasure house).
Yet that would not be my style and I'm not here to play games but to learn and, if possible, to help, not to irritate. Try to control your wild emotions and remember that perhaps one day your readers will be curious about your beginnings as a writer, and check the archives of this NB. Young writers should try not to disappoint their future admirers.

You asked who had the idea of the shorties night. Jon had. He also revived the round robins and gave a new style to the NB. His motto was: "less blahbah, more creativity." His current motto is: "less dirty tricks, more elegance and morality." Jon (my neighbour's cat) is disappointed with the NB and complains that it has no memory, no gratitude and no character. I'm afraid he will make some changes in his ministerial stuff soon. Christi will probably lose the Ministry of Love Affairs and take care of the Ministry of Lentil Soup for the Poor. Mary will keep her Ministry of the Shorties (though she has a chance of replacing Heather in the Ghosties Thing — something which would not exist either without his incredible ideas, suggestions or againstations -- new word). I'll do my best to convince him to let you stay as the President of his extraordinary empire, but you must tell us who was (is?) Ima after all. Hope it was not that darling Teekay herself...

A happy Sunday for all and, as Allein keeps reminding us every day, keep smiling.

Mary Sun Feb 11 06:19:54 PST 2001

Great shortie night everybody! I am so sorry I wasn't here, but my ISP was down(which seems to be happening too much lately). I loved the stories and I think it was just what the doctor ordered. Yeehaw, we are back on track.

I am going to go and write a shortie on poverty and one on burnout and post them in the workbook soon. It's only fair! ;-)

FLOODS: ^%#*^%*)&^&*%^$%$$@@@@@^%(&^*&%!!!!

Mary Sun Feb 11 06:15:50 PST 2001

KRU: First of all, welcome to our little corner of the world and second, don't judge a book by its cover. If you decide to hang around, which I hope you do, you will see that everyone here is another facet on the gem affectionately called the Notebook and the more facets a stone has, the greater the brilliance. There are novelists, poets, short story writers and even master BS'ers here and I would not hesitate to guess that we all have one or two ideas to help you out with your problem.

My first suggestion would be to write an outline as you go, so that when you do have to go back and check facts it will be a faster process. You won't have to slosh through so much text. Just find what you needed to know and be able to move on. If you are into keeping a hard copy of your work in progress, you could also just place post-it(tm) notes with pertinent facts, or ideas of a certain paragraph or chapter directly where they are written into the text. That would give you the necessary info, and where it was in the story without having to read back while you are trying to write forward. If these don't appeal to you, just wait. Someone else will come up with something, I am sure.

As for this site concentrating on short stories, every Thursday night we all get together (virtually, of course) and write a short little piece of fiction just to post here. It is an exercise to put a jump on our creativity for the most part, but there are other benefits as well. It feels great to get your ideas read and you would be surprised by how much we learn about each other just from how we write. I sure do hope that you can participate next Thursday, that would be great. If novels are your gig, please get a password and visit the Workbook. There is a link above in a drop down menu when you hover your mouse over the Notebook icon. You can post sections of your novel, bit by bit if you like, and get feedback from the rest of us here.

This ended up a lot more long-winded than I had anticipated, so I will let it go at that. Welcome, Kru, and I hope that helped. :-)

Kru Heller Sun Feb 11 05:50:04 PST 2001

Hi Writers Group,
First please accept my apology for the incomplete version of this question that was sent to you a few minutes ago. The mouse on my new computer is very sensitive and brushed across the (Publish My Message) button and sent this before I was finished.
I would like to be a writer and have started several books but have a problem and don't know the best way to resolve it. The pieces that I have started are intended to be novels but each time I try I get to a certain point and get into trouble. I think some kind of Internet writing group would be the sort of thing that would help but don't know the most appropriate site. This note is my first venture out into this cyberworld of writers looking for a solution.
You should know that I have a brain injury and this may be contributing to the difficulty but in a round about way. The kind of brain injury does not effect my thinking or intellect unless I get very tired and that happens more easily than with most people. What happens is that my brain does not run my body very efficiently any more and a large number of my body systems, circulatory, immune, digestive, neurologic, sensory, among others just don't quite work the way they used to and take up a lot of energy just to function. Part of the net result of this mess is that I have had to give up my profession and need to spend large numbers of hours every day in a recliner with my legs elevated or I will get quite sick.
It seems to me that this is an ideal situation for a writer. The problem is that I have no one that really has any knowledge, skill or training to critique my work. My family read it and of course they like it, they love me, they want to encourage me to do something and feel productive again.
The difficulty I have been having that I would like some immediate assistance with is that when the document gets to be of a certain length, usually over 30 pages or so I get somewhat confused and forget what I have written in previous pages and spend all my time skipping back and forth throughout the document looking for conversations that my characters had or descriptions of terrain to be certain that if nothing else my document has consistency.
The question is which of the groups on line should I join? I have read some of the dialog that you guys have on I guess it is your collective web site, and you seem like a nice bunch of people really trying to help and encourage each other but you seem to be focused on short stories. Since I do not belong to any group please send any responses to this to Thank you.

Kru Heller

Kru Heller Sun Feb 11 05:34:21 PST 2001

Hi Writers Group,
I would like to be a writer and have started several books but have a problem and don't know the best way to resolve it. The pieces that I have started are intended to be novels but each time I try I get to a certain point and get into trouble. I think some kind of Internet writing group would be the sort of thing that would help but don't know the most appropriate site. This note is my first venture out into this cyberworld of writers looking for a solution.
You should know that I have a brain injury and this may be contributing to the difficulty but in a round about way. The kind of brain injury does not effect my thinking or intellect unless I get very tired and that happens more easily than with most people. What happens is that my brain does not run my body very effeceintly any more and a large number of my body systems, circulatory, immune, digestive, neurologic, sensory, among others just don't quite work the way they used to and take up a lot of energy just to function. Part of the net result of this mess is that I have had to give up my profession and need to spend large numbers of hours every day in a recliner with my legs elevated or I will get quite sick.
It seems to me that this is an ideal situation for a writer. The problem is that I have no one that really has any knowledge, skill or training to critique my work. My family read it and of course they like it, they love me, they want to encourage me to do something and feel productive again.

Ben Woestenburg Sun Feb 11 02:32:40 PST 2001

Heather: It's funny, in a strange sort of way, how everyone has a flood story they can relate to. Personally, we've been through three different floods in the basement suite we used to live in. My son was just two the first time it happened. It was past midnight when the water crept into the living room. He was walking through the house with his boots on, and the water was almost up to the top of his boots. We had a storm drain right outside the driveway that was blocked because of leaves from the neighbour's trees. The water came down the driveway and in thorugh the kitchen. It just came creeping in. What a feeling of helplessness watching it seep through the hallway. We rented de-humidifiers to dry everything up, and had to replace the carpetting. Luckily, my brother-in-law was into carpets at the time, so we got a great deal. We thought we were doing pretty good until we had another one the following year, and after the third one, I told my wife we were moving into a house. I told her I was determined to buy us a house no matter what. All we could afford was this town house though. But it doesn't leak, and we haven't had any floods since.

Teekay: Define Mad? It's not hitting your thumb with a hammer; that's frustration because you could have prevented it. It's not finding out you were shorted on your paycheque at work, because you can grieve that. It's not discovering that your kids found your coin collection and spent it in a gumball machine, because you should have put it put of their reach. Mad is different things for everyone. For me, it's friends who have died before their time; friends who died and had more to offer the people in their lives as far as humor goes, or love; the children they left behind who never got the chance to know them like I did. Mad is poor Phil who had an epileptic siezure on the side of the road and fell into an oncoming dumptruck; mad is Gordie, who had a brain anurysm at the top of the stairs, and was dead by the bottom of the stairs; mad is Reg who wasn't feeling very well and went into the hospital for test, never to come out again--three weeks before he was supposed to retire; and mad is Peter, my ex-brother-in-law, my ex-room mate, the best man at my wedding, and the best friend I ever had, dying because he wasted his life using drugs as a crutch. I don't get mad at things I do, or that people do to me, but I do get mad when I consider the frailties of life, and love. Sure, I get mad at the kids, and the wife, but then I take a walk, or brood until it goes away, because I know it's something I have no right to be mad about...but as for MADNESS, well, sometimes I thing half the people I work with are MAD. We must be to have stayed there for so long. The man in the box isn't mad. I'm a firm believer of "There, but for the grace of God, go I..." and I'm not even a believer anymore.

Sorry. I've rambled. But MAD sure seems like a good subject for next week's shortie, doesn't it?

Anyway, I should go to bed because I have to get up early in the morning--like eight'ish--to clean an office we clean every weekend. It's something we do to make ends meet just like everyone else. I'd like it a lot more if I didn't have to--but then, I'd like to spend the rest of my days writing for a living too, and I don't see that happening like I did when I was twenty.


