Archived Messages from March 8 to March 13, 2001

Wed Mar 14 23:01:18 PST 2001 Sun Mar 11 10:28:57 PST 2001

Heather Tue Mar 13 21:47:31 PST 2001

Gariess! Sorry, the critique is a little delayed. I want to read it through thoroughly one more time before I advise on what might be pared down and what's essential. There's not as much trimming as I had first thought.
Your comment about the photographs stunned me because I thought you were talking about a photo I'd taken that was on my webpage! And I thought, 'I didn't use that lighting, or that type of film for my outdoor shots!' Then I thought you were referring to the photo of me, which I didn't take. (before anyone goes 'Huh?' you can take your own photograph easily with a remote shutter release and some practice)...
Anyhow, the pic of me on my webpage is a 'cheap' photo booth shot, which I like exactly because the quality sucks! It's grainy and washed out, and looks like it's been simmering in cyan ink. Sometimes the un-fussy shots are the best ones. I'm no expert photographer, but I've been told otherwise. It's all farting around with expensive equipment, really, and bracketing shots I don't want to miss.

Ok, so the remark about tungsten lighting wasn't for me. That's ok, Gary! It took me about 6.9 seconds to realize that we hadn't spoken about photography in ages, and the message wasn't for me.
It took, however, over 5 minutes to explain that. Sigh. I'll give up soon.

Tina, great shortie. Loved the cat's perspective.
Jerry, there's one loophole: Even if the neighbour did go and play pinochle with her every day, wouldn't it still seem like an accident? And there's no one guiltier than the guy taking off for a vacation without leaving someone to care for his invalid wife! He wanted to get caught.


Jerry Tue Mar 13 21:23:32 PST 2001

Owhard - must be a new drive, had it been formated before, I always use the command FORMAT C: /q

Works very fast, like seconds but if it is a new drive, or you think there may be errors on the drive, the FORMAT c: /u is the one to use.

Cassandra Tue Mar 13 21:21:56 PST 2001

Hallee- I'm completely sympathetic. I got an earfull from one of my teachers that I have to start setting high goals for myself and getting ambitious with them. I've just recently entered to poetry contests, but ones that don't charge for entry (I'm in college, 'nough said). Hopefully I'll pull in a little money for it, if not *shrugging* at least I'd've tried for once. Now, to just find out how to apply that to graphic design... hmmm...

Jerry- No problem with the NRA affiliation, my father is a member. He doesn't actually own a gun yet but I think he may actually be in the market for a handgun, strictly for defensive purposes though. Above all my father is a responsible person and I think one of the few people I know that could deal with the burden of keeping that responsibility in check.

*ahem* *starting to sing* How long does it take to format-
whoops that joke's already been killed... guess there's nothing to do now but sleep.

Night all!

Sweet dreams of words and verses that breathe the truth of life through the lips of those seaking some sense in the senseless...



Jerry Tue Mar 13 21:15:33 PST 2001

Ahhh Denver is a suburb of Tacoma right????

Mary Tue Mar 13 21:02:16 PST 2001

MARK: I got it! That's why I told my cantaloupe joke! (o)(o)

Mark Tue Mar 13 20:53:48 PST 2001

knock knock
who's there?
jamaica who?
jamaica cake today?

yes, yes, I know.

HOWARD -- I don't believe Mary got it. hmmm. Anyone remember the "All in the Family" episode where Edith finally realizes why they call that woman "Boom Boom?" ... Mary, you hurried to the door and the guy holding it watched ... what? knock knock !

RHODA -- hum ahem ahem hhrrruuummmm pardonme .. somethingalittlewrongwithmythroat. A bit hoarse. I'm a hoarseman. Guess that makes me gallant, chivalric. Saaayy, whatcha got I can open there, cutie?

VIV -- good story well told. Uh, but one question. There was a guy in a sunday suit .. I was left to figure him out for myself. From other contexts I thought you were in Japan and so the man must be Japanese, then you say "Thank God for Western men." So this was not Japan and he was not Japanese?

GS -- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Point well-made there, chum.

good night all.

Jerry Tue Mar 13 20:42:47 PST 2001

That link will take you to a place where you can download a new browser called Web Talkster. I am using it right now, because it works so great for this webpage. What it does is this, when you load it, this nice looking indian madin comes out and stands on the page. You can highlight part of the page and she talks the page to you. (Well that is what she calls it, in reality she reads it to you.) Anyhow for those of you of the female persuasion, there are male versions available too, but I like this cute little indian gal, and she has such a nice voice. You can also have her read the whole page to you, but it gets a bit confusing when she reads links and things. Only thing I don't like about it is that it is addware, and changes one link in the top bar every so often accompanied by a chime. When it does that if you are typing, it sort of takes you there. Other then that it looks like a great device for reading the notebook, or the workbook for that matter. Works great for proofreading too.

Randall, so good to see you back. I have been trying to keep my NRA affilation a secret, kind of like the topic of this weeks shorty night. Oh, and I have my shorty written too, but may not post it till Thursday, or maybe Wendsday.
Oh heck maybe tonight, just to avoid the rush.

Chris fluffed Amanda’s pillow, then turned, picking up her tray, which was filled with breakfast dishes.

“Can I pick you up anything on my way home from work tonight hon?”

“No, that’s Ok dear, my needs are few these days, I still have half a book of crossword puzzles to do before I need a new one.”

With this, Chris turned and walked down the stairs, as he had done for all these twelve years since the accident. He waited on Amanda hand and foot, brought her the bedpan, her meals, and washed her dirty linen when he didn’t get home in time, and she spilled the bedpan almost daily moving it from her bed to the stand.

He finished dishes then headed out the door, walking the short seven blocks to his office. While he walked he dreamed of the beach, any beach in the sun, possibly on some tropical isle, yes an island that was the answer.

That night, walking through the drizzle that was so common in the Tacoma area he began to plan. How to rid himself of the burden that Amanda had become, maybe a fire no that was too messy an accident that was it. He knew Amanda got out of bed at least twice a day to empty the bedpan, and to get her beer from the refrigerator in the hallway between the bedroom and the bathroom.

Chris breezed through the next day at work; his co-workers thought he turned over a new leaf. He hummed to himself, while making phone calls, first to the airlines to book his flight to Jamaica, then to the bank, to transfer his substantial savings, much of which came from a settlement from Amanda’s accident. It was supposed to be used to care for her, but Chris knew she would have no use for it tomorrow.

The following morning, Chris bounded out of bed. He hurried up to Amanda’s bedroom. She was still asleep. With her extra pillow, Chris smothered her, then picked her up and carried her limp broken body into the hall. To make it look like an accident, he swung her body quickly around and bounced her head off the doorframe, he heard the satisfying crunch, as her skull shattered against the sharp surface. Then raised her limp body over his head and slammed her onto the floor. Standing back, he looked over the accident scene, yes it appeared to be an accident, but something was missing. He turned and went back to the bedroom where he retrieved her bedpan, which was filled from last night’s “chore” he dropped it in front of her and the contents spread quickly on the carpet.

His first step completed, he washed the dishes as he did every morning, then put on his jacket and headed out the door, as if going off to work. As he walked down the sidewalk, he saw Mr. Burton.

“Good day Sam.” He chimed, and tipped his hat.

“What a nice day it is indeed!” replied his elderly neighbor; much as he did every day when Chris walked down the sidewalk, weather permitting of course.

Once he rounded the corner and headed toward his office, he hailed a cab.

“Airport, and make it quick, I have to make my flight in thirty minutes.”

“Yes sir, “ replied the driver as he picked up the mike from the holder on the dash, “405 to the airport.” He reported, and drove on.

Arriving at the airport, Chris learned his flight would be delayed for thirty minutes, so he had a little under an hour and he would be flying the friendly skies.

Forty minutes later the boarding agent announced the flight, and stood at the boarding gate to check the tickets. Chris was fifth in line when the plain cloths officer tapped him on the shoulder.

“You Chris Martin?”

“Why yes, yes I am, is there a problem?”

“Officer Collins, Denver PD, you will have to come with me sir.”

“What did I do?”

“You are being charged with the murder of your wife sir, I advise you to remain silent until you talk with your attorney.”

“But how, who…”

“Your neighbor sir, one Sam Spalding, found your wife’s body about twenty minutes ago, when he went to her room to play two handed pinochle as they did every day after you left for work.”

“Aw shit! Bitch always did keep secrets from me, I should have known!”

Tina Tue Mar 13 20:20:16 PST 2001

Howard, using the word 'crash' when you just talked about formatting a hard drive could be seen as tempting fate...

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Cargo who?
No! Car go beep beep!


Tina Tue Mar 13 20:15:51 PST 2001

Hello all!

I'm going back down to see my family tomorrow, so I'll be gone for a week. I actually wrote a shortie for shortie night, so I'm gonna post it tonight since I'll be gone on Thursday. I'll post it at the end.

Hallee, when you're ready to do that, and if you want input, let me know. I'll happily read, offer thoughts, and be a general sounding board for things you're working through. And I'll practice my cyber noogies for when you start writing #11! ;oD

Randall, you're 100% bang on about respect.

I just boiled my kettle dry while I sat here and wrote. ooops. Gotta start setting a buzzer when I boil water.

Okay, here's my shortie... only it's a longie. Sorry. Once I start I just won't stop!

Forbidden Places

They almost caught me today.

I blame the sun. It was simply too warm and comfortable, shining on my tawny fur until I couldn’t stay awake a second longer. The key in the door didn’t wake me, or the door opening, but the creaking stair gave them away. I jumped off of the forbidden chair and ran to the stairway just as Brian came up.

“Hey cat. Have a good day?” He gave me a scratch behind the ears, and I leaned into his hand, purring in relief. He didn’t know that I’d been sleeping on the forbidden chair.

“You’re such a loser. The furball doesn’t understand you!” Sara whined to her litter-mate.

He lifted his chin defiantly, picked me up and kept stroking my fur. “I’m not a nerd, princess. And Simba understands me fine. Right Simba?”

“Mom? Are you here?” Sara called out.

Sara headed for the kitchen, looking for mom-Zoe. She wouldn’t find her, I knew. Mom-Zoe had left early that morning, after giving me some peanut butter and petting my tummy. She’d been very quiet before she left, making blue lines on three pieces of paper. I’d watched from my place on her lap, and had to clean the water from her eyes off of my fur. Then she’d left. Through the window I’d watched her climb into one of the yellow moving-boxes.

“Here’s a note,” Sara came back holding one piece of paper.

Brian held it where we both could see the blue lines. He mumbled, “Gone out. Dinner’s in the fridge, just nuke it warm. Remember to feed Simba. Love you both very much.”

“Whatever,” Sara stomped off to her bed-den.

Brian carried me to our own bed-den and set me down on the desk. He pulled a few books from his bag and sat down, pushing me aside when I stood on the books. “Sorry Simba. I’d better do this before mom and dad get home.” I watched while he made lines on the paper, and noticed that one of the books smelled odd. I sniffed the pages closely, trying to recognise the smell.

“It’s not mine, Simba. Murray paid me two bucks to do his homework. His parents give him all the money he wants to buy anything. If mom and dad won’t get me that video game, I’ll get it myself. They don’t have to know.”

I flicked my tail across the paper to show my disapproval, but he didn’t stop.

When he finished making lines, I followed him out of our bed-den. His litter-mate had left her door open, so I pushed it wider and went in.

“Get out of here Brian!” she yelled without looking up.

“Mrreow,” I told her. Clearly I’m not Brian.

“You stupid cat. Go away.”

Instead I jumped up on her bed beside her and sat down. Water had leaked out of her eyes, and that usually meant distress so I thought she needed company.

“Why are you staring at me? Cause I’m fat?” Sara glared at me angrily.

I looked her up and down, and decided that she was not fat. Patches next door, now HE was fat. Couldn’t even clean himself properly anymore. I told her so. “Mwowrrr.”

“Sure. You eat anything you like and stay skinny. Me, I never eat breakfast or lunch, and I’m still fat. Peggy called me fat cow today. I told her to eat shit.”

A door opened and closed loudly. The heavy step had to be dad-Ross.

“Where is everybody?” he hollered.

“Hi dad,” Brian called.

Sara did the same and added, “Mom’s out. Left a note saying dinner’s in the fridge.”

“Then let’s eat. I’m starving. Come and help.”

After dinner Brian watched the loud-box and Sara talked on the quiet-box, so I went looking for dad-Ross. I found him in his bed-den, looking out the window. I jumped up on the sill to see what he was watching, but didn’t see anything interesting. When I looked up at him I saw water leaking from his eyes. He clutched two crumpled papers in his paw, and his paw shook.

“It’s just you and me and the kids now. Oh God, what do I tell them?” He sat down in the chair by the window and I joined him, kneading my claws in the pillow while he stroked me. “Did Zoe say anything to you, Simba? Tell you where she was going?”

“Mrrew,” I told him, but he didn’t understand. Just as well, too. If he knew the secrets I’m privy to, he might get suspicious about cat hair on the forbidden chair.

Mary Tue Mar 13 19:50:39 PST 2001

DEBRA: Hey girlie, your link works. Leaps and bounds, I say. You are learning by leaps and bounds.

HOWARD: I only have a 13GB hard drive and I know it took me a while to format. I can only imagine 30. What the heck you gonna do with all that space anyway? I love knock knock jokes. One of my favorites:

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Cantaloupe who?
Cantaloupe tonight, Dad's got the car.

I did go to your contest link, and read all the past winners. You are absolutely right, there are some doozies.

Let's all blow the top off SECRETS, you guys. Onward and upward.

howard Tue Mar 13 19:43:40 PST 2001

RANDALL - Hi! No, I haven't left yet. Tempted a couple of times, but prior committments overruled. Soon's they're done, though...!

Anybody know how long it takes to format a 30gb hard drive?

"No, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it." (could see thatone comin'!)

I feel like I'm about to wake up from a long hibernation.
And I don't like it!

Secrets? Oy!

TEEKAY - (or MARY) Wanna hear a good Knock-Knock joke?

Has anybody (besides me) not done their taxes yet?

Has anybody looked at that Bulwer-Lytton page yet? It's a contest for the absolute worst opening sentence. Some of them are a real hoot!

Looks like at least another 1.5 hours on this format. I think I'll hit the showers and then crash. Gotta get up at 4 in the morning.

'night ducks!

Debra Tue Mar 13 19:23:51 PST 2001


I meant to thank you for being the research fairy.

I am trying to post your pictures again

In case they work, these are pictures of my family that Mary fixed a webpage for me. It was so nice of her I thought I might post them again; there are so many new people here.

I, like Teekay, love to put pictures to names.


Teekay Tue Mar 13 18:53:54 PST 2001

DEBRA: the police report story Imean. Not the manuscript one. Although that was amusing too.

Teekay Tue Mar 13 18:52:23 PST 2001

DEBRA: HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA now I get it! Lucky my husband was able to explain it to me. HAHAHHAAHHAHAHAhAha

Randall Tue Mar 13 18:50:53 PST 2001

Hey buckaroos, what's happening!

Loosen up out there. Some of your posts border on obits.

(Darn loud mouth Texan!)

And I wondered just today 'bout Americo. Talk about stiring the pot. When I left last year Americo was slinging it left and right. Nice to hear your name again. Say...what ever happened to that cat you had? Ever come back home, hum?

Chivalry, fellow writers is spelled R E S P E C T. Respect comes from within and is generated partially by being aware of self and environment and breeding. If you ain't got it, you ain't gonna get it by wishing or imitation. (Baseball star Dizzy Dean said, "Show me a guy who won't say ain't, and I'll show you a guy without a paycheck.")Chivalry to other humans is a natural occurance, like breathing. Women and children first in the lifeboats. Duh! No brainer as far as I'm concerned. Women are the mothers of future generations and children are the future. As it is, so it is. Men are males and are suppose to be aware of their place in the scheme of life. And accept as such.

"Give me a brandy Jeeves and take this cursed lifejacket."

Some males are certaintly not, only interested in "me first." Open doors for gals, say excuse me, be respectful. If you have difficulty in understanding why...explaining won't help. :-)

Christi, please check e-mail. :-)

Howard, glad to see you're still on the planet! :-)

Some years ago Paul Harvey had an intersting story. Goes something like this. In the lower 48, New Yorkers are rated the rudest (sp?) in everyday meetings. As are most Yanks. (Sorry, his words not mine.) Annnnnnnnd they have the strictest gun control regs. (Following this Jerry?) People of the South were rated to be the most respectful, chivalry, and have not so strict gun laws.

Honestly, I would be hesitant to connect the terms Middle Ages and chivalry and romantic. All events are relevant to time, circumstances, emotions, knowledge. Sorry my friends, I've been around long enough to believe nothing of what I hear, darn reluctant to accept what I see and believe very little of what I read.


Debra Tue Mar 13 18:34:05 PST 2001


Well maybe that wasn't really clear. The manuscript is the baby. I'm not really pregnant. I'm just in the my water broke stage of looking for an agent.

Is that clearer?


Debra Tue Mar 13 18:32:32 PST 2001


I'm nine months pregnant with a manuscript and my water just broke.


Debra Tue Mar 13 18:31:44 PST 2001


Please tell us, well me, no us, how do we get an agent?

I have to have one immediately.


Debra Tue Mar 13 18:21:15 PST 2001

Would you guys like to hear something amusing? I was at the police station in my area making out a complaint. Who cares what it was for. It was minor. Well some one was being careless behing the wheel of a tow truck. That's not the amusing part.

The amusing part was when I told the sargent who was taking my complaint that I am a small woman, he could see me I was right there, and I could be killed with the air bag. I told him I had twins who were two, he could see them they were right there, and I absolutely needed to live eighteen more years. He said,"I know what you mean. I have to live for two more years." hahahahaha

Well I quess you had to be there.


Teekay Tue Mar 13 18:03:46 PST 2001

GARIESS: I know perfectly well what you meant and I found it hilarious. :-D

Trudy Tue Mar 13 16:51:38 PST 2001

Man this place just explodes with action! Just popped in for a quick hello but also have to say...

CHRISTI, it's so nice to be remembered *grin* Thanks for thinking of me.

chivalry and the a woman I agree with the women and children first...well unless HE's got a great butt then he can go just before me *wicked grin*

KITTY so glad to see you posting regularly's almost like a reunion now with Britomart popping in...hope you manage to stick around. Hell I hope I manage to stick around. I find I have to pop on every day or the postings have gotten so long I get lost.

Anyway looking forward to the shortie night. I love the topic of secrets! It' may inspire me to write a shortie.

Going to run. Hi to everyone.


gariess Tue Mar 13 16:48:36 PST 2001

Okay, Here's what was supposed to be pasted under that last note to Heather.

You are quite right that a chivalrous man would not "crow" about being chivalrous. That would be contrary to the very essence of chivalry. What I created for the purpose of my post was the voice of a character who would not see that conflict. I donít ever expect to be in a situation where I find out whether I am that character or not. One can not prove that he would not shoot a man to save himself a carving up until the occsasion arrises and he does not. The fellow whose voice I borrowed would not hesitate. In the present age we must settle upon a new terminology for what were considered the virtues encompassed in chivalry. It was all too long ago and tied together with too many things that are outmoded, some which would be deemed barbarous today.


gariess Tue Mar 13 16:40:35 PST 2001

That last post is going to look very strange to a lot of you. If you haven't figured it out, it is supposed to go to a different board. This illustrates the importance of knowing just what is stored in the copy function before pasting. Sorry, Heather.


gariess Tue Mar 13 16:35:11 PST 2001

I keep looking for that critique you promised, although I suppose I should quit while I am ahead. I know you mentioned the first paragraphs and I don't like them, myself.

Your picture is quite respectable and your technique is no doubt good for the less photographically minded of viewers. Was the worklamp equipped with a tungsten bulb? Does the tungsten light ajdust in the digital process? It would not in a C41 film.


Nichol Tue Mar 13 16:20:38 PST 2001

You know what? Where are all you people who hold doors? 'Cause I never see any (not that I need someone to open a door for me, but that's not the issue). It's almost as if people go out of their way to close a door on me. Of course, I don't always hold doors myself, but, you know, I live in my own obscure little universe and I don't always see who's behind me. It all has to do with timing, and my time is a little behind the game.

(bidding you all a chivalrous good e'en, and a safe Journey, may all your adventures come to a prosperous close, where the Knight wins the hand of the fair CEO Executive Vice President)

Debra Tue Mar 13 15:06:28 PST 2001


You are correct. God is good!


Allein Tue Mar 13 13:55:49 PST 2001

Rachel - There's a card and a little gift coming for you and Sebastian. Look out for it in the mail. :)

Richard Tue Mar 13 13:48:10 PST 2001


There ya go, try that.

Ooohhhh.... I need sleep if I'm gonna survive school tomorrow. I'll see If I can contribute something more useful tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the website.


Hallee Tue Mar 13 13:40:00 PST 2001

Hiya everyone!

MELISSA: Yeah...what Kitty said - especially about attaching the note. Don't use it as an excuse not to do the best you can - but do your best in the timeframe you have, and make sure you attach the note.

AMERICO: It's good to see that you're still lurking around. While I miss your posts, at least I know you haven't given us up as a lost cause. (har har)

OKAY (deep breath) I shall now let myself be held accountable to the masses (err..the slight masses here in this Notebook, anyways). I have a goal. Wow...I've never had a goal before. We'll see how it works out. BUT -- three more chapters and I end this book. Then I will stop writing for a while (if I can do that - we'll see) and edit all 10, synopsize all 10, and get all 10 submitted somewhere. Every one of them. They aren't doing any good just sitting in my computer, collecting cyber dust. I also intend to enter $150 worth of contests (the romance market is ripe with contests all over the place). NOW...if I can just edit without actually going insane I'll feel I have accomplished something. If I can get an agent or even a publisher out of the whole thing, then I'll really feel like I've accomplished something. But that's not my goal - just editing and synopsizing and getting them all submitted is my goal. And there you have it. SOOOO, if I mention that I'm writing a new book, you guys have my permission to cyberly wack me upside my head and get me back to that dreaded task that some of you actually enjoy (shudder). Hahaha.

Today is Kaylee's birthday. Unbelieveable. A child with all of the odds stacked against her in the womb now a perfect four year old. God is good.


cassandra Tue Mar 13 12:41:51 PST 2001

I just realized that the amazing idea I picked up here was a direct inspiration from the chivalry debate. It's not solely about that, but it plays an important factor... I guess I should thank everyone in here for that. And especially whoever it was who started it... I don't exactly feel like trolling back through the back posts. You know who you are :)

Kitty Tue Mar 13 11:27:34 PST 2001

Hey y'all. HmmmmÖ.. the chivalry tangentÖ.. I agree with Rhoda that there seems to be a number of different perspectives on what the word means and whether it is valid today. Personally, I am all for chivalry in both men and women. A little consideration, kindness, thoughtfulness, and doing selflessly for others is good for the soul, especially in this self-absorbed world we live. Courage, honor, loyalty, all the chivalrous virtues are worthy of aspiring too, even today.

For those of you who think chivalry was somehow meant to subjugate women, remember Eleanor of Acquataine. She divorced a king to marry a duke. She owned a fair chunk of France, was wealthy and powerful in her own right, and was a great supporter of the arts in particular the wandering troubadours who spread the songs about those chivalrous knights and fair ladies. She helped popularize the notion of chivalrous behaviour toward women and the idea of "courtly love" at a time when women were essentially considered chattel and men brought their battlefield manners into the great hall. You could say she increased the degree of civility at court and improved the lot of women-albeit wealthy and high born women.

To turn the topic to writing, do we still use the chivalrous knight in modern guise as the ideal hero? What is a hero if he/she is not chivalrous-or at the very least fights, consciously or unconsciously, his/her own nature to aspire to the chivalrous (I'm thinking the reluctant hero)? Would Jack Ryan from the Clancy novels be considered chivalrous right up there with King Arthur & Co., King Richard the Lionheart (son of Eleanor) and Don Quixote (inspired by the lovely Dulcinea)?

Gariess: A chivalrous man would never "crow" about how chivalrous he was being regardless of the situation. A chivalrous man is modest. Also, a chivalrous man is not a stupid man. The historic evidence amply shows that when engaged in battle all knights, chivalrous or not, believed in the maxim of kill or be killed. The age of knights was brutal. Might was right. However, you did paint a very vivid image and I did snort appreciatively.

To those interested in British/Australian books: if you know the title/author you may want to check out either or Indigo Books, both are Canadian large bookstore chains-actually it looks like Indigo will absorb Chapters in the near future. Chapters has Britomart's books available for 3-5 week delivery at $14.95 for the Grimoire and $12.95 for The Infernal. I think they are available at Indigo's too. Even U.S. has a listing for B's books. The beauty for you U.S. purchasers is that the Canadian dollar is low compared to the U.S. dollar. So, 15.00 Canadian is around $10.00 U.S. Jack, if you ordered from the UK, all I can say is OUCH! The pound is usually worth about $1.50 U.S. Look to Canada! The Harry Potter books here are from the British publishers-and there is a difference! The only thing that might not be advantageous is the shipping and handling-but again that too would be in the weak Canadian dollar.

Howard: Loved the poem and quote too. Tag, your it.

Melissa: Take ten deep breaths-- preferably Tai Chi breaths. Reflections are simply your thoughts on the cartoon. What is the message? What does it say to you? Keep it simple, keep it brief. Francis Bacon's essays generally were about a page or two long--small pages, my favorite is the one about the middle child. Write a rough copy of your thoughts. Put it aside for an hour or two, then come back and do a clean copy. When you hand it in you may want to attach a short note mentioning that you spent the week dealing with an emergency, sick child and hospital, and this is what you were able to do; just to let your professor know that you weren't slacking off but were preoccupied with something a bit more pressing than reflecting on cartoons. Sometimes you have to just do what you can and let things fall where they may. I think you had your priorities straight. So, don't panic. Keep focused. Let us know how it turns out.


Mary Tue Mar 13 10:24:27 PST 2001

HOWARD: I'm glad I hadn't offended you. Love the quotes!

