Archived Messages from April 16, 2001 to April 24, 2001

Tue Apr 24 10:05:50 PDT 2001 Mon Apr 16 12:36:55 PDT 2001

Eddie French Tue Apr 24 10:05:50 PDT 2001

The End of the Internet......
Now that's a thought. I loved it Howard. It also brought thoughts of a towel to my mind, and the word Artiblartfast....or something similar.
Was there a link on that page????
Yes yes.....I'm awake I'm awake. I've not finished work yet, not by a long shot. I am however, seriously considering becoming a veggie. Roast beef will never smell the same to me again.
We appear to be just over the pinnacle of the F & M epidemic. So come on all you potential tourists, get yourselves over here to our wonderful country. Great Britain is now open. (Thanks in some small part to my own personal efforts.)
The Local Tv people were after me a short time ago but I refused to give an interview. Then some local Newspapers printed up a series of articles regarding the training some of my men got to go through to help with the containment.
It's a tragic time for the farmers but it's an extremely fulfilling time for me, no matter how unpleasant, to be doing something that really counts.
It wont be too long before I can return to full participation in the notebook.
See you all soon,

Rachel Tue Apr 24 09:54:59 PDT 2001

Ben - Hi you. I think it would be fun to meet yah. I've posted my e-mail address above. Send me some details and I'll let you know if I can do it.

I live in Maple Ridge. We live quite close to each other. It's not a very long drive.

I have been able to meet a couple of NB people. I met up with SKS and Allein a couple of years ago. I think it is fun to meet net people.

I CAN'T believe that Detroit is out. I love Detroit. They are the team I cheer for. It is a hard time for me when they play Vancouver. I cover my eyes, ears and chew my lower lip off during these games. My son also is a major Detroit fan. My husband goes for Philly, my other sons are Colorado fans. Our house can get a little hot during hockey season. It isn't much better when we turn on the soccer games. We all have our own teams that we go for. My house is sports central in a lot of ways. You name a sport I've likely got a kid in it (grins and laughter). I didn't used to be wild for sports. It just sort of happened when all my kiddies got into them. My husband tried everything to get me to like sports, then one day I did.

Your wife sounds adorable. I have a sister who is 4'10" She is such a living doll. I can only imagine your wife is the same. When somebody (I think Teekay) mentioned that you would be late for work. I don't think she was talking about being up late drinking or anything like that. I think she was saying you might get distracted by thoughts of your wife and not make it out the door. I was a little surprised that you didn't pick up on that. That was my take on it anyway.

Heather - Hugs for yah. I pause, take a good close look at you and then give you another strong hug. I hope I will get to meet you the next time I'm in Guelph, which I think will be next summer. When I come I will be staying at the University. I had expected to come out again this summer, but due to pregnancy I'm not exactly in top form for a karate camp. It would kill me dead! I can't say I'll come out for sure. If I do I would love to meet yah:)

Allein - Hi you!!!!!!

Tina - I plan to be up your way during the summer. Maybe we can hook up at that time. Be warned, I will have many, many children in tow (grins and laughter). We will be camping. Do you like to do camp fire stuff? Maybe you could join us for a fire night. I swear, it won't get too Lord of the Flies;0)

Dang! I better get moving. Sebastian is calling my name.

Ciao for now.


Debra Tue Apr 24 09:51:46 PDT 2001

Relax Bob:

We know you're just trying to make the show interesting, but for the record can you just try to keep your hands off everything on the set. I have watched you drop, throw and break stuff for long enough.


That explaination was great. I guess my problem is if I can't write about anything other than now times, I have to say I don't write literary. I don't want to say that. They should have another way to describe writing in other times.

Don't you think?


Melanie Tue Apr 24 09:47:15 PDT 2001

Hi, All -

Yes, I'm still here. Been kinda bummed, severe osteo-arthritis in one's hip will do that on and off - some nights it feels like ALL my joints are paining and it's hard to sleep. Then it's hard to get through the next day because of being so tired from lack of sleep and the lack of sleep causes the arthritis to flare up more...a vicious cycle sometimes.

But I've been enjoying the posts here - great jokes, guys! And Howard, the EOTI site is such a great ad for libraries!!

Allein and Viv - I really enjoyed the fresh perspectives in your school days shorties. :-)

Jack - Keep the parchment! It's so much easier on the eyes, and lends itself to a creative flow...

As for the literary/contemporary question, "contemporary" mostly refers to a modern day setting, and "literary" is more a style of writing, isn't it? A lot of the "classic" works are shelved in the "literature" section of libraries(anthologies of well-known authors' short works, etc) - but again, these literary works of classic authors maybe were "contemporary" when they were first written; reading them today may make them seem that "literary" refers to a different time period but it doesn't. I think of a literary work as something written with a more formal or scholarly style; but it can have a contemporary setting. I think a person's writing style is instinctive; to change it, you really have to work at it. Probably contemporary-setting/style comes most naturally to us (even sf writers, with a twist sometimes on the time setting); someone who's well-read and well-schooled probably could reel off all the literary writing he/she wants without thinking of it. But maybe that person couldn't so easily write the contemporary/modern stuff.

Teekay, while you were chilling yesterday, I was sweltering - it went up to 90 degrees here yesterday!! Sheesh! I want the Spring back - 50's, 60's, occasional 70' that's writing weather for me!

Speaking of writing, I only squeezed out a couple paragraphs over the weekend, darn it! - while my kids were zooming back and forth past me, in and out of the house, etc, etc, my muse was laughing her head off and not helping me write at all. Can I fire her and get a new muse??!!

Have a good day, everyone! BTW, this place and all of you are great inspiration for learning to develop characters, from knowing what your characters think about politics and religion to the very contents of their pockets and vehicles! You're all great to know. Many thanks for continued inspiration to write... :-)


Bob Vila Tue Apr 24 08:33:49 PDT 2001

Whaddya mean about my questions?


heather Tue Apr 24 08:29:25 PDT 2001

Speaking of Harrison Ford, Tina, you would never guess where his doppleganger hangs out! At my daughter's dojo! He's a black belt, and even close up he's a dead ringer for Harrison Ford. He's about the same age, too - the only difference at ALL, is that this guy has a tattoo on one wrist. Every time I see him coming in after Hailey's class I want to hit him up for an autograph!
(Hmmm, and Harrison Ford's pretty cute - but did you see 'What Lies Beneath'? I NEVER in my life would have been able to picture him in a nasty-guy role but he pulls it off - a little too well, I think)

About experiencing death of loved ones with age - I merely meant that if Barnabus hasn't experienced the loss of a loved one yet, it will, unfortunately happen eventually. I've experienced too much death already at my age. Here with you on that, Rachel. There have been years here and there, but not too many in a row. Ok, that's the last bit on death from me for a good long while (I hope)...

Howard, loved the page! Reminds me of the 'Restaurant at the End of the World'. And a towel that has the words 'Don't Panic' on it.

Ben, an interesting Q. We don't invent unless there's a need. Things seem to fill niches without being planned. Ok, I'm going to think more about the question raised, but no promises I'll say anything even close to being intelligible. Have been writing my brain out.

Taylor, YES! YES! Post a story in Phantasium whenever you like! It should work at the present location, but if not, wait until Jack has the new Workbook up and running.

Jack - will you be re-posting the round robins intact?
And I like the parchment very much. Pure white is painful on the eyes. I dim down my monitor when I'm writing in word pro so I don't get a headache. I could change the backround colour, but I'm used to it being white there. (Ah, laziness)

Debra, the difference between literary and contemporary writing (to me, and tell me if you agree, everyone)
is this: contemporary writing is written with a definite modern time period, as if the book takes place now. It will usually contain things only identified with the times it is written in - such as lingo that wasn't 'invented' a few years ago, but is rampant today. The theme is contemporary as well - can't take place a hundred years ago.

'Literary' work is not altogether a different thing - but it's more the writing style and the presence of depth in the story than time period, possibly. (I don't know, but of the literature I've read it seems that way most of the time - not counting SF, cause Ender's Game wasn't shallow a bit!)
In literary work I find that there is more subtext, subplot, and most times a definite theme that has significance throughout the book. Now, of course, contemporaries can contain such things too. Perhaps it's just that literary works seem to have a timeless nature, and are basically more artistic pieces - but again, that may not hold water. It might be a whole lot of BS and the only difference is the pile it was put in by the editor.

There's that niche thing again.

I don't know - anyone else with a better answer for Debra?

When I first began researching publishers and the 'biz' I was thinking along the same lines: What's the difference, and where on earth will my novel fit?

Well, I still wonder. I've started my second novel, and the working title is 'Symphony'. Some of you already know because I've 'leaked' the covert information!
I have set Haven aside for a while, and it has proven to be just the break from it I needed! I've written 56 pages in three weeks - a much higher output than I ever made writing Haven. In fact, in three weeks, I've got about one-fifth of a novel already. EDITED too. I wonder why I didn't just put Haven down before, when I first had the idea for Symphony, but I felt terribly guilty. I wanted to try and finish Haven first before going onto book 2 (technically 3, but the first can't count in the closet)... but the idea wouldn't leave me alone and Haven was stuck in quicksand. I decided that I would have to rewrite Haven AGAIN from scratch, now that I've learned so much since I started it. I learned to relax! Let it flow.
Not something you can FORCE yourself to do; but you can train yourself. All it takes is practice.

Practice? Oh, man, I thought extra-curricular lessons were long gone.


Debra Tue Apr 24 07:10:36 PDT 2001

I mean when you think of the questions that Bob Vila asks!!!!!!!!!

Debra Tue Apr 24 07:09:59 PDT 2001


What's the difference between literary or comtemparary?

I just thought I would ask. I don't mind making myself look stupid.


BEN Tue Apr 24 06:35:08 PDT 2001

JACK: I agree. Parchment.

MARK: Jury duty. The only reason I stay on the voter's list out here is so I can get called up for jury duty. It's covered in the contract, so it's not like I'm losing any money doing it. (Civic duty and all that other crap doesn't feed the kids.)

TINA: I wouldn't mind seeing one blast off in my lifetime either. I think, with the regularity of them now, people have become somewhat complacent about it all...but to actually feel the wave of heat coming at you, the noise, the ground shaking...that would be pretty cool. I didn't watch any of the Canadarm 2 stuff going on...I think there was a hockey game on :-)

MARY JERRY : (I like the sound of that) Have either of you read ROOTS?

MEL? Where'd you go?

So, Kitty said something to me in an email recently that got me to thinking. When you sit down and write a short story with the intention of selling it, are you writing literary short stories, or contemporary ones? And, not only that, do you actaully realize the difference when you're writing? Do you make a conscious choice in your writing style as you do it, or is it something that just comes out? I don't think it matters what genre you write in--or does it? I read something last week that Scientology was the result of a bet between L.Ron Hubbard and Frank Herbert who were out fishing and came up with a challenge as to who could come up with the best new religion. Hubbard came up with Dyanetics, Herbert came up with DUNE. Don't know if it's true or not, but you see what I mean? It seems half the stuff we write is for reasons we don't even consider in the first place. Comments anyone? Just talk amongst yourselves for a while, coz I gotta go to work soon.

On a lighter note. My niece wnats me to emcee her wedding. My wife told her it wasn't a good idea. I am not a public speaker. How hard can it be to stand in front of fifty or sixty people and try to entertain them with light banter? Any advice?...God, why did I say yes? Oh yeah, she was stuck. Seems her other choice was getting into an ugly divorce. Now there's some irony for you, eh? He's gonna give the speech for the bride and groom, and at the same time, wants to wring his own soon-to-be ex-wife's neck?

Debra Tue Apr 24 06:16:53 PDT 2001


Thank you for your kind words. I wish you the most healing for your loss too.

In my situation I am finding that I am the rest of my life person. I get flashes all the time about my baby Christopher. I hope to see him again in heaven.

In the meantime I have to behave myself. Not easy sometimes.



taylor Tue Apr 24 05:33:51 PDT 2001

is it too late to post something on that phantasium round robin story?

howard Tue Apr 24 05:08:33 PDT 2001

Parchment -- definItely

Hallee Tue Apr 24 01:57:05 PDT 2001

Hey everyone!

TINA: I'm only there for 2 days - I have a conference to attend (though I'll admit only here that I only signed up for one class on Friday...hmmm...3 hours free Friday afternoon between the one class and the welcome dinner. Wow - incomprehensible at this point (haha). And, I had to give up my spot for the back door tour of NASA hosted by one of their astronauts, because I have a 5 hour drive and my sister comes in Sunday afternoon. It was a hard decision to weigh, but I'm coming home early Sunday.

I received another rejection yesterday from an agent. That leaves one more set of letters out to one more agent and a submission to a publisher - I need to get busy - I'm slacking up. I need to get some more submissions out there. What I really need is a printer at homs so I can do it here - work is off the wall nuts right now. We got our office moved yesterday, though. Now I just have to finish two more proposals by Thursday and meet with the phone and computer guys this week to get everything up and running.

Time to go edit chapter 5 of Retribution. Fist, though, aspirin. I've had the same headache since about noon yesterday.

Happy Tuesday all!

Tue Apr 24 01:35:15 PDT 2001

p.s. Actually, when I move everyone I will remove the profanity filters. Nobody really abuses that sort of thing much here, except for artistic effect. And, too, as I have said on more than one occasion. This is freedom hall. And it will remain so either here or in its new home. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Apr 24 01:32:50 PDT 2001

OK, all. I think I have the script worked out and in the morning I will archive the Notebook here and reset the meta refresh tag so that those coming here get moved to the new site. I will employ a 10 second delay reminding people to update their bookmarks or favorites. I also am going to ask again whether people like the parchment background or would prefer a white background. It is really up to everyone here. Let me know either here, at the new site or via email. I am still trying to fine tune the script, especially to make it generate Day, Month, time and year. This may have to wait until my next upgrade, but I will work on it. Also, please note that the time displayed will now be east coast time given that the location I host most of my web pages is located in Florida. Take care everyone. And hope this will work for all. It certainly makes administration easier. Oh, one other item, I do have profanity filters in place. This should not really be a problem, but if it proves so I will remove it or, at least, prune the content I will be using.

taylor Mon Apr 23 23:18:05 PDT 2001

Teekay: this is actually the second novel i have been working on. I had to shelve the first one, cause I tried to censor the bad language and violence.
NEVER EVER DO THAT!!! I found out it wrecks the enjoyment of creating

Tina: I wouldnt say its totally cooperative, during a meditation group, after a certain exercise, my muse struck, and I had to writed this poem down right there and then
And sometimes I feel like I have to kick it in the backside to wake it up

As for people enjoying Elvis impersonators, people at the show enjoy my impersonations of elvis...
I am not a professional, I cant sing good.
So I had to put in the moves to cover up how bad my singing was
They all liked that

Allein Mon Apr 23 22:52:53 PDT 2001

Tina - YAY!! Someone read my poem!! *does happy dance*

*huggles to everyone*

BEN Mon Apr 23 22:52:24 PDT 2001

RANDALL: I enjoy reading your laid back approach to life, and can absolutely relate with you about writing being a mental endeavour as much as it is a physical one. I have lots of reading and writing time available to me on my job. But sometimes, even with my bag of books and papers beside me, I'll sit with my feet up on the steeringwheel of my boat, reclining in the seat to light a smoke, letting the waves push me around as I stare at the skyline and the mountains in the distance--or maybe even sit on the back of the boat and watch the stars--dreaming, working stories over in my mind the way I used to do when I was a kid. When we were younger, I used to tell my brother stories when we were supposed to be in bed sleeping. My parents were always strict with bedtimes, so we were the ones in bed by 7:30-8:00 p.m. in the summertime. There was no way I could sleep listening to my friends right outside my window playing hide and seek. I told stories to take our minds off the fun we knew we were missing out on. But with six kids, I can understand why my parents wanted us in bed early. They just needed a break.

I checked out Howard's link. I've always wondered how to find that place! Thank God I did. Imagine how long it would have taken if we had to find that ourselves.

TINA: A junkie and a druggie are not the same are they? :-)?

RACHEL: Will I be meeting you if Jack sets up a time to meet him? That is, if I can wake up early enough to get the car. I will be on the night shift then. With the bus strike still on--it is still on isn't it? I haven't heard much about it lately--I need the car to get around.

Can we stop talking about death now? Please? Like most of us here, I've been to too many funerals over the years. I try to forget them (the funerals) as quickly as I can. Trying to explain death is like trying to count the stars. You just can't. My Dad's gone three years now, and my Mother's 77.

(The Los Angeles Kings have just defeated the Detroit Red Wings in Overtime.)

And now I have to go to bed because it's getting late. I always seem to sleep in Mondays, but I think I do that on purpose when the story I'm working on isn't going quite the way I think it should be going. Rather than stopping and trying to rein it in, I let it go. But sometimes I dodn't want to let it go too far...

Teekay Mon Apr 23 22:48:56 PDT 2001

Hi All,

Whoo hooo, it's cold here. Not horribly cold, but cold enough to light up the fire and snuggle up inside and watch crappy videos which is the only type I seem to be picking lately, omitting 'Shanghai Noon' that is.
Words of advice:
Life size: DON'T GET IT unless you're in the 5 - 12 age group.
I dream of Africa: Don't really have an opinion, bored me too much before I got to the middle. Yawn City.

TAYLOR: Ah yes, I know that place very well, - NOT! I've never really written very much of a novel before, definitely not to where it has a turning point. The furthest I've ever gone is chapter: 3. *blush*
Not this time though, and this time I mean it!!!

ALLEIN: Got the goosebumps.

HOWARD: HAHAHAHA good grief, how on earth did you find the end of the internet??? Was there a pot of gold?

General Trivia: I'm reading Agatha Christi's autobiography at the moment. I think she had something like 88 books published.

RANDALL: I have to tell you RANDALL, it's soooo good to have you back. I do enjoy your posts so much :-)
I pondered as to why I don't normally post my email address, and after a lot of analysing and soul searching I have come to the conclusion that I don't post it because Hey! What's happening? My computer's gone all funn........

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Apr 23 22:48:39 PDT 2001

Hello everyone: I am still trying to fine tune the new script so it will more or less generate the same kind of content as we have here now. Hopefully, the last of my manipulations will be done sometime tomorrow and I will move everyone there then. However, at the moment, the text is a little strange and the overall effect will take some getting used to, so I suggest that people stay here for the moment and when they find things being forwarded to the new location I will make an announcement and suggest that people change their bookmarks at that time. Take care.

Jerry Ericsson Mon Apr 23 21:47:28 PDT 2001

Howard - I think the first time I was sent to the end of the internet was back in '95 when I was in college. It is so much more welcome now then it was back then when the internet was still new in my eyes.

Everyone should check out Jack's new home for us, it is a bit on the different side from what we have now, but it may turn out to be an improvement, who knows. Not all change is bad. I can certainly see the reason for the move, it would be hell to wake up tomorrow and find that like themestream, you are all gone. A large portion of my life would be gone. (Spoken like a true notebook addict right?)

Spent most of today moving my main computer from an AT case to an ATX case. I still don't know exactly why I wanted to do that, except the motherboard supported such a move, and I guess I wanted to see what the difference would be. My son brought back the ATX case I built his machine in, having moved it into one of those fancy clear cases for his wife. The move itself took under an hour, but trying to convince the Chinese piece of cr*p that it worked with the Soundblaster AWE 64 card in place of the built in audio card took the rest of the day. In the end I gave in to the Chinese, and let it have it's own built-in audio card. The only reason I had changed it in the first place was to have access to my old DOS games, and it seems I rarely if ever play them anymore, and if I desire to do that, I do have this machine next to my recliner where I can, as this machine, while based on a similar made in china board seems to accept the fact I took out it's sound system and replaced it with one made by Soundblaster.

Well I ramble on and bore you again with computer crap that has nothing to do with writing. As far as that goes, I am at it again, writing that is, seems to be going well, I think I found that groove I was searching for. Who knows I may again decide to drop off a bit in the workbook.


Randall Mon Apr 23 19:26:37 PDT 2001


I knew Howard and Jerry and Rhonda nearly always posted their e-mail address as have numerous others. It's no big deal really, just the mis-firing of a writers brain too full of misc BS.


Hi Taylor! A phrase in your post caught my attention. Pardon me while I take the bit in my teeth and break for the border. It's all about writing at this point in my life. Life=writing=living. A writer needs input, constantly, daily, hourly, always. There is not one para in my novel that could not use a descriptive term, clarification or enhancement. Taking a break here on WN, no problem with that atoll (at all) :-)) (Double chin!) The term "writing" indicates a physical act, via clay tablet, pencil, pen, word processor, whatever. To ME, writing is mental first and foremost (Hey, HEY! :-) Hold down the laughter out there!) Honest. I "write" as I deliver for NAPA, thoughts, scenerios, charactors weave through my head as I manuever through crowded streets, parking lots, through school zones. Ocassionally I see something that sparks, a word, something physical, the sun reflection off an old sign laying in the weeds...and jot down a note. Various scenerios stream through my head, adopted, discarded, finalized, rewritten. Random thoughts initalized by a hint of something on the radio, a particular song verse (a word on this later) a story on the noon news, and/or Paul Harvey or good old Rush.

It's all info to be entered into the grist mill of a writers noggin for future use. On ocassion a word or term which floated through my daily life is entered as soon as I arrive home. Parts of my work I can quote because a scene has been visited so many times, changed, cursed, blessed. When I decided to write I accepted that a lot of things would fall aside, as a localized concentration of mental was mandatory. Everything related to and in life has a position in writing, a writer must find where it goes and relevance to a story.

I'm fond of Hemingway quotes....

"The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life--and one is as good as the other."

Then you must consider rocker Mojo Rising.

"We have constructed pyramids
in honor of our escaping.
Out here in the perimeter there are no stars.
We are stoned, immaculate...."

The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)
The Doors w/Jim Morrison

Could I make a tale from that verse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 22 words that any SF writer worth his or her salt could easily turn into 100,000 plus.

"...constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping..."

"Out here in the perimeter..."

"We are stoned, immaculate."

The mind reels!!!

And so does my tired bod!


Night all


Mary Mon Apr 23 19:13:28 PDT 2001

SHORTIE NIGHT THEME: Teaching or learning a lesson. Not to mean that your story has a lesson to teach, just a story about someone teaching or learning a lesson.

Mark Mon Apr 23 19:00:14 PDT 2001

Been called for jury duty. If this goes for more than a few days I'll be really swamped. Still have a project due at work. Might be offline for a while. Then again . . . Someone might just plea bargain and avoid a jury trial.

Tina Mon Apr 23 18:37:14 PDT 2001


Everyone must check out the link Howard included in his post! I loved the site, Howard!

I have a cousin who's into tracing the family tree. She spent years working on my maternal grandmother's side, going through generations of Scottish sheep farmers/shearers until she reached a generation of sheep thieves. I don't know much about my dad's side, but my grandpa (whom I never knew) ran rum and moonshine during prohibition. I just love that tidbit of history! Sure changed my perception of my grandma, who helped him out!

Hmmm, I'm just thinking that with such colourful genetics, it's no wonder I write about thieves and assassins!

Rosemary, I'm sending dry thoughts your way.

Hallee, yes I watched the live broadcast of the shuttle takeoff, and the recorded broadcast of the Canadarm2 being attached yesterday. I'm feeling a little bit of well deserved Canadian pride. And I'm sooo jealous that you get to see so many liftoffs! On my list of 'must dos' is a trip to Florida to see a takeoff, and tour every facility that will let me in. I'd give an eye tooth to get into the adult Space Camp, too.

On race and enthnicity... I live in a town with fairly diverse enthnicity, and to me race is nothing more than a descriptive value I place along with 'brown hair' and 'wide set eyes'. The family across the street is east indian, but the older girl has really round cheeks and her dad has gentle eyes. The family next door is caucasian, and the older girl wears too much makeup and mom needs to update her haircut. Its all just a descriptive tool for my brain to identify people with, and has nothing to do with personality and behavior. A jerk is a jerk is a jerk, regardless of race, and I let actions define personality, not ethnicity. The druggie who lives on the corner could be purple, or look like Harrison Ford, and he'd still be an untrustworthy, unreliable jerk. Race is irrelevant.

My only beef with ethnicity is when the law treats people differently based on their race. Everyone living in the same country should be subject to the same laws. Period.

This is getting long. Me going now.
Oh yeah, Mary, have you divined a topic with which to stimulate our brains?

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Apr 23 18:13:51 PDT 2001

Well, hello everyone. I have finally got beta 1 of the new location for the Writer's Notebook up and running. You can check it out by going to - Feel free to try it out and get your feet wet. The current Notebook will remain here while I am troubleshooting the Workbook to get it going over on Webwitch as well. It might turn out that I figure out a way to do this in ASP, in which case it will be located at We will see. As I mentioned, things are looking a bit dicy for the current location due to the management company filing for backruptcy, so please bookmark the location above for use just in case. As always, you will be able to find the present location of the Notebook and the Workbook at

Hallee Mon Apr 23 16:52:03 PDT 2001

ROSEMARY: Oddly, and this was one of the things I forgot from that post that got wiped out - our cool front hit before yours ... so I guess the weather works both ways. The rain sounds icky - especially since my sister is driving down from WV on Sunday...stay dry and safe*.


Rosemary Mon Apr 23 16:40:12 PDT 2001

A soggy evening to all.

It's been raining along with acompanying thunder and lightning since about 4:00am this morning. My truck is stuck in the driveway where the water co. put in a new pipeline about a week ago.

I think most of us have lost friends or family members and we all work our way through it the best way we can. I've lost both sets of grandparents, both parents, a husband, and most of his family. I still couldn't give advice on how to get through it. PERSONALLY, I think funerals are torture for the immediate family. If it had been only me, there wouldn't have been one. I know some people absolutely live for funerals. Just can't wait for the next person to kick off. Those two opinions are the extreme ends of the subject. Most people fit into the middle.

It's poured more than 7 inches of rain here so far. Highly unusual for this area. Floods and wrecks all over the place. The storm seems to be lingering instead of moving on in your direction. Hope it leaves soon, but it misses you.

The e-mail address,
I use to put my address in all the time, but noticed not many others did so figured that's that much less to type so why bother. Over all these years, I've only gotten one wierd message and no SPAM.

I'm being picky--but, Example- The man rode the horse on the road.

Evening all, Write well.

Rachel Mon Apr 23 16:16:24 PDT 2001

On the death thing - Knowing death and being old have little to nothing to do with each other. I have had stacks of people die around me. Isn't that a nasty image? I'm not sure why, it is just the way my life has been. Friends and family alike. there was a time in my late teens when I felt like I was living in some sort of nightmare land. Now I look back and know I learned much. At the time what I learned is that I have a real temper when enough people I love die. I haven't had any friendsor family members die in the past couple of years. It has been a nice break. Maybe now I'll get a rest from eternal rest.

Allein - E-mail me if your folks will go for it. Dan and I could pick you up at the ferry and drop you back off there, but that would be as far as I could go. How early is early... How late does this thing go? Hum, I better go back and look at the info.

Ciao for now:0)


Hallee Mon Apr 23 15:43:20 PDT 2001

MARY: My grandfather has been tracing our heritage for several years. One thing he's come across that he says he has documentation for is that I'm the great however many's granddaughter of Pocohontas and Jon Smith on my grandmother's side. He gave me the line, but I don't know where I stored the file. He also goes back to Scottish royalty with the Poe's - but honestly, I mistrust that one a bit. The Poe's have been in the United States for so long, since pre-Revolution, and it seems if there was the royalty link, they wouldn't have been here.

