Archived Messages from April 29, 2001 to May 20, 2001

Hello everyone,

Melanie, I've emailed you the second chapter of "Skala's Legacy" Hope you enjoy it.

Don't have much to say today. Been writing, working, the usual stuff. Got to work early in the morning, so it's time to go to bed. Goodnight.

SusanS 5-20-2001 21:59

Gonna try those tips for busting writers block, Theyre my last hope, lol.

Ah well, fingers crossed.

Banky 5-20-2001 20:04

Jack - It was incredible to see a copy of Shadows in a Dream - hopefully being published now will make it easier for all of us to be published in the future.

Allein Allein's World 5-20-2001 16:59

LITTER: Thank you so much, you are a real sweetheart. Everyone loved your poem and stood to applaud after I finished reading it to them. Just thought you might like to know that you touched people so far away with your words. Thanks again, I really appreciated it.

Mary 5-20-2001 16:41

p.s. I just realized that things have gotten a bit large lately. Sometime later today I will archive things. Given the nature of how that works, it will mean a blank notebook for a little while, but I think it a safe assumption that we will fill things back up in short order.

Jack Northwest Science Fiction Resources 5-20-2001 15:36

Allein: It was great meeting you and sorry I did not have more time to sit down and talk with you. Glad you liked the salmon. It is one of the true treasures at this time of year to be able to enjoy Copper River Salmon for about three weeks while they are running, being caught and get to us. I definitely will be eating a lot for those three weeks :-) . Also, having gone to Kubota Gardens for the first time in about a month, it inspires me to go again and take some pictures that I can share here and with you.

The most exciting news was being able to actually hold a copy of Shadows In A Dream in my hands. That was cool. And, yes, I hope we can all three arrange a time when we can have a more focused get together. Take care everyone and hope all have found their missing muses.

Jack Beslanwitch 15:29

5-20-2001 14:04

Anyone seen my muse?

Ah, there it is...

Richard 5-20-2001 14:03

Hey all,
I just got back from Seattle.
Jack knows how to throw a good party! :) He and his wife are extremely nice people although we didn't get a chance to really talk very much. Rachel came down with her family and I got to meet her husband and kids including little Sebastian, who is REALLY adorable. :) I couldn't stay away from him too long. We almost got killed driving to Jack's house - there was this maniac girl on the road that was swerving and almost hit us - I don't know if she was drunk or not but she wasn't very nice because she flipped us the finger. I would have flipped her the finger back but there were kids in the car. Sebastian slept through the entire thing.
Luckily, we arrived to the party in one piece.
Jack and Fran made salmon for the party which was very delicious. :) There were all sorts of other food there too but the salmon was by far the best, followed by the chocolate cheesecake. *drool*
We got to tour the Japanese gardens nearby and they were nice but I ran out of film after only taking a few pictures. I wish I'd brought an extra roll but it's probably best that I save some for my trip to New York this summer.
When we returned I met some other anime fans and we sat down to watch Princess Mononoke, which I've seen before but only in raw Japanese (no subtitles) and since this was in English, it was easier to understand. I enjoyed it.
I didn't go into the hot tub (like I've said earlier - I hate being seen in a bathing suit). Of course, I didn't bring my bathing suit either.

Hopefully, Jack, Rachel and I will make plans to get together another time. :) I really enjoyed myself.

Now, I'm going to get some Zzzz's.

Allein Allein's World 5-20-2001 1:40

Trees - there is a farm site some twelve miles from where I sit, the haunted farm we lived on for a few years. Behind the house was a huge stand of cottonwood trees. We children had tons of fun playing amongst those trees. I used to climb way to the top of the tallest tree, must have been over thirty-five feet, much to my mom's despair. We moved from that farm in 1965, and no-one has lived there since. On my last drive-by of the place, I saw that both the huge white house (that we couldn't live in) and the much smaller brown house (the haunted one which we lived in) were gone. Some of the out-buildings still stood, but those trees were down. It looked like some great hand of God simply reached down and pushed them all over. They were still there, but laying against each other, all facing east. I asked mom about this, and she said it must have been the storm that brought hurricane strength straight-line winds, several years before we moved back. That storm was blamed for millions of dollars in damages to farms in that neck of the prairie. It is always sad to see your old homes gone like that, now that I think of it, none of the houses I grew up in are still standing, only the boarding house that we lived in for a few months when we first moved to town, it stands but has been vacant for years since the fellow who owned passed on. The rest are gone, most are now empty lots. The first house I bought ($300.00) for my wife to live in when I went to Vietnam still stands, in fact the house my daughter bought is right next door, but it is now used as a storage shed for the local handy-man.

I guess there is some truth to the old saying that you can never go home again. Funny too, of our graduating class (the one I was absent from, having married and dropped out of High School) of 54, only two of us still live here in town. Several have gone on to the great beyond, a couple are in prison, the rest like many now days are scattered from coast to coast. The only other that lives here lives just a block West of here, she drives by every day on her way to the family business, where she only makes an appearance. She married well, married the fellow who inherited the local jewelery manufacturer here, they are worth millions, and show it off daily. I have had the opportunity to speak to her a few times, something she never would have done when we were in school. She was with the "in" crowd, I was with the wild bunch and never the two would mingle. Well I hear the sound of distant thunder, it may rain soon, and I best shut down before lightning kills my machines.

Jerry 5-20-2001 1:11


HOWARD and everyone else with tree problems:
About thirty years ago, developers and everybody else who wanted a new tree, planted Arizona Ash trees. They grow fast and give a lot of shade. Shade is a very desirable thing to have around here. Now--Thirty years later, all of those great trees are dying of old age. Gads, My horse lived that long. Trees are suposed to be forever.
We have seven or so of the ash trees on the property. The tree we had to take down wasn't dead but it split at the bottom and the only thing holding it up was the roof of the house, a shed and an old dead mulberry tree that wasn't bothering anybody. It came down with the ash. We will be able to get insurance money (don't know how much yet) because the last storm pushed it onto the house.

Good luck and hope you can find better prices.

Rosemary 5-19-2001 23:31

Trees - Our yard has a few decorative bushes, but alas, no trees. My mom, however has a bunch of them on her property, some of which are in very bad shape. Last year she had three taken out, the cost? Well the fellow who takes them out here charges $100.00 per tree, and since mom wanted 3 taken out at the same time, he gave her a deal and did the whole job for $150.00. I guess when you live in a town where any job over minimum wage is thought of as "professional" the cost is pro-rated too. Did I mention, that my daughter bought her 2 bedroom home for $1,000.00? Things are a bit cheaper here, I only paid $11,000.00 for our three bedroom home. Gas however is another story, we pay the same as everyone else, the price today $1.97 for regular, it just hurts a bit more here where wages are so low.

I do have another ghost story turning around my brain, and since I reinstalled my old "Bigfoot" hard drive, I have access to my ghost western again, I may go back to work on it too, I haven't done much writing lately, been busy with life I guess, but I have my mind made up to get back with the program. The wife will be back to work in a couple of weeks, and I will be home alone again, this makes for a great peaceful writing atmosphere. I read somewhere that novice writers must have things "just right" to be able to write. Those who have to write for a living find that even with a house full of kids, the wife, and several pets, they can write through the disturbances. I think this tells us that we can write anytime we so desire, and that such things as others in the area are just an excuse not to write.

Jerry 5-19-2001 23:05

JERRY -- The new IBM Deskstar drives are about the quietest on the market right now. I've got a 30gb and can barely hear it, even with the case open.

ROSEMARY -- It's amazing how much we notebookers have in common! Right now I've got an estimate for removal of two trees - a 50 ft maple in the front yard ($345.00) and a 70 ft white pine near my barn ($450.00). The maple is very close to the front of my house, and is surrounded on three sides by 2 phone lines, 1 cable, and electric service to my mother's house and to one end of our house (we have two separate electric services). The pine is leaning a bit too much towards the barn for me to fell it myself, but I've got at least eleven more just like it to cut after this first one is down. These trees are a bit too old and brittle, and are really becoming too unsafe to leave standing that close to our homes. I have a friend who does chainsaw carving, so I'm going to leave the trunks in 8-10 ft sections for him. I'll replace them with some nice maple and maybe a couple of nut trees too.

I really don't like to cut trees, especially after getting to know the Ents, but I've never seen these move, except for the one that split and fell on mother and dad's trailer, so I guess it's okay.
Speaking of trees, I should probably take some pictures of the oak that owns our side yard. My wife and I together can't even come close to getting our arms around it, and I'd estimate it to be 60-70 ft tall. I love to lie on my back under it and look up into its branches. Sometimes it sings, and sometimes it whispers...

howard 5-19-2001 22:13

Hello all!

Heather, take it easy! These things always happen on a long weekend, eh? My hubby put his out this afternoon, so I've been playing masseuse (sp?) to loosen it up. I'm a huge fan of the chiropractor, or at the very least a proper professional massage. When I damaged my lower back 7 years ago, all the pain reliever, anti-inflamitories and physio in the world didn't help. Five months after I hurt it, I finally went to the chiropractor and in three sessions he had me feeling human again. I swear by my chiropractor!

Working on my story for **P**! Having fun with it.

As always, the May long weekend is rainy, blustery, and gross. Great weekend for writing!

Off to dinner, to meet my girlfriend's new boyfriend! He's from Seattle, so I haven't been able to meet him yet.

Speaking of Seattle, hope the party is roaring along strong, Jack!


Tina 5-19-2001 22:06

Wow, all the pain making the rounds. I know exactly how you feel, I have had one of those damn back aches now since 1992. The magic pain remover for me changes as the seasons change, right now, it consists of 2 Ultram 4 times a day, along with 1 Toradol 4 times a day, taken with 1 Flexeral 4 times a day. That seems to work fairly well, and I can get around easier then I was able just a few months ago before the routine changes. They tell me that the body adjusts to the medications, and you build up a tolerance, which is the reason for the changes. Best advice though has already been given, bed rest for the first 48 hours, then ease back into life if you can. Oh and here is the best advice anyone can ever give you - DON'T let them cut on your back until you absolutely have to.

Well I gave in to the wife, and removed my big beautiful 20 gig hard drive, and stuffed the old 3 gig back in. She said the 20 gig made way too much noise, now being about deaf in one ear and not able to hear out of the other, I had no idea it was making any noise at all. Then my daughter came in and said "What's with the noisy computer?" well you simply can't win an argument with two women, so I gave in. Sure do miss the room, and I think I will be searching the auctions for a new larger drive, probably sell the one I have to someone else who is deaf, or cares little about noise.

Writers block - I guess the best suggestions have already been given below, many of which are new to me too. Maybe a print out is in order.

Jerry Ericsson 5-19-2001 20:46

Greetings Writers All,
I have been preoccupied (Sheesh sp.) lately with tree removal problems. Had to keep off the phone line for some of them to call. (tree people) Insurance guys also. We got two estimates of approx. $500 to remove that (&@@%) tree. Finally a friend who has a lawn Service business came this morning while I was at my monthly Writers meeting and he cut the thing up into a reasonable pile. My sister handled it with out my help just fine. He only asked for $150 but she paid him $200 because it was a big scary dangerous job.

I read my story written for *P* at the meeting this morning. Got some really good suggestions. It's about 2,000 words so I'll probably go to Mary Lou's house to copy and paste it into the round robin. It might not fit the specs. exactly, but it's as close as I could get it. Didn't turn out the way I started it.

Expect hot, humid weather. Muggy. Icky. Fooey.

Later all,
ps The enter button has always been bottom left on my screen.???

Rosemary 5-19-2001 19:43


Heather: Sorry 'bout the back lady. Some docs say heat it up, some say cold helps. But I've found that a heating pad, half a dozen valium ... 2 sixpacks of beer and a stiff shot of whiskey make me feel a lot better.

Uh.........better xnay the valium and beer and whiskey. :-) That is if you want to LIVE to write! :-))))))

Codine, (that spelled right?) taken for pain may be inspirational. My novel FLOWERS came from a dream I had while suffering from a squashed disc at the L5 level. Cost me 3 months sick leave, but considering the dream I was equal trade off. (Now, if that ain't the definition of a writer.....!!!) The doc had me on "C" painkiller meds 4 times a day...and I went flying away one night...soaring through clouds of plot and character.

In the days following the dream I was, contrary to his orders, sitting at the computer a'pounding the keys trying to capture the dream. Strapped the heating pad around my housecoat, held it in place with a belt and knocked out 3,000 words the first few days. Baby, I was energized!!! Possesed!!!! Or, poked in the ass by a devlish muse. Whatever.... Plugged in the heating pad and kept working away ... It was often agonizing, then, more "C" and I soared far away into a writers heaven.

My son wandered through one morning, eyed the contraption on my waist, carefully traced the cord to the outlet and went screaming to his mother....

"Mom, Dads, plugged in!!!!!!!

Take care and follow my docs advice (Though I didn't!) "Go home, get horizontal and call me in 2 weeks. Only out of bed to pee and poop, nothing else."


Randall 5-19-2001 19:33

Hi. Sorry about the muddled post - that Robaxacet is quite something... la la la la la la


Heather (sheepish and back again) 5-19-2001 18:56

Banky, scroll down to yesterday's posts. There are some writer's block buster hints. If none of those things work, then I suggest you allow yourself the time off. Don't feel so badly that you haven't found the perfect idea for you next novel yet. You will. But those kind of things can't be forced.
Do something else you love in the meantime, and at least write something, no matter how crappy you think it might be. Write letters, in journals, switch to poetry or news reports. Do a column, even if it's not for publication.
The Writer's Notebook Short shortie night is a great break from our projects (or lack of projects). It's practice, it's a writer's 'block buster' itself, it's fun, it's a challenge, all rolled into one.
Short shortie night here is every Thursday.
I remember you posted once or twice quite a while back. Many people, including myself, have become more inspired just from stopping by this site every day.

Best of luck

and may your muse speak loudly and carry
a teeny tiny
Tazer gun, (low voltage).

Heather 5-19-2001 18:53

Hey peeps.

Its been a while since ive been around these parts so forgive me for being a little behind the times.

I gotta ask for some advice. I got me a bad case of writers block, had it bad for dang well close to three months. Ever since I finished my last novel Ive just totally dried up. Ive had many a suggestion and tried them all and nothing seems to be working. Im starting to worry that ive burned out. Im getting ideas but nothing I can seem to hold onto for long enough or stuff that just dont pan out too well. I can write the first chapeter or two of something, read it over and think its totally gangbusters, but then it all just falls apart.

Help me people, Im at the edge here and Im scared of falling.

Banky 5-19-2001 18:02

Heather, I'm sorry about your back. I understand how painful back injuries can be. My husband suffers from chronic back pain, and has in fact lost a couple of jobs because of it (we didn't have a doctor's note then like we do now so he wasn't protected by ADA) He's in pain a lot and we don't have the money to get him proper treatment. I've been lucky. I pulled a muscle in my back once while swimming, but that's been it. I did discover however from this experience that I'm allergic to Skalaxin. It made my back feel better, but I broke out in hives. I'm also allergic to codeine, so that's out. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

Melanie, my cat also wakes me early in the morning demanding attention. He will sleep on the bed until 5 am, then he wakes up and starts pestering me. He never pesters Allen. It's always me. Right now the little angel is sleeping on the bed with Allen. Our landlord was working on the outside of our trailor this morning and this had Night all uptight and demanding to go out. Now I guess he's worn himself out and needs to rest.

Sometimes my writer's block is not writer's block, but a total lack of enthusiasm for anything I'm working on, but then it turns into block because I get so frustrated.

SusanS 5-19-2001 14:17

Rachel! I hope YOUR back is doing fine now. I can't even bend over to pick things up from the floor... And if I had a wee baby, I'd have had to ask Wayne not to go in for overtime at work this morning too!
Lucky for me my kids picked up after themselves and helped me pick up things that I asked them to. (Wow, discipline at work here)
I'll try Robaxacet - have seen the commercials!
I've been taking Tylenol with 8mg codeine per tab, but that's what I have to take for the occasional headache (hey, they work almost instantly) and they do work well for back pain, but I don't like taking codeine. I have a headache that requires codeine and tylenol therapy maybe once a month or less. If I get a headache that would only require regular aspirin or acetominophen, I usually don't even bother! (That's if I even notice I've got one before it has nearly run its course)...
anyhow, that's about all the rambling I can handle.
I did get just under 900 words written last night, but I would have liked to keep on writing. The pain got too intense to concentrate, as it is right now.

I'll live! The only thing is we'd had so much yard work planned this weekend. I don't know how useful I'm going to be...:o(
I can still shop for the rest of my perennials for the new flower bed, but I'm just going to have to either have Wayne plant them for me, or wait a week. And I have to go in and clean the offices for the weekend. I don't know how I'm going to lug that vacuum around, or bend over to plug it in!

Rescue. Need rescue.

Heather 5-19-2001 13:24

Heather - You poor thing! I hurt my back last week and thought I would die (very sad face). Dan had to take a day off of work, because I couldn't lift Sebastian. Now is that pathetic or what? I also had never hurt my back this way before. I tried something called Robaxacet (extra strength) and the A535 thing. I hope that you recover quickly. You know that you are in pain, when you jump in the van and go to the store for pain medication in your PJ's. I was quite a sight. Me in my sleeping pants and old sweat shirt. Yup, I was lookin mighty fine...

I send you careful hugs.


5-19-2001 12:11

Good luck with everything you need to cram into Saturday morning, Hallee!

I tried to get everything done yesterday so that my weekend would be - uh, relaxing? Well, now I have no choice. I tore a muscle in my back doing yard work.
I've never done this sort of thing before - I've torn my hamstrings before, and random muscles (mostly in my legs) but never have I hurt my back this badly. I am really hoping it's not also an injury to any bone. The area in question is about waist level, to the right of my spinal column. The WHOLE area. So I can sit here for a period of time, but if I get too relaxed I have a hell of a time getting out of the chair.
Who would have thought that cutting down underbrush and sawing off dead branches and things could have done that. It wasn't actually that strenuous an activity. Oh, Lord,
I really must be 30! It only gets better, doesn't it?


Determined not to get depressed about it,





oh, A535 and a hot water bottle

may lessen the


but it's my mind that
won't shield

the yielding.

Hey, I still wrote about 900 words last night. On codeine.
So Christi, I've sent you the latest, including last night's work, but I may need to tighten up the very last two sections.

Heather :o/

Heather 5-19-2001 10:35

5-19-2001 10:25

Hey all. I'm feeling incredibly lazy today. It's already 9:00 and normally, my house is already clean by now on a Saturday. But I haven't even started (even last night's dishes...shame on me.) Oh well. Every-once-in-a-while I get this whole lazy weekend syndrome. I feel it in me today, but can't let it take over. I have to do a cake for a party this afternoon with this really complicated logo, church tomorrow, and Kaylee is singing in church tomorrow night, so time is not mine. Meaning, I have to get the house clean, laundry done, and grocery shopping completed before noon today, when I need to sit down and work on this cake.

And yet, here I am (hahaha).

MEL: I checked. It's 20 chapters.

That means only two chapters left to edit and I'm done with book number one!! Well, done with the first-through. I need to go back and incorporate a lot of the suggestions and ideas from the wonderful feedback I've gotten. Then I start book #2. (sigh) I WANT TO WRITE! hahaha

Okay, I'm getting off my rear and getting to the housework. I'd rather take a nap, though....

Hallee 5-19-2001 8:58

:o) Thanks!

H 5-19-2001 1:55

Evening everyone:-)

Hot in Texas today. MOS Saturday, and for the next 5 months or so. Would shag outta here if I could, but once you get the water of the Pecan Bayou in ye, it pulls you back. Speaking of Bayou. 25 years ago a deputy sheriff assured my friend and I, that either the sawed off shotgun we had been shooting floating beer cans with, or our beer soaked bodies were going in, jeans, boots, gimme caps, beer cooler and all. SPLASH! I guess the gun is still there. Just a random bit of info till I work up the nerve to get into a mode to comment on writers block.

Writers block....I'm tempted to play this one cute. But writers block can be as devestating a moniker to hang onto a writer as the dreaded "P" word. My writing desk is cluttered with research, web-site print outs, misc bric-a-brac, radio, cd player, cam-corder, lamp, a dozen books ranging from the World Book Encyp. (can't spell it!) to Nikki Tolstoys, THE SEARCH FOR MERLIN. Enhancements. When I assume the 1,000 yard stare, Tolstoy's research on Merlin comes to my hand. Like a crying baby to mothers arms.

I also have my stack of famous people's quotes, which gives me insight and inspiration. Snoopy is pretty good. "Life is full of rude awakenings." Hemmingway's, "Another round for the bar Manuel, then let's go fishing." Somewhere in the mess is the complete lyrics to America's THROUGH THE DESERT ON A HORSE WITH NO NAME...DANNY BOY...AND SUOGAN, the Welsh ballad so aptly used in the Ballard adaptation of his EMPIRE OF THE SUN. In the floor are .....well, enough of this.

What does this have to do with writers block Ace?

I'm getting there! :-)

I read when things slow down, not stop. And this is a constant source of frustration to my family. "DAD! What the heck are you doing in the bathroom!" We have 2, but my, and I mean MY bathroom is a veritable library, akin to the writing desk, magazines mostly. Every so often my wife heads toward it with a determined march, a large trash bag, but entry usually ends in her weeping and retreating in frustration. That, plus my prostrate body at her feet usually carries the day and I'm safe for a month or so...

Writers block, never had it. Quite the opposite. There are so many tales, misc bits of remembered information and random fragements of tales or articles read 30 years ago, the frustration is that I will never be able to write everything down. Impossible. Had a dream directly related to my ms the other night, and will make changes when possible. The rainbow tale will eventually find a niche as well. (Remember the Rainbow?) :-) I even dream stories, which has caused my wife many rude awakenings in the middle of the night.

"RANDALL, RANDALL wake up. Are you having a dream? Again?"

To reply to a rather rude e-mail received last night; I don't post formal writings related to current manuscripts on the WN. I need this site as stress relief, inspiration, and friendly chatter among like minded associates .... and do not feel the need to PROVE that I am a writer. There is one on here who knows, but I don't believe persons who post on the site are under any obligation to prove anything.

:-) And I am still your friend.

Work tomorrow, goodnight


Randall 5-18-2001 23:12

5-18-2001 21:29

5-18-2001 20:25

HEATHER -- Re: Heather McHugh's poetry (notice she's also a Heather)
I enjoyed the pieces more than the whole .. TINA, you know that gutter you spoke of? .. McHugh had a way of dropping memorable images, spending time with her was like being in a forest after a rain, I'd get hit with unexpected drops that made me wonder ..

Unlike the forest, though, there was no big picture; she had no cohesive core to make all the images into a personal statement.

I really had "Dangers." I don't any more. After I left Texas and Lamar U., I got a phone call from one of the guys on faculty to say I had forgotten a few books and "Dangers" was one. He said, "she signed it to you." I told him to donate it to the school library.

She was a babe. I *did* enjoy her body language. She *did* keep me at a distance. Considering it was 1977 and I had already peaked my substance abuse career, I'd say she made the right choice.

I have not read any of her later stuff, but judging from what they say at the web page, it looks like she has only gotten better.

One memorable image I keep is of a person waking up with no glasses on and peering about for something that would look like a small broken bicycle. The link here is to her page.

Mark Heather McHugh 5-18-2001 18:12

Wow. Thanks Mark & Howard. (Even though I inadvertently stuck Mark in the "potty" - sorry - I just write on the flow and don't pay attention to the names that come.) hahaha

This has been a week of all weeks. Whew. Happy Friday all!

Hallee 5-18-2001 18:11

I have to agree with Mark -- The shorties are all excellent, but Hallee gets the gold plated "OH MY!"

howard 5-18-2001 14:39


Great suggestions! Even if one of them does not work to relieve writer's block, I daresay they would still provide good fun.

Take care,


Rhoda 5-18-2001 13:49


WOW! From circular rainbows to auroras! :-) Howard, Tina, loved your aurora descriptions :-)

Howard - Arrowheads from dimes...still thinking... I do love those rebirth of the world stories! Hope Heiro comes today...

Heather - Your shorty: oh, the pain of it! :-) And thanks for the offer to read my ms. in future (will I be ready by June???!!!) I'll keep you in mind. :-) I'm starting to learn that keeping busy DOES stave off procrastination (YES!!) If it's staying busy with the "write" projects. :-) And your Block-buster tips are great - Thanks!! BTW, the nifty childhood arm bands: I had some purple velvety ones I made so I could transform into--tah dah! Hurricane Girl a/k/a Twister from the windy planet of Whiradane... I couldn't stop bullets either.

Hallee - Your shorty: tears, then, oh, I love happy endings! :-) Shorties sometimes do lead to story ideas, I'm discovering that, too. Yea, Mary! Yea, Jack! Thanks for the shorty-idea to keep us productive!

Susan - Doesn't your cat know Chamomile is supposed to relax him enough to sleep and stay out of trouble? Meanwhile, my cat keeps waking me BEFORE the alarm, just so he can get a petting! Felines!! Plot threads: yeah, easy to forget. I have to make a list of those things (usually before I start but added ones get added to the outline, when I remember!) I like your advice of one sentence at a time - sometimes it's all I CAN manage, but I try not to get frustrated by that.

Howard - Your shorty: ohh, giggles, tears, you got me all emotionally twisted! :-)

Allein: You won't miss your "wisdom" tooth. I have four and they don't help at all. And I'm NOT blonde!

Mark - Thanks. :-) And your shorty: another happy ending. :-)

Tina - Thanks. :-) And Good Block breaking tips! :-) I can send you Heiro's Journey, soon as I'm done with soon as I get it! love that snail mail...(Howard, I SHOULD have driven over to get it!!) Tina, Your shorty: ooh, shivers! 5 years of luxury and then Death? How's that fair?? Poor girl.

Teekay - I can watch "Frequency" over and over - it's so fascinating!! :-) And no, SIGH, I'm not Peretti or Graham...haha an angel--no, no, I don't think so. Something published? hahahaha - oh I wish! :-) But if the "dollars, dollars, ev'rywhere" remark didn't help ya guess my last name (and it isn't Rumpelstiltskin, either), then I guess I'd better throw that old man into the sea. "Say farewell to your arms, old boy, your legs and fingers too! What? It's not my fault you're hearing bells. Are they tolling for you? Sheesh! The winner takes nothing! Well, what's true at first light is that the sun also rises..." Now go to the library and scan the H's...

Hop - Welcome back! :-) I'm looking forward to Psiforce...

Mary - Your shorty: hahaheeheehoheeha hoo boy! :-)

Y'all have a great day and a terrific weekend of writing, or partying at Jack's (you lucky ones!).

Melanie 5-18-2001 11:46


SUSANS -- What do "Wild sex" and "Bedroom" have to do with one another? :-)

howard 5-18-2001 11:24

Rhoda, your letter to the Southwest Writers Conference got me thinking. It does seem like if you're a celebrity you can get published without trying, while those of us who have been writing for years struggle even to get published in small magazines. Celebrity autobiographies make the bestseller list while we toil in obscurity, and I think the publishing industry encourages this. They'd rather make millions off another tedious and sordid celebrity autobiography than take a chance on a decent piece of fiction by some unknown. It's very discouraging.

Interesting suggestions for breaking writer's block, especially the one about wild sex. I can just see myself going into the bedroom. "Allen I have writer's block. I need you to boff me."

SusanS 5-18-2001 10:49

Jack - Great, thank you. :) I'll see you tomorrow then.

Allein Allein's World 5-18-2001 10:26


MARK - Have you ever read anything by Otis Adelbert Kline? While Burroughs was writing about Carter on Mars, he was writing about Carson on Venus. Great stuff - come to think of it, could Kline have been a pen name for Burroughs? Have to research that one.

TINA - Check with Mel - she could forward Heiro to you after she's done with him.

I still remember the first scifi book I ever read - "The Mists of Dawn" by Chad Oliver. It was one of those time travel things, and it got me hooked solid!

Great shorties, everyone!

howard 5-18-2001 9:09


Here is my extremely short short shortie on the Lottery. This, of course, is not what I would really do if I won. ;-)

I left the car running and bolted up the front steps two at a time and threw the door open shaking the newspaper. "Honey, Honey! Pack your bags, I won the lottery!"

"Oh my gosh," Jack threw his arms around my waist,"Sweetie, this is terrific! Well...should I pack for the ocean or the mountains or what?"

Laughing uncontrollably, spinning around the room,"I don't care where you go, just get the heck out!"

Mary 5-18-2001 9:07

**Before I forget to mention...*

DEBRA: Where are you, sweetie?

Mary 5-18-2001 8:40

Great shorties everyone, and yes, I will be adding mine soon. Been a bit busy to the point of overwhelmed the last couple days. Had company in from out of state, had those 'mock modem' problems, kittens out the wazoo, painting job, toddler spring colds, yada yada yada. I haven't even gotten a chance to start reading 'Symphony' yet, sorry Heather...doing it today and I can't wait to get going on it.

Back later. Have great days.

Mary 5-18-2001 8:39

Hello. Been away, busy. Hello to Melanie and Rachel who noticed I was missing. Assignments piled up but got it cleared today so I can catch up on what's happening. The stress has done my Psiforce guide some good. I've come up with some good ideas including two new main villains. Squid and Chameleon, I think their names really fit them. Their brothers, children of the creature and any guesses who's more powerful?

It's been cold and warm and cold and then freezing cold down here.

Remember my writing club? Well, the prototype's up at

I didn't like Douglas Adam's later books. They became too desperate almost surreal.

I believe that people will one day be able to mind-read etc. and I do believe it is happening now. The only thing is that when I type or talk about these abilities I don't have any material or hard evidence to go on. The only thing I have is what I'm writing which is sci-fi since I'm inventing it. So you'll have to forgive me if I don't seem too certain about how they work.

I know for a fact that the elements do not have anything to do with whatever mental powers one has because the elements are used as a focus. True power I believe does not come from rocks or fire or parts of your body. The reason why it seems easier is because it's easier to obtain the power if certain conditions are met like you're in a relaxing place or you don't have a migraine.

All this mystical stuff I take it seriously in the sense that I know there are sensible reasons behind the mysticism. If it works anyway. Who am I to doubt centuries of practical knowledge simply because its glazed over to sound awe-inspiring? Of course, if something supernatural happened to me I would be impressed but not awe-struck.

Tomato sauce and Tomato Ketchup has a different taste. The sauce is less salty and tastes more like tomatoes.

Glad you like Hop.

Psiforce should be in the mail although for some insane reason I can't mail anything larger than 20kb. Oh well. It'll arrive in drips and drapes. I hope.

My characters haven't learned to teleport yet. But the figure can fly.

If you don't mind me saying this...they say time heals. Depends on who you're talking to, it sometimes does I sometimes doesn't. I know. Whatever anyone else says, time may not heal things (a rather Western idea if you ask me).

Heard you needed some help with writing villains. What about writing a villain who isn't evil, a very nice person but does evil because of a flaw? The person would be a classic tragic figure I believe. That way the reader will develop a like/dislike relationship with the character. On one hand the person is good but because of the situation has to do evil things.

Don't think about God and war too hard. I've yet to resolve that dilemma and my father's a pastor.
But here are the two sides of the argument in my head.
1) Society creates people- if you are born in a society which values evilness you will probably be evil.
You may say genes play a part, of course they do but society plays a big part as well.
2) If society makes you evil and you have no real choice but to be so to survive then you can not really be held absolutely accountable for your actions. Although you are accountable, you deserve mercy and compassion because of your ignorance.

3) Therefore slaughtering everyone in a city is bad even if in God's name.

1) You are born evil and in sin.
2) It is up to you to fight that as within everyone is a conscience.
3) Doing anything else, even if you are forced to makes you sinful.
4) No matter society tells you, no matter how ignorant you are you are completely accountable if you make a choice.
5) Therefore your death is justified especially when you are judged by God.

1) We had to kill all of them or they would have grown up and taken revenge (this is one of the reasons given by Scripture union)
2) They practiced abhourent things (another reason by SU) but I would like to point out that society reinforces this and while it may be wrong, people may be too fearful to stop it because they do not have the strength to. Would you if it meant suffering greatly?

I on the other hand believe that if you have to kill someone in self-defense then do it. War is ugly. I don't expect anyone to be held accountable except for those who willingly kill innocents. E.g. an officer who orders his men to slaughter everyone in the village children and women.

Hello. Is that east coast Australia or the US? I'm guessing the US.

Barnabas "Hop" 5-18-2001 5:22


Uh, fellow Canucks correct me if I'm wacked, but I think lottery winnings are tax free in Canada. Unless they get you some other way....

More Ways to Break Writer's Block

*Find a willing audience (spouse works well) and tell them a story. Verbally. It's hard, but it makes you think fast and your brain will appreciate how much easier it is to write things down on paper.

*Re-read your favourite scene in your favourite book/poem/short story.

*Try something artistic other than writing. Draw, paint, play music, do a craft, sew.

*Find an object you like - a favourite flower or fridge magnet or stuffed animal or rock - and write a short description of it, or its 'life story'.

*Edit someone elses work. Gives you great insights into your own.

*Rock a baby to sleep, singing a lullaby.

*Star gaze (okay I'm partial to this one)

*Make some whipped cream and dip fresh strawberries in it. Share it with someone special.

*Before you go to sleep at night, repeat out loud, 'tonight I will dream about my story'. Repeat this at least 20 times, out loud. You may not dream about your current project, but I bet you come up with good ideas!

And that's exactly what I'm gonna go do...

Tina 5-18-2001 2:12

I keep coming back after posting and finding MORE posts!

Great second shortie, Jerry. Liked the first one, too. Though I'd hate to think that the Gov't would take three quarters of the winnings! They don't take THAT much, do they? At least they don't in Canada. They take about one quarter.

Heather 5-18-2001 0:28

Tina - loved your shortie! Now that's not a lottery I'd be happy to win...

Heather 5-18-2001 0:25

Ok, so I put my shorty up a day early, now I feel bad because it is so far down the page from the rest of GREAT shortys. Ah what the heck, I wrote another, this is based on the only lottery I ever did win, if you can call it winning.

Oh, thanks for the fine comments on my previous lottery piece.

The Lottery II
By Jerry Ericsson

“It’s here.”

“Let me have it then.”

“Funny, I knew it would be here soon, but somehow, I thought maybe, it would get lost in the mail, but here it is.”

He took the letter, and turned it in his hands, first reading the front, then the back, then the front again.

“U.S. Lottery Service, that’s what they call it now.”

“Open it!”

“I don’t think I have the strength left in my hands to tear it open, look how they are shaking.”

“Let me then!” she said, tearing the envelope from his hands.

“Oh my God!” she said, and fell into the kitchen chair that was behind her. She let the letter drop to the floor.

“That bad? Belle, how bad!”

“Three, a God damn three, how could your birthday come up three? Why not fifty-three, or three hundred like Bob’s?” she sobbed.

“Well that’s it then, a God Damn three. Shit, I might as well pack up my bags, the next letter will be my alert, then it’s off to the Army, and Vietnam!”

There was nothing else to say.

Jerry 5-18-2001 0:24

Allein: Whatever is comfortable. NWSFS Socials are anything but formal affairs. Jeans are just fine.

Jack Beslanwitch 0:19

Teekay! Just posted and returned to find your post... I'd love to read it when you're ready. As I mentioned before, I'm totally swamped, but I love it!
Basically, if someone wants me to read a book length ms, it'll be the end of June before I will be able to spend the time reading it that a ms of that length deserves.
If it's a shortie or a few chapters, I will set aside the time on the weekend or when my son is with his beloved lego... or after I've finished my writing - just so long as I'm still able to concentrate.