AMERICO: I had a feeling you were still here, watching through the cut-out eye holes in the oil portrait above the mantle. Come. Sit by the fire, mourning is cold business and it was nice to see your post.

RACHEL: You sound happy and content.

Just a reminder: Shortie Night theme is SECRETS.

write strong

melissa hill Tue Mar 13 10:10:11 PST 2001

Hello, my name is Melissa and I really need someones help. Recently, my son had an emergency, and i had to miss 1 full week of classes at my college where I attend. As you can see I'm not much of a writer and I really need help to get this reflection essay done. My professor gave us cartoons to write reflective about and I dont think I understand on what she wants us to do. If someone could help its due tomorrow. 3/14/2001 and all i have is the title. Please I hope someone could help. Please. Thankyou so much for reading my little sad note.

howard Tue Mar 13 09:31:11 PST 2001

AMERICO - Where did you get that idea?! I am not, never have been, and never will be a philanderer! The nerve! (welcome back anyway!)

This discussion reminds me of a poem:
(Slightly modified, and with apologies to Calvin Miller)

A feminist, in choking sea
cried for help, and presently
received in full intensity


"You must swim, if you would be,
rescue brings dependency,
self-reliance sets you free."

"That's nice!"
she said,
and floated easily,
and dead.

I spotted a great quote by Gene Fowler this morning:

"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

back on your heads!

Cassandra Tue Mar 13 08:56:35 PST 2001

christie- Nice to be back. Though the frequency of posts will only be temporary... I'm on Spring Break. But I think I ought to tell that to my brain that somehow devised a plan for me to get to the art department today to do a little extra push on my assignments... What's wrong with me? I'm steadily loosing my apathetic procrastination! Save me someone!

howrad- :) Now I know who not to mess with.

well, one of my friends just popped in so I'll catch you all later!



Rachel Tue Mar 13 08:38:25 PST 2001

Mark - Sebastian is doing great. He is such a little man! He has been sleeping very well. I only have to get up once in the night. Just long enough to give him a change and a bottle, then he falls right back to sleep.

Mary & Debra - I also love the bagpipes. When I was a little girl my grandpa used to play them.

Ciao for now,


Debra Tue Mar 13 08:24:03 PST 2001


You asked me if I loved bagpipes.

Yes, I do. In fact the best song played on bagpipes is Amazing Grace.

That always makes me cry, every time.

I love all music. I can listen to anything. My favorite of all time is Areosmith. I don't know why. They just do it for me.


Jerry Tue Mar 13 08:04:52 PST 2001

Back in 1973 my wife became very ill, and was hospitalized in the Base Hospital at Fort Bliss Texas. There I was with two little ones, my son just out of diapers, my daughter still in them. The Dr. told me my wife would be in hospital for quite some time, so I called home and my mother agreed to take them in until all was back to normal. I got the tickets to fly them home, and off we went. Well it was still winter and our flight was cancelled due to heavy snow in Denver. We were able to land, but no flights were to leave until morning. The airline offered free hotel rooms, so I scarffed up the little ones and started for the door, with their carry on's, a diaper bag and my overnight satchel. I must have looked a sight carrying all that, and two kids but a nice lady who was also heading for the bus to go to the motel approached me and offered to help. She took my daughter and one of my bags, leaving me a manageable load. So you see good manners go both ways.

What a nice morning here, sun shining, and Renn demands his right to fresh air, every time I offer to let him back in he refuses.

Rhoda - thank you.


Americo Tue Mar 13 08:02:34 PST 2001

Yes, Jerry, I'm still lurking, though not so often as in the past. I'm curious about the way people react and develop, and this is an interesting page to observe mankind.

I'm not reading all the posts anymore, but I am still following the narrative of Jack's and Fran's diving lessons, Howard's philanthropy, your addiction to computers, painkillers and writing, Heather's and Hallee's writing progress, Allein's growing, Gary's sometimes funny observations, Litter's dignified "Celtism"and Jon's incredible view on things. I also like to have a look at all kinds of "wobbly bits" (in the figurative sense), and keep watching Mary driving the bus of the shorties night, the best of Jack's Notebook.

This has been a period of sadness and mourning here. Nothing very much to share. Spring is coming soon though. So cheer up, everybody!

Rhoda Tue Mar 13 07:10:55 PST 2001

OK, here goes:

CHIVALRY 1. a.)The medieval institution of knighthood. (Are any of us knights here? I don't think so, so we can dismiss this one unless someone has a historical interest.)
b.)The principles and customs of this institution. (not really applicable)
2. a.) The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy and honesty. (Now we are on to something) b.) The manifestation of any of these qualities.
3. A group of knights or gallant gentlemen. (I personally do like gallant gentlemen).

*Middle English* chivalrie , from Old French chevalerie knightliness, from chevalier, knight, from Late Latin chaballarius horseman, CAVALIER.

Rhoda Tue Mar 13 07:02:16 PST 2001


I loved your story! There have been many guardian angels in both men and women's clothing who have helped me at the airport or in Walmart when I am looking for a product for my computer or my car. I about cried when you told about entertaining kids in the library. Up until one or two years ago I never went to the library in nearby Liberal because everytime I went there either the librarian or some other patron would always be telling me that my kids were too loud. When my husband insisted we go there, I just stayed out in the car with my youngest son. Instead of criticizing the young couple and telling them in so many words what worthless parents the were, you did something constructive and helped.


I would not feel bad at all about telling some of your personal problems and concerns here. I consider you my friend, and I am interested when you have something of that nature to share. I am sure most everyone else here feels the same way.

The biggest problem we have with chivalry is definition. I seems to mean something a little different to each of us. It is hard to have a meaningful discussion or an honest debate about something that means so many different things to different people.


howard Tue Mar 13 05:46:18 PST 2001

MARY - Say something wrong? Not at all! I shoulda put a :-) after that hmmmpf! And while I enjoy those "wobbly bits" (as Litter would say), I'm not about to take liberties or adavantage just to stare. No no. After all is said and done, serendipity is much more enjoyable than manipulative ogling.

Viv Tue Mar 13 04:41:37 PST 2001

Here's one on chivalry! My car tire went flat while I was out on the road. I got the car over to the side of the road and my daughter and I hopped out. I opened the trunk and looked inside for a replacement tire. Nothing. Here was this flat looking trunk. You know that there's logically got to be a spare tire in there somewhere. (Yah, I know...duh!) So a million Japanese guys are frowning and driving around us. I'm sitting there saying to my daughter, let's empty the trunk and look for the tire somewhere in here. It's gotta' be here somewhere. I wasn't all that upset because I was wearing my absolutely favorite pair of jeans with the busted out knees. Just when we get everything out of the trunk, up drives this guy in his Sunday suit. I took one look and told him I could handle it. Sunday suits aren't cheap.

He wouldn't leave. I told him not to touch anything but to give me advice because if I didn't learn this right now, I wasn't going to learn it. I needed advice but I wanted to do the hands on. Well, he tried to do that. He told me where the tire was but when I went to lift it out, he took off his jacket. I fixed him with my worst over the bifocal stare and ordered, "LEAVE IT!" He backed off. Then I got out the jack. The damned directions were in Japanese so I started sounding out the words. He stuck the jack together and showed me (kneeling on the pavement)how to stick the jack under the least rusted part of the bottom of my car. Then he started cranking. He got the car up and then proceeded to work on the screws. "I'll do this because it's easy to strip them" Then the tire came off. He let me lift it away, then put on the new tire and the screws. All in all he had us fixed up and on the road in about 30 minutes. I was really scared inside. If he hadn't come along I don't know if that tire would have gotten back on. It was a pretty good scare because my husband isn't going to be back home for another week and it was definitely a good long walk home. Thank goodness for Western men. They know how to repair cars and they aren't above stopping and helping. I felt a little dumb for not knowing how, but he made sure I learned how so I can do it alone if the need should arise. Plus he put the spare on so it won't fall off. This is behavior that I've seen in Western men, over and over. When they see a problem, they stop. They fix the problem. Once when I was in an airport with two kids who weren't walking yet and a load of suitcases I had to get from floor one to floor two in a hurry to catch my connecting flight. Wouldn't you know it, the escalator was busted. Along came a group of Western men (A couple of Canadians, a couple of British, and a couple of Germans.) Nothing much was said. They formed a line up the stairs and passed up suitcases and my kids in strollers. Everyone who was unable in some way found their suitcase going up the stairs, little children went up the same way, and anything or anyone else who couldn't heft, ended up at the top of the stairs saying, "Wow!" I looked back, thought about how it would have been without those chivalrous guys and appreciated the brains and the teamwork that made everything flow just a little easier. You can't call it manners, it's more an intelligent way that some people who are a little bit stronger help those who are in trouble. It's not fighting, it's cooperation. So to all those who've made my life easier just when I thought, "Oh no! How can I best handle this situation." Thanks.

I'm not strong or very smart mechanically. I can hold open doors, and I do that. That isn't enough though. I have one special trick I can do. Usually I'm the person in the library who entertains little kids because a young father or mother is trying sooooo hard to get a book or get on a computer and get some information. When I hear a young parent say in despiration,"Please just one second", that's when I quietly pull out one of my favorite books, or change the computer over into a "kiddie mode". It usually takes only about 30 minutes and that parent gets the break he/she needs to get a little relief. I learned to do this because I got kicked out of the library so many times when my kids were little!

What I see in this notebook is Jack's chivalry. He used a strength to make us all happy. So Jack, you win the Knights award tonight!

I'm beat. I got up at 4:00AM and went to 9:00PM. Time for bed. I can't wait to hear the shorties! I'm working on mine but as usual, it's a long-y. It's fun though. IT'S NOT ABOUT JAPAN!!!! (Sort of) Night Viv

Jerry Mon Mar 12 22:26:37 PST 2001

Garess - that reminds me of one night way back in (I think 1982/3) my partner and I were checking out a report of possible prowler near a residence. The folks who lived there had been suffering very poor gas mileage, and the noise outside sounded to them like the reason why. We killed the lights and engine, and sort of coasted into the yard, but the culprit saw us anyhow, ran to his old beater of a car and sped away, through the alley, and out to the street, down a few blocks then headed out into the countryside. We gave chase (OH BOY HIGH SPEED!) and followed him for a couple of miles, when his car ran out of gas, he hadn't had time to put the fruits of his work in the gas tank. He let his car coast into the ditch, and we pulled to the side and exited our squad. We started across the road when the fellow jumped from his car and with a large Phillips tip screwdriver threatened, and said the most stupid thing he could have "You know what I could do with this screw driver!" To which my partner replied "You know what we could do with these .357's!" Well he let the screw driver drop, and was charged with a whole bunch of things like theft, fleeing police, and assault on a peace officer. The States Attorney dropped most of the charges to a guilty plea of the assault, and the kid got off with 60 days in the slammer.

I know you are right about the physical and psychological addiction, and I am sure this was simply a physical thing, since I wasn't even aware of what was causing it till I took the pills and had an instant recovery from the symptoms. I guess I am just a bit torked off at the Dr. for not keeping up with the data on the drugs he prescribes. I had been taking Darvacet N100, but the pain relieving effect was dwindling, so was boosted to this stuff. I am sure when I go back, he will have some "new" wonder drug to give me next. I learned that I should probably read about the stuff before I get to taking it as "directed."

I have been the route of acupuncture, accupressure, massage, physical therapy (several thousand hours) and the works. The medico's tell me to get used to the pills, as they will be with me for a long long time, so I guess I shouldn't be concerned about the effects anyhow so long as they bring some relief, and they do.

Anyhow enough of my whining about personal problems, that is not the purpose of this notebook anyhow.

Americo - If you are still lurking about - I have been playing around with the Mac, had it online the other day too, but all I have is an old 28.8 modem, and it is a bit slow for my tastes. I can see where folks like the old machines, and I am sure the newer ones are a lot quicker. Not that I am going to convert to the "dark side" or anything, but it is interesting to play around with anyhow. I worked most of the day today trying to get it to communicate with my PC network, and finally got them to speak, it sort of reminded me of being in Nam, having one of the ROK troops talking to a RVN troop using a GI to translate, one who couldn't talk either language. Real confusing for awhile.

Think I am about done messing with it, once I get it talking to the PC, my daughter is taking it home, which is nice as it is taking up a lot of room.

With that chore out of the way, I can get back to writing, have a few ideas for the Short-shorty night flowing through my grey matter, and have the urge to get them on the screen. Tinker Bell, my muse has been teasing me horribly while I try to concentrate on the computer stuff, think I will give up working on them as a hobby, just taking too much time. I have by the way set up Fusion on my PC so I can make it behave exactly like a Mac should the urge hit me, and it has a few times now. Kind of fun to mess with too.

Nite ALL>


gariess Mon Mar 12 21:57:53 PST 2001

For reason of artistic expression the following post contains language that may not be suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised.

Counterpoint, you say? Iíll be glad to counterpoint. As I understand how this chivalry works, it is the kind of thing where, if I have a gun and I face an opponent who has only a knife, I put away my gun and ask for a knife (chivalrous guys always had guys around that they could ask to get things for them, just watch all those old movies. Chivalry sucked if you were on your own, there was no drama in it.)

Right away you can see that this chivalry is some seriously flawed shit. Personally, if I have a gun and the other guy only has a knife, I figure I caught a real break here. I figure, shoot the sonofabitch right away before he sticks that damn knife in me. I see no percentage in giving up a perfectly good gun and getting myself a knife so we can both bleed all over the place. Those chivalrous dudes didnít have blood-born pathogens to worry about.

This chivalry stuff is based on the idea that we are two honorable men, and we are obliged to level the playing field. Well, I ainít playing, this is no game, no sunday social. And what if the guy with the knife isnít honorable? What if heís a no good, chicken stealing, low-life sonofabitch that wouldnít give his own mother an even break? And for that matter what if Iím not much better? To hell with chivalry. At least if I shoot the bastard I wonít be hopping around in circles with a knife sticking out of my ass and crowing to everybody about how chivalrous I am. Everybody else is only going to be laughing their asses off over what a chump I was not to shoot the asshole when I had the chance.

Thatís a counterpoint.

The opinions expressed in this post are from the participants and not necessarily those of the management.


Mary Mon Mar 12 21:57:45 PST 2001

HOWARD: Did I say something wrong? Sorry. :-(

howard Mon Mar 12 20:19:14 PST 2001

Well I don't do it while the other person is still several steps away!
- humpff!
Almost forgot -- the Bulwer-lytton contest deadline is a month away. See the webpage listed above for rules, etc.

Gotta shut down tonight. Serious ice storm coming, and we may lose powe

howard Mon Mar 12 20:09:53 PST 2001

HeY!!! Welcome yew oldies! And yew newdies too! It's good to hear/see you back!
Lots of things to think about in the past few days -
Addiction? Coffee, hot peppers (can't get enough of 'em!) ex-smoker (quit the day they removed a lung-sized tumor from my right lung) and now since I can do it again, I got hooked on "Double Bubble" bubble gum! don't ask...

Chivalry? Guess I'm old fashioned. I hold doors for people regardless of age, creed, color, political persuasion, or gender identification. Not because of, in spite of! I do it because I'm me, not because you're you. But I don't force the issue.

It can be dangerous, though. I once reached back to catch a door that had started to close on a guy with a cane. My ring caught on the door frame, and my momentum carried me just that little distance that dug the ring into and under the flesh at the base of my finger, ploughed it up to, and wedged it into, the first joint. The guy said thanks, and kept on going. The pain was perfect - exquisite, even. I drove to the hospital and they had to dig to cut the ring off. It hurts all over again just thinking about it.

SASQUATCH - someone else once said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Is that what you mean by your memory statement?
And you never did answer my question about sensing earthquakes before they happen.

CASSANDRA - I never treat anyone as harmless! Especially after raising four daughters who can split and stack wood, hoist chimney blocks, shingle roofs, break up double plays (followed by knee surgery) and still do all the so-called "gender-specific" things "that little girls grow up to do." :-)

mark Mon Mar 12 19:44:28 PST 2001

TEEKAY -- I am proud of my humility. Honestly.

MARY -- I once pulled a chair out for a lady (young woman, girl). Well, maybe it wasn't for *her* I pulled it out, as much as for the audience. The boys, in school, in cafeteria, watching her fall to the floor. It was not funny to be the one with his hand on the chair. Well, until just this minute.

BEN -- "Idylls of the King." One fine example of Romantic writing. Also an example of Romantics with their feet firmly planted several inches off the ground. In the Brits, I'd say the deepest Romantic is Wordsworth. In the Americans, I'd say Thoreau. In academic circles, Blake and Emerson get the most value, I value Thoreau and Wordsworth for their simplicity of expression. Took me a while to realize the true depth of simple expression.

RICHARD -- In order for that to work, you have to include the http:// at the front of the address.

CHRISTI -- How ya doin, kid?

RACHEL -- How's the kid?

DRAWOH -- Ya ole kidder

JERRY -- I've heard that some drugs can be physically addicting and some mentally/emotionally. I think it's all one ball. Old friend of mine got hooked on street drugs, came off with a lot of trouble. After several years of clean living, he had a tooth pulled. Dentist gave him Rx pain killer. Guy said, "I don't think I want that stuff." Dentist told him the pain would come on in the night and not let go for a day or two. "Just take it for the pain, it'll let you live your life. Here's two days' of pain killers. By the time they're gone, your jaw will be healed enough to live with." Novel idea, thought my guy, just take the drugs for medicinal purposes. Wish I'd thought of that 20 years ago. Didn't work out. He got back some of the old feelings, got back to the street, spent three years in Elmira Correctional Facility. The moral? It's more than just physical when you get addicted.

HEATHER -- Counter your points ?? I'm game.

oops. old joke about two hunters in the woods who came across a naked lady. one guy says "Yeah, babe, I'm game." so the other one shot him.

Back to chivalry. . . Mary made a good point about chivalridiot door-holders who hold the door while we are still seconds away. Those are usually the same dunderpates who, while holding the door, stand in the opening. "Uh, daydreaming, pal? Your arm is all the way across the door frame and your body is right where I have to go if I'm to get through here." And while we're on the subject of chivalridiots, how about zealous do-gooders on the road who stop to let you make that left turn? You know, the last car in the traffic stream? The one with no one behind her? S/he stops, unexpectedly, and waves through the windshield for you to go ahead and turn. While you sit and stare in disbelief, traffic appears behind her and the whole episode takes twice the time it would have if s/he'd simply kept driving.

signed Curmudgeonly yours,

Christi Mon Mar 12 19:36:23 PST 2001

Hi friends.

Jerry, {{{hugs}}} for you. Chronic pain is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Try not to feel bad about taking your pain medication. I'll bet quitting when you want will be easier than you expect. Hang in there!

Richard, Can't wait to visit your website!

Ben, Good for you! I never turn down an opened door. With a young child in tow, I need all the help I can get! Plus, if I see help needed I try to offer it as well. What's good for the goose ...

Tania, I've got a couple of books fer ya, but I didn't get to the post office today. Ah tomorrow; isn't tomorrow always a better day?

Yeah, Mary! Right on, girl! I agreed with your post wholeheartedly. And the part where the guy holds the door while you're still a mile away ... a classic! Hee! I've found many of the guys that do that are doing it because they want your attention (they probably think you're cute).

Rhoda, That's a great question, but one that makes my head hurt to think about. Probably 'cause I need to go to bed.

Randall, HOWDY from Arizona!!! Your novel sounds (for lack of a better word, as you say) cool!

Nicole, Yup, you sound like a writer to me! ;P I share your coffee addiction.

Hey Cassandra, nice to have you back!

Night, ya'll,


Cassandra Mon Mar 12 19:14:25 PST 2001

Teekay- Good one! Oh yeah, and before I forget, that How to assignment should only be 5-7 steps long... so I don't really want broad ranging subjects. It'd be a pain to design 28 pages in the time that others are doing 5....
But how to nurture your inner asshole is a good idea... I can't believe I thought of it. :)

Teekay Mon Mar 12 19:07:24 PST 2001

CASSANDRA: Brilliant idea for a novel: 'How to nurture your inner a*hole'

Tina Mon Mar 12 19:01:08 PST 2001

Hello all!

Not much to say other than 'hi'. The chivalry debate is interesting, though.

I'd have to sit on the side of the fence that says chivalry is outdated. 'Politeness' on the other hand, seems to be gasping for breath. When a man holds open the door, I'm grateful. When a woman holds open the door, I'm grateful. When anyone, regardless of gender, lets it slam shut in the face of the person directly behind, it ticks me off. And way too many people let in slam shut.
About coats... the first person done with theirs is being polite to help any others. But if they don't, oh well.
My personal politeness pet peeve is the inability many people have to say please and thank you, and the tendency to interupt others. In my job it happens so often I want to scream. When a child acts that way it bugs me a bit. When adults do, I want to smile sweetly and tell them to go away and not come back until they learn decent manners.

Okay, it looks like I did have something to say.

Richard, your link didn't work 'cause you didn't include the whole http://www at the beginning.

Well, it's 7pm local time and I haven't even started dinner. Guess I should get on that. Have a good one all.

Cassandra Mon Mar 12 18:52:53 PST 2001

Jerry- I can't compete with that story yet, but I hold open doors for men. You wouldn't believe the looks I get. (especially when one is my size and stature...) Doesn't dishearten me though, they usually smile and say thank you, and the one's that don't I'm sure at least noticed my presense.

Teekay- Just be an a*hole. I myself try to be in touch with my inner a*hole however a side character she may be to my overall personality. At times you really need the a*hole present when other a*holes threaten harm (emotional, verbal, or physical). I personally love it when they think I'm harmless then I spring that nice ol' 'I had sarcastic insultative brothers and I know how to cut you down to size' trap on them. :D

All- My muse is working overtime now that he has room to breathe, I just got an idea for a new book, along with the two on which I've been working. Hopefully this will lead to a point of inspiration for me to work on the others.

I'm actually really psyched about this idea because I've never heard of anyone else doing anything like it. You'll forgive me if I don't want to type it out here, I'd like to keep it a surprise and a little secretive, until I get it in gear and possibly done.

well, it's off to check my email.
Much love to everyone *hugs*

cya later


Nichol Mon Mar 12 18:47:18 PST 2001

Wow, I step away from my computer for a day, and look at what I miss. Thanks for all the, you know, advice and information on publishers (holy mother of ...I had no idea, really).

Okay, I am a writer (spoken confidently), I even have a novel (novel length anyway) to prove it. Granted, it is in much need of tweeking, and downright bulldozing in my opinion. Of course, it was written completely off the top of my head, absolutely no research. (It was an experiment gone awry, I'm working off-and-on on another right now) Plus I have a file full of short stories (in various stages of completeness).

About the addictions, I can admit it now, I think. I am addicted to coffee. Can't get enough of it, all types (cappuccino, brazilian, Guatemalan, chocolate covered coffee beans) in the morning, at night, just before I go to sleep (which may perhaps explain many bizarre dreams). Well, there are worse things to be addicted to. I'm still considered a (relatively) productive member of society.

I like Chivalry. The act of defending someone is just the greatest feeling. Whether is me being defended or doing the defending. It makes me feel sort all fuzzy and liquid like. I hate oppression, which sometimes comes after chivalry. Opening doors, well, I wouldn't call holding a door open for someone a grand act of chivalry. My opinion.

Well, I don't know, maybe I will get the hang of this notebook. I just can't EVER leave my computer again. :-)


Randall Mon Mar 12 17:11:27 PST 2001

Good evening!

Oh boy! Here are my replies to the kind inquiries since my post Saturday.

Hi Christi! No we probably haven't met. SO HOWDY from TEXAS!

Uh, Litter, no Porsche. But I do have a cherry 77 Chevy 4 X 4 I'm wild over. Mildly souped up, with an RV cam, MSD ignition, mud grip tires and Hedman headers. (Any hot rodders out there?)Is that close enough? My wife claims I spend more time with the Chevy than her. For us "old timers" it's the closest we can get to "The other woman." GRIN

Thanks Heather for your e-mail last year. If I have faults, (whatta laugh, huh!) it is a single minded focus. I was on my class reunion 1965 web page writing nearly every night. If you're interested it's Brownwood High School, class of 1965. Not much going on there now I suspect.

Rhonda, yeap it's me. You should have known as per my referance to the Navajo Nation. I have developed several contacts with them, but when they hear what "Flowers" is about......the door slams shut. One called me a "Dances With Wolves" type. That is, making money (HA!!!!!) using THEIR culture. Hey, I knew Costerer's movie was pure Hollywood BS. Knew it when I was 10 for crying out loud. To put an Army officer in with the Plains Indians and claim they were puzzled????????? over whites???????? Gimme a break. Plains Indians were trading with Anglos, Spanish, French and God knows who else as early as the late 1700's. (As EARLY as the LATE 1700's?)

Barnabas, my friend. No stones from this quarter about supernatural stuff (Stuff, Randall? Well, for want of a better word) The web site was Dimensional Doorways, I believe. And they zeroed my post! And returned it to me via e-mail! Soooooooooo, Hey my novel is heavy with supernatural events. That's WHY the Navajo will not talk with me! My heroine is a powerful sorceress charged with saving the Navajo annnnnnnnnnnnd every tribe in the southwest. But..........sorcery is not, sorcery by itself. A sorcerer cannot blink their eyes, say a magic word, or wiggle their ears. Everything, and Pal, I mean everything requires, a minimum of 2 things to happen. The first is permission (granted, sub scientific fact here) and a power source. Using sorcery in a novel is fine......having your hero do all kinds of neat things, but, you must determine, what is the energy source that enables them to perform?

Make any sense?


Teekay Mon Mar 12 16:10:38 PST 2001

RHODA: It is a situation which never should have arisen. Of course children go first, but were I a child I would want to go with my parents. Were I a Mother I would want to go with my child and my husband, I feel sure I would give my life in place of theirs though if need be. Were I a man, I would want to go with my wife and child, but again, I'm pretty sure I would put them ahead of me.
Who has the right to make the rules.
So, in answer to your question I can honestly say that I have absolutely no idea. :-)

Once many years ago a friend and I had this very deep discussion about who had the right to say what was normal and what was not (or some such thing).
After a 3 hour discussion/argument I had finally cornered myself into giving the answer that he had all along.
When I go down it ain't pretty. :-)

MARY: That guy proably did that sort of thing all the time. He was probably a letch. Hold on, wait a sec, let me get that dictionary. :-D

Okay, that was return visit number 1.