Hallee Sun Feb 11 01:34:47 PST 2001

HEATHER: You need to call a concrete subcontractor or even a structural engineer and ask them - or you can give me until Monday to get to work. I think (I'm nearly positive) that there's a concrete patch that comes in a tube kind of like grout or bondo. Actually - I'll call one of our concrete subs after the sun rises - he works out of his home and I'll get back with you.


Heather Sat Feb 10 22:10:35 PST 2001

Thanks, Tina! And Jerry, your stories of neighbours and such has made me happy that it's just plain old water leaking in! That's FOR SURE! I am so glad we haven't started finishing the basement! We need a few years of bare floor first just to be sure all the mishaps will happen now, and then we will have every possibility of a flood down to as few as we can muster. Once this window hassle has been sufficiently fixed, we should not have another flood. The water heater is new, (guaranteed anyway) and the water softener is new (also guaranteed). We had a small leak after we installed the humidifier onto the furnace, but that's fixed. The sewer pipes have all been replaced. THe laundry hookup is sound. The last and only possible leakage has just happened. I don't even have a fridge that needs defrosting. And I don't have a big fish tank that might explode onto the floor at any moment.
Concrete work. Oh, wow, I think I might just split with enthusiasm. I love making it smooth and nice to look at, but will someone else mix it and slop it around and I'll make the mold and watch it dry. I'll take a wet broom to it when it's almost cured, to make those little lines in it like the sidewalks have. It prevents the surface from cracking once it gets cold, as a rippled surface has more area and thus, more give when there is the contraction during cold weather and the expanding during hot weather.
Works the same as the intestines: the squiggly surface of the intestine is like a fiord in miniature. Lots of nutrients catch in the structure, and the body is able to absorb a higher percentage of nutrient rich particles. Well, ok, so it's the same idea, but cement uses the fiords for a different purpose. MMMmmm, won't the sidewalks be happy to hear that the nutrient value of already-chewed-gum has just increased? Never mind. If you didn't follow that, I don't blame you.

Too many thoughts, so little space.


Tina Sat Feb 10 20:23:48 PST 2001

Hello hello hello!

No shortie contribution from me again. Thirty lashes with a wet noodle, at dawn! As if I'm ever awake at dawn.

Jack I just sent you an e-mail.
Jerry, your sudden twists always catch me. Love 'em!
Rachel, strong thoughts to you. Every day I wonder if I'll open the NB and find a happy announcement. :-)
Allein, I'm half way through your story. Might read more tonight.
Heather, dry thoughts to you!
Viv, I looked around for some sort of letter with letterhead, and came up empty. All sorts of receipts and bills, but no letters. Sorry.
Rosemary, when I get down to Disneyland, I'll be sure to watch for that dragon. Whimsical and fun story. :-)
Mark, enjoy!
Sasquatch, are you around?

And everyone else, I've thought of you to!
Think I'll go and lurk in the chat room for awhile!

Heather Sat Feb 10 17:59:16 PST 2001

Last year the flood was because of backed up sewage pipes, and the sewage pipe that leads to the bathroom upstairs had a crack in it and because of the backup it flooded part of the basement. I thought that was bad then. This time the window well kept filling with water in the rain, and then it seeped into the basement at an alarming rate. I couldn't do much about the water coming into the window well, but I did what I could by shovelling the snow from the street drains (and killed my back trying to break all the ice). This flood was four times worse, except for one bonus: it wasn't water that had been drained from the bathtub and toilet. But it was dirty water none the less.
At least I wasn't concerned about catching a bacterial infection just getting my hands wet.
We cleaned up the water with a shop vac, but the water just kept coming in until today, when it got cold enough outside to freeze the soil again. We are wracking our brains trying to figure out how to fix the cracked cement before tuesday, when there is supposed to be more rain and obviously, above freezing temps.

And now, onto something more interesting.

'night! My back is hurting.


Jerry Sat Feb 10 17:07:17 PST 2001

Americo - I am about to take a peek into the "Dark Side" - I picked up an old Mac Quadra 800 on Ebay the other day for $40.00 + shipping ($30.00) I don't have a monitor adaptor yet, so I cannot get it up and running, I was assured it was ready to go. Sadly the keyboard suffered a mishap in shipping, a large chip out of the bottom left corner. I glued it back together, and hope it will hold up, if not the shipper assured me that it is insured. I think it happened here, as it was -10F when they delivered it, and the plastic was absolutely frigid I am sure if it got bumped at all it could break. I am probably lucky if that is all that is damage. The unit is supposed to be set up with all the necessaries for graphic production, Adobe photo shop, Illustrator, Quark Express and some word processor or another. Also has Netscape on it, and I happen to have an old Motorola 28.8 external Modem that I can hook up to it to get online, should I have the urge. (I always have that urge.) I am, to tell the truth a bit anxious to get it up and running, after hearing all the great things that are said about it. I know this is an old timer with a 33MHZ chip, so I don't expect it to be a blazer or anything, but I do remember running one of the infernal machines when I worked for a short time as an office manager for the home office of a Pretzelmaker franchisee. It seemed rather easy to use compared to the PC so I don't for see any major problems with it, other then getting used to it. I think it will end up at my daughters house though, as she is going to try and start a home business designing web pages, she has most of my books on that subject now, and has Photoshop and Illustrator on her PC. It is just that the industry seems to like Macintosh for designing. Anyhow, I ramble on again and again. Read you all later.


Eddie French Sat Feb 10 16:21:42 PST 2001

That is POVERTY of the soul and the wallet.

Teekay Sat Feb 10 16:06:36 PST 2001

Morning All,
RHODA: Even if I had been IMA, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't admit to it. Too, too dangerous.
I was only reposting information she had already posted. :-D
Sorry, I must have missed you first shorty.
About CHRISTI's shorty, I told her to send it away herself, but she wouldn't, so I asked her if I could. I just couldn't bear to see Mother's Burden relegated to the dust and cobwebs of the archives.
There are some others I've seen that should be given a chance also.
My part in it wasn't all that big. A couple of typed lines and press a button and my bit was done. It's CHRISTI's story that got itself published. I was hugely excited to see it in print though. The way I carried on anybody would have thought I'd written it. :-)

CHRISTI: thankee, thankee, thankee and now that I have the spotlight there's a little song and dance rendition I'd like to do for you all.
Mr. Music.
Anytime you're ready.

Ba Da Bump,
Ba Da Bump,
Ba Da Bump De Da Bump.

Okay, sorry, but seriously CHRISTI, thankyou so much, do you think I could look after your car keys for you? Joke Joyce, I'm just shy is all.

HOWARD: Thankyou and yours is wonderful too. Gads, who needs therapy when we can go around patting each other on the back saying 'jolly well done old chaps, jolly well done.'????

I'm going to lay off with all the compliments now. It's all starting to sound a bit insincere. it's not though.

HEATHER: Wasn't there something in your house that flooded last year?? I thought I remember something flooding. Did the fridge defrost and leak all over the floor? Is that what I'm thinking of?

BEN: The poor bugger!
Define mad.

VIV: Am going to go rifling through my files today and find a letter for you. I should be able to scan it.

RACHEL: Oh yes. If by some remote chance there is ever any pizza left over from the night before, I have it for breakfast. Cold of course. It just doesn't taste the same if you heat it up. :-)


gotta go all. It's Sunday, lots of rest and relaxation to take care of.

Sat Feb 10 16:01:10 PST 2001

Jerry Sat Feb 10 13:23:10 PST 2001

Heather, I have gone through that horrid flooded basement several times when I lived up north. Ruined items galore, and pumping water out with a sump pump, then hitting it with a wet/dry vac. We finally gave up on the whole thing and called one of those steam cleaning outfits, they came over with their van and sucked up all the water, then cleaned the carpets after to insure all the mud was gone, and that we would not be harmed by the horrid mould that seems to form after such floods. Luckily, the house we live in now does not flood, even when we had a horrible rain storm along with that tornado that hit a couple of years ago, the water made it up to the middle of our front yard, but none flowed into the basement. Should it flood though we would be in tough shape, as all we have is a dirt dugout beneath the house, and I am sure it would all cave in should it flood.

It could be worse, one the cops that worked for me in Bowman had his house flood, it seems the City was blowing out the sewer pipes with a power blower, and somehow there was a blockage that forced all the sewer up out of his shower on the main floor of his home. Now that was a mess. He was gone to the Academy, so I went over to help his wife, all we could do was call a cleaner, who was paid for by the City, as it was their fault. Oh but it stunk so badly, she had to move in with us for two weeks while the house aired out. So look on the bright side, it could always be worse, and what the heck you can use your frustration to write a fantastic short story.