My week is going to be horrendous - worse than ever before. But, the up side is that by Friday afternoon, I'll be lying by a poolside in Cape Canaveral, enjoying the peace and solitude that comes with leaving my family behind (hahaha...evil laugh). I'm tired - this is a much needed break.

Monday...Manic Monday...

howard Mon Apr 23 12:14:32 PDT 2001

HEATHER - you wrote " grandmother, who has, after so many years of faithful
churchgoing (and she was the church organist for YEARS) given up her faith completely and has 'gone atheist'."

A consolation there is that it's not up to her (or you or me) to maintain that faith. God has promised that He will never let us slip out of His hand, no matter what. He's the one that's strong enough to keep that promise.

Steven Wright had a pretty good line - "Old people tend to read the Bible a lot. I guess they're cramming for the final."

howard Mon Apr 23 12:04:21 PDT 2001

At last! Something we've all been waiting for! Check the address above.

Mon Apr 23 12:00:15 PDT 2001

Mary Mon Apr 23 10:51:47 PDT 2001

JERRY: I love tracing family lineage, but it is sure a committment to hound that trail. Luckily, on my father's side, my grandma did all the work and had her side of the family traced all the way back to a castle guard for William the Conqueror. I don't know about my grandfather's side. My mother's side hasn't been researched much at all. Just five or six generations so I guess that is my job if I don't want it lost.

I don't know how much I trust that William the Conqueror castle guard thing, though. I would imagine that guards were pretty common folk and how(even why?) c/would people keep records like that? But what do I know?

Heather Mon Apr 23 10:25:59 PDT 2001

Oh, and one more note: Barnabas, the experience of losing a loved one usually comes with age.
Not that I'm looking forward to it. I think in many ways I'm like you, Mark - basically I don't want to think about life without my parents in it. Just contemplating it for a few moments has me close to tears. I can't imagine how hard it is to be without them, and what to say to those of us here who have lost parents?

I'm at a loss again

for words.

Great joke about the atheist. I should tell that one to my grandmother, who has, after so many years of faithful churchgoing (and she was the church organist for YEARS) given up her faith completely and has 'gone atheist'. I have no idea what sparked that utter turn-around in her. Might be the fact that she was diagnosed manic-depressive around the same time. SHe's also taken herself off the meds.


Heather Mon Apr 23 10:15:27 PDT 2001

You three - three! Not you TWO. Mind going...


Heather Mon Apr 23 10:14:02 PDT 2001

I tried posting last night, and to my chagrin, there was something strange going on and I couldn't get this text box to appear!

I've read some very emotionally upsetting posts, and my heart goes out to Mary and Hallee and Debra. You two have come through an amazing amount of pain and loss, though I know personally that the grief period sometimes lasts the whole rest of our lives, lessening over time but never quite leaving.
Mary, I can see how far you've come, being able to write about it in your post with such clarity and openness. I felt much like you did, thinking you were the one in town that everyone talked about as the one who lost her son. I was the girl in highschool who's best friend was killed, and after that I (maybe it was part imagining) heard people whispering about me all the time, saying things to do with my friend's violent death, and wondering aloud about how I was handling it. Not that anyone wanted to actually talk to me and extend friendship - God, I might be jinxed.
But that was all right. I didn't feel too much like having new friends. The ones I still had were there for me - just not in my classes for the most part. There were a few friends that didn't come around much anymore, too.
It's very difficult to know what to say to someone who has suffered a loss. And you're right - it's still near impossible even if we have experienced it ourselves to know what to say. Why is that?
Hallee, I think it is very hard to let yourself cry or mourn when you feel that doing so is a sign of little faith. I don't think it is at all - you trust that they are in God's soft hands. (But all the same I understand too, how you can hold something in and think that you're ok for the longest time about it! I've had that happen, almost scaring myself with the intensity of the grief bubbling up, even years later. Stuff I repressed.)

And then we have Debra, and even with what you said, Debra, I don't think your head is as far in the sand as you think!
Just coming forth and talking about it a little is a lot more than saying nothing.

What do we have now, Elvis impersonations, funeral dirges, Hiroshima poetry, and some laughs between!
This place never fails to be interesting and entertaining, and heartwrenching all twisted up together. Just like life.

Good to share it, good to express it, good to belong here.


Jerry Ericsson Mon Apr 23 10:11:47 PDT 2001

As far as posting my email address, I guess it is a matter of being lazy on my part, although it takes so little to double click and post it. I have no problem leaving it with my posts, I always used to, anyhow. I don't think I have ever received any SPAM from leaving it here, I have another email address I use at all the other sites that might generate SPAM, I check it weekly well I should say I CLEAN it out weekly, there is rarely anything I want to read in it.

Sorry for my depressing posts of late, guess I fell into one of those purple funks that happens once in awhile, and wallowed in self pity, but I am much better now.

As I mentioned the other day, my sister found a distant relative on my mother's father's side of the family who has researched his lineage back. Seems I am a direct descendant from one of the first 47 settlers in New France (Quebec). He settled there in 1617, and that line has been living in that general area since that time. There was some inter-marriage with the Algonquin Indians, and in fact that too is documented. I think it is great that records are available on such things, guess the French liked to write things down even back then. Kind of changes my old ideals that I should not worry about what happened in North America until my ancestors came over from Sweden in the mid 1800's. Or for that matter on mom's side her dad came here just prior to WWI. I get a kick out of the way he told it, "I stole the fastest damn horse in the Kaiser's stable and road it to the coast, where I caught a ship to the States." On a side note, he kept the horse and had it shipped with him on the same ship, so he would have transportation once he got here. He had relatives in this area and road that damn horse all the way from New York to North Dakota. I bet that was a very interesting ride.

That big Blizzard that hit South Dakota, dropping 22 inches of snow yesterday missed us by seventeen miles, how's that for a close one. While the rest of this part of the state are shoveling that white crap today, we are enjoying a bright spring day. Already the temp is up over 50 degrees, and looks like it may hit 70 by this afternoon, and we got no moisture of any kind, no rain, no snow. This is strange, usually we end up in the middle of any weather that hits around us.

Jack, thanks again for getting the notebook back online!


Mark Mon Apr 23 08:10:27 PDT 2001

And then, of course, there was the atheist laid out in the casket. All dressed up, nowhere to go.

howard Mon Apr 23 07:59:01 PDT 2001

I always post my Edress - never had a problem with it.

TAYLOR - We could say that there is nothing that is not about or connected to writing. Writing has to do with describing the human experience. To do that we must be able to communicate. Communication requires understanding. Part of understanding is knowing that there are people who enjoy impersonating Elvis. Also people who enjoy being an audience to that impersonation. It's part of what keeps him memorable. It's part of what facilitates communication. It's writing.

On funerals:
Three men were standing before the casket containing their newly departed friend. Bill asked "If that was you in there, what would you want us to be saying right now?"

George thought a moment, and replied "I'd want you to be saying what a great family man I was, and how I was faithful in church and all."

Charlie nodded, and said "I think I'd also want you to be remembering that I was an honest businessman, and never took advantage of anyone."

They looked back to Bill and asked "What would you want us to be saying?"

Bill just looked at them, grinned, and replied "I think I'd want you to say 'Look! He's moving!'"


Tina Mon Apr 23 07:27:14 PDT 2001


Randall, I can't speak for everyone, but the reason I rarely post my e-mail in the NB is because some unscrupulous people have been known come in here and send out spam to everyone with their e-mail posted. I don't care for that, so I don't put in my e-mail very often. I do put it in the workbook everytime I post there.

taylor, glad your muse is so cooperative.

Not much time today. See y'all

Allein Mon Apr 23 07:18:14 PDT 2001

Hey all,
Wrote a poem yesterday but was unable to post it - glad the notebook is fixed now so I can post. :)
Here is my poem (keep in mind, poetry is not my thing and yes, I'm a history buff :) ):

Hachiji Juugofun sugi

A girl on her way to meet friends,
Looking at the flowers on the roadside,
The air around her smelling sweet,
It’s the perfect day.

A bride going to meet her groom,
Dressed in her white silk kimono,
Stopping at an alter, praying to Bhudda,
For a long, happy marriage.

A child eating rice for breakfast,
His mother baking him sweets,
Peaceful times are ahead,
That night, they will celebrate.

A plane flying over the city,
Seeing the flash, hearing the roar,
The pilot looks down, then writes on paper:
“My God, what have we done?
What have we done?”
- Heather Burgess
April 22, 2001

ben Mon Apr 23 06:37:01 PDT 2001

HOP: Lighten up a bit, will ya? :-) Try laughing at life instead of analyzing every piece of it. Try humor. Of course I know what rain forest it is you're talking about, and I even know where it is. But, since where I live we've suddenly inherited a rain forest off our west coast that wasn't there when I was a kid... well, never mind, some people "just don't look at life from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow..." {Is it a rain forest just because it happens to rain here? Or is it because it happens to be a small piece of forested land they want to protect? Aren't the qualifications more involved than that?:-)}
Take this race and ethnicity thing? You can't teach an old dog new tricks. If we happen to call it race instead of ethnicity, forgive me, but what's the big deal? It doesn't bother me, and it certainly doesn't bother my wife (who is of a different ethnic pusuassion). Apparently the only one it bothers is you. I apologize for being that way as well...but try laughing a little. After all, is the White race the minority in the wolrd? It's just that nobody's told us.
Death, as a subject, is something you won't understand until you go through it; it can't be understood--and really, to be honest, you don't want to. Laugh while you can, enjoy life while you can, because before you know it, the life you have won't be your own anymore. You'll be married, and have children, and discover that everything you once thought about life is completely different now, completely changed, and the values you once held on to in your youth will have different meanings with added maturity. :-) So laugh while you still can; live while you still can, and let everything follow its own course.
And please, don't take anything I said here too seriously, because believe me, everything I said, I said with a smile and a laugh. You're far too young to be too serious. Or maybe I'm just too immature to be this "old". (Like forty'ish is old?)

taylor Mon Apr 23 02:39:59 PDT 2001

this week not about writing...
Im doing a special Elvis Presley performance at karaoke
dressed up in a gold suit and all

just thought i would like to share something that isnt just about writing

Barnabas "Hope" Mon Apr 23 02:18:01 PDT 2001

I have now changed from Hop to Hope temporarily, for I am Pandora who opened the box of fictious characters and great sadness and hope that by being "Hope" I too will part of THE HOPE that was released at the end.

To all the funeral attenders
My life has almost never been plagued by a good friend or relative dying being so young. I guess I'm lucky but being living in a new country you have to not miss your family or friends or you'll never make it. In a few ways (note in a few ways only) that's like them dying. Thank goodness we have e-mail.

In my life my grandmother on my father's side, my grandfather on my mother's side and my great grandmother on my father's mother's side have died though none of them were close to me. Goes to show the generation gap in my family.

Perhaps we write to leave something of ourselves for those who wish to remember us. For writing expressess our concious, sub-conscious and unconscious thoughts.

Now let us remember those long pass for a moment.

I'm thinking of freezing myself but if I do die, I'm going to stick around (if I can). There's too much to do on the earth. For me death will be the beginning of a long interesting experience.

First day of school and my friends and I had a wonderfully long discussion about our lives.

I guess the race thing depends on your definition and the connotations.
But the sinister unscientific background goes something like this:
There are certain distinguishing characeristics for a "race" and the human population is divided into races which are all INDIVIDUAL species. Each individual species has physical and genetic characteristics that correlate in a determind way with the social, psychological and cultural characteristics.

In biology, members of two species can not breed together and produce viable offspring or if they did often the viable offspring's if mated with other such offspring would create a sterile offspring. That is the new creature X if mated with another X would create Y a sterile offspring.

Of course this is absolutely out the window considering that humans can interbreed with no such sterile offspring appearing in the next few generations or in any generations in fact.

You have returned. Good to see that you are back.

I hope you know about what rainforest I was talking about now. As for rainforests here in NZ that's ridiculous!

Wrong. You forget that there can be differences in perceived logic. What the Klingon does is logical to him though the logic but illogical to the Vulcan.

Unless of course you believe that logic exists independently. In which case some logic may be closer to the independent logic then others.

I think you should find out more although a lot of small-time publishers are probably not listed anywhere.

My rejection was an e-mail for an on-line e-zine and it was only a tiny note but honest.

Ima Ryder
I never once said anyone was fictional.

Hey Death? Hope you're reading this. What can I say? Keep transmitting the love eminating from these people across to those in the afterlife. Send me a personel e-mail if you can, I want to be able to say in my address book lies Death. I suppose a personel visit (just to see you) would be too much would it?

taylor Mon Apr 23 01:14:50 PDT 2001

teekay: well the writings been going really well, im at the major turning point in the novel
You know where everything goes up a notch, the rest should be easier to write

I cant seem to enjoy tv shows anymore though, not a bad thing, I keep on trying to describe the scenes the way I write

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Apr 23 00:04:33 PDT 2001

Now that was a bit strange. Looks like the server hiccuped and chopped off the bottom part of the form. Oh, well, hope nobody got left out. Ben and Rachel. Yes, as I mentioned I will be making an appearance in Vancouver between the 4 - 6 of May. As I stated in an earlier post, we may try to do some diving. We will see. But it would be great to see Notebookers in the Vancouver area. Of course, Rachel has indicated that she will be coming down to Fran and my NWSFS May social.

On a happier note, I have been spending more time in front of our newly augmented television than I have in years. The addition of HDTV set top box is proving an amazing revelation in what the potential of the medium is just from a oh wow sentiment. This reminds me very much of when we went from black and white television to color. My family was among the first adopters when I was a kid, so I sort of feel I am living up to the family traditions by being an early adopter of HD.

Americo: good to see you make an appearance. Hope things are going well for you, Jon, Pussy and all the rest.

Sun Apr 22 14:13:26 PDT 2001

Randall Sun Apr 22 12:38:23 PDT 2001

Hi group!

Busy as all hell last week and unable to join in. Friday night, I would have posted something...but the only thing written would have tired, so weary, asleep.

BTW, has anyone noticed that a LOT of folks do not include their e-mail address? I know a lot of the regulars don't...but they are regulars, well known and addresses are on record. For some reason I've always included mine. I figure if anyone takes exception to something I've written, they know where to find me. FYI

Hi Americo! Via La France! Long live the revolution!!!!

Been in a funk, unable to write on the novel. Sadly, I realize the literary world is greatly distressed at this news flash. The Great American novel put off again! :-) :-) But, hey, it's possible I'm a one trick Pony. Wasn't it Margret Mitchell who said. "Frankly my dear, I'll never write again." Do I delve in quality instead of quanity? Or started writing too late in life? Too many notions, but no structure? Depressing.......and along that line......

Hemingway said "That terrible mood of depression of whether it's good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward."

Right on. Ernest should know something about depression. I've been printing some of my material to send to a lady in Canada, a regular here...and haven't found one think I've written the last 4 years of ANY value. The urge to scream, leap to my feet, and toss the hard drive through a window is difficult to surpress. "...whether it's good or not." I can not, at this moment, think of any emotion more limiting to a struggling, unpublished writer. GOOD OR NOT should be tatooed on an authors forearm, only removed upon publication, by an editor, with a knife and a bottle of Johnny Walker Red. "Good or not" has, and will again stop my writing graveyard dead and spiders cover the monitor with web and dust and melancholy.

Heard last week the Mayan calendar predicted the solar eclipse over Mexico City in 1991. They also said this world would end December 23, 2012. (Merry Christmas mother trucker!!!) Kinda scary in a way, and, honestly, coincides nearly to the day with the secenerio in my novel. Goose bumps racing up your neck? Should be because my inspiration for "Flowers" was a dream/vision in 1997. I heard a news report several months ago an unknown object was headed to the earth, but NASA said it was only a piece of space junk. "Probably a used rocket booster..." Wow, that's a relief, cause I know NASA would never lie to the people of the Earth.'s coming back? Why? Forget something?

Better get out of here 'fore the boys in white led by Mr. Wizard close in. Keep your nose in the wind and one eye on the sky.


Tina again Sun Apr 22 11:40:17 PDT 2001

Allein, your high school years sound familiar. I never fit in either, and was overweight, and none too popular. Sometimes it stressed me pretty badly. My only rewarding year was 11. I got into a programme called 'Earthquest', a programme combining school with wilderness education like rock climbing, kayaking, back country skiing and camping. It was hard to fit in academically, but sooo worth it! I learned to have a whole new outlook on *me*, and on the world, and I met my husband there. That was a good year.
Despite that, with (gulp) 12 years between now and then, I think I'd choose the 'hell no' option on the questionaire, too!


Tina Sun Apr 22 11:31:44 PDT 2001


Ben and Jack, so so close! I'll be in Vancouver on the 2nd. Can't stay any longer. Next time maybe.
OH and Ben, I have an e-mail funny that I think you'd appreciate. If you're interested, send me your e-mail address and I'll forward it on.

Viv, your shortie made me nostalgic for college. I miss that energy, that eager desire to learn and explore.


Allein Sun Apr 22 11:24:03 PDT 2001

Viv - I remember starting at new schools. I don't much remember elementary school except that kids can be really mean if you're even the least bit different. :( So I didn't go along with the crowd - that doesn't make me weird, it makes me an individual. I remember a party that all the other girls in my class were invited to and I wasn't invited. I remember when Valentine's day would come by and we would hand out those little Valentines with cartoon characters on them - I maybe got five every year. Except in 1st and 2nd grade when we had to give one to everybody.
Starting in Junior High - I was so ugly. I had glasses and I liked my hair back but my mom liked it down, so we compromised and I think everyday I had my hair back halfway. I was teased and fell in with the wrong people a lot.
In 10th grade - I joined the Notebook. :D *big grins* I found many good friends here. Some of them are still here, some aren't.
I also got contact lenses right before 10th grade so I was very happy about my appearance. I'd even lost some weight. Friends was still an issue. I had a group of people I would hang out with but I'm not sure any of them really liked me.
11th grade was bad - a guy I knew killed himself, and after that I started gaining weight because I was so depressed and I would eat. Also this one girl went around calling me names and making my life a living hell for the entire year because of a minor incident. One of my friends got pregnant - had miscarriage.
12th grade I had my first real boyfriend. Isn't that sad? Most girls I knew had already dated (even ones I didn't think were very good looking). Anyway, we dated for 6 months and broke up - he said it was because we didn't see each other very often but I later found out it was because I wouldn't have sex with him - yeah well, nuts to him. I don't need that kind of guy! One girl STILL bugging me over minor incident the year before. Got to meet Rachel for the first time in Oct. that year. I have pictures - I look fat. Met the COFFEE CLAN and became a member!! :)
The year ended with a tearful graduation. I still keep in contact with the Coffee Clan, my friends John, Cliff (who is moving in August) :(, Marissa and Michelle.
Anyway, enough of my babbling.

Ben - hopefully I'll get to come too because I asked my mom and she said "we'll see". And this didn't sound like the "we'll see" which really means "no" this was more like a positive response. :)

Rachel - YAY!! :)

BEN Sun Apr 22 08:33:24 PDT 2001

Rachel: Are you coming out to see Jack next week when he comes up to Burnaby? Be kinda neat to actually meet someone from here wouldn't it? I think we live pretty close don't we? I guess I'll have to get up early to drive the wife to work coz I'll be coming off the afternoon shift.

Viv Sun Apr 22 01:18:42 PDT 2001

Sorry about this Jack. It's too long but my business writing class is going crazy and I can't get my grades into excel. I'm trying to wear too many hats!
Spring Begins the School Year

The barn swallows are back. They dart about the small college town. They dart and swoop above the crowds of college students as they hurry toward the big buildings at the top of the hill. The swallows are constantly in motion as they swing back and forth between shop awnings and doorways. They are building their summer homes. Most search places under the awnings overhanging the shops.

Year after year they return. Usually they fly first to the place their nests were the year before. If it’s empty, they happily set about their task. Full, they dart, searching for another place to put a home. The swallows are as constant as the faces of the sensei and they get the same happy greetings from the shopkeepers. One small vegetable shop owner always moves her display slightly to the left and hangs a little bamboo curtain to shield the little nest from the sun. She also offers special prices to the returning sensei. Every teacher knows, there will be an extra cucumber or an extra bundle of spinach added to any purchase. She knows our names when we come in the shop and greets us as we return. “How was your vacation? Did you go anywhere this year?”

The old students go up the hills in groups. They stop to greet their favorite teachers. “What are you teaching this year? Should I take your class?” Even the “bad kids” from former classes stop to remember. “Yes! You were an exceptional student! I still remember you! Really, I thought your tricks made teaching interesting. Oh, you’ve reformed...glad to hear it!”

The new freshmen move like the swallows. They dart nervously up the hill. Their steps are filled with purpose and worry. They clutch class schedules in one hand, look at watches and hold tight to heavy new textbooks. Their worried faces glance at the calm purposeful groups of confident upperclassmen.

The crowd streams into the gates of the school. The short gate guard stands frowning at the clutter of bicycles left by the side of the building. He attempts to create order but the bicycles keep coming. The students are worried. They have to find their classrooms. Like small children, they abandon their bicycles and run into the building. One bicycle falls starting a domino effect. One after another the bikes topple sideways, tires spin, handlebars tangle. The gate guard stands shaking his head like an overwhelmed parent. He scolds but no one listens.

Above his head, a swallow darts then swoops low under a dark limb laden with cherry blossoms. The bell chimes. There is a last frantic pounding of feet as a single freshman searches for a classroom. A sudden quiet falls. The first class begins.
Stupid but my reaction to the shortie theme. Our year started this week. Man do I feel like I went up that hill happy and came down it on my backside! YIKES! Here comes another year and I thought I was prepared!!!!

Viv Sun Apr 22 00:56:17 PDT 2001

Is that your shortie Allein? It's neat. It did have me reading because I wondered what would happen to a kid who'd never been to school. Some tips because my daughter (age 20 now) didn't go to school much before she was 17.

She worried a lot about fitting in and making it look like she'd been in a school before. Passing period, locker combinations, lunch period and gym class were really weird experiences. (The only time she'd been in school before t was 2nd grade in Germany and those weren't factors). She also never had been exposed to a lot of people with a cold at a certain time and found it suprising that everyone caught a disease at the same time. (She was really suprised when she got the cold that was going around!) She loved school and really appreciated stuff that most kids took for granted. She got really excited about the school festivities. It was fun to read about her reactions. (I sent her to America for this!) This might be fun to write about!

Anyway, cool way to present that subject!

I'll find mine and post now too.

To those who found the courage to send in your manuscripts:
Very neat. Frame the letters in a single frame. When you get your acceptance letter, put that on top and keep the rejections beneath the acceptance letter. What a find for a collection! Can't you just imagine the graduate student who is studying your works finding this treasure! Can you see her face???!!! Wonderful! Thank God we still have a print media and snail mail!

Tina Sat Apr 21 20:57:07 PDT 2001

Hallee and Debra, congratulations! Fill those nails! I hope I find the courage to do what you're doing.

Mark, thanks. It's like a dream. No, a nightmare.

Here's a wierd thing. I picked up a novel today, at a used book sale. It's a title I've noticed before and wanted to read. As I began reading it all seemed very familiar. And kept feeling familiar. After ten pages, I'm sure that I've read the book before, yet I have no idea how it turns out. This means a) I've read it already and it made so little impact that I can't remember. b) I began reading it, and disliked it enough to stop reading it. Either way, I see no point in continuing.
What it makes me see is that while I want to be published (fingers crossed) I don't want to have that effect on a reader. My book will be better! I've decided!

I've re-restructured the ending of 'Shadow', and I like it better now. I'm starting to be really excited about writing it again. My muse is back. (She's short, with a long grey braid in her hair and a kind face.)

Time to go.

Debra Sat Apr 21 18:00:45 PDT 2001


First thanks.


I got a rejection from an agent, not the one who is considering my manuscript she still is, but one who I just sent a query to.

She said she only had time to do high interest stuff, but gave me the name of another agent who might be interested. Her name in not in the 2001 guide or on any website I have looked. I emailed her back to tell her I couldn't find her and was she a new agent and she said no, and she doesn't know why she is not listed. She also said I could use her as a reference. She gave me her address from the start, but I wanted to learn more about her first.

Does it sound hokey?


Allein Sat Apr 21 17:50:52 PDT 2001

Rachel - I really REALLY want to go, but haven't been able to convince my parents yet. A ride there would help but what I'd really need was a ride back and I'd need to be sure to catch a ferry a little earlier, which means I may have to leave earlier. I'll run the idea by them again.

Teekay Sat Apr 21 16:30:29 PDT 2001

Hi All,
MEL: Not real rocks HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA good one.

BARNABAS: Wow they actually sent you a personal note with your rejection? That's great. Usually it's just a form letter. I do believe congratulations are in order. CONGRATULATIONS! :-)

TAYLOR: Hi there. I've been thinking about you and wondering how your writing was going. Glad you're back.

' was really good. 'The Kid' however was a rather tedious journey to a reasonably predictable ending. The only thing keeping it from being a total flop was Bruce Willis.

Gotta finish this later. Thunder's in the air.

Ima Ryder Sat Apr 21 16:29:30 PDT 2001

MR. BARNABAS HOP: Pray young man that you wash your mouth out with soap. Fictional characters indeed!!!

Hallee Sat Apr 21 16:23:16 PDT 2001

Got a rejection from an agent today - wow - I only mailed it out last week.

YAY!!!! Progress....hahahaha


Rachel Sat Apr 21 16:03:42 PDT 2001

Allein - Hey girl! Are you going to Jack's party? If you could get to the ferry I could pick you up on the other side. Let me know if that would help you get there.

All this talk of school daze/days has opened up a wide and wild set of writing in me. I've been having a blast. Thanks guys :0) I would tell yah all about it, but... Okay, no I wouldn't (grins and laughter)! I just came up with a new set of shorts. I can really crank out the writing from time to time. If I find that I have a new set I don't open it up. Isn't that weird? I tuck it away. I guess I like to work on my sets. Now I just have to open up enough to send them out as a set of shorts.

I think that sets of shorts are something that only well known authors can get away. Sort of like the novella thing.

Hum, I have guests due soon. I should shake a tail feather...

Ciao for now!


Allein Sat Apr 21 14:20:35 PDT 2001

I finished the short story - at least the rough draft. So if anyone has any suggestions, please inform me.

The First Day

Rean looked up at the huge school in front of him. He didn't want to go to a school – even a private school. He wanted to continue being tutored. But San Riago Private Academy had just opened and his mother decided that he would start the fifth grade there whether he liked it or not. He'd only gone to school one day in his life – in kindergarten and a girl had beaten him up. After that he never wanted to go to school. His mother thought it was important for him to have friends. It's a darn good thing I love my mother, he thought.

He said good-bye to the limo driver and walked into the school. He straightened out the top of his ugly brown uniform. The junior high level boys wore blue and in high school it was black. The girls wore red sailor suits until they were in junior high when the color changed to blue and in high school it was both red and blue. He looked at his schedule – his first class was in room 511. He figured it must be the fifth floor. He climbed up the stairs to the fifth floor.

He looked around at all the doors. All the numbers started with nine. Everyone was older than him and wearing junior high uniforms. Now he figured it out – five meant the fifth grade. And all the fifth grade classrooms must be on the bottom floor. He walked back down to the bottom floor. He found 512 with no problem, he also found 510, but he couldn't seem to find his classroom.