I guess I'm saying the end of June for ms length reads because I've already got three that I'm editing... plus writing and editing my own.
But I love to be this busy. If I weren't I'd be procrastinating!

More Writer's Block Busters:

4. Pick up your manuscript (if it's in printed/handwritten form) or pull it up on the computer screen. Find the third or fourth to last page and start reading it from there. By the time you get those three or four last pages read, you will probably know what you want to write next, and will be salivating to get it down!

5. Here's a Hemingway W.block buster - VERY paraphrased: Leave the last sentence you are going to write for the day unfinished. That way when you go back the next day to write, you'll want desperately to finish that sentence. With luck you'll just keep on going.

6. If you feel you need to beef up a character desciption and just can't seem to think of anything, (or when you go to describe him/her, you find Scooby Doo in your head instead) try People Magazine (or something similar) Look for an actor or actress that you think would best portray this character. Describe that actor/actress as a warm up, or use some of the descriptions 'as is'.
You may also feel your block melting away just from this exercise.

7. If you type directly into the computer, try handwriting a scene on paper with your favourite pen. And vice versa.

8. Buy those word magnets (where there are a pile of words, each a separate magnet) and arrange them into a poem or a sentence for your work on the fridge. Make sure it's high enough up so your kids don't mess with it!

9. Take out your photo albums. Close your eyes. Point to a person in the pages somewhere. Write that person a short letter, even if that person has passed away; or even if you point to a picture of yourself. Mail it. (Unless of course, they are deceased, or it's to yourself... just because you have writer's block doesn't mean you're a moron)
Then go to your workspace and keep on writing.

10. Talk about your project with a friend, spouse, child, neighbour, anyone. Sometimes just talking about your project will renew your enthusiasm.

11. Make up a list of things to smash writer's block, just like this one!

12. Whatever you do, do NOT quit writing. Just take a little vacation if the above hints don't do it for you.

13. Sit down at the computer desk (or your writing desk) and have someone tie your hands behind your back. Just be sure they're not going to go off to work and forget that you're bound... You'll have tons of ideas just because you can't reach the keys/pen/rope. As soon as you start getting ideas, have the person untie you and get to it.

WARNING: Do NOT ask someone who likes to play practical jokes to tie you up. You may not be untied for hours.
WARNING #2: Do NOT ask your spouse to tie you up if you can help it - you might end up not writing because you're having wild sex in your chair.

14. Have wild sex. Who says we have to be writing 24/7?

Heather 5-18-2001 0:18

The Lottery

“But momma, I didn’t even want to be IN the lottery!”

“Doesn’t matter. You’re thirteen. Your hair is red, your eyes brown. Such a beautiful child… I’ve always known you’d be in the lottery.” My mother stoically kept her voice even and detached while she brushed my hair and started working it into long braids. “Every girl wants to be in your position, selected to live in luxury and pampered, never needing to work or worry again.”

“But momma! I want to go to school and learn about babies and help woman have children! I want to be a midwife and be useful and….”

“Now you have to stop crying! The Great One won’t like you if you’re crying, and if he doesn’t like you he’ll be upset, and if he’s upset we will all pay for it.” Finished with the braiding, my mother shook out the white dress made of a material softer than any I’d ever touched before. “Just think, all of your clothes will be made of such cloth! And your hair will smell of flowers, and you can do anything you want.”

“Except go to school! Or see you! They can’t make me go if I don’t want to.”

My mother spun me around, her callused hands on my trembling shoulders. I was shocked to see tears on her cheeks and loss in her eyes. Her words had been so firmly resolved!

“My sweetling, they will take you by force if they must. The lottery is drawn only once every five years, and the Great One will not wait another day. But it won’t be so bad. Here, you would have to work every day, in the fields or at the looms or in the kitchens. There you can do as you want every day, and never work until your calluses bleed and feet ache.”

“But momma, I’d choose to be here, with you, growing old while working in the fields, instead of being a queen for five years.”

“And I’d rather you stay, sweetling. But fate and the lottery chose you, and your duty now is to please the Great One and protect us all from his wrath by keeping him satisfied.”

I hugged her then, as tight as I could with my young arms. “Oh momma, I’ll please him, I really will! Anything to keep you safe. And in five years, before the next lottery, I’ll try and come see you, just one last time. I just have to see you again before I die.”

Tina 5-18-2001 0:03

Oh, sorry Hallee - the wonder wench thing was something I used to kid about in highschool... Wonder Wench has these nifty arm bands that squirt vinegar. I don't think they stop bullets, though. ;o)

Heather 5-17-2001 23:49

Mark - thank you! Wow. What a compliment... *shock sinking in, displacing awe somewhat so that awe now floats on the top*

By the way, I was wondering if you actually enjoyed that woman's poetry, or perhaps just her body language!
Heh heh heh

Loved all the shorties so far!
This is a very successful shortie night! Mary - are you going to write one as well?

Hallee - if you read the last line or two of my shortie you'll find out. (Though I'm not a 'wonder wench' - all the years of trying have partially paid off - I guess I could have been more cruel with the ending...)

Randall - HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I was rolling on the floor laughing with that one... have shovel, will travel.

Heather 5-17-2001 23:47

Hi All,

RHODA: I loved those photos. Absolutely beautiful. One day, when I'm rich I'm going to go to th U.K.

MEL: Saw frequency and loved it. I think that's where I first got the urge to see A.B.

TAYLOR: Been there. Like about 100 times. Thankfully it passes.

HOWARD: There's the Southern lights AKA Aurora Australis?, but I think you need to be in space to see them.
I loved Midworld and I particulary loved Born - see I even remembered his name. The world building was excellent. I could really see it in my minds eye.

Haven't been to the library yet to check out those authors, but shall be getting there today.
What would make them any wiser on the subject anyway??? Curioser and curioser.

MEL: Your little secret isn't that you're Frank Peretti or Billy Graham is it? Or perhaps an Angel?
I bet you've had something published coz you know about time maps. Am I right? Am I?Am I? Huh?

HEATHER: Oh my goodness. What a spectacularly unexpected ending. Fantastic!
Also thanks for the offer I may very well take you up on it. I haven't actually tried planning it out yet.
At the moment it's still fluffing around in my head like this big awesome tangled ball of wool.
It's really strange, on the nights I write, I feel incredibly elated and then, say I miss a day I feel as though I've accomplished nothing. Sucky feeling.

MEL: I read your shorty and am wondering if you are an old man with broken shoes and a nicotene addiction? Am I right? Am I? Am I? huh?

ALLEIN: HAHAHAHHAHA good one - about being blonde and wisdom teeth I mean.

Can't really concentrate on a shorty, my head is too mucked up with thinking about interweaving storylines.
It's a jolly good excuse and has the added benefit of being true.

Teekay 5-17-2001 23:41


Great Shortie night! Having fun reading them, hopefully my muse will arrive in full force and I’ll contribute too.

Heather, have you been consulting with Jerry? That’s the kind of twist I expect from him!
Mel and Hallee and Howard and Mark and Jerry, good stuff!

Mark, pull your mind out of that gutter! But really, I’d be hard pressed to choose between good chocolate, good astronomy and good lovin’! (That doesn’t include great lovin’) :-D

SusanS, I’ll send strong thoughts your way, in hopes that your friend will somehow understand what a good friend he has in you, if only he lets himself see.

Howard, now I’m wanting to read that book, ‘Heiro’s Journey’. I’ll have to see if the library has it, add it to my list of requests!

I won’t get a shortie written by sitting here typing this post! Time to go….

(Debra, Gariess, Laura, Trudy, Sasquatch, Viv, thinking about ya’!)

Tina 5-17-2001 23:21

HOWARD -- Keeping the winnings away from the daughter? oooohh There's a story in there.

HALLEE -- You get my vote this week.

MEL -- Neat twist.

HEATHER --You sure can write.

TINA -- Jupiter and Saturn were up ... there was a massive ejection ... it took your breath away. Uh, are you getting everything you need at home?
What? What do you mean "What I'M seeing"?

TEEKAY -- Yup, been a sci-fi fan for years and years. Read Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Bradbury and Andre Norton before I was a teenager. Whether it was Tarzan's jungle or John Carter's Mars, Burroughs knew how to construct a world.

ALL -- I remember hearing "Don't pray for money." Can't remember why that is. Anyone have a handle on it?


Man, I hate this. I never believed it would happen to me. Not really. Here's the freakin' ticket, there's the freakin' numbers. I got 'em.

Shit. Now do I tell her or do I just go out for the bread and milk? Jeez this'd be easier if she was wholly nice or wholly a bitch. How many times have I told myself I'd just get in the car and drive South? I can really do it.

Man, I just don't know. It's that damn way she criticizes me. Before I get all the tools in place, she'll tell me I'm doing it wrong. "Hey, I haven't even started! Tell me it's wrong after you can see what it is!"

ffffffffffffff Ah phooey. She's never talked about splittin'. That's always been me. Things ain't been any easier on her, and she just keeps workin'.

"Hey, babe. Ya got a minute?"

Mark 5-17-2001 22:48

We're in the money! We're in the money! :) Great shorties everyone! :)

Tomorrow is my last day of classes and then I start my externship. :)

Monday I get my wisdom tooth pulled (I only have one) - I'm blonde, I don't need it anyway.

Jack - One last question: are jeans proper attire for the social? I'm not sure what to wear. :) I can't wait to meet you and Fran. :)

Allein Allein's World 5-17-2001 22:30

What a great shortie's night.


Thank you for the tips on writer's block. I mean to try them, for I haven't been able to write anything since I returned from my trip. I thought I would return full of inspriation, but that hasn't been the case so far. I have worked so hard doing housework, laundry and getting my kids through the last couple of week's of school. Loved your shortie, by the way. Poor Joleen.

I love all the shorties.

Happy writing,

Rhoda 5-17-2001 22:18

To Susan of the Southwest Writers Workshop Conference,

I enjoyed the conference I attended four or five years ago when Nancy Taylor Rosenburg was your keynote speaker. I wish I could have been to more of them, but why did you have Lorna Luft as keynote speaker last year after she had written only one book? Out of all the great authors who would have been thrilled to be your keynote speaker, why her? I told my husband, and he didn't know who she was until I explained she was Judy Garland's daughter and Liza Minelli's kid sister. Lorna sings beautifully and is no doubt very talented. Maybe she even gave a good talk, but most people do not know her for a writer. First our politics goes Hollywood and now the literary arts. No doubt you all had your reasons, but the message that choice communicated was not positive to me. It only served to reinforce the idea that by being a celebrity you can bypass many of the struggles of publication, not that life is fair or should be. It just touched a little pet peeve of mine and diminished your noble organization a little in my eyes.

Actually this year's conference seems much better.

Good luck,


Rhoda 5-17-2001 21:44

Wrot this earlier, but kept getting INTERNAL SERVER ERRORS when I tried to post. Maybe it'sll go okay now?

"Honey? Honey - look!"

"What? What's wrong?"

"Look at this!"

"What is it? Why are you shaking?"

"Read this number!"

"Which one, the Lotto?"

"Yes, read it!"

"Six, Ten, Sixteen, Seventeen, Twenty-five, and Twenty-six. Why?
You're not telling me..."

"Yes! Look at the ticket!"

"Oh my. Oh my! I never thought..."

"Me either, but it's right there!"

"You better sit down before you fall down! Now what do we do?"

"I dunno, but we gotta think about it real good. Who can we tell?"

"Oh my - just don't tell MaryAnn - she'll have it all spent before
we know it!"

"Yeah, right, and Carl and Eddie too!"

“But they’re your golfing buddies!

“We’ll have to move away from here, to where nobody knows us.”

“And leave our friends? Shirley and Joe too? You’re supposed to go fishing with Joe next month!”

"Honey, what'll we do? I never thought we'd ever have so much money!"

"Me either! But now we can go on that cruise! And get the Mercedes, and…"

“And your trip to Ireland!”

"Yeah, but what about your mom? Nobody else will visit her, and you
know how lonely she gets in the nursing home."

"I know - gotta think. This can’t be happening! Oh crap! - Who's at the door? Don't let 'em in!"

"But honey, it's Missy!"

"I don't care, don't let her in! She'll know something's up and sniff
around until she finds out, and this is OURS!"

"Honey, please - she's our daughter, for God's sake!"

"Oh God! What am I saying!? Let her in!"

"Hi mom! Hi dad! Whatcha doin’, dad? What’s that I smell burning?"

"Hi honey, oh nothing, just something we didn't really need..."

howard 5-17-2001 20:48

Evening all!

Nearly TGIF!

Yes Mark, :-) I'm the guy who likes to quote "Papa." I think his mastery of understatement in writing is without peer. And I especially like the way he pulled Faulkner's tail! I like quotes from famous and infamous people and have several favorite sites on the Web of Authority. Along that line, my favorite comes from Theodore Roosevelt via John F. Kennedy.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena--whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions -- and spends himself in a worthy cause -- who at best if he wins knows the thrills of high achievement -- and if he fails at least fails while daring greatly -- so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt said this in his "Citizenship in a Republic" address in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.

President Kennedy, the last democratic president we had truly worthy of the office, used this quote in his remarks at the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Banquet on December 5, 1961.

Like the lottery tales.

Ah, Heather. Would you be a little more specific of the grave site of the individual who was buried with the winning ticket? Have shovel, will travel.


Randall 5-17-2001 20:40

HEATHER: You wench! Hahahaha...did she win or not? huh? huh?

MEL: Hahahaha. And good (short (grin)) shorty.

JERRY: Ah, but that it could happen to you one day! (Hug) Your dialogue is getting a lot better (not that it was bad just flows a lot smoother lately).

ALL: Sorry about the mistakes in the shorty. It was 5:05, I typed it really quick into the box without even knowing what it was going to be about, and pressed "enter". I didn't even read through it first. BUT, boy do I have a novel developed out of that one. (Down, muse, down...editing will be done in several months and you can come back to life again...go play with TAYLOR).

Time to get the chicken out of the oven. Man, quarter 'til eight again. I have got to restructure my evenings now that we live further away from my office and Kaylee's school. My round trip drive home time has increased by 40 minutes.

Hallee 5-17-2001 19:44

And a little joke in honor of the occasion...

Saul was a man of God. He followed the Lord's will in every facet of his life. Yet he remained a poor man. Finally, he knelt in prayer and with anguish lifted his voice to his Maker.

"Lord," he sobbed, "I know all things will happen as You will it, in Your time. And I've done all in my power to be a good servant to You. I know you're proud of me. Yet still I haven't won the lottery. I just need to know why, Lord?"

A golden glow enwrapped him as a deep, heavenly voice replied, "Saul, Saul, first you've got to buy a ticket."


Mel 5-17-2001 18:43

I just caught the cat trying to drink my Chamomille tea. Then he tried to knock the cup off the table. It's never a dull moment with that animal.

I meant to say before the cat rudely interrupted me, that I have trouble sometimes weaving all the threads of a plot together into a coherent whole, especially when I'm writing a novel. Sometimes I'll forget certain plot threads that I started in an earlier chapter.

That nap did me some good. I wrote a couple of pages on my novel today. Sometimes I think you just have to make yourself write one sentence at a time and not worry about what you're going to do with the next chapter.

SusanS 5-17-2001 17:59

~~Hallee's Shorty~~

It seemed impossible. Beyond impossible. Good things just didn't happen to her.

She checked one more time. The torn piece of newspaper was still on the floor where it had fallen from her numb fingertips. But the ticket was there, still clenched in her left hand.

She had been busy lining the shelves. The canning for the year was done, and she always took the opportunity of the jars sitting on the scarred countertops to replace the lining on the shelves. In all honesty, she'd forgotten she bought the ticket. She had loose change in her pocket she found in Billy's pants pockets from doing the laundry, and though she knew she shouldn't steal from her husband, it counted out to just over a dollar.

That was three weeks ago.

The paper was dated the Sunday after she bought the ticket. She scooped and snatched the piece of paper off the torn linoleum, carefully checking the numbers one at a time.

Holy cow.

"Mamma, why you crying?"

Darien. She whipped her head up and looked into the blue eyes of her oldest child. Nearly six years old but she already had old eyes. She bent and held her arms out. The tears flowed harder when she felt how gingerly Darien hugged her, knowing without being told that her ribs were sore from Billy's boots last night.

"I'm happy, baby." Suddenly, it all hit her and she squeezed her daughter tighter, ignoring the wincing pain of her ribs, ignoring the dull throb of the bruise on her cheek when she rested it on top of her daughter's head. "I'm so happy."

Her eyes caught the clock on the wall. She had an hour. One hour.

"Come on, baby. Where are your brothers?"

"Jacob's still sleepin'. Mark's in the potty."

She stood and carefully put the ticket in the front pocket of her worn jeans. "Okay." She spun in a circle. The old appliances in the even older kitchen stared back at her. She couldn't even get them to shine anymore, they were so tired out. "Okay." She grabbed Darien's hand and pulled her into the living room. "Listen to Mamma. Do you know where daddy keeps his money?"

Darien's eyes grew wide. "I've never touched it. I promise!"

She needed travelling money. If she was going to get to Tallahassee, it was a long way. Billy's family couldn't be trusted, and she had none of her own. "No, honey, I'm not accusing. I need you to go get it for me. Run, baby, hurry. We don't have time to waste."

Moving quickly now, she gathered her purse, the diaper bag, some extra diapers and formula, and told the kids to leave everything else. Jacob wasn't happy about being woken up, but she could handle fussy.

Hell. She could handle anything.

She stood there in the dirt of her front yard, holding Mark in one arm and Jacob's hand with the other. She stared at the dilipated house, the sagging porch, the broken swingset. Billy taunted her for years about her lack of education, her lack of skills, her lack of ever being able to get away from him because she was nothing who had nothing. Well, now she had two hundred and thirty-six dollars in her right pocket, and a winning lottery ticket worth thirty million in her left.

"Come on, kids."

"Where we going, mamma?"

She grinned as she walked down the dirt lane. "Wherever we want to, Darien. Wherever we want to."

Hallee 5-17-2001 17:22

SouthWest Writers 19th Annual Conference, Albuquerque, NM, Sept. 20-23. Nationally known, nationally respected. Meet agents, editors, published and beginning writers. Hear Catherine Ryan Hyde, Terry Brooks, John Nance, and special guest Alice Walker. Don’t miss this opportunity to hone your craft, learn and network.

Sue Rosenberg SouthWest Writers 5-17-2001 16:05


Okay, here's my shortie - and I mean short! (I hope)


"Hello? Yes, I'm calling to learn if your children's agency needs any additional funding, as I've just won the LAST INTERNATIONAL LOTTO and--oh? Not even a swingset or a few textbooks? Oh...well, good. Have a nice day."

I dialed the next number. "Hello, I wondered if your Senior Complex could use some new furniture or BINGO prizes, as I've just won the LAST LOTTO--uh, hello?" Hmm, guess not.

I tried another number. "Hi! I have an enormous monetary donation to make to your university, as it was my alma mater and I've just won--Well, yes, I know universities no longer charge tuition but I thought maybe you might need new lounge chairs or some swimming pools--Oh, I see. Well, glad to know your memorial funds are no longer needed."

Frustrated, I glanced at the clock. Nearly dinnertime! Spending the entire week calling all over creation was not my idea of a vacation! I threw on a coat, grabbed my knapsack of money and headed downtown.

The streets were quiet; with no longer any need to work for their livings, people had gone home early. Who would have thought that the upheaval of the entire economic system would result in such a peaceful setting? Everyone had what they wanted; people traded services to fill their needs, no more hussling to earn a day's wages.

I scuffed my toe along the sidewalk, feeling the burden of my pack. Suddenly, I sensed the nearness of another presence. I turned toward the alley between the office buildings and noticed an old man sitting against one wall, stretching his legs. Even the homeless all had homes, at least those that wanted them. A few preferred contentment with familiar surroundings and old habits.

I hurried over to the man, noting the holes in his shirt and pants, the shoes long separated from their soles. "Hi!" I said, glad he wasn't napping.

He gazed up at me with tired eyes, a shiver coursing through his limbs as the chill evening wind bit deep.

"I--um, wonder if you need any money for anything, a coat maybe or a few blankets, new shoes..." I set my knapsack before him and opened it wide.

He glanced in the bag, pulled a cigarette from a tattered pocket, blinked at me and said, "Nope. All I need is a match."

I fished last night's bar matchbook from my rear jeans pocket and handed it to him. He took it, scratched it ablaze from the pavement and lit his smoke. Then, he tossed the flaming match into the knapsack.

With a chuckle, he viewed my surprise and chanted, "Dollars, dollars ev'rywhere and nary a cent to spend..."

Melanie 5-17-2001 15:52

Teekay - I know exactly what you mean by having to weave all the events (carefully timed) together so that all the characters end up in the right place at the correct time for the climax (ohhh, sounds X-rated... heh heh)!
DO let me know if you need a hand with it - I've been practicing!!!
Sometimes it's a matter of following one thread through at a time - reading your ms JUST following ONE character through the book (or just a bit ahead of the climax). Then read for another character. I know it sounds like a lot of reading but by the time you've read through three or so, you'll have everything ironed out and you'll know exactly how to get everyone to where they're supposed to be.

Sometimes it also helps to have a READER - HINT HINT!

Christi - yes, girlie! I'll send you my latest on Symphony - and I'll include the scenes I had to work on from last time, but nothing from the beginning since it hasn't changed much. I did fix every last one of the little teensy spots that needed a word change or two. Everything else has stayed exactly as it was. Now that makes me ecstatic! No more going back to change things - it's polished enough. Everything meshes. Everything that's there is necessary to the story.

(Yes - MEL by the way - I would love to read your ms too but right now I'm swamped! By the end of June I should be ready to read it and give you a crit or edit it for you... IF YOU LIKE - let me know and then I'll let you know) :o}

Tina! yes, if you want me to take a peek at your P** story, just email it to me and I'll read it just as soon as I can.

Americo - please post your steel river story into P** won't you? ((((BIG HUGS TO YOU))))))

SusanS - (((((BIG HUGS TO YOU, TOO))))) I think many of us have had friendships that have dissolved in similar ways, and the pain does let up a bit... eventually. Hang in there.

My best friend died, so there's not much I can do when I want to spend time with her. We used to do so much together - (Tina, it's a strange parallel...) I taught her how to make Ukranian eggs! She kept the one I made her for years in her little miniature cabinet. She taught me how to make swirly eggs by wrapping the egg tightly with pantyhose, and I still, to this day, have a piece of one of those swirly eggs in MY miniature shelf. Actually, that miniature shelf is now in my daughter's room, and she treasures it as I did. Most of the things in it are mine from childhood.
Liz and I taught each other all sorts of things. She taught me determination and a positive attitude, most of all. She'd have gruelling open-heart surgeries, and even when the doctors feared she'd be in ICU for weeks (or die on the table), she was out and home in record time. Even made it onto the news, she did! We grew apart a bit when I moved away, and it pains me that I didn't put more effort into visiting her. I did what I could but I was so busy... but that is still a lame excuse. I should have called her more often.
Anyhow, SusanS, take heart. Though he may not want to be friends again, there is something to be said for memories and those special treasures we call 'lessons'. We learn a lot from friends, and even from the dissolution of friendship. Pain is a teacher, though most of the time that teacher isn't welcome!

Okay. So Jerry and I are really early with shorties. Hey, do I really want that early worm? Yuck.

Mel - Oh, I'm not always without the dreaded blockade. I too, have my days of no writing. I rarely, however, go a day without an IDEA. That's very important. I have a little notepad and pen on my nightstand (for that matter, I have notepads and pens in strategic places all over the house, in the car, in my purse, at work even...) just in case I get an idea or even just a phrase that I may use later in dialogue.

Here are a few ways to PLOW through writer's block - mind you, friends, this list has just been concocted!
Apologies if you've heard any of these before:

1. Shove your favourite movie into that VCR and take notes on how it was written, plot twists, character quirks, and theme. How are the scenes arranged? What keeps the story from getting boring? Why is the protagonist endearing? How do the secondary characters help make the protagonist shine?

2. Go out and do something opposite to writing: jog, walk, swim, feed squirrels in the park. Don't even read street signs. In fact, pretend you are allergic to reading.

3. Uh, sorry. I think I have a block! Ha ha ha ha ha

Heather 5-17-2001 15:51

When Your Numbers Come Up
by Heather Myles

It wasn't something she did every week. Heck, last time I remember her buying anything so frivolous was a tube of mascara in 1985. But it was like something struck her, she told me that night, and she got a funny tingle walking by the lottery counter at the grocery store.

She picked the numbers from the family's birthdays, and felt her heart racing when they printed up the ticket and she paid the clerk her last hard-earned dollar.

That night after supper she sat in front of the television as if she were stone, waiting over an hour and a half for the lottery numbers to be announced, the ticket carefully pinched between her forefinger and thumb. I could tell she didn't want to wrinkle the ticket by the way she held it - but the skin of her fingers went white with the pressure.

I had never seen my wife sit that long without moving. She didn't sigh, didn't even wiggle her toes into the remaining fibres of our threadbare carpet. She just sat there, like a statue, her eyes staring straight at the TV.

Finally the news came to a close and the lottery announcer came on. I left the room, wondering how I was going to console her when she didn't win. That dollar could have bought us a packet of balogna or a bottle of that no-name shampoo.

I heard the announcer read off the numbers, but I couldn't hear what he said from where I was standing.

Suddenly I heard Joleen give a hearty gasp and a loud 'whooop!' from the livingroom. My skin just set to prickles and I ran in. She was standing there, shaking, her hand squeezing that ticket like it was a parachute's rip cord and she'd just dropped out of a jet.
Her eyes were bugged out real glossy and round, and never in my life had I seen that expression on her face.

I stepped a little closer. "Did you win?" I asked, hesitating. Her face looked really strange. "Joleen? Are you alright, pumpkin?"

She never said a word, just looked at me with those big bulgy eyes. And then she dropped, just like a lead pipe, hitting the floor with damn near a thunder clap.

"Joleen! Joleen, baby, talk to me!"
I rolled her over, thinking that she'd fainted. But the look on her face was stuck there. Stuck there until the guy down at Bodine's Funeral Home managed to push her face back the way it should have been.

I hate tellin' this story, 'cause so many folks look at me like I'm the biggest damn fool they ever heard of.
You see, I couldn't bear to have all that money if Joleen wasn't there to enjoy it with me, so I buried that ticket with her.

Heather 5-17-2001 15:01

Hi Everyone!

Mel, thankyou for understanding as always. And Tina, thankyou for sharing your experience with me. Sometimes I feel so alone. Then I'm reminded that others have been through similar experiences and that helps a little. I do have very good memories of Logan. I remember sparkling blue eyes, a mischievous smile, and a very naughty sense of humor. I remember an imaginative, artistic person sharing ideas with me. His drawings are still lying about the house. I cherish those drawings. Right now they're all I have left of him. I pray for him at night, because I know he's a very troubled, unhappy person, and only God can help him now. Thank you again for your understanding. I'm thankful I have Allen and the cat to comfort me. (Night may be a little devil, but he's a sweet little devil.)

I'm debating with myself whether to write now, or take a nap and write later. I've been up since 4 am and I'm tired. Maybe I'll write in bed like Mark Twain used to do.

SusanS 5-17-2001 14:17

Sorry - that was supposed to read: "Sterling Lanier used that 5000 years...

howard 5-17-2001 12:23


Hmm - That was interesting!

TINA - Aurora Australis - Thanks! I knew I wasn't imaginating it! :-)

TEEKAY - What did you think of "Midworld?" That was, I thought, an excellent example of "world-building," as was "Heiro's Journey."

Actually, "HJ" is more of a "world RE-building," as it takes place right here in beautiful downtown Canada and the US of A, but 5000 years after "the death" (nuclear war). Come to think of it, the most advanced civilisation at that time turns out to be the Catholic Church (in a greatly evolved version) back in the "Kandan Provinces," and Per Heiro Desteen is a Warrior Priest of the mixed Indian and French Canadian peoples. Sterling Lanier used that 500 years, with all the nuclear and biological poisons in it, to change things considerably. It's another of my favorites.

NOW -- going back a couple of decades, I've been trying to recall the name and author of another "end of civilisation" scifi book. About all I recall of it is that at the end of it the kids are making arrowheads out of dimes. Can anyone help me out with the title?


howard 5-17-2001 12:19


howard 5-17-2001 11:59

Teekay - You love me... Well of course you do! I'm adorable (grin/winks and laughter).

Mark - I'm around ;o) I've been doing some work on incompleted, or shorties in need of re-writes/edits. Also been organizing my writing. Looking at/working on a couple of novels that I have going. Thanks for asking.

5-17-2001 11:59


Hello all!

Hallee, you be careful! That's too many near misses!

Teekay, at least once you must find your way to a sub-polar spot to see the aurora, (aurora australis in the southern hemisphere, aurora borealis in the north). I don't live very north, but several times a year we get a display of aurora. Occasionally it's the kind of thing that simply steals your breath away and keeps you gazing for hours. We had one of those last October, in conjunction with a massive solar ejection, and I spent hours outside on my porch, at one in the morning, wrapped in a quilt. Jupiter and Saturn were up, as well, and they shone through the silken curtain of red and green and white. It was like standing under a perfectly clear sky holding a clear umbrella, while a ghostly hand poured coloured paints over the umbrella, the lights just flowed and ebbed and danced. There was another such display this spring, but we were clouded in for that one.
If you get close enough to the arctic, the aurora not only dance in mesmerising colours, they sing, too.

Last night I worked on my story for **P**. Hope there's no word limit! It's getting a touch longer than I intended.
Heather, are you still available for a quick edit before I post it in the workbook? It's not quite done, but I'd love to send you the first bit, get your thoughts on it.

Time to go walk my dog. Be well!

Tina 5-17-2001 10:48

TEEKAY - I thought there was a southern aurora as well - perhaps you're too far north of the pole to see it. I remember the last real bright display here was awesome! I actually took a newspaper out and read it by the light of the "Northern Lights!" Shimmering, rippling curtains of yellow, pink, green, and some colors that you only can imagine - they can't be real! We see them here on rare occasions, during particularly active solar storms, but the farther north we go, the more common the displays become.

Sure enough, here at work the ENTER box is at the right side at the bottom of the entry panel.

howard 5-17-2001 10:10


Hallee: When I do recover it will probably be with a vengence...HA HA

Rhoda: Loved the pics of that old castle and lobby thing, cant remember it off bat or something...I'm going to keep one pic in mind in particular

taylor 5-17-2001 9:21

MEL: I think (it's been a couple of years, so I'm not entirely sure) that there are 22 chapters. I don't really remember. I'm looking forward to your critique. :)

SUSAN: I'm so sorry. ((Hugs))

TINA: I have an almost identical story. It's so sad.

Back to work!

Hallee 5-17-2001 8:59

TAYLOR: I think Heather has some goop you pour on your brain to loosen writer's block. She never seems to have any troubles in that arena!!! :-) Wishing you a speedy recovery (try reading some poetry or glancing at beautiful pics, like Rhoda's trip photos!) The words will flow when they're ready - may they be ready for you soon!

Mel 5-17-2001 8:47


Hi, All! :-) Ah, the clouds return - that means the lovely day is somewhere out there for one or more of you, at last. (I was starting to feel hoggish.)

RANDALL: I like your rainbow brain game. :-) Especially the Rainbow People - let's hear more! (Maybe in a shortie?? How DO they put that gold under the rainbow, anyway, if the dang thing is circular?!)

HEATHER: Thanks for all your efforts in advancing Muse Assoc. productivity. :-) A plaque has been entered in your name.

TINA & SUSAN: I too know the pain of loss of "good weather" friends. ((((HUGS))))

SUSAN: Wishing you a happy day today :-) Fill it with things YOU like to do (like writing!) More (((HUGS)))

HOWARD: Gee, thanks for spreading my fame before it even happens! :-)

RHODA: BEAUTIFUL pics of your trip! :-) Ohh, to have been a stow-away with you...

JERRY: Ah yes, the wide open spaces where azure rules supreme... :-) And a 12-year camping vacation? Like it!! :-) Nice shorty.

CHRISTI: "Time For Sale" sounds like a good story idea. :-)

TEEKAY: I'll send you a hint at the end of my shortie to come. :-) Altho' at the rate Howard is dropping clues, there won't be much secret left to damage your giggle-meter. BTW, I saw a bit of the Aurora Borealis (sp?) back in the '70's - so cool!! Rent the movie "FREQUENCY" and you'll see a great big A.B. :-) (Also a wonderful, fantastic movie!!) And re: the novel thing, bringing it all together...Try a "map" for yourself, showing what characters/plotlines are going where by when...kind of a crossword puzzle without the neat little boxes...It does help you sort your mind. :-)

HALLEE: Is this your week for accident-prone-itis? Sheesh! Watch those lampshades! And do tell, how many more chapters in novel #1? (Love your characters!) :-) Partial critique coming soon...

Shortie later...

May your pens all be shiny and your keyboards non-sticky, and the paper supply unending and the idea-well overflowing!!!

Melanie 5-17-2001 8:40


I am on again, but this time I have kind of hit a writing SNAG!!
Dropped into say hi and see whats been happening...

I thought that focusing on all aspects on myself, you know not neglecting any physical wellbeing, is it would pave a clear road for my writing
Oh well...I guess I will just have to plough through the block...Maybe thats not the right term, I have ideas that won't go into words at the moment

How is everything for everyone...My thoughts go out to you all

taylor 5-17-2001 7:47

RHODA: Wonderful pictures! Thank you!

RANDALL: I'll make sure to tell Conan as soon as he's awake and cognizant.

MEL: Sadly, it was two separate cars. But, the truck is fixed, and now I have to get my alternator in the car checked out.

MARY: Hi there. :)

I may do a story today - really, it depends on the day. I haven't come up with anything yet, but it's been a few weeks since I participated, so I really want to.

I've been sitting here for an hour trying to figure out why I smelled something burning, but my window is open and I thought it was just something outside. Come to find out, the lamp shade fell and was resting on the lightbulb. THAT's a little scary, especially considering the fact that I think this lamp has been on all night. Won't be doing that again.

Okay - off to do more editing.

Happy Thursday all! Two more days before the weekend!!

Hallee 5-17-2001 5:15


Hi All,

MEL: Well my ears perked up at the word secret and now you have my curiosity glands ozzing (yuck!) and I've been thinking it's about time for a good abandoned giggle so go on and 'fess up.
I just read your reply to why you don't want the devil in P** and all I can say is "oh."
Do wish you'd mentioned it before my rant :-)

HOWARD: HOWARD, HOWARD, well I'll give you A+ for stamina. Just don't know when your beat.
I'll have a look for that author at the library tomorrow and if he's not there I would really appreciate you sending me up whichever book you think is most enjoyable. That's really nice of you, and I'm going to give you A++ now. :-)

JERRY: 100%! That's fantastic!

HOWARD: Funk flashbacks? Leftovers from the 70's perhaps?

HEATHER: You know what I would love to see? The auraura? Arora? Aurora borealis. That would be brilliant.

TINA: CHRISTI sent me 'Contact', but I haven't received it yet. Still waiting expectantly at the post box everyday for it to arrive. If it doesn't come soon I think I'll bite the postie.

MARY: Among other things, one of the reasons I'll always write longhand to begin with is that it's so portable. Don't need a thing but a pad and a pen.

AMERICO: I cared, but I wasn't going to say a thing for fear of the 'pedantic' label. BTW I found your story to be etherealy melancholy.
So saying you are now duty bound to dedicate the next story to me.