MARY: make that a lazy, stubborn, big mouthed epicurean would you.

Rhoda Mon Mar 12 15:44:32 PST 2001

I don't care what anyone thinks of me while they are being "chivalarous." Even a* holes can open a door for me if they please.

My son and daughter were having a discussion at the dinner table a few weeks ago about whether it was right during Titanic's sinking to give priortiy to women and children on the life-boats. My kids did not think that was fair that women and children could board life boats while for the most part fathers, husbands, and men had to stay behind. So if faced with a similar situation, would this arrangement still be practiced today? Should it? I am curious to hear your answers.


Jerry Mon Mar 12 15:40:25 PST 2001

Well wayyyy back when I was attending college, back in 94-95, and I was still a smoker, we were exiled to the exit doors of the college should we feel the need for a smoke. While standing near the door, I always opened the door for the young women, as they came to the college, arms full of books, purses and sometimes drinks etc. One fine day, I did this act of kindness, and was called a pig for my effort. Most men would be angry at being called such a name, and having worked most of my life as a police officer, I took it rather personally. Since I had my own column in the school newspaper, and also was in charge of layout, I wrote a rather lengthy article about the death of chivalry. It was taken very well by the students, young and old alike. I received many welcome comments, and continued to open doors, and when the urge hit me, seat the young ladies, should they join me for lunch in the cafeteria. While I never got an apology from the offending female feminist pigette, it did make me feel much better about my manners. I believe it never hurts one to be kind to others, so long as they aren't spitting in your face.


Mary Mon Mar 12 15:09:43 PST 2001

I am laughing here to myself about HEATHER's false chivalry comment. It reminded me of a time when, as I stated dislike for before, a man held a door for me before I was even up on the sidewalk yet. In my haste to catch up to him, I kind of half-jogged/half-walked the last little ways and where his eyes were glued at the time was anything but chivalrous. Ever since then, if someone holds a door for me and I am still too far away, I make sure to avoid that little extra bounce.

Teekay Mon Mar 12 15:04:42 PST 2001

Hi all,

JERRY: Sorry, I forgot to tell you about the other 46734578243746743 patients they tested, they were addicted to the eyeballs. HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA.
Please don't think I'm making fun of your pain-I'm absolutely NOT, I just thought a little humour may lighten the load.
You know what thought did don't you?

MARY: Then sign be up for an epicurian too.
Who has told you to give up writing? They need their heads smacked.

Just jumping in on the chivalry bandwagon while the thought is still warm and fresh in my wrinkled glob like brain, bu-u-ut is it better to have someone acting falsly chivalrous rather than being an honest outright (as American's would say,-) asshole?
Or is it better if you're an a*hole just to be an a*hole?
But aren't we using the wrong word in the wrong context here? Chivalry is all to do with knights and medeival history, (I had to go look it up to be sure I was talking about the right thing, rather than the meaning I thought it had.)
This word no longer applies to us. Chivalrous was the word attributed to the ideal knight. But going there, if the knight was chivalrous, then I guess he was. If he was an a*hole, then he wasn't (chivalrous, I mean).
To be chivalrous means just that. Like flattery means to falsly compliment.
And honest. Honest is honest. You can't pretend to be honest, because if you do then you're just not honest. I guess you can be thought to be honest, but that doesn't necessarily make you so.
Personally, I would go with the 'be who you want so long as your happy & it doesn't hurt anyone' routine.
I don't see opening the door for a woman as considering her to be weak. I see it more of a sign of courtesy and respect.
Being a basically lazy person, the less I have to do, the better. :-)

BEN: Go get another beer will'ya? Mine just ran out. :-)
P.S. Actupuncture didn't hurt me. I don't think it helped either though.

HALLEE: I see you've said what I've tried to say, but seing I went to so much effort to put it there it's staying. :-)

MARK: Before you jump in with your 'about people who quote the dictionary' routine, sometimes man, you jus' gotta otherwise how the hell would we know what anybody else was talking about?
I'm glad your back to BTW. :-)

BRITOMART: If you're still there. I've reserved a copy of 'the resurectionists' at the library. It's the only book they have in - do you believe it. No way am I paying my $11:00 fine. Unless I change my mind.

MARY: Make that, a stubborn epicurian with a really big mouth. :-)

Ummmm, yep. Think that might be it.
Every time I say that I come back 3 or 4 times.
Let's see what happens this time.

Mary Mon Mar 12 14:58:29 PST 2001

I personally don't feel that a man thinks I am weak when he holds a door for me anymore than I feel he is weak when I hold a door for him. To me, it is a polite gesture of respect and I love it. The only time I don't like it is when a man holds a door for me when I am still so far away from it that I feel the need to hurry up to keep him from waiting. At that point, it becomes a hassle, not the aid it is meant to be.

I love it when a man helps me with my coat, or pulls out my chair or other such pleasantries. I have never thought for one moment that he was doing it because he felt I was incapable or weak. I just thought he did it because it was a nice thing to do and that he liked doing it as much as I liked it done.

I know this isn't really in the same strain as the chivalry conversation going on here, but I didn't want the younger men here thinking that all women are offended by men holding doors for them or such the like. That's it for now.

Ben W Mon Mar 12 14:31:44 PST 2001

Girls, are you trying to tell me that if chivalry isn't dead, you'd beat it with an ugly stick until it is? I think most nice people confuse chivalry with good manners, and that's where all this obfuscation comes from. I agree, the true ideal of chivalry was just another form of the caste system, but I think people somehow lost track of it during the Romantic Age--Scott and Byron and all that group--and then with all the literature that followed. Robin Hood was Romanticized with his taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Tennyson's IDYLLS OF THE KING is a great example of what people thought chivalry should be. I love those poems. In fact, I like them so much, I stole the only copy out of the school library twenty-some-odd years ago. No one had ever signed it out in all the years it was there. I readily admit it's not a chivalrous act to have stolen it--and I stand here shame-faced at even having had to admit it, but my conscience feels clear now...thanks.

But if chivalry is just another name for good manners, then let me be Galahad--oh wait, he died--then Launcelot--oh, he died alone--well anyways, let me still open doors for women, and be helpful to little old ladies if they need it. I see nothing wrong with it, and I've never felt it was a sign that the woman was weak--especially that. I was taught that having manners showed you had consideration for other people.

But now I have to be chivalrous and pick my son up from school, because it looks like it might rain and he didn't take his coat...again. Two miles is a long way to walk in the rain

Heather Mon Mar 12 14:00:09 PST 2001

Thank you, kind Hallee!

I can understand why there is opposition to what has been termed chivalry, but as we can see, they were acts unfit to be called chivalrous!

I think chivalry is also a loose term for being 'polite'.

I posted the link to the U.S. Copyright Office Home page, for anyone wishing to check twice and be sure.


Richard the 3rd Mon Mar 12 13:34:50 PST 2001


That's strange, it works if you cut and paste, but that link doesn't seem to...

Three posts in a row...


Hallee Mon Mar 12 13:34:01 PST 2001

HEATHER: Not a counter point, but more of a "backup". WBESTER's DICTIONARY: chivalry: 1. The qualities, as bravery and courtesy, of the ideal knight. 2. The institution of knighthood. 3. A chivalrous act. (chivalrous is defined as something marked by gallantry and honor.) I believe that some acts done in the name of chivalry or gallantry or honor are done in the wrong name. True chivalry or gallantry or honor, I fear, are dying out - and some of the good things of society are going with them.


Richard Mon Mar 12 13:32:41 PST 2001

Too much to read! My eyes are exploding. I'll put the site address above so you can just click and not have to cut'n'paste.

Richard Mon Mar 12 13:28:23 PST 2001

My new website is online- not my 'business' site with gaming statistics etc. but my own personal site :-

All of the stories I've written in recent months are there, and I've updated a few - couldn't resist editing them when I re-read them. Especially 'Combat Decisions'... There's also some artwork and poetry.

Secrets eh? Sounds like a good topic...

Heather Mon Mar 12 11:32:44 PST 2001

Hop, anything can be abused. Kindness is sometimes used as a veil, to cover true intentions. I'd call that false kindness. Just the same as chivalry can be feigned and false. It is a question of person, really. Some people are honourable, kind, thoughtful and decent. Others are not, but appear to be. And some don't care to hide that they aren't. And there are a thousand other variations and variants.
I like what Cassandra said - that when a door is held for a woman it is a sign that she is weak. True, it can be seen as such (or perhaps the origin of this gesture), and would seem all the more true when you consider that a woman didn't get out of the carriage until a hand was proffered; but I do not see this as being the focus of chivalrous behavior. Chivalry is a characteristic of a knight, in times of war. It is an ideal. It means to have valour and honour; to have the spirit of and behave as the ideal knight. Did knights worry about whether a woman had a hand to hold on stepping out of a carriage? Not if they were away in battle.

I guess that's not the only point...
Counter points, anyone?


Mary Mon Mar 12 10:20:41 PST 2001

Epicurean...that's me. If it feels good, tastes good, smells good, looks good or is any type of pleasure whatsoever, sign me up. Unfortunately, that makes me very addiction prone. I have never been hooked on anything illegal, but the loss of power and control you feel when at the beck and call of something is quite unsettling. (Unless that something is your mate, but that's another story all together) Good luck to you Jerry, and I hope that you find out what you need to know from your doctor and friends.

I wonder if writing is an addiction. I can't seem to quit no matter how many people tell me to.....hahaha.

Kru Mon Mar 12 09:45:47 PST 2001

Jerry - I am living with chronic pain and I too take Ultram. I know a fair amount about it but I don't think the NB it the appropriate place for this kind of discussion. If you want to talk with me about it you can write to me privately and I will be happy to share what I know.

Jerry Mon Mar 12 09:31:24 PST 2001

Viv - I am very disappointed in this Dr. anyhow, I do go to the VA Hospital for other things, this guy is here in town at the local clinic. I think my next trip to the VA (about 175 miles south of here) I will ask my VA Doc. She has done more for me with my other problems in the year that I have been going to her then the last three Dr.'s that I had over the last ten years. She can probably get me on the right track with this too. Only reason I haven't so far is that Workers Comp wants me to go to this one, or go through the paperwork to change to the new one, so I have kept both. Thanks for responding.

Thanks too to everyone else who has responded, I know that I can keep going the way I am, and probably not harm my body all that bad, unless of course I forget to take a dose, or decide to quit without the help of my Dr. But I don't like the idea of having to take pain meds, not only because of the pain, which is very real, but also to keep from going through withdrawal.

Anyhow on a lighter note, I got a call this morning from Tech Support for the local internet. They were having problems and wanted me to talk them through it. The sad part is, I was able to. Guess I will think twice before I call them with trouble.

Addicted to food - of course I am, well not really but I do tend to over eat on occasion, however there is no link to personal problems, or none that I have seen. I always have blamed my weight problems on genes, as my father and mother were both very overweight. Well dad wasn't until he stopped working so he could drink more. My mother is 75 and going strong, but her Doc told her that she has to lower her colesterol, same thing my doc told me. I have watched though, mom does eat lots of food that is very high in fat, compared to what I eat anyhow, and yet I am overweight. Being very sedentary has a lot to do with it, and I don't get much exercise, especialy in the winter, what with all the snow and ice, I am afraid to go for walks. I do walk in the other seasons, when there is no danger of falling on the ice, something all my Doctors have warned me to avoid at all costs.


sasquatch Mon Mar 12 08:57:14 PST 2001

barnabus person i sasquatch am not understanding "in-role". humans persons do have also the books and as you say other things as reminders. it is not alike to Yeti memory. this is all that has happened to before Yeti and we memory this as it happened to now Yeti. humans persons do have as you say things to tell what went before. humans persons do not always observe these before happenings. humans persons have alike sorrow because. some learn. most do not. reminding of others wisdom is not alike as having it. it must be memoried and used. i must go.

Viv Mon Mar 12 06:41:18 PST 2001

Hey Barnabas: I'm still out there! Check the short stories. I'm just getting behind and posting late.

Jerry: That's a good worry! You are right to post it. Lots of folks here with lots of different ideas and experience. I'll add my 5 cents though it's probably worth less: I'd get myself in to three doctors. It's expensive but give it to yourself. Then make an educated decision about what you think and what you will do about it. Pain, especially job related is a tough one. I know what you mean about your back. After I carry books and computer on a two hour ride + a long walk uphill and up about 20 steep stairs, I get a sore back. It's something I can avoid if I don't take anything with me, but try just TRY to travel light! You know a friend of mine has recently been on a lot of medicine for a couple of disc's fusing in her spine plus other body aches from old injuries. She is having this trouble and got a physical therapist to get her a bunch of exercises. She looks a lot better and seems very grouchy. I think she's going through a lot right now, but she's going to come out on the other side and be better than when she started. I sure miss my friend's happy face. I'll be glad when she's ok. Your letter gave me a different view of what she must be experiencing. Thanks for writing it.

Jack: Whoever hires you is sure going to get a great person. They will be lucky! Anyone who can make a site like this one must be something. Also, your diving is neat. We did it before we had kids but we have to wait until they are independent before we can do it again. Still, I keep eyeballing the islands out beyond Guam. We found out it could get kind of dangerous when we lost a good friend. We decided to stop all our dangerous sports and put them on hold until the kids are old enough to handle life without us. We have two more years until we can go crazy!!!! Isn't that exciting! (I just hope we aren't too broke or busted down to enjoy those years!)

Good luck on the Job Leads!

Eveyone else, have a great writing week. See you about Thursday with something on the surprise thing.

Heather. Sent you something on copyright. Hope you can figure out what is important. I got lazy on the whole idea.

Mark Mon Mar 12 06:20:37 PST 2001

bravely typing directly into the text box
I'll vote against chivalry also. Cassandra made the point about male-dominance in that age; I'd add that it was a European version of the caste system. In 1973 Mississippi I met a fellow who just bought a worker. Bought. Wasn't exactly slavery, it was indentured servitude, still just as onerous, still immoral and illegal, still practiced by people who hold southern chivalry in high regard.
European chivalry was no different. The rules helped keep people in their places.

Mary Mon Mar 12 06:19:29 PST 2001

Good Morning Everyone!

TEEKAY: Printed out your story last night and I can't wait to read it later on this morning after things get quiet here.

LITTER: I don't want you to tell me the name of your town, (smiles).....just north, south, east or west Scotland would suffice.

DEBRA: Don't you just love bagpipes playing?

RACHEL: Our lives are full of little miracles...Sebastian is a big one. Kind of hard to have post-partem depression in the face of that, isn't it? Smiles and hugs.

CHRISTI, HEATHER, HOWARD, GS, HALLEE, TINA, MARK, SAS, BEN, ROSEMARY, RHODA, KRU, JACK, TRUDY, KITTY, KIM, TAYLOR, CASSANDRA, VIV, MARY LOU, AND ALLEIN: (Please, forgive me if I missed anyone) Have a wonderful day and write strong. This list is getting so long that I fear I will soon not be able to keep up with it.


Debra Mon Mar 12 05:15:48 PST 2001


I thought you said that your wife didn't want to read the book because there was too many flawed characters in the book and for everyone person who didn't want to read it because of that twenty decided TO read it.

I don't think you are flawed at all.

I would put a character in the book like you but he wouldn't be a flawed one.

Okay I hope that clears things up.

I can only read and type with little twin people pulling at my wrists or shirt. It's really hard. really hard.

So I must have read your message wrong. Sorry.


Ben Woestenburg Mon Mar 12 02:41:48 PST 2001

Well Jerry, I hate to tell you this, especially as I've had a few too many drinks tonight, but yeah, you've definitely got something to worrry about (I don't care what anybody else says.) But don't take my word for it. I lived with a junkie, and I know what it can be like to go through withdrawls. Talk to your doctor and tell him ALL of your symptoms. Tell him your concerns as well. If what he tells you doesn't make you feel comfortable, get a second opinion. Ask about alternatives--herbal remedies and that sort of stuff (but remember, acupunture actually hurts--a lot). I don't want to bring you down or worry you, but you asked my opinion and there it is--drunk or not, not that I'm a drunk, I'm just easily influenced by my friends.

Brit: I'm so glad to see you here. I can't wait to tell Renu that you came back--even if it was just to say hello.

Kitty: I told Renu what you said about us being made for each other and she said it was the nicest thing she's heard in a while. Does that mean we don't talk enough? After tonight, I think she'll be thinking I talk too much. She sure makes it easy to say I love you. By the way, it's her birthday on Tuesday. 39 and holding (legitimately)--forever now I guess.

Litter: I haven't checked my e-mail yet, but I will right after this.

Jack: Fat? Overweight? Who isn't now a days? You can work it off easily enough though. One hour walks a day will do it. I did it two years ago, and guess what, I have to consider it again! It's not as hard as it sounds. I attribute the extra pounds and inches to beer--good ole Canadian beer (which is almost as good as Australlian and English--too much sucking up Teekay? Brit? Litter? But then, have you ever tired what they call beer?! Ha-Ha!)

Gotta go. I spent so much time correcting typos in this, I typed myself sober, and that's no fun...joking

Dialect tip of the hour Mon Mar 12 01:24:27 PST 2001

So-ton-g (g should sound like "e" like "g" in the word "long" )
Literally: Squid or cuttlefish.
Language of origin: Malay
Implied meaning when applied on a person: Implies that that person is blur or stupid.
Usuage: "Don't be such a sotong." "He's such a sotong." "What a sotong."

Barnabas "Hop" Mon Mar 12 01:21:41 PST 2001

Missing people I can actually remember

Rachael (away on maternity leave)
Viv and Hana

About the guns
I keep forgetting I'm talking to people who live in vast lands. From where I come from its pretty dense and so we probably have more police stations per square kilometre and the police can respond quickly to any cries of distress. Most of the police posts themselves are neighbour hood police posts. You know, where people can just walk in and ask for help. So if there is trouble police can intervene in say 10 mins, 5 even, also if you're carrying a gun (illegal by the way) there's really no where to run. I guess it's also been impressed upon me that police are the only ones responsible to carry guns.

As for in-between problem no matter how many in-between there are there will always be extremes. And it can take only one extreme to ruin everything.

I guess the only problem with allowing responsible people to carry guns is how we are to distinguish responsible people from irresponsible people. It's another of those tough questions I'm waiting for someone to answer (I don't think there is a 100% sure way to decide who's responsible).

It's not the aiming its the discretion. That's the problem with guerilla warfare, you can't tell who's the enemy or the civilian.
Don't the police have some kind of situation-analysis courses or something like that. I thought it might be a good idea to teach teachers before issuing them a gun, that's what I'm implying when I say "police-teacher."

In America it would be difficult to ban guns since there are already so many in circulation. Kind of like paper money and electronic cash. It's difficult to switch because paper money has already been in circulation for years now.
Just a question as a professional would you say in a friendly close-knit town of 500 people should people still carry guns for their own protection? For example there are cases of murder in small towns like this where strangers murder towns folk but since this is the exception then the rule I'm kind of unsure.

You see, you know you have too many guns when you can have a sale on them (chuckle).

About honour and chivalry (more so to answer Heather)
The whole problem was the fact it was abused. I'm so annoyed at this and tend to criticise it as a result. Some of the greatest writers criticised it so by re-affirming it we are taking a step back. I'm still looking for a substitute though. Perhaps something like "Decency and Kindness"? My search goes on.

I think possibly the only thing I can imagine is a society where if you ask them why they did a right think they'd pause and think and say. "Why not, it's good to help people. Everyone else is doing it, my parents did it and their parents and so on, I see no reason to change it." Now that's fantasy for you. I guess I'm an idealist at heart.

To summarise we shouldn't have to have the words "honour" or "chivalry." In an ideal world it should come so natural to us that we should have no name for it or forget what is was called.

Hello. I'm new as well..

Hello. I'm new as well.

Heard about that hugging thing. It works but it isn't mystical or anything.

Assuming you gave me the "sit and spin" address, I checked it out.

Oww. That must hurt!

Thanks for the advice Rhoda. I was implying that chivalry was abused before the war.
And if you have any questions about Chinese or Singapore I would glad to help clarify anything (finally, somebody actually interested!).

Speaking to you "in-role." Do humans not have the ability to obtain the knowledge of their fore father's as well? While in-built it is not, do humans not have books, songs and folklore to remind us of the wisdom from the olden days?

(I'm starting to sound a bit archaic here)

Hello. I'm new. By the by what exactly is the address of the "psychic, supernatural wonder site." Sounds a lot like people I have to meet. I'm sort of looking for "real" psychics. In fact my Psi-force novel is about them. It's in the workbook area.

taylor Mon Mar 12 00:03:03 PST 2001

I am grateful, I mean i was addicted to cigs i think or maybe it was just a habit... but not anymore
It just makes me wander how on earth Im gonna celebrate me finishing my novel

Also I dont think any less of people who get addicted to things

Teekay Sun Mar 11 23:54:16 PST 2001

JERRY: A lot of people are worried about opiods becomming habit forming but in a review of 12 000 records of patients taking these drugs for chronic medical pain, fewer than 1% were found to have significant addiction.
I got this info from a medical book, but if you're really worried talk to your doctor about it and see what he suggests. There are alternative types of pain relief like meditation and accupuncture.

TAYLOR: I hope you are grateful that so far you haven't had need for panadol, nor anything stronger.
Not everyone is so blessed. :-)

GARIESS (aka show no mercy) Ubderstand? Ubderstand??? HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH GOTCHA!!!!

Tha's it. I'm orf.

taylor Sun Mar 11 23:53:23 PST 2001

in the novel im writing, I had this idea that was included in the story...
However i found out recently that a similar idea, pretty much the same, but for a different reason was already in a movie that was made several years ago

taylor Sun Mar 11 23:48:48 PST 2001

i just got into writers workbook...

one good thing, soon I will be geetin my own computer...
FINALLY, i wont have to do EVERYTHING by hand

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Mar 11 23:33:56 PST 2001

p.s. Just noticed the other item mentioned about Britomart about wondering how to get her books. Most of these I got either while I was in Australia, from the Australian Online Bookstore and from Actually, her latest book, the Resurrectionists, is on order by me already. I am just trying to figure out what my 10 pounds sterling will come out to on my credit card, but that is fine. I am looking forward to it. This, actually, is how I got the third Harry Potter book about four months before it hit the shelves in the US.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Mar 11 23:28:13 PST 2001

Kitty: Yes, Fran is diving with me. We seem to be alternating in having some occasional problems, mainly due to both of us being woefully out of shape. However, we are step by step making it back to getting our Advanced Open Water Diving certification. This will also involve us in actually getting back into shape and losing a bit of the midrift bulge (or mybellydonelapsovermybelt disease). God willing and the ground does not shake us under we will be diving into our seventies and hopefully eighties, thank you very much. So, mabey we can be the cranky couple who regails other with stories of our exploits when we going diving in the Great Barrier Reef or Cozumal or Cancun or the Red Sea. All are on my radar screen, but probably British Columbia will be first on my list. There are some short term packages that fit my budget, 4 days diving in Victoria for about $300 for Fran and I with accomodations included, two boat dives, two shore dives. We will see. Main thing is my job hunt. Got some new leads and hopefully will be back soon. Well, before this gets too long, wanted to also join in with many another and welcome all the old and new faces

And this is a goal to join my time on the treadmill and at the weight machine with time at this computer doing some creative fictional writing. Take care everyone and as always I am reminded that the creation of the Writer's Notebook was one of my better ideas :-)

gariess Sun Mar 11 23:26:33 PST 2001

That last was I.

Sun Mar 11 23:25:08 PST 2001

If you are intent on picking up twenty flawed characters, I suppose I should not object to being one. As long as we ubderstand that my mother wants me home before eleven.

That sounds terrible. My sympathies go out to the cows and the people. I guess we must learn that there is no strength or size that brings immunity to the heart. Or the nose. Those fires.

I donít know squat about Ultram, but if you are over forty and have not had addiction trouble in the past, there is little chance that you will have a problem. Cigarettes seem to be your principal experience with an addictive substance other than food. The tendency to become addicted has more to do with the behavior patterns of an individual than substance. The most common addictive substance is food. No one can avoid food, but only certain behavioral types become food addicts.



taylor Sun Mar 11 23:21:14 PST 2001

*Healing hugs to all who want them*

honestly, I dont see how people can get addicted to drugs, I am a person that doesnt even take panadol unless absolutely necessary...

Sun Mar 11 23:00:50 PST 2001

the silver moon sits down and low
just bitten by my muse
he's part myquito you know
and I have no will to choose...
but does he care to leave me
or wait until the morn?
unfortunately he needs me
to translate what he's borne

sleep now
night all

Cassandra... rhymes for the times... strange poet who know's it... ok ok, I'll stop... :)

gariess Sun Mar 11 22:31:01 PST 2001


What a nice surprise to see a post from you. There canít be many of us here who were around when you posted regularly. It remains in my mind that in one your last posts you signed off noting that you had to go and clean the toilet. I suppose I really must bring up this sort of thing with my psychiatrist. I mean about the strange things I remember in connection with others. But enough about me. Do you remember the great fun we used to have with Hayden Grayell and the others? TM Spell etc. Of course that toilet cleaning thing only impressed me because I recall someone saying that she would shudder to think, if she had just published a novel, that she would still have to clean the toilet. I remember observing to myself that I would shudder to think that she would stop.

I sometimes wonder why we donít seem to get Australian books here in the US. Does someone think we donít know the language? I have checked on a few and found them not available. It is not as if we have so much great stuff of our own. I would like to have a chance to read some of your work. It is very nice to hear from you again. I hope you drop in more.