Allein Sat Feb 10 11:23:41 PST 2001

Hi all,
Yesterday I went out to dinner with a friend of mine. It was great. We went to a Japanese restaurant. I got a tempura and chicken teriyaki combo and my friend had a tempura and yakisoba combo. But that isn't all because for the low price you pay you also get pickled bean sprouts, miso soup, salad and even dessert. I had green tea ice cream for dessert. We also ordered a sushi appetizer and drinks of course. It was very delicious and the restaurant was decorated with all sorts of Japanese things like pictures and wall scrolls and they even had some geisha dolls in a doll case. It was a very nice place. We had to eat entirely with chopsticks (except for the ice cream and soup) but I didn't mind because when I'm in a Japanese restaurant or any sort of Japanese place I feel like I'm at home. :)

Viv - We made those little ghost things in Japanese class one time. I forget what they're called but I think it means "shiny shiny bald head" or something like that.


"Isn't this that cartoon that causes seizures?"
- Bart Simpson

Jerry Sat Feb 10 10:35:59 PST 2001

Well as they say, better late then never, here is my shorty on poverty, well sort of on poverty anyhow.

By Jerry Ericsson

It was the night before Christmas, and I was so excited, I just knew Santa would be bringing me the new cap gun and holsters that I ask for. He just had to this year. I know he forgot last year and the year before, but I have been so good this year, as good as any seven-year-old boy could be.

I was so excited that I could not sleep, I just lay awake and watched the stars twinkle through the crack in the roof, and imagined what it would be like to fly away to those stars. I would need that cap gun and holster set to protect myself up there, I knew that because there were bad people in space, just like there were bad people here.

As I lay there, I could hear the old Guernsey cow bellow, her cowbell clanking as she moved around in the barnyard. The windmill was pumping, with a clank clank clank as pulled the pump below up and down, putting water into the stock tank so the cows had something to drink. The wind must be strong, I thought, as the clanks were so close together, and they always speeded up with a fast wind. As I watched, the stars disappeared. Must be Santa, I thought, his sleigh blocking out the stars as he passed overhead, and got ready to land. I worried that Dad had stoked up the fire in the old coal stove in the living room, so the fire would last the night, and keep some of the chill out of the house. What if Santa came down the chimney and hit that fire, why I knew he would be burned up, and would not have a chance to bring me my cap gun set.

As I watched I saw that it wasn’t Santa after all, it was just the clouds, as it began to snow. Mom always said we should have a white Christmas, and I guess that snow will make her happy. The snow came through the cracks in the roof and landed on the heavy quilt that protected me from the bitter cold. Finally after what seemed like hours, I fell asleep.

When I awoke in the morning, the sun was coming through the window, and the cracks in the ceiling. I jumped from my bed and ran down the stairs in my pajamas, to see what Santa brought. I looked in my stocking that was hung next to my sisters on the wall under the chimney, but all that was there were an apple, and some peanuts. I looked all around the house, but could not find any toys, no gun, no holster, nothing but that stupid apple and those stupid peanuts.

I ran to the couch and started to cry, why did it happen every Christmas, no toys, I didn’t even get cloths like my cousins who lived down the road did. Just that stupid apple, and those stupid peanuts.

As I lay there sobbing in the pillow in the couch, my oldest sister came down the stairs, and saw me laying there. She held me for a while, until I stopped crying, then told me that she had a present for me. Well now that cheered me up a little bit, as she went to the toy box, and dug under the old home-made toys that dad made when it was to cold to work outside, she brought out a little package all wrapped in shiny tin foil, with a bow tied around it. I recognized the bow as one that she used to hold her golden hair up when we went to church.

Slowly, to enjoy every minute, I unwrapped the box; in the box I found a little wooden gun. Well it kind of looked like a gun anyhow, I could see where she had worked so hard to carve it to look just like the .22 pistol that dad used to shoot skunks in the farmyard.

I held the gun out, and pulled the imaginary trigger, saying “Bang Bang Gottcha!” Why it was almost as fun as a real toy.

Mom and Dad came into the room, they had a little box wrapped up in foil for me too. In their box was a little wooden box that my dad carved for me to hold my pencils for school. Mom had a package too, it had a pair of new socks, this was getting better all the time. I took my new treasures up to my bedroom, that I shared with my two sisters, and lay on the bed looking at them, I could imagine how the new wooden gun would work when I flew up to the stars, it would shoot just about as good as a real toy I figured.

That afternoon, all of Dads brothers showed up for the Christmas celebration, the booze began to flow freely, I was so surprised to see that mom and dad had plenty of money to buy whisky and beer, but nothing for toys. Well I figured, there are things more important then a toy gun, maybe when I am old enough I can drink like a grown-up too.

Heather Sat Feb 10 09:10:19 PST 2001

Viv- the flooding the basement only started yesterday, so don't worry! There wasn't a flood while we chatted about Thailand.

Howard, I am so sorry to hear about your friend's daughter. Blessings your way, and their way too. How terribly sad.

Still cleaning up the basement, and fighting off back pains. Gimme that A535! Woke up in a twist too.

Ben, great shortie!

Viv, I liked your shortie too. C.O.L.A. stinks.

I might be back later, if all has calmed down to a trickle. No, actually, the temperature is down below zero (never thought I'd be HAPPY about that in February) so the water isn't coming in any more. At least, not until Tuesday when the temperature is supposed to go back up. :o<

Rachel Sat Feb 10 08:40:33 PST 2001

Christi - Hugs for you! That is very exciting news:o)

Mary & Family - Thanxs for the hugs :D

Hop - The name of the books with these characters are “At Home in Mitford” “A Light in the Window” and now I am reading “These High, Green Hills” The stories are written by Jan Karon. They are about this nice older gentleman who is a reverend in a small town. The stories focus on the things that happen in everyday life. The character named Barnanbas is a dog. A very funny dog (smiles). Hoppy is the town doctor. These books are not the best that I have ever read, they are simply enjoyable.

Ben - My husband used to work in a Mill. He worked on the Green Chain. I think you will know what that is. It was hell, hard work. His company had so many guys who wanted to work for them that they laid off people on a regular basis and hired on new ones so that they wouldn't ever have to give out benefits. How is that for sick? I guess some people would say it is just good business sense, I thought and still do think it is and was awful.

On Shorties - I have been having a lot of fun writing these. The topics are great. I just am not wanting to share them. I really am very strange about my writing. I'm doing those sets of shorts. I will not want to lay much out in the open before I decide how I want to combine the sets.

Teekay - Do you like cold pizza for breakfast? That is another thing that I really like to eat for breakfast. Not that I have any right now, I was just sort of wanting some. I guess it must be a preggo moment (grins).

Hugs and hugs to all,


Viv Sat Feb 10 08:24:19 PST 2001

Amazing! This place sure filled up with some great work as I worked through today. Yesterday, the feeling of this notebook was a bit grim. Today it has the spark and spirit of true writers and real humans. Nice to see a kind spot humming with creative energy again. Ben, I really liked your description of the man who fell off the log. It's the kind of story my husband's brothers and uncles would tell. It was fun to join the circle again! I could just feel how cold that water felt. My train ride to work is going to seem like a piece of cake after that!
My little text book got the once over and approval today. It's a small victory because it's mostly just volunteer work. I'm doing something to help a good friend teach a program she's starting up. I hope it works for her. Unfortunately, it's a lot of long hours, precise work, and leaves little time for any fun or family. (While we're on the F fanny is getting a little fat from being fastened to the chair for so long! It'll be nice to finish and walk away from this fiasco!)
Heather: I had no idea you had water coming in your basement! Ack! Here I was chatting about Thailand and you are stuck bailing out a basement. Well, my time is coming...rainy season followed by typhoon season is about two months away. I'll be wailing about long rainy weeks just as you begin to enjoy balmy June-July breezes!
Here in Japan, we hang little rain dolls. They look like the ghosts you make in kindergarten from a ball of Kleenex tissue stuffed into a nice clean tissue, then tied at the neck. We hang them from a sting and put them just under the eaves where they stay dry. The rain is supposed to stop if you make enough of them. (It looks like something that grandmother tells the children to keep them busy on a rainy day so she can take a long nap!) Usually any house with small children has a ghost or two hanging from the eves on long grey rainy days. I'll hang one or two out for you. It won't be unusual at all. People will assume that:
1. The neighbor's child sure was bored today!
2. I have a big event planned and I want it to be sunny!

Teekay: Yes! Please! Send me anything that looks like a letter. It has to have a typical letter heading with the date and address and start up with a Dear or Valued Customer, or Occupant. It really doesn't matter as long as the class can see the date, heading and the salutation with (or without) punctuation.
Thanks! I'll get with you on how to get it to me via your e-mail. You can send it snail mail to me or via e-mail if you can scan it. Either way is great!