RANDALL: You do have a mgical, mystical flair with your pen. Very visual.

MARK: I wouldn't have thought you'd enjoy reading sci fi. Let me know if you like it. I normally don't read it, but I found those books of HOWARD'S rather enjoyable.

HOWARD: Another flashback?
No Jack only moved the N.B. from one place to another and that's probably why.
Or you could just be cracking up.
Or it could be something mystical happening.
Or it's just broke.

RHODA: Will check out your site after this.

I had this wonderful relevation today (Any takers? HOWARD? MARK? heh heh) I actually saw how I wanted my 'novel?' to all come together and it's actually wonderful (well it seems that way to me) But I just have to work out how to bring it all together into one giant sort of climax and at this particular time I'm not real sure how to do that.

It's sort of like knitting without a pattern. I really hope I can do it, and I really hope it turns out as good as it feels like it might in my head. I'm not actually talking about the story part here, but the weaving of the characters actions throughout so that they all join up in the right place at the right time and there are about 8 characters I have to do this with.

night all.

Teekay 5-17-2001 3:59

Mary, I just wanted to address a special post just for you. I composed a dorky poem for you and it was soooo incredibly stupid that I deleted it. Does the thought count? Don't even THINK of asking me what it said. (eyes rolling) I won't incriminate myself. :) HUGS!

Christi 5-17-2001 2:58

Teekay Teekay, (HEE!) I loved your Tigger laugh. My son and I can take up the better part of an hour doing that laugh back and forth to each other. And missy, you're on! At least a healthy competition would make something positive out of getting those awful envelopes in the mail. And one day the envelope will not be the manila one we sent out, but a nice thin white one with a contract/check in it! :) I got that last bit from Lawrence Block; paraphrased of course, but the idea is the same.

Thanks, Mel! You're lucky to be in the fun, creative phase right now. The constant sending out and rejection part is not a natural thing for writers and artists, if you ask me. I love the creation part, where I'm making something where there once was nothing. Yeah, baby!

Americo! A dedication? How lovely, how lovely! And your poem is lovely. Are you going to enter it in **P**? I'm glad to see you and hope you'll be sticking it out for awhile!

Welcome back Randall, and Rhoda, and Mark! Now where the heck are Gariess and Debra?

Thanks so much for sharing your trip with the rest of us, Rhoda! I haven't been on vacation in a long time, and I've NEVER gone abroad. Don't mind the green pallor on my face, it's just jealousy.

Congrats, Heather! And Heather, I'm ready for a read anytime you are!

I never got to **P** to read the new stories and I'm so bummed. Turned into a late late night, and tonight is more of the same. I couldn't even read the new shorties, but I hope for some precious moments tomorrow. Does anyone have some time for sale? I'd give my winning lottery ticket for a week off!

Smooches for all and a good night.

Christi 5-17-2001 2:53

Rhoda - I loved the pictures. :) I hope to visit Great Britain one day. You look different than I thought you would though - for some reason I thought you were Hispanic.


Allein Allein's World 5-17-2001 0:57


Americo it is so good to see your happy writings here again, welcome back, I do hope you will stay with us for awhile this time.

Rainbows huh, I love rainbows, and have seen so many variants, it seems each is unique to itself, much like a snowflake.

Oh that cattle drive, it was great and a wonderful break to the hypnotic road. Many of you may be unfamiliar with the openness of this part of the US. Let me explain that a bit, you see when we leave my hometown, I drive south thirty miles, with only a few farms no town, nothing that even resembles a town. Then I turn and go another twelve miles to the county seat. From there it is nearly fifty miles to the next settelment, where maybe ten families live, a town called Prairie City, (boy somebody was optomistic naming that one) Anyhow, then in another 20 miles or so, there is the town of Riva Gap, (just Riva on the new maps) That town consists of a post office/bar/filling station, and 3 families live there. Then I turn and drive south, it is 66 miles to the next town, with absolutly nothing in between, only two country schools, and a few ranch houses sitting well off the highway. Oh there is the small town of Hoover, (just outside the town is hoover dam, a little concreate dam that holds back the flood waters of a small creek.) It was in that 66 mile stretch that we ran into the cattle drive. And yes the men were on horseback, the wives followed behind in the pickups with the lunches, beer and so forth.
Anyhow continuing the next stop is the small town of Newell, (pop 678) then comes the Buitiful Black Hills, and civilization.

Oh by the way excuse the spelling errors tonight, I just re-formated my hard drive, and haven't put on my spell checker as of yet. (Thanks Bill Gates for IE 6.0) And to top it off, I am still bone tired from yesterdays trip, guess I am going to have to get our more.

Here is my shorty for the Lottery:

The Lottery
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

“Now let me see if I get this right council, the Bureau is refusing to pay the clamiant any more lost wages because he won the lottery?”

Assistant Attorney General Simms stood, “Yes your honor, you see, the claimant is now independently wealthy, and no longer needs the money.”

“Objection, weather or not the claimant has one dollar, or twelve million dollars is irrelevant, the Bureau accepted its responsibility to the claimant, the claimant has not suddenly been healed, he is still totally disabled, therefore the Bureau should still be paying his lost wages claim!” said Lawyer Phillips who represented me at the hearing.

Lawyer Phillips sat, and turned giving me his best trust me smile.

“I have another hearing in fifteen minutes, and don’t have time to listen to the Bureau complain about how much money the claimant has. Let me ask you this, Mr. Ericsson, exactly how much money did you win?”

“Well your honor,” I began, “The check was for twelve million dollars, but after the Federal Government took their unfair share, I received four point eight million.”

“And do you still need the checks from the Bureau to live, or can you get by on your winnings?”

Lawyer Phillips was on his feet, “That is totally irrelevant your honor!” he shouted. “Totally irrelevant!”

“I understand Mr. Phillips, I was just inquiring as to the actual need of the claimant.”

Ms. Simms, I am going to rule in favor of the claimant, I see no change in his ability to work, he has reported his winnings as required by the statute, the Bureau will continue to pay Mr. Ericsson’s lost wages until such time he is able to return to work, or until his sixty-second birthday. We stand adjourned.” With this, the Judge rapped his gavel on the table, and left the room.

“Well,” said Ms. Simms, “You can’t blame the Bureau for trying!”

I got up and left the room, as we entered the hallway, I turned to my lawyer, “Want to stop by the old academy for drinks. They’re on me!”

Thus began my freedom from worry, and my twelve year camping vacation.

Jerry 5-17-2001 0:57

Rainbows .. leprechauns .. film at eleven.

Netscape 4.77 on Linux .. enter button to the right of text box, bottom.

HOWARD -- thanks, I'll do "Holding Wonder" and see where I am after that. After coffee I have to drive home "holding water."

TEEKAY -- The heart of a mathematician. hmmm. Been wondering about a job change (Holding Wonder?).

RANDALL -- Aren't you the guy who quotes Hemingway? What would he think of, "I understand that we see a circular rainbow, but we really don't see it all." ?? First phrase says you do, second phrase says you don't. I'm pretty sure I know what you're trying to say. The remainder of the post does a better job of expressing imaginative tendrils. When I lived in Texas, the bumper sticker was "Shit Happens." Always thought I'd like to see 'em quit selling that one, then I heard a woman address our club in a moving and eloquent few minutes where she explained her feelings during some really bad times. She summed it up with "shit happens." Suddenly that was less a derogation and more a philosophical viewpoint.

RACHEL -- long time, no 'Hi There'. Sleeping through the night?

AMERICO -- Bravo!

TINA -- Am Holding Breath

HALLEE -- Thanks, good to be back.

HEATHER -- Yes your energy amazes me as well. Happy Birthday. On Mary's sad thirtieth we were inundated with "What it was like when I was thirty" stories. Here's one for you.

I grew up with the phrase, "Don't trust anyone over 30" as a regular part of my vocabulary. Thirty was a milestone that was supposed to bring tidal changes in a person's life. Combine that with the back-of-my-mind certainty that I'd be dead by then and you begin to get a picture of the sotted psyche I took to Heather McHugh's poetry reading that night.

I stopped in the entryway to buy Heather's new book, "Dangers." Having been soldier and sailor, I gave a smug smile to the title, paid for the little red hardcover, and went into the reading studio. It bugged me that she never called me by my first name, I was always "Lenihan" to her. When I asked her to sign my copy of her book (and told her it was my 30th), she signed it, "To Lenihan ..." and some nonsense about wisdom of old age. Mark. Call me Mark, dammit. My ego was just fragile enough that I worried why she wanted to keep this level of formality.

One of the students approached me. "Hi, Mark. Howya doin'?"
"Fine, Thanks," I said, wondering how she knew my name.
She held a slice of apple in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, "I've got the best of both worlds."
I had no idea how that was true, but I agreed with her then went to look for a good seat where I could keep my eye on Heather (or should I say McHugh) during her reading.

All the pieces she read came from a notebook, even the published stuff. We got to hear the works-in-progress pieces and she read some of the "Dangers" pieces from the book where she'd done her composition and editing. I noted the ease with which she dropped personal ideas on us and private moments. I noticed the peculiar way her knees spread and her hand movements seemed to reach out and grab something from the air and bring it into the space between her legs. And I knew she'd call me "Lenihan."

I thought about the girl with the best of both worlds, I thought about the wine, I left the campus and got beers in a local tavern.

Mark 5-17-2001 0:31


Rhoda, it looks like you had a blast! I'm green with envy, because I also long to see Britain and Scotland and Ireland. Thanks for the vicarious pleasure!

!!! Warning !!! sappy personal story ahead.

SusanS ((((HUGS))))
I met a girl when I moved into a new school, in grade 4. We became the best of friends, even when we each moved to different towns about an hour apart. We visited often, even taking the Greyhound bus once a month to see each other, since our parents had little time to drive us. When we learned to drive, we visited even more, and were each other's confidant. School problems, boy problems, family problems, career choices, birth control (gasp!), you name it we shared it the tears of disaster and celebration.
After high school, we stayed close. As we each moved again to attend college, we wrote often and called when we could.
In my last year of college, she had some guy problems and we disagreed on the solution. I had some confidence problems, and somehow her shoulder wasn't there with the support I'd always known. We made arrangements to meet up one Christmas, and I drove hours through a wicked snowstorm to get there. She wasn't there. Turned out her new boyfriend asked her out to a movie and she dumped me for his invitation.
Always, I'd intended on asking her to be my maid of honour at my wedding. When that day came, I asked instead that she be my bridesmaid, because I didn't feel our friendship was mutually important. She refused, because she had an exam two days earlier and her boyfirend didn't want to drive in the dark, which they would've done to make it up to Vernon.
Within a year, our friendship dissolved. She never called, never returned my calls, unless she'd had a fight with her boyfriend (the one I disliked because of the wedding thing). Then she'd call and cry, confused and needy. A million little things added up, and one day I woke up unable to continue putting so much work into the friendship. I'm sure that from her side, I made as many mistakes, but the truth was that we both had grown into very different people. The beautiful memories of our youth weren't enough to keep us friends. The mutual expectations were too much to keep us acquaintances.
The thing is, that even now, 7 years later, I think of her often. Sometimes I wonder what she's doing now, how her life turned out. Usually though I think about the things we did when we were little. She taught me how to make Ukranian easter eggs. I taught her how to drive a standard. Sometimes we would go to the park and sit together and read, for hours. We would play duets on the piano. I remember that stuff, more than anything else. The sadness at losing a friend never goes away, but neither do the good memories made by sharing your life with a friend, and they make everything else worth it.

Whoa. Didn't mean to spill. Susan, I feel the sadness with you.

Gonna go now. Be well!

Tina 5-16-2001 23:15

THis is from Netscape 4.6, and ENTER is on the right side, bottom of the panel. Strange b=how the different browsers handle objets d'html. :-)

RHODA - Nice pictures! Thanks for sharing them!

howard 5-16-2001 22:43

Hurray! It worked!!!

Rhoda 5-16-2001 22:39


RANDALL -- Yes! yes! and Charlotte's Web stretches from one end to the other, and the Lost Boys do loops under it, and there's a mad tea party over there in the corner, but it's not a corner, at least not one like you've ever seen before -- it's somehow turned inside out! And mind you don't get in the way of the buffer migration, or the wooly mammoths either! And there really is a man with a wooden leg, named Smith!
But where's Puff? Did the Supreme Court finally kill him? Oh I hope not -- maybe if we clap our hands...?
No, that's TinkerBelle! But is it still fashionable to be a fairy? YES! At least under a circular rainbow it is!
Thanks Randall!
Someone else's turn now!

howard 5-16-2001 22:32

That below link did not work. Try this one.


My trip to Britain 5-16-2001 22:28

I finally finished my web-site. I posted lots of photos for anyone who is interested.


Rhoda My Trip to Britain 5-16-2001 22:25


I love technology! My pager just went off for the second time tonight with a wrong number. The guy on the other end just laughed and said "sorry about that!" Dork!

By the way, the ENTER box is on the bottom left of the posting panel again. Maybe it's just at home this happens - I'm running MSIE 4.0 here, and MSIE 5.0 at work. Dunno what it looks like in Netscape.

I had an '81 Dodge pickup once, and the alternator died, so I replaced it with a rebuilt one. Next day, while driving home from work, I began to smell something like hot rotten eggs. I stopped beside the road and opened the hood. There was my battery, looking like a rugby ball! It was swelled up like to burst! Well, it was pretty cold out, so I took out my jack knife and cut the fan belt, and it was back to normal when I got back home. I hadn't returned the old alternator yet, so I put it back in, put on a spare belt, and got another alternator the next day. The clerk said "yeah, we get them like that once in a while. Most times the battery blows up."
One night way back when I was working second shift we got a call from security, wanting to know if Bob Hall worked there. Bob went up to see what they wanted, and was told that someone had just pried open the hood on his Chevelle, and had cut the battery cables, but while trying to lift it out of the car it exploded, injuring the two teenage would-be thieves, and severely damaging his car. Would you believe that a couple of days later they tried to sue him for damages! Claimed he was responsible for their injuries! Judge threw it out.

MEL -- Heiro is on his way! The clerk in the Pack-n-Mail store was impressed with the name when I told him you were part of a writers group.

MARK - Enjoy "Holding Wonder!" And if you'd like to read the whole collection someday we could meet for coffee (my treat) some day and I'll drop it off.

howard 5-16-2001 22:17

It's been a lousy day. I had a sinus headache for most of the day, so I wasn't able to get a whole lot done. Then my husband came home upset. He saw our friend Logan (the one who's not speaking to us) and tried to talk to him. But Logan very angrily told Allen to leave him alone. That he never wanted to see him again. I just don't understand how he can be like this. I don't know what's wrong with him. I know he's mentally ill, and I suspect he's started drinking a lot, but that doesn't make it any easier. And the wound which was beginning to heal, seems to have been opened up again. I will recover in time, but I feel pretty lousy right now. I've come to the realization that you can't replace lost friends. You can go on and make new friends, but you can't replace what's lost. There is only one Logan and no one can take his place. Everyone says he's not worth it, but my heart says differently. I miss him so much.

Well, enough of that. I just needed to tell someone about this. I will be okay. I've got to be to work at 5am again, so I really should go to bed. Too bad I'm not sleepy. And I still have a bit of a headache. Goodnight everyone.

SusanS 5-16-2001 21:27

Hi all!

Rainbows, huh? Stirring the pot, eh Americo? Thanks Heather for the vote of confidence......but FIRST.......

Hallee.....if your battery exploded....It could be your alternator is overcharging, (very bad) .....boiled ALL (or most) of the water and acid away,(much worse) then shorted out the cells inside. KABOOM! Replacing just the battery will not, repeat not solve the problem. Also, a battery when charging creates noxious acid fumes, which are explosive. If there was a spark, from a loose or bad electrical connection near the battery, BOOM! Batteries are as dangerous as a fuel tank, so beware. Alternators, should put out no more than 15 amps. Have it checked ASAP.

Now, you don't get this kind of advice on JUST any web site. :-)

Rainbows. Okay, okay, I understand that we see a circular rainbow, but we really don't see it all. Right? We see, as per Heathers post a semi-circular rainbow, on ocassion a double rainbow. As a resident of the plains state I have seen rainbows that boggle the mind. Flat country, large thunderstorms, massive amounts of water, create rainbows hundreds of miles long and of inestimable breadth and color.

The true writers on WN, who deal in conceptual fantasy and theortical concepts related too; know what I meant. A true circular, ring shaped rainbow is fodder for a writers mind and should send even the most unimagitive author into delightful scenerios of fantasy land spasms of joy. If rainbows are a true circle, on the horizon, where is the other half? Into which dimension do they intrude? At the opposite side of a rainbow you see, are unicorns watching from the other side? Do dwarfs sit under toadstools and marvel at the sight of THEIR half arching down, from the sky? Perhaps Frodo....planning a trip from the Shire pauses in packing and stares? Paul Atradies (probably incorrect sp) and Duncan Idaho, pausing to enjoy the sight.

Then....who lives on the OTHER side of a rainbow? Aside from OZ or Tinman or Dorothy.

"Down Toto down! Not there, on the paper!"

Are trickling streams of crystal clear water bubbling from under fern covered rocks, under the rainbow? Are rainbows, "Over the rainbow" triple banded, and true circles hovering in the blue sky above? Do they emerge from high in the sky and hang upside down, barely touching waist high, lush green grass waving in a warm spring breeze?

"Now little Frodo, if you find where the exact center of the rainbow touches the ground, a splendid magic ring awaits you."

Are snow-white winged horses grazing in rich green meadows surrounded by snow-capped mountains? Do multi-colored dragons fly under, then over the rainbow? Are circular rainbows home for the mysterious, reclusive Rainbow People?

See, and I may be preaching to the choir, but the ring shaped rainbow is a wonderful, enchanting......brain game.

It's like a tart bumper sticker one sees every now and then in Texas. "If you have to ask why, you wouldn't understand the answer."



Randall 5-16-2001 20:51


What a beautiful story. I like stories like that. I send you a very warm hug.

Rachel 5-16-2001 20:02

I care, Americo. Thanks for clearing up the steal/steel issue. I did wonder if that's what you intended.

Koko, sorry - no info on that one for you.

Heather 5-16-2001 19:43

Interesting! Mary - so you've seen the double rainbow and it was like a sign to you, too! Awesome...
and a side-by side rainbow? Wow!
I wondered if anyone else had ever seen or even HEARD of that happening. I had never heard of it until I saw one - and the vibrancy of the rainbows was incredibly intense - I'd never even seen a rainbow that bright before. Too bad it faded so fast.

Americo - I loved your ghost shortie! I hope you didn't really have a daughter that drowned. It sounded like you knew a little too well that kind of loss.

Mel - I'll try nudging the collective Muse Association into a higher productivity bracket, but no promises!
It took ages just to get them all to stop going out on strike when writers needed them most (the two full days prior to a deadline). Now that they have at least learned how to follow the latest contract specifications, I'm leery about throwing a wrench in. Muses aren't exactly the easiest to make a written deal with, let alone train.
Mine gets my vote for Miss Muse of the Year, so that should appease her unhealthy appetite for hitting me on the head after midnight. I hope.

Time to mow the lawn and hose off ice cream slops from the deck. Oh, and I'll see if I can't plant my rose bush and my other little new perennials before dark.

May your muses ride shotgun for eternity,


Heather 5-16-2001 19:41


In my story "Last Winter in the Future" (below) where is "steal" please read "steel". So "still steel water" and not "still steal water". As if anyone cared...

Jack, couldn't you please put the names on top of the posts again? It's so strange to have them under the messages.

Americo 5-16-2001 19:39

Hi All,

Does anyone have info on the Hungry Publisher site?
Are they legit?

Koko44 5-16-2001 18:50

Heather - We had something like that yesterday too but the rainbows were side by side near Safeco Field. They showed it during the Mariners game. And the Mariners won too!! :)

Allein Allein's World 5-16-2001 15:59

MARY: We can add my four kittens to the batch. They're just now opening their eyes. So, we have 15 kittens. Do we have 15 regs? Hahahaha - enough for everyone! Take two!

Hallee (whose two dogs just came out of heat and two of the neighbor's dogs could jump our fence. Check back in a couple of months and I'll tell you how many puppies I'll have to give away.)

Hallee 5-16-2001 15:46

Some may have noticed that it was difficult getting in to the Notebook over the last day. What happened is that my domain was moved from Flordia to machines in California. This should, ultimately, mean faster response time, but in the mean time there may be an occasional glitch here and there. This was not something I was warned about except at the last moment and then I had to just sit back and wait. Sorry about that. Things should be working better now.

Jack Beslanwitch 5-16-2001 14:45

Please don't let that deter you! Hahaha.

5-16-2001 14:45

And yes, free kitties for all who enter.

5-16-2001 14:44


SHORTIE THEME 5-16-2001 14:44

HALLEE: You're supposed to get a new car BEFORE things start blowing up. Sheesh! Glad you and Conan are okay. Now think of the plot ramifications these recent experiences can give you... :-)

MARY: Hi!! Didn't mean to miss halloo-ing ya - my posts usually get so long just replying to recent posts...Anyway, Thanks! What a nice compliment! :-) Musical moments...hmm, maybe there's hope for me yet! BTW, is tomorrow the NB Lottery? Do we win free kitties?? Not that I want one, but I do love 'em... :-)

Again from Mel 5-16-2001 14:39

And now a ghostie dedicated to those who liked Pussy's poem (Christie, Rachel and Heather).

Last Winter in the Future

I remember the steal-watered brook no larger than a child's body whose natural growth had been suspended by sudden death. There I liked to roam on afternoons of eternal longing, thinking of my little girl gone from life on a day of imponderable time.

As I wandered, thin, pale figures looked at me, always kindly in their silence, the silence of someone who will not speak to you no matter how much you try. They walked at my side and over me and all around me, and none has ever promised a word or even a gesture — mere shadows of grey and mist.They made no noise as they were textured in the immateriality that my loneliness was also made of.

Till the day when a woman wrapped in white came steadily walking towards me. As she approached, I knew it was not my daughter's spirit, but myself steadily stepping on my own days, growing old in my destined time--the wrinkling skin, the suplicant arms.

"Touch me, touch me!" I heard her voice in my paralysed throat.

I ran away from the vision to lie face down in the grass at the mangrove whose roots descended from its branches by the brook that incessantly mumbled intriguing, incomprehensible words shrouded in the frost of endless days.

That was the last time I went for a walk along the still steal water of the brook where my daughter drowned last Winter. Why try to recapture what does not exist any more? Only one's future ghost can be seen in the reflexes of a river. Only it can frighten us, as the rest is just the melancholy of possible dreams.

Americo 5-16-2001 14:33

Hi again!

Just visited an interesting website:
(For all you rejection slip owners - what a hoot!) :-)

JERRY: Pickups filled with cowgirls? Ohh, I'm disillusioned! I thought cattle drives were hard work, a macho, tobacco-spitting, bean-burping men-only activity! (I guess I really have been watching too many American westerns! Leftovers from Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles' or something!) Glad the wife is doing well and that you made the trip WIDE awake! :-)

HOWARD: I'm not famous yet...maybe the name will help?! :-)

HEATHER: WOW!!!!! Does your Muse have a secret well of energy and inspiration or somthing? I want some of that!!!

Mel Link 5-16-2001 14:20

Well it only took me about 45 minutes to catch up on all the posts and figure out that nobody had said anything to me at all. :-(

However, lots of great topics WERE brought around and I had a blast reading them all while eating my lunch.

HEATHER: When Gary and I first started dating, I fell for him fast, which set off huge, enormously loud warning bells with me. Then, one day, he and I went fishing with my mother at the lake and decided to wait out the light sprinkling the clouds had brought. When the rain was over, I turned to say something to them and they were framed against the horizon by a beautiful double rainbow. I never even knew they made such a thing, but there it was in all its glory and it was that moment that the warning bells stopped ringing. I snapped a few shots of the rainbows, but my mother thinks that she looks so horrible in the pictures that she would kill me if I posted them. The photos don't do justice anyway.

**P**: I hope you aren't dead because I still have my story to go.

Ummmm...who else? OH, MEL: The alliteration/assonance of your last post to Howard made it almost musical. :-)

HOWARD: I called my dad to come evict a bat once and when he killed it I cried and acted very ungrateful. I was always sorry that I made him feel bad about it. It wasn't like he enjoyed killing it.

Earth to Randall, Earth to Randall....Do you read? Over.

My other cat had her kittens yesterday. Four, but one didn't make it, so now we have 7 kittens all together with the other litter. I actually feel very guilty about the whole thing, what with the cat/dog population so out of hand in our country. (Maybe other places too, I just wasn't sure.) The best thing I can do now is find good homes for them all, then spay/neuter all our cats.

I am very very excited about my latest writing project. I haven't had to do real research for a story in a long time and I am loving it. I started to write it offhand, but I knew there were too many facts I don't know to make it believable. By the way, it's for **P**.

TINA and TEEKAY: You both write longhand, then type it into your PC's later, right? I used to do it that way before I got my computer. I would write long hand, then type it into my mom's PC, or punch it into my typewriter. I am so glad I don't have to do that anymore. As a matter of fact, my husband called me from work the other day to 'read' me a letter he needed typed and I was trying to hand write what he was telling me and my writing was so terrible, my fingers kept getting tangled up...I could barely read it. That was the first time I had noticed how long it had been since I had written anything longer than a check or an envelope. I don't even have that little knuckle-callous that you get from holding a pencil anymore. I even type phone messages.

I know there is a bunch of stuff I am forgetting, but to spare you any more excruciatingly boring ramble I am going to giddy-up on outta here for now. Good luck with your projects and take care. :-)

Mary 5-16-2001 14:20

ALLEIN -- Check out IRFANVIEW at for a free viewer/editor. It has beaucoup features, and will convert from bmp to jpg, and will allow you to crop as well. I've been impressed by it.

Just an aside - has anyone here (besides me) noticed that the ENTER button for this posting panel is sometimes at the lower right of the box, and sometimes directly below the bottom left corner of the box? Or am I really going off somewhere?

Howard 5-16-2001 14:19

HEATHER: How exciting! That's great.

JERRY: Funny..a cattle drive. I guess it's a little more commonplace in South Dakota than in North Florida.

TINA: Howdy.

MARK: Welcome back.

Know something? A car battery can blow up. Yep. **BOOM** Happened to me last night. Thought a shotgun had gone off right by me. Battery acid spews everywhere - little tufts of white smoke come out of the engine where the acid is eating away plastic parts. Oh yeah. Joy.

Know something else? If a radiator falls into the fan, it can blow. Yep. Conan found that out Monday morning on his way to work. No little tufts of white smoke there, boy, more like a huge white cloud. Oh yeah. This is a great week. Yep.

I did get a sucknopsis written, though. That's good. I'll try to get it out and submitted to Harlequin this week. Now I just have to draft the letter that goes with it. Found a really good site that shows good examples of letters for romance manuscripts. I'll get it done, I hope, and get it out.

Happy Wedneday all! *whew* made it through half the week, anyway.

Hallee 5-16-2001 14:19

Heather, I'll send it out today, when I send out 'Holding Wonder' to Mark! I have your address already.

Speaking of the book exchange, Christi you sent 'Contact' to Teekay, right? Or do you already have it Teekay? I'm so easily confused.....


Tina 5-16-2001 13:56

P.S. I was just kidding about the rainbow reaching all the way to Australia... just so's y'all know...

Heather 5-16-2001 13:28

Tina! Yes! Send me Douglas Adams' book!
If you don't have my snail mail addy, I'll email it to you.

Heather 5-16-2001 13:22

Whew! Still recovering.... amazing but true fact:
I wrote 1300 words on my novel last night. AND everything has now been fully edited, including the latest 1300 words.

Yes, Randall, rainbows just appear to be semi-circles because we can only see what's above our horizon... the rest of the rainbow is upside down - well, right side up in Australia! I was going to suggest the garden hose thing, but Mark beat me to it.

Now here is an unusual rainbow story, which by the way, is absolutely TRUE:
Last spring (getting close to June) it was just about 7 pm, and I was at Canadian Tire, just coming out with my purchases. My husband and I had had a disagreement earlier, before I went out to the hardware store. I was thinking about him as I headed out to the car. I put my things in the trunk, and there was a light drizzle coming down, but the sun was still out. I closed the trunk and looked up, and right before me, all across the sky was a huge DOUBLE RAINBOW. DOUBLE!! One whole rainbow, and then another whole rainbow right below it! Brilliant as could be. It's one thing to see a single rainbow that vivid, but two? I stood there in awe for about ten minutes, immediately feeling that all was right in the world, and all was going to be right when I got home. Finally I snapped out of it, thinking - oh, my God! I have to get home before the rainbow fades so he and the kids can see it!
When I got home I ran in all breathless, and they just made it out into the backyard to see the last streams of both rainbows fading to the East.
It was a stunning experience.
The sad thing was that when I was standing there in the parking lot of Canadian Tire, staring at the rainbows, no one else in the whole parking lot even noticed the sky. I remember some people coming out to their car, which was near to mine, and I looked over and they just cast me this weird glance as if I was nuts. Too bad for them!

Ah, well, if my son doesn't decide it's time to play rockets again, I might get another scene written this afternoon while he plays with lego or his hot wheels track... we'll have to see. Maybe half a scene???
Or I might edit, sitting out on the deck in the sunshine, while my son rides his scooter around. OR I could get motivated and mow my lawn, spread some peat moss and grass seed... plant my new climbing white roses...
So much to do, only two hands.

Heather 5-16-2001 13:18

MEL - Sure! It's always nice to have someone famous in the group/family tree/whatever! And I think you'll like "Heiro's Journey." It's excellent, and the second book "The Unforsaken Heiro" is even better (rare, for a sequel). There's only one slight problem with the second, which I'll let you try to discover for yourself.

TEEKAY - I wasn't kidding about Frank Peretti - try "This Present Darkness," then "Piercing the Darkness." Very good. After that, "The Oath" and The Visitation" are good too. If you can't find a copy in OZ I'll be happy to send one of mine.

I'm nearly funk-free, I think! Still have flashbacks, but they seem to be fading. Now if I can keep my lunch down today, and move my arm enough to shift the truck on the way home from work I'll be okay, I think. Something popped in my shoulder last night, and it still feels like something melted and hasn't cooled off yet. Novel sensation! I'll have to use it in a story sometime.

Break's over -- back on yer heads!

howard 5-16-2001 13:18


Howdy all!
It’s always such a nice way to start my day, popping in here and catching up!

Susan and Rachel… ditto! Letting people read my novel has been akin to having my wisdom teeth pulled. Horrible anticipation, temporary discomfort, quick healing and worth it in the end! I still fear letting people read it, even though I’ve had plenty of positive feedback. I haven’t done the deed and submitted it yet, because I want to finish it first.

Fellow Canucks! Have you sent in your census?
It amazes me that they do all that work for so little information. What about the important things like favourite colour? Music preference? Do you eat broccoli?

I want to clear up my confusion. Is **P** intended for submission? I thought it was for our own enjoyment and development, not publication. As such, the range and quantity of what’s in there seems like an excellent job, well done! (For the record, I am working on one but keep getting pulled back to my novel. One of these days I'll finish my ghostie and post it [sigh] except be warned that it's not scary, just creepy.)

Anyone interested in ‘Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency’ by Douglas Adams? Last call for this round of the Great Book Exchange….

Mark, I hope your weekend was energising and relaxing!
I sent you an e-mail yesterday. If you didn’t get it let me know!

Awhile back my hubby bought me this wonderful pen with a cushioned grip and over sized body. It’s the most wonderful pen I’ve ever used. And that’s saying something, because I thought my space pen was simply the best! I write almost all of my first draft by hand, and I didn’t know what I was missing for hundreds and hundreds of pages!

Now I gotta go and take my feline friend to the vet for her check-up. The vet will tell me she's too fat, but how do you force a cat to be more active? It's not that she eats too much, she's just incredibly lazy.

Have a hiss-free, scratch-free, yowl-free day!

Tina 5-16-2001 12:15


I'm back - didn't even fall asleep this time, to tell the truth, I was so afraid of falling asleep that I stayed awake for well over an hour after we got to bed.

The trip was rather uneventfull, other then running into a cattle drive. Not something you find every day, but there they were, well over a hundred cow-calf pair being herded from their winter pasture to the summer. Had to slow down to about 3 miles per hour, and stop and go while waiting for the cows to find their calves who were lost occasionally. At the end of the cattle were several cowboys on horseback, followed by a couple of pickups filled with cowgirls.

The wife's surgery went very well, and the Dr. was very optomistic that she will be back to 100% when it is all healed, we are very happy with the results, and looking forward to her being back to normal soon.

Jerry 5-16-2001 10:52

TEEKAY - Oh nononono... don't misconstrue that as capitulation! Just regrouping. Researching. You know there's not really a lot in the Bible about angels. Most of what people think they know about angels comes from Hollywood's warm fuzzies (like "It's a Wonderful Life") and superstitious wishful thinking. Read any of Frank Peretti's books to get an idea of the real deal, or Billy Graham's "Angels." Or Isaiah chapter 6.
MARK -- No again - I'm not a Republican, why would I try to convince anyone to become one? I just thought that was kind of humorous.

Howard 5-16-2001 9:08


Gee, another sparkling day - I hope this doesn't mean that the rest of you are getting all the rotty weather...?!

CHRISTI And ALL OTHER REJECTION SLIP OWNERS: Be proud of those nasty little letters! You're WAY ahead of me. Got to get my rear in gear and finish patching, gluing, and buffing novel #1 so I too can get some of those silly little papers which only mean someone wasn't paying proper attention to the next potential Pulitzer Prize winning authors! :-) (That's all of you, my writing friends - I just have a T-shirt that says I'm in training for the honor...)

HOWARD: Ew! You poor, brave man, rescuing distressed damsels from bees in the mailbox and bats on the welcome mat! Being such a wonderful hero should de-bunk your funk, doesn't it? I hope! :-) BTW (*whispering*), do you think this group can survive a vicious attack of the giggles if they learn my "secret?"

SUSAN: Received transmission. First glance is real enticing! :-) You and HALLEE are doing inspirational things for me! As I critique your mss., I'm gearing up to have a writing blast: read, critique Hallee's, read, critique Susan's, write, edit Mel's...hey! That's me! I'M on my new schedule! YES!! I CAN be taught new tricks. Who needs the day job anyway? Let's all bounce down to the 100 Acre wood and write a picnic with our friends (okay, Teekay started it, mentioning Tigger, one of my favorites!)

RANDALL: FYI, Satan's got nothing to do with rainbows - that's between God and Noah (and for all the rest of us!). Rainbows, however, are actually quite nice for fantasy. In fact, a "voltaic" rainbow is a major character, of sorts, in my novel. I'm looking forward to reading of your circular rainbow in YOUR novel. :-)

TEEKAY: No, no, I only want Satan left out of *P* so I don't have to READ about him--too scary!! (*shudder! shudder!*) Remember, I read and watch movies like a child, suspending all sense of reality. ACTUALLY, any one who wants to write about Satan should GO FOR IT and give S.K. a run for his money; just don't ask me to critique it! (*trembling again*) But I must confess - I actually enjoyed watching S.K.'s "The STAND" -- something convulsively compelling about it. If someone can write a satanic story like that for *P* it would be awesome (just don't volunteer me to write it - no way, Jose!) Are you prepping me that you have a Satan-story for *P* (or is one in there already and I haven't read it yet? *Quivering Anew*) As a writer, I boldly journey to new worlds on new adventures but DO NOT wanna go exploring in Satan's backyard - I'm a wuss, I admit it! There must be someone else we can play with...Captain Hook? Pee Wee Herman? Eeyore? Anybody?? We can go to the pen store and browse (yeah, me too! :-) Lookit all them colors! Shiny casings! Ohh...sigh.)