Jerry Sun Mar 11 21:13:35 PST 2001

Anyone ever been addicted to prescription drugs? I am not sure, but I think I am. My Dr. Switched me over to this new synthetic opiate, it is supposed to be safe and non-addictive. The Doc told me I could take this and it would be safe for me to drive a big rig, supposed to be the greatest thing since morphine. I have been taking it as prescribed, or less most of the time, as needed. Last week, I forgot to add it to my morning regime (I have one of those stupid daily pill things, as I take a couple of hand full of pills every day for various maladies). A couple of days ago, I began to experience chills, followed just mins. Later breaking out in a sweat. I told the wife I was going through the "change" but men aren't supposed to do that right? I had several fit full nights with no sleep, and was on edge. When my son got down for the weekend, I sat too long on Sat. and my back was hurting, so I took a couple of the pills, and within minutes, the chills and hot flashes ended. Then I checked the caddy and found the morning dose was missing. I went back on the routine and all is well again, but now I worry about addiction. I checked on the web and there are hundreds of sites now talking about this stuff, some saying it is great, others with horror stories of people helpless addicted to it. Even the literature that comes with it now warns that it may be addictive in some cases. I guess being addicted isn't a problem if I keep taking it, but still I hate the idea. The only thing I was ever addicted to before was cigarettes, and it was pure hell for several months when I finally gave them up. I really don't want to go through that with this stuff.

I guess I shouldn't be talking about this in this writing room, but I consider you all my friends, any advice would be deeply appreciated. The stuff is called Ultram.


Sun Mar 11 20:27:07 PST 2001


Cassandra Sun Mar 11 20:11:33 PST 2001

yup, me again...

gariess- sorry I missed that comment... I'm laughing as I type. It is harder for women to do that you know, so I never really thought of that. Might be a comical addition to the book I design if I use that idea. :)

All- can someone fill me in on the shortie topic for this week? please? I'd ever so like to participate this time. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone else's pieces, although I admit I tried to miss those worthy of crying. I was in a good mood, but tonight I'm going back to read them... wish me luck.

Cassandra Sun Mar 11 19:58:12 PST 2001

Hi all

Woo boy, am I enjoying my vacation so far. I think it's only going to get boring from here on out. So you guys will probably be sick of me by the end of the week.

Allein- I just got some of those bubblewraped envelopes and am proceeding to searching for all my drawings I can find. I'll give you a daily message on how the process is coming. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get stuff to you.

Chivalry: To an extent I don't want chivalry back. To be cliched, too much of a good thing is never good. In a way it was common courtesy, and in another it was an unconscious way to say that women couldn't do things on their own, that for some reason we were so fragile that we couldn't open the door for ourselves. So as I've told the men I've dated, if I get to the door first, I will open it myself. If they want to be chivalrous, they have to be quick.

On that same subject, common courtesy needs to be ressurected from chivalry. It's disheartening in the least to see people cutting other people off in traffic, taking handicap places because they're in some sort of arcane hurry to get back home, sit in front of the tv and do basically nothing... I just get really sick of it.

Snow: I'm sure everyone else in the NE United States agrees with me in protesting mother nature's assurance that we need more snow. It looks like we've got an ice/snow storm headed this way. Don't worry though, shouldn't be half as bad as the big one. Actually it may end up being a snow/rain storm depending on when it hits. The silver lining on this cloud? Maybe I'll make some money shoveling people's walks and driveways tomorrow
...every silver lining has its cloud.

cya folks


Heather Sun Mar 11 19:16:58 PST 2001

Teekay: I'm pissed? Wow. Didn't think one beer would show that much! (kidding, *wink*)
Actually, when you asked if what I'd posted about the movie would give away the ending of the movie, I worried for a second! I'd hate to do that ~ ruin a good film because I gave away the secret. Hmmm. Secrets...

Something I'll be thinking about far ahead of this Thursday's shortie night. Like right now.
I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. This place is so fabulous. Wish it were a physical place. Meet you at the virtual cafe!

Dreaming of a green spring and soon;


Rhoda Sun Mar 11 18:36:28 PST 2001


I will be brave and try the haggis. You and Litter have talked me into it. My husband's mother, his sister and sister-in-law visited the southern part of England and southern Ireland two years ago and had a great time. I could not go. Now they have this trip going on for York, Edinburgh, lowland Scotland and perhaps the highlands or maybe Northern Ireland. They have not decided what to do after Edinburgh. Anyway, I am going with them this time. My husband says that if this were a vacation he would not be too keen on me going without the family, but this is a PILGRAMAGE, an event. I went shopping today and bought myself a pair of walking shoes because I intend to do a lot of walking when I get there.

I too love AUNTIE MAME. Rosilind Russell is great in that movie. I especially like the fox hunting scene.


Amazing all the things York has to offer. I can't wait to see it. So York is a garrison town. It was one of the main military settlements in Roman times, wasn't it? By the way, England has made its share of inroads into Scotland at times. Remember Edward I? Hey, I know, for I have watched BRAVEHEART at least half a dozen times. But England has crossed the border many times since Edward I. I would say that the relationship was mutually hostile. Hard for me, a Yank, to believe that two such lovely peoples as the English and the Scots could be at each other's throats so often.

I hope this foot and mouth disease thing is over soon. Vent about it anytime you wish. The situation is of interest to me.


Great to see your post. Congratulations on your success!


You are from Texas, right? I think we traded a few e-mails back when. Great to see you again.

I am glad to see so many old timers back. For once it is good to see the name of a person who predates me besides Jack. Until Ben came back a few months again, that had not happened for awhile.


Allein Sun Mar 11 18:18:10 PST 2001

Hey Rachel - I have two other e-mail addresses: and Maybe one of those will work. But, I'm still at, so I don't know why that's not working. Hotmail has been weird lately. :)
*smiles* and *hugs*

Teekay Sun Mar 11 17:36:33 PST 2001

Hi All,

RANDALL: Whoo hooo welcome back. It's good to see you here again.

BRITOMART: Wow! Is this a coincidence or WHAT?!?! Do you sometimes lurk at the notebook without saying hello?? Or have you just popped in out of the blue?
I'm going to see if I can get my hot little hands on any of your books today. I saw your homepage and the books look fascinating.

LITTER: You mean the hills are still there? Oh good. :-D I'll put Scotland back on my 'to visit' list.

CHRISTI: It's in the mail. Thanks for that. :-) I love ya.((((((((HUG))))))))))))))))))))

HEATHER: You sound pissed. I love ya (((((((((((((((HUG))))))))))))))))))))))))))) If you're not pissed, I still love ya ((((((((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
I emailed RANDALL when he first left and demanded he get himself back here. Said he needed a year for something else. I chased him up after the year. :-) Guess he was ready then.

EDDIE: This foot and mouth epidemic is a scary thing. I hope it comes right real soon.

Going. :-)

Rachel Sun Mar 11 17:27:06 PST 2001

Kitty - I love Auntie Mame! She reminds me of an aunt of my own (grins). Enjoy the show.


Rachel Sun Mar 11 17:20:45 PST 2001

Allein - I have been trying to send you an e-mail today and it will not go through. Are you still at If not could you let me know your new e-mail.

Hugs for you,


Sun Mar 11 16:56:59 PST 2001

Hey, y'all! Thanks for all the "welcome backs" and "hellos." I do go as far back as the first archive when it took a month to fill not a matter of days. Today, I had to take notes to keep track of the various topics. This is a good thing. And what a pleasant way to spend part of my Sunday, especially when it is snowing , cold and grey, yet again. After I post it's the papers then we're watching Auntie Mame-the Rosalind Russel version. I love it when she proclaims "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving!"

Jack: I was wondering whether Fran was diving too. Y'all are such a woosome twosome. When I was on Great Keppel Island (Great Barrier Reef), I met a couple who were deep sea diving, complete with the leaded boots and helmet type equipment. They kept our dinner table enthralled with tales of their deep sea adventures. They were in their seventies. I remember thinking at the time, let me find someone who will join me in all manner of adventures and let me have the health, energy and passion to pursue life with gusto well into my "golden years." I believe I have a good shot at it with Ted. So happy diving, happy crabbing.
As for crabs, tonight we will be having our "Soprano" supper of crab cakes with remoulade served on a bed of arugula. Yummy. I'm not sure how we arrived at this menu for the weekly pause to catch up with Jersey's favorite "connected" family, but I'm not complaining.

Ben: In your short but ever growing list of those who have achieved commercial success while participating here, do not forget Jen Holling. Her first novel, A Time for Dreams, was accepted for publication while she was a regular. The book came out in 1999 and was well received. Last I heard she was working on a second. Don't know if she's been back to the Notebook recently, but with this rash of former regulars touching base, maybe she will come back too.

Has anyone heard from Phillip or Samuel? And does the biography section with links to web pages and bookstores still exist somewhere around here?

Britomart: Congratulations on much deserved success with your writing and hope you are well and happy. We have to lobby to get your novels offered here in North America. Wait a minute. I'm going to check with, a Canadian mega book chain which carries a lot of British and Australian authors you don't find in U.S. based chains. Otherwise, Jack did you pick up copies when you were Australia?

Trudy: I have the cookbook and if you are coming to Montreal for a conference, I can recommend some good places to eat.

Litter: Where are you in Scotland? For our 5th wedding anniversary we did a London/Edinburgh trip. I was familiar with London, but Edinburgh was new to us. We concluded we very much preferred Edinburgh to London in terms of the friendliness of the populace and the tastiness of the food and the cosiness of the accommodations. We ate haggis. And it was very good. We ate it whenever it was offered on the menu. We also were always on the lookout for a dish called "three wee fishes."

Rhoda: See above, haggis is tasty. Two of my favorite lunches in Britain is a pub lunch, specifically the plowmans (or is that ploughmans? Basically it is a bit of salad, cheese and bread) or going to a greengrocer and assembling a "picnic" of apples and cheeses (different and many varieties you've never heard of). You can and will eat well on your trip. What is the purpose of your trip, business or pleasure?

Debra: You were having a Brigadoon moment when you made the comment about Scotland and domestic violence. Are you familiar with the mystery series (books and TV) featuring Hamish MacBeth and a village full of colourful characters in the Scottish Highlands?

Eddie: How horrific and devastating. I'm wishing for you and your crew a peaceful night's rest.

C'est tout, c'est finis. The rest of the day awaits.


Rachel Sun Mar 11 16:32:41 PST 2001

Britomart - I don't think that I have ever met you. I have heard about you and read about you n the bio page, now you are back:0) Welcome!

Kitty - I'm sure that I remember you. Are you te one who is involved with the reading and writing with children? Either way welcome back.

Welcome to all the new faces.

Christi - I send you hugs back. Sebastian is all snuggled up with me and sends a little squeaking coo sound.

I didn't mean to make you cry. I give you another hug. Life really is delicate and precious.

Take care all,


Eddie French Sun Mar 11 16:21:33 PST 2001

Hi All,
Just skimmed the posts of the last week. Off again tomorrow to do my bit to get this Foot and Mouth epidemic cleared up.
As well as being an Army Garrison town, York is a very historic place. York Minster is not to be missed. I did my basic training at York back in 1969 - 70. I lived there for almost a year. There are wonderful bridges and lots of historical buildings. There is also the Race Course. Be careful if the foot and mouth restrictions are in force around there. I have a couple of farms which I have been looking after in Yorkshire but they are a bit away from York.
Did you Know that the Scots often got as far as York when they (as they often did) decided to invade England. Sometimes they got a lot further. Didn't you LITTER!

Anyway, the poor animals in the countryside are still suffering the blight of this nasty disease. It really is a terrible thing. Although I am on the managerial side of this thing I still see some terrible things as I travel around the affected areas.

I thought I'd tell this:
Most of our operatives (over 200 now) are big, strong hard men. You would think that they would be able to handle this stuff. Two of the biggest, meanest, ugliest men I have ever seen in my life ran off a farm yesterday as the MAFF vet shot a number of cows in front of them. They were expected to loop chains around the carcases and lift them onto the pyre with a back acter.
They phoned me on my mobile later and apologised but they could not do this job for any amount of money. Both of them were close to tears.

The stink of the pyres is sickening. The whole countryside seems to be permeated with the stench. I will be glad when this is all over.

Thanks for listening.

Christi Sun Mar 11 10:28:57 PST 2001

Rachel, I can't believe I forgot to tell you how much your shortie meant to me. It made me bawl. It must have been very hard for you to write about but so releasing at the same time. Big HUGS for you and Sebastion.

Kitty, Hi, it's nice to meet you! Stick around, won't you? I like reading your posts.

Britomart, Hi! When I first came here I remember reading your bio and thinking that you sounded interesting. Welcome back!

Hey, Litter, How IS the pending publishing thing going? Any new news? Really you'd think they'd know better than to irk a Scot. ;)

Seeing so many veteran notebookers coming in to say howdy, I can't help but wonder if the infamous Hayden will pop in sometime. We can only hope. Don't forget your lampshade, Hayden!

Bye ya'll,


Heather Sun Mar 11 08:49:28 PST 2001

Randall! Great to see you back! All it took was Teekay's summons, huh? I tried that about 8 months ago but you didn't hear me.

Welcome newbies and I think everything you're looking for is here and has been said! Pull up a chair, the rest may take a while.

About the movie ('Return To Me') I rented it on pay per view, so it probably won't be out in video for another month or two. And no, Teekay, I didn't give anything away with what I said. It says that much on the box.

I know what you mean about not wanting the ending to be given away before you have the chance to enjoy it yourself! Nobody wrecked the Sixth Sense on me, so that was great. Oh, of course I kicked myself for not knowing the ending, but I'm sure most people kicked themselves too.
'Return To Me' wasn't really a movie of surprises throughout, but it was very well done. I'm sure if it is based on a book, I'll be trying to find the book soon.

Just as soon as I get off my duff and finish my own.

Britomart, (Kim) nice to meet you!


Debra Sun Mar 11 08:00:16 PST 2001


Long before you started to help me with information from Scotland, I determined that you were the kind of person who would never mislead anyone on purpose.

We all know that.


Debra Sun Mar 11 06:50:20 PST 2001


Some of my characters will definitely be flawed. Will you be one of the twenty I pick up?

I hope so.

I have sent my ms to so many publishers and told them to keep it. I think I won't have much of a problem if it ever gets stolen.

I'll just collect my earnings checks after the theif has it published. I win.


Litter Sun Mar 11 05:35:50 PST 2001

Hi All,

I seem to have developed a habit of writing things that are misunderstood. My apologies to all those who are misled.

TEEKAY -- what I said about some aspects of Scotland, as you had imagined it, being few and far between now only referred to things like: "blazing fires in old stone fireplaces" and "ancient streets and cottages with thatched rooves," and the like. It is hard for a nation that gave the world the telephone, television, tar-MacAdam roads, penicillin, etc., etc., etc., to stay living in the past :o) Lots of the old Scotland has been preserved for tourists and our own heritage but we just don't live that way anymore. As for the lack of rolling hills in the north -- that is not a drawback and if you see the Cairngorms or the Grampians you will know what I mean. The granite mountain scenery is spectacular, especially as the sun rises over a misty glen… Of course you should still come -- sorry if I misled you.

ANGIE, TAYLOR, NICHOL and anyone else new that I may have missed -- Ceud Mile Fŗilte -- That is Scots Gaelic for "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes", a traditional welcome that you can find above rail stations and other places throughout the country. (I think I already said hi to you, Trudy? I have a really bad memory so please do not think ill of me should I ever forget someone/something…)

RANDALL -- Hi! I think I appeared shortly before you disappeared. I seem to remember some sort of talk about a Porsche?

BEN -- sent you an e-mail about Arthur -- some of the latest research.

HALLEE -- Strangely, my first (and thusfar only complete) novel was a result of a dream also.. Do do do do do do do do…

COPYRIGHT -- We, in the UK, seem to be more fortunate than most. Copyright is automatic to the author at the time of writing, published or not. Something that is important and potentially a target for plagiarism, however, is still worth protecting. As well as the posting to yourself -- I would always ask for the Post Office to stamp or otherwise seal across the envelope flap, otherwise you could send yourself an unsealed envelope and put anything in it that you wanted. "Recorded" and "Registered" mail, in the UK, MUST be sealed before the post office will record or register it, but still costs only a pound or two. (say $3 max, US)

Another good idea is to keep a record of development of the story -- i.e. don't just update and save the changes, but save a copy of the original file every time you make any major edit or amendment. That way you can show the development of the story in detail -- something that a plagiariser would not be able to do. I always include a personal element in each major work. Something specific and true that can be checked should the need arise. (Avoiding anything that might negatively identify a person, of course.) My novel "The Watchers" (publication still pending, yawn) has an element in it which is not only personal but was recorded by a local newspaper at the time it happened. Anyone plagiarising the story would not have any clue about that. Of course, you don't want anything libellous for this purpose!

Leading on from that --

ANGIE -- the most important things to do are to change real names to fictional ones. You should go further than this and change obvious things like the person's job and some of their characteristics. Sometimes, if it doesn't hurt the story, you can also change their sex and/or status (married to single, etc.). Some things you will probably not be able to change, but the rule is to change as much as necessary to avoid any real person being recognised by others. If anyone can be directly recognised by another, then they have a case against you if they can then prove that you have divulged something they would rather you had not, or they have been emotionally (even physically) disadvantaged, embarrassed or injured by what you wrote about them.

I use lots of 'real' stuff, but I mix it up so that no individual can say "That is me!" (I know that some aspects of me have been included in several of the 25 books that a friend has written -- he has told me as much. Such are his 'mixing' skills, however, that I have not been able to identify any particular character that was based on me. This is a great source of amusement for my friend…

I watched an interview with John Cleese (Monty Python, Basil Fawlty, etc.,) last night where he defined an archetypal middle-class Englishman as, "Someone who can make it to his grave, from the time he became an adult, without suffering embarrassment." (as near as I remember it.)

Ciao for now


Britomart Sun Mar 11 03:18:06 PST 2001

Hi all! Long time no see; and I'm so interested and heartened to see that so many of my old peers are still contributing to the writers' notebook. It's got to be one of the most successful bulletin boards ever! Go, Jack.

To catch up those who remember me (those who don't can skim this bit), I've just submitted my 4th adult novel to my publisher, I've got the first in a young adult series coming out in Australia in April; and my books are now sold in the UK, Germany and France. It's been a fun and fast ride, and I still love writing as much as ever.

Anyway, just thought I'd drop by. I'm going to have a month off now, read other people's books and recharge my batteries. Happy writing everyone.

Hallee Sun Mar 11 01:36:22 PST 2001

TAYLOR: That is actually how I got into writing...I had a dream, woke up and started writing it down. Six weeks later, I had a 100k word novel.

JERRY: So odd that you mention writing a novel, because for some reason, yesterday I was thinking what a fascinating book you would have if you compiled all of your short stories about your years on the force, intwined them, and bingo - you have a novel.

Okay - off to finish chapter 10.


Allein Sun Mar 11 00:22:58 PST 2001

Nichol - WELCOME!!! Glad to have you aboard! *smiles* :)

Jerry - Actually, the broken leg and ankle were on the same leg. :) I've also broken a finger, thumb and the same toe 3 times. :)

Rachel Sat Mar 10 23:08:50 PST 2001

Hey Guys,

Thank you all for your hugs. I love hugs. I think that they are very important (smiles).

Sebastian and I really are doing very well. We have been active and having a wonderful time. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health. One look at me and she didn't even bother with a check up on anything. She tells me I don't even look like I had a baby. That is what everyone is saying. I certainly can tell that I had a baby, but, well, hum, I'll not go into that (grins)!

Today was the baby shower. It was a blast. I love seeing all the people I am fond of come together. some of these people had never met one another and it was so fun for me to watch them interact! What a riot:)

Okay, I better run.

Take care all,


Tina Sat Mar 10 23:05:05 PST 2001


Last call for 'Contact' by Carl Sagan on the book exchange. If ya snooze, you'll lose! E-mail me if you're interested.

Hello Angie and taylor and Nichol. Welcome! And Trudy, Randall, Kitty, nice to meet ya!

I'm not sticking around to chat tonight. Have a good one!

gariess Sat Mar 10 22:56:59 PST 2001

That shorty short was so neat.

I remember you.

Just not doing it from the diving board always worked for me.

No way am I reading past the first sentence of your shorty.

My last wife would not read Grisham for the reason you mentioned, seriously flawed characters. I suspect for every one like her Grisham picked up about twenty because of his flawed characters.

I remember the trailer for that movie. That should be in video by now. I donít know why I havenít seen it at Blockbuster.

Christi Sat Mar 10 21:34:21 PST 2001

Hellew everyone!

Nichol, Welcome!

Randall, Welcome back!!!!! Have we met before?

Teekay, Me too, me tooooooooo! May I read it too?! I'm not writing a bloomin' thing right now, and I'd love to read yours!

Trudy, Welcome back to you too! I've thought of you often and wondered how you were doing.

Richard, Three cheers for Mums!

On copyrighting: I read something ages ago that said once you put the words to paper (or screen) they are copyrighted. I have taken those words to heart and try not to get all uptight and freak out about people stealing from me. It's just easier that way.

Jon, Glad to see you coming 'round! Stick your nose in a little more frequently, won't you? I miss your witty repartee. (although I'm not at all sure that's spelled right.) Meow!

Taylor, Hiya!

Angie, Hello and welcome. To answer your question we'd probably need more information. Like what kind of true story it is--is it something you read in the paper or something that happened to someone you know ... etc. etc. If you change the events enough, combining them with a non-related idea or ideas, you should have no problem legally. In fact, that does seem to be the way many of us do it-- you see something and it moves you to write about it.
But ... if you simply want to regurgitate the facts you may have a problem.
Was this any help at all? Others here probably have better advice, but anyhoo, welcome!

Seems that for someone who didn't have a lot to say I said quite a lot. I guess that's the way of the world.

Nightie night,


Jerry Sat Mar 10 21:25:51 PST 2001

Angi - Best bet is to use the "idea" of the true story and nothing more, or at least that is how I see it. Way back when, when I was studying law (paralegal) I sort of looked into that sort of thing, having an interest also in writing. It seems that if the incident is well known then the right of privacy cannot be violated. However if the real event is not, and has not been published in the papers and so forth, if it is yet a secret then there is a risk. Don't take what I say as any sort of legal opinion, as it has been quite some time since I studied any of this, and the law changes from day to day, hour to hour depending on how the courts look at things. Something to keep in mind though, is if these are things that happened to your friends, or family then court is not the only worry, the loss of friend and family is at times more worrisome then legal action.


taylor Sat Mar 10 21:01:19 PST 2001

thoughts on rejection slips:

of coarse i dont want to get rejection slips, on the other hand Im not going to be too disappointed about it... actually, honestly, i wouldnt mind a couple...
It would prove to me that I am trying to do what Ive always wanted to do

angie ajsaugusta@aol.ocm Sat Mar 10 20:46:18 PST 2001

Hello- I'm really new at this- do any of you know where I might find information on taking parts of a true story and turning it into a work of fiction without ending up as the defendant in a lawsuit ? Any help would be appreciated.

taylor Sat Mar 10 20:43:43 PST 2001

dont get me started on the gun issue...

but yeah ideas and passion can be transferred into writing though

Jerry Sat Mar 10 20:33:59 PST 2001

What a great weekend, so far anyhow, both kids came home to visit. My daughter lives here in town, so we see her all the time, but our son who lives a little over a hundred miles north of here made it down for the weekend. We are having a great time playing cards and visiting.

ALLIEN - take it easy girl, we only have four limbs, and the more you break them, the more they hurt you when the weather changes and you have been on the planet for over 40 years. These things come back to haunt you, you know.

Not to worry about getting me on the fight with gun stuff anymore, I am sort of played out on that matter. I have put up my guns for sale, all but a couple that I keep around for keep sakes. I think my fight for the Second Amendment has dwindled down to a few articles once and again on Themestream. I have been approached by a couple of other sites that want me to come and write for them, based on my political articles on Themestream but I am not all that hep on doing that, I would much rather spend my writing time working on my short stories, and maybe one of these days a novel.


taylor Sat Mar 10 20:21:11 PST 2001

on the subject of the sixth sense, i was glad i didnt know the ending, someone almost told me how it ended, but I stopped him...
The ending, WOW is all I have to say and also, I should have known

also, now i carry a notebook around with me everywhere i go(except work)to take down notes on ideas.
Last night, oddly enough, I had a dream and found myself writing down some ideas that came from the dream

Mary Sat Mar 10 16:56:59 PST 2001

RANDALL: Hi there, nice to meet you. I must have come sniffin' around here not long after you left. I am from Ohio where it is snowing like the dickens, but when I think of the week in July I spent in Dallas three years ago, I don't feel so cold anymore. I look forward to getting to know you better. :-)

Trudy Sat Mar 10 16:53:32 PST 2001


At the top of this page Jack has a link called for writers and within that is a reference sites link...I'm sure exploring some of those sites would reveal articles about submitting stuff. Gotta love the world wide web. Good luck.


Trudy Sat Mar 10 16:45:15 PST 2001

BARNABUS, no big deal...I'm sure I'll find a recipe soon. Stil l haven't picked up the book Jack recommended and that sounds like a good possibility. Thnaks for thinking of my quest for the perfect hot and sour soup recipe though. *grin*

RICHARD, congrats to your mom!

Nichol, welcome. Once you have a piece ready to go out to a publisher, you print it off with a cover letter saying you are submitting this short story (or whatever) for their consideration. I believe with fiction you still include a self addressed stamped emvelope for their response. I don't submit much fiction these days but as a freelance writer of non-fiction I often include in my note they do not need to return the copy of my submission (well in my case writing samples). That way you only pay the regular postage for a yay or nay response andnot the full postage for your manuscript. Make sure you don't send your only copy. Any other tips from the fiction submitters on the list?