Here's a cynical ALL AMERICAN shortie:

Grocery Shopping AFTER
Compensation for COLA*

Waiting until the MP car makes the rounds. The bored policeman drives into the lot at the front of the commissary and flashes his lights to high beam. The lights don't reach or illuminate the dark corner where we've parked. Off he goes. Count to three.
Out of the car. Shut the doors as quietly as possible. Hustle around the corner to the back of the building. There it is. It's a good night! The red filters on our military issue flashlights illuminate just enough to see boxes lined up outside the trashbin.
It's Christmas! We open the boxes, "Look oranges! No, they're grapefruit. I wish they'd been oranges, but they'll make nice juice."
There are zuchinni in the next box, only a little soft. "Into this bag, that's soup! Oh and look, onions here."
"Good, toss me a couple."
Five boxes to go! Work fast. It's just a matter of time before the MP gets back. "Oh, that box is really bad."
"Well, you can't win them all. But look, strawberries!"
"Oh they're perfect! That's it. Let's call it a night. I'll bake up some biscuits and we'll have shortcake!"
It's a good night tonight. We're rich. Soup, juice and even strawberry short cake before bed.

"Mother, what's COLA?"
"Oh honey, now don't worry about the COLA. It's just something to do with the cost of living over here in Tokyo."
"Is it bad?"
"No dear, they've just tightened up the budget for the embassy a bit. We have to use the military commissary a little more now and buy a little less on the economy."
"I really hate this mother. It's such a long drive and look at this food. Half of it's spoiled! It's just so tacky to have to come to a BASE to buy food."
"Shhh, someone might hear you! I know it's a little low class, but...oh, look at these strawberries! Disgusting. I ought to get the manager. Look this box is moldy!"

* C.O.L.A. (Cost of Living Allowance) given to all military and civilian hires overseas working for the American government. These workers are paid in dollars, not the currency of the country. Dollars can be exchanged at the bank for a charge.

COLA rate is currently based on the prices of goods in Washington DC. It is interesting to note that a peach in Washington DC might cost about 45 cents to a dollar. In Tokyo and the surrounding area, a peach costs about $6.00.

Debra Sat Feb 10 05:04:33 PST 2001

Hi All:

I haven't read all the shorties. I hope Jack doesn't archive too soon. The ones I read were fantastic.


I don't have any free time right now to right another on on poverty. I'm still way too busy with all my muchkins. Most of the time when they see me sitting here, they run over and pull me out of my seat for one thing or another.

I do have a lot to say about poverty.

Next time.


Ben Woestenburg Sat Feb 10 03:39:46 PST 2001

It's me again. No, I haven't gone to bed yet, but that's because I went up to the fridge and found a beer with a note on it a friend left for me. He told me he left it for me. I had to drink it.

A funny thing happened at work tonight. I just wanted to share it with you. I work on the Fraser river here on the west coast of Canada. I work in a sawmill so let's not get into that tree hugging stuff because this is the way I provide for my family. Anyway, it's an easy enough job. I strip down the log booms that come in from up river somewhere. So we were stripping down this boom, and the guy I was working with fell in. I know it doesn't sound funny, and I felt bad at the time...for about ten seconds which is about as long as it took for him to swim to the boat and drag himself out. But it was the last thing we had to do for the night pretty well--the last thing we had to do on the water. Everything was cool. I had just had a close call stepping on a log and slipping on a piece of bark, but I somehow managed to stay out. He was laughing at me, saying it wasn't a good night to fall in. You see, it snowed here yesterday. It's maybe the second time we've had snow this year. There's nothing worse than working on the log booms when it snows, because you don't know if the next step your taking is a log, or just open water with snow on top of it. But he tripped. He fell on the log, but because he was wearing nylon ski pants, and a nylon floater jacket, he tried to grab the log and just sort of slid into the water, right up to his neck. He had to swim to the boat, which was about ten feet away. I tried to help him out of the water, but really, there's nothing you can do when someone falls in the water, because you're actually laughing too hard, thinking to yourself, thank God it wasn't me. The poor guy had to walk up to the boom shack about a hundred yards away from where I dropped him off, and then drive home. When I saw him fifteen minutes later, he'd managed to find himself a tee-shirt and a pair of shorts. His coat was soaking wet, his socks were too of course, and the prospect of getting into his truck and driving home wasn't too appealing. He said when he was getting changed, that he tried to find his pecker, and said he didn't know it could get that small. I could have told him though, because there isn't anyone who's worked on the river who hasn't fallen in at one time or another. I just wonder why we always have to fall in when it's frigid weather outside?
So now I'm going to bed, this time for real.

Ben Woestenburg Sat Feb 10 03:04:42 PST 2001

Holy smoke...I can't believe how long it took me to read through all of that. I even had to go into the archives to finish off where I was yesterday. I just got home from work and checked in to see what was happening, and now I have to write another shortie? Well, okay, I'll give it a shot in a while.

Now let me get this straight? Ima's gone; Amerigo's mad--so is Teekay and two or three others--everyone's bitching and complaining about one thing or another...a short story published in the wonderful land of Oz...must be the full moon. But I LOVED it. Kind of reminds me of a night in the boom shack at work, but without the industrial language--profanity.

And the subject is poverty? It's payday and I'm broke. Does that qualify? Okay, but seriously...or semi-seriously, depending on your moods--

I used to like the rain. I used to like it for all sorts of different reasons, too. It used to remind of when I was a kid, walking down the middle of the road barefoot, like I was walking a tightrope of white lines because that way I wouldn't burn my feet, and then a summer shower would come and I'd watch the drops evaporating on the pavement, steaming up around me with a smell that would always remind me of that time--something I thought I'd never recapture again.

I've smelled that same smell though, only it's now, and I'm forty-two, not eleven. I smell it here, living under the overpass in my little cardboard box. I'm miles away from that barefoot kid that used to walk in the middle of the road, but when the rain comes and soaks through the box I call home, I smell that same smell. I drink myself to sleep thinking of better times--a more innocent day when I didn't have the wife I lost, or the job that went bust. I think about how I used to enjoy the rain, instead of hiding from it, shivering in it, and wondering if I'll ever be warm again.

There you go,
and here I go to bed.

Heather Fri Feb 9 21:49:59 PST 2001

Hi everybody...
Great shorties and CONGRATULATIONS to CHRISTI!!!

We still have a flood. The water keeps seeping (ok, running) into the basement from a window well, we can't fix it by pouring in new concrete because there is water on the move.) it's coming up from the basement drain too. We've had enough rain and melting snow here to fill the Olympic Pool in town, and I hope it gets below freezing tonight. i don't care if it makes the cracks in the concrete larger, I just want the F&^%#(&%! water to stop so I can dry the basement and figure out what to do about the window well.
We didn't have a problem with it last year, so this was a little - no, a LOT unexpected.

So I'm a LOT peeved.
And I would like to defer my shortie on Poverty until a later time.
Hey, I already wrote a little one for Thursday anyway.


howard Fri Feb 9 20:47:40 PST 2001

CHRISTI -- GREAT! SUPER, even! Way to Go!

TEEKAY -- "Poverty" is lovely!

EVERYBODY -- Great work! I'm beginning to think this "shortie night" is an excellent idea! :-) Whose was it? Hi Mary, I agree with teek!

It was tough to come up with something -- lots on my mind today. Our #2 (in sequence only) daughter (the one in Arizona) was hurting, had abdominal pain since Wednesday. Nothing to worry about, except that two of her sisters, her cousin, and her nephew all had the same type of pain - no other symptoms, and all turned out to have appendicitis, and we nearly lost our #3 daughter and our niece, when they ended up with peritonitis due to burst appendix. So we argued with the doctor (long distance) and finally he decided to "humor" us and do the surgery. It was appendicitis -- no elevated blood count, no fever, just the pain. He said after the surgery that he'd never seen it before, but something was definitely wrong. But she's okay now, thank God!

To compound matters, the daughter-in-law of a good friend of ours, (and a friend of our daughter) went to the E.R. Thursday afternoon with abdominal pain (this was in South Carolina). The doctor there said it was probably colitis, and sent her home. Thursday night she died in her sleep. She was 26 years old.

So it's been a rough day or two around here.
But life goes on, and I did manage to come up with something on poverty, and just under the wire too!

Here 'tis -- a retelling of a familiar story. I hope it counts.


She came creeping silently.
But not ashamed.
Offering what she had.

All that she had.

Her tiny coins made little noise
as they settled in
among the jangling gold and silver.

He came boasting.
Reveling in the larger sound his coins made
as he dropped them noisily.
One by one.
The crowd was awed by his generosity.

He nodded to his cronies.
“Look at the difference in our worth!”

Little did he know that

At that moment he became the pauper.