BTW, I'm a librarian: we don't ban ANY book! :-)

And Teekay, thanks for the love - how very kind of you! :-) Sending some your way (**hearts***hugs***) Six chapters done? Yeah! Keep going, girl! :-)

EVERYONE: I wish you Massive doses of MUSE-INFUSIONS today! Joyous writing!!! (Even if that means horror/Satan's Biography kind of stuff -- **shivering, shaking, palpitations mounting!**)

Melanie 5-16-2001 9:03


I see my post came up twice which is really lucky for you guys, the trouble I had getting in and the amount of times I pressed that post button I rather expected to see it posted 16 times.

Teekay 5-16-2001 3:59


Hi All,

MEL: Well you sound like you have a rather interesting cat. It would be a shame to pop him off. We have a fat lazy boring cat with absolutely no personality to speak off. If he were human he'd be George from Seinfeld.
No offence George, after all you're just a fictional character right?

Okay, now why do you want Satan kept out of P**?? Is it for religious purposes coz if it is then that's just hypocritical.
According to religion at one point all books but the bible were sinful. Now how do you as a writer feel about that?
Now a days maybe it isn't. Man just changes the bible to suit his own needs. Look at Jews. At one time they weren't allowed to drive in cars, but hey, now it's okay just so long as it's on a weekday. Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy.
You may have another reason entirely though, why you don't want the devil in P**, and if you have I'd love to hear it.
I love you MEL.

CHRISTI: Whoo whoo whoo whoooo (like Tigger does it) 4 rejections. That's fantastic! You must be soooo busy. Let's have a race to see who gets their spike filled first. So far I have 6. With 2 still blowing around awaiting their fates.

HOWARD: Wha........??? Does that mean our spiritual discussion is over? Does that mean I won it? :-)

RANDALL: Sometimes people don't want to know that a rainbow is circular. There goes the blasted theory about the pot of gold at the end of every one.
And slowly, all about me dreams are falling dead with the scream of a wounded bat
Aah, poetry (sorta).

MARK: Of the analytical mind. Of course we knew that you knew that about the rainbows. Probably had you not you may have had the heart of a dreamer and not a mathmetician.
I love you MARK.

Good news, I wrote so much my pen ran out of ink and I had to go buy a new one. Took me about 20 minutes to decide which pen I liked best. I choose pens like some people choose shampoos or deodorants.

Oh, and more good news. I finally got a reply from that Australian writing magazine and it seems like the next issue is just running a little late, that's all. *phew*.

Oh, and one more thing. I'm up to chapter 6! 6! Do you believe it? Well, I had a hard time myself, but 'tis true, 'tis true. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA (Maniacal, rather than evil laughter.)
It's boring as hell, but hey, it's 6 chapters, and no they are not only 3 pages long :-)

Teekay 5-16-2001 3:55

Hi All,

MEL: Well you sound like you have a rather interesting cat. It would be a shame to pop him off. We have a fat lazy boring cat with absolutely no personality to speak off. If he were human he'd be George from Seinfeld.
No offence George, after all you're just a fictional character right?

Okay, now why do you want Satan kept out of P**?? Is it for religious purposes coz if it is then that's just hypocritical.
According to religion at one point all books but the bible were sinful. Now how do you as a writer feel about that?
Now a days maybe it isn't. Man just changes the bible to suit his own needs. Look at Jews. At one time they weren't allowed to drive in cars, but hey, now it's okay just so long as it's on a weekday. Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy.
You may have another reason entirely though, why you don't want the devil in P**, and if you have I'd love to hear it.
I love you MEL.

CHRISTI: Whoo whoo whoo whoooo (like Tigger does it) 4 rejections. That's fantastic! You must be soooo busy. Let's have a race to see who gets their spike filled first. So far I have 6. With 2 still blowing around awaiting their fates.

HOWARD: Wha........??? Does that mean our spiritual discussion is over? Does that mean I won it? :-)

RANDALL: Sometimes people don't want to know that a rainbow is circular. There goes the blasted theory about the pot of gold at the end of every one.
And slowly, all about me dreams are falling dead with the scream of a wounded bat
Aah, poetry (sorta).

MARK: Of the analytical mind. Of course we knew that you knew that about the rainbows. Probably had you not you may have had the heart of a dreamer and not a mathmetician.
I love you MARK.

Good news, I wrote so much my pen ran out of ink and I had to go buy a new one. Took me about 20 minutes to decide which pen I liked best. I choose pens like some people choose shampoos or deodorants.

Oh, and more good news. I finally got a reply from that Australian writing magazine and it seems like the next issue is just running a little late, that's all. *phew*.

Oh, and one more thing. I'm up to chapter 6! 6! Do you believe it? Well, I had a hard time myself, but 'tis true, 'tis true. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA (Maniacal, rather than evil laughter.)
It's boring as hell, but hey, it's 6 chapters, and no they are not only 3 pages long :-)

Teekay 5-16-2001 3:55

Hi all. Am back. Yes, Yes, I know What, were you gone?

SUSAN -- left a crit on Short Story crit page.

RANDALL -- Your education is sorely lacking. Rainbows have always been circular -- thus much of the humor in leprechauns and pots-of-gold-at-the-end-of

Stand out in your yard with a garden hose set to spray a fine mist. Stand so that you can see your shadow in front of you. Spray the mist into the sunlight and you'll see a rainbow up close.

Better yet. Go to Niagara Falls on a sunny day and visit everything. The constant mist from the falls keeps a constant rainbow in the sunlight. Seeing it is the same as seeing the one you make with a hose -- it's always visible in the mist if you have the sun to your back.

JERRY -- Clothes, man, clothes.

I wish you all full circularity and the experience of seeing more than one side of an issue. Right, Howard? (he keeps sending me 'be a Republican' emails)

Mark 5-15-2001 23:59


Hi all!

A woman I work with and greatly respect.....throwed me a real curve ball today. Total shock! Her daughter is doing research on rainbows, and came across a site that CASUALLY mentioned....rainbows are complete circles. Us mortals only see the semi-circle because of an atmospheric something or nother.

Good Grief! Will this fall under the heading of "Just when I learn all the questions, they (the omnipresent THEY) change all the answers." Who thinks up all this stuff anyway?

I struggled with the concept of a perfect circular rainbow, brain gears smoking with overload, mind racing forward....then neutral....gears clashing....then full stop. Whaaaaaaaaaaat!

Then, the inner writer stepped forward and a Cool Hand Luke calm settled over me. I am sure you guys will applaud me afterward, then race to your own manuscript.......

(Hysterical laughter!)

How can I use this in my novel? A circular rainbow. Where? For what purpose? Third person narrative? Verbal discussion? Morality lesson? Immoratity lesson!? Gift from a God? Why would Satan (Better put the Old Lad in caps, just in case)send a rainbow, a frigging circular one at that? Use a circular rainbow as a fantasy aspect....with meaning, no meaning, archway into the Tunnels of Weay Linn?.....(sigh)

Writers! :-) No wonder I entered that weird post last night. Sub American Indians on mountain ridges, as ordinary, sane folk, editors, publishers, readers everywhere. Then sub the insane person wandering below as a wild-eyed writer. No wonder they soon wander away muttering about the crazzie below. (Poor person, probably trying to figure out the rainbow circle!)

All fits together.

Now H, exactly where are we going to put that rainbow?

Good night.

Randall "Somewhere over the rainbow....." Lynn

Randall 5-15-2001 21:41

Hallee - Ok, nevermind, I got it working. Thanks for the help. :)

Allein Allein's World 5-15-2001 21:14

Hallee - If it's a jpg file, can't I crop it or something like that? I was unable to do the Word thing, although it would insert the picture it wouldn't print because it didn't recognize the font.

Allein Allein's World 5-15-2001 21:07

Hi everyone. Can't stay long. Have to be to work at 5 am, so I've got to go to bed soon. Last week I worked all nights. Now I'm working early mornings. What fun!

Melanie, I've mailed you the first chapter of my novel. Take your time and enjoy it. It'll probably be awhile before the next chapter comes. Look forward to hearing from you.

SusanS 5-15-2001 20:50

TEEKAY - Thanks! I love you too! That's always good medicine to combat a funk!

MEL - Got it! Heiro will begin his journey shortly. And I'll keep your secret - if secret it is.

Had a call from our daughter this evening, wanting me to come and dispose of a bat that was on their front porch. I went, and put my gloves on, and picked it up from where it was lying on the floor near the front door. Was glad I put my gloves on, because it wasn't dead yet. They've got lots of teeth, and are they ever LOUD! This one must have been sick, and now it's not sick any more. I really don't like to kill them, but can't see taking chances.


howard 5-15-2001 20:37

Allein: ummm....okay - try right clicking the mouse on the picture and saving it to disc. Then, insert the picture into Word. It will be big, but it will work. When you save it, save it .bmp - and, if it's online as one picture even though it's comprised of multiple pictures, no, you can't separate them without utilizing a photo editor. Try going to Adobe's website and see if they have a free trial download or something. I know a shortened version of Adobe Photo Shop came with my scanner at work.

Hallee 5-15-2001 19:45


Hallee - I tried that but the picture is too big to do it (1 MB).

Any way (since it's a collage thing) that I could separate the different pictures, save them separately, and then print them out?

5-15-2001 19:34

ALLEIN: You should have some sort of photo editor somewhere on your computer - so many programs come with them attached. The easiest way, though, is to right click the pic, select copy, and paste it onto your word processor. If you have Word, you just choose "format, picture" and then you can set the size exact. Or, you can click and drag one of the corners to re-size it.

Hallee 5-15-2001 19:28


HELP!! Could someone please tell me how to resize a huge image in order to print it on one sheet of paper without distorting it. I'm trying to print an image of The Little Mermaid (ok, I'm a Disney fan - I admit it!) and all I get is part of her hair instead of the entire picture.

Allein Allein's World 5-15-2001 18:40


CHRISTI: (((Hug)))

TEEKAY: In my humble opinion, it would depend on how you do the story. Does it skirt a chill up the back, like so many of yours have done? Hmmm? hahahaha ((Hug)) I love you, too.

Time to get Kaylee home, fed, and myself off to a dinner meeting.

Bye! Happy Tuesday!

Hallee 5-15-2001 16:57


Teekay, I love you too, man!!!!!!!!! (Popping the cap off another brewskie)
I can't wait until tonight when all has quieted and I get to curl up and read your ghostie!

I also noticed a ghostie by Rachel and one by Jerry! It will be a fun ghost-filled night. Woooooooooooo!

Welcome back, Randall!

Pussy, Your poem was sheer ... well, poetry! It made me weep, darling kitty (weep may be an exaggeration, but it did make me smile widely!).

Well I've had four rejections within a month's time. The day I get them I feel like crap and the day after I find a new address and name and send them out again. This is due to the advice I've gotten from damn near every book on writing I've ever read and darn it, I sure hope it starts paying off! Anyway, it feels good to tell each rejection letter to "Kiss my ass!" several times before I place it carefully in my file cabinet ... for what I do not know. I may do the wallpaper thing. At this rate I'll be ready to do the job in a year or two.

Happy writing to all! It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it!

Christi 5-15-2001 15:20

Morning, everyone! Looks like another sparkling writing day...

ALLEIN: In my "One-Year" Bible, you can read daily a bit of O.T., a bit of N.T., a Psalm and a Proverb; much livelier reading with variety like that! Or read the entire book of Psalms all at once - what a rush! :-) Study-bibles add interesting notes to history chapters too - all quite wonderful stories, in my opinion (but then I've had the cover-to-cover Bethel International bible study knowledge for years). Enjoy it, whatever way you read it!

SUSAN: I'm very patient. :-) I'll still be here for you whenever you're ready with your ms., in whole or in pieces! I'm glad you've been having great writing sessions! And a finished story! YES!! Do some more. :-)

JERRY: SAFE Travels! :-) I dream of visiting SD again one day, but you're right, it won't be today!

TEEKAY: My cat steals drinks from peopel's drinking glasses - another hanging offense. But since he also drinks from water faucets and yes! even toilets (Bluh! Yuck!), I figure "what goes around comes around." Have yourself a cat-free day. :-)

HOWARD: Ministering to strangers/angels - right on, Howard! :-)

RICHARD: Did you catch that one above? Is your character ready to battle possible angels in disguise? Another Christian challenge for him...

RANDALL: Not much of a history student, but I thought Native Americans believed only in one god, the Great Spirit (or have I been watching too many Americanized westerns?). I do agree with you on the writing wilderness metaphor - beautiful words, Randall! :-) I'm still fighting the writing battles, 'tho - hope to win soon but only God knows if I will.

RACHEL: Two conversations going on, the spirit-nature of Satan and, unrelatedly, ghost-spirits for *P* -- I'm with you, let's keep Satan, if possible, out of *P* - let S.K. write that kind of stuff! As for the new conversation you've started, spirits vs. ghosts, I think they're the same thing. You live, your body dies, your spirit/soul goes on...if not ready for eternal after-living for some reason, your spirit becomes a ghost, here on Earth.

Just a few thoughts to chew as you guzzle your morning coffee (or evening brew).

Write a few sentences for me today, everyone - I may not get to them, except on the bus...sigh.

Melanie 5-15-2001 8:52

I know I said I would not be in for awhile...
But I was net surfing to research an idea for a serial of novels...Is that right??
Oh well
Then I read your posts about reading bibles...I have tried reading it for certain things including ghosts and that...
ps: in one of them Satan was banished because he disagreed with God about the Free Will plan...
I dont read the bible anymore, not that I am an atheist but just the whole idea of organized religion is bull**** putting it mildly

I think that the serving of God could be done in anything you do...And also youy can learn more about yourself

Back to research...

taylor 5-15-2001 6:29


Ah, to hell with it, I love you all!!!

Teekay 5-15-2001 2:15


RANDALL: And I love you to.

**Teekay** 5-15-2001 2:14


RACHEL: I love you too.

Teekay 5-15-2001 2:12


HOWARD: An angel's spirit may simply have possesed the body of someone for the time it needed.
That would explain why Josiah went out to milk the cows one afternoon and came back five years later with no memory of where he'd been And maybe why Rebecca seems to think that she once lived in Iraq as a peasant girl in another life time (residual memory of her possession perhaps).
You surely are not interpreting the bible are you? Wars have been fought, blood has been shed, lives have been lost because of how some interpret the bible.
P.S. I love you HOWARD.

RANDALL: WOW! Beautifully said. Standing ovation.

RACHEL: Yeah, maybe that's how one becomes a ghost, but isn't phantasium about spirits? All types?
That's sort of like paranormal discrimination :-)

HEATHER: I love you very much.
And don't demons, devils, ghosts angels etc. all come under the name of spirits?
Like Arabs and Aussies and Americans etc all come under the name of humans?

Teekay (again) 5-15-2001 1:59

**Jerry again**

WARNING- - Microsoft explorer 6.0 BETA is now available from Microsoft web site. It is a free trial version, and you can have it for a 10 meg download. I have seen Viruses that are easier to remove from a computer. I downloaded it and started to install it at 3:00 PM. It is now 9:42 PM, and the install is not yet completed. It has crashed my machine several times, yet insists that it be resumed. I have tried to run the Un-install, but it complains that the un-install files are not yet installed! I have tried the Windows ME roll-back, and that fails also. No damn wonder that folks hate Bill Gates!

Jerry 5-14-2001 23:44

Thank you Mel, (bow and wink)! I have a habit of tripping upwards much more oft than down - sorry to hear about faulty handrail. Sheesh! Dang right what good is a handrail if it won't support you when you fall!

my grammar went on hiatus

an admirable poem. Have you shaved off your fur in order to put yourself right into the poem? Do tell.


Heather (one more time) 5-14-2001 23:41

yes, Rachel, I agree that to be a ghost, one must have had a mortal body. Spirits vs. ghosts. Some call ghosts spirits. Could that possibly be incorrect terminology on our part over hundreds of years?
Slang of the afterworld? A mighty long distance game of telephone?

Just giggles for thought.

Heather 5-14-2001 23:39


RANDELL - so good to see you again, thought you went to make a delivery and the dogs ate you or something.

I don't know about your latest, while it seems almost poetic, and in many ways true, I don't work that way. You see, I have an idea. I think about it for a time, then I write it.

Your methodology does, however deserve a look, and I will consider it. Maybe, perhaps I will try it some time.

Jerry 5-14-2001 23:31

Teekay - remembering the Ima thing well, it is suffice to say that whatever YOU feel appropriate to post in P** is fine by me! The more stories the merrier.
I never did tell Ima that she couldn't put her story in the collection. I didn't know if hers would fit or not, but it's really a matter of the story itself, don't you think?

Hey, if it's good and it's ghastly, add it in, add it in.

I have wandered through the desert alone, so to say, by being a writer. I don't think anyone of the Six Nations would mind me lollying back and forth in the sand, but they might get a little offended if I asked for a ride.

Heather 5-14-2001 23:27

Is this all about P*? This spirit bit? If it is I'll tell yah what I think. I think to be a ghost, that you need to have been alive and have lived as a regular type human being at some point. Hey, that is just my take on it. I think that there should be enough mystery, excitement, horror, romance, etc. in the regular ghosties, without having to get Satan and his buddies in on things. If this talk about spirits vs ghosts vs whatever, then, well, uh, dang! Instert my blushing face here.

Teekay - I don't think that P* is dead. Or was that just a play on words by you (grins)?

Night all.

Rachel 5-14-2001 23:23

Hi all......

Been away for a while. It is written that Native Americans, on ocassion would come across a white person, wandering through the deserts or mountain ranges of the old west. A refugee from a wagon train, a prospector, someone lost in the vastness of Gods backyard. Shouting in the wilderness, wandering aimlessely, to no purpose, a soul in turmoil, utterly lost, crazed by the sun, lack of water and/or human contact.

It is said that Native Americans were wary of insane persons. Many American Indians believed, although the physical actions were apparent in the person, the soul or brain was with the God, or Gods of their beliefs. And they had a lot of Gods. Perhaps they needed more than we do. Whether this was good or bad...I reserve judgement....Anglo-Saxons need only one God. Perhaps.......

Being a writer is a lot like that solitary wanderer.

Lost in the vastness of the landscape of words, plots, schemes, timetables. Wandering in circles, lost messages, forlorn thoughts, to imagine one is shouting in the wilderness; but only to discover that no one is listening, because no one is there. Perhaps it is true that only the crazy ones seek to write. Struggling to capture something lost in the moment between twilight and night. Chasing enegmatic dreams moving faster than light, scrambling to remember while a fading thought slips away in the moments before night and dawn. (Ah, cliches!)

Anyway.....sitting on their small ponies the Native Americans would not approach a person so obviously insane. Not wishing to anger their Gods they would turn away. Someone would mutter, "Mind gone far" and the tribe would move away.

Hemingway said, to paraphrase. "That feeling of depression, when knowing your manuscript is bad, is known as the writers award...."

I offer then, that depression, in a writer, is good. I'm sometimes depressed in life, money matters, taxes, utilities, etc,. But depression in writing is which....I have full control. I can't, by "The great horned spoon," (Quote from Scrooge McDuck) control the price of gasoline, or food, or taxes, or living....but I can wage combat with depression caused by my own writing.

I've fought many battles while writing and won every one. Haven't we all?


Randall 5-14-2001 22:58

MEL - Email me your snailmail address and I'll send you "Heiro's Journey." I think you'll really like it. Dunno if you can find a copy in a used book store, but it's worth a try.

TEEKAY -- Spirits, yes, but not limited to that. Remember that the scriptures tell us to be careful to minister to strangers in need, because we could be ministering to angels. The idea is that those we help could very well be angels who are actually ministering to us. Again, the implication is that they would have to be corporal beings in order for us to feed them, clothe them, or offer them shelter.

howard 5-14-2001 22:41

Pussy - You wicked, wicked girl! I love your poem.

Kisses to you!


5-14-2001 22:34

Teekay - It's not often that I actually finish something. :) So I am happy.

Allein Allein's World 5-14-2001 22:31

Na-ked through- the- mall
On days of cherries- and -foot-ball
And nobody to kiss my mouth

Na-ked through-the-skies
Methinks I'm walking on my sighs
And nobody to pinch
My skin

Na-ked in-my-mind
On nights of twenty guys
And nobody to drink with


(She disappears wrapped in her thoughts and song, like Ophelia)

Pussy Link 5-14-2001 21:34

Well, I've done it. I've posted my story to the workbook. It's a fantasy romance called "Night of the Demonlord". So feel free to read it one and all.

As to my cat and his spilling coke on my notebook. Well, the notebook recovered, and I can't stay mad at the little beast. He's so cute and adorable and he knows it. Right now he's sleeping like a little angel, all curled up on the couch. Who am I kidding. He's recharging his batteries so he can wreak more havoc.

SusanS 5-14-2001 21:03


HOWARD: That last post was for you.

Teekay 5-14-2001 20:44


There have also been cases where people have been reported to have been held down forcefully by entities otherwise described as ghosts.
People have also reported poltergeist behaviour where objects have been moved about, doors opening and closing etc. One would think a physical body may very well be necessary for this also.

I looked it up on the internet in various places, but I found the skeptics dictionary practically covered it all, but seeing as the bible even describes them as spirits, I feel the question is now pretty much answered.

Teekay 5-14-2001 20:43

TEEKAY -- Where did you "look it up?" True, the Bible describes angels as "ministering spirits," but it also tells about them visiting Abraham and sitting down to eat with him, visiting (and wrestling with) Jacob, appearing to shepherds, sitting on a large rock in front of an empty tomb, and blowing trumpets and pouring out judgements. I believe it takes bodies to do all that.

RICHARD -- "The big guy????" Just who do you think you're talking about?

Howard 5-14-2001 20:20


Hi All,

HOWARD: I looked up ANGEL and the definition is an immortal, bodiless SPIRIT. :-)
MEL: Ditto.

ALLEIN: Forgot to mention it in my last post, but.....CONGRATULATIONS!! I bet you feel a great sense of acheivement.

MEL: Susans cat spilled coke on her notebook. That there's a hanging offence I reckon :-)

So am I the only one to think that P** is never likely to get off the ground? Have we exhausted our ghostly/spiritual resources? Have I spelt resources correctly? Maybe we need to be a little more lenient about out ghosties and ghoulies and goblins and spirits coz it seems to me there ain't too much happening with it at the moment.

Have a good day all. I sure hope mine starts improving.

Teekay 5-14-2001 20:09


SUSAN S - I just about fell out of my chair when I read your post. It could have been plucked form the archives! I said almost the same thing when I frist came to the NB. I felt much of the same things that you are writing about. I said that to let people look at my writing would feel like walking naked through the mall, or something close to that. You are one up on me. Not even my husband knew that I wrote. That was a major accomplishment, given that I wrote an awful lot and managed to keep it away from him.

I want to send you a hug and all the encouragment that I've got.

Take care you.

5-14-2001 17:55

Melanie - Well part of that dream will come true, we are leaving tomorow for a trip back to Rapid City, as my wife is scheduled to have knee surgery tomorow afternoon. This is the same road we took last time, but I have promised my wife and daughter that should I become drowsy again, they are driving. The rest of it, though may not come true, unless of course you will be driving through Lemmon SD today.

Jerry 5-14-2001 17:31

I'm shocked. I'm absolutely shocked. No, my cat hasn't done anything naughty, yet. I've been working on the second draft of a short story I wrote some time ago, and a few minutes ago I finished it. What is shocking is that the word count is under five thousand words! I can't remember the last time I wrote a short story that was under five thousand words. What did I do right? And why didn't I do this weeks ago, so that I could have entered this story in the Writer's Digest Writing Competition? Oh well, maybe next year. I'm thinking of posting it to the workbook, because I would like to know what people think of it. My husband says I need to let people read my writing. He says I need feedback. I've always been too scared. To me it's like taking off your clothes in front of a bunch of people you don't know. But I'm going to do it. I think.

Melanie, I'll probably have to send you my manuscript in parts, as it needs to be typed onto the computer. So be patient.

I think I'm entering a very productive writing period. I've done a lot of writing the last few days. I hope this period lasts a while. I've always been envious of writers like Asimov, who were so productive. I wish I could be that productive.

SusanS 5-14-2001 16:44

Melanie - I'm fairly proud of myself. :)

I've been working on reading the Bible but I'm still in the Old Testament and it's sort of boring because it's basically all history and how perform religous ceremonies - there's really not very many stories yet.

Maybe in a while it'll pick up.

Allein Allein's World 5-14-2001 16:18

I really should proofread... That should be "want" to react...

Mel 5-14-2001 15:50

Richard: Put yourself in your character's frame of mind, with the Bible teachings as support, facing the challenges of war. How does your character watn to react? If you can't perceive it, try taking him out for a coffee or a Mountain Dew or something and "interview" him on the subject - Make him talk! Good luck...

Mel 5-14-2001 15:49

MEL: I definately will be using the Bible (and maybe I could even ask the big guy Himself) but although the it may tell me HOW we're supposed to act toward it, the character isn't a perfect Christain (a very new one in fact) and different people have differing ideas, even as Christians. Some are steadfast pacifists, others aren't (other are even in the army).

Heh - every schoolkid dreads having to read the Bible in Religious Studies, but if you actually believe in it, it's pretty cool stuff!

Richard 5-14-2001 15:43


Hi,everyone! :-)

SUSAN: Thanks for the offer to critique - additional writers' opinions are always helpful! :-) Send your ms. up my "timestream" whenever you're ready! I'll do the same (it will be a short while yet - still writing and revising my new chapter one...)

JERRY!!! Some of us may do two things at once but you're not supposed to sleep and drive at the same time!! Scary!! So glad you're okay...Last night I dreamed I met you :-) and you and the wife were about to set out on a long drive, and I was telling you to BE CAREFUL! (Gee, I wonder where THAT dream came from...)BTW, Thanks for the Mother's Day laughs. :-)

HEATHER: Meshed scenes? I resemble that remark! How about meshed chapters? Meshed plots? My 'SHARDS' is a mesh of meshings (or is that a mess of mushings? Smashed mashings??) Well, it is, anyway! With occasional time-displacements (different from flashbacks but those are there, also), it's really tough to coordinate. Thank goodness for my plot outline and my chronological timeline reference sheets!! BTW, loved your Oscar performance. :-) I'm a stair-tripper too--usually upward, but last time I went down, grabbed the wall railing and broke it clean in half. Sheesh! What good is a railing if they break when you're falling?!

ALLEIN: Finished a story? YEA, YOU!!! You Go, Girl! :-) Now finish another one. :-) I understand working on #2 and #3 at the same time; I have bits and pieces of #2 through #6 (yeah, BEN, SEQUELS with characters I haven't killed off), some on paper, some in my head, even as I struggle to complete editing #1. It's fun to know where sequels will be taking you. :-)

BEN: Where are you, anyway? Come back and pick on ME for awhile, I don't mind. I must be good for several pickings-on, by now!

KITTY: Are you watching 10th Kingdom again? We won't hear from you for several days then...

HOP: Did someone's psi strength pin you to the wall? Where are ya?

TAYLOR: (if you're still here) "IT" gives me the creeps! :-{ But my husband laughs at "IT" too. You guys can keep your "comic" horror to yourselves! I'm not amused! I watch movies like a child, suspending all sense of reality, and let myself be drawn into the fantasy: "If this were real, this is how it would feel" ... shudder!!

HALLEE: Thanks for your kind words. :-) If my posts are "upbeat" it's because of you and all the NB-ers here who keep inspiring me everyday (pat selves on back here). I was in a MAJOR major funk - WORSE than Howard's - till I found Jack's wonderful site and ALL OF YOU, and it's turned me around completely! I guess I owe you all a lot of smiles, wherever and whenever I can find them! BTW, Hallee, I haven't started arising at 4 A.M. yet to write - have to get to bed earlier first - am working on that! Sure is tough to break old habits to set up new ones.

HOWARD: Any of those books lightweight paperbacks I could read on my commuter bus? That's where my basic reading time lies these days. BTW, I always liked Perry Como's gentle music too (*sob*sniff!*). Don't know who the third is either - with one a writer and one a singer, could be anybody famous or infamous...

MARY: Nice writing sites! :-)

RICHARD: I suspect your character in 'SPIRIT OF WAR' is going to face many difficult choices. I recommend the all-time basic life reference (the Bible) as your main resource when deciding how your character will react to facing war as a Christian, especially the N.T. (check a concordance for specific words or themes to cross-reference)

TEEKAY: (On Susan's behalf and mine, since I cleaned up a hairball mess the other day) If we "killed" our cats over every hairball and mess they made, they'd need more than 9 lives...oh, you said to KILL the cat. That's okay, then. (*grins*) BTW, I think the devil CAN be spirit, but as Howard said, Satan is a fallen angel, and as such, I think the devil can be much more than spirit--whatever the occasion, in Satan's perspective, needs.

I think this post is long enough! (Jeers here. Shouts of "TOO LONG! BURN THE WITCH!) Thank goodness I'm not a witch, just a long-winded lonely writer. :-)

WRITING TODAY? Good! You all go and be prolific with my best wishes. (I'm write behind ya...sort of...)

Melanie 5-14-2001 12:56

mostly posting to see if this is really working--

TEEKAY -- According to scripture, Satan is an angel, created to serve God. He sinned in deciding that he was God's equal, and was cast down from heaven. He was defeated at Calvary, but still has tremendous power.

howard 5-14-2001 12:15


5-13-2001 22:10


Back again again.

Okay, after a bit of extensive research I have found that satan is indeed referred to as a spirit on practically all occassions.

Teekay 5-13-2001 21:14


Back again.

I was a bit unsure wether or not my ghostie was suitable for P**, but I did a bit of homework and it's fine, coz what I wrote about is actually a spirit from Aboriginal mythology though I may have to make that clearer.

Hope I haven't given anything away by that.

This is a great relief to me, coz I really didn't want to have to change part of the story around to make it fit.

Also, is the devil considered a spirit?

Teekay 5-13-2001 21:02


Hi All,

HEATHER: Your not funny only when you're tired, just funnier :-) Zanier perhaps? I love it!

MEL: I take back what I said about Agatha Christie not having written short stories. I hadn't got to that part in the book yet.

SUSAN: Not your notebbook! Feel free to kill your cat. It should have a few more lives left anyway.

MARY: Thankyou so much for those links. The time you put into finding them and sharing them is greatly appreciated :-).

Gotta run, I've got this really big pimple on my chin that I have to go squeeze.
See, there are still some things to look forward to after 30 :-D

Teekay 5-13-2001 20:40

Heather - Today was also my niece's birthday, she turned 23. I remember her birth very well, I was working here as a cop at the time, and her mom called me and told me it was time, and could I drive her to the Hospital. I said sure, when I picked her up she told me she wanted to go the the HETTINGER Hospital, so I ended up driving her 25 miles to the hospital instead of the 5 blocks that I figured. Oh well all went well, and we made it in plenty of time.

Anyhow, as we sang Happy Birthday to her, I did think of you hope your birthday went off without a hitch.

Jerry 5-13-2001 18:52


Congratulations! Turning thirty is pretty cool, I can attest. I'll catch up on the posts later, but for now I must run to my Mom's with her present and her hug. Just poked in to say that I hope you have the best birthday ever!!!!!

And I send love to you all. Thanks so much for pulling me out of the doldrums. It's not a nice place, but sometimes it's good for introspection.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, all you wonderful Mommies! I wish for a great day for you all, with lots of special kisses and nice things like that.

This was my best Mother's Day ever. (I've had a whomping two!) My husband let me sleep in this morning and then he woke me up by sending in my eighteen-month-old son to hand me a present--"King on Writing." Of course my son didn't quite make it to the bed before he got distracted by the potted plant with the miraculous fun-soil, but it was so cute anyway. And I hadn't even told my husband I wanted that particular book! What a great guy!
Sorry to be so excited about this, but my husband is usually that guy at the supermarket on the last day, going, "Aw shit, they're out of cards!"

See you all on the roundabout,


Christi 5-13-2001 17:40

Jerry - LOL!! :)

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! In case I didn't say it before, which I probably did, but you can never hear it enough - right moms?

Quote time

Azol's Father: "I'll leave you and Mali alone to talk. As long as the door stays open."

Azol: "Why? What do you think we would...oh."

Hee hee - I love this part! :)

Allein Allein's World 5-13-2001 14:33

Some jokes for mothers day:

Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.

Grow your own dope, plant a man.

Good Girls Go To Heaven, Bad Girls Go Everywhere.

Zero to Bitch in 4.0 Seconds


I'm the person your mother warned you about!

Men aren't pigs....pigs are gentle, cute creatures!

Missing, Husband And Dog; Attention $100.00 Reward For Dog

If men had periods, they'd brag about the size of their tampons

When God made man she was only kidding!

Jerry 5-13-2001 12:17


Happy Mothers Day! I will be spending this afternoon with my mom, my wife, our daughter-in-law (Who I may have mentioned is with children ((Twins))) So I will be surrounded by mothers (Forgot to mention my sister, who has a couple of kids, one of who will be there too.) Sadly our son will not be home, he is in West Virginia, teaching a hotel how to use the software his company sells. He did however call last night to wish all a happy mothers day. So it will not be just another Sunday, but like every other Sunday, we will be playing lots of pinochle. There are days when I wish I had never moved home, but this is not one of them, and what a day, it is already over 70 degrees at 9:00 AM, with predictions of 90 for this afternoon. Another good reason to play cards a mom's, she has Central Air. (All we have is an ancient window air conditioner that someone has scratched two by two, I can't tell for sure, but I think it was a fellow named Noah and the unit was used to keep penguins cool on some sort of an arc.) Next week will be a bit busy, so if you don't see me posting, don't worry. My wife goes in for surgery on her knee on Tuesday. I hope this will fix it for her, she has been in so much pain for the last two years, and with half the Doctors saying since they couldn't see anything in the x-rays, it could be in her head. Finally they saw the torn cartalidge and will be removing it. Anyhow I ramble on and this is Mothers Day, so I hope all you mothers out there have a great day, that your husband's bring you flowers, your kids give you breakfast in bed and all that.

Jerry 5-13-2001 11:21


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! :-) Hug all your kids (and the hubby too) an extra time today! I'm gonna, even if they are mostly cranky this morning!

YOU-ALL: HAVE A TERRIFIC DAY (the azure's back in town after a rainy gloomy Saturday - yippee!!).

More tomorrow. Y'all be good.

Mel 5-13-2001 10:17

Thanks, Richard!!!
I'm sure you did VERY well on your exams!
*hugs, young one!*

heather 5-13-2001 3:11

Thank you Americo - you WERE the first to wish me a grand birthday, sweetie. Big pinch and a giant HUG and all the good wine you can gargle.


Heather 5-13-2001 3:06

I'm not crying out of sadness at turning 30 - These tears are tears of amazement and happiness. Long ago I dared not dream I would live to be 21.

Thank you Mary, for posting the link to my post from last year. The funny thing is - I AM writing my second (serious) novel, and I AM waiting for word back from a publisher (but about a shortie, not novel 1)
Must have been manifest destiny, as I like to call it. I do wish that I'd have finished Haven by now, but I won't shed a guilty tear there. I will gladly check out the links - THANK YOU MARY!!!!