GARIESS thanks for your response about copyright...good points.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Trudy

Mary Sat Mar 10 16:41:01 PST 2001

GS: I would personally love it if you posted a shortie tonight. :-)

Nichol: Welcome! The first thing you have to do is be able to confidently say that you ARE a writer. Doesn't matter if you have been published or not.
The next thing you need to do is read everything you can get your hands on and learn about today's markets, how to establish your writing style, technique, structure, and everything there is to know about the craft of writing.
Meanwhile, write every time the urge hits you. This is a great place to post some of your work and get feedback. Feedback from readers is one of the most valuable things you can have.
Then, when you have a piece of something you wrote in your hands, something that feels pretty damn good...figure out who you want to sell it to. Your best bet there is a book called, "The Writer's Market". There is a new one out every year and tells you all the publisher's guidelines as far as who wants what, who to address it to, and what you can expect in return. The book is also full of helpful articles and tips that we can all use, no matter how far along we are. This whole process could take you a year, or a few weeks, or the rest of your life. And that my dear, in a nutshell, is that.

Oh, and you might consider driving a really long spikey nail into the wall on which you spear all the rejection letters you get. That's what Stephen King did, and made it his goal to fill up that nail because it means you're working!

For starters, something you can do this very minute: Punch "creative writing" into your favorite internet search engine. You will be amazed at the help you come out with. That is how I found this place and I wouldn't trade it for anything else I have found before or since. Again, welcome and good luck!

If you decide to stick around, Thursday nights is short story night where whoever is so inclined writes a small little story for the rest of us to read. It can be on any topic that inspires you, but if you like, you can use the provided one....the one coming up for this Thursday is SECRETS.

Randall Sat Mar 10 16:26:16 PST 2001

Well, I'm back. Thanks Teekay. Sometimes we all need a little push. Been a year since I last splashed my ego, for better or worse, all over these pages. :-)

Wrote a great deal last year on our 1965 class reunion web site. Sadly, I did the most. Seems fellow classmates suffered terminal writers block and only capable of writing a few lines. (sigh) Still, a writer writes no matter the location.

I remember western writer, Louis Amour, (sp?) who said he could write with a typewriter on his knees in the middle of Hollywood Blvd. His success is evident. I'm kinda like that, sans success that is. Came across a psychic, supernatural wonder site on the net last week. Now, I'm not the Amazing Randy, but some of these guys are truly beyond hope. It's sad. They're searching for a supernatural ability, to use to impress friends and ease passage in the world. The abilities they seek are not casually handed out, permission is needed, and there are inherent penalities involved. Anyway, I wrote a candid post, 300 words or so, using the word "claptrap" once or twice. GRIN :-) Think I rained on their parade. There were no replies so I moved on.....searching.

I recgonize many names, quite a lot of new ones though. (Grin) Everything in flux, eh. Give me a little time, to get back in the swing of things.

Working on my novel "Flowers." Still NOT having any luck getting communication with Navajos. Once they determine that the work uses their legends, gods, and traditions they drop me like a big fat hot rock. (Sigh) Well....that's ok. I write the vision, given to me one fall night in 1997. If it is never published, no big deal, perhaps my children or grand-children will stumble over it one day and finally get it into print. If they have print in the future.

Well I'm off, lousy day in Texas. Been raining here like it was spring time Seattle. Now I know how you north-westeners feel, what with the web toes and such. (grin) :-) Ain't that right Jack?


Rhoda Sat Mar 10 16:24:30 PST 2001


When you entered the contest last year and didn't win, did you get back any comments or critique on your work? I think $70.00 is perhaps worth paying if you do get some feedback, but that is an awful lot of money to just get a notice, "Thanks for applying, but you did not win." I did not see this question addressed on the web-site.

Another thing. Most all of their finalists and their winners seemed to be literary--nothing remotely looking like genre. Any thoughts on this? I am intrigued, but I too have a long manuscript, and getting it in before April 1st would be a lot of work. If I don't think there is even a remote chance they would like my type of romantic, sentimental, women's type fiction, then I don't want to enter.


Chivalry had nothing to do with the Civil War. That war was fought over economic concerns and state's rights issues as well as slavery which deeply divided the country at the time. Both sides were Christian in their outlook and held many similar values which included a type of chivalry. The Southerners might have been misled in many ways, but they were not all evil. Most people who fought for the South did not own slaves, and many opposed the institution of slavery. On the other hand, there were some brutal and mean-spirited people on the Union side.

I agree with Heather. I too would not want to live in a world where honor or chivalry of some sort is not practiced. I think you are a decent man, Hop, and I cannot for a second believe that you would be opposed to fair play and honor and protecting the weak. You might research that word to get a more realistic and accurate definition. It doesn't mean quite what it meant in the Middle Ages.

You are brave to take to task time-honored American values and tendencies. Proceed at your own risk, for this is an amazingly complex country. I say that not as any sort of threat, but only to warn you that we are not quite as nutty as many think we are, and that there are often good reasons historically we are as we are. I have similar questions about the Chinese or Singapore way of doing things, but I must admit my ignorance of things Chinese, and being the retiring, nonconfrontational sort of person I am, I hestitate to address them. I just know this: cut through the culture, the religion, the history and the political baggage and people are basically the same where ever they live. There are similar needs, virtues, and weaknesses. On the other hand, no two people are alike. Isn't that an interesting paradox? Anyway I find it so.


There are many good books that will instuct you on how to format your manuscripts and how to market your work. Just check out the writing section of your local bookstore or even your public library. You would also do well to get involved in a local writer's group. You could start with visiting the web-sites of publishing houses you might wish to send to and getting their submission guidelines. Follow them to the letter. Carefully edit your work, print it out on good quality paper with one inch margins and readable font. Include a cover letter and your submission and send it to an appropriate editor.


I totally agree with you about the medical establishment making the drug and then inventing the medicine.


Mary Sat Mar 10 16:19:42 PST 2001

ON BOOK BINDING: The only ways I have ever heard of self-binding a manuscript are

1)put it in a three ring binder
2)staple it (which of course wouldn't be possible with a book-length piece)
3)put it in some other type of folder
4) take it to Mail Boxes Etc. and have them bind it with those plastic bindings like you find on Fund-Raiser cookbooks. My guess would be that would cost you about $15. (If it costs $40, don't hold me to that figure.)

Anybody else know of any others? I have never come across a contest that didn't say: Do not staple or otherwise bind your manuscript in a folder, binder, etc. Please submit entries in a manuscript box, heavy envelope, or rubberband.

Mary Sat Mar 10 16:05:50 PST 2001

ON COPYRIGHTING: I just read in a Writer's Digest article that copyrighting something to yourself (which isn't even necessary) marks you as an amateur. It shows someone without a lot of experience, someone who hasn't been published, and someone who is very untrusting.

NOW: I agree with this to some extent, but then again I don't. I don't think it is worth the money to 'legally' copyright something when all you really have to do is a mail a copy of it to yourself to gain the same amount of rights and protection. However, I can understand the desire to have that little piece of paper and a slew of numbers saying it belongs to you and nobody can take it away under any technicality or freak of happenstance. Bottom line: it is entirely up to you, but I personally wouldn't bother with it. Then again...I don't think I have ever written anything anybody would want to steal. ;-)

Hallee Sat Mar 10 15:54:57 PST 2001

Hey everyone.

RICHARD: YAAAAAYYY for your mom! How exciting.

TEEKAY: I am so glad I knew nothing about Sixth Sense- I actually gasped at the end - then I didn't sleep all night - haha.

HEATHER: Maybe we'll end up meeting in real life in New Orleans. *wink* hahahaha

I have to cook supper - it's later than I thought.

Bye all-

Ben Woestenburg Sat Mar 10 15:47:57 PST 2001

Nicole: What have you written? Novel? Short story? Play? Screenplay? All publishers have what they call a Slush Pile. This is where all unsolicited mss. go. That is, those that are sent in by hack writers (publishers' opinions) looking to make it big time. Thes are the unprofessionals as far as they are concerned. But they have to go through it. They have to look at every story that comes across their desks...just in case. Some place insist that they will only accept Mss. through agents. The problem with this, is it's just as difficult to get an agent as it is a publisher's interest. I've heard of some writers suggesting you go without the agent for the first little while. Just take your chances with the slush pile, mail it out as soon as it comes back, and don't worry about the rejections piling up. There are endless tales of books that made the rounds to dozens and dozens of publishing companies.

Now I have to leave, one of the kids is having and emergency again, so I'll get back later if there's anymore to tell. But I'm sure there are others here who can fill in the blank spaces.

Sat Mar 10 15:40:02 PST 2001

Thanks for the ideas, I'm actually an expert at the first two. Fortunately I've never broken my leg (I'm a brunette *sorry Allein* :D). I broke my wrist in 3rd grade though, swinging on the monkey bars.
I'm still brainstorming about that...

I just cleaned my room, and it's amazing the stuff I found... I found this hat I had lost, my boyfriend's favorite. He gave it too me when we started going out because he thought I looked cute in it. He still doesn't know I found it, I'm waiting until we go out and do something tomorrow. I'm really going to have to take a good look under my bed, I've probably got everything I've ever lost under there.

Well, I can't think of anything to say. So I guess this is my cue to leave and get working on some writing.

later all


Gariess Sat Mar 10 14:52:07 PST 2001

A word about copyright protection. Measures that writers might take to establish the date of a work such as mailing to a friend or oneself are only of use as evidence in the event of a court action that the writer will have to initiate. While itís true that authorship is established by the fact that you wrote it, the best measure of protection is considered to be registering the work with the copyright office. A pain and a small expense, I agree, and I donít do it myself because I take the attitude that if anyone can make a nickel off anything I write, good luck.

You are behind the times. The medicine men have invented PMDD. Thatís the deal these days. First they invent a medicine, then they invent a disease for it.

I donít think anybody is pressured to do shorties. Iíve only done one or two since we started it. I like the idea because it prompts me to do them. If I wasnít so lazy, I would save them and post them on Thursdays. Actually, itís more like me to post them any damn time I want to. I might post a shortie tonight.

Poor doggie.

No mercy,


Teekay Sat Mar 10 14:46:03 PST 2001

And, thanks to this magazine I've also found an Australian writers site. It's not as good as this though JACK. I'm staying here, but it's good to know there is one. :-)

NICOLE: Hi there. :-).
Your question is waaaaaay to indepth for me to answer. :-)

Nichol Sat Mar 10 14:34:50 PST 2001

Hi there. I am a writer, sort of, I guess.

Listen, I'm kinda not sure how to ask, or if anyone has any answers, but I was just wondering, you know, how d'you start out? Not the actual writing, I mean, like do you just send out a copy of something you've written to a publisher and hope you get a response? That sounds too, I don't know, rudimentary.

And scary.

If anyone has the slightest inclination to respond,
I'd be real happy and appreciative.


Teekay Sat Mar 10 14:22:18 PST 2001

Morning All,

JACK & BEN: Guess who's gracing the front cover of this 'writing Australia' magazine I discovered???? None other than KIM WILKINS!!!!!! With a 2 page interview to boot.
Isn't that the most amazing coincidence. I was practically cackling with glee, I couldn't wait to tell you guys.
She sounds really busy and like she's having a lot of fun.

MARY: Bless you heart my child. :-) As a matter of fact I will be sending you something shortly. To be honest I was feeling rather nervous about it thinking I was taking up heaps of your time, it's such a relief to see this isn't so. :-)
I could feel the pressure building and time ticking away and I could not stop fretting about what I was going to write for that contest. I sat down to write a few ideas that were floating around in my head, but they all sounded forced and boring and so I just let my self go, loosened up my mind and then the story came. WHAT a relief. Again, it's not what I thought it would be, but it's got Australian content and it may be a touch wierd, but as soon as it's on the computer I'll send it to you.
Thanks matey, I appreciate it sooooo much. :-)
and (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

RICHARD: GO your MUM!!!!!!!! Does she write a lot?

GARIESS: Wow! Thanks. I aim to please, especially you. :-)

BEN: I read in a few places that manuscripts should just be secured with string, or maybe a piece of elastic around the middle??????
Gee, you've got some hard choices to make. If you drink or smoke, or have some other vice that costs you money (writing not included) then I suggest you sacrifice it for the cause. You won't feel guilty that way. :-)
Or you could hock something. You see, this is where you find out how much faith you have in what you do.

HEATHER: I picked up that video and put it down in preference of 'loser' and 'passion of minds', which made for a rather boring trip to a quite interesting end. I wouldn't recommend it. 'Loser' was good.
You didn't give away anything important with the donor thing in that movie did you?
That's what happened with 6th sense. Someone said something which had me suspicious all throughout the movie. Loved that movie, but I always wonder how much more I would've loved it had I been innocent.

I haven't been to the workbook for a long time, at the moment I'm just so caught up with the things I'm doing - or trying to do.
I saw heaps of new entries there when I read HEATHER's 'dustbowl'. One day soon I shall get back there again.

Ben Woestenburg Sat Mar 10 13:45:27 PST 2001

They're rewashing it. I couldn't stop laughing about it, and niether could they. They kept telling each other, That was your spot, and the ever memorable, But you can't even see that spot when you're on the road. Hello?

Heather Sat Mar 10 13:44:55 PST 2001

BEN: Don't send it in a binder this year - the rules specify NO BINDERS! But it says most any OTHER method of binding the ms will do. I think using pre-punched paper will work the best, in a duotang. (Like a mini binder but it doesn't have rings, it has metal tabs and you won't get your fingers caught in it). Might not work so well with large mss; but I'm sure we can figure something out between all the minds erupting in the NB.

Heather Sat Mar 10 13:40:01 PST 2001

Has anyone else seen 'Return To Me'? (David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Carroll O'Connor...) I just thought it was really great. It really got to me, though, because my best friend from childhood was on the donor list for years and she never did get a heart or lungs. She died waiting.

The whole movie was quite well done. Even the dog was a good actor.


Ben Woestenburg Sat Mar 10 13:37:39 PST 2001

RHODA: Binding the manuscript is no big problem. Three hole punch it. You're only printing on one side of the page still, just like normal. Get six washers, a bolt that will fit whatever desired thickness the manuscript is, and fasten it with a nut. It works better than anything else I could come up with. I was wondering how they expected the manuscripits to be bound, because staples just wouldn't work. I enetered last year, and sent it in a binder. I don't know if it was even accepted now, but they made no mention of binding problems last year. Didn't make any difference, because I didn't win anything. I'm kinda nervous about finding the money to enter this year. Rumors abound at work about a possible lay-off because of the Free Trade strangle hold they've got on us down south, and the Japanese marking taking a shit kicking. We sell primarily overseas--of course Greenpeace is a big thorn in our sides, and a sore point with everyone I know. So know the question is, do I use the sixty or seventy bucks for registration and postage. or so I use it to buy mil bread and eggs just in case? I guess I'll be waiting until the last minute to mail it.

JERRY: Arming the teachers? I love that. Only in America as we say up here. (Laughing at this okay, don't be offended, because I know how you Yanks love your guns.) So I don't think I want to get involved with this discussion unless you invite my opinion. I remember how touchy you were with the Innaugaration. But if you want it, just ask--and bring a sense of humor...please. That's how I survive. I laugh at everything...and everybody.

I have to run off now. Laundry needs to be done; kids are washing the car and waiting for me to inspect it. This doesn't feel good. They were only out there for ten minutes. The last time I washed a car in ten minutes, "I" was a kid. My Dad made me wash it again--twice.


Heather Sat Mar 10 13:36:06 PST 2001

Barnabas, are you sure you know what honour and chivalry imply? I'm not American, so I can't say how 'honour' and 'chivalry' made things difficult in the Southern States before the Civil War, if in fact honour and chivalry really did. I think what you mean is that real honour and real chivalry were not practiced, but a poor imitation under the guise of 'custom'. Chivalry and honour are qualities that you really wouldn't want this world to be without. Trust me. That might just be the whole problem in these modern times: not enough of the two.

Hallee and Ben - thanks for info on that Faulkner contest. I really don't know if I want to travel to New Orleans, should I, by some slim chance, actually win the 'novel in progress' prize. But... I guess I'd have to in order to claim the prize. I'm thinking about it. But I'd have to write a detailed synopsis! YUCK. I haven't been able to write my story outline in succint enough form even for my own use - how on earth would I get a synopsis in shape in time? Egads. I'll try. I'm definately interested in this contest.

Allein - gotta take it SLOW! So, you're late for class. Better late than in a body cast.

Gariess, I will certainly give you that crit. It is centred mostly on the opening five or six paragraphs.
The hard headedness remark made me laugh and laugh and lau...

I've been known as stubborn myself.

Oh, quite so.


sasquatch Sat Mar 10 12:09:19 PST 2001

Barnabus person i am sasquatch only. not person as you are but Yeti for all memory. Yeti are memory all that has gone before. do not ask how that becomes i do not know. we have before discussed this. i am pleased to be addressed by you. i must go

Allein Sat Mar 10 09:51:23 PST 2001

Barnabas - How to break a leg: Be a blonde, run across a busy intersection without looking first and get hit by a car (worked for me).

Sequel: How to break an ankle: Hear the minute warning bell up in your foreign language class on the third floor of your high school. Start running to math class outside at the portables. Live in Washington where it rains constantly, wear shoes with little traction so you slip on the concrete stairs. Fall down but don't remember falling down, only remember being on the ground with your stuff strewn about and a pain in your ankle. Adreneline rushing through your body, pick up your stuff and quickly limp to math class and make it - on time. (Again, this worked for me). :)


gariess Sat Mar 10 09:14:02 PST 2001

Your remark on liver and onions cracked me up.

I canít believe the content in the NB from two days. I have to make a choice. Read all the posts, or do my own work. Every time I opt to work the page gets longer and itís that much harder to catch up. (sometimes I just never catch up.)

Oh, well,

Thank you for reading the story. I have a new title and a new rewrite. I am not posting any more rewrites. If I run true to form I will rewrite it thirty times in the next two years and it wonít get any better. Maybe your observations will help. I would like, once, to actually make a change on the basis of someone elses advice. Why is that so hard? I know, because my head is so hard.



Jerry Sat Mar 10 08:38:35 PST 2001

Debra - I don't think that would work,
Checking the creation date, I mean as with any computer, you can change the date to anything you wish, so should a question of copywrite come up, and we relay on the creation date on the computer, what is to stop the offender from simply changing his computer clock to two weeks before your date and trump your copywrite?

Hop - Here, the police all carry handguns, all most all cop cars have a sawed off shotgun (riot gun) 12 gauge pump. Most now have AR 15's in the trunk, and many have 9mm machine guns there also. These are rarely if ever used, but are thought necessary because of the accessibility of firearms among the public. I think that all law abiding citizens who are of sound mind should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm for their own protection. Why? Because the criminals do not obey the law, and carry concealed anyhow, and because, since this is not a police state, the ratio of law enforcement officer to citizen is very small, don't know if I said that right, what I mean is that there simply is not enough money to pay enough police to have enough available when they are needed. Now I don't think that a teacher should carry a hunting rifle to class, but with the recent violence why not allow them to carry a small handgun? If not for their own protection, then for the protection of the student. I would of course hope that the teacher knows how to handle the handgun, how to properly aim it so as not to hit an innocent student, but if, say that teacher who died at columbine should have had a handgun, he could have saved many lives.

We have a choice here in the U.S., either we stay where we are with citizens allowed to possess handguns, rifles and shotguns, or we violate our own constitution and ban ownership. Banning ownership would of course turn law abiding gun owners into criminals, or should they turn over all their firearms, then leave them at the mercy of the criminals, who by their very nature would not consider turning theirs over. I guess that is where I stand, and having served as a peace officer for seventeen years, and a Chief of Police for ten, I guess I have some experience in the subject.

Finally finished The Breathern, not a bad book, of course I like anything Gresham writes, or at least what he has written so far.

Well I see this post is becoming a book, so will quit for now. Hope everyone is feeling fine and havening a wonderful weekend.


Richard Sat Mar 10 08:24:33 PST 2001

Hey, guess what? My Mum is getting an article published in a magazine (Woman Alive or something) - it's not out until February next year (!!!) but that's far better than being refused!

Hmm, I'm going to have to see about getting something published myself. Sat Mar 10 07:55:46 PST 2001

HOP: This link will show you what is a "Sit and Spin*"

Mary Sat Mar 10 07:50:27 PST 2001

BEN: Nevermind on the link, I see that Hallee posted it too. Thanks anyhoo.

Mary Sat Mar 10 07:47:18 PST 2001

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Everybody!

HALLEE: One of the main reasons your shortie got to me so much (besides being well instrumented of course) was that I have an uncle (great uncle altually, whom I have never met) who was in a terrible car accident when he was very young. This was a time way before seat belts were even required to be in cars far less laws to require people to wear them. He was a passenger, holding a small child in his lap in the front was tragic. After the little girls funeral, my uncle left town completely depressed and after three days he was found. Totally zoned out, sitting on her grave.

Another reason would be all the nights I have lain in bed with my eyes open, wanting to walk the 1/4 mile to the cemetery myself. I have never done it...I have always been too worried about what affect it would have on my husband and the rest of my family...but if I were alone, I would be long gone.

DEBRA: Thanks for the hug! :-) I am the research fairy...let me know if you want anything else. I am no expert on ANYTHING, but I can sure dig. I love to do research. I have always thought that would be a really cool job. Lots of successful, busy authors hire people to do their research for them. Wouldn't it be great to have that job and learn from someone that way? I sure think so.

HOP: I don't think there is anything scary looking about a hobby horse. Some of them can be very beautiful. As far as the gun questions go...there is one extreme, then another extreme- why doesn't anyone ever see the in-between? Also, you make it sound as if Police are the only human beings responsible enough to own a gun. You know what, nevermind because this always causes fights and I am not gonna do it. Big hugs to you!! Big hugs to Jerry.
sidebar: HOP, I know your questions were honest questions and not meant to start yet another gun debate in the Notebook. But, sometimes, that's what happens.

BEN: Was the link to the contest you posted archived or am I just blind? Could you please post it again? Pretty please with sugar on it? ;-)

I can't say enough how impressed I was by all the shorties this week. Even A* might be proud. I sure hope so.


TEEKAY: Please send me something to you need anything critiqued?

I guess I had better go before this gets so long nobody wants to read it. Bye for now.....nanoo nanoo.

Debra Sat Mar 10 07:38:07 PST 2001

Who was it that said to check properties and check the date for copyrighting? I thank you very much for that idea.

Hopefully I will never have to do that. I think I will be sending all my work to have it copyrighted right away. It only costs $30.00.

The problem is getting it packaged up. I always have stuff leaving the post office. I just need to start a new pile.



Rhoda Sat Mar 10 07:14:09 PST 2001


Thank you for the information and the link to the Faulkner contest. That is the first contest I have seen that accepts completed novels. All the ones I have ever entered only accepted 20 pages and a synopsis, or two chapters and a synopsis. I really would like to enter, but I do not think I can get everything together by April 1. BEN, if you are going to enter that contest, how are you going to bind your manuscript? That also is a new thing for me--bound manuscripts printed on both sides of the paper.

Anyway, the idea sounds exciting and if I don't enter this year, I would like to do it next year.

Thanks again,


taylor Sat Mar 10 03:03:52 PST 2001

the power of hugs...

I goto this spiritual class in my town, one of the things I look forward to...besides the meditation.
is what we call Healing hugs time...
most cases you can actually feel the energies being released and absorbed...

this may sound crazy, but it works

taylor Sat Mar 10 02:27:47 PST 2001

The great australian novel isnt the novel i want to write, I wann write the good world wide novel
i would have liked to write the great american novel, unfortunately, my original idea for that novel was set in Chicago, but living in Australia the original location changed...
but still...

On writers digest...LLLLLOOVE the writing prompts

Barnabas "Hop" Sat Mar 10 02:12:35 PST 2001

The pain, the pain. Owww...
Do we have to talk about pain? I get all tingly in response.
I've read most of the shorties except for the R rated one.
Happy birthday to let's see Hallee, Allein and Ben. Now where did I place those Birthday cards?

Just read an article in "Time" that on an Indonesian islands some group beheaded members from another group. Disgusting and no reasons have yet been found and they're evacuating everybody from the latter group.

Just learnt that gender could quite possibly be entirely society constructed. Feminist idea of course. Nothing wrong with that but what doesn't feminist mean "female biased" literally? That's a wrong term because most feminist aren't biased just want to become "de-biased." Is anyone following here? (Deathly silence enshews).

Okay I'm trying to see who's been gone for a long time so reminders anyone? I'm not good at names you see.

Over here in NZ we had "the castle" on the TV. My sister is a dragon (literally and by the Chinese Zodiac).
My answer to the copyright problem, make your work/drafts available. For example if someone copied my work then the people here at the notebook could testify that my stuff was on here.

I was referring to Viv's comment about her pregnancy and how you cleared things up.

Will someone please explain to me why Americans and "Time" magazine have only praise for Australia?
Be very careful when you say chivalry is not dead. Personally I wish chivalry was dead. In fact I'm pretty sure I've said something similar to this before way back when I first arrived. Honour and chivalry has a way of interfering with doing the right thing at times. Remember the pre-war South?

One day, I'd like to know if you're a person or someone here playing a different role.

Another pacific dweller! Wow! We're growing!

Oh that's great now I can another word to my "unspeakable/unwritable words" list (I would be giving a low chuckle and grin right about now).
Yay, yay, yay (three general cheers)! I'm glad you printed off Psi force to read. What a second, wouldn't that be expensive in a cyber cafe?

I decided I'll answer your religious question since the others have answered the other areas.
To save myself the trouble of those religious questions I invent my own religions (in my stories I mean). That way I can have my characters swear by their gods and still be religiously correct. Evil laugh.
Of course chances are unless you're a fantasy writer you can't get away with it. Ever thought about defecting?
On the same note, rather then having to do extensive research on an area like Scotland all you have to do is to invent a culture (which is what I did with Psi-force).


I'm new.

Just reminding you that King Arthur's famous legends were invented by some monk although there was a real king Arthur I'm pretty sure. Looks like litter already out did me.

Never had a hobby horse and chances are I never would have liked it. It looked frightening actually, I remember seeing pictures of them in Enid Blyton books. They looked a lot like horses with their flesh removed leaving only a head and bones.
So what is a sit and spin ("trademarked" I suppose) ?
Never was able to ride a see-saw. I had a rather lonely childhood plus I never had any one to see-saw with.