A girl walked up to him. "Do you need help?"

He looked at her. She was thin and had short, curly blonde hair. "Um...I’m trying to find room 511."

She pointed to a room on the other side of the hall. Of course the even numbered rooms were on one side and the odd numbered rooms on the other. "That's my first class too."

He studied her features. "You look familiar."

"So do you. But, you're familiar to everyone. You're Prince Rean, aren't you?"

"Um...yeah." Why am I nervous around her? He thought.

"I'm Allein Anderson."

"As in Anderson Enterprises, Anderson?" He recalled that Anderson Enterprises was the leading company in software technology.

"That's my father. He runs the business."

He followed her into the classroom. Many famous children went to this school because their parents could afford it but some of the children weren't famous at all and were only there for their academic intelligence. Such as the boy that Allein sat next to. "Hey Troz. This is Rean."

Rean had taken the empty seat next to Allein. "Hi."

Troz was a lemu – a species which looked to be part human and part cat. The fur covering his body was tan and he had a black mohawk. His left ear was pierced twice. "Hi. Can you get me Princess Sheena’s autograph? She's hot!"

Allein elbowed Troz in the arm. "Jerk!"

Rean didn't think his cousin Sheena was hot, but of course she was his cousin, and that would be a little weird if he did.

Another lemu – a girl with white fur and blonde hair passed by. Troz purred. "Hey there! How about you and me have a study date?"

She took the seat behind Allein. "Yeah, that'll happen," she said sarcastically. "So Allein, who is your friend."

Allein turned around. "Troz?"

"No, the cute one."

"That's Prince Rean. Are you blind?"

"I'm into that popular people magazine, tabloid whatever they put out. The last picture I saw of Rean was when he was, like, four." She bowed her head to him. "But I'm pleased to meet you. I'm Cassidy Mewin."

"She's the future mother of my children." Troz added.

"Yeah, in your wildest dreams." She told him.

What a cast of characters, Rean thought. I wonder if this is what my mother had in mind when she wanted me to improve my social life.

By lunch he was feeling a bit better about school. He sat with Allein and Troz. Cassidy was sitting with a friend of hers named Marcie. Allein told Rean that Marcie was sort of a snob.

Fortunately, the food was rather good. Sheena had told Rean all about the food in her cafeteria being really bad. Maybe that's why she took her lunch to school.

He got through the day with no problem. And he said good-bye to his new friends. He wondered if they'd liked him.

As he returned home, he heard yelling coming from the parlor. He looked in. Sheena was arguing with her father. That morning she'd been wearing a conservative outfit, but now she was dressed in a halter top, mini skirt and high heel shoes. Her make up was also fairly intense. Apparently, she had tried to sneak back into the castle without her father seeing her and the plan didn't work.

Rean passed by and found his mother.

She smiled at him. "How was your day?"


"How were your classes?"


"Did you make any new friends?"

"I'm not sure. There are two people who are nice there. Maybe we'll become friends. But I don't know if I made a good impression."

Absentmindedly, he slipped his hand in his back pocket. Feeling a piece of paper, he pulled it out. On it was written a phone number and the message: call me sometime, Allein.

Seeing the message, the queen grinned. "I think you did make a friend. Maybe even a girlfriend?"

"I don't really like...maybe girls are okay."

Rean went to his room. After he'd closed the door, he jumped up in the air and shouted. "YES!!"

He couldn't wait to go back to school the next day.

Eh, I think it's a little...I don't particularly like the end.
*sigh* I'm actually trying to get Mali and Azol done because I'm almost finished with that. If anyone wants to read it when I finish, tell me and I'll attach it to an e-mail and send it to you.

Rachel Sat Apr 21 14:19:36 PDT 2001

Mary - Thank you.

Mary Sat Apr 21 09:19:19 PDT 2001

Thanks Mark. :-)

Rosemary Sat Apr 21 09:11:56 PDT 2001

Hi all,
Had to take Gizmo to the vet this morning. It's that mat thing the groomer didn't fix.

I think a lot of people get 'passive voice' and 'past tense' mixed up. You can not find a passive sentence in every sentence that has had in it. You would have to write in present tense all the time. (I'm fussing at your friend, not you.) [:+)

I looked at those crop circles pictures. It looks like an art form to me. Kind of reminded me of grafeitti(sp?)

Got to go get the dog now. great shorties all.


Jerry Ericsson Sat Apr 21 08:36:37 PDT 2001

You gotta read this!

one Ohio professor received hate mail
and even death threats for proposing to teach a course ex-
posing political correctness. Ironically, the university's
Women's Studies director said, "We forbid any course that
says we restrict free speech."

Got this from a news site.


Mary Sat Apr 21 08:18:25 PDT 2001

DEBRA: Don't let anybody tell you to do anything any differently than you are, and you shouldn't feel like you have to apologize for it either. You know what you can do and what you can handle, and its plenty. :-)

Big hugs to all of us.

Debra Sat Apr 21 07:58:47 PDT 2001


I find it hard to deal with death. It's almost as if I didn't get a very important gene to cope. I like to put my head in the sand and hope death doesn't see me. Of course that doesn't work. I have lost a son myself. I just hope that my silence doesn't offend anyone. I'm still putting my head in the sand. For now I'm happy there.



Mark Sat Apr 21 07:51:21 PDT 2001

I feel like I just woke up. I haven't quite got my bearings. Conversations swirl around on topics of grievous loss, klingon humor, and lunchroom ladies.

MARY, that was absolutely eloquent. When you told us you were having your 30th birthday last year, I knew there was a well of experience in you that most 30-somethings can neither express or appreciate. Your post on the loss of your son was both touching and uplifting. Thanks again for being here.

TINA -- I don't know if we already spoke of this or not. Condolences on your loss. Apologies for my inattention. I have yet to lose a parent. I may have a resistance to such news. Mom and Dad are 84 and 79. I resist news of parents passing. I think the sharing that happens here is wonderful, even if I can't yet fully open to it, nice to know it's here. It'll happen to me whether I'm ready or not.

Hallee Sat Apr 21 07:29:18 PDT 2001

Mary: My husband has that site on his favorite places. The background on our computer is one of those pictures in a tile format. It looks pretty neat that way.

mary Sat Apr 21 07:15:00 PDT 2001

here is a link to some of the best crop circle pictures i have seen. Pretty nifty.

Mark Sat Apr 21 07:12:41 PDT 2001

HALLEE -- Sure, happy to. Post it or just mail it to me. Here's my address.

Mary Sat Apr 21 06:06:14 PDT 2001

HALLEE: I can understand how you really thought you were fine and isn't it amazing how things trigger grief? It seemed that when I was in my deepest funk over my son dying, other things which should have seemed terribly tragic to me, didn't affect me much at all. My husband left me and all I did was show up at the courthouse and sign the papers. Fine, see ya. Have a nice life. Jerk.

I don't know that I would say your situation wasn't as tragic as mine. I can't even imagine what you went through, but then again, maybe it isn't as different from how I felt at all. In any case, I am sorry for your losses, and even though I have been through the loss of a child myself, it is still very hard to know what to say.

RACHEL: Thank you very much...and that sure didn't feel shallow to me, smiles.

taylor Sat Apr 21 05:40:22 PDT 2001

A warm thought to all for their loss, I had lost my father and grandfather who within a year of each other died suddenly
Its a painful thing I know
I cant pretend to know what mothers go through, or how others should feel...
All I know is it hurts
My prayers and thoughts go out to you all

Hallee Sat Apr 21 04:31:05 PDT 2001

MARY: My experience is not nearly as tragic as yours - but I lost a baby at 20 weeks. The sad part about it all was that I went to the doctor that day because something felt wrong. I can't explain it even now, but the doctor told me to go ahead and come in because I'd already had one miscarriage. He tried to find the heartbeat - couldn't find it, so he did an ultrasound, the entire time convinced that nothing was wrong. So, he let me see the ultrasound screen. At 20 weeks, the baby is perfectly formed and you can see the whole thing on the screen. Beautiful, perfect child whose heart was not beating. I had stared at the screen for 5 minutes before he realized it and turned it so I couldn't see. I was far enough along that he wanted to induce labor, but he decided on surgery. (I wish now I had asked him to print me a picture.)

Anyway, I never really mourned. I'm not that sort of person, and I think most strong feelings have a delayed reaction for me. Everyone kept asking me how I was, and I couldn't make them understand that I was fine. Really.

But, then one day I was driving to church and listening to the Country Gospel program. I'd lost 4 by this time, and had a surgery scheduled to get my tubes tied. Kaylee was 1, and our little miracle. But this song came on called "Jesus Has a Rocking Chair." Talking about all of the babies in Heaven and how there's more than enough room on His lap for all of them, until their parents get there to claim them. I had to pull over. I found myself at 9:00 in the morning on the side of the road with my one year old dozing in her seat and mourning for 4 babies at the same time. I had to go home. That lasted about a full week before I felt better, and I allow myself to be sad now - which I didn't before. I think I thought it meant that I didn't have a strong enough faith if I was sad.


Hallee Sat Apr 21 04:21:36 PDT 2001

MARK: Do you have time to critique a short prologue? Here's my questions: A critique partner from a different group sent my critique for a prolgue. The first several paragrphas are reflection, and she said that she had no desire to read any further until I rid my work of the passive voice. But, the passive voice is just found during the reflection, and the fixes she suggested sound stupid. It's almost like she did a search for the word "had" and just wanted to wipe it out. Passive and active voice is not my strong point, but in my uneducated opinion, reflection is rather passive, is it not? So, I was wondering if I posted it on the workbook, if you would mind taking a look at it?


Rachel Sat Apr 21 01:40:59 PDT 2001

Mary - I send you the strongest, warmest hug that I have. My heart quivered when I read your post.
My thoughts are with you.

Jerry Fri Apr 20 21:37:25 PDT 2001

Just watching the History Channel, they are doing a thing on crop circles. I remember very many years ago, I must have been 7 or 8 years old, and we were over to my Uncle and Aunt's place. This was the SPECIAL Uncle and Aunt, because it was my father's brother who married my mother's sister. This made we kids "double" cousins. Anyhow it seems that my uncle was having a dispute with his neighbor over some land, and the location of the property lines. The neighbor owned the land just south of the road that lead past my Uncle's farm, and it was doing great, A huge wheat field and the field was nearly ready for harvest. My cousin Shirley and I decided to get even with the neighbor so we walked to the middle of his field and lay down, then began to roll, and crushed the wheat to the ground. I am sure that it looked much like a group of crop circles once we were through. We never did mention this to our folks, and never heard a word about it from anyone. Maybe it all sprung back up or the neighbor just figured it was some strange blight or something.

Funney the things we do when we are young.


Jerry Ericsson Fri Apr 20 21:28:07 PDT 2001

Sorry about my funk, I am much better now, must be the new meds the Dr. put me on. He keeps changing them, in an attempt to get me free of pain, but to no avail. This last change has worked fairly well, but I don't know if I should keep taking them, as I looked them up in several places on the web and they all say that the med should not be taken longer then five days. I have been on it now for over twenty days. Guess I should give him a call, but he did give me a three month supply in the prescription, so maybe he knows better then the web sites.

Anyway, it isn't something that needs to be discussed here and now. I just went to my web site, and read some of my stories from last year. Some of them are quite good, I am going to have to get back in that groove again, the stuff I have produced of late just doesn't make the grade.

Night all.

Mary Fri Apr 20 19:33:00 PDT 2001

My mother has always known exactly how she wants her funeral to go and I think she's got the right idea. She wants to be laid to rest in a beautiful white nightgown because, after all, it is eternal SLEEP (a really long nap anyway depending on what you believe). She wants the casket closed. No calling hours. Only the preacher and immediate family present at the funeral. Amazing Grace played by a piper at the gravesite. Lots of flowers. No big buffet afterwards for mourners. Very simple, heartfelt and private. But then, that is the way she is in life, so why not in death? It twists my heart to even think of life without her.

A little something on mourning: Everyone mourns differently and at their own pace. I remember when my son had first died and people talked to me about hanging in there, or that he was in a better place. I had one guy even tell me I should be rejoicing. I told him to come back after he had an infant ripped from his arms and tell me how friggin happy he was. That was a terrible thing to say.

Deep down I knew that he was in a better place, and not suffering, or struggling and for that I was grateful. It took me a long time to even hear what people were really saying to me. Then came anger. And boy was I ever pissed off. I made quite a few self-destructive mistakes during that time. Then came a time when I just didn't want to be mad anymore. I went to visit the Director of Pastoral Care at the children's hospital, the chaplin who had been with me through it all. He even spoke at my son's funeral.

I told him that I had been mad at God and everything I had ever taken comfort in and that I was afraid I was questioning my faith. I didn't want to not believe in Heaven. If I did that, the only comfort of knowing my son was there would be gone. He said to me that my being angry at God was a strong show of faith because I believed he was there to be mad at. He said many other things to me that day and by the time I left there I realized I had taken the next step. Then I was lonely. After that came a low lying sadness. Nothing too much on the surface to make anyone wonder about me, but it's always there underneath.

I don't know what the next step is. But I do know that people who knew me before my son died, still treat me gingerly now and it has been 10 years. They try not to, but they do. For a while there I thought I was known around town as "the woman who's little boy died."

I also think I am probably coming up on the next step, funny how people can tell that, because I am starting to open up about it. This rambling post is a perfect example. Two years ago I never could have written any of this down. Now it seems I have opened the gates and can't shut up. As a matter of fact, I should go.

JERRY: I was going to say something to you about birthdays, but I don't know how to get it out.

Have a nice night everyone...and a glorious weekend. I will be spending mine helping my father-in-law move furniture into his new house. Ok, maybe I will just be in charge of feeding the troops! :-)

Melanie Fri Apr 20 19:07:31 PDT 2001

Tina: I believe your dad is watching over you. My father-in-law died over ten years ago, and from time to time over the years various family members have had - experiences - that convince us he is watching over us. At first, in waking dreams, you hear a voice or feel a presence, then as time goes by, mostly in sleeping dreams you'll receive some kind of sign or reassurance - our beloved departed ARE watching over us! It's comforting to me to know that.

Allein and Viv: Looking forward to your "Thursday" additions!

Hallee: Received, read, and really enjoyed your story :-) Ill email you details soon. Can't wait to read some more!!

Allein Fri Apr 20 18:49:29 PDT 2001

Viv - My Monday is what I was thinking. :)

Jerry Ericsson Fri Apr 20 18:45:18 PDT 2001



Ben Fri Apr 20 17:48:32 PDT 2001

Jerry: Don't ever be ashamed of crying at a funeral. Never. I used to be a lot like that--European parents who didn't express their emotions when they should have, etc., etc., etc.,--and it took me years to realize it's not a bad thing to cry. When my sister-in-law had her second son at the Children's hospital up here, I didn't know the room she was in was actually the birthing room they were going to use. I'd never seen a birth before, and when the nurses asked her if she wanted me to leave, she said no, it's all right; he can stay if he wants. I was too stunned to move, or protest. So I stayed. My own wife was preggers with our first kid at the time, and I thought, hey, I've seen the movies, I can handle this. I mean, hell, I cut my finger tip off and that didn't bother me, (and it was a mangled mess too). Well, the birth came, and I just couldn't control myself. There wasn't anything in particular that crossed my mind that I can remember. I just stood there with tears running down my face, all quiet like, until one of the nurses looked at me and kinda gasped. All the nurses looked at me and started crying then. I think it was because I was embarassed to be seen like that, vulnerable and exposed I mean; they actually thanked my sister-in-law for letting me stay, saying they hadn't cried like that for a long time. Eight days later our own son was born, and damnit! I did it again. It was like I was a different person. I mean, I was never like that before. After that, I knew I was in trouble when I was watching a movie and started crying, in the movie theater. Jeez...and now, (worser and worser), whenever I hear the song DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? by Band Aid, tears come to my eyes, without fail. I remember watching the concerts--Wimbley(?) and RFK Stadiums, and thinking Bob Geldoff was the most caring, giving, man on the planet, and that one man was able to do all of that for so many people just because he wanted to...THE LIVING YEARS by Mike and the Mechanics, too. Funerals? Strangers' funerals even! I look at the people mourning, and the thought of the loss they are going through is enough to start me going. I'm no longer embarassed about my "sensitive side", because as far as I can see, I've become a more complete person, more aware of what life means to me, as well as others. My wife likes it too, and that's all that really matters. So go ahead, cry with pride, Stoical pride if you want, and don't worry about what others may think, or what you think they may think, because you don't know them, and the only one that matters is you.
There 'nough said.

Viv Fri Apr 20 16:32:07 PDT 2001

Hi Allein:
Monday will be a fine Thursday! Is that your Monday or my Monday? My Monday is your Tuesday! Let me know. Not to worry, just post and I'll keep an eye on the site and post as soon as I see yours. That way our writing will dance into the site together. This is fun isn't it? It's a little like going into an empty ballroom where no one is watching and dancing around a little on the dance floor. You get the feeling no one is watching so you can enjoy just being yourself. :-)

Hey Jack:
A friend of mine sent me directions on how to make a web page. It's pretty much step by step. There's one sad thing, our college won't accept a bulletin board or a notebook approach. Back to square one but I'm going to set this up just for my own students and keep a close virus check on my own computer. I'll give it only to my good students and see what happens. I have some real wonderful kids this semester. Most of us are very afraid of the computer so we will test our limits this way. I won't make something as nice as this but at least I have some ideas of what can be accomplished if you have the knowledge. To think that I never knew what a web page was before December last year! I'm so glad I bought this computer.

Heather: I'm really looking forward to your package. I told my students I have a suprise. Now we only have to find a video player...! There's one I can check out, don't worry! We're going to have so much fun this semester. I just have to get some sort of grading system in place because right now everyone is SO good. I hate grades.

Back to writing, I saw something...for all you science fiction people, have you ever seen a Praying Mantis egg sack open up? I DID see one. I'm trying to describe it. I'll post it because it's just what you need for an alien landing. I can't write science fiction. I should get excited about it but I'm a technological dunce! I'll give you the Praying Mantis egg description and see what you can do with it. Richard, maybe it was the egg sack that is taking over this site!

Americo Fri Apr 20 16:17:18 PDT 2001


Only Jon, Sasquatch and Pussy are real.
All the other Notebookers are just shadows in a dream.
You'll know it when you wake up.

Richard of Borg Fri Apr 20 15:26:16 PDT 2001

We are the Borg. Your writing and interesting life stories will be assimilated. Your articles will be adapted for our PR department. Your life as it has been is over - from this day forward, you shall service, us!

Rhoda Fri Apr 20 14:26:52 PDT 2001


It has been over ten years since my mother died and there are times I get overcome with emotion such as when I go through her old photos or her teaching materials (most all of which I have inherited). I have no need to keep her old lesson plans, but I cannot make myself throw them away because I do get a sense of her through them. But I love the emotion, even the tears, because that is one way I can still hold on to her.

You are right, Tina, the funeral does little except start the process of learning how to live without someone you know you'll never see again this side of heaven.

It does get better though. Time does heal. What was once overwhelming loss to me is now a time of enjoyable reflexion--like taking a break from the intricacies of present life and times. Perhaps in other moods I might feel regret that Mom could not be here to get to know her grandchildren or could not impart her wisdom to me when life gets difficult. At other times it is a dull ache, but when I am upset about something, I feel her comfort and that impression of practical common sense she always had.

Your father sounds like he was a very special guy and wonderful dad.


Jerry Ericsson Fri Apr 20 14:15:03 PDT 2001

Greetings to my Northern Neighbors up in Canada. I see on the idiot box that the new age Hippies and Yippies have relocated from Seattle to Quebec City. The protests are in full force at this time, and it does look much like a college campus of the late 60's early 70's down here.

Oh did I ever mention that back in my college days I met several men and women from Canada who were attending the police program at our College. They explained that it was difficult to get the training up there, but the authorities in Canada would accept the training program offered by my college.

Could be that some of those officers in Riot gear in QC were trained at the University of North Dakota Lake Region.

Just thought I would mention that.

As far as death goes, I am not real found of it, and am not looking forward to it, but I guess we all must face it some day. I think the older we get though, the less we fear it. There are days when I sort of look forward to it, then I talk with a friend or check this wonderful place, and change my mind. The process does frighten me a bit, but the actual change over, from living to dead happens in a millisecond. I have witnessed it many times at accident scenes, and in hospitals, and in the war. Sometimes the people who die are taken completely by surprise, you can tell by that look on their faces. This happens mostly with the young, who truly believe they will live for ever, only to find it is not true. The elderly though are different. Many of them die with a look of relief on their face, as if it is a wonderful gift that they have been searching for.

Funerals are, as they say for the living, not for the dead. I am sort of embarrassed when I attend funerals, as I have yet to attend one where I haven't shed a tear or two. I have always been a bit ashamed of that I guess, here I am, an old soldier, former cop who has done and seen so much death, yet I can't attend a funeral without crying. I used to feel that way, can't say as I do anymore, I just accept it as part of me, and get on with it. Last year when our neighbors son died, and we went to his funeral, I found that the tears again came, and I felt a bit ashamed, but when his father came over a few days later and thanked me for coming, he said it made him feel more comfortable with his feelings, about his own tears when he saw mine, so I guess it isn't something to be ashamed about. My problem now is that I have been to way to many funerals lately, many for people my own age, a few much younger. It gives me that feeling of mortality, and makes me feel each and every one of my years. That must be part of growing old.

Hitting 50 years old next month has been wearing on my mind a bit, I guess because I know I can't ever live another 50, or if I can, I wonder if I would want to. It is just that I don't want it to be over, I don't want to leave, yet I realize that I have lived OVER half my life now.

I am getting a bit morbid, think this is a good time to shut up and finnish reading my book on Timothy McVeigh. Yesterday was the anniversary of the bombing, today the anniversary of the school massacre, what better time to finnish the book.


Allein Fri Apr 20 14:04:22 PDT 2001

Tina - I'm sorry about your father. I send you some (((BIG HUGS))) and I'll be praying for you and thinking about you. I hope you're better soon.

Mary - It's okay, I figured someone posted it but I'm the one who missed it - my bad.

Viv - I'll be ready by Monday. :) I mean, Thursday.

I just got a survey for the 2000 graduates and the last question was: High school was a helpful and wonderful experience. Yes or no. Where's the choice of Hell No?

I had some bad experiences in high school but I did make some good friends.

Also I go to another message board and today it wouldn't let me log in and when I looked at a post I'd make, it said my name, but didn't have a picture, my location or how many posts I've put there, which it usually does. It had my sign up date but somehow it said I signed up in Jan. 1970. That's really weird because I thought I was born in 1982, but appearently I wasn't.

The internet is weird sometimes.
I love the noteboook. I love all you guys! ((((BIG HUGS)))) to all!

fnabbr'ep sirius.sector Fri Apr 20 12:40:06 PDT 2001

Kwaljak tuvok! ptahhh! klingons ptahhh! grumcchak! klingons merely terran contrivance. re'eellqod even to speak of them as being! stupid nubscHH! yar yar!

Fri Apr 20 12:38:13 PDT 2001

Tina Fri Apr 20 12:22:44 PDT 2001

Heyo Klingons and Vulcans! Who's next, Ferengi? I'm partial to B'joran myself.

Rachel, Christi, thanks for the hugs. Hugs are awesome. Didn't mean to make anyone cry.

Hallee, I'm enjoying reading your story! I'll be sending you an e-mail one of these days :-)

Loved all the shorties! Hallee, I think I'd really like your dad! :-D

A funny thought about teachers from public school. I still know a couple of my high school teachers, through work or family, and even after all these years and casual interaction, I *still* think of them as 'Mr. Mellows' instead of 'Jeff' (for example). Yet my college instructors were always on a first name casual basis. Wierd.
Talk to y'all later!

Tuvok Fri Apr 20 11:13:59 PDT 2001


Terrans are most illogical, but not so much as Klingons.

Rachel Fri Apr 20 11:13:35 PDT 2001

Tina - He lives on in you. His thoughts, his words, songs, memories, are all alive in you. You can share them with anyone you wish. When you do, he is very much alive.

Please don't think I'm one who can always remember this all the time. I also have times when I hurt for and miss those who have passed from life. I try to remember that they are never really gone as long as they are remembered, but sometimes that is muted by the fact that I can't touch them any more, that I can hear the texture of their voice, that I can smell their scent. You know how it is?

I doubt that helps. I just wanted to say more than "I send hugs" Sometimes that seems so hollow. I don't want to send you a hollow greeting. That said, I do send hugs for you.

Take care you.


Christi Fri Apr 20 10:15:12 PDT 2001

Mary, Maybe this is being prejudiced but I've never met a pleasant lunch lady. We had one we called the Eyelash Lady. She wore these tremendous fake lashes that were at least an inch long, I swear. And every so often we'd find an eyelash in our lunch and yell out that the Eyelash Lady had struck again. Probably it wasn't even her eyelash. Kids are so mean.

Tina, You had to go and make me cry like that. You really touched me with what you said about your dad and about greiving.
I guess to me it felt like someone took a hole-puncher and punched a hole in my heart. Eventually I stopped bleeding and the hole healed up most of the way. But the hole is still there. I send you warm hugs.

I've just noticed that there are Klingons in our midst! Unfortunately, Klingons aren't very well known for their sense of humor. There's a good reason for that.
Welcome, Klingons!


f'trabn'ak Fri Apr 20 09:59:52 PDT 2001

terrans! p'tahhh!

Tina Fri Apr 20 09:31:16 PDT 2001


I'm looking for something to say in response to your thoughts on memorials/funerals. Can't think clearly, though. Every funeral I've been to has been different in accordance to the person who's died. That seems to me to be the most important thing - that a memorial reflects the person. The living will grieive in their own way, regardless of the ceremony, regardless of the music, or the religion, or the clothes, or the prayers, and the grieving will not end with the ceremony. Honestly, with the hightened emotions and shock involved at most funerals, I think that the true grieving doesn't even start until afterward, when life wants to go on like normal only there's nothing normal about life without that person you loved/knew/cared for.

At my dad's memorial, we played his favourite music, and songs that reminded us of him. I asked for 'Whistling Gypsy Rover', the song he sang me to sleep with when I was wee. We played 'New Man in the Morning' by Roger Whittaker, because he always, always sang along to that song. The only hymn was 'Amazing Grace'.
I haven't yet once cried in sadness that he is dead. I know he's still around, and I know he's at peace. I cry because we've been left with a hole that can't be filled, devoid of his wisdom and humour and obstinance and everything that was DAD. I cry for my mom, and my family, and for myself because I can't call him up and ask him a question, I can't talk about our flower gardens, and I can't hug him again. I don't cry because he's dead, I cry because he's not alive.

Now I've done gone and dumped on the NB. Sorry.
Hi to all.
Time to go find some breakfast.

fnabbr'ep sirius.sector Fri Apr 20 09:12:43 PDT 2001

Hello f'trabn'ak! Have you grond the one about the Terran who sklivved at the red dwarf? Klong'reb! Klong'reb! yar yar!

Debra Fri Apr 20 08:59:09 PDT 2001


We have been living in our home since 92 and not one drop.

This year was record breaking for wet winter. We had so much water that the clean up was as exhausting as you described. Plus our bedroom was down there and our living room. My husband had to stay up and active for 25 hours on March 23rd sucking up water with four wet vacs and one week later another 25 hours. He was trying to save our living room rug. Our bedroom rug in on the front porch rolled up and starting to smell. We are trying to figure out what to do with it.