HALLEE! BIG HUG RIGHT BACK! And yes, someday I'd love to meet you too - and everyone. Convention at my place, next Saturday! Bring a lawn chair and your taste buds.

more thoughts on 30....
Maybe 30 stinks for some of us, and yes, I do wish I still had the stamina, grace and silhouette of my girlhood; these days I evoke more laughter with my gangly, three-footed shumpa dance than I do 'admiration'. What kind of dance is that, you ask? The happiest shin-buster party manoeuver there is.
It's dancing without worrying that more of you shakes and rattles than is healthy or attractive; it's being soaked up by the music and the passion and the pulse - rather than your shirt, soaking up your vehemently ejected bile.
It could be having all the right moves whether anyone's looking or not. It could be having every ounce of moisture from your body pool above your upper lip, and still managing to look cool.
Whatever it is, I'm positive there's still some in me, somewhere. If I have to dig, then there's a reason to mine.

And then again, it could be I've just had a momentary lapse of credit at my memory bank. I just did the shumpa dance this week!

Thank you, Americo, for your wonderful wishes and for the nomination... eGaDs! I feel like I'm running up the steps at the Academy Awards, in this long flowing velvet gown and

Whooops! My foot catches on the front hem and POP, the strapless dress is now a skirt... OH MY OH SHIT OH....NO!

I trip over the rest of my dress as it is rapidly tangling around my ankles; I knock over the microphone, and hit the supermodel holding the Oscar statue. She screams as the microphone blasts feedback as it hits against the stairs. The audience swoops forward in their seats as if it were carefully choreographed, inhaling all the air in the place in an instant.

I yell. Oscar swirls end over end, glinting in the heady light of a thousand stage lamps... In those awful long eternal seconds that seem to hold Oscar suspended, right before his golden form begins to descend - I imagine Oscar's featureless face is gasping. But all my years of training in eye-hand co-ordination are not unwisely spent!

As the last shred of velvet is left behind, puddled on the brilliant marble of the stage, I dive. I fling myself with every muscle fibre that I own, my hand is shaking but it's open and I can see Oscar, and he looks like a golden baton.
As I hit marble, and my hand is inches away from the same, he lands.
I have caught his glittering weight in the palm of my
very lucky hand.
The entire hall is silent.

Oh, yes, though I've caught him, I seemed to have forgotten for
space in time
that I'm sprawled out
on the chilly

without my velvet confidence.


Now, wouldn't that be a humbling moment? To win the Oscar and lose a whole lot of face simultaneously?

Would I get dressed again, right there? Would you?
Would Steve Martin lend me his suit coat?
What the hell would my acceptance speech be?

"Hi. Thanks. (blush) Good toss, Miss Raspberry! Wow. I'm firing my seamstress as of now. Guess none of you can say you haven't seen it all. Oh - and big thanks to my family and friends..."

But seriously, I don't deserve best notebooker of 2000.

Maybe I'll try for 2002.

Hmmm, sorry everyone, I got a little caught up in the Oscar imagery... I've pictured myself tripping up many flights of stairs (as it's a common habit) but those particular stairs? Let's leave it at dreaming.

Thanks, Allein, and Howard, and Rachel, and Mary, and Tina, aand Hallee, and ALL OF YOU for wishing me a happy birthday! I'm bowled. Everyone gets a strike on that ball. Points all around...

(whoops) Litter would enjoy the points - ha ha ha >>

Douglas Adams... what a loss. Now I must make dinner at the Babel Fish Bistro a definitive destination this week in his honour. Yes, we have a restaurant named for that little conversationalist fish!
I loved the whole series of HHGtTG (we have all four)
and I loved his 'Meaning of LIFF'. (no, not meaning of LIFE with an 'e')!!! It even has a sticker on the front of the book: 'This will change your life'.
or is that liff?

Perry Como... wow. I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but I thought he was already....???? :o?

Hey, it's almost 3 am. I'm officially 30 sometime today.
I don't know the hour I was born - my birth mother can't seem to remember. I'll have to visit her one of these summers and interrogate her until she does!!! (ha ha joke)

Ok, I'm babbling and tomorrow/today is not a sleeping-in day. Another pile of family is headed our way for lunch!
Sigh... volunteered at my daughter's school with landscaping project this morning (ouch, ouch new calouses)
and then did some gardening at home, and I splurged on a pure white climbing rose (double flowers - look very much like tea roses) and the trellis and oh, wonder of wonders, I have a new hose nozzle with all the kick-ass pro settings... why do I love gardening equipment so?
Oh, yes. I love gardening. And I'm still on the go til the middle of the night. What a day *HUGE SIGH*

I'm so long-winded I'm going to skip editing this darned post!
I said I started chapter 3 yesterday - well, technically I did - I have the chapter heading written!!
I was supposed to type in the next scene today, so that will have to be post-sleep.
Love to all and to all, a more restful night than I'm headed for.

Heather 5-13-2001 3:02

SusanS - Don't feel too bad. Today my dog left my mom an early mother's day "gift" in the living room.

Allein Allein's World 5-13-2001 2:47

Hi all -

Heather: Happy birthday!!

Well, thats the SATS done and dusted. Now I just have to see if I managed to achieve the top english grade - Exceptional Performance or 'EP'. I think I'll get Lev8 at least...

Strange though, exams seem to have given me a taste for literary planning - I mapped out a lot of my novel after getting home from doing the English paper.

At the minute I'm trying to find out about the (theoretical) physics of fighting in space, since, unlike Star Wars, ships won't have to turn or climb in loops etc. in the vacuum of space.

I'm also preparing to tackle to issue of Christain faith in a warzone - even though God led people into war many times in the Old Testament, His relationship with us did change significantly at the cross. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to hold onto your faith in Christ and help to deliver his message and word, while at the same time going into combat and taking life. Obviously some take the pacifist approach, but the character in 'Spirit of War' (that's the current working name) doesn't have this option, and the navy has turned to mass conscription to fuel the demand for personnel in the war effort. Any thoughts on this?

Richard 5-13-2001 2:36

!!!Douglas Adams!!! What a sad loss. HHGtTG was one of my favoritist. Ahh Arthur, what a lovable character. And the babble fish! If it were that easy to communicate! And yes the bistromathic!
Night all.

-HALLEE-Once you get the chance, hope you like.

Lizzie 5-12-2001 23:43

OK, last one. This is just a good site for tips and especially for the links on the site that take you to more good places. Have fun sifting, the site is packed.

Mary corner 5-12-2001 23:36

Me again. This is a literary ezine that takes short stories and poetry. I thought that HEATHER, in particular, might like this one. If you do like it, (smiles) it's my birthday present to ya! :-)

Mary mocha memoirs 5-12-2001 23:33

Hi guys, found some interesting new writer's sites this afternoon and thought I would share. This link is to an ezine called, "Beginnings", which is specifically geared to the novice writer searching for a spring board for their writing career. I have given it a good once over and recommend it for anyone in that mind set. I will be back with more.

Mary beginnings 5-12-2001 23:31

I loved the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and it's sequels. I especially liked Marvin. He was my favorite. He was so . . . depressed. I also like the improbability drive, and the bistromathic. Anyone remember the bistromathic. And what's the name of that guy who made it his mission to insult everyone in the universe?

After much procrastination I sat down and did some work on my science fiction novel, and suddenly was inspired. It was wonderful. For a little while I was lost in the story. It was a very emotional scene too. Maybe there's hope for this novel. I'm going to keep plugging away at it. I've only given up on a very few writing projects and this is not going to be one of them.

I'm learning to use Microsoft Word because my husband says I need to use Microsoft Word to send stories through e-mail. I don't totally understand the rationale, but I'm finding Microsoft Word isn't too difficult. It's more up to date than the program I was using, Word Perfect 6.0.

Today my cat knocked a glass of Coca Cola over onto a notebook I was writing in. I love my cat. I love my cat. I love my cat.

SusanS 5-12-2001 23:18


Allein Allein's World 5-12-2001 22:50

by the way very new to chat and looking for help in publishing my works of life and its many strange twist it presents im an abortion serviver and can explain how and why iv lived or should i say not died you see the first lesson i was tought of death at my mothers first thought and from that moment on i was to seek out and find death how bazzar and the fact that ive found life and defied death for the time being i must tell of this amazing and insane life some are living

me again 5-12-2001 22:38

hello fellow writers and time for a story and not just any a very intersting to say the least kick back and injoy but learn thats the ticket then teach someone that is spiecal grin and bare ill get it in time

greg 5-12-2001 22:29

HEATHER -- Happy Birthday! And many more - just one at a time, though. :-)

MELANIE -- I have several books I can put into the mix. Lessee, if you like science fiction there's "Heiro's Journey" and "The Unforsaken Heiro," both by Sterling Lanier. Then there's "The Witches of Karres," by James Schmitz, and "The Great Time Machine Hoax," by Keith Laumer. These are among my favorites, but Zenna Henderson is still at the top of my list.

BUMMER! My wife just told me that Perry Como died today too! One of my favorite singers. OK, who's the third?


howard 5-12-2001 22:18

HALLEE -- Douglas Adams - creator of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Universe" was a genius. He gave us Zaphod Beeblebrox, Marvin (the robotic doorman with a brain the size of a planet), Ford Prefect, the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Vogons, and of course, the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.
If you've never read HHGtG by all means go find a copy of it and don't forget your towel. And prepare to laugh!
And above all,

howard 5-12-2001 21:59

Good Evening all,

Thanks for worrying, The damage was minimal, the windshield on my sister's van seems to have been cracked, but that vehicle has been bad luck since day one.

Yesterday was great. Maybe that sent vibes to you. Three of us--writers that have known each other for about five years but have wandered off to our own directions the last few years--got together and just talked and visited for about four hours. It was a rare ocassion.

Hope everyone else is moving smothly.

Rosemary 5-12-2001 21:55


Hi Everyone! Happy Birthday Heather, and Happy Mother’s Day Mom’s!

Hallee, no I haven’t received your package yet. Slow post, I’m sure.
Douglas Adams wrote ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and ‘So Long and Thanks for all the Fish’ and ‘Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency’, and more. Every single one is a classic. On that note, I’ll enter my copy of ‘Dirk Gentley’ into the book exchange. Anyone who’s interested, send me your snail mail!

Heather, I’ll be turning 30 in August and I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to my thirties, since I spent most of my twenties feeling like I had nothing to offer except useless opinions. Maybe it’s just me, but being twenty-nine, without children, seems to make a lot of people treat me like I can’t possibly be taken seriously. Maybe after thirty that’ll change. Maybe I'll take myself seriously, for a change.

So my job is secure, for three months at least. If everything goes well, there may even be a raise, but I won't count THAT chicken! June could be crazy busy, setting up a whole new store!

Time to hit the pages of 'Shadow'. See y'all.

Tina 5-12-2001 21:41

Rosemary - You can use yabbers (smiles).

Mel - I'm glad to hear that writing is happening for you (smiles and hugs).

Gezz, I wasn't as behind as I thought I was with the posts.

Take care all.

Rachel 5-12-2001 20:05

I tried to catch up...really, but I started cleaning the house and ended up doing a deep cleaning, then I was able to take a guilt-free two-hour nap with Kaylee, then took two hours at the grocery store with my calculator and coupons because it's a tight week, and it was 6:30 before I sat back down at the computer. (Please, folks, ignore this run-on sentence.) SO, I read a little, just from today, really.

HEATHER: My dear friend who(m?) I have never even been able to hug in person though I vow to do so one day - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HON!!!! (*****Many hugs and kisses****)

AMERICO: Good to see you. I heard something about a massive riot where many people died at a soccer (football) match. Jon didn't have anything to do with that, did he?

RHODA: I found an awesome website that has a ten-part lecture on writing queries and synopses for romances. I'm telling you, I've been digging and researching for two years and haven't found anything like this before. Let me know if you're interested.

MEL: I love your posts. So upbeat. Thank you. said something a few days ago about waking early to have time to write. (I think it was you). I do that - I get up at 4:00. That is my quiet time, MY time. No one messes with me then, and it's amazing how much I get done before 5:30 when I have to wake up Conan. The downside, though, is that by Thursday I'm pretty tired. I just make sure I catch naps on the weekend when I can. And, I don't get up that early on the weekend. I sleep until someone wakes me. I didn't used to, but two years of doing it caught up with me, so the weekends are write/edit free.

LIZZIE: Welcome. I saved your section of your book to disc to read when I have time and to critique - but it may be slow moving. I wish I had more time, but honestly, I don't.

ROSEMARY: Glad to hear that the damage was minimal. You've been on my mind all day, for some reason. Is everything okay?

TEEKAY: Hi there. I'd love to read a romance comedy you write. You're take on life leaves me laughing often.

CHRISTI: Good to see you! ((Hug))

HOWARD: I don't know who Douglas Adams is.

TINA: Did you ever get your package?

Okay - my roast is about done. Time to get some sides made to go with it.

****HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY ALL YOU MOMMIES**** (Is it mother's day in Canada, too?)

Hallee 5-12-2001 18:49

I tried to catch up...really, but I started cleaning the house and ended up doing a deep cleaning, then I was able to take a guilt-free two-hour nap with Kaylee, then took two hours at the grocery store with my calculator and coupons because it's a tight week, and it was 6:30 before I sat back down at the computer. (Please, folks, ignore this run-on sentence.) SO, I read a little, just from today, really.

HEATHER: My dear friend who(m?) I have never even been able to hug in person though I vow to do so one day -

Hallee 5-12-2001 18:41

Howard - I heard about that.

Let's have a moment of silence everyone.

Allein Allein's World 5-12-2001 17:56

Had a great idea for P* - almost got excited about it! Then I turned on this stupid computer to get started on it and the first thing I see is that Douglas Adams died today - had a heart attack while working out in a gym. He was 49.
So long, Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!

Guess I'll just start writing anyway.

Howard 5-12-2001 16:04

Turning thirty wasn't a problem for me. I was mistaken for a teenager on my thirtieth birthday and told that I would have to have my parents sign my application for a library card. I was still thin, and only had one gray hair. Since then it's been downhill. I confess in my head I don't feel any older. My knees however like to remind me that it's been seven years since I turned thirty.

Melanie, wouldn't it be better to say that time travel is right up your timestream? I also have in the works an alternate reality Victorian adventure novel, but that's on hold till I finish my current one. And yes I do love my annoying little feline, and he knows it, which is why he gets away with so much. He's so damn cute and loveable and adorable. He's got me wrapped around his little paw.

I wrote a ghost story about a year ago. It still needs to be revised. I might post it to the workbook and see what people think. By the way I don't believe in ghosts at all (at least not in my head), but I enjoyed writing that ghost story and would like to write more. This one is set in the 1920s, a period I find very fascinating.

SusanS 5-12-2001 15:59


Allein 5-12-2001 14:10

DAG NABBIT - I forgot to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY Heather, see how 50 effects you, you have a good 20 years to enjoy life yet until you reach my age, enjoy them while you can.

Jerry 5-12-2001 12:38

Heather - Thirty is a piece of cake, wait until the big Five Oh, runs around, now that's the scary one. At 50 many of your classmates have gone on to the great beyond, you have kids who are worried about turning 30 (My son just turned this April 20'th, how's that for having a horrible birthday, shares it with Adolph Hitler, and all the evil that has happened on that day since.) Oh how I wish I were 30 again.

Oh, like Mary, my mom stayed 30, in fact today she is still 30, despite being on this great planet of ours for three quarters of a century. No, 30 is a very good time in our lives, a time when we put aside all that we worry about in our youth, yet a time when we have yet to begin worrying about all those horrible things like aging, wrinkles, hair loss, (Oh did I tell you, I STILL have twice as much hair on my head then my son, drives him nuts!). Thirty is a time when we have lived with our spouses long enough that we no longer fear angering them by forgetting important things like anniversary or birthday gifts, because we have finally learned when they are, and what they truly like for gifts. A time when our kids are beginning to learn all about life, and we can sit back and enjoy them even more then when they were very young. No thirty is just the right age to be, and if I had a chance to turn back the clock, I would turn it back to EIGHTEEEN, WHO AM I TRYING TO KID!

Jerry 5-12-2001 12:35

HEATHER: Here is a link to what you wrote to me on my 30th Birthday. You might find it interesting to read what advice you had for me. :-)

Mary 30 birthdays 5-12-2001 11:19


RACHEL: Looks like we were writing our posts at the same time! Have a nice weekend, if you are still around to read this!!

Mary 5-12-2001 11:14


Thank you JERRY. If it weren't for you, I would probably have torn out the tower and sent it with my husband to be fixed this afternoon. :-)

HEATHER: Thirty sucks. I hate it, but everyone still loves me or hates me the same as they did before. I don't feel any different, or older, or wiser. I can't find one benefit of being 30, so I have taken to lying about it. I am 29 until I can't get away with saying that anymore. I guess what I am saying is that being 30 isn't so bad, it's just SAYING 30 that really bites. Oh yeah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! At least you get cake.

Had three yards of mulch delivered yesterday. I was very excited about getting it all spread around and expanding some of my flower beds in the front, but it started to storm about an hour after it was dumped and hasn't let up since. Looks like I am doomed to catching up on laundry today instead of working outside, as I would have liked.

Started a new writing project today, but I am afraid that if I say too much, I will stunt it, so that is all I can share at this juncture. I hope I can stick with this one.

AMERICO: Good to see your name here.

Mary 5-12-2001 11:11


Heather - Don’t worry about thirty (hugs). Thirty is wonderful. I love being in my thirties. I remember everyone telling me how hard turning thirty would be. Don’t let yourself fall into that. Things are only difficult and upsetting if we let them be that way. I bet that your children don’t give to flying rats asses if you are thirty. To them you are mom. You are a super hero and a villain all rolled into one and they love you. Your husband likely finds that you only get more appealing with time. With age often comes confidence and an assurance of self. Don’t let a little number bring you down. Hey, I know 20 year olds who live life as if they were knocking at deaths door. I know people who are into the 80’s who live life like it has just begun. That’s what is really about. It’s about living. It isn’t about age, or youth or wrinkles, or gray hair, or any of those things that people associate with age. It’s about letting go of all of that crap and allowing yourself enjoy the living of your life.

Aren’t I just the fountain of encouragement this morning... Hope I don't tick you off.

What I’m trying to say is... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

A big hug and kisses on each cheek for you (no, not your ass cheeks)! Gezz, I’m from the suburbs, we don’t do that kind of stuff...

Americo - I also think that you are a lovely person. Please send my regards to Jon.

I once again have to catch up on the posts. Yikes! I can’t believe how quickly they fill the pages.

Happy weekend to all :o)

5-12-2001 11:10

Now, dear Heather, don't cry for being 30 on Sunday. I got a message from Jon (he's presently on a spying-mission in L.A., flying over the city in a Chinese helicopter) solemnly stating that he still loves you. He gave you until the 13th October to finish "Haven" (13th August for "Symphony"). I can't understand such generosity but that cat is like that: furious when Notebookers don't finish their books in time (and even more furious when they write posts that may damage his idealistic view of your pretty faces and scented bodies) but has this tendency to suddenly become amorous and generous. So 30 will be a great year for you. Wipe those tears and rejoyce. And here's my Happy Birthday to you -- the best Notebooker of the year 2000 and the most promising writer in Canada (ex-aequo with Rachel, Ben and Tina -- why are all Canadians lovely people?). And I'm glad I was the first to wish you a Happy Birthday.

Howard, a hair cut works wonders for me when I have one of those blue funks. Try it and you'll feel a new man. And remember, funks are temporary things, so take advantage of this one as much as you can while it lasts. A hug to Bryce.

I've just learned that ailurophic means afraid of cats. Funny word. Hope there are no ailurophics on the NB.

Best sentence of the month:
"This week, I get home one night before dark" (Hallee). One Night Before Dark... Good title.

PS. I can't believe that this is my first post ever since Jack had the idea of relegating our names to the bottom of the messages. But we probably have to resign ourselves to progress...

Americo 5-12-2001 9:06


Just dropping in to say hi, and may not be on again for quite awhile, since I have started really exploring my spiritual self, working out and writing.
That, along with work has kept me pretty well occupied.

Did I hear someone in here mention comedy writing?
I thought about doing that, but things that I find funny and what other people find funny could be two completely different things.
eg. Like when I first saw 'It' I was actually laughing almost all the way through that

May drop in later. I don't know


taylor 5-12-2001 3:58

Tina - I am jealous! Sometimes here (at least once a year, if not more) they have a thing down at a local eatery and pub where former (and still good looking) Playgirl models put on a show for the ladies. But, you have to be 21 to get in. :( I'm not 21. :( But I'm 19 so I only have 2 more years to go - actually, 1 year and 9 1/2 months. :)

Guess what I did tonight? I finished Mali and Azol!! Now I need a title for it. Nie-way, I'm not sure it's going on my webpage so if anyone wants to read it, just send an e-mail and I'll e-mail it to you but I expect a critique in return!

Now I get to start on the second story but I'll probably write the third at the same time (yep, it's a trilogy). Enter...TANEK!!

Allein Allein's World 5-12-2001 2:34


Girls, be jealous!
I just spent two hours watching Aziz, a male belly dancer, at a dinner-type theatre. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. I nearly had to douse my girl friend with cold water! Shall be having VERY pleasant dreams tonight!

Mel, about my shortie... nah, she ducked him for the next three weeks. Every time he walked by, she hid behind the displays, blushing.

Jerry, I'm with your wife! Be careful!

On that thought, I love the roads with the little bumpy inserts along the centre line and the shoulder. An excellent idea. I'm sure many crashes have been prevented by the jolt of crossing those bumps.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tina 5-12-2001 1:59

Thanks Jerry! Even though I'm writing a whole new book now...

(I'm already 1/4 finished in just 6 weeks, if I am going to be writing a 70,000 word book, so that's damn good for me. It might go on a bit longer than the 70,000, but that's the thing I can't wait to find out!)

But the link is very valuable to me - THANK YOU AGAIN JERRY! - because I'm going to be going back and finishing 'Haven' once I've completed 'Symphony'. I'm so glad you found that site - I was swamped with tonnes of sites to look through whenever I plugged my search for a site on policing - usually found mostly personal or case-specific sites of course.

Wow, that WD-40 story was FUNNY, Jerry!

Just finished editing/fine-tuning the latest scenes I wrote yesterday, and I've finished my detailed outlines for the next seven+ scenes. Kind of like a flash how they come all piled together like that - but they have to be piled in such a manner since they mesh together and wouldn't work otherwise. So it's extremely convenient that they come to me ready-piled. (To paraphrase the Barenaked Ladies, "They have pre-wrapped bacon, but why don't they have pre-wrapped sausages?" ["Do you blame them?"] "Well, yeah!")
Guess I'm lucky that my Kraft Dinner (tm) already comes with that Dijon Ketchup.

What I mean by meshed scenes, to anyone with big question marks floating about your heads right about now, is this:

Scene 1 takes place between 12 and 1 pm. Scene 2 also takes place at the same time(for the sake of sanity, let's just call that lunch hour). Instead of writing one full scene and then the other, I write the first half (or so) of scene 1, then the first half (or so) of scene 2, and then finish both scenes in that same order. Voila, one lunch hour in two different places.

The reason for meshing? Well, if you read scene 1 in entirety, and then scene 2, your mind would automatically assume that scene two takes place at a later time period - even if it's spelled out otherwise. Hence, my mesh technique. It's not my invention of course, but I use it with very pleasing results.
Actually, the end result has the feel of a movie.

But beware - use this sparingly OR with full and careful control... unlike Jerry today at the wheel!
Be careful, Jerry! We'd miss you.
I send you superfluous caffeine thoughts! Just beware - you may need to stop for restrooms more often...

Teekay, love you girlie. Won't you dance the Waltzing Matilda with me? Uh, urrr, well, you dance with your husband, and I'll try not to get stepped on by mine!
Meet you at those funny dome-shaped buildings in the postcards. (Hah ha ha ha ha ha)

Come to think of it, I'm feeling this huge swell of love for each and every one of you. Not that it just hit me, but honest to God,


I'd probably be mumbling things about WD-40 to myself, my arms immobilized, the walls padded and a grubby greyish white...

Lizzie, it freaks me out just a little bit that you spell a lot like my best friend Liz did. (Creatively!) I used to call her Lizard, just like your email addy. ;o) (tear in my eye)
I do have a good cure for mis-spellings, though. Make sure your 'dictionary' in your word processor is 'on' and then the words that are mis-spelled will automatically be underlined for you in red. (Even in wordpad) What word program do you use?
I don't mean to embarrass you (though it is embarrassment week, isn't it?). There are a lot of excellent writers out there who can't spell their own pseudonyms. If you take care of the spelling thing with your word pro, it's easier than looking everything up in your dictionary all the time.
Oh, but I wouldn't use the automatic grammar checker if my life was in its hands.

(Edgar, sleep cozy and know that pseudonym was spelled correctly!)

Sleep well, those of you who require sleep.

Me? Well, as Teekay is my testament, I seem to be funnier when tired. Is that really true? Gawd. I'll never sleep again. Wouldn't want to be corny all day just waiting until the depravation kicks in.

P.S. - I started chapter 3 tonight!!!! Whooooo HOOOOO!

Heather 5-11-2001 23:53

Heather - in case you need any more info for your book, here is a link to a website all about the canadian criminal justice system.

Jerry Policing in Canada 5-11-2001 21:55

Just found this spot, I am sure many of you have visited it, but in case you haven't give it a try, looks to be a great place to do a bit of research.

Interesting thought about staring in the next ghost story, sounds like great subject matter for a short story for **P**, I will have to give it a bit of thought. Anyone else think they could use it for a contribution? I am sure **P** could use the input.

Jerry Ericsson NEAT WRITERS REFFERENCE PAGE 5-11-2001 21:49


Lazy Saturdays are happening here. We'reust plodding along doing our own thing waiting for 3pm to come so we can go watch youngest daughter play soccer. I'm glad the weather's nice. I don't much fancy the cold unless I'm warm.

MEL: Loved your post.
About Agatha Christi having her first novel written, well basically it was the first thing she had ever written, not even a short story, but she did have a fairly active imagination and I guess she read a lot.
I don't know about those other names you mentioned, but S. King was writing short stories for ages before he was published.
Good to here about those gaps on the shelf, gee, I'd better get busy :-)

HEATHER: Ooer, how horrible for you. I just hate the feeling of being trapped ~shudder~.

HOWARD: Obvious none of our good advice is working, so I guess you are having one of those funks where you just have to wallow in it for a while. Go with it, and don't worry, it'll pass.

Okay, gotta go and hunt for the missing galosha (I think that's the singular form). Have a great day all.

Teekay 5-11-2001 20:46

Hi there,

Gads, be careful. You might wind up the main character in the next ghost story.

You have a whole couple of days off and you're not spending them with us??? :-< Woe. (hiding a grin, you lucky dog.)

Your story reminds me of when I worked in a Mall. So much going on all the time and so many people around. Almost miss it.

I love the word 'YABBERS.' With your permission, It will probably show up in my writing one of these days.

Time to let you all go write your hearts out.

Rosemary 5-11-2001 20:08


Mary - I understand your problem with your ISP - I just can't give you a fix because the way it sounds, it isn't your problem. I have the same problem from time to time with my ISP, and he ALWAYS says it's my fault. It NEVER is, usually after I argue with him (He is very pig headed) for about a week, he will reboot his servers, and all will be well again for many many weeks, then it will all start again.

Love the shorty's some realy great ones there this week. - Heather, the WD-40 thing, my mom's second husbands uncle heard somewhere about that DMSO stuff that was supposed to help arthritis in his knees. Well he missunderstood and thought they said WD-40, and sprayed that on his legs for several weeks. Finally someone told him of his error, and he stopped. I don't think it did him any good, but it probably didn't hurt him. Well after that, he got to thinking about it, and decided that since Preparation H made his backend feel so good when it hurt, he should try that on his knee, so he smeared that on his legs for several weeks. Didn't help much either, finally somone took him to the doctor, where he got some read medicine, that helped.

Just got back from the VA where I had my physical, I am in good health, except for my back, so that is good news, always nice to hear that. Had to get up at 4:30 AM to make it down there by 9:00 and boy did I get tired this afternoon. I was about ten miles outside the small village of Bison, when I fell asleep at the wheel, woke up on the wrong side of the two lane highway, going up a hill. That scared me awake, lucky it is such a little travled road, and there was no oncoming traffic. Had to pull over in the Bison for a break and a Dr. Pepper, then I made the last 30 miles home, my eyes wide open. Caught particular hell from the wife who was in the back seat sewing.

WEll gotta go

Jerry Ericsson 5-11-2001 18:38

MARY- Thank you for your kind words. As for myself and my personal experiances I've been doing that kind of thing for a while. Trying to find a home. Once I did, unfortunately I didn't see it for what it was and now am desperately trying to get back. As for technical fine tuning that's one of the things I was hopeing to get a little of here. You all seem as though you've been doing this for a while. I would love to learn from all of you.

MELANIE- I try hard not to ignore what the universe tells me. Unfortunately I can be extremely hard headed. I am currently revising what I've allready written. Yay!

Have a good day everyone!

Lizzie 5-11-2001 17:16

Susan - Sci-Fi time travel? Oh boy, right up my forest path! (Can't say alley, trying to break the cliche habit - a big torturous one for me!) I'm not too good at villains either! We two had better take ourselves off to the same VILLAINS-R-US brush-up class! Altho' I do have a neat villains' do's and don'ts list I'll have to hunt up for you - it's entertaining if not inspiring!! :-) And re: the cat - beyond my having a black thumb, I used to have a cactus plant that actually didn't die on me, but our cat of then knocked it from its window shelf - presto, dead plant! Gotta love them annoying felines anyway!

Mel again 5-11-2001 15:09

Oh, to be 30 again...NOT! But maybe 24 again, hmm, yes, 24, before the bod started to fall apart... :-)

Melanie 5-11-2001 14:57

Hi all!

Melanie, I think I may take you up on your offer, and will do the same for you if you want me too. Only problem is, I write first and second drafts in longhand, so I'll have to type some of it up first. Thanks for the offer. I could use some help. It's a science fiction novel involving time travel, and that can get complicated at times. I'm not entirely happy with my villain either. I'm not really all that good at writing villains. They tend to come off as fake, so I could use some help there. I'll email you soon.

My tomato plants are looking much better today. I think they're going to make it. I'm a little worried about some Roma tomatoes I started inside the house however. The cat bit the heads off a couple of the seedlings. The little monster!

SusanS 5-11-2001 14:56

Mel - no, the garden party didn't have me in tears, thank goodness. It was fun, actually. After the kids had all gone home and we finished dinner, I had to lie down on the couch because my feet hurt so much - all that running in and out serving snacks and real tea and juice and....and running around the yard... sheesh, you'd think I was nimble as a sprite.

Not so. Going to be 30 this Sunday, which also happens to be Mother's Day. Combo birthday/holidays aren't all they're cracked up to be! It just overwhelms more than anything. Oh, no. I've confessed. 30. Now I'm crying!!!

Heather 5-11-2001 14:49


Hey there, all you writing-fanatics! :-)

Before I launch into a gazillion directions in this post, I have an announcement:


Heard of it? Want to hear more? Go to
$5,000 1st place in the international competition to do a "round robin" of sorts - Mark Twain wrote the first two chapters of "A Murder, A Mystery and a Marriage" and had sent it to the Atlantic Monthly with the intention that other authors would write their own endings for it and all would be published in the magazine...never happened. Now the Buffalo & Erie County Library has the rights and is opening up the originally intended competition - cool, eh? :-)

My day home Wednesday was a WONDERFUL writing day for me!!! :-) My 4-yr-old behaved well enough for me to actually write a quantity of--are you ready for this? Drum rolls please!--FIVE Pages, typed into the pc, nice and neat. I really am still a writer! YES!! I'm excited!!! :-) It's a good start on my new chapter one for my novel-child, now going through labor pains. Yes, I may have one more child but it will be a literary one! (No, not literary genre or style, just born of the pen not of flesh.)

Okay, that was clear as mud. Say, has anyone ever written a complete novel all in cliches? Ouch, what a painful thing to read but maybe fun to write?? It's so hard to yank those nasty little sayings from our well-intended sentences, isn't it? At least, for me it is - my rough draft is as rough as sandpaper on a baby's bottom - yeowch!

SUSAN S: Your novel sounds like its where min's at: a mix of good parts and parts that still suck worm's breath. There has to be a way to edit those slimy sections! If youwant a 2nd opinion on any of those icky parts, email me! And yeah, reading breaks writing block - after awhile, you read so much and say "I can write better than that!" And go for it! :-)

BEN (& SUSAN S): I've been trying more to read my text out loud - not just dialogue but all of it. It really does help to fix the wormy sections! :-)

RACHEL: You're right. Life's full of distractions but the writer's still in me. It feels so good to write a few words whenever I can. Thank goodness, it's happening more often again now! :-)

HEATHER: Thanks for the tears. But are you crying after the Mad Hatter Garden Party? What a thing to pull off when you're tired!! Hope you caught up some sleep. Great funk-free recipe! :-) BTW, my 4-yr-old caught her knee between the rungs of the kitchen chair on Wednesday - lucky I was near! didn't need WD-40 or soap, but it took a couple minutes to free the little knee (with admonitions to never do that again, of course!)

HOWARD: My condolences on your overbusy life of late and further misfortune for Bryce. I hope things work out better soon. And if reading a few posts here on the NB doesn't help break your funk, try a mini-vacation - a day all to yourself: go wherever you want, do something you enjoy (like writing) or just sit awhile and watch nature. Sometimes when life gets too complex, we just need to step off the madly whirling carousel for a bit and get back in touch with simple things, like worm's breath and toes on ants, wings on butterflies, and the glorious blue in azure. It's always up there, y'know, behind the clouds...the blue is always there.

BTW, Howard, what books ya got for circulation? Not that I have time to read them yet...but I can add them to my mental list of wannareads.

ALLEIN: Funny shortie! :-)

CHRISTI: Thanks for well wishes on the novel. The "Blues" disease seems to be slinking around in this glad everyone's posts are killing it! :-) I feel better every time I come here and read up on what you-all are doing, writing, feeling. Makes the writing life not so lonely any more! :-)

TINA: Empty house? Chores DONE?? Green eyes here...BTW, I hope that guy in your shortie comes back to take her out to lunch! Otherwise, he's a total cad (is that still a word?).

TEEKAY: Thanks for the tears. :-) BTW, that thing that happened with Agatha Christie? It happened to a lot of other people too - Clancy, Clark, Grisham, Koontz, King, Steel, just to name a few, and oh yeah, that L'Amour fella. And a whole lot more - I think it's an ongoing epidemic 'cuz the library shelves here are full of 'em...Hmm, there's empty spaces on the shelves here and there - room for that Teekay person's story and a few of her writing friends...hmm, wonder where they are? Oh, maybe they're on order. (Yeah! Just as soon as you-ALL finish writing them!) :-)

MARY: Good funk-splitting-TEN-List! :-) But where's your shortie? Does the scheduler not have to write one?? Ahem, ahem!

JERRY: Liked your witch-switch: cute. :-)

HALLEE: I'm reading, I'm reading...

ROSEMARY: First person POV is scary to write, but it really puts you right behind the person's eyeballs, doesn't it?

VIV: Oh no, the procrastination-word! It's bad, bad - and I even know how to spell it--KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME! And from you!!!

JACK: Hope the party goes well - wishes for being there...

MARK: Hope it's a hobbit-hole (especially cozy! Lots to eat, peace and least until the dwarves start arriving...)

LIZZIE: Embrace what you thought was lost - CELEBRATE! Bring it back into your heart and make it better! :-)


Melanie Link 5-11-2001 13:21

LIZZIE: I even slept in one of the state parks the first town I stopped in...chuckles. I guess we all have a story, don't we? :-)

Mary 5-11-2001 12:13

LIZZIE: Went over and read you contributions to the Workbook. Welcome Welcome.