At that moment she became far richer than he could ever hope to imagine.

At that moment she gave away even her poverty.

At that moment she owned the full attention
of God.
(c)2001 Howard Tuckey

Jerry Fri Feb 9 20:41:07 PST 2001

Eddy - Usually warms up a bit around July 4th or 5th. No in reality, May or early June sees summer come in, and it stays relatively nice until Halloween, which is usually marked with the seasons first snow. It stays pretty much covered up with snow until the spring thaw in late April.

Can't contribute to the shorty night again tonight, just too played out.

I shall write two or three for the next shorty night.


Christi Fri Feb 9 20:18:42 PST 2001

Sorry, guys, there's bound to be heaps of exclaimation points in this post. Do forgive me; I promise to be good next time.

May I make a dedication? I'd like to dedicate this shortie night to TEEKAY, a BRILLIANT writer and brilliant friend, whos heart is as immense and warm as the sun. I still can't believe your selflessness, TEEKAY. You've said the nicest things I've ever heard and I don't deserve it at all. BUT THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! CHEERS!
(You've got some catching up to do, I've had half a gallon of virtual champagne and I'm *hiccup* feeling a bit loopy.)

Wow, I just read your poem and it was gorgeous! I feel very rich right now. {{{{HUGS}}}}

Heather, I'm worried about you. Have you had a flood? Where are you?

RHODA, Thanks! Your shortie was great; I never saw the end coming.

Thanks a lot, HALLEE, MARK, and not the least, JACK!

GORDON, Good luck with the 'A'!

ROSEMARY, My son, Teekay, and Howard are also Scorpios. I LOVE Scorpios!
Your story was so cool! I'd call it, "There's No Such Thing." :) (PS Thanks!)

Okay, my shortie is a bit longie too. And it has nothing to do with the topic. Good thing this isn't a class; I'd get an 'F'! I'm in a weird mood, so you all will understand, won't you?


Seated in quiet solitary, Ruth thought of the past. She thought of the first time she’d really stuck her foot in it, the way the redness tinged her face, all hot and prickly. The same tingling sensation had come with her first kiss (and the one after that, and the one after that).
There was a different kind of tingling altogether when she watched through the front-room window as her firstborn son saluted her and Eugene. He cut a fine figure, standing proudly at attention in his sharp, new uniform. She was proud of him, but afraid, and more than a little angry with the world. Now the tingling was in her heart, and it was sharp and glorious all at the same time. As the car pulled away from the curb she’d turned just in time to see a tear well up in Eugene’s eye as he stood, his arm rigid, saluting his departing son.

The days swirled together in her mind, the memories leapfrogging over one another. The day she’d met Eugene and the day they’d married in the park. Robert and Kay being born-the war ending. Her lovely grandchildren, each one different, each one perfect.

Then newer memories came. Life wasn’t the same without Eugene, and it was hard to look at her reflection in the mirror now. The shriveled skin with strange brown spots didn’t fit in with the image she had of herself. Nor did the white plastic jar that held her dentures. She was still young inside, but no one seemed to notice.
She sat there a moment longer, her bottom half totally numb. At least now she knew she still had it in her to feel embarrassment just as keenly as that first time. Red-faced, she took a deep breath and called out the words that, in her opinion, no woman should ever be forced to utter. “Kay, come and help me off this damn toilet!”

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Feb 9 19:53:37 PST 2001

Belated Congrats to Christi. Also, I took the time out and archived up to yesterday. Things had crept up to a half meg, so we are back down to 50k. Take care everyone. Hoping to see Hannibal sometime tomorrow, actually. Then I can get an answer whether they had the chutzpa to end the movie similarly to what they did in the book. I am fearful not, but we will see. Maybe they will come up with something equally satisfying. Take care all.

Rosemary Fri Feb 9 19:31:47 PST 2001

Greetings everyone,

That birthday thing is roaming around the Notebook again. I am a died-in-the-wool Scorpio. Nov. 10. Scorpios have traits that are sometimes difficult to live with.

Below is a Shorty that I wrote a few years ago. It doesn't fit tonight's catagory but my muse seems to be on vacation.


To start with, let's put to rest that vile rumor about purple dragons being extinct. I certainly don't feel extinct, although I haven't seen another dragon of any color in a long time.

I do seem to travel a lot. Once people realize I'm around, someone is always trying to catch or kill me. (You know how humans are about things that are unusual, rare or one of a kind.) So I move to a safer area fairly often.

There is the danger of low flying planes; you have to watch out for them coming out of the clouds. I don't fly really high, you know, the temperature slows down my reptile nature, and I tend to drop like a rock. Then I have to watch out for the ecologists, they haven't decided whether to try to preserve me or to exterminate me due to the amount of floiage I consume daily.

Being purple also has its drawbacks. I have to stay out of Kentucky; I clash with the bluegrass. There are the Purple mountains of Virginia, I stay there a good bit because I blend into the background, but it gets dull after a while and cold in the winter. I do have a preference for Florida, but it has become over populated. There was that one winter season I spent in Disneyworld. No one noticed me for almost the whole time. I was considering staying permanently, but they started trying to make a ride out of me. People kicked me and spilled gooey things all over me. The season was almost over anyway, so I left. I'm considering Disneyland in California next winter.

Of course, everyone knows there is no such thing as a Dragon, so all of the above is moot. You might do me a favor though, the next time you go on the dragon ride in Disneyland, please leave the gooies behind.

I copied this from an old printout and tried to correct the punctuation as I went along, but when I type written material, I have trouble reading it at the same time.

So much for excuses. Everyone have a good evening and Congrats. to CHRISTI.

Gordon Fri Feb 9 19:16:21 PST 2001

Thanks Hallee, Ed and Christi. I appreciate the time you put into your responses. I heeded most of you r recommendations and here is what I have come up with so far. I will work on it some more and come back to let you know the final grade. I may post again as I have a second paper coming due soon. I am learning a bunch from you critiques and really appreciate them.
Thanks again,

The Shop I Left Behind

“It looks small from the out side too small to hold an auto collision repair shop”. That’s what more than half of my customers have told me. I had constantly seen it from the inside and that is how it portrayed itself to me and I loved bringing my customers in to show them the shop I had come to know. Once my customers stepped foot into the shop it was obvious that it re-introduced itself to them and made it clear that it had plenty of space; enough to house at least six smashed automobiles maybe even more and additional room for a minimum of three more vehicles that need painting. You definitely have to see it from the inside to completely realize its extent.
Once inside the most noticeable feature is an eight-year-old paint-booth. The booth is tucked in the furthest corner opposite the door that leads into the shop from the office. Looking at the paint-booth from the outside it looks like something you might see in an old, cheaply made, science fiction movie, where the effects crew tried to use industrial looking stuff to create a space ship. But the components look far too familiar and you know it’s not from outer space. It has enough electrical conduit and those types of things strung on the outside to notice its presence as more than just a room, but as the host to something serious. The inside is spotlessly white and gives the same feeling you get from a doctor’s office, sterile and clean. A freshly painted car sets drying in the booth. The paint job on the car gives a reflective testimony of the paint booth’s effectiveness.
It has some ruff edges and a few of them show in the main outer walls of the shop since they are in raw sheetrock and the tape joints and spackle are still showing. There’s dust and a few cobwebs built up in the tucked away corners, high on the ceilings, around the skylights and in the crowded areas of the shop where things look as if they have been standing still. But the remaining areas of the shop look as if they get used and are pretty spiffy; spiffy enough you’re sure the place gets a general cleaning as often as it needs too.
The floor is concrete and it’s covered in what looks to be about fifty layers of paint. It is worn in areas and the wear draws a trail leading to where countless dismembered vehicles were once moved to be repaired. At the place where the trail fades there is a car or what seems to be the remains of a car, and it’s not mashed like it was just in an accident, but naked like it has been stripped of its shape. A skeleton of what was once a thing of beauty and projected itself as a holder of power and speed is now reduced to something barely recognizable. Several of the parts standing against the wall next to the car have shapes that look like they might replenish the crumpled-up areas or fill the naked openings of this bare bones exposure. The revelation of the automobile’s meek and timid understructure gives a quick acquaintance to the frailness contained in something so powerful. Just behind the chopped up projects are a few finished automobiles. These autos are lined up towards the back garage door. In progression the cars display their link in the chain to the completed mission.
A sweet kind of chemical odor mixed with a metallic twang fills the air and every once in a while you’ll notice a whiff of strong fumes similar to the fumes from the white-out used to correct spelling mistakes in school - sweet enough to make you want to smell it again yet pungent enough to let you know it might be harmful. There are air hoses lying across the floor that lead from large canisters on the wall. The canisters have gauges and knobs all over them and the hoses lead to grinders and sanders in the workers’ hands. Across one wall there are a line of large toolboxes each one with a different style and just about the same amount of separation in the clutter around them to let you know that they all have separate keepers.
There is a hum of air tools and a feeling of need that surrounds you and seems to give it all a rhythm. A rhythm that could be described as organized clutter. To me before I left it behind it could be summed up as industrial poetry, but now and the longer I stay away it looks and feels like a workshop made to take away my time and fill it with grueling sweat. The shop is more than what meets the eye and after time the impression changes. After experiencing it up-close for so many years then finally getting to see it from a distance I realize the impression you get from the shop depends on your perspective.