I heard on tv that you were supposed to report first time damage to somewhere and called the station and the city hall and no one new what I was talking about. A few weeks later on the same tv station, I heard that FEMA was finished examining the damage and would be helping victims. Can you imagine? I'm really pissed. We paid over a $1000.00 to have that rug installed only 24 months ago. Now it's a total waste. We went to Home Depot and put vinyl tiles in our bedroom. It looks nice, and for only a couple of hundred. My husband put them down himself. We are putting small matching area rugs on the places we walk so our feet won't freeze, from the cement underneath.

I think we are at the end of the line of clean up. I hope.


Melanie Fri Apr 20 08:39:38 PDT 2001

Howdy, All!

JERRY: Loved the handcuff escapade! :-)

DEBRA: You had a flood in your house? How awful! Hope the damages are minimal and the clean-up not too mind-boggling atrocious. The closest I've been to a flood was when we hooked the moveable dishwasher to the sink in our last house, went down to the basement family room to watch TV while the load ran and later, heard it raining in the basement laundry room...! Dashed upstairs to see what-the-heck?--The kitchen floor was flooded, water pouring down a register in the floor...The sink plug had twisted shut as the dishwasher had emptied water into the sink...Well! I'm just glad my sister-in-law a block away had a Wet-Vac!

HOP: I try not to think on my phobias too long; they try to trap and enclose you, and life is too short to worry about them. As for funerals, I think they're a necessary transitional time for we the living. Yes, as Christians, we are happy our departed loved ones have gone on to a happier, painfree place. But as the ones left behind, we need to look into the rift between our worlds temporarily, knowing we will go there ourselves one day, but then we pull back to life where we are, missing the person who just left us and sharing our brightest memories. A lot of laughter also happens inbetween the tears. Both give us strength to say 'goodbye' so we can get back to living, even if it's only in New York State (all my life! but would love to do some world-traveling someday).

HALLEE: Yea, Dad! :-)

PIPER JORDAN & MORPHEUS: Careful. You may call out a much larger party...

BEN: Right on! Sometimes I go to work with relief after a weekend or "vacation" home with the kids! It's just because they pick at each other so hard, mean and cruel sometimes. Growing pains, I guess. Makes my hair gray and my husband's hair is falling out altogether!

JACK: Klingon Karaoke? That's just TOO funny!! :-) The social sounds like fun - wish I lived closer!

MARY: "Mrs. Meanie" makes me shudder! I had a couple teachers like that...

I too am enjoying all the shorties. Thanks, Jack, for a place to post them and keep us all inspired to write! BTW, I think my elusive muse has surrendered the chase...Good ideas for re-starting my novel are surfacing (yes!) at last; I needed a new POV and met a character who threads things together better than I had them originally...Am going to try to write it all down this weekend so I can see where to go from there. And if muses are friends with each other, please tell yours to stand guard over mine - don't let her get away again!! Anyone want to finish the phrase: Muses don't let muses ---- -----!!

Debra Fri Apr 20 08:38:57 PDT 2001


Whoever spawned that women must have had a lot of spwans that ended up working in the same line of work, if you know what I mean.


Jerry Fri Apr 20 08:37:23 PDT 2001

Hop - the race / ethnic thing - I guess I can see where it comes from. Myself, I am ethnically Swede/German/French, but I am a member of the white race. I think you misunderstand, or attribute bad things to the word race, but many use it for the purpose it was initially intended, to describe a group of ethnic peoples. For example:

The black race consists of people from Africa, and many Island nations. The White Race describes people from Northern Europe, and so on. There is a place for race, even when not intending to be prejudice. When I fill out the Harris questionnaires, they ask me what race I consider myself part of, then list white, black, and so forth. They also ask if I consider myself Hispanic.

Oh I have seen and lived with prejudice people, in fact I see them quite often here in my home town. I think this is the result of ignorance. Of never living in a multi-racial situation, or in some cases, just plain stupidity. I still hear racial slurs and racial jokes all the time up here, but you see, this is in all white area. The only minority that live here in town are Native Americans, and they are so few that I can count their names using only the fingers of one hand. Oh there is plenty of prejudice against them too, and I guess that can be expected, as it runs both ways. Many of the folks around here recall the last "Indian uprising" at Wounded Knee that took place back in 1974. That trouble caused problems all across our state, there were ambushes against police all across the state, in fact one of the officers just 30 miles east of here was seriously wounded when he stopped to investigate a fake accident and was shot by snipers who hid behind a small hill just yards from the location. I was working as a police officer here that year, and recall it vividly.

But as I said, we are still classed as black or white, not as Swede or German. Even the Census ask that question, because the Government now uses such statistics to insure that voting tracts are "fair" and reflect the racial makeup of the area.

Oh there are still ethnic slurs too, there are the Norwegian jokes around here, when I lived up North, it was the Polish jokes, in fact I have even heard some Swede jokes.

It was not long ago, that Americo made some statements about how in Europe, most people know several languages, but we in America only know one. I tried to explain to him at that time that here, I can drive, or fly a thousand miles in any direction and never find the need for another language. It is just that the US is so big, that we don't see the need for a second or third language, although it is becoming more important now with the growing Hispanic population.

Oh well, I ramble on again, just thought I would put in my two cents worth on the racial/ethnic thing.


Mary Fri Apr 20 07:42:43 PDT 2001

Thinking of nick names and cafeteria ladies, our cafeteria lady when I was in kindergarten was named Mrs. Zaebst. At five years old, though, we couldn't read yet and when you pronounced her name it sounded just like Mrs. Apes. So, that is what we thought her name was and we would all make gorilla and chimp noises while we were waiting in line to get our trays. Hehe.

Mary Fri Apr 20 07:34:03 PDT 2001

This is a true story too, and one lesson I learned in school is that when you have a nick-name for a teacher, it is very easy to accidentally use it when addressing them. But that's not what this story is about.

Her name was Mrs. Neimey, but we all called her Mrs. Meanie. A barely five foot tall, skinny, black-haired woman with the emptiest eyes I have seen, even to this day 17 years later. She was the cafeteria lady, and she ran lunch time like boot camp.

"C'mon people, you know the drill! Boy! Girl! Boy! Girl!" Her voice cut through the din of all us fourth graders and she grabbed two 'violators' and dragged them to the end of the line.

We watched her take her spot in the center of the cafeteria. We would disappear through one door, and emerge magically through another door with our lunch trays laden with mock pizza or mystery meat, and sometimes a jello-like substance for dessert.

Mrs. Meanie always filled the tables in the order we came through the line and we were getting quite good at figuring out where we had to be in line to get to sit next to someone we liked. 'Violators' screwed up the line order when they would get yanked to the back, and then they would get it from the other kids after lunch.

Bobby Jo was carrying her tray to her seat when Mrs. Meanie saw something she didn't like and blew her gym whistle with all her might. Bobby Jo, on edge to begin with, dropped her tray, sending jello and beef gravy over noodles crashing to the floor at Mrs. Meanie's feet. Everybody froze. We watched those empty eyes turn on Bobby Jo and we cringed. I looked over at Margaret, my best friend, and she mocked the Vulcan neck pinch on herself.

Sure enough, that's what Bobby Jo got. Mrs. Meanie was a maestro when it came to the Vulcan neck pinch because she practiced on us often. Bobby Jo's face puckered up like a raisin and we imagined the pinch was increasing in intensity in direct proportion to the volume of Mrs. Meanie's voice.

"Bobby Jo! I should have known you would cause me trouble today. Don't think for a minute that I don't know about you getting caught talking during the Tornado drill. Get your hind end down to the Janitor's closet and bring back the mop bucket and the mop. You are cleaning this up yourself, young lady!"

Bobby Jo ran out of the cafeteria, rubbing the side of her neck.

"No running in the cafeteria!"

Mrs. Meanie walked over to the light switch on the wall, flipping it off then back on again. "Ok, people! Get this line moving, you aren't the only ones that need fed today!"

Mary Fri Apr 20 06:49:18 PDT 2001

WOW! Look at all the shorties. I am off to read them now, and possibly post mine from last night. I couldn't get back online for some odd reason which seems to be happening more frequently.

ALLEIN: I posted the theme for shortie night on Monday sweetie. Sorry you missed it, I will make sure to post reminders from now on. :-) (Please write your is still fresh in your mind.)

HOWARD: I was also reminded of M*A*S*H by yours.

Morpheus Fri Apr 20 06:48:40 PDT 2001

To the hopping person. Why am I responding to a dream? This matrix is but a juncture where imaginations meet. It is not real. It is not relevant. Why would Morpheus be affected or interested in it? I may have caused it but it is of little consequence.
Now, a bridge through the air in jungle mountains does pose an interesting challenge, to be worked into the dreams of those afflicted with acrophobia. If I remember when I awaken I will look into this.

Debra Fri Apr 20 06:13:50 PDT 2001


Thank you so much. I hope you're right. I guess I can assume that you are a great guy and are not affected by this problem.

From reading your posts, I could already determine that much.


Have a great Friday!


Viv Fri Apr 20 05:52:49 PDT 2001

Hi Allein:
Don't go back into the shadows. Let's just be late this week! When do you think yours will be ready to post? I'll time mine to meet with yours and we'll make it a Thursday. Who ever said Thursday really has to fall on Thursday. My Thursday is a day earlier than your Thursday! So why don't we call Sunday or even Monday by the name of Thursday this week! Does that make sense? No? Well don't worry, I never thought naming the days of the week made a huge amount of sense either! (Don't think too hard about that unless you are a stay at home mother) I've decided to be like James Joyce...I'm taking the element of time out of this notebook! (Just for this shortie session)

Mary, you had a real winner there with the theme this time. I'll post mine at the same time as Allein if she let's me know when. Mine kept growing again. I couldn't get it to shrink in time. I filled about five pages before I looked up. Thank you. What fun I had and such a nice break.

Allein, mine is still too long but I might turn it into a poem by using just the first lines of each paragraph. Let me know when yours is ready and I'll cut and paste mine in. In the full form, it's a neat one. I wish there was a coffee shop near our houses where we could meet. I'd take you out for a cup. You sound like it was a really tough week. Mine was tough too. We could put some sugar in our coffee, stir it up and laugh about the way all the deadlines came at once!

Barnabas "Hop" Fri Apr 20 05:25:48 PDT 2001

Perhaps mourning a friend dying is a good idea. I'm not saying we shouldn't be sad but the whole atmosphere of it is so wrong and depressing. Wearing black and playing sad soulful music is not my idea of remembering someone.

From what you told me, it's too much in demand to not get published sooner or later.

I really like children. My younger brother's are 7 and 9 years apart from me so I know what it's like being around young children.

Rainforest story- Maybe I do have a school day shorty.
My church in Singapore usually go to Malaysia for their church camps.

During this one of the main attractions was to go to the rain forests. I never actually wanted to go but I I was forced to by my father so I went along no matter how much I protested. My father normally says something like it's good for me.

What can I say? It involves walking on foot paths along mountains hundreds of feet in the air. The air is fresh and the insects are all around. They're hidden but if you look closely you can find plenty.

Unlike coniferous forests, there is no crackling of tree leaves when you walk on these paths. You're either walking on mud or leaf litter, both are usually moist because rain forests trap humidity really well. When you do hike, you don't need a hat or jacket. Its always cool and damp under the canopy and you can see the trees reaching for the sky. Watch for the mud. Sandals are not a good idea in the rain forest. The worse that can happen to you is to get wet, it's humid enough.

What should you bring? Water (a lot of it), umbrella and towels to wipe the sweat off and maybe a change of clothing. And apply insect repellent, it may smell but insect bites are are great source of annoyance. Don't forget A mobile phone would be good, maybe a GPS and definitely a map. Most of the time we go hiking we get lost so take it from a hiker with some experience, be prepared to walk long distances to get back to your hotel or where ever you're staying.

The point of all this is to stay dry and comfortable. Nothing is worse then having to hike when wet.
Later on during my time as a student in a special government programme (around 13 at this time) we had a special school trip to Kuala Lumpur (capital of Malaysia). The theme of this trip was the environment and part of the plan was to visit the rainforests. Whatever I did fate kept reuniting me with the rainforests. No I didn't develop a loving relationship with it whatever you're thinking.

This time however, knowing what to expect I managed not to feel too depressed going there and even had some fun.

The fun part was walking on a man made sky road, path or something like that. All it was was ladders tied together with strong rope with planks laid on top for you to walk upon. They did have however nets making a ‘V' shape so even if you slipped you'd be lying on the net at a 35 degree angle looking down at the canopy a hundred or so metres down below. It's not that scary but anyone with a fear of heights might not like it. The view was great was all I could say. It's really cool walking up there.

Of course later on when descending the mountain we came to fork in the path and took a wrong turn once again getting lost. Eventually we came to a road where a nice stranger was ferrying the students and teachers back to the starting point.

Taking Highschool Biology in NZ is really boring. We only did something like 3 experiments during my first year taking it and 2 in my second and final year. Talk about boring. Most of them had to do with plants so that made it even worse!

Piper Jordan
Hello. I'd like to know who you are.

I didn't say anyone was fictional. I was just asking if anyone had ever acted like they were a character from one of their stories for fun.

Note: My name has only "a's" in it. Use Hop, less chance of spelling mistakes.

Matrix fan?

Taylor Fri Apr 20 02:01:32 PDT 2001

I'm ba-ack

I got myself a typewriter now...gee, I am really going with the times
Someone in here once said about making music with the typewriter keys...Well
Rat-tat-tat-tat, Rat-tat-tat-tat
HA HA got myself a machine gun...:-)
*stupid joke*

Nice to see that in my absence the conversations have moved onto dying.
I would love to see what is at the 'Other Side', But I am afraid it might hurt though

Me and My muse have been running each other ragged I think
I have written several poems, a song lyric and another short piece...
The BEAST I think inspired the poetry, I inspired the song, together we got to figure out how to write the damn music
Its almost like a competition
that sounds silly, but Im writing alot now

The books going smoothly now, I am finally at the turning point, the writing of it will be easier
Who to kill? Who not to kill? That is the question

I feel GREAT after awhile of concentrating on writing
This is late, happy easter everyone!!!

Spelling and grammar mistakes in books-I've seen a few

Christi Thu Apr 19 23:58:26 PDT 2001

Great shorties, ALL! Wow, wow and wow. I LOVE shortie night.

Hallee! I'll bet your principal had to change his shorts afterward! Great shortie!

Hi, Piper!

Heather, Revenge is brutal! Once in a while the bad guys get what they deserve.

Ben, I don't know, but I hear traffic!!! Hilarious!

Jack, How I do wish I could come. Have a smashing time!

Wish I had more time to talk. I've been incredibly inspired in the past week and am writing two new books! (One picture book and one young adult.) I've never been this happy about writing. Thanks to all of you (especially Heather and Teekay) for the inspiration. It must be contagious!

My shortie is longie. Sorry. It's true except for the names. This was in my more innocent Froshman year, before I went mad and rebelled.

By Christine Ritchotte

I felt like a dork. A complete and utter nerd-a bonifide member of the geek patrol. Then, depressingly, I realized I probably wouldn’t even qualify for the geek patrol. I blushed clear down to my toes as I looked over at my best friend, Margaret.

We’d performed the night before in the High School auditorium freshly packed with family, friends and what-have yous. I guess it was the what-have-yous I’d wanted to impress. It was always the what-have-yous-my peers. And sure, I felt like I had some room to glow. I’d worked hard to gain a spot in the first-soprano section of our school’s chorale group, as had Margaret. In fact, it was where me met.

The night of a performance was always a thrill. My parents continued to be supportive and awed by our group in just the right way, and my younger brothers and sisters looked up to me like I was some kind of hero. Life was good.

And there I sat, one short day later, in front of the library (where us geek-types liked to hang) before school with Margaret. We were dying for the library to open. Like me, she was a fantasy and sci-fi junkie. We’d long since been baptized within the mysterious pages of Tolkein, Brooks, and Herbert.

Waiting for the library to open would not usually present a problem. Except for today. Margaret loved music so much that she taped each and every show we performed, listening to them religiously again and again, picking out the good parts and where we went wrong. Even to me, this was dorky. And now she’d gone past the threshold of dorkdom and brought her cheesy tape recorder to school. A rectangular shaped jobie, black and grey, with terrible sound quality. And she was playing our concert from the previous night at full tilt. She was rockin out. She was in geek heaven. And meanwhile I was crawling out of my skin with embarrassment. I’d have liked nothing better than to implode into nothingness, if that were possible.

Where Margaret was oblivious of our school status, I was aware enough for the both of us. I was aware of the cool-kids and the cheerleaders and the class presidents. I never could have talked to them, but I was aware of them. And I was terrified of them.

“Turn it down a little,” I pleaded with her. “It’s too loud!”

She gave me one of her Margaret-looks. The kind that said, ‘get real.’ But she reached for the volume anyway. But just as her finger touched the volume knob, a large hand came out of nowhere and swept the cassette player off of her lap and onto the cement. It was like slow motion as we watched it crash to the ground and shatter into pieces.
We were both stunned, sitting there in the midst of chaos and looking into the sneering face of Matt Kramer. He was the one who sat behind me in homeroom, making his worthless living out of mocking my every move. “That’s what you get for bringing that stupid-ass shit to school you idiots,” he said. But for a split second, the look on his face was one of disbelief. Like he he’d lost all control of his actions-like he hadn’t meant to do it.

I began to yell something at him-I don’t know what-when Margaret was on her feet, and socked Matt right in the eye, a hard right hook. Matt fell to his knees, grabbing at his eye while he screamed obscenities. Petite, little Margaret paid him no mind and fell to the ground, picking up the pieces of her sad, beloved cassette player. Instantly I got on my knees next to her and helped her round up the fragments. She was pissed; steaming pissed. I could tell it wasn’t a good time to say anything to her so I didn’t. But I couldn’t help smiling. I was smiling like my face would break. I’d just recognized what cool really was.

Thu Apr 19 23:48:11 PDT 2001

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Apr 19 23:18:05 PDT 2001

Melanie: Singing Klingons. Norwescon did a historic new event this time around, Klingon karaoke. Given other constraints on my time I was not able to take it in, but I guess it was something to behold.

BTW, I just wanted to repeat that this location is on barrowed time until I can get it set up on webwitch again. The parent company for halcyon, where this is located now, filed for Chapter whatever and not sure just how long things will continue here. So, stay tuned and I will try to carve up the time in the next day or so to get things working correctly and then post it here. As always, the link from will work in any case. Also, some will note if they do visit forwriters that I have re-established the add to enews. I deleted it after several months, because I had not received a check. As it turned out they had an incorrect address and have today sent me a check of ad revenues for placing the discrete ad. So, I feel comfortable with adding it back in. I do not in any way endorse and not endorse their service, but it is there and there appears to be some savings.

Also, just wanted to remind everyone that I will be having a party/social in May at my house. Rachel has already indicated she may come and was wondering if we were kid friendly. The answer is a resounding yes. Also, for those in the Vancouver area, I will be up in your neck of the woods for the first time in a long time. Over the May 4-6 weekend I will be attending V-Con 26/Canvention 18 I have a room at the Burnaby Raddison. So, feel free to give a call and maybe we can get together sometime during the con. Depending on whether we get our act together Fran and I may drag our scuba gear along and give a go with some of the spots mentioned in the Vancouver dive book like Horseshoe Bay and others. We will see. In any case, re the social, I plan on picking up a pair of copper river salmon (given they are available) and cooking those up. There will be a barbecue going, a hot tub and an HDTV and DVD. In addition, we are a block away from Kubota Gardens, which is worth a look see all by itself. Take care everyone.

Allein Thu Apr 19 23:04:23 PDT 2001

Can the Short Story themes be posted a few days before Thursday? Sometimes I'm not clear on what the theme is or don't know what it is until Thursday and I like to have time to write because when I write under pressure my writing turns out bad.
If no one else feels this way, just ignore me and I'll go back into the shadows.
Night night,

Ben Thu Apr 19 23:01:34 PDT 2001

HOP: Stop saying that you're new here. In this day and age of the internet, time doesn't mean what it used to. Four months might as well be four years. :-) Okay? You're now an old timer. As for death...well, the reason people mourn is simple. Loss. Dying's easy for the person leaving, but sure kicks the shite out of those you leave behind. It doesn't matter what you tell yourself about going to a better place and all that other stuff. It hurts. And that's all I can say.

HALLEE: Interseting thing what you said, about never having been involved with a death that wasn't Christian. My father-in-law died some years back. He wasn't a Christian. He practiced the Hindu religion--kind of like a born again man, considering the wild life he led according to the wife. I had three days bereavement leave from work, but had no idea that the whole thing was going to take about twenty days or so. Everyday we went to the house and said prayers. I guess I took the wrong three days off. I had to take more days off during that next three weeks, because of sacred days they celebrate--special pooja days. Having been to both Christian and Hindi funerals, I'd prefer the Hindi. And I was raised a Christian. Okay, Catholic. But I hate organized religions, so let's not get into that here. Just an interesting sidebar.

MARK: Nice to see you back.

MARY: What rain forest? In New Zealand? Is it like the Great Bear Rain Forest we have up here...? Something I'd never heard of until just a few years ago? Do you think they'll sell the trees to our mill? :-)

PIPER: I think you popped in once or twice before. Why so shy? I'm actually not that bad. Just send over a beer or two. Afterall, it is Thursday.

JERRY: Reading your story about the handcuffs made me laugh and think about something that happened to me back in the old days. I was sitting in the apartment when the phone rang. It was about five in the afternoon. I picked up, and a friend was on the other end. He said he needed help. I asked him what the matter was, and he said he was tied to the bed. I said a what in disbelief, and asked him to explain himself. He said he met a girl the night before, had a little too much to drink, ended up going to her place, and she wanted to have kinky sex with him. Not being a guy to say no to anything, he said he was willing to give it a try. I guess he thought he'd be doing the bondage thing to her. Uh-uh. She tied him up, had her way with him, and then left him tied to the bed and went off to work. I asked him how he phoned me if he was tied up. He said it took him four hours just to get the damn phone close enough so he could push the buttons with his nose. Again, he asked my help. I couldn't stop laughing at the poor bastard. I mean, come on. So, being the nice guy I am, I asked him where he was. There was a long pause, and then he said, I don't know. But I can hear the traffic...I hung up, but not before I told him to enjoy round two when she got off work. I guess he actually lived up to his nick-name of 'Crazy Al'.

GIRLS: As for kids and the domestic life, most of us guys go to work with a sense of relief. We look at work as a break from the endless tasks and chores of parenthood. Sure, we like the baseball games, the soccer games, the football, and the birthdays, and the grass cutting, and the dishes, and the laundry, and the bath times, and the changing diapers and the painting the rooms, and the wall papering, and the car maintenance...but God, sometimes it's just so nice to get to work and relax...some of us even have naps because we're so worn out. Handcuff the kids? Tie them up outside to a tree? God yes!!! A millions times over sometimes, especially when they're at each other's throats and want to rip each other apart. I think if someone says something to someone about not wanting to have their children, you can pretty well take it as a tongue in cheek kind of comment, because life just seems to get that way. I wouldn't want any other kids, but I'd like to trade mine in and keep them three and four years old forever, or five--Christopher Robin age. Innocent.

HOWARD: I like your announcements. Kind of reminded me of M.A.S.H.

Now I gotta run. The wife just walked in, and I wanna tuck her in, or maybe ask her to tuck me in...:-)


Mark Thu Apr 19 20:35:11 PDT 2001

Encanto School. Phoenix, Arizona. Fifth Grade. My first experience in a Public School, away from the Northeast and Catholic School nuns. I was free.

I don't remember the reason for the occasion, only the incident. We were separated into a boy-group and a girl-group. (After a gym session? After a Health session? I don't know.) The boys filed in the classroom to change clothes. After that we filed out to let the girls change theirs. I thought it would be several minutes before they were done and suggested to a friend that we could run around the building and look in the window at the girls. He didn't think that would be good. I did.

I took off running toward the end of the building, three or four classroom lengths away, turned to run the width of it and then bent at the waist to run below window height. When I got to the windows that should look in on our class, I slowly got up to peek in. Across the room Mrs. McLeod was opening the door to let the boys back in.

Morpheus Thu Apr 19 20:08:49 PDT 2001

I have seen no fictitious person here, master Hop. Of course this domain is but a dream, is it not?

Heather Thu Apr 19 19:46:44 PDT 2001

Whoops. I suppose I should have edited that more carefully before jamming my finger on the post button!



Heather Thu Apr 19 19:23:56 PDT 2001

I won't get into the worst school day of my entire career, because it's just plain morbid and bloody. And far too sad.
Hmmm. How about cricket?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This Field Is Just As Green~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
by Heather Myles

I was short. Really short. I was short long after grade 7 ended and life was a world far from the elementary playground. But I was quick. I could beat just about anybody at any sport, and had all the right answers in class, and always turned in my assignments having done an over-the-top job.
It was the day our geography assignments were due. We were to have mapped out Canada, indicating mountainous regions, plains, waterways and so forth using different coloured markers or pencil crayons on paper. I decided early on that this was a boring assignment, so chose to jazz it up.

I'd taken a large piece of masonite and had carefully drawn the outline of Canada on it. I'd marked out the provinces and rivers, lakes, mountains, and the whole slew of things we were supposed to. Then I had asked my mom to help me whip up a gigantic batch of homemade playdough. I molded Canada's mountain ranges as exactly as I could, put in the gulches for the great lakes, and little snakey lines I dug for the rivers. I made great efforts to make everything to scale. I made the prairies flat and later I painted them a soft yellow-green. I gave Ontario and Quebec and the Maritimes their gently rolling elevations and indicated where the Canadian shield lay with a slight change in hues. I painted all those mountains a soft purple-grey-brown mixture, with snow capped peaks. I painted the bottom of the lakes and rivers multiple shades of blue, lighter as they shallowed out. I painted the places closest to sea-level the darkest greens. I inserted pushpins into the spots where major cities bloomed. I was ready to blow the classroom full away. And of course, my teacher. Do they ever award more than an A+? I set my mind to finding out.

The class gathered around and shoved in to see my project, and my teacher just came over to give it a close inspection. It was just about time to give my short presentation when I saw the look in Mark's eye. It was the most evil gleam.

In an instant, Mark pushed a group of kids out of his way and grabbed my map of Canada. He took it in both hands and held it up over his knee, and broke the whole thing North to South. The playdough shattered. So did my heart.

I'd worked for a week solid on that project. Most of my classmates had their drawings done the first day. I waited until I hit the bathroom door before I let my tears fly.

Afternoon recess arrived, and I had long pulled myself together. Mark was enigmatically let out from the Principal's office to play. Didn't Mr. Young know that Mark was the terror of the field? How could he not?

Cricket was the game we had begun playing with fervor that particular season, before the soccer nets were hung, when the basketball courts were too busy with grade eight kids; when the ice had long melted and nobody felt like baseball.

I played with the boys most of the time. The girls were either too wimpy, or too catty. I got slapped in the face a few times for running through someone else's cricket 'area' to retrieve my ball when it had gone astray. The last time it was the biggest girl in class (for that matter, the biggest in our school) and I'd had it with the slaps and envious grudges. A few of the girls who were also tomboys would play with the boys, but the rest of them only wished.
So she slapped me, hard, across my whole face on one occasion when I'd retrieved one too many balls by way of her court, and had overstepped the quota. I turned and, cricket stick in hand, let her have it.