After asking it isn't hot and sour soup after all. Well, it is hot and sour but not spicy and sour. It's going to take away to nail the details done. My mother never writes her own recipes down.

Hello. I think I've seen you around before. Nothing much but check the workbook there are quite a few additions.

Hallee and Kru's right. I know, I lived like that all the way through high school and I've blocked most of it away.

About food. You have no idea what you're missing not eating organs. The problem is the western world hasn't invented the proper way of cooking things like that to taste nice. For example, the Chinese in Canada used to have a great time eating liver which was really cheap over there when I was there. Fried liver is considered a delicacy.
Personally I never developed the "organ tooth" but I do like at times to eat fried cow stomach and fried fish egg sacs. I also like fried frog legs.

You're kidding right? Have to agree with Hallee.

That's just great, a second coup in a matter of weeks!

What about "how to get dressed in the morning to catch the bus arriving in 10 mins?"
"How to eat breakfast in 15 secs."
"How to break a leg."
And something close to home (for me) "The western guide on how to pronounce Singlish properly."

Jerry and any one else who is a pro-gun activist
Seeing as how you're a pro-gun activist what exactly do you mean by that? Do you mean you support everybody carrying a gun for their protection? Or support where the authourities carry modern, well kept guns with them? Or do you simply mean people like farmers should have guns to shoot animals who are in pain for example.

I was just thinking because when "Time" magazine reported the Littleton shooting a woman teacher of the Rifle association commented that if the teachers had guns they would have stopped the shootings, there was a picture of her carrying this huge rifle which was almost as long as her when she is seated.
I was just thinking that thing carrying such a big gun to teach is a bit strange and two if she was indeed in the massacre and just happened to have a gun if she was truly responsible would she really have shot two students? I suspect she would have added to the panic instead. It's the kind of comment someone who is either use to clear-cut enemies or does only hunting says.
Also, if everyone followed her advice and had guns to protect themselves then in the end you would not know who was shooting to defend themselves and who was shooting to murder. The situation would then get clogged with who was the enemy and who was friendly, after all they would all be wearing everyday clothes.
And another thing, if you say equip only responsible people with guns then why not let the authourities (police for example) carry all the guns? After all they are supposed to be the responsible ones. I hope you understand where I'm coming from.

I think the best compromise would be where there are "police-teachers" who are trained to be police officers as well as teachers. They have such things from where I come from and that way, if there is say a shoot-out there would be no doubt as to who is the aggressor and who is to be defended since only the aggressors would have guns.

Here's my shorty on loneliness, a bit late, I'm sorry in advance.

He's growing up. My friend, the one I was created to guard, to accompany, to serve, to share in joy, in pain and in death if he dies. I dare say I love him. Not sister/brother love, perhaps wife/husband, there are no words in the English language. Perhaps love as one loves an opposite. As one loves something so different from one. For I am the opposite of what he is.

People say we don't exist. We are creations of the infantile, immature mind. Perhaps. But I am person. I can live or die, change in time though not reproduce. My time draws near. I still remember him as a young boy and me as a young girl.

He talked to me on his first day back from school and I told him not to be afraid for I would always be by his side when he needed me.

I remember, as he grew and took his first dive off a platform into the water I was there to jump with him to encourage him. To tell him not to fear.

I remember his quaking knees when he delivered his first report in front of the class. I was there to hold back the fear.

But now as his strength grows mine fades. I can not help him any longer, my function fulfilled. I must now go to return to where I was created. Humans return to dust. Where will I return to?

Good bye my love. I've grown up. The things of my childhood are fading, and so are you. I wish you could stay with me. To protect me as you always have but reality has torn us apart. I know you are real, though the world says otherwise. I know it. I know you aren't just my imagination. I can no longer see you as I saw you when I was a frightened boy. I hear your voice in the air that rustles in the wind. Your hand which was firm when I shook now a caress in the wind.

I'm folding these paper boats. Placing lighted candles in them and sending them off. The Vikings did this as did the Indians to honour their dead. So do I now. You have no body to honour. These boats will be your body. Only I will know. I won't forget you. Never.

I don't know what happens to you when you fade. Do you die or are you reborn as humans or transcend to another plane of existence? But you are made of thought, of energy parallel to this world. Will I see you again? Will I? Or will you dissolve into nothingness?

No record of your birth
No eyes to see
No nose to smell
No skin to touch
No ears to hear
No tongue to taste
No body to bury

No you were not real they said.

Yet you were born
Yet you had eyes
Yet you had a nose
Yet you had skin
Yet you had ears
Yet you had a tongue
Yet you had body

Yes you are real I say.

The belief of one is stronger then all.

I no longer hear her at all. But I feel her presence in my wife. I thought she was gone forever but she has been reformed as a daughter. My wife asks how I know. I know as one knows of love.
My child won't know, but when she is older I will tell her that her soul is made up of my first love.

Hopefully I've made someone cry. Perhaps that should be rephrased.
Hopefully I've made someone reading this sad tale emotionally moved to the point of crying.
Much better.
If you're thinking this is completely fictional.... Sat Mar 10 01:57:57 PST 2001

That's the link there.

Hallee Sat Mar 10 01:57:01 PST 2001

Oh yeah, HEATHER - check out the contest website that BEN posted about - they have a category of "Novel in Progress" where you only have to submit Chapter 1 with a detailed synopsis. I know with all of the work you've put into it, along with that thing in Writer's Digest that you would be big competition for others entering.


Hallee Sat Mar 10 01:53:07 PST 2001

Hey everyone!

Okay...I've decided to enter that contest that BEN posted about. I don't know if I can hold my own against thousands of real literary writers, but I figure it's only $30, and why not try. Maybe I'll get lucky and end up with female judges all the way through (har har).

Thank you everyone for your comments on the shorty. It surprised me how many people were touched by it. I felt like I'd cheated when I wrote simple dialogue. I guess I forget the impact just a few words can have.

KRU: I read your chapters you posted in the WB - and went to give a critique and saw that everyone else said exactly what I was going to say. Even MARK's two sentences. SO - I didn't say anything and look forward to seeing more.

RACHEL: Give Sebastian an extra kiss for me. After Kaylee was born, my husband and I didn't count fingers or toes - we just counted breaths. She wasn't supposed to live - like the others - and it was the most amazing thing. It's still amazing and she turns 4 on Tuesday.

Now, off to write. Just finished chapter 9. My original schedule had me finishing about now, and right now I'm just a little over halfway through. Oh well - lots of stuff has been going on the last week, and I get in front of the computer screen and my eyes ache with fatigue, and my hands don't want to type no matter how many words are swirling through my head. But, I'll just trudge on. I feel a little more rested this morning, so I'm looking forward to writing before I have to go into work.

Happy Saturday. It's supposed to be 80 today with blue skies and a slight breeze. The azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom and the air has just a hint of their fragrance. This time of year I remember why I deal with my inlaws to live here.


Ben Woestenburg Sat Mar 10 01:46:54 PST 2001

Teekay: Britomart's name is Kim Wilkins in case you missed Jack's post.


Heather Fri Mar 9 22:51:25 PST 2001

Gariess, I really enjoyed your story in the workbook, and I will put a few comments/wee crit in the appropriate section soon! You have so many great details in it - everything so well thought out! Wow.


Heather Fri Mar 9 22:48:58 PST 2001

Ooops. Should have separated the two different topics with a blank space! It looks like I read my shortie on loneliness to my kids a hundred times! I meant that I've read 'The Little Engine That Could' by Watty Piper... that many times.

Well, we know where the blank space went.


Heather Fri Mar 9 22:46:11 PST 2001

Jerry, same goes for me. Don't know what I'd do most days if it weren't for everyone here. To actually be able to chat and laugh and cry and reminisce, create and imagine, with a great bunch of fellow writers? There are few better climates.

Rhoda - sorry! I didn't mean to tear anyone's vital organs. I love that story too, and have read it to my kids going on a hundred times by now. That book has been taped together almost as many times as it's been read.
I never thought about the description as much as I worked on how my character 'looked' at his day - the only sense connecting him to others was hearing; sight he kept only for himself, for his own survival. The details I concentrated on were the ones vital to him. I'll have to read it and think about what details I used and why. Thanks, Rhoda! I want to know what I did right so I can do it again!

Hi, Kitty - nice to meet you! And glad you came back.
:-) Heather

Tina Fri Mar 9 22:01:37 PST 2001



I've recently come to appreciate the power of a hug. The big one up above is for you, and for your family. The little one below is for Sebastian.



Jerry Fri Mar 9 20:46:55 PST 2001

Rosemary - well I was a bit found of the fellow in the wheel chair, then there was the paralegal, or rather the fellow who was playing the part of the paralegal, but other then that . . .

And I couldn't agree more with the comments about this being a great page, and wonderful bunch, there are days that I don't know what I would do without each and every one of you.


Rhoda Fri Mar 9 20:08:12 PST 2001


I found the story. You have a flair for description. What a picture you painted of that horrible prison! I about broke up at the end, for I read THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD to my kids many times when they were young. The contrast between the prison and his memories about broke my heart.

There are lots of stories in the Notebook. JACK, thanks for providing the link at the top of the page. Now that I have figured it out, I no longer have an excuse for not checking the Notebook out more often.


Jack Fri Mar 9 19:45:55 PST 2001


BTW, I noticed the mention of Britomart. I was delighted to have had the opportunity to meet her in person when I went to the World Science Fiction Convention in Australia. Scroll down the page above and you will see her picture included with the rest of my account of visiting Melbourne.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Mar 9 19:41:10 PST 2001

Thanks all for the comments. As soon as the term loneliness was mentioned this shortie just emerged from my finger. Glad you liked it. I will try not to be so shy about sharing my writing. Although I have not taken the time to do a lot of it lately, there are indeed reasons why I started that included an interest in doing my own writing ;-)

Kitty: Crabs are quite prevalent underwater depending on the location. Actually, the one spot I am thinking of we saw them scuttling along at several points between thirty and sixty feet in depth on the sand. Not sure of the species. I have not gotten that far. I want to do some research on how best to catch, assure myself that they are the correct sex and species and store them for cooking later. I have cooked fresh, living lobster and crabs before. The trick is making sure they are very very alive when you tossed them in the boiling pot. Sounds cruel in a way, but unless one is truly vegetarian I cannot really see a problem with this. I will take pictures the first time I actually bring one up. Wish me luck, we go out again tomorrow and hopefully I will finally get my navigation dive out of the way. That just leaves the additional dives which we will hopefully take care of over the next couple of weeks and both Fran and I will have our advanced open water. Take care everyone.

Trudy Fri Mar 9 19:40:37 PST 2001

RHODA, yoo hoo of course you remember me! Well ok maybe not but glad to see you think you might. I remember you. I think you may be one of the constants everytime I come back for a visit. Hope this one is longer than it has been in the past. Life gets so busy and it's so busy here each day now that it's hard to keep up. How does everyone do it?

Oh and Kitty goes way back to the beginning of the notebook...look in the first or second archive and we'll be there. I had actually given up on the notebook as a place for writerly chat, sorry JACK, when Kitty said come back. So I did and I've come back off and on for years since then. Just feels like home now...not that I visit home as much as I should either...just ask my Mom!

Hey KITTY. Gald you made it back again. You certianly grabbed BEN's attention! I guess I owed bringing you back since you did it to me once before, as I mentiioned earlier *smile* You are welcome.

TEEKAY, I think you're right about the e-mail being easier to tamper with...not sure how it works though about sending it to other people via email...then they can back you up can't they? I don't know it's a tough call. Don't think I've written anything anyone would want to steal so no big problem ... yet! LOL

Well tis late...just popped in for a quick catch up. Have a great weekend all.


Rhoda Fri Mar 9 19:35:31 PST 2001


I can't say it as fancy as Teekay did, but hugs to you and Sebastian.


Rosemary Fri Mar 9 18:45:18 PST 2001

A quick Hi there,

I read The Breathren a while back. Couldn't put it down till I finished it. Isn't it interesting how he (Grishem) can write a best seller that has no characters in it with any redeeming or even likeable qualities whatsoever.

Actually, the first part of your story didn't really catch my attention. That was partially why I had to read it twice. But the last half in which you describe the physical and mental feelings of the dog really grabbed me.

ALL, Sorry about my spelling tonight. It seems to be worse than usual and I just don't feel like fighting with it.

Going out of town this weekend. Weatherman promised one and a half days of good weather. Hope we can get back before the bad stuff starts.

Till next week,

Debra Fri Mar 9 17:17:01 PST 2001


After spending two days extracting information from Litter about Scotland, I'm willing to bet that when he said
"duty performed" it was actually a delightful expression. It's probably the kind of thing like when we say
"ah finished." It's the kind of stuff I will be collecting from now until who knows when.

Heather Fri Mar 9 17:00:16 PST 2001

Oh, Rachel! I'm so glad that Sebastian is well. What a horrible, terrible thing to go through.

(((((((((((((((((MORE GIANT HUGS)))))))))))))))))))

Rhoda, I think my shortie was archived. It's in the short story section of the workbook too.
Viv, honestly, it's just imagination. No magic here.
And thanks for your compliments.

Hallee, thank you. And your shortie was terribly sad, but might I add, effective?

*Kleenex abounds*


Allein Fri Mar 9 16:52:06 PST 2001

Cassandra, Rachel and Litter - the message earlier about the haggis and Sebastian and shorties, that was me. I signed my real name by mistake.

Hallee Fri Mar 9 16:36:13 PST 2001

That brought so much back to me - I can't even go into it.


Viv Fri Mar 9 16:07:46 PST 2001

I loved your story on lonliness. Actually, I loved all the shorties on lonliness. I'm amazed at the stories in this notebook. I have a question Heather and everyone else, you don't write about your real life experiences. You actually go and create characters and put them in jails etc. Heather, I could smell that jail. I KNOW you haven't lived in a jail! How did you do that???? I guess that's the magic. You made it so real I was there.

My story missed by a mile. I didn't like it. In fact I haven't liked my last two and I'm completely disgusted. I'll post them anyway in the short story area but you can politely ignore them if you like.

Well, at least I'm learning from reading what you all produce. Next time no stories on Japan. I'm going to try to take the character and stick them in another place. Secrets huh? How can I write about a place I haven't been, people I don't know and include secrets. That will be fun to play with in the back of my mind....when I'm supposed to be having a conversation with someone! Can't you just see me saying, "Yes, hummm. nice. (I wonder what place? Heather did a jail last time)..Hum! Um Hum! Oh Yes I agree completely!.....(secrets)...whatever you think would be fine....(I wonder what secret I could write about)"

Boy is this site neat.

Teekay Fri Mar 9 15:21:17 PST 2001

RACHEL: Those hugs look so little, but I intend for them to be sooooooo much bigger.

Teekay Fri Mar 9 15:19:27 PST 2001

RACHEL: ((((((((((((((((((((HUGE HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))

I don't think I've cried at a post yet, but I did at yours.

Teekay Fri Mar 9 15:16:48 PST 2001

JERRY: Aah, the smell of frying liver and onions. It's enough to make the nostrils quiver and the salivary glands start to ooze.
Wouldn't eat it if you paid me, but I could smell it all day.

Rachel Fri Mar 9 15:14:28 PST 2001


The baby was more torn from her body than delivered. His still, lifeless form rushed across the room in the arms of the doctor. The cord tugged for a second as the doctor cut it in haste as he crossed the floor.

She was not yet able to cry, the shock was too great. Her baby was not responding, her baby was dead or dying. His heart had stopped beating several minutes before he had been born. She couldnít decide if he was dead or not. He just couldn't be gone.

Across the room her children stood huddled with a dear friend who also clearly filled with shock and horror, unable to speak. Her husband stood as near as the crowd attempting to revive thrir little son would allow him.

She felt the world retreating from her. The only focus for her was on the lifeless body of her son. Still born. The words rang in her ears over and over. It was something that happened to other people, not to her...

The seconds ticked into minutes and still nothing from her son. She felt a deep sorrow and loneliness settle over her. She was sinking into a warm quiet place. Warm, alone, still and silent like her baby.

She needed to think that he was warm. She knew differently, had felt his cold body against her own for just a moment before the doctor had grabbed him away.

No, she couldnít think of him as cold, didnít want him to be cold.

Then his cry sounded, first two weak little gasps, a pause, then a thin warbling cry, a few soft gasps and a renewed cry, this time stronger.

Around the room people broke out of their silence. Her loneliness evaporated as the sunshine of his life spread through the room.

She thanks the fates for his life and hopes with all her heart that she will never feel loneliness like that again.

Teekay Fri Mar 9 15:08:19 PST 2001

Morning All,

Wow research fairy. Good job!

DEBRA: I know that feeling. Once I tried to force myself to stay up till 2 am for one of those black and white horror movies that they just don't seem to air any more.
Fell asleep just before it started.

KITTY: heh heh, I hadn't scrolled down far enough and I thought I was reading KRU's post. Don't know why I'm mentioning it though? :-) Guess my fingers feel like typing.
Welcome back.

HALLEE: That was really sad.

BEN: WOW! 188 000 words on a first Roman trilogy volume! WOW! I don't think I could find that many words for just an everyday novel. I'm not one of those people who have trouble with making it too long, I have trouble making it long enough. :-)

CASSANDRA: I think there wouldn't be an awful lot of material if you just relied on 'how to pee in the pool without getting caught' why don't you do one on 'how to do all the disgusting things you would normally do at home in public without getting caught'? Look! here's practically a book in the title. :-)

DEBRA: I'm glad your cars getting fixed. I could easily drive around with no horn. I never use it anyway.
You can always substitute the horn with either the middle finger, or a really loud yell, but how do you substitute reverse??? :-)

RHODA: It's horrible when the house is empty after being full for so long. Don't worry, tomorrow will be better and then you can throw yourself into your writing. For now you can wallow, but know it will pass. :-)

DEBRA: If you have your work on your computer, if you click on it with the left hand button, I think under properties it'll tell you what date it was first put there.
That's off hand, i know the dates there somewhere I'll have to look for myself later, but I still don't think this way is entirely foolproof.

LITTER: Dagblast it all! Maybe I should just stay home and let it live on in all its idyllic beauty within my imagination. :-)

BEN/RHODA: Do you guys know what name BRITOMART writes under because I'd love to read her work.

Oh jolly days, yesterday I was walking past the newsagents when I had this sudden desire to walk in and see what new and inspiring writing magazines might be in (I have the will power of a gnat) and GUESS WOT! I found a magazine called ‘writing Australia’!!!!!!!!
It was so great.
I wish I’d gone in the newsagents first before I’d gone into the bank, I could’ve done with something to read while standing in the queue that almost backed up to the door.
Anyhow, it’s got stacks of writing contests in it and a list of agents whom I’m hoping will still be in business when I finally get around to writing that ‘Great Australian Novel’

Got another rejection slip today and you know what?- I didn't even get depressed.
I just packaged it up and sent it off to another magazine.
I'm doing the Stephen King thing. I've got all my rejection slips on a spoke on the wall. Hold on a sec and I'll count them for you all.5.
Okay, now I'm depressed.
Ah, no I'm not.
The spokes about 2.5 inches long so I'm going to have to get a move on if I’m going to fill it.

Being published is no longer my aim, filling that spike is. Takes so much of the pressure off and turns rejection into a boon.

Thankyou Stephen, I owe it all to you.

Jerry Fri Mar 9 14:40:18 PST 2001

Hmmm Haggis? Never tried it, don't think I would, I do love my liver and onions dinners, fried hogs heart, I used to embibe in fried calves brains and eggs with my father, but have given that up since his passing in '73 and I think if it were sit before me again I would pass it to the right or left, or possibly back to the cook.

Scotts sound a lot like the Swedes, must have been the same sort of thing, leaving the homeland in search of better places to raise kids, or as my fathers grand parents, in search of good farm land, as most of the tillable land in Sweden was all ready under tillage. (Well there was some roumer of another wife/kids and farm in the old country, but the elders scoff at the story as a tall tail)

Sebastian - what a wonderful name, he should turn out to be quite a man when he is grown with such a strong name and a talented mother.

All this talk of Scotland makes me wish I could travel there, I have always thought it would be wonderful to tour that part of the world, but the language barrier has always scared me off.

Ahhh, my wife bought me a new recliner for Christmas/Valentines day, it was just delivered yesterday, it was designed for the BIG man, and fits me very well, what a relief, my old one was sinking ever closer to the floor and it was such a chore to get off of. This one is high enough that rising is not a problem, and the back fits nicely. It does however take up way too much of the living room, looks much like a throne in size, but is much more comfortable. (Takes a while to get things like that delivered in the sticks you know.)

Well the snow is leaving here nicely, there are still great banks of it in the front yard, but mostly the streets are visible again. The wife took her Buick over to my uncle's repair shop for a new muffler (It sounded like a semi-truck) that part of town was nearly flood with the great snow-melt. The gravel streets were soft, and some spots the ice was only partially melted causing great ruts, the wife's car drug over the ice, but my 4WD had no problem.

Hi to all, have a great rest of the day.

I am in the midst of Grishham's The Bretheren right now, so must get back and see how it all turns out.


Ben Woestenburg Fri Mar 9 14:17:31 PST 2001

Hallee: Great website, eh? But my novel? You must mean THE DAWN PATROL? That's just a novella. I have a tendency to get long winded at times, short stories turn into novellas, novellas running on for 50,000 words--not quite a novel and sort of left out in limbo when you try to think of where you can sell something like that. I try to keep my short stories at around ten thousand words, and whittle them down from there. But that never works either. I still have around ten thousand words, but ten thousand different words.

Kru: I'm happy you liked it. It's changed quite a bit since posting that opening first page. I want to ultimately make it into a tragic love story. The woman herself has a club foot, a withered arm--kind of like the Kaiser's if you remember your history--and is plain, almost mousey. Her husband is a Korean War Vet, who was emasculated during the war. Their only hope for a child was stillborn. I had to ask my wife which she thought was more tragic: Carrying a child full term and losing it to SIDS, or having it stillborn. I always think of my poor mother when I come up with ideas like that. She had a child in 1950 who was born with an open spine when they were living in the Dutch Guiana. The boy never made it home from the hospital, and died six months later. I don't think I want to ask her opinion on it though. Oh yes, the man is abusive of course, what man wouldn't resent life after having his nuts blown off? But he's verbally abusive--I know it's still abusive, but I just don't like hitting women no matter how much they deserve it (And yes I did say that, because some of the women I've met over the years could take any of the guys I knew in a bar fight and win. And my parents told me never to hit a girl? That's just called protecting yourself with women like that.)

Oh, I've done it again. I'm starting to ramble. I must be feeling comfortable again. On the subject of the type of women above, ask me about Micheal Moriarity from Law & Order. He lives out here in Vancouver.

Rhoda: Thanks. I didn't know if it really worked or not for the subject heading of Loneliness, because it wasn't really conclusive. It was just the opening shot after all.


Rachel Fri Mar 9 14:11:31 PST 2001

Heather and Rhoda - Hugs for both of you. Sebastian is doing so well. He is such a little wonder. I'm distracted to no end by him. I am writing, but all the writing I do has to do with his birth. One of the things I'm giving to Sebstian will be the journal of my pregnancy. It will eventually be a part of his life book, which he will be given at 21 years.

Today I went for another walk with Mr. Sebastian. He and I went further again. By Monday I plan to walk my old 10k running route. I'm not ready to run it, but I think I can manage to walk it (grins).

Take care all


PS - Sasquatch - A special hug for you. I hope that the fates smile on you.

Fri Mar 9 13:52:42 PST 2001

Rachel - I'm glad Sebastian is doing well. Give him a hug and kiss for me. :)

Cassandra - Don't worry, I missed the shortie too. I had an idea but then I got sidetracked and didn't write. :)

Litter - Haggis? Where's the Haggis? I've always wanted to try it. :) People think I'm weird for that but I like trying things that are new and different. I'm also Scottish by heritage, but I've never actually been to Scotland. I hear it's beautiful there so I'm hoping to visit there someday. :)

Debra Fri Mar 9 12:21:50 PST 2001


Sorry for making you wrecked. If it matters,I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really do. If there is anything I can ever do to repay you, just name it.

I've decided on Angus. I always loved that name anyway. Duff doens't come out the right way. If I wasn't sure before I am now that you told me. Yes, my character would call it a little skirt in order to get a rise out of him.

I'm sure no one wears Kilts on a regular basis, but I did mention there was some humor.

Thanks for remembering about the relegion part.

I'll leave you alone for a while.

I think!

NO I will.


Litter Fri Mar 9 12:10:55 PST 2001

My apologies in advance for what just might be a very long post.

MARY -- you are being oversensitive! :o)

RESEARCH FAIRY -- Naughty naughty! Some of the slang and stuff on the links you posted are uncannily accurate but some are as others perceive us. Some of the stuff is obviously written by ex-pats -- this is noticeable by the 'aged' slang used -- the slang is not wrong but some of it is just not up-to-date. Good selection though!

DEBRA -- you are definitely going to tire me out -- I can feel it in my water! Where did we get to? Be advised that most of the sound files (on one of the sites given by the 'Research Fairy') portray dialect slang which is mostly from the Fife and the East of Scotland -- your character would not sound like any of the sound files and would not use much of the slang used in these clips. Take care -- dialect and language changes about every 10-20 miles in the Lowlands of Scotland. Listen to Connolly, he is from Partick in Glasgow and you do not get much more Glaswegian than that!

Kilts -- I would not expect your character to wear a Kilt unless for a special occasion. He certainly wouldn't wear one to work. If he were the kind of person to wear on, on occasion, he would deeply resent the use of the word 'skirt' unless from a really close personal friend! If he wore the Kilt 'correctly', he would not wear anything under it. He would probably hint at that and, if he had taken a drink or six, he might even prove it.

Names -- As a first name, avoid 'Duff' like the plague -- Duff is a Scottish slang word for useless. I have never met anyone with that as a first name. Donald is a possibility.