Rhoda Fri Feb 9 17:34:52 PST 2001


Way to go!!! And published in Australia along with our dearly departed or missing in action Hayden, Britomart, and Phillip.


You are an angel! It was a sweet thing for you to enter Christi's story. And speaking of angels, the fallen type out of Revelations, I might add--was IMA a particular friend or acquaintence of yours? Surely YOU were not the infamous Ima? If so then writing is not what you should be going into, but acting. Actually this is the 2nd time I have participated in shortie night. My problem is that my shorties, like my posts, never end up short.


I am glad you liked the story. You had an interesting story also.


Happy 19th Birthday!

Mark Fri Feb 9 16:20:47 PST 2001

TINA -- "Ender's Game" arrived.

ALL -- I may be away a couple of days here.

CHRISTI -- Congratulations. And a big pat on the back to TeeKay.

Teekay Fri Feb 9 15:39:43 PST 2001

Top of the mornin' to yer all,

BARNABAS: *sniff*, Ima passed away a day or so ago. Yes she was recently diagnosed with MPD. I thought she had lovely personalities. Each and everyone of them brought a little something extra to my world.
Alas she has gone.
Congratulations on starting your novel. Is this the first?
NOTEBOOK ETTIQUETTE PAGE????? No way Jose. Writers should not embrace limits, they should fight against them.
I'm extra fond of MARY due to our stormy beginnings. And I know a lot more about her personality too. Don't worry MARY, I mean that in a good way.
One more thing, Americo and I are not at loggerheads. He's at loggerheads, but he is beating his head against a brick wall.
Re: dorkism. You can take things seriously, but it becomes a problem when one takes themselves a little bit too seriously.
So maybe you're just a dor. :-) Or an Ork. To qualify for full dorkism you must have ALL the prerequisites.

VIV: I shall try and find a business letter for you. Do overdue gas bills count?

CHRISTI: Allow me to be the first to congratulate you
*POP*Pssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (cracking open the bubbly) *clink* *clink* A TOAST TO CHRISTI AND HER CREATIVITY AND TO MOTHER'S BURDEN AND TO ALL THE STORIES SHE HAS YET TO PUBLISH.
And the town isn't all that small. :-)

RHODA: This is the first time you've participated in shorty night isn't it?? Well done. I love an unexpected ending.


The angel came and the angel sat,
to feed at the poor man's table.
Oh woe is me, the pauper said,
though I'll give you all I'm able,

but I am poor and I have little,
to lay upon your plate,
you would have had a feast to behold,
had you walked through my neighbours gate.

The angel looked at the man and said,
you see through a poor man's eyes.
Take a look at the blessing you have,
for they are truly the prize.

You are only poor if you think you are,
heed me as I speak,
look around this table of yours,
and behold the riches which you seek,

see the trust and love in your children's eyes,
feel the warmth in your good wife's kiss,
have joy that you can all gather round,
and share altogether like this.

And when the angel bid farewell,
and left the pauper's door,
that pauper's soul was full to the brim,
and he was no longer poor.

Richard Fri Feb 9 14:35:54 PST 2001

Ohh-err. I'll be 14 in a matter of days. 18th...

Help me! I'm mutating!!!!!


They call it a wonderful journey
Time to discover the new you,
But if we're to mature
Why do my eyes show me more,
Droves of idiots playing with fire?

My reaction to a video on puberty we saw in Healthy Living class. This was my knee-jerk reaction; I know that teenagers aren't a load of plain idiots, but we do plenty of stupid thinks and it often seems to me like we play with fire rather than discover new pages of our personalities.

Hallee Fri Feb 9 14:34:06 PST 2001

CHRISTI: YYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! Wow - how exciting for you!

RHODA: Bravo.


Eddie Fri Feb 9 13:39:41 PST 2001

Now I feel REALLY old.
I seem to remember you celebrating your 16th.

Allein Fri Feb 9 13:34:11 PST 2001

Rachel - party. I was hoping that I'd have an excuse to party. Actually, my birthday is next month so I will have a party. (((((BIG HUGS))))) from me and "kisses" from Pepper.

That's right, people, I'll be 19 on March 5th. If you'd like to send me presents my address is...
Just kidding. I don't expect anything. :) And anyway, I would never post my address here for the entire world to see.
Have a great day everyone!

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 13:01:05 PST 2001

I enjoyed that. The twist got me, I was thinking of something else.
A few typos, but I can see that it is 'off the cuff' which makes it all the more enjoyable.
You didn't really sell your body?
No.....I didn't think so.
Sometimes I wish you would go 'Off Plot' though. Then we would see the 'real' you in your creativity, which is immense.
Well done.

Rhoda Fri Feb 9 12:50:41 PST 2001

A shortie that didn't turn out to be very short.

My stab at POVERTY:

I had never wished to hang around in the richest sections of Houston before. When I had a well-paying joy, I avoided the Galleria like the plague. After all, what comfort does goggling at 700 dollar boots at Neiman Marcus bring when one has the comforts of a warm, but modest home and loving family? Now that I have come full circle with my alcohol addiction and have lost my family and my job, I now feel a strange connection with the rich and powerful.
For the past eighteen months my favorite hangout has been this parking garage. Once I was a Lexus salesman, and I suppose the charm of being around new and expensive cars never wears off, for here I am amongst every conceivable Lexus color and year, not to mention the Jaguars, Mercedes, BMW's and an occasional Rolls here and there.
Till this day I do not know if it was hunger or my addiction that drove me to this fateful desperate act. I had made my way on the street panhandling, selling flowers, selling drugs, and on occasion selling my body, but never had I ever felt compelled to steal until I saw all that cash strewn out upon the front seat of that ‘99 red Mercedes sedan. The crisp one hundred dollar bills were more beautiful than emeralds to my eyes. There much have been thousands of them there overflowing from a brown paper grocery bag. With such money I could buy a better coat to keep me warm. I could rent a suite in the Quest Quarters Hotel and order room service. Instead of drinking sour whiskey and Boone's Farm to ease my pain, I could drink fine Vodka again. If only I could get my hands on such money, but how?
I saw very quickly the car was locked. If I tried to pry the handle I would of course set off the alarm, and with the nearest security officer a level down, I dare not risk that. I reached into my pants pocket and drew out my knife. It wasn't much, but it was sharp, and with proper care, I could make it work. Fortunately I also had a pair of threadbare gloves that would prevent me leaving any finger prints. I felt only a momentary pain of conscience as I realized that I would need to add violence to my list of firsts this day, but it didn't matter. The opportunity of a brief period of dignity plus the means to feed that alcoholic monster in my soul more than compensated for any evil I might be forced to do.
So I waited, and I waited.
At sundown the gnawing hunger in my belly tempted me to leave, but I dare not lest the owner of the sedan come around while I was gone. For what seemed an eternity, I huddled in that dark garage beside the delivery truck that was parked next to the sedan. But it was better this way, the garage was practically empty and there would be little chance I would have a witness.
When he came, I hesitated not a minute, but pounced upon him. At first I thought about knocking him out, but that would not be so easy because he was a large, strong man. My only advantage was his ignorance of my knife which I had stuffed into my pocket. Till this day I do not even remember drawing it out and slitting his throat with it.
He had just slumped into my arms when I heard footsteps reverberating through the close air. With my heart pumping in my throat, I managed to pull the body beneath the delivery truck. I groped into his pockets and removed his car keys and his wallet. I pushed the keypad, and to my relief the doors to the Mercedes sedan unlocked. Leaving my victim to bleed underneath the delivery truck, I pushed the money into the sack and clutched the sack to my chest and ran off into the night.
I had threaded my way out of the parking garage and had found my way to a familiar alley when I heard the police and ambulance sirens. If I could find a good place to stash the money, they would never connect me with the murder and the theft.
I hailed a cab and had him drop me off near the bus terminal. There I rented a hotel room, bought some liquor, slept off my hang-over and then cleaned up. Next I bought some new clothes. I did all of this on my victim's credit cards. After buying a satchel for my money, I deposited my cut up my victim's cards into a trash dumpster, for those credit card purchases would only be a trail by which the authorities could find me. With the ten thousand dollars I counted I could easily make my way out of the Houston area, purchase the things I needed and never be apprehended for the crimes I committed.
I was light-hearted and calm when I went to the bus station the following afternoon. I bought a ticket for New Orleans deciding it was far enough away from Houston. It was warm most of the year and a good place to lose oneself in.
I had over an hour's wait for my bus. Feeling the need for some refreshment I wandered out of the station and made my way to the convenient store on the corner to get a beer. A freckled face kid with a bad case of acne greeted me from the cash register. As he smiled at me and commented on the weather, I cringed inside, for I was not used to this much attention. Back when I was on the street, people could not wait for me to get out of their sight.
I selected my beer and a package of doughnuts and placed them on the counter and handed the kid one of my hundred dollar bills.
He took the bill and then hesitated while getting me my change.
"Just a minute, sir," he said. "I have run out of twenties. I must talk to my manager."
A few seconds later an older man came to the register and peered in. He pulled out the hundred dollar bill and studied it. My patience was almost at an end, for I was getting glittery and needed my beer very badly at this moment.
"Counterfeit," the manager stated, his eyes cold as the grave. "Will you come this way, sir?"
A prickly heat crossed my spine as those words entered into my conscience. Counterfeit! It couldn't be. Surely I had not killed and robbed for counterfeit money.
"Don't worry, sir. This will only take a moment. You probably got this hundred by mistake. It happens all the time," he said leading me to a small room.
I consoled myself with the hope that there was still nothing to link me to the murder of the man who owned the Mercedes Sedan.
Two cops entered the room and talked momentarily to the owner. They then transferred their attention to me.
"May I see your driver's licence?" the burly cop asked holding out his hand.
I pulled out the only wallet I had, the one stolen from my victim. Perhaps I could get out of town before the cop made the connection.
His eyes hardened as he looked at the licence. I knew immediately he had recognized the victim even before he had entered the licence number into his computer. There was no where to run, no where to turn.
The other cop handcuffed me.
"You have the right to remain silent, Mr. Longsforth."
"Longsforth? That isn't my name," I cried. "
The man looked at me incredulously.
"Of course it isn't your name, but it is the name on this fake driver's licence. Your name is Henry Johnson and you are wanted in three states for assault, counterfeiting, drug dealing, manslaughter and a multitude of crimes which will keep you locked up for at least the rest of your natural life. "I must say that you did a good job on this licence. It almost matches your appearance. I just find it hard to believe that someone who has remained at large for so many years would be so stupid as to drop counterfeited money this way."
"Henry Johnson? You don't understand. My name is Ben Riley, and I don't have a record. I am a street person, a drunk in Houston who just happened to find all these bills."
"Tell that to the D.A., boy. Come on Llye," he motioned to his partner. "Let's get this trash out of here and down to the station."