She wouldn't come near me for a while, so that day she was not my worry. Mark was with the boys, and they were dividing up teams by the time I stepped up. He placed me strategically on the team he was opposing. The other groups of cricketers loped off to find a spot to start their games. Mark tried to stare me down. I wouldn't let him. He insisted.

What else would he try to break today? I shuddered once before raising my stick with what I prayed was a firm expression of menace.
I waited for the first serve, holding the stick flat to the pitch, and a little above the ground to my right. The ball and my cricket stick met with a smacking welp. All my strength went into that hit. As soon as the ball took flight my new goal was to fly between those two bases as fast as I could muster, reminding myself to duck past Mark's base as best I could before Mark had that ball sailing straight for his partner to strike me out. And most likely he'd line that shot up so it would hit me in the head before his partner grabbed it. Just for fun, I'm sure.

Well, he didn't have that chance. I was running past the base where I'd been hitting from, thinking that Mark was out in the field somewhere, trying to find that long-gone ball. But he wasn't!

I'd hit him square in the forehead with that Indian rubber ball, and in my hurry I didn't notice that he was laying there in the grass instead of chasing the ball, his wide eyes staring at nothing.

It was so hard not to laugh when they hauled me in to see Mr. Young.

That's for breaking my map, I thought. That's for everything you ever did.



Piper Jordan Thu Apr 19 18:22:11 PDT 2001

Oh, yes, Barnabus, I've been lurking here for the last few weeks.

And who said I was fictional, anyway?


Hallee Thu Apr 19 17:51:09 PDT 2001

HOP: I don't think it's wrong to mourn the passing of another Christian. Remember - Jesus wept when his friend died. It's a loss. Like, if your favorite irreplaceable picture gets destroyed. You cry (well, a girl would cry). You mourn for you - not for the deceiced (which is spelled wrong). Now, I've never had anyone die who wasn't a Christian, and I don't really want it to happen. There is a peace within the mourning when you trust the person you are mourning truly is in a better place.


Debra Thu Apr 19 17:50:41 PDT 2001


It's still premature to say I'm getting published, but do you make predictions. Maybe you are predicting I am.

I do have a short short school daze story.

When I was in first grade, I went to a small school. It was on top of a hill and red brick. It only had three rooms for first on the left side and second across the hall and third at the back.

I realized in first grade that I was boy crazy. No one would pay attention to me, to my satisfaction. So one day I made up a little story, lie, about what my parents did with me and my siblings that weekend. The following Monday I had a small auidence waiting at the bus pull up for me. They wanted to know what my parents did with me and my sibling that weekend too. So I made up a bigger and wilder story, lie.

This went on for months until I was the most popular girl in my little red, brick school, which included the third graders. They were the kings and queens of the school.

Well one Monday my people gathered at the bus pull up waiting for me to get off. I started on my new exciting adventure. That is until I heard one loud voice coming from the back of the crowd. It said,
"that's a lie! I saw you and your family at the food store on Saturday. You have been making this stuff up all year!"

Well that was the beginning of the end for me or so I thought. I quickly found a large group of kids that didn't care if I lied or not. They just wanted to hear my stories. That was the first time I realized I wanted to be a writer. Getting paid to make up stories, what a concept!


Mary Thu Apr 19 17:39:35 PDT 2001

Has the Notebook ever been visited by fictional characters? HOP, you have no idea. Tell me about the rainforest.

Back soon with my shortie. Word of caution: It is extemely lame.

Hallee Thu Apr 19 17:37:18 PDT 2001

Okay - this is much longer than I intended. I apolgize ahead of time (oh - it's a true story).


It was April of my senior year in high school. Up until the previous month, I had enjoyed my place as 6th in my class of 120. But, after this whole skipping school/getting caught in in-school suspension with cigarettes incident, I was now 12th. I was 18, active, directing the spring drama production, and on the command staff of ROTC. I loved school.

I was dating Conan at the time. We'd been dating for about a month. It wasn't unusual for him to carry a knife everywhere he went - when you live in your car when you're 16, you learn little habits like that. He was in the Army with about 18 months left to go. On the Sunday before this incident, we went to the movies. His knife was digging into his back, so he slipped it into my purse. It was a K-Bar, with a black handle and a lethal looking blade that was probably about 5 or 6 inches long.

I never had to get into my purse for the rest of the day, so I didn't know it was in there. Monday morning, bright and early at 7:20, I was in first period physics class. I opened my purse to get a pen, and saw this knife. Quickly, I closed my purse again and asked for a pass to go down to ROTC. That wasn't unusual, because I was one of the commanders.

Following proper procedure, I informed our ROTC teacher (retired army) about the knife, signed it over to him, and watched him lock it into the arms room. That little problem was solved.

I went about my day, and finally made it to the last period. The entire school was interrupted during 7th period and told to meet in the auditorium. Everyone gathered, surprised to see some police officers there. They began their spiel about violence growing in the schools and how this district would have a zero tolerance for any sort of weapons (this was 10 years ago.) Any weapon would mean immediate expulsion from the school district.

Of course, this reminded me about my knife.

I asked this teacher for a hallpass to go to ROTC, and ran down there. My dad must have had my car, because I had to ride the bus, and there was only about a 5 minute window to get to the bus once school got out. I wouldn't have had time if I had waited until the end of the day.

I collected my knife, signed it out, and ran back up to the auditorium. Only, waiting for me at the doors was my first period teacher, my seventh period teacher, the principal of the school, and two of the police officers.

They told me to open my purse. I refused. They demanded that I open my purse. I refused. They took my purse from me and opened it. Damn.

I missed the bus. I ended up in the principal's office for the third time in my life while he began the procedure to expel me from the school system. Halfway through the paperwork and waiting for my parents, there was a knock on the door. The principal opened it, and there stood my ROTC Instructor, LTC Rasch, Dr. Skinner (my history teacher), and Ms. Lee (my calculus teacher). Now - the funny thing about this is the status of these teachers. The leader of the best ROTC program in the state who had a student going to the Olympics for rifle shooting and the best drill team in the country; the head of the math department for the county; and the head of the history department for the state. (I went to an awesome school.)

If they expelled me, these teachers stated, the three of them would quit on the spot.

Finally, the principal saw reason. I had followed the rules. I had acted responsibly. I could have hidden the knife in my locker and never had it known, but I didn't. My punishment would be for my father to pick up my knife.

Now, my dad was the seargent major of the Ranger Training Brigaide. He's 6'4, he was 220 lbs, and he has these eyes that can just freeze your insides if he wants them to. Since he was on his way, we just waited.

Finally, daddy was sitting next to me and I knew he would handle the situation. He had just come in from a Ranger class, so he was in uniform (BDU's), and had stripped his field gear to get into the car.

The principal gave the slanted side of the story, and set the knife in front of him on the desk. After the whole rambling story, he said, "I don't think you should allow your young daughter to hang around men who carry knives."

My dad detests unfairness. Had I been wrong, he might have acted differently. As it was, he stood (remember - he's just in from the field), put his boot on his chair and unstrapped his boot knife and slapped it on the desk. Then he reached into his pocket and removed his pocket knife and slapped it on the desk. (The whole time, his eyes are doing this freezing thing.) Then he unstrapped his belt knife from his belt and slapped it on the desk.

When he reached forward, the principal actually flinched. All he did though, was to grab Conan's knife, hand it to me (go dad!) and start re-arming himself.

"I don't think," he said, finally sliding the boot knife back into its sheath, "that you should tell me who my daughter can hang around with and who she can't."

Nothing else was ever said or done about the incident.

Barnabas "Hop" Thu Apr 19 16:53:26 PDT 2001

Easter was a rather boring weekend for me. Considering my father is a Reverend the only thing exciting that happened was my mother baking unleavened bread for church and my first day as a Sunday School teacher.

Apparently unleavened bread floats up in the oven when hot enough. Basically the air beneath it builds up and pushes it up. With the air released the bread drops down. I haven't seen it happen but what else would explain the "boom?"

Right now I'm suffering growing pangs so when I stop growing I'll give everybody my height. I'm pretty tall closing on six feet (I might have exceeded it already but I haven't measured myself in a while) and I've still got a few more years to grow.

Got my second rejection for my short stories. To paraphrase, my ideas were good but need more development.

You know what. I'm blocking out my school days. They were traumatic. Can anybody imagine being streamed into different grades of intelligence at 9?

Sometimes I wonder if there are common phobias which everybody has but for some people is more intense.

For example I think everyone has a fear of losing what they love and it only becomes a phobia when it starts to really interfere with their judgement.

I have a phobia for dying. Not death but the process. Imagine being killed in a car accident, slowly bleeding to death or being slowly crushed to death, or being electrocuted repeatedly.

Speaking of death, if you are Christian and the so is the deceased shouldn't we be happy someone is dead? I mean they are going on to a better place and shouldn't that be a cause for celebration. We shouldn't place the body for everyone to see for it's just an empty shell. It should be buried without fuss and then we have a gathering to celebrate. We should be partying for the person, yes it is sad they are gone and yes I'm sure everyone will miss them but you'll be joining them in within the next hundred years or so. Instead all this crying and weeping. If I was dead and saw all this sadness I'd be unhappy in the afterlife seeing as how my family is missing ne.

SF/F central
For those of you who remember, there was a post about Sci-Fi/Fantasy central. I visited the place and it was okay. Not humming but it was just created. It has a good layout but needs more people. There are less than 10 members I think (including me). I'm going to be a little more pro-active there. Who knows, it may become something like this place in a few years.

For me it's a long adventure into the unknown. Ever live elsewhere for several years?
Maybe New York is an adventure itself.
The bit about it being a nice day somewhere else is so true. For example, NZ just had what is known as an omega block which is wind conditions preventing rain from entering the areas around here. Meanwhile on the other side of the block, Australia had some of the worst flooding and a few drownings.
I got really annoyed when people proclaimed it a perfect weekend while others were cold wet and miserable.

I'm an urbanite myself. I really don't like forests or woods although I have hiked through the rainforests of Malaysia. Great place but not me.

Never even been to Mainland China. But, my father is a pastor and the Church he works at and goes to is a Chinese Church with a Chinese service. There are a number of mainland Chinese there.

What's this suppose to mean? "He's 6'5" by the way and likes to beat up on me. "

Like you some of my best writing ideas come when I'm really depressed or excited.

Hope you got my e-mail.

Ethnicity not race, ethnicity. Don't worry I'm still Hop(ping).

Oh no! Another baby-eater (sorry about the corny joke) the "I love other people's babies" really hit me.

I see you're a Christian what with a cell group and all.

I've only been here 4 months. I think I'm new.

Debra & Heather
Very happy that both of you are getting published. I hope that one day I too will join the exalted ranks of the published.

Hello. I'm new too.

Not race, ethnicity. Please don't use race if you really mean that humans are all equal.

Why? Because race is founded on the idea that all man was not created (or evolved) equally.

I sort of understand what you're saying. You're describing humanity going towards somewhere, having a goal. It's not the goal or the action but the fact their doing it together. Sort of Utopian though. I wonder if humanity will ever be like that?

Did you know sky-diving can be done in pairs where you are attached to an experienced diver? That is you're just along for the ride?

Missing people (I prefer the term "persons" because each is an individual but I have to be grammatically correct)
Litter is still healing I suspect
Let me see, Ramon is in her new job.
Kru? Hello? You there?
What about Eddie French?

Has the notebook ever been visited by fictional characters? For example the character's in your shorties?

Debra Thu Apr 19 16:48:37 PDT 2001


Nothing's wrong. I've just been really tired lately. I have peeks and valleys and I'm just in a valley right now. I'm not depressed.

It doesn't mean anything. It's probably because my life hasn't gotten back to normal yet since the flood in my house on March 22nd and my kids, four of them, all have their own agendas. Of course they all include me in whatever that is. So sometimes I go in four different directions. Don't forget my husband who has his own agenda too.

I'll snap out of it soon.

Miss you too.

Allein Thu Apr 19 15:10:12 PDT 2001

Teekay - Shanghai Noon is a good movie!! :)

Rosemary Thu Apr 19 11:47:33 PDT 2001

OK. Time for my Shorty. MARY, you have done and are doing a great job in this department of the Notebook. (nothing wrong with your work in other departments too):-)

-----------------------SCHOOL DAZE----------------------

Mrs. Brown, my teacher, is the nicest, prettiest lady in the whole world. She only calls on me for answers I know and she doesn't fuss at me when I talk to Tricia who sits next to me.

Yesterday in Science class, we were reading about frogs. I don't really like them very much but Joyce, across the room, made really yucky noises and squealed when Bobby said he had one in his pocket. He didn't really have one, but she made a fuss anyway.

Mrs Brown said that tomorrow she would bring an example of a local frog for us to study. I heard some of the boys whispering that they were going to catch some and let them go in the room.

After I got home from school, I asked Momma if I had to be brave and not scream if one of the frogs got on me. She said those poor frogs would be scared half to death, and I should feel sorry for them.

This morning, I saw Mrs. Brown in the hall before class started. She smiled at me like she had a secret. I'm not sure I like her as much any more. Mamma said frogs have feelings too.

The classes passed slowly this morning. I didn't do really well in spelling and I got three arithmetic problems wrong. Grandma says no one who is eight years old has any problems, but I'm not sure she was ever eight years old. Right before time for Science, I thought I heard a strange sound from Bobby's backpack. He just shrugged his shoulders when I looked over at him. Maybe he's not as nice as I use to think he was.

Mrs. Brown said for us to all take out our science books and turn to page seventy-four. That's the page with a big picture of a frog on it. Then she put a box on her desk and started to open it. One of the girls on the front row put her hand over her mouth and giggled while she cut her eyes at Richard who sits on the row next to her. Then, Lisa who sits toward the back of the room let out a small shriek.

Just as Mrs. Brown had finished opening the box and reached into it, two girls jumped up and stood on their desk seats. I looked around but didn't see anything moving on the floor. Those boys were going to be in big trouble.

"Attention!" snapped Mrs. Brown. The girls sat down and everyone quit searching the floor and looked at her. In her left hand, sat a perfect green frog. Its skin was bright and glistening as it sat there, just looking at us. Long rubbery back legs were squatted up under his body and small front legs held up his front half. I was sure there was a smile on his face and wondered why. It was amazing that he held still so long.

"I know no one would be so foolish as to bring any live animals into this classroom, because I am sure you all know that it would cause you to be suspended." Mrs. Brown's mouth was a tight straight line and she didn't look happy. "Now we will talk about this excellent specimen of an inhabitant of a local pond."

Three of the boys in the room made quick jerky movements and I heard some strange sounds. Mrs. Brown ignored the boys as she pointed out and named the different parts of what turned out to be a stuffed frog. Some daze boys just don't think. END

This is not from personal experience. I don't think they had frogs back then.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Apr 19 10:13:48 PDT 2001

Handcuffs? Reminds me of a call I got way back when I first started on the PD in my home town. The call was from an old drinking buddy. It sort of went like this:

"Ah Jerry, that you?"


"Say, do you know if you have a key that will unlock a set of Peerless handcuffs?"

"Well I have Smith and Wesson, but I think the keys are the same, why?"

"Ah, could you just come by my trailer house, as soon as you can?"

"Sure, I will be right over."

Well when I got there, he let me in the house, and I could hear his 4 year old daughter off in another room, crying her little eyes out. His 5 year old son was sitting on the couch, tears still running down his cheeks. He simply motioned for me to follow him, which I did.

We went through the hall way, past the bathroom, past a bedroom that must have been the kids room, and into the back bedroom, where I saw his little girl sitting at the end of the bed, with a nice shiny set of Peerless handcuffs around her ankles, each foot through a different slat in the foot board of the bed.

I took my handcuff key and unlocked the cuffs. The little girl quit crying, and gave me the biggest hug I have ever received. Tom explained that when he quit law enforcement he kept his old set of handcuffs, as he had to buy them himself. He had subsequently lost the key, but the old cuffs were stored up in the closet, on the shelf. His son found something to climb on, and found the cuffs, and cuffed his daughter up the way I found her.

I still have my second set of cuffs that I had to buy too, but I have a key, and I know where to find it. Lesson learned.


Melanie Thu Apr 19 08:15:32 PDT 2001

You must have slipped a message in while I wa replying to Mary! Didn't mean to slight you. Actually, I give myself a guilt trip when I come home every night from work, too tired to do much housework or child nurturing and all I want to do is hole up and write something, but guilt wins out - I do a load of laundry, rock the 4-year-old a few minutes before she goes to bed (No, Mary, not real rocks! I promise) and then fall asleep myself, usually plotting out story changes to make or dreaming up new plot twists in my head...they usually don't make it to the paper. Sigh. I'm laden with guilt, whichever way I turn! But I'm glad I took the time rocking with my child and even doing the laundry that someone will invariably shout they need the next morning! :-) As for that persistence-thing with the writing, well,I'm working on that dream too!

Melanie Thu Apr 19 08:02:53 PDT 2001

Mary: AHA! I would lend you some handcuffs but I may need them again (Just KIDDING!-Actually I don't have any, handcuffs that is, and sometimes wish I did!! NOT Kidding!!). Kidding aside, don't underestimate your children, even if they're handcuffed to the Sam (#3) at age 2 managed to get into the most unexpected places...and during "naptime" no less!! ;-)

Rhoda Thu Apr 19 07:59:16 PDT 2001


I have those type of days also. It usually happens when I imprisoned in the mini van with them on a long trip. There are times I would like to pull over and walk the rest of the way, or have them walk the rest of the way. When my ship comes in and I sell that hot best seller, I will purchase a tour bus, but I am afraid that will not be big enough.


That must be rough for you. I know it would be for me, but if finances make it a necessity then you must do the best you can. I just hope that no one ever gives you a guilt trip over it. I hear that done all the time, and I just cringe. My mother was a working mom, and she managed to take care of three children just fine. No one ever had a better, more loving, supportive mother than I did. I hope your dream comes true, Melanie, and fast enough to make a difference in your situation. We can't all be like Ms. Rowling, but isn't great to know this stuff still happens in our world? There is always hope. With persistence it will happen, though more persistence is required of some of us.


Mary Thu Apr 19 07:11:40 PDT 2001

MELANIE: I am only human. There are days that I could handcuff my kids to the doorknobs and go for a nice long walk (just kidding). I mean, really, what could possibly happen to them handcuffed to doorknobs? I wouldn't be gone long. Haha.

DEBRA: Where are you? You have been quiet lately, did I miss the reason?

Melanie Thu Apr 19 06:44:29 PDT 2001

Okay, Teekay - even English majors make typos. It never fails: if I DON'T proofread, there's always at least one typo that gets away...I make up character names and place names and sometimes whole creatures but not usually words like "own't." Make that a "won't," won't you? Thanks! Hope my fingers and eyes un-cross before the rest of the day unfolds... >-]

Melanie Thu Apr 19 06:35:12 PDT 2001

Hi, All -

RHODA: I was able to stay home only 6 months with my first, a wonderful year with my 2nd, and then the minimum 2 months only (sob! sniff!) with the last three. Man, did it hurt to leave them with someone else! I'd love to be able to stay home when my 4-yr-old turns 5-1/2 and starts school, but I'd have to pull off a miracle in only 1-1/2 years to make that happen. I guess I should have a heart-to-heart with JK Rowling and find out how to make the magic happen with the very first book!...BTW, Bon Voyage, Rhoda! :-)

MARY: In my case, my daughter was 99% sweet-tongued, which made her sudden jerk-off to family values all the harder to take. Give your little ones an extra hug TODAY! :-)

HEATHER: You don't sound scary to me, not even wearing purple beneath red hair...You're quite colorful, though. :-)

HALLEE: You have a secretary? Must be nice. I not only do not have a secretary but have been covering (as much as possible) the job duties of two positions for 1-1/2 years...relief soon! New youth librarian will start in June - YES!!! Ah, to dream of catching up the backlog...
BTW, send me anything, Hallee (email above). I'm a romance fan and have read a wide variety of types. While you're at it, give Kaylee an extra hug today - she's SO precious! :-)

HOWARD: Loved your shortie. Sounded like my old schools! :-)

CHRISTI: Give YOUR son an extra hug today! :-) I understand the language-skills-thing; most embarassing when you're at a restaurant and have to excuse yourself from the table in order to "go potty." Not that I ever did such a thing, of course.

TEEKAY: Since you asked, :-) it's kind of ironic really. Baby #1, who recently turned into the heart-wrencher, was the fussiest babe of all--should have put her on Prozac then (Just KIDDING, Mary!). But we merrily went on and had #2, her brother, who now shakes the house up with his - er, lovely punk - ahem - music. Silly us, #2 was such a charming child (until he switched from baby food to table food and learned to either throw the peas or stuff them into his pockets to make them 'disappear' - yes! even to this day) -- we had thought having children in pairs was ever so nice: they entertain each other while you get other things done, at least until you have to come running to clean up the blood (JUST KIDDING again, Mary!!)-- so we went on to have #3 (another boy) and #4 (another boy, darn it! oh well). And having #4 really was a wonder, after #3's unpredictable antics drove me to write a short story about him, a very daring child indeed (okay, Mary, he was DARLING too!). But it was three boys, I think, that started rocking my boat...when #5 slipped in (and NO, I DO NOT want six, in spite of what I said about pairs!), we were MOST relieved by ultrasound to find she was a 'she.' Now, to teach her things we seem to have missed teaching the first one; if you don't spell EVERYTHING out, they'll do it their way (which is REALLY scary, Heather!) :-) So, Teekay, it's not that I own't see but maybe I've seen too much! ;-}
No, actually the house is MUCH too quiet when the kids aren't home. I've blamed the noise for not being able to write; the other night they ALL were out and it was so quiet I could only think of...them! :-)

Have a great day, everyone! Looking forward to more shorties from all...


Ben Thu Apr 19 05:59:21 PDT 2001

Teekay: No problems being five or six minutes late when you're a Minute Man :-) And don't worry, my wife thinks I'm a pervert, a dirty old man, and lecherous too. I guess that's coz I don't really have to work at it. Speaking of which...

Teekay Wed Apr 18 23:47:30 PDT 2001

Hi All,

HEATHER: The Novel Saga should really be your job. I've just picked up where you left off coz I missed hearing about your progress so much. :-)
Now I have to keep myself inspired dammit!

MELANIE: Now didn't I tell you you wouldn't see the beauty in that shorty??? Now what is that wise old proverb? Oh yes, that's it, 'there are none so blind as those who will not see.'
Now I gotta ask, did you get to this mind state before or after baby no: 5??? :-)

BEN: Sorry BEN, I was being a bit risque there. When you went into the description of your wife all dressed up in the maids costume I could almost hear your heavy breathing over here and I could picture you slobbering all over the keys. So, you know, I thought maybe you could've been about 5 or 6 minutes late for work. ;-)
You abviously don't have a really vulgar, disgusting mind like, say, well, me for instance :-)

MELANIE: Okay, I just got your answer :-) and don't worry, probably mosy 18 year olds go of and live in bizarre circumstances for a while, well, maybe a half to a third. Unfortunatly it's not all like the Cosby show - which in itself is very sad.

RHODA: I am soooo excited for you. It's going to be fantastic! I am definitely one day going to visit Scotland.
Okay, now let's just sit back and see if positive thinking really does work.

RICHARD!!!!: Stunning! Wow can I have your autograph now? I hate standing in lines :-)

HEATHER: HAHAHAHAA. Yep. I know that scary hangup. I too suffer from it. Well, no, I don't actually suffer from it, the other people do though :-D

HALLEE: Jacksonville is such an American sounding name isn't it? So many American towns seem to end in 'ville', sort of like English towns end in 'shire'.
Let us ponder.
Okay, lets not.
Oh, HALLEE, what a beautiful little story. I think you should write it down somewhere else and put it in your photo album.
Pen and paper is the only way I can write. If I typed it down I'd forget half, no most, of what I was thinking. I don't consider myself a slow typer, but my fingers definitely would not be able to keep track of my thoughts. :-)
Thanks for the site. I've saved it to favourites.

CHRISTI: (blushing, hands behind back, shuffling around and staring at the ground) Why, thankee Mam, an' ah gotta say, ah ain't never heerd some 'un snort as purty as you.
(Oh, and forgot to say, pretending to be a guy too. Don't know why really, just happened that way ~shrug~)

Chapter 2 is done, and I've borrowed a really interesting sounding book at the library, so hopefully I'll begin chapter 3 tonight, but if I don't it's coz the book is REALLY good.
I've also borrowed 'The Kid' and Shanghai Noon' from the video shop.

Mary Wed Apr 18 21:52:03 PDT 2001

HEATHER: Isn't 'Nameless' the piece you have going into the anthology?

Christi Wed Apr 18 21:36:33 PDT 2001

Yup. Did it again. Me below.

Wed Apr 18 21:35:24 PDT 2001

Hallo Peeps!

Teekay, Tina, Heather, Mary .... it was GREAT chatting with you guys. Y'all are crazy, y know that? (See, this way I look all innocent and prim. :P)

Ben, Thanks for being so nice in the face of my blatent challenge. I must hand it to you; height didn't seem to enter into the equation for you. And when you and your wife saw yourselves in the store window that first time... priceless! I got a giggle thinking of it.

Teekay, I LOVED your post! You got an actual snort out of me. It was very ladylike, to be sure. And your shortie was tres fab, dahling!

Heathew, Glad to see you're up to your old tricks! Sorry I missed the chat.

Melanie, I'm sensing some hostility here. Call me crazy. Better watch it, there's lots of us stay-at-homers here who might be tempted to kick some hiney.
Okay, just saw the follow-up. Sorry. I can see where that might take some of the sheen off of parenting.
Nice shortie!

Mary, Ditto what you said! I feel extremely lucky to be able to stay home with my son. Blessed even. It's by far the best thing I've ever done. Ain't it grand?
Unfortunately though, my language skills have suffered. As my husband was going to bed the other night I said, "Nite-nite, sweetie!" in a goofy, babyish voice.

Pussy, Your poem started out brilliantly! And then it just got mean. Ha ha. Hi there, Puss n' boots! What's A* up to?

Hallee, That's so sweet.

It was a pleasure to read through the great shorties posted. Thanks, all! Keep up the good work! Time will tell if I can come up with one.

Nite-nite, sweeties!


Jerry Ericsson Wed Apr 18 20:55:11 PDT 2001

Speaking of weather, today was our unofficial first day of spring. Today it broke 70 degrees. Today, I started up my lawn mower (riding of course) and used it with the bagging attachment to pick up all that falls on the ground during the fall and winter. I always pick up the leaves in the fall, but you know there is much more that seems to fall on the ground after the leaves are gone. Boy was there a bunch of bird seed under my bird feeders, must have picked up about a peck or more.

Hallee, you should do a bit of work on that true story, I am sure many family magazines would love such a tale, it is such a great story it deserves a place in print.


Jerry Wed Apr 18 20:38:58 PDT 2001

Hallee - WOW, neat story.


Allein Wed Apr 18 19:52:48 PDT 2001

Rosemary - I know the feeling. I love the MTV show Daria and half the time the TV guide says it's going to be on they have some other stupid program on. That's the only MTV show I like.

I also enjoy the Nanny and ER but those aren't MTV.