If you have put as much of yourself into your writing as I believe you have, then you and I have much in common. For the first few pages of your novel, I felt like you must have been stowed-away in my glove compartment when I packed all my stuff and my dog into my Mustang and headed west. I turned around and came back because I had broken my Mother's heart, but the feelings of freedom, running away and excitement were all there in the car with me, just as you described.

Your poetry submission follows right along with that. You have good introspection in there and with as young as you are, a little technical fine tuning will shape you right into someone who can compete. Good luck, and I hope you hang around.

I already wrote this whole post once, but my pc froze up on me and I lost it. I am sure it was better the first time, ;-)

Mary 5-11-2001 11:00

Great shorties you guys. I just love Friday mornings when I show up to all the stories. :-)

I didn't really have an embarassing moment to rehash, but I made quite the fool out of myself yesterday. For the past three days I have had considerable trouble with my internet connection. My service has always been extremely reliable, and I hesitated to call and complain about the constant disconnections and slow download speed. I blamed it on high traffic, phone lines...whatever.

I had just about had it when for the third time during a software download, I was disconnected and had to start over. I got on the horn to my ISP and asked what the problem was, that it had been going on for three days and I was getting increasingly frustrated. They should have had it taken care of by now. I spent the next 40 minutes on the phone with a very pleasant lady who went thru all my settings with me, which were all correct. She gave me a modem initialization string about a mile long to help my modem run more efficiently. It didn't work, so she ran a diagnostic check on my computer and said that for no reason that she could establish, my modem was just hanging up the connection.

So apparently, all this time, it has been my equipment failing and I didn't have enough sense to know it. Now, I have to find someone to replace the modem because I don't have the foggiest idea how to do that, or even how much I am looking at cost-wise.

JERRY: Could you please tell me what I am looking at here? I don't know the best route to take in getting this taken care of. I am assuming that it is a relatively inexpensive, simple thing for someone who knows about these things.

HOWARD: That must be one heck of a funk, honey. Sorry I couldn't help you. Just hang in there and know we all love ya.

Mary 5-11-2001 10:03

By the way, it's a true story.

*still afraid of WD-40*

Heather 5-11-2001 5:00

Embarrassments of the Lofty Kind
By Heather Myles, 2001

I can't tell you how many hours we spent up there. Must have been equal to about a year's worth of hours or more, all totaled.
There we'd be, the first warm day of spring, just Liz and I, dangling among the newest buds and those funny wrinkled leaves that just crawled open that very morning. Our very favourite tree. We'd be up there too, when the last red leaf fell.

It stooped a little on one side, and was bushier on the other, and from her bedroom window at night, our tree looked just like there was a big black bear crouching in the tip-top branches. That bear watched over her in all seasons, for you could see that shape even when there weren't leaves. It used to bring me some comfort when I'd sleep over at her house, knowing that there was somebody else looking out for her too.

We spent most of our summer days climbing that tree. Liz hung a hammock between that tree's lower branches, and we'd swing in it, reading, laughing, or sipping back one of her mom's gigantic iced teas until one of us would have to jump out or else throw up all over the both of us.

I don't even know if it was a maple or not. It just looked happy like a maple tree looks.

One morning we thought up something new to do with our tree. Liz got dressed up like a little hobo, even had a stick with some belongings in a bandanna tied to it and she borrowed her Dad's funny houndstooth hat. Her dog Cinnamon even sat down beside her, looking all the world like she knew what we were up to. I didn't even wear shoes when I rode my bike over that weekend, so I snagged a pair of her older brother's; blue suede shoes a mile too big. I climbed the tree as best I could, dangling my camera with the strap in my teeth, slipping up the bark in those half-clown, half-Elvis size 13 sneaks. I got up to around half-way up the tree to where there were a group of three branches all perpendicular to the trunk, almost like steps and close together.

I leaned way over through the 'V' in the trunk and took a few snaps of the little hobo and her pup, sitting at the base of the tree. Then I thought I'd try a new angle, so I got up as best I could with those sneakers on and swung myself around to the other side, and inched my way higher, above the 'V'. And then it happened.

My foot slipped and my knee got wedged.

Really wedged.

And there were no adults home.

The 'V' in the trunk sort of went in a bit, and then out againt just slightly, so my knee was in a perfect nest once it pushed through, but I had no branches on that side of the tree to push off from, to get some leverage to yank my knee up. I couldn't pull it backwards; that bark was rougher than it looked once it was threatening to dig into my oh, so tender skin.

I realized quite suddenly just how stuck I was, and a thought ran through my young head: I'm sleeping with the bear tonight.

Liz got up there and tried to help, but her arms were too weak to pull me out. When she got down again she started to panic. I'd already been panicking a full five minutes by that point, but it sure felt like a week. She ran into the house and grabbed a stool, but I couldn't even see it, it was so far down.

Next she dragged out a kitchen chair, but I still couldn't reach it. Then she grabbed the painting ladder, but she couldn't hold it steady over the ruts in the ground from our years of tearing up that patch, so every time I shoved against the very top of the ladder, it would topple over and scare the dog.

Finally Liz runs out into the street and starts yelling for help. Someone down the street answers, I can hear it all the way to the tree in back of her house.
I'd reached the point where I'd already dropped the camera and those blue suedes were on the ground, and her brother David was surely going to kill me 'cause Cinnamon was chewing on one of them and they were his favourite god-awful shoes.

Liz brought back a lady and her son who lived down the street a few houses, and that lady was a registered nurse. She inspected the situation, and ordered her son to go and get her extension ladder, and when he got back, he and Liz tried their best to hold it for her while she shook it like crazy all the way up. If I hadn't been so close to tears thinking I'd be stuck up there forever, I'd have laughed at this bulk of a woman trying to negotiate the dense branches on a ladder that just might crumple under her weight.

Finally the nurse got up to the height of my knee and she reached around the tree trunk and started prodding it with her nails. I started yelling because my knee had fallen asleep from the pressure of being tightly wedged, and she's aggravating it with what felt like a thousand sharpened rake tines.

"Good," she said, "You still have circulation."
I'd have loved to circulate her, all through the branches of that lovely deciduous, all the way to that big old rut in the ground. But I saw the opportunity to be freed in that ladder she brought. She tried to yank me by circling one arm around my waist and pulling back on my stomach, but I thought she would rip my leg off before she succeeded in getting my knee out. Then she ordered her son to go and find some lubricant to spray on my leg, and she waited for him up there, hugging that tree for dear life while he went running off to get the WD-40.

Liz could barely hold that extension ladder, even though the nurse had a good grip on the tree and her legs were practically wrapped around the whole upper third of that ladder. Liz weighed not an eyelash over 70 pounds her whole life, but had a heart bigger than that entire tree.

Liz started laughing and she was just about doubled over into a ball when the nurse's son gets back. The can had a long red straw sticking out of the nozzle. My eyes got all wide because I thought that this dang nurse was going to inject it under my skin, and a fat lot of good that would have done my knee.

Just as her son tossed that can into the air I panicked like I had never panicked before, and the nurse had an iron grip on the tree with an arm laced through the top ladder rung. Suddenly, as I craned my neck around, I saw my chance for freedom in those plump shoulders bear-hugging our tree. With all my might I somehow got my free leg up and around, and I sank my foot into her shoulder and shoved off so hard I heard her scream.

I was free!

And my knee was a little short on skin.

But no matter.

The following Monday the whole school knew about it.
It wasn't me, and it wasn't Liz, that I knew for sure. I'm sure it must have been that nurse's son who told everybody and their uncles and aunts and cousins, just to be sure the whole town knew.

My skin grew back, but it didn't grow back thicker.

The pictures turned out perfectly - except for the ones with the big blue suede shoe in the way.

Heather 5-11-2001 4:31

Hello all!
Yes I know I’m a wee bit late but here it is anyway. This actually did happen, just not to me. I wish I'd been there!

“Morning!” I addressed the man enthusiastically, as I did every customer to enter my store. Only after I’d offered my greeting did I get a good look at him, and then I had to pull my gaze away before I blushed. He was gorgeous!

“Hello,” he returned my greeting, and his deep voice flowed like a thundering waterfall into my grateful ears.

“How’s your day?” I continued my litany, glad for the routine words that stepped over my frozen mind.

He smiled, a wide smile made more stunning by his exotic features. “Great. It’s a beautiful day.” His accent marked him as an easterner, Toronto maybe.

“Sure is. About time the weather turned hot.” Again I resorted to routine, too flustered to create an original thought.

“Yeah. It’s rained ever since I flew in.”

“Oh yeah. Where you from?”

“Ottawa. I’m just here to renovate the All Books store.”

“Oh!” I’d heard that the book store was being renovated; the last news letter had said so. “I didn’t know they were starting already.”

“Tomorrow we rip everything out and get started,” he told me, chatting pleasantly. I didn’t mind at all, content to listen to his blissful voice instead of the million other things I could be doing.

Because it was early I had no other customers, so we talked for awhile. Discreetly, I noticed that his ring finger was empty. He told me that he was just in town to complete the contracted renovations. I told him where he could find good Chinese food. Eventually he left, heading down to the food court at the end of the mall.

I watched him go, then ran across the mall to where Pauline and Millie stood talking. The middle of the mall was our usual meeting place, halfway between our three stores.

“Did you see him?” I asked them breathlessly.


“The guy who was just in my store! He’s the contractor for All Book’s renos, here for the next three weeks. He’s gorgeous!” I bubbled excitedly as their eyes scanned for the man. “He’s gone to eat. But you’ll know him when you see him! He’s tall, and built, and SO hot! He’s black, with his hair cut in a short, sexy military cut, and the sexiest eyes! Oh Pauline you’ll just die when you see him!”

“No, I think you will,” Millie said with a laugh.

I didn’t understand immediately, but the direction of her eyes gave me all the explanation I needed. I turned around slowly, hoping and praying I was wrong.

The prayers were useless. He stood there, still smiling like a greek god. I froze like a deer caught in headlights. And then I bolted for the safety of my store, desperate to escape the laughter behind me.

Tina 5-11-2001 3:27

Hello all. Hope everyone has had a truely wonderful day. Well an introduction is surely in order now that I have a few moments.
I am fairly new to writing publicly but I've been writing poetry for quite some time now. I have written a few bodys of work ( neither allowing themselves to be called "short story's or novels) that always seem to evaporate before I have an ending to them. I have posted a piece of each in both the novel and poetry section of the workbook. I hope that I'll get some feedback.
-My writing tends to be an outlet to my life so this story has become a reflection of me. It encompasses bits and pieces of my past and people that I have known, loved, and wish to meet.
-The written word has become an old and beloved friend to me. In black and white I can be ever more so eloquent than I could ever hope to be in real life. It brings me everlasting comfort though there are ages where I don't write a thing. This particular story has had not one new word added to the end in over year. Actualy the universe just brought it back to me after I thought it was lost, so shall I take that as a sign to commit myself?
(for future reference my spelling is absolutely atrocious)
On a more personal note, I am 21. Living on the east coast, as temporarily as can be, I am engaged to a wonderful man, and I don't believe there is anything else just now. I must make more time to sit down and go over some old posts and get to know you all a little bit better. But so far I'm enjoying this site. I'm glad to have found it.
Enough for now. Have a wonderful night all.

Lizzie 5-11-2001 1:37

Hi all. I have a couple of days off here. Need 'em. Think I'm gonna just hole up. See ya when I get back.

Mark 5-10-2001 23:26


Teekay - Smiles and laughter.

Christi - Sebastian is doing very well. He has grown so much! He yabbers up a storm these days. I love it.

Susan S - Hello to you :o) What naughty boy are you looking for (grins)!

Take care all.

5-10-2001 21:45

Allein: It is really hard to guestimate how many will come. My suggestion is to just bring whatever you feel like preparing and let other people fill in the gaps. I think it safe to say we will have more than 20 and less than 100. Or, at least, I sure hope it is less than 100.

Jack Beslanwitch 5-10-2001 21:03

Hi all,

I've just finished rereading the first and what I've written of the second draft of my SF novel. This seems to have gotten me back into the story, because I'm writing on it again and even enjoying it. I don't know why I've had such trouble with this novel. All in all, I think it's a good story. There are parts of it that are really good. Maybe it's just self doubt. Maybe I'm too critical. I didn't use to have so much trouble revising. I used to enjoy it. It was a chance to make the story better. It was the chance to try something new. I get too uptight when I'm writing and I don't know how to loosen up so I can enjoy myself and be more productive. Well, at least I'm writing again.

My tomato plants look a little better . . . I think. They're still alive.

Howard, another thing that helps me when I'm feeling blue is to watch "True Hollywood Story" and "Mysteries and Scandals" on E. The stories are so sordid and scandalous that I'm distracted from my own problems. I mean at least I've only been married once, and I don't have a drinking problem or a drug problem, and I haven't blown my entire fortune (I don't have a fortune to blow, of course) and most of my family and friends are still speaking to me.

I still think about my absent friend, though. I miss him so much. I miss most the way he made me laugh. He reminded me of a naughty little boy sometimes, one who liked to shock and horrify people. I wish that naughty little boy would come back. Well, enough of that. Time to go back to writing.

SusanS 5-10-2001 20:25

Wow Heather!
A child's party, and a ton of other things, yet you managed to edit that silly story. Thank you! I can't believe it. I looked at it this morning. It's fantastic. I'm getting to work on it right now. Well...WHY AM I PROCRASTINATING?

Hang in there. Hope today goes well!

Viv 5-10-2001 18:57

&&Me Again&&

I suspect my tenses are all over the place on that piece. I have never written in first person, present tense (sometimes) before and possibly never again.

Also, that was not really a true story.

Rosemary 5-10-2001 18:37


Howdy Writers,

Good to see you both writing here again. Missed both of you.

I have used one of those keyboards for about five or so years and absolutely love it. The only problem is when you have to use a regular keyboard. My hand can't get comfortable and fingers can't find the right keys.

Below is my shorty on EMBARRASSMENT

Okay, next month is my sister's birthday. So far, in about fifty years, the presents I have selected for her have never been anything she wanted or liked. This is going to be the big year.

We live next door to each other about ten miles outside the city. She drives an eighteen wheeler truck four nights a week and has to drive her gas-guzzling van thirty miles to the truck, then thirty more miles back home at about four in the morning. I could give her a gift certificate for fifty gallons of gas, but that would be gone in a couple of weeks and not make a bit of difference in the long run.

I could get her a new VCR so she could tape twice as much on those evenings she is working, but she only has one TV and I'm not sure that would work. Besides, I already tape the extra shows for her.

It never works for us to buy clothes for each other. How two sisters that grew up together came out with completely different taste in things is beyond my understanding.

But, we both love household gadgets. She already has just about a storefull that she doesn't use. She has a microwave, an electric fry pan, a vacuum sealer for freezer packages, some kind of an onion sectioner for deep frying, and who knows what else.
I just saw an infomercial about this cute little steam cleaner. It gets all kinds of gunk out of places you didn't even know you had gunk. I'll order it now. They promised to get it to me within two weeks. Plenty of time.

The Steamer Bug came today and her birthday is in two days. Couldn't have been better timed. We never were good at keeping secrets from each other. I'll wrap it up real nice and make a cute card on the computer. We'll have a good steak for lunch/dinner and watch a recorded program from last night. She has to leave for work at five-o'clock so the timing will be too close for a rented movie.

Well--it's the day after the birthday special. As I handed the package to her, she handed one to me and said, "I saw this on TV and knew it's the type of gadget you would just love but I would never want."

I now have two steamer bugs.

Rosemary 5-10-2001 18:34

Jack - How many people are expected to be at the social? I'm curious so I know how many cookies to make. :)

Allein Allein's World 5-10-2001 17:42

Hey all...I haven't read anything for a couple of days and I have much catching up to do...but can't right now - just doing a quick check in - let you all know I'm still alive. This week, I get home 1 night before dark. (sigh)


Hallee 5-10-2001 16:51

just fixed up an old keyboard, and had to give it a try before I put it on the wife's machine (I like it so much, I may keep it for myself, but that would be selfish wouldn't it.) I needed to type something up to see that all the keys work and all that, it is one of those natural keyboard with an addon trackball. Anyhow I had to replace the cables on it, as they were bad, or at least that is what I figured, and I guess I was right. To try it out, I typed up this little portion of a tale, and figured I would post it here, just because I have no other use for it. Anyhow, here it is, typed on one of those neat natural keyboards (I think I love it!)

The witch of the West that was what she was, and Andrew knew full well that she was an evil witch. He watched the movie to many times, he knew full well that witches that came from the east and west were evil, and those from the north and south were good. It was all there in The Wizard of Oz. What to do about it, though, that was the question. Would water work? It did in the movie, but he had doubts, as he saw her walking in the rain once, and nothing happened to her. Maybe it had to have soap in it, that was probably it, it was the soap in the bucket of water that Dorothy poured over the witch in the movie, after all, wasn’t it a mop bucket, he was sure it was.

That night, Andrew hid behind the bush that grew on the east side of the witch’s front door, beside him he had his weapon, he would be rid of the wicked witch for good. He waited, and waited then waited some more, but the witch just would not come out. He was sure she would be out at night, because that was when witches did their most evil magic, he was sure of that. The midnight hour was creeping up on him, and he knew that she could not resist the midnight hour; midnight was when witch’s powers were the greatest. Then he heard it, the bong of the old clock that sat on the mantel over the fireplace was striking 12, it was the beginning of the midnight hour.

Andrew stiffened, every muscle in his body tensed. The door began to swing open, and Andrew drew back the bucket filled with soapy water, he heard her footsteps, as she approached the door, her heels made an uneven click-clock, as the taps on the back of the heals made contact with the hard marble floor of her house. Then she was there before him, standing her full five feet tall, wearing her black cloak and pointed hat. Andrew could take it no more; he flung the bucket of water upon her, soaking her from head to foot. He expected to hear her curse then cry as she melted from the cleansing fluid, but instead all he heard was “Shit, now I have to change cloths again before I go to that stupid Halloween party!”

Jerry Ericsson 5-10-2001 16:05

and just what do you mean by "years ago?" !!!

5-10-2001 15:20



first - My hair has been coming in blonde for several years now.

second - I had a puppy. Now she's old, she dribbles on the floor, and she stinks.

third - I did write about something funny, but when I got done it wasn't funny any more.

fourth - We're going to the cemetary to plant flowers tonight.

fifth - Sure! Then she'll know I've been up to something!

sixth - There was a hornet's nest in our mailbox this morning. My wife found it.

seventh - Tried that - fell asleep.

eighth - conflicts with ninth

ninth - The reason I spend the most time there is because I'm always having to move the bloody furniture!

tenth - This is a family-rated forum!

But thanks for trying...


howard 5-10-2001 15:01

HOWARD: To lift you out of your funk I have several ideas.

First of all, I strongly recommended dying your hair blonde. All of those men that quit whistling at you from construction sites years ago will pick up right where they left off.

Second, go get a puppy. No way could you last in a funk with a cute little fuzzy puppy licking that mustache of yours. Not to mention that puppies just plain smell good.

Third, write a story about the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally. I guarantee you will be chuckling and smiling before you are through.

Fourth, plant flowers.

Fifth, do something nice for your wife. I mean really nice.

Sixth, take stock of everything good in your life. Especially the little things like the fact that the hornets haven't started renovating your eaves yet this year.

Seventh, have your favorite meal for dinner followed by a perfect cup of coffee and a nice long conversation with your family.

Eights, spend more time outside.

Ninth, move the furniture around in the room where you spend the most time.

Tenth, Make a David Lettermanesque top-ten list of all the better things to do than be in a funk then post them here.

Hope these suggestions help Howard. I have missed you 'round here. I am sure we all have. :-)

You too Christi...maybe take a few of these suggestions for yourself, smiles and hugs.

Mary 5-10-2001 13:07


HEATHER: HAHAHAHAHHA 'there is no visine in wonderland,' Man I just love it when you post when your tired. You're soooo funny. I get like that when I'm tired. Stupid and giggly, it's great.
No, I didn't mean I thought you were stupid, I just meant ah, nevermind, it's too hard to explain. :-)

Teekay 5-10-2001 4:24

Teekay! You posted just ahead of me... I didn't even realize you had posted another story in P**!! Tremendous news! Also tremendous news about the novel! Yahhooo for you!!! :o>

That will be my first online stopping place tomorrow...
ULP! AFTER my three pages of writing on my novel, that is.

Oh, yes. I was going to go to bed.

Some time.
Early to bed (4 am) early to rise (7 am on the same day)
makes a person bonkers and

Where does the wise part kick in?


Heather 5-10-2001 4:10

Pant pant, just wrote another 4 pages, pant pant.
Wow, nothing for three days and then well, I actually clicked on my novel icon and went to it.
My problem?
Avoiding the actual opening of my word program and my novel document. If I connect to the internet first, that is.

SO, a new pledge to myself is in order: Those three pages per day (if and however possible) BEFORE going online.

You may not hear from me for weeks!!!

(That was supposed to be absolutely, stitchingly funny. Must have worn myself out on those four pages... darn)

Christi! Glad to see you back. Sorry if my blue funk- scramming recipe was posted a week too late. I'll remember to email it to you if I don't see you here for a few days! (((HUGS))) And you do deserve the thanks. Many times over. I've done all the 'edit' changes already. :oD

Allein - wow - I remember I can't downhill ski before I even don my parka! But I guess I still don the parka...and the skiis. Humiliation in downhill garb, that's me. :o/

Great shortie, and I'm so glad you've been writing shorties lately! ((((hugs if you don't lose your bathing suit top)))) ha ha ha

Lizzie - hope to see you back for a longer visit next time! Tell us what you write, etc... etc... looking forward to getting to know you online. If you haven't gotten a password to the workbook yet, you might want to consider that!! Just email Jack. Another great spot cuddled right up next to the notebook, here.

Oh, Jack - you're right indeed - way too many people to track down for permission! I have to scroll back and check out 'Train' when I have a few more minutes.

Right now I have to swan dive into bed or else I'll be red-eyed and crazy-faced for the garden party tomorrow. My daughter's friends and their parents might really wonder about me then... but it is a 'Mad Hatter' theme. Now where's my Visine (tm) when I need it???

*Evil Lewis Carrol laughter*
("There is no Visine in Wonderland," the Cheshire cat snickered.)

I'm supposed to be going to bed, aren't I?
Has anyone here ever been diagnosed with MANIA?
Well, I may have you all beat then.


Heather 5-10-2001 4:00


Evenin' All,


MEL: "sniff"

PUSSY: *Blush*

MARY: I really don't have any embarrasing moments. Either I've blocked them all out, or my entire life is an embarassing moment and I just don't know it.

RACHEL: Bad hagis? Eeergh, now there's a stomach turner.

HEATHER: I've resurected the old one, but I have the entire plot writtten out for the romance. I've only written one romance before many many years ago. It was so passionate while I was writing it, but then I read it out loud to a couple of people and man, was it hilarious. I think I still have it floating around somewhere.
Anyway, I'm going to give it another go and see if I can do better.

HOWARD: I'm really sorry to hear you're in a funk. I suggest you go out and buy yourself something nice. Sometimes that helps me. OR go to the video shop and hire some 'Ab Fab' tapes and laugh yourself silly. If 'Ab Fab" isn't to your liking find something hilarious that is. A good belly laugh goes a long way to clearing out the cobwebs.
Bad luck about Bryce, poor fellow.

SUSAN: Good luck to you with your story.


HEATHER: What a great recipe.

CHRISTI: It's so good to have you back. Seems these horrible funks may be catching. And here's a hug for you although I guess by now it's a tad late ((((((((((((((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))))))))))

I've posted my latest contribution into P*. I don't know if it's suitable, but I'll let the powers that be judge that.

Picked up my reader's digest magazine today and am really looking forward to reading it. Hope it's not choc full o' crap like last months.

You know that new Australian writing magazine I was so excited about? Well no sign of the May/June issue in the shops yet. I sent them an email enquiring as to when it's expected in the shops and still haven't heard back from them. I really hope it hasn't folded, but if it has, then I'm really glad that I waited to subscribe

Here's a little bit of inspiration for everyone:
Agatha Christi had her very first book published.
And then her second.
And then her third.
And probably all the ones after that, but I haven't read that far yet.


Teekay 5-10-2001 3:43

Tina - Unfortunately, that actually happened to me (not losing a bikini top - hell will freeze over and the devil will open an ice skating rink before I wear a bikini in public) but jumping off the diving board, getting in the water and realizing I forgot how to swim. Luckily, I floated to the surface and doggie paddled my way to the ladder. I also tried to race my boyfriend underwater but I couldn't stay down - that's when he made a comment about me having flotation devises. I splashed him good. :)
Incedently, Azol didn't have Tanek with Mali - he had her with someone else (rather he had sex with that someone else) before he met Mali but Tanek regards Mali as her mother and is rather hurt when she finds out the truth. But I haven't started writing this story yet - I can send you what you haven't read yet of the first story and a synopsis of the sequel too.
But Mali and Azol do have two kids of their own - both times this guy gets a girl pregnant on practically the first try and both times produces twins - pat on the back for Azol. :)
Eek, it's late - bedtime. :)

Allein Allein's World 5-10-2001 2:09

Christi, here are more ((((HUGS)))) for you!

I'll put a note in the book saying that you're next!


Tina 5-10-2001 1:27


Heather, I collect recipes. I think I'll print that one out and try it sometime! :oD

Allein, I'm still chuckling. So Mali and Azol end up with a teenage daughter, eh? I think I'd better go visit your website again and catch up on the story!
As for this little one, I think it'd be a touch more convincing if she just dives badly and is stunned, than to suddenly realise that she can't swim.
I'm still chuckling....

Howard, try ice cream. Your favourite kind, eaten straight out of the bucket. Or is that just a 'girl thing'?
Seriously, I'm sending you warm hugs ((((HUGS)))).

Time to write. The house is empty, the chores done (sort of) and I haven't put in my hour(s) yet!

Tina 5-10-2001 1:22

Hey Heather, that sounds like great advice except for the oysters! (cheesy grin)

Christi 5-10-2001 1:14

Longest catch-up post in history STOP Apologies to all STOP Telegram gimmick halting now STOP!

I've never felt so hopelessly behind before. I guess I've had the blues lately and thought I'd spare you all the agony of what would have surely been ponderous posting on my part. Hell, I can't even guarantee against that now, but I'm feeling much better! It's nice to be on the up-side again. Forgive the late comments. I'm sure many of you will have no idea what I'm talking about.

I sure did pick a bad time to go away ... what quality there was in the shorties last week!

Tina, HI! I'm estatic that your writing is going well. Keep the fires burning! Sorry I've been so out of it lately. I loved what you said a looooooong time ago about taking chances--being on the edge. Thanks so much!
Oh, and Tina, if you haven't mailed Holding Wonder back to Howard yet, I'd love to read it. I just read a story by Zenna Henderson (my first time) called Something Bright and I bawled at the end. She's just awesome. Let me know, I'll send you my snail mail!
Okay, just saw that Mark beat me to it. I'm next, Mark!

Eddie, It's great to see ya!

Mary, Thanks for the really cool link! And I've got to say, your daughter is hilarious!

Mel, Seems like you asked me a long time ago what I was writing. The story I was referring to was supposed to be young adult sci-fi/fantasy, but it seems to be turning into something else. Who knows what it'll end up being? I'm sure curious to know! :)
And hey, good luck with your novel!

Heather, Hi, and thanks for putting out the call! Heard you loud and clear! ;) And thanks for the thank you ... those are always nice to have, even if one doesn't deserve it.

Good luck on your tests, Richard!

Ben, I wasn't offended in the least. Great shortie; I'm glad you posted it!

Hi, Rachel! I hope all is well and that you're having a wonderful time with little Sebastian. It's so nice to see all the familiar faces again.

Teekay, I was breathless after reading your shortie. Goosebumps, I tell you!
Romance, ay? I'm a bit like Heather; I've always got at least two stories I'm working on at the same time. In this case it's three stories with a fourth story-option waiting in the wings. How the hell is a person supposed to get anything done like this??? Anyway, I think you should write as many stories as you like.
Argh, all this extaneous information! You've gone and finished a shortie AND worked on the novel! Let's see ... does she post it folks??? (drum roll here)

Rhoda, Hi you! And ewwwww! Haggis. WELCOME BACK!

I miss Gariess, and Litter and Americo, and oh so many others. Hi guys! Hope all is well!

Welcome to Lizzie!

Hello, Pussy!!!! We have missed you mightily.

Howard, I'm very sorry about Bryce. I wish I could give you a hug. I know I needed as many as I could get for the past few weeks. Don't know if I'm totally in the clear yet, but coming here is a good sign. Here's a smooch, just as long as it's okay with the Mrs. *****SMOOCH!!!!!*****

Jerry Mel,and Allein, I'm looking forward to reading your new shorties but I've run out of time! Two hours of catch-up at the Notebook--I'll not be staying away that long again, to be sure. Why Jerry, just caught your last post, you randy dog! Heh heh.

Gads, I'm sorry if I missed anyone. Hi to Jack and Susan and Rosemary and Hallee and all you other great people. I'm so tired I'm seeing three computer screens and three puddles of drool on my keyboard. Ew.


Christi 5-10-2001 1:12

Howard: Recipe for removal of fuzzy blue or indigo funk:

1 backscratcher
2 loaves of freshly baked bread (ah, from the bakery on the corner will do)and some butter
3 tins of smoked oysters, a can opener, a napkin, and a fork
1 movie - must be hilarious to qualify
1 batch of post-it notes (any colour) and your favourite pen
1 tub of very warm water, bath salts and a towel
1 attentive wife (ie: not sleeping)

Directions: Insert video into VCR (or DVD into player)
and fast forward previews. Open one tin of smoked oysters and share them. Let your wife soak her feet for the first 20 minutes of the movie, and lay the towel out on your lap. After she has finished soaking, gently but firmly dry her feet for her and massage them. She can use the backscratcher to scratch your back periodically throughout the film, as necessary. When hungry, butter your wife a warm slice of bread, and she can butter one for you. Share more oysters. When your wife has had enough of a foot massage, take out your post-it notes. Write as many reasons as you can think of for why you love her so much, one reason on each post-it. Stick them on her, where ever you like. She can write hers and stick them on you.
Remember - post-it notes will produce paper cuts if you make love while still wearing them!

Hey, it works for me.

Heather 5-10-2001 1:06

Okay, my shortie - using chracters from my novel since I'm too lazy to come up with new ones. :)

Azol looked over as his teenage daughter, Tanek came out of the locker room. "You are not wearing that."

Tanek looked at herself in the mirror and smiled at her new little hot pink bikini. "What?"

"At least put a T-shirt under it!"

"You mean over it."

"No under it. There are guys here and all of them can see know!"


"Yes! And I don't want a bunch of perverts staring at my daughter!"

"Not all teenage guys are perverts!"

"Excuse me, but I was a teenage guy and I have a very good idea of what they think about when they see a well built girl in a bikini and..."

Azol's wife, Mali put a hand on his shoulder. "Settle down. I wouldn't have let her get it if I thought she looked too revealing."

"You aided and abedded this little scheme?" Azol asked.

"She couldn't wear anything else. The only bathing suits with good chest support were either bikinis or one piece suits for overweight women and she's not overweight. Let her wear it."

"Okay but Tanek, I..." He looked around and saw Tanek already climbing up the diving board. "Be careful!!" He shouted. "Of course with those flotation devises of her's there's no chance of her drowning."

Mali laughed. "Aren't you just a little overprotective? You sound like your father talking to your sister when she was Tanek's age."

"My father is full of good advise."

"And you said you'd never turn out like him."

Tanek looked down at the blue water of the pool shimmering in the sunlight. Positioning herself she dove off the board and into the water. About two seconds later, she remembered that she couldn't swim.

Sinking to the bottom, she kicked her legs violently to try to get to the surface. Her lungs felt about ready to burst.

Suddenly two strong arms grabbed her and helped her up to the surface and up the ladder out of the pool. Looking down she saw the most handsome life guard she'd ever seen. She blushed. "Thanks for saving me."

"You should be more careful, miss."

"Oh I will."

"And, I should probably tell you..."


"You should really try to put this on right." He held up her bikini top in his hand.

Allein Allein's World 5-9-2001 23:58


Howard - I have been there plenty of times, I guess some of the things that cheered me up were Going Fishing - Laying in the bright sunshine on my reclining lawn chair and soaking up the rays - a quiet read of a fantastic book - a change of meds.

(A great night in the sack has helped from time to time too!)

Jerry Ericsson 5-9-2001 23:37

Thanks for the advice on tomato plants Howard. I was so worried. I'm new to gardening. I hope you get to feeling better. When I was feeling so down, I read a lot and watched a lot of movies, particularly movies of an escapist nature such as The Mummy, The Thin Man Returns, Ghostbusters, nothing depressing. It did help me somewhat. It distracted me from what I was feeling.

I've found that reading a lot also helps with writers's block. I'll read several books and then suddenly I'll be able to write again.

I sent a short story to an online publication today. The publication is called Rogue Worlds and it publishes science fiction, fantasy and horror. The story I sent it, is called "Sins of the Father". The last publication that rejected it was very nice and gave a detailed critique. The editor also said that it was a very good story that I could probably get published elsewhere. That was the most encouraging rejection I'd had in a long time. So wish me luck with this story. I'm thinking of sending one of my novels to an online publishing company. It's been rejected seven times by traditional publishers, so I'm thinking of sending it to this publisher. Does anyone have experience with online publishers and publications? Should I try it or stick with more traditional publishers?

SusanS 5-9-2001 23:35

Embarrasing moment #5634
Mark, the library is only relevant because it is right beside the POST OFFICE! Sheesh, like as if you could read my mind... I was THINKING post office...

Tina 5-9-2001 22:35

Hello all!

Mark! I forgot entirely and I was even right there beside the library! Maybe tomorrow I'll have a better remembery. Just so you know, Howard, I'm sending 'Holding Wonder' on to Mark. Eventually. :o(

Welcome Lizzie!

Hallee, I sent you a crit on the first four chapters. If it doesn't show up, let me know!

Went to our local art gallery today, to see the current show. It is an awe inspiring selection of art quilts, and I'm still slightly stunned. They were so beautiful, so sublime. I'm feeling the need to create something, now. Anything visual.

Embarrasing moments. Hmmmmm. Thinking.....

Still thinking....

Tina 5-9-2001 22:33

Howard - take a peek at my shorty, I am told it is rather funny.

Jerry Ericsson 5-9-2001 22:21


Been busier than a one legged, long-tailed one-armed paper-hanger in an ass-kicking contest in a room full of rocking chairs with the hives!
Or something like that.

SUSANS - Tomatoes will wilt a bit when you first transplant them. Give 'em lots of water and protect them from the frost and they should be okay. When they do start to dig in, give them each a teaspoon of epsom salts dissolved in warm water. They'll thank you for it!

Had to take Bryce back to the nursing home. Doctor insisted on it, after they did an xray and discovered at least six compression fractures in his spine. Now they're thinking he'll never get back home. We tried.

ANy suggestions on how to get out of a major funk? I can't seem to shake it this time. Dunno if I'd call it a depression, but maybe that's close.

I've got a few good books to put into circulation if anyone's interested. Send me your snail mail address and I'll post them posthaste!

Howard 5-9-2001 21:52

Thank you all for the warm welcomes. {{{{{to all}}}}}
I'm hoping to get to spend alot more time here. Time is limited now however. Have a wonderful evening all.