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 12:14:59 PST 2001

Bear idea?
Now there's a thought!

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 12:12:11 PST 2001

What Hallee said.
(You got there before me)
I was going to say that it really looked like you were fleshing it out, just throwing every word you could think of at it. Were you given a count?
Start it again and really strip it down to the bear idea. Get the essence of the thought down first before you get bogged down with flowery descriptions.
Then go get a cup of coffee!
Come back, read it again, then just tweak it here and there.
Watch it grow, get to like it.
You will get your A

Hallee Fri Feb 9 11:52:10 PST 2001

GORDON: Well done. Your descriptions are terrific. A few things, though:

*Punctuation should go in the inside of a quotation. ex. " hold an auto collision repair shop."

*You use the words "at least" twice in the same sentence in the first paragraph. I'd replace one of them with another word, like minimum, or leave it out entirely.

*cheap made should be cheaply made; and I'd spell sci-fi out into science fiction

*"The inside is spotless white"...should be spotlessly (I think..double check that)

*"The paint job on the car.." I'd re-word that. It seems like too many words. Try: "The paint job on the car gives testimony of the..."

*"...the ware draws..." I don't know what you mean by ware...perhaps you mean wear?

*The paragraph about the stripped conflict with plurals there. It should say, "Several of the parts standing against the wall next to the care have shapes that look like..."

*In the paragraph about the smells - "...correct spelling mistakes in school - sweet..." add the dash between school and sweet.

*The sentence about the workers holding the tools is confusing. I would reword it like this" "...the hoses lead to grinders and sanders in workers' hands.." or something like that. Make sure you add the apostrophe in workers' to show possession.

Just little things here and there - really, though, great job with the descriptions. And good luck with it. Hopefully, some of our more elaborate critiquers will get a hold of this and really give you some good points.


Fri Feb 9 11:43:50 PST 2001

Christi Fri Feb 9 11:29:02 PST 2001

Gordon, Hi, and welcome!
I think you need to decide which direction you want your essay to take. It wandered and so did I. I'd say to pick something that truly interests you. Are you really interested in this garage or did you choose it because you needed to write about a place--anyplace? If you really are interested in it, I'd say you need to bring more life to it.
My eyes tend to skip over long passages of description. It's good description, but there's just too much of it. It distanced you from something that seemed like it was supposed to be important to you. Get closer. Let us closer. Why should we be interested in a boring old garage? Tell us!

Friend, I had to take some time to digest your story. It was good, but very disturbing. I was riveted, even though I didn't want to be. So Friend, who are you?

Hi Jerry!


Orca's Dork Fri Feb 9 11:27:28 PST 2001

i am so happy you all recognised me
for the wonder i am! i am not a dweeb or a geek
or a person at all. i like being seen for what i am he he.

Heather Fri Feb 9 11:20:58 PST 2001

Floody basment, leaky concrete window well
So much water
never seen it higher
three inches less and we'd be dry
the sound of the
shop vac
and reminds
me we're wet.


Friend Fri Feb 9 10:24:06 PST 2001

I'ma NOT Ima. No Sir.

Gordon Fri Feb 9 09:25:22 PST 2001

I just want to get an "A" on my first college essay ever!

I searched the web over and this is the only place I could find that had people that seem to want to help.
Assignment: write an essay that explores a thought. The essay should use description of a place and what people have said or say to show this thought or idea.

Here is my first draft, be hard on me as that is what inspires me.

The Shop I Left Behind

“It looks small from the out side; too small to hold an auto collision repair shop”. That’s what more than half of my customers have told me. I had constantly seen it from the inside and that is how it portrayed itself to me. Once my customers stepped foot into the shop it was obvious that it re-introduced itself to them and made it clear that it had plenty of space; enough to house at least six smashed automobiles maybe even more and room for at least three vehicles that need painting. You definitely have to see it from the inside to completely realize its extent.
Once inside the most noticeable feature is an eight-year-old paint-booth. The booth is tucked in the furthest corner opposite the door that leads into the shop from the office. Looking at the paint-booth from the outside it looks like something you might see in an old, cheap-made, sci-fi movie, where the effects crew tried to use industrial looking stuff to create a space ship. But the components look far too familiar and you know it’s not from outer space. It has enough electrical conduit and those types of things strung on the outside to make you identify that something serious takes place inside. The inside is spotless white and gives the same feeling you get from a doctor’s office, sterile and clean. The paint job on the car it contains gives proof in its reflective testimony of the paint booth’s effectiveness.
The main outer walls of the shop are in raw sheetrock and the tape joints and spackle are showing. There’s dust and a few cobwebs built up in the tucked away corners, high on the ceilings, around the skylights and in the crowded areas of the shop where things look as if they have been standing still. The remaining areas of the shop look as if they get used and are pretty spiffy; spiffy enough you’re sure the place gets a general cleaning as often as it needs too.
The floor is concrete and it’s covered in what looks to be about fifty layers of paint. It is worn in areas and the ware draws a trail leading to where countless dismembered vehicles were once moved to be repaired. At the place where the trail fades there is a car or what seems to be the remains of a car, and it’s not mashed like it was just in an accident, but naked like it has been striped of it’s shape. A skeleton of what was once a thing of beauty and projected itself as a holder of power and speed is now reduced to something barely recognizable. Several of the parts standing against the wall next to the car have a shape that looks like they might replenish the crumpled-up areas or fill the naked openings of this bare bone’s exposure of the automobile’s meek and timid understructure. Just behind the chopped up projects are a few finished automobiles. These autos are lined up towards the back garage door. In progression the cars display their link in the chain to the completed mission.
A sweet kind of chemical odor mixed with a metallic twang fills the air and every once in a while you’ll notice a whiff of strong fumes similar to the fumes from the white-out used to correct spelling mistakes in school sweet enough to make you want to smell it again yet pungent enough to let you know it might be harmful. There are air hoses lying across the floor that lead from large canisters on the wall. The canisters have gages and knobs all over them and the hoses lead to the workers hands that have grinders and sanders in them. Across one wall there are a line of large toolboxes each one with a different style and just about the same amount of separation in the clutter around them to let you know that they all have separate keepers.
There is a hum of air tools and a feeling of need that surrounds you and seems to give it all a rhythm. A rhythm that could be described as organized clutter. To me before I left it behind it could be summed up as industrial poetry, but now and the longer I stay away it looks and feels like a workshop made to take away my time and fill it with grueling sweat. The shop is more than what meets the eye and after time the impression changes. After experiencing it up close for so many years then finally getting to see it from a distance I realize the impression you get from the shop depends on your perspective.