"If Lamb Chop married Howdy Dooty her name would be Lamb Dooty."
- The Nanny

Heather Wed Apr 18 18:41:53 PDT 2001

P.S. Howard: That's the site that is publishing one of my poems in their latest anthology. I'm gonna rush over there after leaving my echoes in the chat room and read your poems!
Yippee! I love your poems Howard.


Rosemary Wed Apr 18 18:41:13 PDT 2001

Greetings writers all,

At this time, I am really mad at the TV guide in the newspaper. It said West Wing would be on at 8:00pm as usual so I sat in here for 40 minutes, writing 'School Daze' while it was on. There are only three programs that I absoutely must see (even reruns) and that was one of them. {:+(

I kicked my muse out of his funk (Yes, mine is male. I don't know why.) and made him sit down and write tomorrow night's shorty. I think he was influenced by the fact that I have been reading books out of the Juvinile section lately or he was just mad at me, because even though I got a story out of him I couldn't see that it had any point to it. Oh well, accept what I can get out of him and make do.

I'll post it tomorrow.

I took my outdoor dog to the Groomers yesterday. He is part Chow and part La haApso(sp.?) He looks like a messy mop and this year his hair has matted up. When I went back to get him, expecting to have to pay at least $30, they had not touched him. They said they couldn't get him out of the cage. He growled at them and threw himself all over the cage. Of course he walked right out for me as if nothing had happened. Now I'm going to have to shave him myself. If I thougth he was going to go for that, I wouldn't have taken him to them in the first place. Maybe I better enter my shorty tomorrow before I tackle that job.

A cold front came through yesterday and blew all that hot humid weather away. Something for you to look forward to. I have felt better yesterday and today than I have in a couple of weeks. I hate it that the weather affects me so much. It seems to cause a lot of pain which leaves me with a lousy attitude.

That's more than enough rambling from me.

Heather Wed Apr 18 18:39:15 PDT 2001

Howard, have I told you lately that you're so cute?

(Sung somewhat badly to the tune of 'Have I Told You Lately', I think that's the title, by Rod whatshisname. Rod (dangit!) I know it, it's a face card! But it got lost in the lap of life. You know, the lap that all the other lost cards fall into, and when you least need it, the Ace makes a showing.

Ah, wait a minute. Stewart.
Ok, so it wasn't an ace.

Well, Hallee, yes, thinking about school days DOES give me that 'should I bare it all?' feeling! Should I, huh, huh? Like you said, why not.
It isn't as if I've held much back from the NB on account of it might embarrass me. Hyuck!
Hope all of those proposals come out perfectly. What a load of work to dump on you! And right when you're editing! Sheesh!

By the way, I loved everyone's short shorties so far. To anyone else happening upon this site tonight, they might wonder if we haven't held NB picnics and some hanky panky resulted. Hey you! yes, you, that anonymous lurker! Not what you were thinking. Up, up, fair minds, and back into the realm of cleanliness.
Mine included.

Shortie night is what, Thursday? Just checking. HA HA

I'm delaying it deliciously. Perhaps so I don't have to drudge up those old bruises and (miniature) triumphs again.

Pussy, darling! So good to hear a meow and a poem!
Give that caretaker of yours a GIANT HUG for me, won't you?

I'm going to the chat room and I don't care if there's an echo. I'll wait for someone to show up for at least, well, at least ten minutes!

It's 9:30 EST, GO!


howard Wed Apr 18 18:09:05 PDT 2001

PUSSY - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the poem and site.


Morning Announcements

Whoosh - whoosh - is this thing working? OK.
Good morning students! Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. (shuffle scrape)

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Thank you, and may I have your attention please?

This morning Miss Murphy will be administering the oral polio vaccine to the senior high girls in the west side of the gym from nine until nine fifty. Teachers please have your girls lined up ready to receive their cups along the front bleachers.

There will be a "Duck and Cover" drill this afternoon for all grades. Please remain orderly and remember this is just a drill. Mister Pendlebury will be monitoring several of the rooms to see if we need improvements.

Mister Fox has misplaced his new ball-point pen, and would very much like to recover it. If you happen to find it, please return it to the main office. Be careful with it, as it is a very valuable writing instrument.

Congratulations are in order for Gary Hilton, who set a new school record yesterday for situps. He did 2089 situps, with several people sharing the holder's spot. We have notified the Press, and have taken photographs for the yearbook. Congratulations Gary.

We have a special treat this afternoon. Ralph Carroll from WNBF will be landing here in a new helicopter, right on the athletic field. The army air corps is bringing him in to display some of the new equipment our troops in Korea are using. Please stay behind the barrier ropes at all times.

The advanced wood shop classes will meet in the cafeteria study hall today, as Mister Stock is ill. He expects to return tomorrow.

Finally, Mister Persley requests that the boys who have been having so much fun reparking his new Renault please stop. He did say it was funny at first, to see it wedged in between those two trees, but he had to find someone to help drag it back out.

Those are today's announcements. Miss Henderson, please ring the bell.


Hallee Wed Apr 18 17:47:39 PDT 2001

TEEKAY: For you. (If you want it)

Hallee Wed Apr 18 17:44:56 PDT 2001

RHODA & MARY: I'm so jelous (and I've never been able to spell that word). I would LOVE to stay home.

TEEKAY: You go, girl. Wow - you go so fast for writing it by hand. I can't communicate through paper and pen - my sentences are a jumbled mess. Oh - there's a Harlequin line called Duets - they're romantic comeidies. I'll come back with the link in a sec.

MELANE: Your posts are fun.

Okay - I need to scrape something together to eat. First to find that site for TEEKAY.

Oh, TINA: The site that did that short story contest is having another one, this one fantasy. Let me know if you want the details.


Hallee Wed Apr 18 17:38:50 PDT 2001

Okay - I'm going to try this again.

I'm having SUCH a busy week. Friday I was given two proposals (80 pages - full of colors and pics and charts explaining why we're good and need to be picked for a particular project, blah blah), and I had to have them done by tomorrow. Then. Monday, they handed me two more that have to be done by Friday. Well, the final copy of the 2nd one was printing when I left my office. My secretary is going to have do a 4 hour round trip tomorrow because I didn't make the Fed Ex delivery time.

OKay...what did I say when I lost it earlier this week?

TEEKAY: Jacksonville is about 3 hours from here. An easy drive. But, we'll have to stay in a hotel - they have a very tiny apartment.

KITTY & MELANIE: If you're serious about reading, let me know - I'll send you the chapters I have done. I always appreciate any input.

TINA: I SO value your editing skills. Thank you - I'm looking forwward to it.

HEATHER: School days bring a "wonder if I should bare all" kinda thought to you, too? hahahaha Why the hell not?

I don't remember what else I said. Sorry, brain is tired. I got home last night at 9:45, and just got here tonight...I think it's about 8:30.

I have to share this. For those of you who don't know, my great-grandma and my grandpa both died this summer, so my grandma lost both her husband and her mother within just a few weeks of each other. So, Kaylee knows all about her family - can pick people out in pictures - we're a really close family. She knew they died, and who they were when they died.

She asked me where they were, I told her Heaven with Jesus. She said, "But, Jesus is in my heart. Does that mean grandma and pappa are in my heart?" Of course, I told her yes, as long as she loved them, they would be in her heart.

A couple of weeks ago at church, they made their "Bible Shape Book". It had a page for each shape, like the perfect circle - God is perfect...the oval is infinity - all of that. One page was the diamond - a symbol for the crown of jewels you'll get in Heaven.

So (man, this is longer than I thought it would be - but bear with me) Conan found this neat looking crystal rock the other day, and he was holding it in his hands. Kaylee hadn't seen it, and was walking next to him, and tripped. He dropped the crystal to catch her, and she landed on her hands and knees. The crystal dropped right in front of her.

She jumped up, dancing around and laughing. I said, "What do you have, hon?"

She held it up with this glow all around her, and said, "Look! It's a jewel! It came from my heart! It's from Grandma Daisy's crown! A jewel from her crown!"

Who am I to argue that?


Pussy Wed Apr 18 17:17:22 PDT 2001

Nice poetry site, Howard. And I enjoyed your "The Trees will be".

Here's a poem of my own for the shorties tomorrow:

I like it when the cherries
bring back memories
I like it when the grapes
taste to melons
Nothing like a rich salad fruit
And a cup of Turkie coffee
But what I really love is when Manchester United loses to Bayern Munich
Thus making Eddie cry

Pussy (the wife of the greatest poet alive, Jon).

Heather Wed Apr 18 15:12:36 PDT 2001

Oh, yeah, I wanted to add that sometimes I need to get out more, too!
I scare people when I don't get out often - well, I confess, I scare people all the time, so I mustn't be getting out enough.

The people I scare? Mostly me, you wonderful bunch (do I?) and my family. They're very frightened. But I'm lucky. Without my family, I'd be scaring the general public.


Heather Wed Apr 18 15:06:42 PDT 2001

Ahhh, the lovely clack of keys abounds!
I see quite a few have been VERY up to the challenge! Mary, celebrate! The short lapse (ok, lack of participation) in shortie night is over!

Hurrah, and it's not even Thursday!


Back later... school days. Oh, should I grieve, should I laugh? Should I bare all?

Heh heh

Richard Wed Apr 18 14:07:04 PDT 2001

Ouch - the word repition in that was painful. I'll remember to check it through next time!

Richard Wed Apr 18 14:03:37 PDT 2001

Eye for an Eye...

Don stepped up into the box and eyeballed the robed preist. Narrowing his eyes, the preist looked down at his book and found Don's name.

Settling his eye on the young boy, the preist slapped the book closed. "We've been keeping an eye on you boy - a major incident today. You recieved most of what was due in that fight - you know we saw it - but not all. Come this way."

Don followed the old man sullenly from the box and into a wood-panelled room. He felt an instant flash of bitterness when he saw Jake standing in the far corner. Knowing the situation all too well, they stood facing each other in the centre of the room, faces impassive - they didn't want to preist to catch them showing negative emotion.

The preist walked back to the wall and then turned with a swirl of his cape. He opened the book again. God, how Don hated that book.

"Don," the old man began, following the entries with a hooked finger, "you must be struck by Jake five times in the stomach... Jake, you must be struck twice in the leg..."

Gladly, Don snarled inwardly.

It lasted only a few minutes. Jack managed to steal a glare over his shoulder as he left the room. Don was about the follow, but the preist's hand fell on his shoulder, stopping him dead. "Wait... you cannot leave yet Don."

The preist vanished from the room, leaving Don on his own. Probably off to find someone else he had to level the field with... Don shook his head. It just wasn't fair...

Returning a few minutes later, the preist led a girl of Don's age in behind him.

The temperature in the room seemed to jump. He smiled weakly and croaked, "Hi Rosa..."

Rosa was pouting, her step full of defiance and reigned energy. She stood in front of Donn and stared at him without mercy. Don sweated it while the preist returned to his favoured position.

"Don - you must strike Rosa once on the cheek, as she did to you."

Oh God no, Don prayed. God no. He stood frozen to the spot. Rosa's stared flayed him like dead meat. Dead silence reigned.

Clearing his throat, the preist spoke again. "Don - strike her!"

Eyes still locked with Rosa's, Don lined up his, closed his eyes, and struck out.

Rosa left the room with head held high, her dignity preserved. The preist finally permitted Don to leave. Thanks a lot, he thought darkly. There's goes any chance of ever dating her.

His mate Peter was waiting for him outside, sitting on the edge of the polished wood steps that led into tall Church. He stood as Don rattled down them and began to walk quickly away.

"Get it bad?" he asked. Don nodded.

"I had to let my sister thump me on the back," Pete chuckled. "I think she enjoyed it."

"Yeah," Don seethed. "I bet Jack Isonhouse enjoyed it as well - almost as much as I did!"

"Phew - cool down there Don," Pete warned, slapping him on the back. Then he sobered visibly. "They'll be back soon."

Don nodded again, but offered no response. He'd been trying to avoid thinking about it.

"They won the war for us," his freind went on. He cast a glance at Don. "They're heroes - your Dad and them are heroes."

Don didn't answer.

That night, a column of weary but victorious soldiers marched through the streets to the sound of cheering and beating drums. They paraded down the road, smiles on their faces, proud and strong. Marching through the final gate, they averted their gaze from the banner strung high above it.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth... a life for a life.

By midnight all was silent. None of the soldiers returned to their families.

At precisely one in the morning, the lucid silence was shattered by a sudden roar of fire. It lasted seconds, then sputtered out.

For hours, only crying could be heard in the streets...

Mary Wed Apr 18 13:26:59 PDT 2001

MELANIE: I am so glad to hear that you were only teasing. Quite frankly, after my post, I began to wonder how my mother felt about my teenage smart-mouth. I mean, I was a good kid, but I sure had a lip.

RHODA: My children are much younger than yours but there are days and days that go by that the only people I talk to outside of this house are right here at the Notebook. When I do get out, it is with someone in my family for a specific reason. I do feel that I have happily sacrificed a large bit of myself for my family, and probably that is why I get touchy when people criticize me for that. It's not easy, but wow, the rewards! I am grateful for the opportunity I have, which not all women get to experience.

Rhoda Wed Apr 18 12:46:52 PDT 2001

I am a stay at home mom and have been for over 13 years. I am so blessed to have been able to do this. However, I do look forward to next year when my youngest will be in school all day and I will be able to do some part-time work. I am a very social person and sometimes I go for too long a time without being exposed to any society outside my family. Perhaps this occassional isolation explains some of my strange mood swings.

My dream is to not have to go back to work at all, but to stay at home and meet writing deadlines the rest of my life. But I always want to have room to be there for my kids and to also be somewhat involved in my community.


Looking forward to your shortie. I always enjoy your stories.

One week until my oversea's journey. I am so excited. I am now trying to catch up on my laundry and make the necessary preparations for the care of my family while I am gone.


Melanie Wed Apr 18 12:30:58 PDT 2001


Actually, I have the GREATEST respect for women (or men) who choose to stay home and nurture their children as they grow, Homeschoolers especially honorable!! I have not been fortunate enough to do so myself, so I'm even ENVIOUS of all who can stay at home and raise their kids around the clock. For the record, I DO love my children very much and I enjoy their humor daily. My husband and I actually chose to have so many children so they'd never be "alone" in the later trials of their lives.

But "truth spoken in jest," I am still learning a hard lesson from my firstborn who, after 18 years of growing happily, intelligently, full of talent and brimming with common sense, suddenly threw all her parent-taught morals, family values and common sense out the proverbial window to go live a very bizarre life elsewhere. I realize this situation probably doesn't happen in most families. I NEVER thought it would happen in mine. But it did. Thus, my dark "humor" on children, of late. I will now cease and desist from it. No offense intended, Mary! Children ARE worth having; enjoy every smile they give you as they grow. :-)

Mary Wed Apr 18 11:17:37 PDT 2001

MELANIE: I hope in your post to Teekay that you aren't actually saying that anyone intelligent who would choose to stay home and raise children is a lunatic because that would just tick me right off. People don't have children in the same mindset as they choose puppies. People don't just have children because they are cute and cuddly and then regret it when their teenage mouths spout garbage. Holy Shnikies did that fire me up. That is wrong on so many levels.

Awesome to see the shorties pouring in already. See, Rosemary, nothing to worry about. :-)

howard Apr 18 10:18:12 PDT 2001

Hey all - Themestream is gone, but I found a great poetry site (maybe you knew about it, but you didn't tell me). Check out the one listed above.


Jerry Ericsson Wed Apr 18 08:06:57 PDT 2001

Heather - A challenge? A dare if you will? Well OK, here is my short-shorty. (Tried to keep it short like we did when this first started.

“Did you see him?” Abner asked, grabbing Donnie by the coat sleeve.

“Sure did, wow, he is big enough to take care of three bullies like Bill.”

“Think he will help us?”

“I am sure he will, after all his father is a minister, and they always teach their kids to do the right thing, don’t they?”

Donnie and Abner left the schoolhouse, and began the walk across the City park that stood across the street from the school. This was the park where big Bill usually caught them to take their hats, or slam them to the ground so the rest of his bunch could get a laugh.

They were about half way through the park when they met big Bill. The new kid was with him.

“Hold him!” ordered the new kid.

Bill grabbed Donnie by his jacket, slipped his arms around him putting him in a full nelson, while the new kid began to beat Donnie with his fists. Sometimes in school, there just ain’t no justice.


Melanie Wed Apr 18 07:03:51 PDT 2001

Okay, I'm early too. My elusive muse just peeked her head around my corner and I GRABBED her! Before she slips away again, here is my first official "Shortie."


Classes, masses,
Not in the halls without your passes;
Shy girl; Try, Girl!
Hoots and Hollers - FLY, Girl!
Music wing, Just the thing,
Make the mellow 'cello strings sing!
The magic's near...
In the auditorium here.
Lights dimming, seats brimming,
The concerts, the plays, the memories swimming
Awash in tears as they roll back the years.

And the best one? The annual talent show:
"Hell's Little Angels" on the go
(The Senior Boys, in leather, on trikes)
Wheeling 'cross the stage, one by one--when YIKES!
They CRASH and all tumble in unison rumpus! :-)

Ben Wed Apr 18 06:44:02 PDT 2001

Teekay: With the way my parents raised me, it didn't matter what shape you were in if you were out "visiting" friends the night before. You always made it in to work. My mother was somewhat meciless when it came to getting up for work with a hangover. :-)

"I remember when I was afraid of you guys," I said with a laugh, taking a quick drink of my beer and telling myself to relax.
"It's funny, isn't it?" Gordie smiled up at me. "When I went up to the high school, I went from being one of the big boys down here, to being the smallest guy up there. Man, the shit they used to do to us. They hated us because we came from down here."
"I didn't have any problems," I grinned.
He looked at me and sort of laughed the comment off. "Gee, I wonder why," he smiled. "How tall are you now, anyway?"
"I'm five eight. I remember one of those bastards picked me up and put me inside a locker. I was banging on the inside of that thing for ten minutes before some teacher came along and opened it up. And they wonder why we quit school so early? Anyway, I hated the bastard that did that to me. I swore up and down I'd get even with him. I finally saw him once, about three or four years ago--I was sure he recognized me. He never paid me no never mind though. Not a god damned word. I was gonna kick the shit outta him if it was the last thing I did. I didn't care if he knew why or not. I mean, what, fifteen years? Twenty years? It doesn't matter how long it is, some things you just don't forget."
"He deserved it," I encouraged him.
"THat's what I told myself. I went walking up to his table and stood looking down at him--God I was pissed off."
"What d'ya mean?"
"The bastard was in a wheelchair."

THere ya go Heather, challenge accepted.

Melanie Wed Apr 18 05:19:39 PDT 2001

Hi All! :-)

Jack - The World Horror Convention (shudder!) sounds a bit too scary for my tastes! I'd rather brave a whole pack of singing Klingons (not that I'd join in - I haven't been to Klingon State U. or whatever they call their college!).

Raptor - It sounds like maybe an afterlife experience, moving in a limbo-like place from death toward heaven...??!

Teekay - I'm stealing the sun back today (or maybe just a piece of it?) - It's rather brisk this a.m., bright but crisp. Old Man Winter hates to leave us but I've got his bags packed and thrown aboard his Ultra-Light. He'll be winging your way soon..." 'Bye! Have a nice flight! Don't waste your time on a postcard; we won't be missing you until next Christmas! And say hello to all my friends Down Under! (I hope they're DEEP down under their heaviest quilts if you stay there over 5 months like you did here! Brrr!)"

BTW, Teekay - the most popular girl in your shortie threw her brain away with her graduation cap. Four children indeed. What she doesn't realize is that babies don't STAY small and cute; she won't realize that until she gets to Baby #5. You should change your last word 'lucky' to 'lunatics.' :-)

Ben Tue Apr 17 23:21:24 PDT 2001

Hello Raptor: If you would have only told us what IT was in the opening line, you would have held us I'm quite sure. Please don't give up. Just sit back, rethink it, and remember, SHOW ME, DON'T TELL ME is the byword al writers live by.

Kitty: The Surrey Writiers Conference takes place in October. Diana Gabaldon has been in attendance for years. She loves it. Jack Whyte has been coming of late. Dean Wesly Smith and his darling wife are always there. The agents, writers and editors are in search of the great unknown writer. You can see anyone for ten minutes. You'd better know what you're going to ssay, because that's pretty well all the time you're going to get to convince anyone of anything. I was talking to Jack Whyte one year, just standing outside the door when he stepped out to have a smoke. He told me this was one of the best seminars he's been to, because it deals exclusively with the writer's needs. There are classes hosted by the multitude of writers publishers, editors and agrents. They tell you everything you need to know about whatever genre you're interseted in. It's quite a big do. Three days. People come from the States, as well as a man who was in from Britain last time I went. It really should get more advertisement that it does, but then again, I think it's one of the best kept secrets in the writing world. WRITERS DIGEST reps even show up. I sometimes watch HOT TYPE when I can on Sunday nights, and some of the agents they talk to in New York and Toronto, L.A., are at this conference. If you ever get a chance to come out for one, my door is always open. And besides, they hold it in the SHeraton, so the food's not bad either, and there's more than enough room there. But I don't charge as much, and the food's just as good here. And the wife works across the street so it's easy for me to get a ride home. :-)

I gotta go to bed now. I'm all hockeyed out. I think I'm a definite hockey nut. There's nothing like the playoffs. There are none of those annoying commercials during overtimes, so you can really get into the flow of the game. But having come off afternnons last week, it takes a couple of days to get back into the four a.m. ritual. Staying up to watch hockey sometimes makes it even harder. West caost games generally end at around ten thirty--eleven, and with Overtime, we're looking at two in the morning if it goes into triple OT...but I think it's a Canadian thing. The only other sports atheletes that even close to being as physically tough as a hockey player, is probably one of those Aussie Rules football players--like ruggers. Stich 'em up and throw back into the fray. I watch football players (Not soccer), basketball players, and baseball players, and shake my head at what they call injuries. Wussies. :-) Hockey players break bones and come out for the next period--and sometimes score the game winning goals.


Heather Tue Apr 17 22:57:00 PDT 2001


To write a shortie for tomorrow. No matter how short, or long, or whether it be on-topic or not. I dare you ALL!
Teekay's already beat the rest of us sods.

Great topic, btw, Mary - this is bound to bring out a whole slew of memories. Ah, to choose.


Heather Tue Apr 17 22:53:56 PDT 2001

Teekay - looks like you're doing really well with your novel, and still have oodles of humour left to splash these pages!!!

Can't wait to read on about the NOVEL SAGA! Bring it on!


Teekay Tue Apr 17 20:03:59 PDT 2001

Hi All,

RHODA: Well I have my fingers seriously crossed for you. Man, I would just LOVE IT if an editor called you. To see the look on your face would be priceless.

MELANIE: I think we must have the 'lovely day'.
Occassional wisps of white cloud on a pastel blue sky,
a mischevious breeze playing amongst the lavender.
A perfect autumn day.

BEN: Hmmmm after that post I'm rather curious as to wether you made it to work on time after all. ;-^ (that's a tongue in cheek sign. Please don't mistake it for anything else.)

Here's my Thursday shortie coz it's Wednesday and I've just thought of it and if I leave it I'll forget it.

"See her over there? She used to be the most popular girl in school. Every girl I know wanted to be like her, including me. You should have seen all the guys. They would fall all over themselves for her. The rest of us didn't stand a chance.
She was captain of the cheerleader squad you know? And she was smart too. Aced all her finals.
Now look at her. Three kids and another on the way. Some people are just born lucky."

MEL: I know you probably don't appreciate the beauty of this story :-D


RAPTOR: Welcome to you.
What did I think? We-e-ell, I think you didn't really give us enough to make a proper comment on :-) I like the idea.


Well chapter one has finally been comitted to computer.
Chapter 2 still remains half done, but hopefully by the end of the day that shall be rectified.

Join us here tomorrow for the next thrilling update on -"THE NOVEL SAGA"
Programming is subject to change depending on mood swings and perhaps the weather.

Heather Tue Apr 17 19:45:42 PDT 2001

Raptor, is there something I'm missing? All I see is a lot of description, and I can't figure out what you're trying to describe. Is it some sort of stroll towards world peace?
You'll have to make what you're describing clear and well-focused before trying to describe it, otherwise, well, the result is a few posts down from here.

Try it again, will you, with the exact scene and focus in mind before you start.


Mark Tue Apr 17 19:18:18 PDT 2001

RAPTOR -- Sorry, no prize tonight. "It" Lots of description around some "It" that I'm supposed to figure out from the description. And the description is wholly imaginary. Nope. Can't make out what's in your imagination.

Raptor Tue Apr 17 18:29:52 PDT 2001

how to even begin to describe it?
It was like looking at a child who suddenly became many, changing his form into thousands, perhaps millions of single stars that breathed concious life into the universe. Children of every race, creed, nationality, and homestead that had ever walked upon the earth, running with joy and ectasy into the blinking white oblivion that surrounded them, Whenever children of other races were fallen beneath the endless pace, they were helped up by others, joined by Doctors, lawyers, teachers, writers, artiests and adults who held every kind of job imaginable, they ran. there was no class distinction there! it was simply mankind, a force who would not leave this surface unabated without its firey mark on the universe. They were more then simple beings, they were without peer, without bounderies or limts, all were happy and together they strove forward towards a destiny that none of them could imagine
For this was the sea of humanity.
Well? whatcha think?

Raptor Tue Apr 17 18:20:40 PDT 2001

I hate to admit it, but i've been bitten by the writing bug, its taken me a while to find a story I like out of all the ones i've written, but now i suppose i'm just unsure about everything, if its good enough (which all my friends tell me) and things like that.

Raptor Tue Apr 17 18:19:12 PDT 2001


Jerry Tue Apr 17 17:50:16 PDT 2001

Mary - great glad to hear it. Did they tell you that there are many variants? In the Army, we all played double deck, 4 handed. Here at home we play 2 and 4 handed with a single deck, 5 and 6 handed with a double deck. It seems that differentr areas have different values for much of the meld and so forth. It is a good game though. Have fun.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Apr 17 15:11:58 PDT 2001

Melanie: Well, in answer to your question about going to science fiction conventions, I would have to say that my role there is less as a writer than as a fan and a concom member. I am currently the bid chair for Westercon 56 which is likely going to be around a 2000 person or more convention taking place in the SeaTac, Washington area. As part of the bid process, I have gone to an inordinantly large number of conventions in the last year and a half, including WorldCon and a SMOFcon. All of this said, my plans are to generate a writer centric convention in 2003 with a major focus on technology. Depending on your genre, these are excellent places to make contacts. Some, however, are better than others. If, for example, you write horror or dark fantasy or anything along those lines, one of the better places to check out is the World Horror Convention, which, as it happens, is taking place in Seattle end of next month. This is a somewhat more professional oriented convention. Another example, is a seminar that generally takes place prior to some conventions when Dean Wesley Smith and K.K.Rush do their workshop that imparts information about the business of writing ala agents, pseudonyms, being midlisted and more. Well worth it if you can ever catch them between writing books when they are able to give it. The cost is like $75 or was several years ago when I took it. Then, after that we rolled right into the regular convention after the workshop was over. Hope this gives you some idea of what these can be like. They also can be lots and lots and lots of parties and people and costumes and distractions. Encountering a group of klingons breaking into Klingon opera is something to, well, run, run, run away :-) and then there are all the rest. Norwescon, the convetnion I just got through with, had about 3300 poeple. Others, suck as Sakura Con, are less so about profession writers and all about anime. I will be help running an ice cream social at Sakura Con. Take care everyone and I remind everyone that I am still working on moving the notebook, so stay tuned.