Lizzie 5-9-2001 21:40


Heather - haven't read the posts as of yet, but I ran into something I think you may be interested in. The link is to a real audio transcript of a recent hearing before the ND Supreme Court involving a spouse abuse case. In this case, the mother who was regularly being beaten, and had acquired a divorce became the subject to abuse by her x husband and his family. She became so terrified that she fled not only the state but also the nation. She ran to England where she was discovered and charged removing her children from the state, contrary to the divorce court order (custody order). She was extridited back to the US and to ND, where she was convicted of this, and is now appealing to the State Supreme court. This will give you an idea of how such things are looked at, and the comments of the Justices is very interesting.

Jerry Ericsson The Trial 5-9-2001 21:04

Jerry! Now THAT is a funny story!

Mel - poor you! *sniff* I wasn't much of a drama-queen myself until I was older... *quick pose*

Teekay - Have you started the new one? Huh? Huh?

Glad to hear that by allowing yourself to start the new one you're writing again!

Way to go, girlie! *cheering section goes wild!*

Heather 5-9-2001 20:45


Hi Everyone!

Tomorrow we are having a 'Mad Hatter Garden Party' for my kids and some of their friends. I am all prepared. Right now the room is littered with balloons and I am catching my breath.

My novel is going slowly this week - I ran myself down last week between writing, editing, email, more writing, and my usual 'mothering duties'! I did do some editing (thanks Christi) today and did begin my next scene. I also sharpened a scene I wrote last week. I have the next ten scenes already dancing upstairs, so to speak. I just feel exhausted when I sit down at the desk these last few days!

Viv - hope you got my edits on the Kappa story ok. I sent it back to you this morning. AND I hope you have finally received the Mr.Bill tape.

Gariess, calling Gariess!

Hi SusanS! Nice to see you back again.

Pussy, darling! A naughty poem, by a naughty kitty. Nothing less shall do!

Eddie, great to see you here too.

Christi, calling Christi!!!

Mary, I have just SO many embarrassing moments! How does one choose?

Jerry - have to scroll back down and read your story - don't know how I missed it...

To all: May you be bitten in the ass nice and hard by your respective muses. Oh, and don't wear bug repellent - it may drive muses away. (A little known fact)

Heather 5-9-2001 20:35


Hallee - I saw your post on editing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-- I like editing. When you put text down for the first time it is all passion and excitement. At least it is for me, most of the time... After that, during the editing process, that is when I really fall in love with a piece. Sure, editing isn’t easy, but, it is worth it.

Rhoda - You must have had so much fun! I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself. I saw you post that you liked Haggis, UCK! I do not like Haggis. I have tried it a couple of times. I found the stuff dry and nasty. Hum, maybe I just had bad Haggis...

Heather - The busy thing (smiles). I can relate. I find so many distractions in my home. Most of them are very nice distractions. My children, husband, family, friends, dog, fish... You know (smiles). I have days when I’ll sit down at the computer and find that I’ve nothing at all to add to any one of the stories I’m working on. At that point I get up and do something else. I just can’t allow myself to kick and do nothing. I’m the sort who is usually doing more than one thing at a time. This is a source of amusement to my husband. I walk and read. I fold laundry and talk on the phone. I watch t.v. and cook. When ever I feel like I don’t have enough time for things, I think back to when I had to work full time. That was when I really had no time at all. I know being at home is busy, but it also has a certain amount of flexibility. That is something I didn’t have when I worked outside of the home.

All - My hat is off to anyone who can work outside of the home and still write. I want to tell you that I really admire each of you who do that.

Ben - I will also read text out loud. I don’t always do that, but I do sometimes. I don’t think that reading text out loud is stupid at all. Dang! When, oh when will I get to meet you (smiles)!

Lizzie - HI YOU :o)

Mel - A year is a good space of time to go without writing. It still doesn’t make you any less of a writer. All it would mean is that you are in a spot. There is much in a life that can distract from writing. I think that even if you get caught up and don’t write for a long time, that it is still there, that one day you’ll sit down and write out however many years worth of stuff. Or maybe you’ll never be able to crank out the pages like they are going out of style, but who cares. Write as you write.

Pussy - You wicked little thing. It is so nice to see you back on the NB. I’ve missed your kitty wit.

Ciao, ciao, ciao for now!

5-9-2001 19:33

Mary - No coffee?! Never mind. :(

Allein Allein's World 5-9-2001 19:09


Coffee and refreshments to not be served. Smoke if you got 'em.

Mary 5-9-2001 17:37

Interesting - I just looked at the ipublish website, and under their assignment sheet is an assignment for an anthology of ghost stories. Wonder if they have been snooping around the workbook and found **P**?

Jerry Ericsson 5-9-2001 17:21

Melanie - Thanks! :)

Allein Allein's World 5-9-2001 16:20

Hi everyone! I've been too tired from work to post lately. I finally have a couple of days off and I'm trying to catch up on things, though I confess I'm feeling extremely lazy today.

Melanie thanks for your advice. I'm getting some work done on that novel. There are parts that I really like and can get into, and parts that suck and I don't know how to improve, and I keep brooding about those parts that suck. I've started re-reading some of what I've written to try and get back into the story.

Tina, I'm sorry about your job troubles. Believe me, I sympathize, having just changed jobs myself, and I'm not sure what I have now is any better. I quit my last job, but I think they were going to fire me, which is so humiliating. I've never been fired from a job in my life, and have a very good job record. Suddenly, I was a problem employee. You will get through this time, I assure you.

Does anyone garden? Is it normal for tomato plants to wilt after being transplated outside? They looked so strong and vibrant when they were growing inside the house. Now they look so pathetic. I don't know what I did. I hope they recover. Maybe I should just stick to writing. I've never had my stories wilt, although a few have not worked out. I rarely abandon stories. I at least finish a first draft, if nothing else. Sometimes it seems like writing and gardening is a matter of luck.

SusanS 5-9-2001 14:04

Embarassing moments

When the wind whistles on my skin
and maliciously raises my red skirt
a blush paints my face rubi
and I merrily laugh at Eddie's
When Leeds United lost three-nil to Valencia
yesterday night

And welcome back to Rhoda
Terribly embarassed to be back on
poor USA
after her trip to Scotland and

(No antediluvian anti-American feelings of

Pussy, the wife of the greatest poet on earth (Jon), therefore also a poet.

Pussy 5-9-2001 11:40

Okay, Allein - before I go, shorties topic is; EMBARASSING MOMENTS (it certainly was!!! **double shudder**)

Mel again 5-9-2001 10:32

That post was so long and I forgot to add my name to the top so here it is! Okay now, didya laugh or cry? It's okay if you laughed (but thanks if you cried) - it really happened to me and my middle name is: Beth. :-) For those of you reading from top to bottom, pretend you didn't hear that (*shudder*).

Have a great writing day! I'm actually going to do some on the home pc today -woo hooo!! Yippee!!! Yea for me! Later, friends. :-)

Melanie 5-9-2001 10:31

What was the topic for Shorties again?

Allein Allein's World 5-9-2001 10:28

Mornin', Gang! :-)

I'm at home today with my 4-yr-old; she's watching a movie and I get some bonus writing time - YES!!! But first, an early shortie, since Jerry started it and I too may not be able to submit tomorrow...

BTW, Jerry, the Tastee Freeze story was way too funny! Another good one to add to that anthology... :-)

And Teekay, you GO, GIRL! Was it Heather who said she works on five stories at once? And now you're doing two at once - you guys are contagious!! I'm going to try, all at once, working less than...ONE! :-) I know, I'm an idiot! It often happens, especially when I have a free day at home. Deal!

Okay, here's the (gulp) shortie.


The Junior High jerks were still jerks, even after a lifetime of elementary school days, picking on the shy kids, bullying or totally ignoring them. Anybody who was anybody had to stand up for themselves, make their own place of respect, shine like a star.

That's why, when last period activity club sign-ups began, Beth swallowed thickly and joined: DRAMA CLUB. She had always been shy, probably her tallness and slight chubbiness had something to do with that. She had ignored all the name-calling, the cat-calls, the sassy boys with no lifestyle of their own, and now, here in Seventh Grade, she was determined to do something spectacular.

Dozens of drama-rama wannabes sat in the auditorium around her, listening avidly to the instructions of the Drama Club teacher. Mr. Short was calling now for individuals in the first participation groups to rise and prepare for their planned skits. Beth was part of group two.

She jumped up excitedly and headed for the girls' bathroom to get ready. Her group had planned a classroom skit, with a "teacher" gathering her class for a field trip and asking the "kindergartners" if anyone had to use the bathroom before they left. Many of the "kids" would raise their hands, but Beth was to have the shining role of the precocious child who jumped up and down and shouted "I do! I do!" Beth smiled at the silliness of the skit, hiking up her skirt and donning her saddleshoes. Everyone would laugh but they would be laughing with her today, not at her.

In the bathroom mirror, she returned the confident smile, matching her reflection as she pulled her long tresses into two high pigtails and secured them with bright ribbons. Now all she had to do was relax and go out there and be a big hit! She felt the smile start in her toes and work its way through her entire body as she exited the bathroom and hurried to the backstage entrance.

Beth reached the staging area, brimming with anticipation and nerves, and looked around for the other kids in her group. No one looked familiar. Were they onstage already? Her smile slipped just a bit as her eyes darted in that direction, but her group wasn't there either.
Suddenly, a voice behind her made her jump.

"Where were you?" It was the girl who played the teacher in Beth's skit. "We got to the part where you were supposed to jump up and you weren't there..."

"I was...getting ready..." Beth's smile crashed into a million bleak pieces of shame right there on the backstage floor. Face flaming, she turned and rushed back to the bathroom, readjusting her skirt to a modest length as she went, her fingers loosing the ribbons from her pigtails.

Back in the girls' bathroom, blessedly alone, Beth let the tears fall. The shame gave way to anger. They hadn't missed her before they went onstage? How could they have not even waited for her? Had she taken that long to get ready? Embarassment returned, and finally, a new resolution: she didn't need Drama Club to help her remain invisible in the eyes of her classmates.

Mel 5-9-2001 10:07

Welcome, Lizzie!

Interesting experience I had over the weekend. Can't tell you, but when I get my story for P** done, you'll know what happened!

And now that I've left you all (hopefully) in suspense, I have to go to bed. I have a short story to write tomorrow (or should I procrastinate until...?)

Teekay! Let your story gather some stink in the pages of the Round Robin! I could manage a smile if it's not so smelly it has me near unconsciousness!

And a cheers for stinky stories.

Better than stinky pets...

Heather 5-9-2001 4:00


Hi All,

MEL: You remind me a lot of somebody. Oh yes, me. No offence intended. :-)

Thankyou all for your helpful thoughts on writing, BUT it's too late, thankgoodness. Last night I unearthed the short story AND 'the novel?', and I managed to finish the short story AND to do some more work on the novel.

HEATHER: You are SO right. That feeling of accomplishment is fantastic. I don't know why I keep putting it off for so long.

LIZZIE: Welcome to you.

Now I have to put the shorty on the computer and I'll try and post it into P* tomorrow. This is not something I'm looking forward to doing. Actually I might just leave it a day or 2 to see if it starts to smell.

Going now.
Must type.

Teekay 5-9-2001 2:57

Oh, did I mention - this is based on a true story? Happened about 9 miles north of where I worked, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. (Well the names are also based on some charcters I knew there, but not the ones caught in the car)

Jerry Ericsson 5-9-2001 0:34

Never one to be late with an assignment, here is my shorty, a bit early, but it is going to be one busy week and I am not sure I will be able to post latter.

Clayton's Big Adventure
By Jerry Ericsson

Clayton was the night watchman for the small berg of Sheyenne. The Town just didn’t have the money to hire two police men, and the one that they had also took care of the water department, street department and on occasion drove the ambulance. Clayton took over at night, his sole purpose was to drive the police car around the ten streets that made up the little town and make sure there were no fires, no break-ins, no riots in the streets. Not being a sworn officer he had no power of arrest, no duty to the public, but most of the town didn’t know that.

Clayton had just relieved the Chief of Police, who went home to sleep, so he could be up early the next morning to sweep the streets. He dropped the Chief off at home, then began his beat, up one street, down the next, a pattern he would drive over a hundred times in the next week or two, or so he thought.

He was just passing the house where the Baker Brothers lived, the Baker Brothers were a couple of thirty year old kids, who never grew up, and probably had enough brains between the two of them to figure out how to tie their shoes. Both the Baker Brothers liked to drink, and they loved the women. Their only downfall was that none of the town’s women liked them. They did, however know a couple of 40-year-old women from up on the Reservation, which lay just across the bridge from the town. One of who was leaving their house as Clayton drove by.

Seeing the lady of the night, he pulled to the side of the road. “Hey you!” He shouted from the patrol car. “You, the squaw, get your ass over to my car right now!”

Camilla Pelletier walked over to the patrol car, she knew Clayton, in fact she had serviced him several times when he was not working.

“Ho, Clayton, wat’cho want.” She slurred, feeling the effects of the grape juice and rubbing alcohol the Barker brothers had been pouring down her throat in preparation of their ‘games’.

“Wanna ride around town with a cop for awhile?”

“Ho, why not, make me feel like a big shot riding in the front seat of the cop car.”

Camilla walked around to the passenger side of the car, and slide her two hundred twenty pounds if drunk Indian into the seat. “Can I play with the siren?” she asked.

“Keep your fucking hands off my siren, wanna wake the whole damn town up?”


Clayton drove around the town, up one street, down the next, then up one avenue, and down the next, all the time filling Camilla’s head with all the war stories he had ever heard from all the cops he ever knew, and making himself the hero in each. Finally, he decided it would be nice to park, and maybe get a little loving from his drunken companion. Not being one to shirk his duty, he pulled the patrol car right next to the Tastee Freeze, right on the highway through town, and at the end of Main Street.

Well then next ten minutes were filled with kissing, hugging, feeling and caressing, until the cloths began to come off. When the two were naked, they found that the front seat of the patrol car was just too crowded what with the radios, siren, red light switches, and that blasted brief case filled with all kinds of paperwork that the Chief used, but Clayton would never be able to make heads nor tails of.

“Ho, lets jump in the back seat, more room.” Slurred Camilla who always was hot when she had been drinking, especially that rubbing alcohol mixed with grape juice, known locally as Res-wine.

So the two jumped in the back seat, Clayton left the engine running, as it was a cold night, and he didn’t want to get a chill, and left the parking lights on, so anyone passing would think he was awake and on the job.

Well the two of them went at it like a couple of teenagers parked under a full moon, all alone at the lake, and when the deed was done, Camilla wanted to go home, so she tried the door. That’s when it dawned on the two of them. BACK SEAT DOORS ON COP CARS DON’T OPEN FROM THE INSIDE. Clayton began cussing, when he realized there was no escape, because he had failed to unlock the cage before jumping in the back, he and his main squeeze were locked in that car until someone came by and let them out.

“Well at least Thelma will be by to open the Tastee Freeze around 5 AM.”

“Ho! You Dumb shit, this is SATURDAY night, the Tastee Freeze don’t open until Noon on Sunday!”


Well after a bit more shouting and name calling the naked couple fell asleep in each other’s arms. That’s the way Betty Collins found them when she stopped to report some cows on the highway at 8:00 AM. Betty was so shocked by what she saw that instead of letting them out, she called Mayor Schmidt.

Mayor Schmidt was 87 years old, and thought he had seen everything, but he was in for a surprise. Now the Mayor didn’t want to go down there alone, so he stopped and woke up the Chief, who had decided not to sweep the streets due to the wind, and was trying to sleep in. The Chief and the Mayor discussed what to do for about fifteen minutes before proceeding down to the Tasteee Freeze, and in the meanwhile, Bob Jacobson, who was on his way to Warsing Dam to go fishing noticed the cop car and drove over to take a look. Bob was the firs fellow in Sheyenne to have one of those new fangled cell phone, and when he saw what was inside that car, he began calling all his buddies, most of who were just getting out of bed with major hangovers. Hangovers be damned, each and every one of them rushed down to the Tastee Freeze to watch the action.

When the Mayor and Chief arrived, they found nearly half the population of Sheyenne standing around that car, laughing and joking. When they walked up to the car, the crowd backed up just a bit to give them room to open the car, but not far enough away so’s they would miss anything that was said.

Instead of opening the back door, the Chief simply opened the front door of the patrol car, and drove away. Behind the patrol car was the Mayor, and behind the mayor were half the cars in town. They followed the patrol car until he got to the City shop, and drove the car inside. Once he locked the door, he opened the back door and let the two lovers out, then turned his back as they dressed.

That was Clayton’s last day as the night-watchman, in fact it was his last day as a citizen of Sheyenne, nobody knows where he is today, and I don’t think there are many who care, but the tale of that night will live forever in the three bars that line the highway that runs through the small town of Sheyenne.

Jerry Ericsson 5-9-2001 0:23


Mel - don't worry, eighteen years on the PD gave me a very thick skin, I took no offence.

Viv - You had me going there for a bit, I am one of those backward guys that reads from the top down instead of the bottom up, thought you were out of a job and a home stuck in Japan there for a bit, glad it isn't so.

Working on the most embarrassing experience, not mine, but a friend of mine, I think you will enjoy it.

Jerry Ericsson 5-8-2001 22:06


Good Evening, you-all! :-) A smile for the writing mile...

BEN: I do apologize for the religious remarks re: your shortie. I'm SO glad I didn't offend you. Everyone's entitled to their own religion or nonreligion and I was just teasing you. I value all my new friendships here on the NB and wouldn't purposely insult anyone. Sometimes my humor needs a major edit before I hit "post."

JERRY: While I'm at it, I meant no offense when I offered titles for a short story anthology by you. Sometimes my humor needs not only major editing but total deletion. Meanwhile, ahh, Yellowstone...sounds terrific! I hope you get to go.

RACHEL: Thanks for your remarks on writing output. I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I stress myself when my "minimal output" becomes "nil" for weeks on end. That's why I need to impose some sort of structure or writing routine, not to create more stress but to take away the stress that comes from not making enough time - or some days not ANY time - to write. I know I need to balance these stresses, not over-schedule myself with writing expectations but not under-schedule either (not writing for a year was definitely lousy for me).

RICHARD: Full speed ahead on the SAT's - good luck! You're almost halfway through your week (I'm glad my testing days are over..!)

HALLEE: 10 loads of laundry?! Ohh, my deepest condolences!!! I learned long ago that for every member you add to the family you also add 2 or 3 loads of dirty laundry per week. Let's see, 7 x 2 or 3...umm, er, yeah, I'm still doing laundry...

VIV: Yup. Getting up between 5 and 6 A.M. is a bummer. Yet quiet! :-) If I got to bed earlier nights, I could maybe get up at 4 and write for an hour the quiet... before getting ready for work. Hmm, that is REALLY tempting...

ROSEMARY: Hmm, a kid's story about the giant kid who threw the hail around - where'd he get it? Whay was he so mad? Did he get punished later? Hmm... Oh, and SF-Romance sounds good to me too! :-)

RHODA: Welcome back! It's always nice to take an inspiring trip and then come back with lots of good memories and maybe some writing ideas/new scene settings too!

TINA: I'm like you with the page-thing: 10 minutes or several hours to write one. That's why I'm nervous about setting a page-goal for myself. But without that goal, life seems to keep mowing over me...and I get NO page written. I won't get too mad at myself if I don't get the 3-page/day done - in fact, I'll probably pat myself on the back just for getting one a day done! As you say, it's the ACT OF WRITING - actually doing it - any of it - that keeps me sane too.

BTW, TINA, I would love to give you a job in my library outreach department but don't think you'd want to move from Canada to southern New York for a 15-hour/wk job. We'll soon be hiring a graphic artist sort-of person to help us with PR for our books-by-mail service. But hang in there! I know you'll find a great new job soon. Or maybe you'll take the big plunge and just WRITE for your living...ooh, exciting and nerve-wracking just to think of that!!

TEEKAY: If you're stuck on one ms. and inspired for another, why not use the "block"-time to work on the new idea? Maybe working on the new idea will spur ideas for the blocked ms. and/or maybe the new idea will turn out to be part of the original ms., might even solve the block for you...I know, not a new idea but sometimes it helps to have someone tell you again the same writing tips when you need to hear them most! Consider yourself re-inspired (I hope) - now get back to work (whichever ms. comes to mind first!). This from one who can't schedule personal writing time to save my life but who one day threw all her ideas into the air and put them together into one ms. that had been blocked. It CAN work!! :-)

LIZZIE: Hi! :-)

Whew! Once again long-winded...wish you were all here in my neighborhood so we could have daily writing chats over the fence in person!! Tea and crumpets anyone? A Whoopie-Pie and some Mountain Dew?? Pass the ms. and break for a bike ride! Yeah! Now up to Ben's house - we'll go boating and watch him swim, er, I mean work! If you can call writing on a boat work - sheesh! Some neighbors have all the fun. :-)

Melanie 5-8-2001 20:16

Ben: Just got back to the Notebook so just found your post. I have to say that it was truly inspired on Fran's part to leave her purse. It was delightful meeting you again, your wife and your children. I look forward to making this a repeat event either us up there or you down here. And the cookbook will be on its way.

Heather: the Archives of the Notebook have been around since the beginning of the Notebook and given the difficulty that I had running down everybody when I wanted to publish our collaborative short story The Train in a non paying small press publication, I suspect that running down everybody in the Notebook would be a bit difficult. BTW, if anybody has not read the train, I invite them to do so. I started it with an the opening scene and it went on from there with the help of many who are still here, Ben included. Ultimately, I did some editing and fine tuned the ending if I remember correctly and we had a very nice small piece. It may have a little less timely appeal now, but I still like it and think it is some quite nice writing and a demonstration of how several people can collaborate on a short piece.

Jack Beslanwitch The Train 5-8-2001 16:18

Sorry, I don't get to wear the zute suit. Now and again I get to put the white spaceman suit on as I go on site to see how my supervisors are doing. I also get a nice pair of green wellies, but I have to leave them at the spray point.(No contaminated kit allowed off site).
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and I am sure that you were treated well. We do have a 'thing' for 'Texans' over here.
Well, you really did get to Scotland before me. Have you been to Guam???
Nice to see you back,

Eddie 5-8-2001 14:47

Hello beautiful new friends. I have gotten to know you all a bit from your posts and am very happy to have found this lovely little place in cyber-space. I am very new to public writing life though I've been doing it in private for a while. I have posted both a poem and the begining to a novel that I have started and would love some feedback no matter how critical. I have no formal writing skills and would love to hear your opinions. There are many parts of the story that do not sit well with me and I am even now in the process of changing them. It is something that I hold close to my heart for more personal content reasons than actual skill of a story line. But I would still hope that it might hold someones attention. Please direct any comments to my e-mail, as I am only able to check the posts every few days. Have a wonderful day all. And thank you very much.

Lizzie 5-8-2001 13:21

A Beautiful green morning to all,

The Insurance man came early and took pictures of my roof and measured my bed room..?? RE. the giant hail Sun. night

A lady I met at a writer's meeting sent me an email about her book. She used It turns out they are one of the publishers I talked to at the Houston Conference last year. It is an E-Publisher, but they take submissions. I don't really know anything about them but her book sounded interesting. It is a Si/Fi Romance. Hit two readers with one book.

(A WARNING: Because of the weather, I'm in a good bit of pain and always get into trouble with my posts when in this condition.)
You must have missed a part of the Notebook a while back. It was about the beginning of the "China-spy plane" incident. There were a couple (few?) posts that were definitely ante-Americian (my opinion?) by persons from Canada. One later said that they had a right to their opinions. I said they absoulutely did, I was just surprised. I always thought of Canada as---just the northern, greener part of us. That might be because I live 150 miles from Mexico and the northern border of the US (as far as I know) is just a peaceful line across the top of the country. Much different from down here.
My sister has delivered loads in Canada (Drives a Big Rig.) and the only thing she mentioned was that they always gave change in Canadian money. She didn't say anything about problems with the border or people throwing bricks at her truck.---Anyway, I thought there must be bias in the media for those feelings, but so far, I like the Toronto Star much better than our local paper. It's just as good if not more interesting as the New York Times (I'm talking web sites)

Are you making fun of my lousy spelling? :-> I wonder if there is a program that would check whatever was highlighted? Oh well, when it bothers me enough I'll get my Windows prog. fixed. My Mother always said my spelling was so bad because I was taught sight reading. I can outread a lot of people and I can usually tell when a word is spelled wrong. I just can't fix it.

Welcome back. I am green with envy over your wonderful trip. Can't wait to hear more and see the pics.

Luckly those giant hail stones were few and far enough between. I had more damage about a year ago when we went through this whole thing. The most damage looks like an old tree that is now leaning on my sister's roof. Not very much rain with that one either. about seven-tenths of an inch.

I have now taken up far more space than I should have, so Bye for now.

Rosemary 5-8-2001 12:56

Thanks Viv, for the thoughts and the crossed fingers. The place I work now is in a mall, and it is moving out to a downtown location. When it moves there will be fewer business hours, and apparently the owners want to cut more expenses, like my wage. I just wonder who they expect will mind the store, run the till, clean, unpack stock, answer the phone..... SOMEONE has to be there! Ah well, I still don't know for sure, so I'll not panic. Yet.

Just a weird thought. When I use the 'back' and 'forward' buttons to jump between here and the NB, the notebook doesn't come up correctly. I doesn't show any posts from the last three days or so. Weird.

Must go.

Tina 5-8-2001 11:37

Oy. Where's Edgar when you need him?

Mark 5-8-2001 9:24

Uh, chigamasu suru! (I goofed)
We didn't have a job or a house...
That should read, we didn't have a job or a house to go back to in the States. So we landed the job and the first thing we did was to buy a house and hopefully the rent would cover our apartment if we have to come back to the States suddenly. Sure hope there aren't any steam grates in my future and there were absolutely no German steam grates in my past! It was a two week roll over into a new job in a much better place.


Viv 5-8-2001 7:53

Melanie: I was very interested in that conversation you and Heather were having! You are exactly like me, my day goes rush rush rush and lately I've been having a bad case of the exhausted lazy's' when I get home. The three pages a day sounds doable. Two in the morning when I am fresh with editing (if I can manage to get up earlier, I'm getting up at 5:30-6:00AM now) I think I'll sneak in the writing at school on days I have to get there. If you go early you can sometimes get a seat on the train.

After 8:30 my day speeds and there's no stopping until about 8:30 PM. I'm going to sneak in the last page in bed on my laptop. It may be written like thisZZZZZ but it will be written. I think the keeping the writing imporant in my schedule will do the trick.

I don't remember who said this so Rachael, if I'm writing the wrong person's name in who made the comment, sorry. I agree with Rachael. I think I need to make a pact with myself if I mess up and don't make three to say, "hey, there is a naturalness to pacing. If you are completely drained you won't write well.

Heather, thank you for editing that story. I am excited. What is funny is that all it took to start it was a letter to you explaining what a word meant. Weird.

Tina: As much as we hate and curse the time it takes to work, because it gets in the way of writing, a job is important. I'm sorry to hear that you've been told your job might be gone in June. That is lousy. It makes you feel a real loss of confidence to loose a job and have to hunt for another. It's happened to me many times. It happened to my husband in Germany when I was pregnant with my second child. That was lousy timing! We were so scared. We didn't have a job, or a house. Luckily he landed the next job quickly. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you keep that job or a new one comes before June and you can say in a nice loud voice...I QUIT! Hang in there! And I think I'll also start crossing my fingers for all the stories you will publish! Hang in there.

Viv 5-8-2001 7:49

Just a note to you JACK: Renu says she's glad Fran forgot her purse, otherwise she'd have never met you two, or had such a great night. Thanks from her. And from me. Next time ya wanna go diving, and you get a handful of crabs, bring 'em over and we'll show you how to kill 'em proper like, instead of boiling the poor beasties to death. Just rip 'em in half!

MEL: Sweet sentiment about angels' voices and all that stuff as far as the shortie went, but way off on that one girlfriend :-) I'm a bona-fide Pagan according to my wife.

RHODA: Welcome back!

HOP: Nice to see you too.

ROSEMARY: Like Mark said: Ante-Amercican? You'll never find that in the newspapers :-) And why are you looking?

As for the amount of writing that gets done, I have to agree with RACHEL on that one. Sometimes I can get a page done, sometimes three. When I do my editing, I don't go by pages as much as I do by time. I try to give myself a couple of hours a day at least, everyday (except weekends because there's always a lot of general housecleaning that has to be caught up on...she lets me get away with a lot, but she's not stupid). That's why I like the afternoon shift. I can spend the entire day at the keyboard working and reworking a storyline until it almost fits, and then I put it away and come back to it later. And I read everything out loud to myself. It sounds stupid, but you can hear the mistakes a lot easier than seeing them.

Gotta run. Got a lot of catching up to do. Sending emails and checking this page sometimes takes longer than I expect. Oh well, I'll just have to stay up a little later.

Ben 5-8-2001 5:30

Before Mark gets going with the terrifying grammar in my last post, I apologize. I was napping at the same time I wrote it. So there, (I tell myself); I DO know one more party trick.



Heather 5-8-2001 3:17

Rachel - big hugs right back!
To answer your question - well, sometimes. I'll have days where I sat here at my computer desk and straightened pens and CD roms, anything for a few minutes or hours just to avoid writing a scene. That was Haven, though.
The only thing that keeps me from writing on it is not being able to concentrate if the kids are up when I'm at the computer (so most of the time I answer emails and don't bother trying to write) or if I'm at work, play, feeding pets, cooking, snuggling (or more) with Wayne... gee, the list really gets long once I start thinking of how little time I've got to spend here!

Teekay, don't worry. The novel you are meant to complete first will be, uhhh, well, the one you're driven to write and can't put away until it's done. If you feel you're ready to leave the one you started recently and start a new one, I'd say wait a day or two and think on it, and if you still want to start the new one, GO FOR IT! If you find you get stopped up by chapter 3, go back to the other one and re-read everything. You may pick up on that one again.
If you need to jump back and forth to keep it exciting and fresh for you, then do that guilt-free. I always have five or more projects on the go. Keeps me from boredom, if nothing else. Oh, it keeps me feeling accomplished SOMETIMES. (Hey! I got a load of laundry done! YAY - ha ha ha kidding you all there. I'm laundry queen. Didn't you know I have a washer and dryer under the desk? I can measure out detergent with my toes while I edit) :P

That's all the party tricks I know.


Heather 5-8-2001 3:15

Rhoda - WOW, that sounds like you had a wonderful time, wish I could have been there with you. I'll bet you saw some wonderful old haunted castles and mansions, and heard some great ghost stories you can share with us in **P**.

So glad you had a good time.

We usually spend our vacations in the camper, not more then a hundred miles away, and with the rising price of gas, I think it will be much closer to home this year. My niece and her husband have invited us to take a trip out to Yellowstone National Park, her husband gets some sort of deal on cabins out there, so we won't need the campers, I think we will try and go with them, in our own vehicle of course, so we will have to spend some on gas, but not dragging a couple thousand pounds behind will make for a much cheaper trip.

Jerry Ericsson 5-7-2001 23:37

Hi All,

MEL: I love those back to the future movies too.
I think what makes a good story great is when the reader feels absorbed it. Well rounded characters, writing you can see, hear, feel. Writing that touches the senses and moves the soul.
Jeez, I think maybe I've put myself off.

RHODA: Hey there! welcome back. So was it fantastic! Misty moors and all the rest of it?
I think you're very brave for trying the haggis, twice at that! I can't enjoy eating rabbit. It may taste delicious, but because it's rabbit I just can't think mmmm yummy, so I don't think there's anyway in the world I would've eaten haggis twice. Once maybe, but only coz I'm a sticky beak.
I'll try and have those chapters back to you tomorrow.

TINA: Thanks :-). I think my main problem is still chapter 2, I'm not happy with it and I'm sort of putting off going back to it, so it sort of makes chapter 3 a bit iffy as well, depending on the new outcome of chapter 2.

Anyway, I have this great urge to write a romance. I've got the outline. Should I start this while it's pulsing in my hot little head or lay it to the side and get on with my first novel attempt?
Or is this just my subconscious way of avoiding the first attempt.
Ah, the dilemma!

Tomorrow I promise to be able to tell you that I have written something - anything.

Another of my favourite adages is 'Tomorrow never comes.' hehehehehe.


Teekay 5-7-2001 22:23

*Tina again*

Hey Teekay. I understand. Here's a thought.

I was at the same place yesterday, not sure what the 'next thing' was going to be. Thought about it and thought about it. Today I decided that I'd only worry about the 'next word'. I wrote a word, and a sentence, and didn't worry about what would happen. After about half a page, it came to me. The plot revealed itself and everything jumped into my head. Then I didn't want to stop. I'm not saying that this works everytime, but sometimes writing anything - even if you don't end up keeping it or even INTEND on keeping it - is better than the rut that sets in if you worry too much.

Tina 5-7-2001 21:56


Rhoda, your trip sounds awesome! I'm totally green, 'cause I've been wanting to go to Scotland/Ireland/England for years. I'm looking forward to your photos.

Rosemary, hope you saved one of those ice balls, for posterity. You know, proof for the day you say 'we once had hail SO BIG...' Not too much damage, I hope.

Viv, the rumour I've heard about their name, the Bare Naked Ladies, is indistinct but has somethig to do with college, being too drunk, and not actually expecting to succeed so wildly.

Richard, happy SAT's!

I don't set a page limit for myself, because one page can take me between ten minutes and five hours. Depends on the scene. I firmly demand an hour a day, and at least one day a week I try and write for three to five hours.
I don't set date deadlines because I get bitterly angry if I miss them.
I don't set deadlines for a certain number of pages, because I've been known - many times - to delete masses of writing that I deem unworthy, or to change the story so drastically that I have to throw away masses of pages. Always, the change is for the better, so I refuse to punish myself for losing pages. I think it's the act of writing that counts. It's certainly the act of writing that keeps me sane.

New news today. I might not have a job come June 1. So now I have to make alternative plans around a great big 'maybe'. Don't know what to do. As much as I'd LOVE to spend the summer writing and at the beach, the $'s say no.

Wanted: one full time job for a thirty year old graphic artist who prefers to write. Six years experience in retail sales, can make a wicked cappuccino or an awesome machiatto. Nice smile, fast learner. :-)


Tina 5-7-2001 21:51


I just got back from my too brief tour of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Yes, I did try the haggis. I ate it twice and loved it. It tasted like corn beef hash, but much, much better. Also I loved the salmon and the cod and the haddock. I ate most of my food in pubs. I tried lamb and enjoyed it as well as a lot of other foods I knew little about. The only thing I could not do was to develop a taste for Guiness. That beer was just a bit too sharp.


Nothing is wrong with me. My plane didn't crash on my way back and forth to your country. I didn't get caught in any Northern Ireland cross-fire. Our car didn't get plastered going the wrong way on a round-about. I did suffer a bit from not being able to find a rest room at times. There were places and roads where toilets were few and far between. We also got hopelessly lost driving around York.

By the way, are you going to be doning one of those cool green raincoats and standing on the side of remote country roads spraying the tires of vehicles that come your way?

So I have done something you haven't done yet and gone to Scotland. I got to Scotland afore ye, lad. I was there last week. We went to Melrose and spent a night and a day and then we spent about three days in Edinburgh. Then we drove through Ayrshire and got the ferry to Northern Ireland. Those ferries are impressive. The first one was small, but fast and got use across to Ireland in 45 minutes. The ferry going back took two hours, but it was more crowded.

Anyway, the trip was wonderful. I am still suffering jet lag, so I can't tell much more at this point. All I know is that I had a wonderful time, but that I am very happy to be back home to family and friends.