Jerry Fri Feb 9 08:27:49 PST 2001

Jack - this is strange, I guess I don't understand the WWW or something, but whenever notebookers said the page was so slow in loading, it always loaded just fine for me. Now, however since I had my service upgraded to 56K the notebook loads much slower then it did with the 33.6 speed. I have never heard anything so strange in my life but download speeds are about twice as fast as they were, you site loads in about twice the time as it used to. This is going to take some getting used to I think.


howard Fri Feb 9 08:23:58 PST 2001

EDDIE -- that works for me! :-)
btw - I still haven't been able to get to your website. Keeps either timing out or getting "not found"
I'll try again this afternoon.

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 08:01:14 PST 2001

Probably fake SS. made from shiny tin.

howard Fri Feb 9 07:18:02 PST 2001

EDDIE -- Neat! You provided the bones and the reader fleshes them out. Doesn't usually work, but this one did - for me, anyway. Is that called minimalist writing? :-)
Just one anomaly -- I don't think you can hold notes to a stainless steel board with a magnet, can you?

Christi Fri Feb 9 07:06:00 PST 2001

You're right, Teekay, I can't hold it in any longer ... I'm about to blow ... YIPEEEEE! I'M PUBLISHED! Seems that on the eighth of February, the citizens in a town of Australia were subjected to my lil' old story, Mother's Burden. Isn't that cool? Teekay submitted my shortie to her local newspaper and THEY PRINTED IT!!!!! Isn't she just the best best best? I'm so excited. I'm foaming over at the mouth, waiting to get my copy. Thank you again, girly!

Hop, A psuedo-intellectual is quite easy to spot. They'll be the ones telling everybody how smart and superior they are. Same kind of thing as machismo, really. A macho man tries to prove he's a man. A real man just is one.

John, Nice shortie!

Debra, I've got to agree with the others. Great shortie, ma'am!

Heather, Wooooo. That was one bit of scary writing. Great job! Put me thinking about 'Marathon Man'. Where's my night light?

Eddie, That was brilliant! HAHAHAHA

Can't wait to see the rest of them. G'day, all.


Mary Fri Feb 9 06:36:32 PST 2001

A dork most certainly is a whale penis. That was not just for shock value.

It must be sweeps week at the Notebook.

Debra Fri Feb 9 05:35:35 PST 2001

bow bow curtsy curtsy.

Thank you thank you!

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 04:25:51 PST 2001


Note 1 [Stuck to room-size fridge door]

Darling, sorry, missed you by ten. R.J rang, the deal is set for tomorrow. Looks like the Carribian break is on again. Wonderful! Kisses.

Note 2 [Held by magnet to stainless steel notice board above air-con unit]

Dearest, Not to worry, detained in board meeting until eleven anyway. What car were you thinking of this time?

Message 1 [stored digitaly on tapeless answerphone]

Hi sugar, don't worry about dinner, I'll grab something at the office. Don't wait up.

Message 2 [5 minutes later]

Sorry darling, can't make it for dinner, trouble on the HK market. I'll eat out. You just go ahead and don't worry about me.

Note 3 [Covers note 1]

Darling, good news, bonus paid 30k out celebrating - you know how they are in this place. Order something in. Loves.

Note 4 [slips to the floor]

Phew! what a day. Remember to get settlement figour for the mortgage tomorrow. Knocked them dead today. Don't wake me, got to be sharp in the morning. Kiss.

Sorry about not coming home last night lover. Got held up at the party and decided to sleep it off. How about dinner tonight?

email reply
Georgios' eightish? :-)

Meeting :-( How about 9

email reply
Ok. 9 o'clock Georgios

Mobile phone call at Geogios'
Hi darling look, sorry about this. Got to catch a flight, must rush. see you tomorrow. Kiss.

Note 5 [Pinned to dry cleaning hanging on door]
Janet, got the letter from your lawyer. There's no way I'm settling for fifty percent.

Note 6 [Tied around rock, lying on cracked lounge table, surrounded by glass shards from broken window]

'Screw you, jackass'

Dialect tip of the hour Fri Feb 9 03:54:20 PST 2001

Barang Barang
Pronounced "Ba- rung Ba- rung"

Translation- Unknown. A Malay word.
Known Meaning- Stuff. Implies baggage or carriables.

Example of usuage- "Have you brought along all your barang barang?"

Barnabas "Hop" Fri Feb 9 03:35:27 PST 2001

Since burnout is the theme I've decided not to do a shortie but release my novel in the novel
workshop. Burnt out would be what you are after reading the 30+ pages of part one. I don't think
its a novel. Just a story but I guess that's the best place to put it since its so long.

If you don't want to read my novel, don't, but try to read the prologue at least to get a "feel" of my
world. Apologies about the paragraphing in advance. When you cut and paste from a word
processor it tends to do strange things.

Someone please explain to me whether Ima suffers from multiple personality disorder. I'm
getting slightly annoyed at posts by strange people talking about Ima.

Man, this place fills up fast.

Funny, but I don't think they are the same word nor do they have the same roots. Although that
reminds me that "lah" isn't a dialect word. It is a word found also in Mandarin, the national
language of China. Once again however, its use in English sentences makes it a dialect word.

"Lah" is a casual thing so it may not work when you discipline children.

From what I know, writing a novel and short story is different. Some writers find one easier than
the other. I found short stories easier because they take shorter to type and are easier to correct.
Novels are harder for me because I'm not yet confident of myself to write well consistently.

Did you read my note about the business letter?

1) Coincidental? Probably, but doesn't this prove God exists?
2) What are you reading?

I don't know about you, but I find people fascinating. Really I do. What's so bad about people
conversing? It shows the different cultures we are from, what with our dialect tips going on and
Ima with her multitude of friends and aquaintences.

It may be a little harsh but please, Be one person. It isn't polite for us to have to read silly things
about your different aspects. Its much like talking to someone only to have them switch clothes
and pretend to be someone else. It's rude. It's okay if you put at the post you're just having fun but
you must say so.

I'm still mulling over the short story you posted.

Speaking of which, perhaps we should have a notebook ettiquitte page for newbies or something
like that. What do you think?

Jack, I understand what its like to run a huge website or several of them. I have a big text-
intensive website myself of only 20 pages and its such a hassle linking them all up. I'll be
patiently awaiting whatever changes you make!

I'll be waiting for any comments.


Sorry to hear you and Americo and at logger-heads again.

According to your definition I'm a d.... I can't say it (or should that be type it?). I do take things a
little too seriously making myself look stupid. It's an in-built habit. You're probably going to
comfort me and smooth things over. Don't worry I know you will. Just leave a line under my
name the next time you type something to me.

Hang in there fellow novel writer....

One of my favourite gestures....(slaps forehead emphatically yelling "doh!"). More actions to add
to your kicking and hugging.

I know this sounds weird but how can you tell a pseudo-intellectual from a real intellectual? I
always thought it was a matter of opinion.

Explain the flame point system.

My guess, another one of Ima's multiple personalitites.

Help. Help. Help. Why is she doing this! Her posts are like living in someone else's life!

Stop being multiple people. Haven't you already seen what being multiple people does to
notebookers around here?!

Don't forget I live close to Teekay (relatively speaking)!
Might I suggest a topic of food the next time round? I'll explain why should anyone be interested.
Seems whatever theme you pick affects a persons week, what about "big success" one of these
days or "winning the jackpot or lottery?"

Chances are Ima will forever be around. She'll be back, you can't really kill people like her, they
refuse to lay down and quit. I hope to be like that one day.

What was your cause or clue? You mentioned expression of self in one of your posts. I'm fairly
interested in Urban rebels for two reasons.
1) I'm from a very urbanised country.
2) I'm the opposite of a rebel. A conformist would be a euphemism.

Your story is spooking. I hate spooky stories because I get scared too, although, isn't that what a
good spooky story is suppose to do?

Hope you had a good rest.

Tina work in one of those cool gadget/science shops. I like those, they promote creativity
and discovery, although the things are somewhat pricey at times.

Thanks. Appreciate your support. I'll be waiting for your comments as well.

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 02:37:04 PST 2001

Dork - Whale penis - I think that the instigator of the slang definition knew exactly what he/she was talking about.

Eddie French Fri Feb 9 00:15:26 PST 2001

That's some snow you've got there in Lemmon.
And -10.7f
When does it warm up?

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