Heather Tue Apr 17 13:55:21 PDT 2001

Just one more thing: Rhoda, DON't EVER give up!

On second thought Tue Apr 17 13:52:30 PDT 2001

Maybe I could use the sleep instead...


Heather Tue Apr 17 13:51:31 PDT 2001

Richard, loved the shortie!

Howard, you're too funny....

and Ben, Ben, Ben!

*tutting with tongue in cheek*

sounds like my kind of fun night.

I used to love doing IGOR bits

...sorry, fragments abound today.
Anyone going to be in chat later? I think I could use some more of that P.U. stuff. Too much fun.


Richard Tue Apr 17 11:01:25 PDT 2001

I seem to have developed a thing for paint in my short-fiction...

Richard Tue Apr 17 10:58:35 PDT 2001

Best Day Ever

A faint smile graced Naomi's lips as she rested her back against the hard wood of the park bench. Jack, nestled in her arms, was turning a plastic key in his small hands. His mouth was ajar, gaze intent as he examined the toy.
Naomi kissed him tenderly on the cheek before shifting her eyes out to the lake, chilled grey waters unruffled by the breeze. Despite the long streaks of dark cloud hanging over the city, Naomi didn't recall a better day in her life. She sat still, relishing Jack's warmth as he leant against her.
For once, things were going right. Her alarm clock had actually brought her out of bed that morning - she managed a good breakfast and still got to work on time. Pete didn't even get the chance to make a snide comment as she handed over the completed forms, signed and checked without fail. Her work later that morning had been described as 'exceptional' by her department head - it was a thrill to recieve compliments and not reprimand.
Naomi had even got into conversation with Lin and Cathy at lunch - they defended her when Pete tried to put her down in his usual contemptous manner. Her department head then gave her the rest of the afternoon off. Now I get some free time with Jack, and I don't have to worry about work, or Pete, or anybody. Today was the best ever.
Squirming in her arms, Jack rested himself over her shoulder, letting the plastic key drop into his mother's lap. Naomi patted his back affectionately. His teachers said he was catching up with his reading - she resolved to do more spelling with him in the evenings.
He was crushing a piece of paper in his hands now. Jack smacked his lips and looked at her. "Mummy," he asked. "What's wet pant?"


Good to finally write something after all this time... I need some help with research for my novel. Does anyone have any source with good insight on navy life? US or Royal Navy will do.

Viv: I'm taller than my Mum as well, at 14. Couple of inches to catch up with Dad though....

Cell group at my house now - people should be arriving soon. Thanks to those who critiqued my opening scene - I'll see about writing more when I've got the main characters fully fleshed out on a plotting sheet...

Mary Tue Apr 17 10:47:15 PDT 2001

JERRY: I learned how to play Pinochle yesterday. I have played a few hands is quite addicting. I like the subtle play between partners. Not to mention that pinochle is just a fun word to say. I bet your decks of cards are well worn.

Melanie Tue Apr 17 09:17:25 PDT 2001

HOWARD: Hi, Neighbor! I live in Elmira, just work in Ithaca. Let's hear it for the commuter bus - yea! Let's hear it for Road Runner internet service - yea!! Let's hear it for the Southern Tier of New York - ye--well, it's not Oregon, but here we are. Yea!!!

Viv Tue Apr 17 09:17:02 PDT 2001

Boy lots of lost messages and short women in this notebook! I'm also sort of small. I'm 5'2". Both my girls are taller than I. My 13 year old laughs and pats me on the head.

Heather: Why am I not suprised you have red hair. I'll bet that's pretty! I'm sort of blah blond. I'd rather have darker hair. I may start going for a darker shade using henna. That will be during my next vacation though...I don't want to have to go to school with blue hair!

Kitty: Thank you for the kind comments. I appreciate your offer to send something from America. I sure wish I could think of something I needed! (One thing about not having that many commercials, you don't know what you are missing!) I once saw an add for this laundry soap that took out horrid stains like ink and oil. It was on a video that a friend sent from America. I went crazy for that soap! Then after two years I went to Hawaii. I went in the supermarket and bought that soap right away. When I got home I washed my clothes and it worked about as well as my regular laundry soap!!!! Oh I was so disappointed. I cannot imagine what convinced me that this laundry soap was so much more wonderful, but that advertisement really worked. It's a good thing I don't see American advertisements too often!

I don't keep a notebook. I very seldom even keep much of my writing. I kept rice because I want to work on it some more but usually, I just write when I feel like writing. It's a nervous habit. I'm playing with a novel but that's what this is...playtime and escape. If I published it would be the icing on the cake. I've done a textbook but that's held up due to the program's slow take off. I did two travel articles but that's all I've ever accomplished. Mostly what I write are teaching things. I write many things every day to teach English. There isn't a great deal to it, I just remember better if I write it myself rather than using a textbook. My lecture is much more snappy and interactive if I write up the lesson and create worksheets.

Oh dear 1:13 and I have to get up at 5:00AM to take a shower, clean the house, teach the kid and be on the train to work by 7:30. Uh oh! Night all.

Mary: Did a shortie but it's a bit long. May post it if I go online before Thursday your time.

howard Tue Apr 17 08:04:53 PDT 2001

TINA - You're not considered "short" until we can see your feet on your drivers license picture!

MEL - Umm... Ithaca? I live in Lisle! Small world!

Tina Tue Apr 17 07:42:51 PDT 2001


Hallee, got your e-mail. Looking forward to reading it!

Heather, Christi, Teekay and Mary, I had a blast last night! Vulgarity and all :-D pu!

No time now. See y'all later!

Ben Tue Apr 17 06:49:49 PDT 2001

I don't have much time, so I'll try to post a quick one here. I goota rush off to work. I can hear the shower going upstairs, so the wife will be getting dressed by the time I leave here. I set the alarm a few minutes earlier, because I'm always late when she has to drive me in.

Christie: I don't know why tall guys go for short women. My brother did the same thing. I always thought they looked ridiculous--and then, bam, I get the same thing!? When I was a kid, I pictured myself married to a tall, leggy blonde, with blue eyes, at least five-seven, Of course, she'd be somewhat buxom--at least a cee cup, but that's because I'm lecherous :-). Anyway, my wife and I meeting took place in the eighties, during that era of free love and crazy drugs. She was cute. That's all. A real cutie. I couldn't imagine being with anyone else, and in order to actually chase her, I pretended not to pay any attention to her. I think it worked (much to my chagrin some days I can say). It worked, because she always had guys coming on to her. She had to beat them back sometimes, which left her in a pick and choose kind of situation. I don't think it was something about her colour. She's East Indian dark. You don't notice a person's colour after you get to know that person--it's other people that notice it. But it's her smile that seems to open up her personality. You've never seen a smile like that. But by not chasing her, it made her more determined to get my attention. I just ignored her. The fact that my room mate told me to stay away from her because she was nothing but trouble didn't deter me. He was right...She had a friend who wanted to go to bed with me, but I wasn't the least bit attracted to her. I found her quite physically ugly to be quite honest--but that was because I'd all ready had my target in mind. She had to promise her friend that she wouldn't make a play for me, and when I surprised them both by making a play for my wife, she just looked at her and shrugged. That girl also said we were doomed to marry each other, and told her if we got together, life would change for both of us and we'd end up living happily ever after. But it was the eighties, and nobody wanted to be married back then. That was before AIDS, or maybe it was just starting to show its ugly face. The worst thing you could get was Herpes...STD's...ugh, I shudder at the thought of being single in this day and age.
So one day, not married yet, we both caught out reflections in a store window and actually stopped to laugh at ourselves. You see, we'd never seen what we looked like together. We actually doubled up with laughter. We made a pact not to do any slow dancing--but we do. I enjoy dancing with women that are taller than her, just for the change, but sometimes I think they come on to me, though I never realize it until after. She has to tell me because I'm kind of stupid that way. I just think they're being nice to me. She just shakes her head and laughs. Guys are always coming on to her though. They catch her outside at parties and ask her to have affairs with her, quickies around the corner, that sort of thing. It doesn't bother me, because I know she'll say no. Even if we've just had the worst fight in the world. I think they all feel we don't really care because we separate at parties and talk to whomever we wish, meeting up later. But she's dedicated to me as much as I am to her, and besides, I can't even tell when women are coming on to me like I said earlier. I'm friendly, outgoing, funny I guess--one couple asked us to act as maid and butler for their daughter's engagement party (they're very rich) I said gladly. He wanted me to be rude and obnoxious--type casting or what? I was stirring drinks with my fingers (the short one, because I cut about an inch off of my index finger when I was twenty-three (and the hole finger--that's the one beside it--is mangled and sits at a forty-five degree angle. I show it to women and say my wife will never leave me because of them. I told you I was lecherous :-) ), but I was sipping the drinks in front of the person I was giving it to, just to see if it was good enough, and generally being a regualr pain in the ass. Hit of the party of course. When someone asked me who I was suppose to be...I said Max, Maxi-millions, and she was Maxi...maxi-pad. She almost died on the spot. She looked great with her little French Maid's outfit and NANNY-type laugh, curtise-ing and pulling up on her dress.

Now look. I started rambling. Now I'm gonna be late for work and I can't even blame her. God, I hate that when that happens. And don't think she won't point it out either. I once phoned the radio station--the one I gave to Teekay--asking them to tell her to hurry up. She was just getting out of the shower when they put me on. They thought it was the best thing they'd ever heard. I was downstairs warming the car up for her.

I gotta run though.

Ben--No time to read this through. Forgive the typos; did the best I could trying to catch them as I went along. Must be these screwed up fingers.

Melanie Tue Apr 17 06:41:57 PDT 2001

Morning, All - It's a gloomy rainy day here in Ithaca, New York, where I work. Hope to see the sun later. Some book I read years ago said "It's always a lovely day somewhere..." (Heinlein?) Anyway, I ain't got the lovely day today so one of yoose must have it (the skies gray up and my grammar goes out the window!)

Rhoda - Hi! Thanks for your kind words. 3 kids, huh? My condolences! And if they're messy when they're young, it doesn't get any better when they're older! Think healthy and get rid of that cold! (Whoever's got the sun today, send some to Rhoda, 'kay? Thanks.)

So, JACK - do you go to ALL the conferences? Is it exciting or tedious to go to so many? I haven't been even to one yet, shame on me, but one day will do so, preferably with my brushed-up novel tucked beneath my arm (I guess I better get brushing! Still trying to figure out which mess to attack first - the beginning, the ending, or the middle...?!)

Richard - I like your word-painting-stuff! :-)

Susan - I know what you mean about art from pain - my anguished teen years spouted much poetry. My current novel though seems to suffer from that "extremely tedious" stuff you mentioned; I finished the "skeleton" plot of the whole thing over a year ago, and some parts are years old and must be in their 30th draft (?!)

Jerry - I'm with you on the peace and quiet of the forest! Can never get enough nature, as I grew up in semi-country and now live in suburbia where it's always noisy with "civilization." Fort Lincoln sounds great - I love it when the guides role-play back in time. Makes history come alive! :-) So glad you're not in the flood-zone. And, for gosh sakes, CONGRATS on preparing for TWIN grandkids! How exciting! :-)

Ben - Your job sounds fun - reading, writing, and swimming! :-)

Kitty - Hi! I have always loved books and being around them - worked volunteer in school libraries all my growing-up years; decided a library would be a great place to plant my feet as a career. Went to Geneseo State for my B.A., hoping then to go to the School of Library Science there for grad work but they closed the school before I graduated! Met my husband-to-be at Geneseo - I chased him till he caught me, we got married, and several years later, I took up my studies again - only 12 courses needed for the Master's degree in lib. science - took them one or two at a time (SUNY Albany extension courses at Binghamton SU) while working fulltime; managed to transfer my job to the county library at the same time, so I got 6 years of practical experience in the field while I completed my degreework. And here I am (only took me twenty years after high school to achieve that dream! hah hah). The MLS degree is very flexible - you can launch yourself into almost any field of librarianship with it (extra education courses needed for school librarianship). I spent three years working as head of a branch library and loved it, but the job that gave me a needed pay-raise was as an outreach librarian here in Ithaca. Been here over six years now and love every day (well,almost every day).

But, Kitty, there's something wrong with your original vision of a single librarian (and I know 'cause my pre-husband-vision was to move west to Oregon, have a nice little home up on a hill overlooking the ocean, lots of flowers and cats too...) - reality is that librarians, in general, get paid relatively low salaries - you would never have been able to afford Europe every two years!!! :-{ (unless your cats were on a pension, maybe?)

Teekay - Your novel sounds most entertaining! :-) It will probably be a headache for some cataloging librarian to process, not knowing what genre it should be, but that's o.k. I'M not a cataloger - heh! heh! I was the one asked about the c-h balls; they weren't a flop if they appeased the gimme-chocolate fixation! Wow! Can you mail me one?

Christi - My fingers are crossed for you too - may you get a great illustrator paired perfectly with your words! BTW, I just about look my hubby in the eyes (he's around 6') but back in my "chasing-him" days, I thought maybe I should hold out for a taller guy, rare commodities to be sure. But Cupid gave me no choice - I was smitten through to my innermost soul. That's why I held up through three other girlfriends of his, two of which he was temporarily engaged to, and finally, FINALLY! (after 2 1/2 years of pining for him) he turned around and caught me. ;-)

Tina - I love other people's babies too - especially so glad they're NOT mine! Five of my own was NUTS! My advice to anyone out there contemplating having one (or more):

Anyone out there seen the sun yet?

Rhoda Tue Apr 17 05:25:12 PDT 2001


A typical submission is the first three chapters and a synopsis. That is all I have sent. These have found their way to the slush piles and it might be another six months until I hear anything about them, and that will probably be in the form of a return and a form rejection. If someone is interested, they will call or write and request the rest of the manuscript. That has happened to me with agents, but never with editors.

Really, I think I would more likely roll off the face of the earth than get called by an editor. My expectations are so low now.

No, I actually haven't worked with the ending. I don't think it will be that difficult, but I am still working with troubled parts of the middle. I have changed this manuscript a lot since you read it.

If the time comes that someone responds favorably to the story and wishes the rest of the manuscript, there will be a mad dash on my part to fill in that part at the end.


Tue Apr 17 04:22:58 PDT 2001

I just did a massive post responding to everyone, then messed up and hit the wrong stupid button. I'll be back later.


Heather Tue Apr 17 01:51:00 PDT 2001

Mary! I tried to get back onto the chat but was booted twice! I guess that means it's time to haul butt back to bed.

Christi! I just laughed and laughed at your SMASHING comment (Oh, Mike Myers, you tickle)
OH, yeah, BAYBEEE I must have dazzled the neighbour's eyes. They went back inside and probably went to bed!

(Cold pack, anyone?)

Lots of laughs tonight in the chat and now fingers tired
and so am I

Catch you all soon

Mary Tue Apr 17 01:35:25 PDT 2001

HEATHER: Well, after a night of good luck, I get booted at last call! Thanks for the chat...sleep tight.

TINA, CHRISTI, TEEKAY, AND HEATHER: Great time tonight. Buncha trouble-makers.

Teekay Mon Apr 16 22:54:06 PDT 2001

I knew there was something I'd forgotten

RHODA: All the best with 'The Reluctant Barbarian'. Did you solve the ending? i imagine you have since it's been sent out.

JERRY: Ahhh is that what it was all about? Well it's over now, so that's okay.

CHRISTI, MARY,TINA, HEATHER: That was fun, save for the lag.
You guys were just lucky you didn't wander into the chatroom with 5 females in there, it was pretty scary. well it would have been if your the shy timid type.

Now that is really it from me today. 4 or so hours down and I STILL have 3 pages to go. *sigh*

Jerry Mon Apr 16 22:01:18 PDT 2001

(*&)(*#$@!@# it, I had this post all ready and it went into never-never land again! I put the blame on my big fingers missing the right keys.

Anyhow the page above was set up by my son with info on his new twins progress into this world. It has the first ever photo's of the little ones, via ultra-sound.

Teekay - what I was talking about was a stupid commercial here, that had a Croc. Dundee type fellow in the outback living in a one man town, and on the radio the announcer is saying that the out-of control space station is heading for the outback and will strike in the abandon city of what-ever the heck they had posted as the name for this guy's house. I think they were advertising some sort of insurance or another. As I recall there was no true danger that it would land in your country, but several news folks commented that since the Russians were out of money, and such that they probably didn't have very good control of the descending space station, and that it could very well hit your country.

Height - Well when we married, I was 6'2" and my wife a tall 5'2" but we have grown (shrunk) now my wife is a tall 5'4" and I have shrunk down to just under 6'1" I don't know when the wife decided to grow two inches, but I know much of my shrinkage was because the surgeon removed my disk, and of course the old cops complaint of flat feet. I guess we do shrink anyhow as we age, a matter of compression they say.


Allein Mon Apr 16 21:25:06 PDT 2001

Kitty - My course of study now is dental assisting but I might go to the community college later just to take a foreign language or art course if I have the time.
I studied Japanese for 2 years and it's a wonderful language. It's also not as hard as a lot of people think it is. People lump it in with Chinese but the languages are actually very different. The closest Asian language to Japanese is Korean.

Teekay Mon Apr 16 20:58:46 PDT 2001

Make that 3 more pages to go.

TINA & CHRISTI: Something went funny with the chatroom, but I'm still trying to get back in there.

Teekay Mon Apr 16 20:44:14 PDT 2001

HEATHER: Yep, I'm still here. I keep checking back in while I'm trying to type this first chapter onto the computer. I'm up to page 7, 2 more to go.

CHRISTI: Umm *sniff* they never actually used the word boring.

Now who asked me about the hazlenut balls? Was it you TINA? Well, I'm sorry to say they were rather a flop. They were so rich that once you ate one you felt sick. They were definitely fodder for the seriously chocolate addicted.

Tina Mon Apr 16 20:36:02 PDT 2001

Going to the chat room, since this place is so busy!

Teekay Mon Apr 16 20:31:10 PDT 2001

I can't believe it! I missed out on posting for a whole archive segment!!!
There are just a few things I feel I should respond to:

HOWARD: We do get some earthquake behaviour, though usually quite small. The last reasonably big one we had was going back about 14 years??? and that was around Newcastle. I think there's only been one other since then, but I'm not a very reliable source, I only live here. :-)
This isn't counting any of the seismic activity resulting from hubby overindulging in CC's and Salsa.

DEBRA: Stay away from CC's and Salsa.

JERRY: I had no idea that the shuttle, or remnants there off were even close to landing on Australia, and I'm glad, I'd probably have wanted to pack up and move to England till it had touched down or splashed down - whatever the case may be.

TINA: I could never ever ever go sky diving. I wish I could, but I have imagined doing it and I get the sweats even then. there is no way I'd even be able to stand at the open door way. I have a definite fear of heights. I also have claustrophobia.
I think that's about it for my phobias though.

ALLEIN: That email about listening was fantastic.

Tina Mon Apr 16 20:22:00 PDT 2001


162 cm (almost 5'4"). I'm the tallest gal in my family, but my 12 year old niece might steal the record. She's slender and leggy and growing daily.

Hallee, hope the editing is going well. Send me anything you wish, and I'll give you my thoughts. We could even do a chat room discussion if you want.

Babies babies everywhere! Jerry, pass on my congratulations! I know and know of sooo many preggers people, and brand new arrivals! I work in retail in a mall, and it seems to me that more people are pregnant right now than ever before. Which is great because I LOVE other people's babies!

The truck? Scary.
I have a black 89 Jeep Comanche. I'll never buy a black vehicle again. They show every single speck of dirt! Apart from the standard registration and maps and snow brush, let's see....
Two stunt kites - one 7' wide parafoil and one 5' wide delta. Frisbee. Headlamp. Jack. Water. Water bowl for dog in the summer. Bamboo mat for the beach, but also handy for a multitude of oddnesses. Spare rain jacket. Gloves. Baseball caps. Little orange hard candies that I'm getting addicted to. Ceramic squirrel, our good luck figurine. Tictacs. Canadian Tire money. Emergency sign to signal police. Granola bars for emergency snacking. Tools. Cassettes. Knife for slicing seat belts in emergency, or for cutting paper when wrapping gifts last minute. First aid kit.
Of course, all these things are neatly and properly placed in approved and organised locations hehe chuckle snort hahahahaha!

Heather, thanks for sending 'Holding Wonder'. I'm enjoying it immensely. I rarely read collections of short stories, but work like hers makes me think I should.

My hubby just had a let down on the job front. He'd applied for a new job, and it was down to him and one other guy. We waited and waited and waited for the call, and when it came they said, 'Sorry. We've had to freeze all hiring and cannot fill any positions at this time. We'll keep your resume.' Aaaahhhhgggg! This job paid double what his present one does, and he would've been doing work he enjoys more - full time first aid, rather than occassional first aid. So now we're left doing the 'what now?' thing.

Easter dinner went really well. The kids had fun hunting for eggs, we ate way too much turkey, and my triple chocolate baked cheesecake turned out perfectly! My chocolate cravings should be satisfied for a long time, now. :-D
Spent some time thinking about past Easters, with dad. His favourite part of dinner was the turkey soup made afterward. There was no way we'd ever have ham or any other meat, because turkey soup was an absolute must. The year I was 7 or 8, he and mom set up a scavenger hunt, and at the end I got a book of Disney music for playing on my organ. For years and years, when I'd play the organ he'd ask for 'Small World' and 'Westward Ho the Wagons' from that music book. He loved 'Westward Ho'.

Bye all

Christi Mon Apr 16 20:19:45 PDT 2001

Well, then, there ... that is one long post. Just had to remark on it.

Christi Mon Apr 16 20:17:17 PDT 2001

Teekay, Your friends don't know a thing. I think you're wonderful and funny and brilliant and the un-boringest person I know!!! But then you know that already. ;)
I wonder what my friends think of me. I'm almost afraid to ask. My guess is that they think I'm a happy creature--nice would most likely be their word for me. I HATE nice. Nice says 'walk all over me, I don't mind.' Nice says 'I don't have a lot of intelligence'. Nyah for nice. Then again maybe they'd say I'm a raving bitch with a supersonic ego.

Congratulations, Auntie Hallee! I can't wait until we have another baby in our family. I already miss that new-baby smell. *sigh*

Hey Richard! That was funny! Glad to see you back. I suspected you might have given up on us 'oldsters'.
BTW, I read the prologue to your novel and thought it was fantastic. I didn't critique it or comment because I'm waiting for more. Have you been working on it?

Hi Rhoda! Yup, sometimes there's nothing better than a good cry. I'll check that one out.

I'm not telling the contents of my purse anymore because it has surpassed slovenly and is heading speedily towards being a city dump site. Okay, it's not THAT bad, but hey, apples and oranges. My car's not much better.

Hi, Mel! I've written two picture books, minus the pictures. I'm no artist. I'm going to put my fate in the publisher's hands. I hope that doesn't turn out to be a mistake. (fingers crossed)

Mary and Teekay, Suede lipstick sounds so vogue! I think MK hit a homerun on that one.
And Mary, you ought to have Teekay analyze your dream. She's good!

Oh Ben, WHY must all the tall guys go for the short girls??? I'm not gargantuan by any standard, but at 5'7 and a half I had a hell of a time getting a date with a guy taller than myself. I can only IMAGINE what it must have been like for Mel and Hallee, both of whom would Smurf-ize me! So spill! WHY? And no BS excuses about not intentionally looking for a short gal. My uncle is 7 feet tall and his wife is 5'2. It's epidemic! (I think I've bitched about this before on the NB but I never got an answer, so you are the sacrificial lamb, so to speak.)
BTW, my husband's a half-inch shorter than I and I couldn't be a happier chappy. Seems I didn't need a tall dude after all. But back in the day, it was a pisser!

Whew! Now that I got that off my chest I think I'll go and write! I think my muse is visiting again!

Hello Kitty. HAHAHAHA! Remember that store? Sorry, I think I took my looney-pill this evening. What I meant to say was welcome back!

Jerry, Howdy. I'm glad you quit the gunshow gammit. I went to one and found it scary. And this is from a person who knew how to bullseye a 357 pretty well. Hubby called me Annie Oakley for a while. I loved the bang and that kick! It was really funny to see all the guys' jaws drop when they saw who was shooting the loudest gun on the range. But I only went to the range about six times before I gave it up. Too expensive.

Howard, I think it's crappy that you didn't get to retrieve your stories from Themestream. Did you save them to disk? Sorry, not trying to rub your nose in it, but curious all the same.
It was sad to see Themestream go. And just when they were named one of Writer's Digest top 101 websites! You, Eddie, and Jerry had some great stuff there.

Heya, Heather. That is one smashing wardrobe, baby. SMASHING! (Said like Austin Powers) I'm so glad you and Teekay are writing so much. Lucky duckies. I hope to be joining the procession soon.

G'night all you cowpokes,


Rhoda Mon Apr 16 20:14:19 PDT 2001


We are almost the same height. I am 5' 6-3/4". I have the advantage of a 1/4 th an inch, but no clod hoppers.


I went to Canada about 14 years ago. I was in Ontario, and the people there were lovely. Whatever differences of opinion we might have here on the Notebook are not too terribly personal, I think. I do think there is something to the world view type of thing. Many Americans, my self included, do not have a world view. It does affect perspective quite a bit.

Anyway, for reasons understood only by me and other unfortunates like me, I can be nothing other than retro. I have always mistrusted uniformity of thought, and that is what I see with the "world view." The world view are a group of values I associate with the European Union and the United Nations, and much of it is contrary to what I believe and value.

So here I am living my life in a time warp, at odds with most the world and loving it. It has always seemed my lot in life to swim against the tide.


Debra Mon Apr 16 20:13:20 PDT 2001


Did anyone see the notebook have just the add your posts here and then it stated that the site no longer existed for a time this morning?

I got that all morning until I freaked out and emailed several people. Now I feel silly because it seems to have only happened to me.

Let me know.


Jerry Mon Apr 16 19:55:00 PDT 2001

Gee I thought I covered that in my rambell, no there is no flooding here, we are the DRY part of the state. The nearest river is several miles away, and the town is sort of on high ground so the water runs off.

No legs, wow. I have legs, in fact if you count my cane, I have three of them, I know the cats look at me like I have 3 then they chase the cane.

In a general store, that was always our dream, when I worked with a gunsmith friend, we would be working on gun stocks, or polishing rifles to blue and bs'ing, we always talked of how nice it would be if we could be able to have like a general store and do gunsmithing on the side, then when the customers come in, we could have the pickle barrel where they could sit, near the popbelly stove and play checkers. Would be wonderful, but he is now working in a machine shop, and I sit down here.


Heather Mon Apr 16 19:47:59 PDT 2001

Teekay, you still there?

Heather P.S.... Mon Apr 16 19:45:21 PDT 2001

Oh, yes, and Phantasium really needs a kick. Anyone out there feeling any tingles on the backs of your necks? Did you know that the term for 'hairs on end' is PILOERECTION?
pilo - (meaning hair) and erection - (to stand up [dare I say stiffly?])

Just a funny fact I thought I'd share.

Teekay, I am so proud of your progress! Hurrah!
And Hallee, did you know you inspire us all with your incredible output? And not only do you write prolifically, your writing is DARNED GOOD!

I think I know how you do it... now.