Bad Girls -- might be referred to as a 'slapper', 'the town bike' or a 'martini girl' (any time, any place, anywhere…) there are numerous others but none, I feel, that you would want to use. As for 'Good Girls', I'm not sure of any particular epithet for good girls???

Hostelry is indeed a bar (properly, a bar with accommodation available.)

Mothers are simply called 'mum' unless the person is 'posh' and then it might be 'mother' -- boring huh? With friends they might be referred to as 'the old dear'.

Girls -- A girl who has not yet become a woman is, uhm, a 'girl'. (In the north east of Scotland they might be referred to a 'Quinie' (Kwai-nay)

Lee is not a Scottish name, per se, but it is quite common as a first name in males under 20 years old or thereabouts.

Tartan -- never in my life have I heard anyone being heckled about their tartan. (I cannot think why they might be?) District Tartans are tartans that have been registered (normally with the Tartan Society) for any particular district. Some cities have tartans and these tend to have been designed to mark a special occasion or anniversary. Family Tartans (More properly Clan Tartans) are exclusive to the Clan in question or any 'Sept' adhering to the clan. A 'Sept' is a sort of sub-clan or family which is not in itself recognised as a full clan (has the right to a Clan Chieftain, Tartan and Coat of Arms). These Septs are normally connected by blood or association (land ownership, service, etc.)

Religion -- Scotland is about 80-90% Protestant with the rest being shared between Roman Catholic (largely) and smaller emigrant religions. (Muslims, Hindus, etc.) The expression of Scottish Protestantism lies mostly with Presbyterianism -- The Church of Scotland being by far the largest church in the country. For some reason there is normally a larger proportion of Catholics in the West of Scotland than in the East.

TEEKAY -- "green rolling hills and ghostly mists rolling in from the sea" That would be either East Lothian or Argyle in the South West -- The hills further north are ragged and mostly granite -- granite doesn't roll to well :o) There still are places like you imagine but they are few and far between -- mostly things have moved on a pace.

RHODA -- MacIntyre and MacCormack are both fully-fledged Clans. Claiming ancestry to either or both will certainly not hinder you. As for exiles, it has been said that there are 10 times as many Scots outside Scotland than are still living here. Scottish heritage is something that ex-pats and exiles seem to want to hang on to and I don't know of anyone who has a problem with that. Pluswhich, both Scots and Irish are from the same Celtic stock. The Roman named 'Scotti' actually came from Ireland between the 1st and 5th centuries, settling in the West of Scotland (Dalriada) and gradually 'assimilating' the Picts plus some Danes, Angles and Welsh…)

As for Haggis -- don't over-analyse what it is (or originally was) just try it and see. You might just be surprised.

Now I am totally wrecked.



Debra Fri Mar 9 11:56:45 PST 2001

Please don't anybody bother correcting me.

I said "SEEMS."


I know there is no such place on earth.

Debra Fri Mar 9 11:47:48 PST 2001


I found a picture of the Governor of Cornton Vale.

Governor of Cornton Vale, Kate Donegan, she is pictured with Cornton Vale's first Governor, Lady Martha Bruce.

One is old and the other is young. Is it safe to say that the young one is Kate Donegan?

By the way, is there any domestic violence in Scotland? Scotland seems like a place where nothing bad could ever touch it.


Kru Fri Mar 9 11:34:29 PST 2001

Hallee – Thank you. This situation reminds me of two things: When I submitted my shorty on loneliness I wanted to say to the group that I thought the ultimate words on loneliness have already been written by the late Harry Chapin in his song “A Better Place to Be.” Then your telling me I am better than I think brings Harry Chapin to mind again in his song “Mr. Tanner.” To paraphrase horribly: Mr. Tanner was a tailor who sang while pressing clothes, his friends all encouraged him to have a public debut and he agreed and when his big night came, “he did not know how well he sang he only heard the flaws.” Thanks Hallee, I have a long way to go and appreciate your encouragement.

Debra Fri Mar 9 11:17:42 PST 2001


I will do just that. I have immeresed myself in my new found Scottish websites. Not only that, to me, there is nothing sexier than a Scottish accent. I know lots of people think it is French or English. Not me. For me, Scottish.


I know what you mean. We have all seen these poor dogs. I don't think dogs should be off the chain and leaving gifts in people's yeard either. I think there has to be a happy medium. Even a dog run, is better than some of these short chains. I have a fenced in yard for my two. Also, I taught them to leave their presents in only one spot. That way they can run and I don't have to always be looking where I am walking. When I want to clean it up I don't have to search either.

Hallee Fri Mar 9 10:36:47 PST 2001

Hey everyone!

HEATHER: Wow. That story was timeless. Personally, I didn't place it in any time period, though I did picture a short, stocky guy with black hair wearing a blue prison suit. Hmmm...anyway, wonderful.

RICHARD: I don't think you're depressive, nor did I mean to imply that you should "settle". God doesn't change with the times - and it's hard, REALLY hard to remember that. You are doing the right thing, sticking to your guns and praying for your friends. I was merely saying that you seem to take everything in your life so seriously, and I worry about you for that. Be young, while you are.

KRU - *sniff* And, *slap!* You shouldn't think you're out of place here! Shame on you - from what I've seen, you are a terrific writer.

HOWARD: Wonderful poem - wonderful. I so fear being very old.

DEBRA: I hate seeing a chained dog. Nothing makes me madder. I'll chain my dog when she decides not to listen (I somehow have two of the most talented escape artist dogs in the world - fences mean nothing to them) - but that's just for her to lie out in the front yard and watch the world go by. When she's ready to come in, she comes in, and usually doesn't need to be tied up for another week or so.

ROSEMARY: That was so terribly sad. Things like that have always touched me - those make my favorite heroes - the kind that have ultimately sacrificed everything. How many times in the past has something liket that happened?

SASQUATCH: Good to see you. You are not alone - not with the many people here who think of you often.

LITTER: I so didn't see the end of your story. Well done. Also, in the darkest recesses of Scottland have you ever heard...never mind, I was going to get really sarcastic, but I changed my mind.

BEN: Thanks for the site. And, I'm SO very ready to read more of your novel....waiting...waiting.

JACK: It's a scary concept - to be the last person left among the millions dead. I think that's why King's The Stand was such a successful book - the fear of actually being one left behind, so to speak.

BEN: Waiting....

JON!!! ***scratch behind the ears***

GABE: Very dark - well written if you're trying to convey a dark mood.

MARY: ((((Big hugs)))) (sorry)<<<<<<

JEERY: Very sad - another incredibly scary concept. A desert island, there's some hope - but a desert planet - reminds me of Aliens - how it was 80 something years before they found her.

Okay - if I missed someone, I do so apologize. I am slammed busy at work and just took a quick break that's turned into a not so quick break.



Kru Fri Mar 9 10:07:12 PST 2001

Debra – To research your question about the Scotsman’s kilt you might want listen to “Under the Scotsman’s Kilt” a ballad by Mike Cross – It might not exactly answer your questions but it is very funny. You said your story has humor in it; you may be able to use some of Mike’s unique slant on the world. Thanks for your shorty about that lonely pup, I hope a lot of folks that do that to a dog can get an opportunity to read something like that. To too many a dog (or any animal) is not a being but a possession.

Ben – Love Is All is interesting. I wrote 3 shortys this time on loneliness the other 2 had somebody that felt lonely but was not really alone like Agnes; alone with someone but I couldn’t make it work. I tip my virtual hat to you that is hard to write and still express the feeling.

Jack – Sitting on a hill, watching the end of the world. RRRamon wrote a short story and I started a (?) with the same theme. I wonder if this is sort of part of the human condition, thinking we will be the last one alive? I wonder if this is a post atomic bomb fantasy, I don’t remember reading anything like that in older literature.

Christi – Everybody’s was sad. Loneliness is sad.

Richard, Sasquatch, Gabe – Poetry thank you.

Litter – Very real, I worked in a rehab, I know.

Mary – I do sort of feel like it is an assignment but I don’t in the least bit resent it or feel that it is a burden. I came here to learn and this is a group I could really learn from. I have a long way to go. Secrets next, okay.

Group – Thank you all, you are all so very talented. I feel a bit out of place and hope you can tolerate my remaining to learn and practice on you.

Debra Fri Mar 9 10:05:51 PST 2001

Mary Lou:

I did get feedback and lots of it. What I didn't get is what would happen if someone I sent my work to loved it so much that they decided to use it for themselves. I wondered if I should copyright my stuff just in case of that.

The thing is I have sent my work to so many people that I have proof that way to prove it is my work. I would have to move heaven and earth second. First I would have to find out about it being pubished. That would be a huge blow.


Mary Lou Fri Mar 9 09:58:19 PST 2001

Debra, did you get any feedback on your copyright questions? Just in case, your work is copyrighted the minute you put the words on paper. I copyrighted my first book (cost me $20) but it's not necessary. The publisher of my novel will register the work with the copyright office when they publish it. Wish I knew when that would be!

Mary Lou

Mary Lou Fri Mar 9 09:55:43 PST 2001

Richard Fri Mar 9 09:04:31 PST 2001

"Speaking of food, I have read about all the meat pies, the haggies and all the strange things you all eat in the UK. This is very intimidating for a mid-western American girl who is used to hamburger, steak and chicken. I have always thought that organ meats are very nasty. I suppose there are restaurants and accomadations available for the faint of heart tourist?"

Yuck. I eat hamburgers, steak and chicken, not lungs and hearts...

Though I hear in France they eat cow's brains...

Rhoda Fri Mar 9 08:06:01 PST 2001


Opps, I just found yours. Now I am crying.

Rhoda Fri Mar 9 08:04:00 PST 2001

Wow, my house is so empty now. The children are all at school and the company I have had at the house for the past three days have all moved on.

Debra and Litter,

I am enjoying the lively conversation back and forth about Scotland and the Scots. I am currently working on an article about the Stewart kings and queens after the Resoration of the Monarchy, and then I am reading up all I can about Scotland because I am going there next month. LITTER, MacIntyres and McCormaks are recognized clans, are they not? Will claiming ancestery to these people help endear me to the native population? I am also descended from Curry's by way of Ulster--they must have made their home in Scotland at one time before the English moved them out. So what I suppose I am asking, are those folks who were originally lowland Scots who ended up in Ulster or Northern Ireland still considered part of the Scottish fold? Do they still wear the tartens and such?


I am also going to York on my trip. Do you know much about York? Can you think of any places around there I should visit?

How is the Hoof and Mouth disease issue progressing? I realize it is terrible. I hate to bring this subject up because I know it must be a sensitive subject, espacially with your job. I only know how rough farmers have it here in the States with low commodity prices and rising expenses. Being a farmer is never easy in even the best of circumstances. Also as I think of it and recall the problems certain areas have had with deadly e-coli infections that all these problems could just as easily have happened over here. I was in the bookstore yesterday and my dad offered to buy me a book on Mad Cow disase. I declined and asked him if this was his way of talking me out of going?

Speaking of food, I have read about all the meat pies, the haggies and all the strange things you all eat in the UK. This is very intimidating for a mid-western American girl who is used to hamburger, steak and chicken. I have always thought that organ meats are very nasty. I suppose there are restaurants and accomadations available for the faint of heart tourist?


I don't remember just how far back you go with the Notebook. Now that you mention it, I think I remember TRUDY. I certainly remember BRITOMART. With you guys and BEN coming back, I think this makes for a very exciting group. It is always a treat when those who have been away for awhile return.


I am glad the baby is sleeping well. I think of you often. Having a baby in the house is an exciting, but tiring experience.


It was such a pleasure to see your post. I miss you and your friend *A*.


My furry, sensitive, talented friend, your poems are always a treat.


I cannot believe you are so young when I read your poetry.


Your character would be an interesting study for a short story or even a novel. Very sad. I would like to see some light come into her life.


God is not a drifter, but nice poem, nonetheless.


Great shortie. Your story said a lot in those few paragraphs.


I think both of yours should have been longer. I had many questions about your characters. I enjoyed reading but I really wanted to know more.


That one hit too close to home. My father and mother were married forty years when my mother died.


Your style is extremely unique. I have never seen anyone do so well with short sentences. Excellent piece.


Did you do a shortie? I looked, but did not see it, yet I heard a story discussed. Perhaps I had better look up that link for the Workbook again. I am hopelessly behind on it.

I did not write a shortie, but I read all that I could find. I was extremely lonely when I sat down to write my post. Company always does that to me after they go. I like a certain amount of noise and chaos around my house. It always takes about a day to get used to my three hours of solitude again.

So instead of getting sad or depressed, I have found all these stories and poems very therapeutic. Next week is SECRETS, and as writers we all should have something to say about that because as writers secrets provide much of our plot material.

Happy writing,


Debra Fri Mar 9 08:02:57 PST 2001


I just wanted to tell you my car is in the shop getting fixed. I don't know how my husband is going to pull it off, but he says don't worry. So I won't.

I would like to address your post when you said that you would be too scared to drive the car without reverse. I had a car not too long ago that had the horn just die on me. I refused to drive that car even around the block until he fixed it. For me having no horn was more frightening than having no reverse. Don't get me wrong I don't spend all my time on the horn. I don't use it that much. It was just the thought that I could not make a sound that scared me so much. It almost felt like driving blind.


Cassandra Fri Mar 9 07:53:12 PST 2001

*sheepish grin* I know I missed the shortie.

Unfortunately last weekend it came to my attention that I had promised to design something for a friend of mine. He had to to a product shot for his studio photography class so he wanted me to design a beer label for him. Now I can't take credit for the name or general idea but he wanted it to be "RatBastard Ale". I did make the tag line "cause you are what you drink" though. Ended up being kind of neat, I would have liked to spend a little more time on it though.

Anyone got any ideas on something interesting that I can make a funky how-to book out of? I was thinking something like 'How to Lambada', or something really weird like 'How to pee in the pool without anyone noticing' (taken from my childhood years of course, I don't pee in pools now.)

Do poems count as shorties??? Cause I've got plenty of lonliness poems. :)

Well, I'm going to start packing for the road home. I'm taking my computer with me, so next week there's really no excuse for me not doing the shortie.

I'll be hanging around here reading as I unpack...


Debra Fri Mar 9 07:46:31 PST 2001


I can't take credit for the stand out shortie, especially after reading all of them. For me it was Heather's.


Here's what I think you are feeling being a dog lover myself. I didn't let on it was a dog at first. So you felt it was a man's suffering.

Later when you found out it was a dog instead of letting the feeling go, you realized that these poor creatures do suffer this injustice all over the world. In fact, these are the only animals in the world that are allowed to be chained complete alone for years sometimes their whole lives. I have spent countless hours worrying about dogs I will never meet.

Could that be it, the realization that it is not a story made up by me, but a fact of life?


Rosemary Fri Mar 9 07:19:53 PST 2001

Morning You all,

Just a quick note to tell DEBRA that I woke up this morning upset with the way those terrible people treated that dog. I realized last night that your story touched me when I read it the second time, but didn't expect to be thinking about it when I woke up in the morning. Even taking into consideration that I am more animal (pet) orented than people, there had to be something in the writing to bother me that much.

All the shorties were very good, but that one stood out.


Debra Fri Mar 9 07:17:30 PST 2001


oooops! ((((((((((((((((((((Big Hugs))))))))))))))))))))


Debra Fri Mar 9 07:16:40 PST 2001


I was going to say that too. It's a tough topic. You picked it honey bun.


Mary Fri Mar 9 07:03:58 PST 2001

HALLEE: Damn it! I don't like to cry this early in the morning. Somebody hug me, quick.

back later. geez.

Debra Fri Mar 9 06:53:13 PST 2001


What do they mean by District and Family Tartan.

I have been looking at all the different tartans and there seems to be almost as many different ones as family names.

The weird thing is the person whom I thought of for my book's tartan is a really good one.

Did you ever hear of people heckling other family's for their patterns? Or is that never done. If it is what are the kinds of things that they say?

I have heard my family say that on the other side of my family there is a little Scottish. I looked for Lee and found only a little piece of information.

Is Lee a Scottish name?

Can it be used for a first name? I'm not committed to Duff.

What is the major religion in Scotland?


Dan Barlow Fri Mar 9 05:50:45 PST 2001

Members of your group may be interested in a new press I've started, called Aardwolf Press. We'll be putting out 2 or 3 books of speculative fiction a year. Our web address is Besides being a new option for aspiring writers, we have a great first book coming out in late spring, and we pay the author a bigger cut if it's ordered from our site directly. So if you have written a good book, or want to be among the first to receive a good one, check out Aardwolf.
Dan Barlow

Fri Mar 9 04:31:13 PST 2001

taylor Fri Mar 9 03:38:03 PST 2001

hi guys me again...
having a break for awhile,

and just thought to myself...geez i think I started the wrong novel first...

How short or long is a short story suppose to be??

Ben Woestenburg Fri Mar 9 02:02:57 PST 2001

Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
I'm so glad to hear from you again. Trudy said she was in contact with you, and I'm so glad she managed to talk you into coming for a visit. Have you been keeping track of Britomart? She's doing quite well Down Under. It's neat how she took off like that, and we were able to see her launch, too. Quite neat. I'd like to see it happen again, and maybe we will. I hope you stick around though. Yours was always a voice of reason for me.

No, I haven't been writing about the mill--well, a few false starts of twenty or thirty pages--because it's hard to know where to end it, and how to do it justice when you consider all of the antics that have been going on down there over the last twenty-five years. The thing about it though, is that it all seems so normal to me. Can it be that I was corrupted at such a youthful age, I don't know we're all mentally challenged down there? I mean, how many places can a guy go water skiing behind a boom boat on a sheet of plywood when the Compo Board is going through the mill on a tour, and still not get fired?

I prefer to write short stories now. My Roman Trilogy got so long--the first volume came in at 188,000 words, (so the other two never got written)--a discouraging length that was impossible to capture anyone's interest with. Sort of made me want to look at it again and rewrite it from a different P.O.V. Short stories were a way to distance myself from it, but who knew I'd get hooked on those?

Now I gotta hit the keys 'cause I wrote a couple of pages at work tonight, and I want to get them down. With the darling wife sick today, who knows what tomorrow will hold for me?


Hallee Fri Mar 9 01:37:45 PST 2001

"Lonliness Shorty Short"

"What have we got?"

"Eighty-seven year old white female. It looks like she just froze to death."

"How? It's not really cold enough to freeze to death, is it?"

"It is when the only thing you have on is a thin nightgown."

"Ahh. Yes, it is. Poor woman. What's she clutching?"

"Just the grass, sir."

"The grass? This must be her husband's grave, then."

"Yes. And her son's, next to it."

"Poor woman. Looks like she just laid down to go to sleep."

Tina Thu Mar 8 23:13:55 PST 2001

Greetings and salutations!

I couldn't read all of the shorties this time around. Some of them hit too close to home. Those I did read were impressive. It was good to see you here Sasquatch.

I've written almost nothing in the last two weeks. Just not up to it, yet. Whenever I find a moment's peace to think about writing, I end up thinking about other things and don't write.

Christi has finished with 'Contact' by Carl Sagan. If anyone else is interested in getting in on that book exchange, let her or I know!

A sombre night tonight. I feel like finding a litre of oreo cookie ice cream and devouring every last crumb. Nothing but orange sherbet in the freezer, though, so I guess not. Sherbet just doesn't cut it.

Going now. TTFN

Kitty Thu Mar 8 22:52:24 PST 2001

Greetings, tout le monde at the Notebook! It's been awhile since I visited. The last month has been a series of blasts from the past--including Miss Trudy, who encouraged me to come back. Thank you, Trudy. The Notebook appears to have grown into a warm, vibrant and creative community. I very much enjoyed reading the shorties on loneliness. I am no longer surprised but continue to be awed with how you can take a common topic, like loneliness, give it to ten writers and end up with ten different and unique pieces.

Jack, the diving sounds like a lot of fun, but do you really dive for crabs? I thought crabs scuttled around in shallow waters. I think lobsters trek across the ocean floor, but don't crabs stay near the shoreline? And if you're planning dinner with Ben, be warned it might involve cracking open the crab while its alive, at least that's what the lobster recipe called for-not a job for the squeamish!

Ben, have you started writing about your adventures on the river yet? And are you sending your work to publishing houses as well as contests?

I hope to be back again soon. Reading all the posts made me realize how much I have missed the Notebook and all the wonderful exchanges that happen here.

A regular from the early days of the Notebook

Christi Thu Mar 8 21:04:51 PST 2001

Wow, was I impressed at the quality coming out in this week's shorties! Really great stuff!

I love sad topics. I don't know why but sometimes there's nothing better than a sad story. And I've NEVER felt I had to contribute, but whenever you announce the topic the little wheels in my head start to turn whether or not I want them to. :) I keep promising myself I won't enter a shortie every week but I can't seem to help myself.

Heather, That was amazing; I loved it.

Gosh, I can't say something to everyone because they were all so good.

Jack, It was great to read your contribution to shortie night! It's infectious, isn't it? ;)

Howard, What a compelling and lovely tribute that was. Your friend and his wife must have had a great love indeed. {{{{hugs}}}}

Kru, Yours was so sad!

Thanks everyone. I get to feel so many emotions on these shortie nights. Write on!


Debra Thu Mar 8 20:24:32 PST 2001

Research Fairy:


Yes, keep me busy. That it will. Also make me very happy.

I love it here at the Notebook.


Debra Thu Mar 8 20:23:02 PST 2001

Research fairy:

Oh my gosh! It's truly amazing. I have added all this stuff to my favorites. I could write two more books maybe more. In fact, my first book will leave off with a great lead to start another just about Duncan.

Thank you ssssoooooooooooooooooo much.


Research fairy Thu Mar 8 20:21:28 PST 2001

DEBRA: That ought to keep you busy for a while..let me know if you want more. :-) Thu Mar 8 20:19:42 PST 2001

Debra Thu Mar 8 20:19:11 PST 2001

Wow! Research Fairy:

Thanks. I'll try to work some of those things in.

I have always loved Scotland. I hope when I finished with my story it shows.

I know it will.

In fact I stayed up so late last night just to see Billy Connolly on Conan that I wanted to cry when the alarm went off this morning. What's worse, I slept just before he came on. It was all for nothing.

I'll take whatever you got.

Debra Thu Mar 8 20:18:21 PST 2001 Thu Mar 8 20:17:13 PST 2001 Thu Mar 8 20:15:36 PST 2001

The research fairy. Thu Mar 8 20:14:06 PST 2001

DEBRA: Check these out. (More follow) Just click on the links.

Debra Thu Mar 8 19:05:47 PST 2001


I don't think Litter meant it that way. No one feels like they have to submit one. Take Passions last time, not a lot there. Mine was just a lot of hoey. No one felt bad.

So don't worry.


Heather Thu Mar 8 18:30:02 PST 2001

Champagne it is then!

And thank you, Ben, for your compliments.
I liked the beginning of your story.


Teekay Thu Mar 8 18:02:41 PST 2001

TRUDY: I guess with email it would probably be too easy to tamper with.
Say if you did steal someones story, well it's easy enough to cut and paste it over an old email. Isn't it? I haven't tried but it sounds like it could happen.

Mary Thu Mar 8 17:55:35 PST 2001

HEATHER: Absolutely, this is a cause for celebration! We have outdone ourselves this time, Gang.

I understand that having such depressing topics can sometimes be a downer, but if you think about it, the quality and quantity of the shorties improves with difficult topics. (I mean, even some of us who seldom participate offered something this week...I LOVE that!) Just a thought. (In case you were wondering why I picked another sombre toned theme.) I promise to vary them though, as I am feeling the after affects, as I am sure some of you are, of reading so many poignant stories about such a sad topic. Next week's theme: SECRETS.

LITTER: I completely enjoy your writing style, and I am always thrilled when I see anything of yours to read. I am sorry if I have ever made shortie night feel like an obligation or a duty. I didn't mean to. Big Hugs.

I hope that everyone here is loving shortie night and participating because they feel compelled to, not because they feel it is expected. (Maybe I am being overly sensitive again.)

Could be that blasted PMS you ladies have been talking about. I don't get bitchy...I get really sappy. Sorry.

'Til the morning then.

Gabe Thu Mar 8 17:46:57 PST 2001

Hey, wrote this in the middle of a bussride. at the ends we came a few inches from being toppled over by a car that had slipped on some black ice. Maybe a message...hmmm....

God was a drifter before there were souls to steal
Before there were static filled TVs in One night
Before there Were Girls crying out in the car lot
Before your parents told you to wipe that
blank expression off you face.
You were scaring
Before Dificility
God was a drifter

Trudy Thu Mar 8 16:41:22 PST 2001


The conversation about copyrighting one's material, made me wonder the following.

I have heard of the mail a manuscript to yourself and don't open it. But if we email it to ourselves, it's dated...would that not be proof of when we wrote it? Also if we email it to another writer friend, could they not be a witness it was ours? Is it not recorded in our computer somewhere when something was written?

I know the mailing idea was one generated when people did things long hand and with dates on those, but don't computers leave trails? I guess there's always the concern of the computer dying and losing that initial date, but...

Anwyay thought I'd toss that out as food for thought.


Debra Thu Mar 8 16:39:22 PST 2001


Maybe I can slowly get all the information I need without killing you.

Let's start with what do you call good girls and of course bad girls?

That word hostly in your shortie, is that the word for a bar?

What do grown men call their mothers? Mothers that they have a deep respect for and love very much.

What do they call a girl who has not become a women yet?

I guess that's all for now. I dont'want you to run out of the room if you see me sitting in the corner.


Ben Woestenburg Thu Mar 8 15:37:38 PST 2001

I didn't come up with a shortie specifically for tonight, but thought I'd throw in the beginning of my next story which just happens to be about a lonely woman...sort of.

----------------- ------------- -------------------------

At thirty-one, she felt disillusioned with life; at thirty-four, indifferent to the point of complacency. If she looked back at her life, she might have sensed a growing awareness, a melancholy she would have been able to pinpoint exactly--like an ugly tumor eating away at her soul bit by bit--until she told herself there was nothing left, that life had nothing more to offer her. It was not that she was suicidal, she wasn't; she knew that much about herself. It was just that if she ever became famous as an artist--and she was an artist, a very good one too--she knew people would have ascribed this stage in her life to her "Blue Period", not because of her use of that colour, but because of the obvious depression that showed up in her work. It was a sense of mood that came through on canvas.