I've written another 8 (edited) pages so in a total of 14 days I've written 46 pages. It would be more if I had managed to type out the other 12 handwritten pages sitting on my desk, but Easter was busy. YEEEHAAAAAAAW! I think I've finally learned to leave things be and not tweak them so much -- and get on with the writing part.

The Easter bunny came and laid eggs in the front yard (even the trees, by golly, I wonder if it was like birthing an egg through a cannon?) and then he proceeded to write a note in response to my daughter's lovely letter, eat a few baby carrots and bunny cookies left out by the kids, and hide the rest of the eggs in the kids' rooms and the living room. That bunny sure has some energy. I can't wait to develop the roll of film I took as the kids were running around the front yard in PJ's and robes and rubber boots! Ha ha! Good think nobody thought to take a picture of ME in my PJ's and robe, though I did see the neighbours watching us. No, not because I looked good, but because I look THAT BAD!!!! I realized why they were staring when we got in and I looked in the mirror. My messy, standing up hair match my PJ's, but my robe clashed brilliantly. OH HEAVEN FORBID! A definate neighbourhood FAUS PAS. If you're going to go hunting for eggs in the front yard, at least get dressed first.

Curious about the robe, I know. It's dark royal purple, with a little RED polo guy stitched on it just like Ralph Lauren's shirts (hey, people, it's a robe. I'm not going to wear it to the mall) and my PJ's are crimson (dark RED). Oh, yeah, my hair is too. Not as crimson as you might be imagining, but crimson enough for strangers to know for sure that I dye my hair. I remember being told once in elementary school that 'RED AND PURPLE DON"T MATCH!
Well, shit! So what. Ralph Lauren thought well enough of Red and Purple to make the robe purple and the stitching red. I'll take Ralph's view and see it as a good thing.

I match my couch when I'm wearing my red PJ's too. If it weren't for my face and feet showing I'd blend right in and get sat on.


Teekay Mon Apr 16 19:33:30 PDT 2001

JACK: Thanks. That worked a treat. My drop down menu only takes me to the archives up to the 19th March.

Heather Mon Apr 16 19:30:01 PDT 2001

I'm 5'6" and 1/2, at least that's in my socks. Put on my clodhoppers, as my mother calls them, and I'm a cool 5'9".
Not elevator boots, just so's you know.

After all the great warm weather, it's wet snow falling on my half-opened daffodils and poor, shrivelling crocuses! And bluebell thingies, and some hyacinths, and some other bulbs I forget the name of. It's supposed to melt by tomorrow, so hopefully all of my flowers live. And yes, I used my snow brush tonight!

Ha ha ha



Jack Beslanwitch Mon Apr 16 18:55:02 PDT 2001

Teekay: Are you able to use the drop down menus. The web page for the archive is listed among those selections. Otherwise, use the link above to the archives. BTW, I have gone through the missing archive, cleaned out all the broken HTML and posted it as well.

Teekay Mon Apr 16 17:54:41 PDT 2001

Mornin' All,

HALLEE: Congrats Auntie. I just adore babies. How far is it to Jacksonville?

MARY: The girl who sells M.K. to me is trying to talk me into becoming an 'Urban Girl', Doesn't that sound cool? I'd almost want to do it just for the name.

MEL: Actually the novel I'm writing is a sort of twisted modern historic romantic comedy. To be honest, I've never read anything like it before. I wonder if it has it's very own genre. :-)

ROSEMARY: Farm trucks are 'sposed to look like that. Now, the car matches my personality much more adequately, although I really can't take credit for the truly revolting state of the car. Imagine a huge rubbish bin, then add wheels and a steering wheel.
I blame it on the kids and hubby.
And you do come across a rather cool and restrained. :-) That's not an insult either. Although you are loosening up a bit. :-)

JACK: I hate it when you archive and I can't get to them. :-C

RHODA: I sincerely hope you're right. :-)

I'm not really sure how tall I am, I think about 5' 4" or 5". Fairly average anyway.

Well, I'm halfway through chapter 2. Hope I can keep up the pace. :-)

Kitty Mon Apr 16 17:46:49 PDT 2001

Hey y'all! I've been away due to Spring break for Caitlin and a nasty bug Jackson brought home from school that ran through the household sequentially. Everyone is well now and today Ted flew Caitlin back to school. The house is quiet. The sun is shining. The snow may be gone by the end of the month.

I'm not surprised to see how much has been posted since I last visited.

First, happy fifth anniversary for the Notebook , Jack. Since the first days this has been a site full of lively commentary and observations. There used to be a running thread about coffee; who was brewing a fresh pot, who was invited to pull up a chair and enjoy a cuppa, etc… then one about a sports car; who owned it, who would drive it, etc... And there used to be a writing topic for discussion each week, much along the lines of Mary's shortie fiction Thursdays. One thing I still wonder about is whether Bob Hanford ever found any historical references to the colonial doors studded decoratively with nails and did he ever write anything about those doors?

Melanie: Welcome. How did you become an outreach librarian? Does it require special training? If I hadn't met Ted who swept me off my feet and convinced me that we were destined to be together, my vision of what my life would be was to be a single librarian living in an interesting apartment with cats, and trips to Europe every second summer.

Viv: Brava for your diplomacy. I love reading your vignettes about your life in Japan. Hope you are keeping a journal, or if not, at least have a file with all your posts to the Notebook. I wonder if one of the West Coast newspapers might find your posts interesting too, for a column perhaps? BTW, Ted is heading for Asia soon and will be in Tokyo. Is there any little treat I can send to you via Ted post? He can pop a bubble pack into the mail once in Tokyo.

Hallee: Wow! 10 finished novels. You have done more than most people who profess they want to be writers. I'd be thrilled just to finish one of the half dozen or so fiction projects I've started. I finished a short story this winter that was included in an anthology, so I am encouraged to keep plugging along. Your post was inspiring. If you need a fresh pair of eyes to read one of your manuscripts, I'd be happy to help.

Teekay: Congrats on completing the first chapter. What kind of book are you working on?

Gabe: I thought Haiku was a shorter form? Specific number of lines, specific number of syllables per line?

Sherwood: Welcome. I read a wide variety of topics and genres, fiction and non-fiction.

Wil and LJB: Welcome.

Allein: You are going to conquer the world with your positive outlook. Those were some seriously chubby baby bottoms-too cute! Congratulations for your excellent results on exams proving once again that hard work does pay off. You have probably posted about this before when I wasn't around, but what exactly is your course of study and to what extent and purpose are you studying Japanese? I have a rather arch and provocative Latin phrase for you that was posted on a sci-fi list: Amiculae, deliciae, num is sum qui mentiar tibi? Which is supposed to mean something along the lines of "Good friend, darling, isn't it best that I lie to you?" I think that might be a handy phrase to have at a cocktail party.

Rosemary: I love your taste in books (McCaffrey and Rowling) but cannot for the life of me fathom where you have arrived at the notion that Canada is anti-American. There have been a lot of strong opinions expressed at the Notebook these past few weeks, but from my reading these are the opinions of individuals not nations and should be taken as such. We are all entitled to our opinions to echo the sentiment championed by Patrick Henry well over 200 years ago. This is not to say that there are no differences and conflicts between Canada and the U.S. Twenty-five years ago my student visa to go to McGill University in Montreal was held up because Canada and the U.S. were squabbling over fishing rights. Today, there is a great deal of rhetoric from both sides over the soft wood lumber industry. It is neither anti-American nor anti-Canadian. It will all sort itself out. So, I encourage you to travel north. Canada is an incredible travel bargain, especially for the U.S. tourist. The trip via rail through the mountains is reputed to be spectacular (I haven't been yet though its on my list of "must do/see" along with P.E.I (Anne of Green Gables country), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (Trudy's breathtakingly beautiful stomping grounds), British Columbia ( beautiful gardens, awesome forests, etc…). FYI, my perspective is that of a U.S. citizen married to a Canadian whose children carry both nationalities. We like to think that we have the best of two great countries.

Barnabas Hop: Hope you've regained the spring your step. You are not alone. You are in the company of fellow writers. This should transcend ethnicity/race. Or another way of looking at it, words can build bridges of understanding.

Ben: Tell us about the writer's festival in your area--the Surrey Writer's Festival? When is it this year? There was an article in the Gazette today about a festival here in Montreal where Norman Mailer was given a prize (and $10,000.00 Canadian dollars--$6,000.00 U.S.?). The article was observing how poorly run the festival was and what a bad part of town it was located. This despite the fact that the organizer had about $500,000.00 in grants to fund the event.

For those who are interested in writing mysteries, I came across an interesting article about the past, present and future of the mystery market. You can find it at:

Take care and prolific writing.


Hallee Mon Apr 16 17:19:54 PDT 2001

BEN: I have a feeling, from being way down here in Florida, it would be cold to me in July if I fell in - haha - I remember swimming in the Willamette River when I was a little girl in Washington in July - all of the pictures are us in our cut-off jeans shivering with blue lips.

JERRY: How exciting!!! Congratulations!!! never responded about whether or not I need to worry about you and flooding.

Okay...have a great night all.


Mary Mon Apr 16 17:18:31 PDT 2001

JERRY: Good news about the twins! Double the fun!
I left here this morning and was pouring my coffee when I all of a sudden remembered that I had a dream about you last night! In my dream, my mom and I drove all the way out there just to meet you. You were sitting, playing checkers at a table in the back of a dusty old general store. When I opened the door to come back and talk to you, your dog ran out and you got really irritated with me for letting him out. Then you told me I would have to go catch him for you. I chased him around the packed-dirt parking lot for a while and you just laughed and laughed. When I came back to you WITH your dog, you pushed your chair back and I put him in your lap. You didn't have any legs. You weren't in a wheelchair or anything. You were just sitting there pretty as you please, but without any legs. Then the dream went crazy, as mine usually do, and Renn turned into a baby alligator. The rest I am not about to spill here! Just too scattered and ridiculous.

HALLEE: Congratulations on the addition to your family!


Ben Mon Apr 16 16:56:51 PDT 2001

Mel: I try not to fall in the river, but working on it--I work on a boom boat in a sawmill up here in B.C., a stone's throw from Vancouver--it's one of the hazards of the job. It's cold of course, falling in, because it seems I only fall in between the months of October and February. Usually it's because of a loose piece of bark, or pulling on something that gives when you don't expect it to. It's a great job though, if you're going to work in a mill. I have lots of time to read and write.

Oh yeah, I have one of those snow brushes too, and an ice scraper, but I keep them in the garage. I have a squeegie to clean the evening's moisture off the windows on the night shift, and considering we've had about a week's worth of cold weather this year, I'm not complaining.

My wife is 4'11 3/4". I'm 6'2".

Rosemary: I don't think we resent Americans. We celebrate the difference. I think, if anything, we're overshadowed by you guys. We have laws that regulate Canadian content on both radio and T.V. Reading Canadian newspapers is a great idea actually. I was talking to an agent once at the Writer's festival up here, and he said the newspapers up here were better than what he read down south. I can't say why, but he said there was more of a world view of things--but that was his opinion, as an outsider looking in. I'm sure I'd feel differently reading the N.Y. Times or the Boston Globe.

And now I gotta go.

Jerry Mon Apr 16 16:40:35 PDT 2001

Mel - haven't been to any national parks for many years, we did visit White Sands back in the 70's when we lived in El Paso Tx. We camped even then with a small cabin tent. Now we go to State Parks most of the time in ND, as camping in the Black Hills is very expensive now. We have a state park just fifteen minutes from home, and it is nice, withy trees and a very large lake for fishing etc. We also drive north to Bismarck ND, and camp at the old Fort Lincoln State Park, located right at the confulence of the Missouri and Heart rivers. Ft Lincoln was where Custer was stationed at the time of the massacre, and the State has rebuilt his home, and parts of the old fort so camping there is like a trip back in time. They have troopers there in the old uniforms of Custer's era, and the guides in the house wear period customs and explain the home as if they were in the Custer era. We began camping there many years ago, and always take a trip up there every year. We are joined by relatives, including my son and his family, and my niece and her family. Most of the time, my sister who lives north of there and her husband join us too. The wife and the rest like to go into Bismarck and shop, but I am a lazy sort, I love to just sit under the canopy of our camper and enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest.

Way back when we lived in Texas, we hauled our little cabin tent all over that area, all the way over to Phoenix, and up in the mountains of New Mexico, to the desert area of Truth or Consequences NM. I kind of miss that type of camping, but with our camper, we are much more comfortable. Being disabled, long trips are out of the question, the drive up to Bismarck is around two and a half hours, and I can tolerate that, but much further would put me in quite a bit of pain, and put a crimp in the camping.

Oh, I keep forgetting to mention, I live a long ways away from the part of ND that is flooding, I do live now in South Dakota, but you can toss a small stone in to North Dakota from my house. (In reality, it is about 9 blocks to the border). The town we moved from in ND was in danger of flooding during my last days as Chief of Police, and I spent a lot of time in the emergency center directing my officers, and aiding with the overall readiness. In the end there were only two or three homes that suffered any damage in that town, but north and east of us the damage was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. There is a town North of where we used to live called Devils Lake. It is named for the lake that used to lay about twelve miles south of the City. I attended College there. What happened to that City is sort of amazing, you see the lake began to grow, and it grew and grew eating up acres of land, flooding out farms and homes, until it was encroaching on the very limits of Devils Lake. Another City which was over thirty miles from the shores of the lake now has been evacuated, and given up to the Lake, as have several small communities. This is a slow flood, but it gaines feet and inches every day. The powers that be say the main cause of the flood is the farmers North of the area, draining off their slews and putting the land into agriculture, now all the run-off is channeled into the lake, which has no natural release. When it finds a route out of the Devils Lake area, it will have grown well past the City of Devils Lake. Now a fight is on between those folks who live in the area, and those who live down river of the Sheyenne River. There is a plan to cut a channel out to the Sheyenne River and drain off the lake, bringing relief to the residents of Devils Lake. It was about to begin back when we lived up in that area, until the Native Americans who live on a reservation south of the City objected to the channel going through their reservation. That plan was rejected, and the lake continued rising, eating up not only dwellings and stores, but also highways and bridges, roads and trails, wild life reservations, and eventually part of the Fort Totten Indian Reservation. After two years of loosing reservation to the land (the treaty says that the United States Government and the State of North Dakota maintain ownership of the land reaching 500 feet from the shores of Devils Lake.) Now the Native Americans have urged the powers that be to go ahead with the drain, bring it across their land, but those powers (US and State governments) say that there are other plans now being considered and refuse to go ahead with the old plans. It is a strange situation, and I am very glad to be out of that area, as the anger is building between the Natives and the Whites, also the roads leading into Devils Lake (Which is a Hub city for shopping, has Km art Wall mart etc.) are all torn up, and being constantly moved to higher ground.

Well I ramble on, my wife thinks I am writing another book or something, even my dog is looking at me strangely, so I must sign off for now.

Oh one more thing, my daughter-in-law just called a few minutes ago, she has just seen her Dr. for an ultra-sound, and they are having TWINS! Boy are they excited, and so are we.


SusanS Mon Apr 16 16:19:30 PDT 2001

I'm 4'10". Really I am. I'm the shortest person in my family. My father is 5'3" and my mother is 5'1". My grandparents on both sides were also under 5'6". I had a great-grandmother that was tall. At least that's the rumor.

It's funny how art can sometimes come out of pain. When I'm happy I can't write poetry to save my life. But since the crisis with my friend, the words have been flowing. It's somewhat therapeutic. I'd still prefer to have my friend back. He's 6'5" by the way and likes to beat up on me.

I need to get back to work on my novel. I'm working on the second draft and I find revising extremely tedious. I've also started working on a science fiction short story. I'm slowly getting back in the routine of writing.

Richard Mon Apr 16 14:02:51 PDT 2001

A young man stumbles through the door, red fluid streaming down his face. Falling hard, he struggles onto his knees and screams...


Phew. Been doing stuff. Off to do stuff. Back with a shortie tomorrow, hopefully.

Please use the above e-mail address to contact me in future. Must dash - God bless you all!

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Apr 16 13:14:59 PDT 2001

Hello everyone: Somewhat more rested after Norwescon. I have archived the Notebook given it has gotten to 450k. I preserved the last day of postings. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I will also get the missing archive sometime this week. And, more to the point, I am working on alternative scripts from the one I have been using here for the Notebook. It will still be a top down flow as this one is, but entering your comments will be on a separate page. I spent a lot of time trying to make things work with the old standard, but the server keeps spitting it back at me. So, wait for the changes. I will announce things here and as always the button for Writer's Notebook on will get to the Notebook and its current home.

Allein Mon Apr 16 13:11:22 PDT 2001

Mary - I'm also 5'2". :) So don't feel too bad, there are other people who are vertically challenged. I'm the shortest one in my family - besides Pepper.

Rhoda Mon Apr 16 12:36:55 PDT 2001

Fumble fingers and drained brain again:

What is in my purse was the question. What is in my wallet? Perhaps ten dollars if I am lucky.

I do have a bad cold, not one but several, I think, or so it seems.

Rhoda Mon Apr 16 12:32:30 PDT 2001


Never fear; I have tried at times but to no avail. If only I could be like Mona Charen, Ellen Goodman, or William Raspberry and get paid for them.


Welcome to the Notebook. It is so good to have you here.


Congratulations on completing another novel.


Congratulations on completing a chapter. Keep it up; I know that before you know it you will become totally hooked on novel writing.


I have just had a good cry. It has been a long time since I literally sobbed at the end of a book, but I did through the last few chapters of TALESIN. I finally got a copy of my own and read it. It was soo...o good. I went to the bookstore this last week-end and bought MERLIN.

What is in my wallet?

Aside from my credit cards and wallet, check book, postage stamps, tylenol, ibupropin, antacids and all that fine stuff there are hundreds and hundreds of Kleenex (perhaps I exaggerate just a little). I have one a bad cold.

What is in my car?

With three kids, just imagine. On second thought I don't think you want to know. I just feel fortunate that whatever it is, it isn't living and moving.


Melanie Mon Apr 16 10:53:37 PDT 2001

5'2" ? I'm 5'10" but it doesn't help much when you're scraping snow off a van - I still get all wet!

Fellow camper Jerry, ever been to any of the National Parks? They're great places for finding writing inspiration, I think. Went cross-country camping twice with my family when I was a kid - thoroughly enjoyed Yellowstone,White Sands, Carlsbad, Grand Canyon, and some others. I remember the Black Hills of South Dakota - beautiful!!!

Jerry Mon Apr 16 10:15:17 PDT 2001

Well I too drive a pickup, mine is a Chevy extended cab, short box 4WD. It is MINE, so the front seat is very clean, the floor boards do have a bit of dirt, left over from the bottom of shoes who enter covered with snow, and some of the dirt that we use to make it less slippery. The ash tray is empty, except for the three dollars the wife keeps for some unknown reason in the ash trays of all our vehicles. Under my seat (long handled snow brush) also in the door catch all a (magical metal) ice scraper to clean the windshield and windows of frost and ice.The glove box has a folder containing our registration information, the insurance card (required to be carried by law) and the operators manual that came with the pickup. In the back seat there are a couple of blankets for emergency warmth, the dog's favorite traveling afghan (don't leave home without that) and for some unknown reason an unopened can of dog food.

In the bed, I have mounted a black tool box that reaches from one side to the other, in it are of course one basic set of tools, containing a ratchet and sockets, a set of combination wrenches from 1" down to 3/8 inch. A set of screwdriver bits, and a screw driver. An emergency wiring repair kit, with crimp-on ends, and a wire crimper. One roll of red wire, and one of blue. (This to repair a burned or broken wire The jacks for our camper, a tarp to cover things in case of rain (things we carry in the back to the kids houses or whatever.) A battery charger (use it with the camper should the 12 volt go dead) Black tape, Duct tape, Color coded insulating tape (in 4 vivid colors no less) one can of motor oil (just in case) also a can of HEAT fuel line anti-freeze. A can of WD 40, a can of 3-in-1 oil, spare light bulbs for the tail and stop lights, spare bulbs for the interior lights, spare fuses for the fuse box. A fishing reel (how'd that get there?). In the bed under the tool box - a garden rake with a broken handle (for cleaning out the box when we haul leaves and branches) and a combination windshield cleaning scrubber with squeegee on the other side, attached to a broom handle ( I use this to get the heavy snow off the windshield in the winter). The bottom of the box is lined with a heavy duty bed liner.

That's about it, the reason I specify it is my truck is that I am the only one in the family who knows how to drive the 5 speed manual shift outfit. (Well my son does, but he lives over a hundred miles north, so that doesn't count)


Rosemary Mon Apr 16 09:46:06 PDT 2001

Hi again,
Thanks..From your description, I have a snow brush, but we use it to clean the BBQ Grill. A long handled stiff brush with a metal scraper at the end.

Hopefully you won't need it much longer this year.

Mary Mon Apr 16 09:33:09 PDT 2001

I am 5'2" if you were wondering how short is rather short, or pretty short, however it was I phrased that. I thought I was 5'3", but the last time I was measured, the Dr. said 5'2". I am shrinking already.

Mary Mon Apr 16 09:30:05 PDT 2001

A snow brush is a long handled ice scraper with a stiff bristled brush along the handle. I never use it but my hubby does. I generally take the broom out to sweep off the car because I am pretty short and by the time I reach to the center of the windshield with the snow brush, I am leaning against the car, which is no fun.

Rosemary Mon Apr 16 09:05:02 PDT 2001

Morning you all,

If your inner and outer selves are different, I hope my persona on the notebook is organized, efficient and elegant. Because my purse and truck are a mess.{:( I carry a large leather purse that I bought in a leather luggage shop. It is so heavy and my back is so bad that I have started unloading stuff for the long treck from parking lot to shopping.

I live out of town so my truck reflects the large amount of time spent in it. We won't even count the 350lbs. of horse feed in the back. There is also an old sheet and a shovel back there. My truck has a back seat area and I'm not about to dig around in there to see what has moved in and made it its home.

What is a "snow brush"? I know snow plows, snow shovels, Ice picks and scrapers and axes. (None of them from personal experience.) But I haven't heard or read "snow brush". Excellent-a new term to use.

You don't live in Mainland China do you? Have you ever?

I know that most of us in the US don't really know what it is like there because no one can trust the media to tell the complete truth, but usually some bits of truth are mixed in with the propoganda.

I have started reading the news on sites for Canadian newspapers. There must be some reason besides terrible winters that our neighbors to the north resent us.

Off to the feed store. You would not believe how much baby chickens eat.

Melanie Mon Apr 16 07:55:30 PDT 2001

Hi, All! Returning from an Alleluia -filled weekend! Four church services in as many days - very inspiring (and really rolled the years back, 2000 or so anyway!) May we all count our blessings along with our purse/car contents! (I dare not list the latter - suffice it to say that my commuter bus bag must have an anvil in it and the inside of the family car could be the scene of crimes too numerous too mention judging by the sticky residues and scraps of litter (nothing personal, Litter!) that settle after the whirlwind of four kids breezes through the van!)

HALLEE: Congrats on the new niece! :-) And isn't editing also writing (or can be, sometimes!) An hour daily editing leaves a second hour for writing new stuff - Or spend half the week editing, the other half writing? Once you hit the right publisher, your other books may sell right behind it. I know that many library patrons, when they find an author they like, they want to read EVERYTHING that author has written - and immediately, of course! So keep writing for your fans-to-be.

BEN: Hi! I love to visit Canada - only been a couple times but it's a beautiful country. Say, you do laundry? My hubby cooks and cleans but draws the line at the laundry chute. "Last time" you fell in the river? Do you fall into rivers on a regular basis or like a hobby-sort of thing??

JERRY: As a librarian I've seen way too many books with grammatical errors; they certainly are distracting. Some library books come back with the errors "corrected" in pencil by the readers!

TINA: Hi! I love "azure." It even rhymes, on paper, with "manure" - (well, when a kid I THOUGHT they rhymed out loud!) but since those two words are unlikely to meet in the same place very often, DEFINITELY keep using "azure."

TINA and RHODA and all the rest who said so: nice Easter sentiments!

SASQUATCH: A beautiful rendition of the first Easter. The ONE would be most happy with you for telling it so well. Have you published any books yet with your Yeti point-of-view? (The ONE's story or any others?)

CHRISTI: Hi! I'm a "Mel" to many of my friends - feel free! What age-group of kids do you write for? I've debated trying to write a picture book or two (in a break from fantasy or romance) - but haven't an illustrator in mind for collaboration, and in picture books, the pictures are all-important, of course.

TEEKAY: Keep singing. Can't sound near as bad as my 17-year-old's punk noise he calls music (3 chords for the whole song and a melody-range of 5 notes, if you're lucky!) Ouch! Hurts my ears! Give me a symphony orchestra anytime or a bit of GLAD or CHICAGO or Mannheim Steamroller or even some old Allen Sherman/Spike Jones sort-of-stuff. If not music, then chocolate will do (how'd the choc-hazlenut balls come out? Sound delish!) :-) "Snail cravings?" haha I do hope your novel is a comedy - You're very good at it!

ALLEIN: The "Happy Keester" picture is just too funny! (from a mom who has seen way too many baby butts)

HEATHER: Muses are loaners? No wonder I've been out of sync - mine must have sued the home office for a raise, and unhumored, went on strike for the past year.

HOP: Hi, back! How's life in NZ?

Everyone have a good day!

Mary Mon Apr 16 07:09:31 PDT 2001

TEEKAY! I sell the stuff; I have it all. About $4,000 worth! (But I use the Knock-out Neutral liner with my Suede.)

My Purse:

cell phone
medical cards
phone card
three library cards
change and 3 one dollar bills
black gel writer pen
ATM card
appointment cards
business cards
coupon for cat litter crystals
AAA Gold Card
Cool! Just found a 20 dollar bill stuck behind my check book.
Oh my...a receipt from Christmas shopping

Thats it

Our car:

Two toddler car seats
A cross on a chain hanging from the mirror
Audio books of my Husband. The only one I remember for sure is a Charles Stanley.
Loose change in the change cup
A little blue sachet air freshener in the ashtray
Snow brush on floor of back seat.

The only thing in our glove compartment is the owner's manual, an Ohio map and a small black Bible.

Thats it.

I was digging through the "Junk Drawer" in the kitchen yesterday, looking for a glue stick for my hot glue gun to put one of the flowers back on my daughter's hat. By the time I got to the bottom of the back, I was thinking about you guys, wondering what you all had in your junk drawers. Probably we all have pretty much the same things in there though, and by the time we listed it all Jack would have to archive! Haha. Ships, shoes and sealing wax.


Allein Mon Apr 16 07:02:09 PDT 2001

Hallee - Congrats to your family!! :) I'm sure she's a little cutie.

Hallee Mon Apr 16 03:31:38 PDT 2001

Morning all!

Well...I have a new neice. My mother in law (the #@$%@!)didn't know her name (someone, save me) or how long she was, but she was 8 lbs 4 oz. She was born yesterday evening sometime before 8:00 - because that's what time she called. I guess my sister in law was in labor for about 24 hours. She did say the doctor said she (the baby - not my sister in law - haha) had huge hands and feet. Kaylee was like that - her feet were too long to fit in the little area on the birth certificate. It was too funny.

So, I'm giddy, and planning a drive over to Jacksonville soon. I love this brother of Conan's (he has 4 - 2 of them we could both pretty much live without) and his wife. They're terrific people.

Happy Monday all!

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