Now, at htirty-eight, she resigned herself to the idea that this was all life had to offer her: a husband she could not love, and sometimes doubted if she ever did; he was someone she could blame for everything wrong in her life; someone she could blame for her own shortcomings and failures; someone she could blame for the stillborn birth of her child fifteen years earlier. Still, she did not think she could leave him, and doubted if she ever would.

She stood back and looked at the painting she was working on. It was one of a set of four, a mural she dreamed up one night and felt compelled to paint--like Athena bursting out of the head of Zeus, she remembered, the headache that came with it that severe--waking her out of a sound sleep and not letting her rest until she had it all down on paper. It came to her like that sometimes, her inspirations, with blinding headaches of flashing light, and a brilliance so undiscerning, the only respite was opening her eyes and limping out of bed to her studio downstairs. She wondered if she would be able to escape to her studio if she was still sleeping with her husband. She doubted it.

She wiped the brush on a rag she held tight under her withered left arm, the action so mechanical, she never thought about it anymore. She put the brush back in the jar on her work table, wiping the paint off her fingers with turpentine she dipped the rag in.

Her name was Agnes St. Vincent dePaul, a cruel joke as far as names went she often thought, and something she struggled with for the first few months of her marriage, wondering how she would ever be able to sign her paintings with a name like that. She settle on Vincent, in honour of Van Gogh. He had never amounted to anything in his life either, just as she knew she would never find fame. Maybe when I'm dead, she thought to herself.

--------------------- ---------- ---------------------

Okay, that's it for now. It's a first draft. It probably won't end up like that, but like I said before, this isn't the computer I work on. If there are any typos, that's because I screwed up typing it into the box. Sometimes you can look at things and not see them, which is why I read everything out loud, but not this; not now.

I'll have to come back tonight and read all the shorties. The wife's sick in bed right now--the kind of sick where she has no energy and just sleeps all day. Makes it real easy to take care of her though.

I read Heather's last night. Blew me away. I really liked it. Caught me up like a net. Very interesting.

I have to get ready for work now. It looks like the bad weather back east has caught up to us. Temps are down to about 6 or 7c, and now its overcast and damp. I thought that was why the wife was sick, just the usual allergy attacks that seem to hit her with weather changes, but it's not. Hopefully it's just one of those 24 hour dealies--(I'd rather have one of those 26 oz. dealies instead.)

Debra Thu Mar 8 15:29:18 PST 2001


Oh that is music to my hears. Worry about nothing. I never refer to anyone from Scotland as a hillibilly. My story takes place in Scotland and in the US. Nope! I leave that special priviledge to some folks from the good ole US of A. I just needed to know for the deep laugh and not the nervous laugh in which one knows it's supposed to be funny but doesn't know why. My story is not all funny. Some of it is suspenseful and some of it romantic and some of it funny.

By the way if Mary asked Duncan what he wore under his "little skirt" (kilt) would he not give her an answer or would he tell her?

His brother lives with him and his mother as well. He is only a couple of years younger. I can't think of a name for him. Their last name is Boyd. I was thinking about Duff. So his mother could have two sons with their names starting with the same letter. Is that done in Scotland. It is here sometimes. His mother's name is Glenda Boyd.

Thanks for telling me that about hillibillies. I'm so happy you couldn't know.


Jack Beslanwitch Thu Mar 8 15:18:23 PST 2001

OK - lonelines.

    He used a travois instead of any number of a hundred, a thousand cars that littered the highways, the side streets, the everywhere. He fashioned it himself out of the trunks of trees he chopped down in their back yard. Cleaned the limbs and fashioned the cross pieces and laid the blankets out, across them. Then, ever so carefully he laid the body of his wife and then their little girl. There was some difficulty getting it all out the front door. All down the steps. It was thirty miles to the place he had chosen. One overlooking Puget Sound. A tiny park. Not even a park. A parklet. But it was there they had met. As he traveled, one step at a time, he tried to ignore the oppressive stench of the dead. He already knew that there would be no others. Somehow, when the attack had come, he was the one in one hundred million. One in five billion. Maybe there were others out there. He did not wish to see or hear them. He took another step. And another. In more vigorous days, even a week ago, it would have been nothing for him to cover the thirty miles in a day. At most, two. It took him twelve. Each day a little weaker. He drank a little. Ate a little. Enough to dig the graves. Shallow ones. He carefully laid each in the trench and covered it back over. And then he sat on the beach and watched the sun set. In the cool of the night he began to remember all the good moments, the tender moments. Staring out into the dark, he waited. Waited and accepted a sunrise and then another sunset. A single tear flowed down his cheek at some point. It was only later, when he began to cough, felt warm, knew it had not left him behind, that he smiled.

Teekay Thu Mar 8 15:15:29 PST 2001

TGIF everyone. That reminds me, I wish RANDALL would make his way back here, he said he'd be back in a year, well it's been a year I'm sure.

BEN: Well good luck to you I sincerely hope you win.
I find New Orleans fascinating. No I haven't been there, but one day, one day.....

JACK: Wow! You are really on the ball. Archived already. :-)
I too was born in the year of the dragon. According to the Chinese though, this is not a good thing for a woman. But it's a great thing for a man.
I'm glad I don't live in China. :-)

LITTER: Gotta get to Scotland too one day. When I hear 'Scotland' I think of malt whiskey and blazing fires in old stone fireplaces,lonely, crumbling castles, ancient streets and cottages with thatched rooves, green rolling hills and ghostly mists rolling in from the sea.

HEATHER: Good on you. And personally, I don't think you needed to take out all the adjectives that she did. Some yeah, like that brake cable straining. Reading that threw me off the story and stuck a picture of, well, break cables straining, in my head. :-)

DEBRA: As far as I know, all you need to do to copyright something is to put the copyright symbol, your name and the date.

MARY: Heeeey that's a good idea - about the sending it to yourself thing I mean.


Litter Thu Mar 8 15:02:54 PST 2001

Hi All!

Good selection of shorties. Some of them are very close to a recent family situation so, being somewhat off-balance, I'm not going to single any out. The standard, however, seems to be on the up.

DEBRA -- yes, the term 'Hillbillies' is a well-know term, even in the darkest recesses of Scotland.

BEN -- you mean Uther Pendragon's boy? Yes, it is hard to be aware of my Celtic roots without being aware of Arthur and Arthurian legend. I'm not exactly expert but probably know more than most, apart from Arthurian legend aficionados. Even serious archaeologists are being caught up in looking for the roots of the legend and the 'real' Camelot. (Some say Tintagel Castle?)

Good work, people, but this has been a hard day.

Ciao for now,


Litter Thu Mar 8 14:39:25 PST 2001

Without any further ado, my shortie:Folk and Lonely

Fidgeting uncomfortably on their seats the members of the small group sat, subdued, aimlessly surveying the floor. Each one seemed to have a more depressing story than the last, each story a gut wrenching sojourn into the misery of loneliness and disaffection.

Kirsten felt like weeping but she didn't have that luxury. She was their anchor to the world of normality. With a bit of perseverance, perhaps, she could turn some of them around and give them a normal life to which to look forward.

Phoebe was the most insular of them all. Pretty, intelligent and still young, she should've had a queue of potential partners lining up, but the crushing insecurity of loneliness meant that she kept everyone at bay.

It was doubtful that Phoebe's parents had intended any harm. They had been overprotective and over-strict -- highly moral and proper but unknowingly destructive to the mental health of their only child. She deeply resented them dying and leaving her alone.

Now, after years of unintended repression, Phoebe and a motley collection of her contemporaries gathered for their weekly encounter group in the hope of ridding themselves of hidden but crippling affliction.

This particular group was always harrowing but Kristen was ambivalent to the thought of returning home after it concluded. Before returning to her flat, she stopped off at a local hostelry and retrospectively medicated herself with several large gin-and-tonics.

Retaining as much sobriety as was conducive to her professional standing in the community, she eventually went home. Thanks to her training, Kirsten could do something positive for those she counselled. She understood their loneliness. Try as she might, however, she just couldn't understand her own...

Duty performed...


Jack Beslanwitch Thu Mar 8 13:51:50 PST 2001

Hello all: It may have been my connection, but when I had a very slow connection on my cable modem and found that we were up to 350k, decided to archive back to the beginning of today. As soon as I can get into the server I will upload the archives from February 28 to yesterday. Take care everyone.

Heather Thu Mar 8 13:41:43 PST 2001

Excellent shorties! Excellent. Mary, this is cause for great celebration. Unfortunately, I'm swaddled in a mass of Kleenex and I'm still a little ruddy for wine.

Howard, very touching and terrifying at the same time. I hope things get better for your beloved friends, and I know that they will join again those they have loved and lost. That's what keeps me sane when I visit loved ones in similar situations.

Sasquatch, your poem was poignant and powerful. Thank you.

Everyone, thank you for sharing your wonders.

Thank you, Kru!


sasquatch Thu Mar 8 12:51:34 PST 2001

i sasquatch know of this aloneness. all Yeti do also alike. the One has made us aware also as he is alike.
may sasquatch again share in writing?

my choice is not loneliness
to be apart
is not of my doing
but of yours

you do not believe
i am
there is the cause
the chasm

the fear of
the fear
of being known

we share
this fear
we share
this loneliness

i in my
in your crowd

i must go.

Richard Thu Mar 8 12:43:20 PST 2001

Somethin' in my Eye

Can you see somethin' in my eye, when you look at me?
An unshed tear?
An echo of hope?
Fragment of a future that could be?

Can you see somethin' in my eye, when you look at me?
Something faded?
Something old?
Something that may haunt me to the grave?

Can you see somethin' in my eye, when you look at me?
Splinter of hope?
Hunger dead?
Unloosed cries and tears of dread?

Can you see somethin' in my eye, when you look at me?
Something buried?
Something feared?
Something that might make us cry?

Can you see something in my eye, when you look at me?
Or are they dead?
Are they vacant?
Do they gaze from an empty shell?

Rosemary Thu Mar 8 12:31:43 PST 2001

Greetings Writers,

My shortie seems to be missing its beginning, not much middle and the end isn't a lot to brag about, but it definitely is short.


George looked back; his horse had left a path through the deep grass that gave his position away. Ahead there was only desert and mountains. If he could make it to the rocks at the bottom of that closest mountain, there wouldn't be any tracks for them to folow. With any luck, the wind would cover all sign of his crossing the sand ahead.

He squinted. That mountain had to be at least five miles away. No sign of the trackers behind him, but that didn't mean they weren't there. A sigh escaped him before he kicked Koko in the ribs. The big brown horse shook his head and walked a little faster.

"It's just you and me now, Boy. There's no going back." He urged Koko to greater speed. Thoughts of his home, wife, children, they had to be pushed to the back of his mind. It would be too dangerous for them if he ever returned.

Not my favorite subject but a good one.


Debra Thu Mar 8 12:17:04 PST 2001

Here's my shortie on loneliness.


His bones were clicking now from the constant shaking, as he lay there unable to move. The chain held him fast in his spot. Closing his eyes he hoped the cold wouldn’t rob him of the little naps that were his only escape. Alas, he couldn’t even sleep now. Pacing back and forth he searched for some movement in the area and the hope of rescue. It was black except for the outline of light in one window of the building directly in front of him. He focused his eyes on it praying for someone to look out. No one did.

In defeat, he flopped back down on the hard ground trying to remember better days. Again his body quaked all over from the cold. Every moving part was in constant motion. His muscles tightened squeezing his bones like a vice.

The lights from the car rolling into view lit up the area like the sun. Excitement rushed through his veins. The motor finally cut off and the door opened. Immediately he began to hop up and down with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. He had his hopes up as high as they could go. As she came into view, he let out barks in rapid successions.
“Hi Roger.” She crouched down as her words drifted over towards him.

She walked right by and disappeared into the building.

He flopped back down on the ground hoping to close his eyes and get a little nap.


howard Thu Mar 8 11:36:55 PST 2001

I stopped to see my friends in the nursing home yesterday. Bryce is the same as always, and we had a chat, I wrote some checks for him, and saw him off to supper.

Then I went to see Fred, whose wife passed away last week in the room down the hall, where they spent their last months together. He, victim of a stroke, and she, with alsheimer's disease longed for one another's company. They'd moved him to another room (I thought they might) and said to go on up to see him, as he'd just gotten back from supper.

It's hard to see him like this, even harder to write about it, but I'll try...

in a tiny room,
he waits for her to come back,
knowing that it cannot be so.
the look in his eyes betrays his longing
as the door opens.
He squints,
eyes adjusting
to the corridor's brighter light.
Then he slumps,
seeing the silhouette,
knowing that is not her,
cannot be her.
Overwhelming emptiness
fills the room,
then recedes again as he smiles,
welcoming the visitor.
That smile grows, watered by tears
echoed by those in the visitor's own eyes.
Unable to speak (the stroke was cruel),
he gestures toward the picture on the wall.
She was younger then,
eyes clear,
as if she knew this was the way
he would remember her.

Debra Thu Mar 8 10:50:16 PST 2001


I'm glad you did too. Now that guy is lonely.


Kru Thu Mar 8 10:40:56 PST 2001

Richard – Thanks for responding to me. In a situation like this NB sometimes it is hard to decipher just what is meant by words. I’m glad to be wrong.

Howard – Thanks for the computer tips.

Heather – I really liked your shorty. It was like being taken back to my old job in a different role. I often wonder how I would handle incarceration. It is a mental game. I agree with Debra, I hope you can do something with that.

Mary, Christi, Jerry – Nice work. It’s strange how the topic loneliness takes so many of us to the end of our lives.

Here is mine.

It is dark. I lie in bed looking up at the ceiling. Sleep is another memory, now at best all I have are periods of dreamless unconsciousness. I can’t believe she is gone. Dead after 43 years together. The silence is overwhelming. The bed is empty without her. She has been gone for months but it is still hard to sleep without her warmth. I sleep with her empty nightgown, that soft cotton flannel one that she wore the night before the accident. At first it still had her scent but then after her scent was gone, I guess my tears washed it away, it’s softness brings memories enough to sleep. I get up in the morning and rattle round the house going through the motions. Making coffee, juice, toast and an egg. Even TV can’t drown out the quiet echo of an empty house.

She was overweight, gray haired and talked so much I didn’t even listen half the time. What I would give now to hear her prattle on about anything. It is as though a piece of me is missing. There is an emptiness in my chest, a hollow feeling that spreads into my brain and makes decisions impossible. My motivation is gone, nothing is important. I’m no longer living, an empty shell waiting to die.

Heather Thu Mar 8 10:19:33 PST 2001

Mary, you pretty much said all I was going to. Though I've never mailed myself any of my stories, I'm going to mail myself 'Haven' and a few of my longer shorties when I can. That means this week for shorties, and whenever 'Haven' is finished, I'll be mailing it to myself along with the most promising publishing company on my list. Most promising for me, that is, after researching all the criterion. I'm still wrestling with what genre to go with for 'Haven'. I am thinking mainstream or literary, because it certainly won't fit mystery, sci-fi or fantasy, romance or self-help!

Thank you Gariess, for your comments on 'Bullroot's'. I imagined - would you believe it? - that the story takes place a few decades ago as well. I didn't intend on any particular time period at first, but you're absolutely right. 'Dustbowl' conjures up the feel of yesteryear. Well, a few years before yesteryear. Something like the timing of 'The Grapes of Wrath'. I agree completely that it is the writer's sleight of hand that can separate the old from the worn-out and sift it into new again. I never really considered describing the hardware store because of the character's focus. Slim and steady. All he saw was the train, and knew where it would be. I didn't really describe much but what the character 'wanted' to describe in order that we understand where he's coming from.

Debra, it made you cry? Wow. I got a little misty eyed myself but thought that was just me, tearing up over the fact that it came out well the second time around.
Yes, that was the story I lost right before I finished it.
I'm glad I bothered trying to rewrite it!
Thank you.


Rachel Thu Mar 8 10:05:33 PST 2001

Hi all - I have just made up a file of your kind greetings, thoughts and words for Sebastian and myself. I will put these into his baby book.

I plan to respond to each of you. I think you are all wonderful (hugs)!

Sebastian slept so well last night. That was great, I feel great (big grins).

I saw conversation about the muse. I don't really believe in the whole muse things. On some level I do, I know that, but not in a dependent sort of way. I have more than one muse. My main muse is male. I guess I just like men (wicked grins)!

Hugs all around,


Debra Thu Mar 8 10:04:13 PST 2001


Thanks, how frightening a thought that is. I mean can you imagine? I have worried about that many times. I really have. In fact I sent somethng to Scholastic and got it back. As soon as I felt the package in my hands I got this electric charge if you will that it will be published next year under someone eleses name.


Mary Thu Mar 8 09:44:09 PST 2001

Debra: Everything you write is copyrighted to you. You dont have to do anything to make it so. However, if you want to protect way I have heard of doing that is to place a copy of your manuscript in an envelope and mail it to yourself, not opening it when it arrives. The postmark is considered a legal date and if you ever have to prove that you wrote it open that up in court, with the date on it, and you can prove that you had written it, before the time it appeared in print with someone else's name on it.

As far as guidelines for submission? They all differ...ask each one independently. "Writer's Market" is invaluable for this, but still double check the info with a phone call or internet check because I can't think of many things that are worse than submitting something with the wrong editor's/person's name on it. (Or so I have heard) Some publishers will accept previously published work, some won't. You really have to check each one out separately.

"Writer's Market" itself will tell you that you always run the risk of getting your ideas stolen whenever you submit anything....but that the business is generally an honest one. The chances of an editor or slush reader stealing one of your ideas as his own is slim. You can choose to believe that or not, but it doesnt seem there is much you can do about it anyway. A thieving editor could always say he/she was already working on a similar concept article/story when your submission came in and it is a your word against theirs issue. Keep faith in the system. You have to, or you will never get anywhere.

With as rapidly as the publishing world is changing, who knows...what I just said could be an obsolete opinion. Hope that helped a bit. :-)

howard Thu Mar 8 09:41:38 PST 2001

Stop me if you've already heard this one...
If you ever have to get back to your Windows desktop to find and click on an icon there, and you already have a dozen windows up, and you have to click on the little - thingie up in the righthand corner of every one of the windows to minimize it so that when you finally get to your Windows desktop you've forgotten why you went there... (kind of like what you feel like now, after reading this sentence)... you'll love this!
Put your mouse cursor on a blank space on the task bar, and right click. You'll get a popup window. Click on "Minimize all windows."
The next thing you should see is your desktop!
Do whatever you went there for, and right click again on a blank space on the task bar, and this time click on "Undo Minimize All." You should go right back to whatever window you had active before you minimzed all.

Mary Thu Mar 8 09:30:49 PST 2001

JERRY: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I am having a blast at Webshots. I bet I have changed my desktop 50 times so far today. I have had "The Eye of God" nebula, graceful stingrays, puppies, a great white shark, an Explorer lift-off.........

Richard Thu Mar 8 09:11:59 PST 2001

Oh no, have I missed birthdays?? Whoops!!!

*opens mouth to start singing and everyone runs*

Richard Thu Mar 8 09:03:19 PST 2001

Kru: Violent thoughts? It was merely an expression, I've never had any real thoughts about suicide. The only time I ever tried to kill myself was when I was four or something, and it was quite innocent. I wanted to see heaven to I tried to electrocute myself by cutting through a plug wire with kitchen scissors. My mum walked in and nearly freaked out, and I got snatched away quicker than you can say 'silly boy'. Quite scary when I think about it...

Halle: I'm not a complete depressive, though maybe it seems that way from reading my posts. So I think I'm light enough anyway, but I'm never going to lighten up on my attitudes toward sex.

And don't worry, I'm not trying to remove myself from my freinds. If anything its better to know them so I can be there for them when they do the mistakes they're sure to. And hopefully they and others will be there when I make mistakes I'm sure to. The best thing I can do is pray for them and set an example.

Maybe it's time I started talking about some good news. I and two freinds went down to our local shopping centre/precint yesterday to talk to the manager. We're working as part of a porject called 'Visions of the Future' about improving our area for the town's future community. We're focusing on Environment, Commercial and MultiMedia. I and Daniel work on the MultiMedia tasks. Anyway, we wanted to get an interview with the manager in order to ask about any current or planned multimedia developments (such as a cyber-cafe) and whether he thought such a development was viable. On the way to reception a door from an office opened and a woman came out and asked what we were doing (probably thinking we'd come to vandalise the place or something). I was about to explain, but one of my freinds started first. I don't think she took us seriously, but she said the manager was away and gave us a number to call in a few days time.

Debra Thu Mar 8 08:31:37 PST 2001

Since all you writers are so informed about so much I have another question.

What are the guidelines on sending out material that has not been copyrighted? Some publishers insist they do it themselves. On the other hand can't stuff be stolen?

Help me out with your infinite wisdom.


gariess Thu Mar 8 08:19:26 PST 2001

Iím impressed. I like the twist of this character who holds onto the emblem of the train as his escape from the reality of prison. "Bullroots" dust bowl hardware store is a nice authoritarian touch. Therein lies a lesson for me. I would fall into the trap of describing a somber wooden-clad hardware store with a dusty toy train set in the window somewhere in a hardscrabble dying town on the Kansas plain. Later I would have to go back to see how I could cut out these two paragraphs. This constructs nicely with your imagery and conveys the elements of time, place and condition in a ready made picture. It is also artful the way the train doubles as the symbol of unattainable materialism that drew the character into his way of life from the start.

The story also has the quality of timelessness. You may have written it as contemporary, but I exercise the privelege to read it as a period piece. I like taking it back a few decades. With the mention of the dust bowl it takes me to the Bonny and Clyde days.

The hard job of the writer is to separate the Ďrealí from the Ďtrite.í It is our sleight of hand trick. How do I separate the yellow from the white of a beaten egg? Since there are no new plots, how do I tell this story again and again without the reader catching on that he has heard it before? How do I put the necessary elements into the picture and hide them among the scenery so that they are felt and not seen?

It appears as if your maggie is offering to buy Exclusive Rights. Like, once they buy it, they own it, and you kiss it goodbye.



Debra Thu Mar 8 08:17:06 PST 2001


Your shortie made me cry. It was the coolest thing I have ever read. I hope you do something with that. The world needs to see that one.

Is that the thing you said you lost? I can't imagine the first one being any better than that.


Heather Thu Mar 8 08:08:40 PST 2001

Teekay: You're exactly right about the POV! And that's what the article was based on. I don't know how the woman critiquing it did not realize, if she read the whole chapter I sent. She mustn't have read more than the first page and a half... and the POV is omniscient. She was right that it was a bit confusing, but I felt dreams were confusing more often than not. I am rewriting the opening of chapter 1 when I'm done the whole book to see if I can't get it to come out more smoothly. Wouldn't want to confuse everyone.

I have taken the only bit of advice I felt truly applicable, and that's to reduce the adjectives and so forth. Too much writing advice on packing a punch in the opening pages had me trying too hard! Ah, well, it was a great learning experience. Don't expect an excerpt to do justice to your work at large, especially if it's not in polished form! And don't over-do your opening paragraphs.


Heather Thu Mar 8 07:59:41 PST 2001

Jack, I loved the page you linked us to! You look so much like an elf yourself, I wasn't surprised to see you holding up a faerie statuette!


Debra Thu Mar 8 06:23:08 PST 2001


At one point, my character Mary, asks Duncan a question about hillbillies. Have you heard that expression in Scotland?

Debra Thu Mar 8 02:51:44 PST 2001


I have added a new picture of myself to my personal home page. It is the main one at the top.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Mar 8 02:50:35 PST 2001

Ben: One of my goals as I work my way throught he dives for my advanced open water dive certification is ultimately to dive the Charlottes and Gulf Islands and BC in general. Much of BC is rated as the best dive site in North America with 160 foot visability and extraordinary sites to see, er, or is that sights. Oh, well. Still, it a challenging diving environment with current questions and use of dry suits.

I do like the notion, though, of eventually diving up in your neck of the woods and ways and having dinner afterwards. Nice thought. I will keep you posted as our plans materialize.

taylor Thu Mar 8 02:45:35 PST 2001

thought to me
i understand what a muse is now
And yes i have satisfied it almost, but it wants more and more and usually it starts screaming at me as I lay my head down to sleep

at least I know how to 'feed' it now

Ben Woestenburg Thu Mar 8 02:21:39 PST 2001

Teekay: In answer to yesterday's question--how much is the prize? $7,500, Novel category; $2,500 Novella category; $1,500 short story category; Essay, $1,000; Poetry (single poem), $750; $1,000, High school short story category divided between student, $500, and sponsoring teacher, $250. Cash outlays for the administration of the competiton come from fees required for manuscripts submitted. They get about 800-1,000 entries anually. The winner gets to go to The Big Easy--New Orleans in case you're not familiar with that term--but outside of the continental U.S. they fly you to the nearest city from wherever your point of departure is. It's worth looking into: William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition. It's in its ninth year now.

Jack: I know someone with a boat. If you go diving near Blaine...we could meet up later for a real dinner! Wouldn't that be special! We go crabbing near the ferry terminal, but you have to watch out for the killer whales. Sometimes they come so close, you'd think you were sitting in the stands at the Vancouver aquarium.

Litter: I started writing a young adult book for my kids based on King Arthur--THE BEGGAR'S KNAVE I was calling it. The main character, Locksley, was the nephew of the Scottish knight Grummer Grummerson. I made him into a drunk, sorry. I had the Orkney knights, Gawain, and his brothers, as the bad guys. I got about fifty pages into it, and then got side tracked. I've always meant to get back to it. How are you with your Arthurian trivia?

Okay, I gotta go. I want to get into this story that's been nagging me for the past week. I figure I've got at least an hour left in me to come up with something that will hold me until the morning.

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