P.S. I will have more to say later. When I process my pictures I will put them up on a website for you all to see.

Rhoda 5-7-2001 19:31

I actually write very fast; however, some of you are seeing the results of that as I struggle with editing. I think it's one giant package. I can whip a really good story out onto the page, the rough draft is pretty good all things considered. But then it takes me twice as long to bear down and do the editing process. And I know that when I finish doing it chapter by chapter, I'll have to start back over and do it at least one more time. So - a prolific rough draft writer does not necessarily mean a prolific writer.

Things are a little better today...the stress at work is fading away some. I'm glad this whole personal move and work move is all over with.

Happy Monday all...have to go to the laundry mat and dry the ten loads I washed yesterday.

Oh, ROSEMARY - looks like a storm is headed our way. How bad was the damage? I'll worry now until you post again.


Hallee 5-7-2001 18:48

And if you can't do output, how about put out?

Uh, ROSEMARY -- Ante -American ??

"All right, boys, ante up. One American each."

Well, everyone has trouble with that one. Italian restaurants serve either antepasta or antipasto or ...

Mark 5-7-2001 18:33


Teekay - Thank you :o)

5-7-2001 16:11

"Captain, English SATS off the starboard bow!"

"Exam shields! Arm stationary and revision guides!"

"Enemy is firing stress and anxiety weapons!"

"May the muse be with us!"

Heh - actually I'm not worried about the English SATs, just the Maths Mental Arithmatic Paper - "You have five seconds to answer the following question... calculate..."

SATs all week - this is gonna be exciting... :

Richard 5-7-2001 15:46


I want to add that if you were a person who wrote for a living, that would involve you needing to be able to put out a certain amount of work. I do understand that there are times when a person MUST have output. That however, is not what I was talking about. Why am I running around and explaining myself so much? Simple, I've had my ass chomped on a couple of times when I haven't expalined myself.

5-7-2001 14:35


Heather - I saw your post about how much like to write each day. I want to give you a hug. What happens when you don't write that much? What if you don't write the amount you want for a week, a month? I hope you wouldn't be harsh with yourself.

I often seen people here write posts about the amount that they write. I don't think that the amount you write has anything to do with anything. some novels take years, other novels take days. One is not better or worse than the other. It all depends on time, writing style, thoughts and how each writer deals with them.

I hope that nobody would feel they were any less a writer due to minimal output of text.

I'm one of those writers who can crank out thousands of words in a day. That does not mean I'm any better or any worse than another writer. It only means that I am different. We are all different and individual. That is how it should be. That is how our writing should be.

Sure, there will be times when deadlines come into play. At those moments people need to get down to it and crank it, but only then. Creative stress (the imposing of deadlines and expectations on our writing) is not always a good thing. There is so much stress in life all ready. Why go out and look for it?

Sorry to jump all over this. It is just something that I see as a concern.

Ciao for now.

5-7-2001 14:32

Heather - Thanks for your speedy input! I was roughing out about 3 pages a day as a goal for myself - glad to hear it works for someone else already! I seem to be on a roller-coaster schedule with more downs (no writing time) than ups. Working fulltime then coming home to take care of family really fills most days. Before marriage I could write into the deep hours of the night at my leisure - ah, the joys of writing uninterrupted in the still of the night! :-) Now, I'm getting tired of hunting for writing minutes or seconds as they may fall to me. The commuter bus is decent writing time for about a half hour either way, and then stolen moments in the evenings at home, after the youngest is abed. I've been blaming my muse for being absent but honestly I haven't let her in the house very often! I want to write more regularly, muse or no. When the muse is with me, there's no stopping the word-flow - I can even write while walking down the street! But scheduling myself will make my writing progress, I hope, even when Ms. Muse is out of town.

My novel sits, when it should be knocking on some publisher's door - I need to polish it, finish re-working the beginning and other trouble spots - I need to write. I want to get that novel out the door by early November this year. Hey, I think I just set myself a goal! (My muse is quaking in her little moccasins!)

Melanie 5-7-2001 14:31

Mel: I basically try to write at LEAST 3 pages (double-spaced, manuscript form) each day. I have also given myself a clause in the self-agreement: as long as I have the equivalent of 3 pages 'per day' written by the end of each week I'm not harsh with myself! If I go over then I don't consider it 'Monday and Tuesday's writing' for the following week.
Also, I consider the editing process as part of those 3 pages per day. I almost never save my writing for the night without first reading it over and doing some editing. I also re-read what I've written the next day in order to start with full focus - unless of course, I have the next day's writing already partly jotted down.
I used to give myself a more long-distance type of goal: to have one or two chapters done in a certain period of time - a month for example. Now I don't worry about that - so long as I'm writing 3 pages per day OR MORE, the chapters are finished sooner and I'm more focused on the daily routine instead of dreaming about chapters I've yet to finish.
I do have a final deadline written down - but if I pass it without the finished ms in my hands, I won't be too upset. I can't tell exactly how long the book is going to be so setting a goal for finishing it is no more than an educated guess. If I set the deadline too far away (so that I can say 'Hey! I bet the deadline!', then I'll procrastinate far too much and most likely miss that deadline anyway.

If I don't just pretend I never set one in the first place!

Now, I have been delinquent with my three pages from Friday. I don't usually count weekends, but have managed to use them wisely to make up for slow writing progress on days when I'm too tired from my other jobs and go to bed without writing anything but a post and an email or two.
So, I have to make up for Friday's lackadaisical writing holiday and write a streaking pile tonight. I'm about at a major scene with some heavy confrontations between two characters, so it should be like blinking and those pages will be written.
If only it were as easy as writing posts here.

Hey, Jack - wonder if you could publish the archives as a non-fiction book? Might be interesting. A day in the Life.
A lot of different (and some long-disappeared) people to ask for permission to publish it though.

Ah, nap time....
ZZZZ to help give me an extra hour tonight to write write write.

So, tell me Mel - what is your approach to writing so far? Do you just sit down and write on no particular schedule... Whenever the muse hits, so to speak?

Heather 5-7-2001 14:01

Hi again -

I went for a walk on my lunch-hour, did some people-watching and realized I haven't been very observant of late. In fact, I need to re-set some writing goals for myself. That perseverance-word again, haunting me! I know it's the only way I'll ever get anything of value written. I was wondering if anyone of you well-organized, efficient/prolific writers out there would care to share some goal-setting tips for one who is struggling with the concept?? Do you set goals of writing time per day or week or month, or do you set a number of pages for yourself, either writing fresh draft or editing? And how do you make yourself stick to it, or how do you get yourself back on track if you slide off?? Lovely days are also good for inspiration, if only to make you realize how messed up your writing schedule is!!??!!

Mel again again 5-7-2001 13:17

Well, the link doesn't seem to work from here, but try it anyway direct:

Melanie again 5-7-2001 10:31


Good morning, everyone! It's a lovely day here (in case you were wondering where the lovely day was today).

The attached link is untried by me but was referenced in an interview with former U.S.Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky that I just read. His advice to aspiring poets (and I think applies equally well to all writers):

"Read the way a cook eats.
Study works of art you think are monumentally magnificent.
Ask yourself what you can learn...from the music or movies that you love..."

I'm inspired by beautiful music, with or without words, and by movies like the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy (just watched them again this weekend with my kids). I've tried to figure out what it is that makes the stories so rich, so addicting, like a good book that I want to absorb over and over. I come up with really in-depth and really human characters, a plot that keeps moving, throwing in twists where you least expect them, taking the characters into situations they hate to enter but they must because their survival and happiness depends on it, etc. What do you-all think makes a good story great?

Mary - looks like a great site. Like it! :-)

Hop - Sure - Send me the latest version of Psiforce - it's very inspiring reading! :-) On elements and the psyche, I see them all as part of natural forces. It is only a matter of how well anyone's brain can tap into these resources; some people are much better at it than others (like some of us can cook and paint AND write. Others, like me, are lucky to get five words written over the weekend alongside a burnt omelette or a doodle on the grocery list!) My characters get all the fun, teleporting through foreign lands, knowing what someone else will say or do before it happens, communing with the spirit of the earth...

Tina - Thanks for sharing your "good writing" day yesterday. It helped cheer me after a lousy-writing-weekend for me (too many distractions and duties, darn it! Sigh...)

Y'all have a good writing day TODAY!

Melanie Link 5-7-2001 10:24

**Me again**

I don't know about Magazines, but I have been reading the Toronto Star (Newspaper) online. Found it to be an excellent paper. Well written and a better range of stories than our papers. I haven't really seen the reason for ante-American feelings, but it is a good site for news.

Sorry about the last post. I checked it after the post and I had put my name on it three times. Does that mean I have a couple of annonymous(sp?) posts coming?

Gone for sure now,

Rosemary--Again 5-7-2001 10:09


A Soggy dented good morning to all,

I haven't seen a post from you lately. The news said there were a lot of tornados wandering around in Oklahoma lately. Hope everything is OKay up there.

I hope the storm we had last night went out to sea before getting to you. We had hail that was so big, I was afraid to go out to get a piece of it. Thought I might put it in the freezer for the insurance man. I saw two or three pieces that were larger than my fist. (I have very large hands. Can't wear women's gloves but that's because my fingers are so long.) I haven't been brave enough yet to go out and see what damage was done.

You are RIGHT. Using the arrow back and forward is the easiest way to go back to check the notebook while posting. My mind usually finds the simplest way to do things, but it missed this one. THANKS.

Happy writing everyone,

Rosemary 5-7-2001 10:04

Hi Folks!
There are other people out there who've heard Barenaked Ladies! I'm glad. I love the group but the name is sort of hard to explain. Does anyone know WHY they are called that?

They're Canadian? That's neat. Seems to me (from over here which is a little like being on another planet) Canada is producing a lot of good literature and music. Maybe I just wasn't aware of that before, but whenever I need a good textbook, a good child's reading series, I go to a Canadian publisher first. Now I find my favorite song is Canadian! What are the magazines like. I think American magazines have too many advertisements. I liked the German magazines. You found really great ideas for crafts, cooking, decorating, and well written well thought out articles. The articles never seemed "cookie cutter" mass produced. The stories were more like those in the old (1980's) versions of the "New Yorker".

Could someone please tell me the title of a Canadian Magazine you feel has these qualities and might be a market for fiction I could aspire to. I know that first chance should go to Canadian writers, but it's nice to have a standard. I'd get a subscription.

Viv 5-7-2001 8:19


RACHEL: I've only just discovered your story in Phantasium. What a brilliant idea!

Well, I wish I could tell you all that the writing is going wonderfully, but alas I cannot. *sigh*
I've been mulling it around in my head, but so far haven't commited anything to paper since chapter 3.
Chapter 3, now there's a landmark. Maybe this is where I'm supposed to abandon this novel and then maybe on the next I'll get as far as chapter 4 and then abandon that one until I've finally started enough books that I have enough chapters for a novel.
Nah! Only joshin'. I'm sticking this one out. Just have to find where I put my pen that's all.

Teekay 5-7-2001 4:12

Now how is this for thinking on your feet - I told you I had my western started, well it was started on this machine before I replaced the hard drive, now it sits on the old hard drive, which is not installed in any system. Guess I should hook it up somewhere, so I can retrieve the stories I was working on. Some times I wonder how I survive, the way my mind has been of late.

Jerry Ericsson 5-7-2001 0:43

Bllaaahh - people have no idea of the value of an old computer - couldn't get over a hundred bucks out of my old ones, only sold one. Oh well now I have an excuse to keep them around the house and put different operating systems on them. Oh, got my new (used) 20 gig hard drive and have it on my computer now, works fine. Now all that remains is to put the software on it. Needless to say, I did no writing today, but it did serve for a few ideas for stories. I have my first western short story going, and it is turning into a western ghost story, intended for **P**.

Jerry Ericsson 5-6-2001 22:03

:o) Rachel :o)

Viv & Tina - I also enjoy the music of the Bare Naked Ladies. I have gone to see them live. They were a riot! I won the tickets on the radio. I played the bare naked bongos to get them. Oh yeah, I played the skins :o)

Happy Sunday to all.

5-6-2001 19:48

Viv, you've pegged one of my favourite 'fun' songs! Yes it's by the Bare Naked Ladies - actually five Canadian men with phenominal talent. All of their songs are fun that way. Hmm... think I'll go put on their CD.

Okay it's playing. Yes I love 'em!

Not much writing today. The weather is simply too perfect to stay inside!

See y'all

Tina 5-6-2001 11:41

One more thing:
Richard and Jerry: Have you ever heard the song, "If I Had a Million Dollars"? I think it might be by the Barenaked Ladies. It's very cute. Every time I pass a line up for the Lotto tickets I think of that song. You can download it from Napster. I teach the kids to sing it in class because it is simple then we go into If/Then clauses. We end with, "If the teacher stays up all night Then she won't make it to class!!!!"

Richard, don't be put off by the name of the group. That song isn't bad, it doesn't have a single dirty word, just things like, "If I had a million dollars I would buy you a car!" You'll like it.

Bedtime! Goodnight.

Viv 5-6-2001 8:21

Heather: Thank you thank you thank you for your wonderful letters! My muse is back and working overtime. I feel much better! Hope you didn't mind my story sent to you and the added busy'ness'. Thank you for taking the time and trouble! If it doesn't work for *P* don't worry. I sort of have a weird way of writing that doesn't fit too many places. I guess I'll learn to modify and control that. You have any suggestions?

Mary: That's a neat site. I'll check it more on Tuesday. Things are sort of getting hectic but it was nifty!

Jack: Didn't get the result I wanted at all from my "web site" trial. I've got to try try again! Still, these computers are so neat. The things that are possible are amazing. Every time I lift the lid of this little laptop something interesting happens. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's pretty horrific. What is scary is I found out that the University computers sometimes have bugs and they get transfered onto your floppy discs. I wonder how they're going to cure all the buggy computers on campus. I think our English office is really infected. Who can you call to come in and spray. I guess I find out tomorrow.

Viv 5-6-2001 8:14

People talking about lotteries?

Actually I don't like them. We have the National Lottery in Britain - you wouldn't believe how many people in need spend their precious pounds on the lottery every week, hoping for that one-in-a-million chance of actually getting large amounts of money. In fact they end up a lot worse off and develop the lottery form of a gambling addiction. When somebody wins the jackpot, I bet they hardly ever think about the fact half the money came from down-on-their-luck families who waste money adding to that jackpot when it could have brought them extra food, clothes, etc.

Richard 5-6-2001 2:40

Hi you all!!
Didn't get to goto jail though...:-) next trip...
had idea for story on train...this is what it includes
Ghosts in bush
reference to 'monsters'
cant be on long bye bye

taylor 5-6-2001 0:34

Okay speaking of burps, I just had a brain burp. It wasn't Litter who posted that link. Don't know why I thought it was. Thank you mystery poster!

Tina 5-6-2001 0:28

Thanks Litter! I love it :-D

Quiet in here today.

Something good must be in the air, 'cause today I've been feeling like my writing is finally going somewhere, and that the end of my novel is in sight and that it's good. I was at work thinking about all the wonderful help and insight you've all given so freely, and about how much I've learned in the last few years, and that my writing can actually entertain people and maybe even move them to understand the things I try and say. I'm babbling, but oh well. It's just that usually my cynical-self overpowers my optimistic-self. I've always been comfortable calling myself an artist, but its always seemed wrong to call myself a writer. Today something kicked me in the tush and said 'of course you are!' Even more surprising, is that I didn't argue! It feels good.

I was just scanning over the posts, and I didn't see Debra anywhere. Debra, are you out there lurking? Hope you're not lost in the recent NB burps.

And speaking of writing, that's what I'm gonna go do.

Tina 5-6-2001 0:26

it works.

5-5-2001 22:00

Tina, if this link works, the picture made me think of you.

Link 5-5-2001 21:59

My mother sent this link to me in an email today. I was going to send it to a few of you via email, but then the list of who I was sending it to got so long I thought I may as well post it here. I am on my own way to check it out now, so I can't really vouch for it yet, but it seems to be worth a look see. Hope it helps someone. :-)

InfoBeat - iPublish
If you've ever thought about writing, or actually have something
tucked away that you've been working on, now is a great time to get
serious about it. Time Warner Books has launched a new site called
iPublish, where those without a book deal can submit their work for
possible publishing. The company not only publishes those
submissions that they feel are best, but also those that connect
with their audience. So, even if you've got nothing to submit, you
can always head over to read and give your opinions. Who knows?
Maybe you'll be inspired.

Mary infobeat i publish 5-5-2001 21:36

Win the Lotto? We had a couple here in town that won on the SD Lotto, got something like 500,000 after taxes. They now drive around in his and hers vintage Vette's and bought out two motels here in town, one across the street from the other, and run them as Non-smoking, and Smoking, the best of both worlds I guess. I am happy for them, I have even considered buying a ticket, but then I think how I could use that money to upgrade my computer...

Jerry Ericsson Stories 5-5-2001 21:18

Here's a game show for you:

"Wipe the smug look off a Welsh's face"

Or how about this one?

"Don't break a sweat" Everyone would lose but infants, whose sweat glands aren't developed enough to work!

"Wrench the money out of my fist" And Arnold Swartzeneggar is the host.


Barnabas, you might want to think about the elements a bit more. Brush up on your science. Everything's connected.

Jerry - now that is cool - your wife is telepathic and empathic!
My husband and I have been telepathic on occasion, but usually it's when of an urgent nature. I'd like to develop it on an everyday basis. Hey, it would save on phone calls!
I think you can pick up on your wife's thoughts if you keep trying. I can't really say how, exactly - it's more of a 'feeling' anyway. Just allow it to happen, if that makes any sense.

Back to writing - would say more but I'm conserving words.

Heather 5-5-2001 20:55

Yes, I saw the program (Room 101?) where she said that. Basically, she said she was envious of Welsh people and that she found them smug or something. But the press jumped on it and blew it all out of proportion.

I just remember laughing when it came on the news - I can't believe they've actually got posters advertising in the American cities - it's not exactly the best gameshow ever, though some people say they haven't got anything like it in America...

Alas, it seems to have started off a trend - rip-offs galore to follow. Dog eat Dog anyone?

Richard 5-5-2001 15:44


Weakest Link Fans.
Did you know that Anne Robinson recently got into a whole world of trouble over here by saying that the Welsh people were 'Annoying'.
The press had a field day and the BBC were made to apologise. P.C. gone mad.
It was said in a humorous way!
Watch what you say.

Eddie 5-5-2001 14:44


Mel - Yes, I like the idea of the lotto. I don't think I'll ever win it. I would love for a person I know to win it. That would make me very happy. As for me, my lotto has been won. I've got my prizes (smiles).

Hop, HOp, HOP! - Still love the name.

Take care all.

5-5-2001 11:09

Richard - We wouldn't miss The Weakest Link, absolutely love that show, and that host, what a woman. Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the way the British speak, and the way she uses it is even better.

Well Spring has arrived for sure now, I moved my camper around from the back yard to the front of my house, so we could plant the garden. (Have to drive through the garden to hook up to the camper because the Idiot who lives behind me erected an eight foot board fence on the alley side, making it very narrow.) The grass is green, and trees are leafing out. But the sure sign of spring is the overcast skies and hint of rain to come. This only occurs on weekends.

Hop - you speak of mind reading as if it is something that happens only in the realm of science fiction. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While I would have a hard time reading a mind if it were opened up and had printing on it, the same is not true of my wife. She gets it from her mother, who could read minds only when a highly emotional event occur ed, such as child birth, death, or sudden illness. The mother-in-law was known for making calls to relative's homes shortly after the death of a relative, long before anyone had been notified. In fact she once called a cousin of hers, and told him to check on his wife because something terrible was happening, when he checked, his wife was in the bedroom near death having had a sudden stroke while he had been sitting in the living room watching TV.

I only wish this were the only time my wife could do it, but she has the uncanny ability to send thoughts to our kids, and read theirs, this makes playing pinochle as a family very unfair, because if she is partnered with one of our kids, she can send them the cards she wants them to pass. That is why there is a rule in our house that she can only play if I am her partner. I guess I am too thick skulled for it to work on me.

Jerry 5-5-2001 9:23

I've been trying to e-mail Jack the corrupted notebook archives before it got corrupted. I save the notebook on my computer and read it later offline. Anyway, I don't have all of it but everything I saved is complete. Anybody know if Jack's e-mail is working properly and if its a problem with hotmail and not with Jack's e-mail?

Been reading your comments. Glad you picked up the figure's true nature and I'm glad you thought I wasn't overdoing his compassion.

Glad you're getting work done (reminds me I should be working).

Glad Psiforce grabbed your attention. Perhaps I should E-mail you the updated version which includes more explanations and a synopsis or whatever they call the story summary on the back of the book.

You know Melanie I once suggested the very same thing to Mary on shortie themes. Co-incidence, I think not. Do I sense greater powers at work here?

As for elemental powers although I refer to the elements in my writing they are symbolic only and I make that very clear because the elements are unscientific and frankly I don't see how psychic abilities can be based around them considering the idea of the "elements" is a cultural construct.

Chances are you're probably thinking that I'm being too serious but seeing as how my novel is based loosely on the real world these are things I really have to consider.

It's quite coincidental that you're inventing your own country because that's what I'm doing with Psiforce. I'm creating a different China and New world, similar to our own but different in many respects especially with Psi involved.

Once again I'm seeing patterns in life.

Barnabas "Hop" 5-5-2001 7:37

RICHARD: My 3 year old daughter told me husband at the dinner table last night, "You are the weakest link. Good bye."

Mary 5-5-2001 7:28

And it has to go overseas for me :p

Hey, has anyone seen The Weakest Link with Anne Robinson? We've been watching the news, and it looks like they're hyping it up loads over there. It's funny to hear her talking about dollars rather than pounds though...

Richard 5-5-2001 2:46

Jack - Just for the heck of it, I ran NeoTrace Pro on the notebook address, it was interesting where it took me. From my ISP, here in town, we shot to Minneapolis MN, then to Chicago Ill, then to Washington DC, then to Oklohoma City Ok, then to San Jose Calif., then the line stops somewhere North of San Francisco Calif. It did, however, show you as the registrant. I find it interesting to run sites through this fasinating program, just to see how far this typing really has to go before it hits your screen. In this case, all the way across the US, and halfway back again. No wonder it takes a bit for the page to load sometimes.

Jerry Ericsson 5-4-2001 23:48

Ok so where is Arik?

5-4-2001 23:36

His name is Arik.

The name police 5-4-2001 23:23

And what about Erik? Where has the voice of reason in the middle east gone off to?

5-4-2001 21:15

I think that Lottery topic is a very good one. Be sure that it will be the very next one following embarassing moments.

Mary 5-4-2001 20:45

Oh, thanks Mary, I'm glad you thought 'embarrassing moments' would make for a good shortie theme. It just popped into my head and I was thinking you might enjoy a week off from making up the themes!
(well, maybe you don't!) Either way it's been very successful since you decided to 'host'!

Eddie - great to hear from you. Sorry to hear that there is such a lot of work ahead still - but I am really glad it's not the same *shudder* JOB you had to do previously.

Yeah, Americo - where are you? And YOU too, Gariess!

Tina- like the sounds of that tattoo very much. I love clematis. Especially my Nelly Moser.

Ah, I know there were a few more comments I wanted to make, but it seems my concentration just waned.
(Wayne came in)
ha ha ha ha ha

tip of the hat to all,
and to all a happy, prolific weekend of words.

Heather 5-4-2001 20:44

Dang it! I went looking to see if I still had that story I wrote for the last embarrassing moment shorty night, but I must have saved it on my laptop or something, and it is not around, as I borrowed it to my daughter. Guess I will have to work on another, I know Mary, you said they had to be original and not from last time, but I kind of liked that little tale. Guess I can't remember it well enough to resurrect from memory, have to work on a new one. I don't remember ever being embarrassed, I am sure I was once in awhile, but I must be blocking it out or something.

The local museum is holding a charity auction, so I dropped off a couple of my old computers, hope they bring some good money, (We get to keep 90% of the bid if we want but I think I will give at least 50% to the museum, they need the cash more then I).

Jerry Ericsson 5-4-2001 20:13


Eddie - I didn't even remember you were doing a crit for me, you could have never done it and I would have forgotten all about it. :) But it's nice that you are, even though I just went through my story and changed it a bit. And added to it - finally. :)

All - It's official - I'm off to NY this summer. We bought the plane tickets yesterday and I now have them in my possession. My grandparents heard about my trip to NY and sent me 100 dollars to spend there. My parents complain that they spoil me too much (probably because I'm their only granddaughter) but I think they spoil me just the right amount. :)
I'll have to write them a really nice thank you letter.
(((BIG HUGS))) to everyone.

Allein Allein's World 5-4-2001 17:39


Hi All,
Sorry about missing out on the shorties. I've got a little spare time just now so I may contribute a little more.
I'm off to Scotland next week. We have in excess of 500 farms to clear out. Thankfully, all of the animals have been disposed of and it's just disinfecting and cleaning.
Although I live only 200 or so miles south of the border, I have never been to Scotland. I am looking forward to it. I must have a few 'bird' genes because every time I travel it is to the south that I point myself. This time I am really going north...Sheeesh!
I sat in front of the screen last night and thought long and hard about a shortie on forgiveness........then I went to sleep. Never mind!
You must be up north surely... I am to be based mainly in Dumfreeshire ( Oh God, I'm sure I just spelt that wrong) Well, it is phonetically correct so our American friends will at least know where I will be!!
Variety is the spice of life they say. Nice changes. I approve.
Quiet lately... nothing wrong I hope?
Well done on keeping the shortie night going and soooo popular.
Good to see you being so prolific with your muse.
Good to see you still knocking about around here.
Face the front please!
Did I see the name AMERICO around here somewhere? I remember you way back when you where just a little Agsousa Americo! Nice to see that you still pop in from time to time *A*. Cushing is doing well, but is too busy chasing Vampires and other dark creatures at the moment to participate in the NB. He sends his darkest regards and bids you all - Sleep with one eye open - Yes well, he does.
Sorry we didn't get to discuss your work in detail. I promise, promise, that as soon as this work that I am involved in is done I will read more of your work and get right back to you with a detailed crit.
You are an anchor in a rough sea.

Eddie 5-4-2001 14:35

Say, Mary - Rachel and I would benefit from a shortie night on "When I Win/Won the Lottery" or something like that. We're going to buy 2nd cars - what will/would everyone else do? Of course, with the creative bunch lurking here, the lottey won might not even be cash... Maybe after w're all embarassed properly next week, we could have some good fortune come our way, if only for shortie night...???

Mel again 5-4-2001 13:10


Hi again!

Richard - Your shortie was "WOW!" - so awesome! :-)

Ben - Your shortie was NOT offensive. It was thought-provoking. (Are you still wondering what made you write it? Hmm...Maybe your missionary chant was on overdrive and your muse thought it was the song of an angel...? Hmmm...) :-]

Jerry - I'm so impressed with your brevity! (Like playing the limbo game - how short can you go/write?) And many good little shorts too! :-) I hope you take them someday and publish them in one anthology: "Life With A Twist of Lemon" or something like, "Jerry's Twisted Shorts" - er, no, no! That does NOT sound good. But your short works are REALLY good (except maybe that last one with the drunk and the dead girlfriend - sheesh!) Save 'em up!

Heather - Your shortie was neat - almost Haiku. Like it! :-)

Tina - If you need LOTR sooner than you can get your library's copy (ask them how far down you are on the reserve list), I have the trilogy in paperback I could mail you. I also have a 3-in-1 hardcover edition so I wouldn't be without, if you'd like to borrow the paperback set...?

Mary - Welcome back! Your shortie themes certainly are putting me through some soul-wrenching paces! That's a good thing, 'though - cleaning out my mental attic! School days, learning lessons, forgiveness, and now embarassing moments - I was afraid you'd bring up that one! :-[ Ah well, it's back to school for a red-faced day...It will be good to get it out of my system after all these years.

Hallee - Thanks for the hug :-) but I guess i don't deserve it if my shortie fell short of its mark. I thought it was painfully obvious and needed further imagery or something. Even thought of re-working it a bit into a children's picture book. But if you didn't get it - oh dear. I'm rustier than I thought! Anyone else not get it? God the Father and Son admiring Creation but the Father disappointed in our free will choices of not choosing His ways, and the Son coming to Earth to teach and remind us all that God's love is all we need, not worldly things in place of His love, and so many that didn't want to hear the truth in Jesus' words, so they destroyed Him, except that the Father's gift of love and forgiveness triumphed over death...Yup. You're right. Even my explanation is too vague! How to fit the entire Bible story into a 32-page picture book...?! Sigh. I'll be keeping my day job for quite awhile!!!

And Teekay, your line "No deed to undo my deed" will haunt me till I get the picture book right!

Melanie 5-4-2001 13:03


Melanie - It's nice to know that other people do the one car thing. A second car is something we talk about often. We are lucky enough to live near the soccer field, ice arena and school. If we didn't it is very likely we would have needed to face the expense of a second car. Yikes! There are so many other things I would rather spend on than a second car and the insurance to go with it.

I tried to copy and paste a picture of Sebastian on to this but I couldn't What a drag (sad faces). He is such a sweet bee.

Hallee - I saw you mention hair colour. I have used colour for years. I have this gray strip of hair. Well, I recently decided that I am done with hair colour. My husband thinks I'm adorable, gray hair or not. Anyone whose opinion I would value could care less if I have gray hair or not. I'm going to let it grow in and check it out. I have quite dark hair, I'm sure it's going to really stand out. This should be an interesting few months for me.

Gezz! I tried to drag a picture of Sebastian on to this post as well. That didn't work out very well. I lost the post I had been working on. Well, at least part of the post. I had part of it copied and I pasted that part back on. Then I re-wrote the lost part.

Okay, that's it from me.

Ciao for now.

5-4-2001 12:44

MARY! Wonderful! They had MacKay! Thank you!

Hallee 5-4-2001 9:10

Here is that link to the clan tartan desktop themes. I looked for the names you mentioned, but didn't find them. Please, take a look for yourself. Just click on the link above, then choose miscellaneous from the category index. Once at that page, click on the M. They say that the themes are all posted in alphabetical order, but they aren't, so make sure you scroll thru the whole list of Ms. :-)

Mary tartan themes 5-4-2001 8:40

MARY: Kudos - I've never had the courage to dye my hair...and it's hard enough getting it cut (Conan hates short hair on women...I usually wait until we're in the midst of a huge fight to do it - but it's been a long time for that, and I'm desperate for short hair again (haha))

MEL: (Hug) - I love your posts.

TEEKAY: Well done on your story.

MEL: I didn't understand yours, but I loved the writing - the imagery.


BEN: No offense - though I knew the ending. Perhaps because of your intro - I don't know.

JERRY: You were right...I had to read it a couple of times to get the grasp.'s time to get to work. The bosses are out at a golf tournament today, so I have 9 full hours with no one bothering me. As horribly hectic as the last two months have been, all culminating this week to the point that I actually thought I might quit from the pressure, it will be nice to get the opportunity to get caught up.

The editing is going well. I think, anyway. So much to learn. But, I'm getting wonderful feedback - and I can't express often enough how much I appreciate it. Writing is much easier, but I am enjoying reading it. I never have before, and I'll say with the risk of sounding vain, that the story is pretty good. Kinda gripping. (And I know the end - haha).

Anyway - Kitty had 5 kittens. Free kittens in about 9 or 10 weeks. Beautiful gray tabbies just like their mama. Kaylee is enthralled.

Happy Friday! YAY!!!!! Friday!!!! (Even though my mother-in-law is coming for breakfast tomorrow - I'm still looking forward to Satuday).

Hallee 5-4-2001 8:35

Good morning everyone.

Been gone a little while, did anyone miss me? ;-)

I have to go and read thru the rest of the posts now, and the shorties. HEATHER: next week's theme can most certainly be EMBARASSING MOMENTS.

I think I have gotten the same general opinion on being goldilocks. This lighter me is fun, but in agreement with Teekay, I wish the color were whiter. Sooo, I am doing it today! Platinum baby. By bed-time tonight I will look like a Marilyn wannabe. My plans are to keep it for summer, then with the changing of the leaves, dye it back. That is all well and good in theory, but if I am having way too good of a time as a blonde, I will be hard pressed to change it back. Then again, it could all fall out tonight from the abuse it has taken.

Back later!

Mary 5-4-2001 8:21


Good morning, everybody! :-)

Just a quick note here - (do I hear sighs of relief???) -

I heard a good one on the radio this morning, a nice followup to our shortie-day which contained so many religious experiences...:

"Noah's Ark was built by an amateur.
The Titanic was built by a professional." Hmmm...Apply this to writing, especially if you consider yourself an amateur... :-) Have a good writing day!

Melanie 5-4-2001 7:55

Hello everyone!

Wow! I just caught up on reading the NB. A few responses...

Howard, I currently have 'Holding Wonder'. I'm waiting for someone to claim it next, but if no one does I'll mail it back to you. Anyone gonna bite? Mail me your snail mail if you want this very good book. Going once......

Heather, I love your tattoos! I admire the pain tolerance of people who get them, especially large ones in sensitive areas. Some years back my hubby and I decided that when we get our black belts, we'll reward ourselves with tattoos. I want a clematis vine with three flowers on my right hip, he wants 'Bissett Jiu-Jitsu' in japanese characters on the inside of his left forearm. It's taken us longer to get the belt than we anticipated (the dojo closed down for a year and a half, so it was not through our choices), and I'm getting impatient for my tattoo!

Mary, I'd be interested in that link you mentioned to Litter. My mom's maiden name is McFadyen, of the McClean's.
Oh, I'm adding my vote to brunette. Blond is nice, but you look elegant with dark locks.

SusanS, you go girl! Don't take that treatment from anyone! Hope the new job is heaps better!

Mel and Kitty, I just loved 10th Kingdom, and yes the werewolf was the best. He stole the show. Although the troll expression 'suck an elf' had me howling. :-D

Everyone is brushing up on their Hobbit, I see. I have Lord of the Rings on request at the library! Can't wait, as I read it years ago in high school and don't remember much.

Jerry, I just spent two hours learning how to handcuff someone. Just cooperative people, without much resistance, but it was fun. I thought of you while I was forcing my partner to the ground...

About writing...
Right now I'm writing science fantasy. (Not quite s/f, not quite true fantasy) Why? I guess because I love creating a new society and not being restrained to known settings. I think it's largely because I haven't been enough places to make it convincing; I may not know Vancouver well enough to use it as a setting, but I know my city of Menaso better than anyone! Also, I don't much care for our unlovely western civilisation, so creating my own gives me temporary escape to a place I prefer. Just to thwart my own theory, the ghostie I have in progress is set right now, in northern Alberta, no s/f at all (except for the ghost of course).
It's also my genre of choice for reading, as well, but by no means exclusive. I'm currently in the middle of The Oddessey by Homer, First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and a collection of short stories by Canadian women in the last 150 years. I'm waiting on Lord of the Rings, and Skies of Pern, from the local library. Nothing exclusive about that line up!

And for a total change of topic...
has anyone heard from gariess lately?

Someone asked about other art interests. I've been writing since I was wee, although only seriously for about three years now. But in the meantime, I got my diploma in graphic arts and fine arts, my grade 8 Western Conservatory for piano, I love to bake, and garden, and I'm itching to learn to quilt. I love crafts, but only when I can design what I'm doing and make them unique. I want to learn the guitar, and try my hand at some trompe l'oil (sp?). At one time I aspired to do graphic novels or animated film, but I can't draw that well, or at least not that way.

Okay this is getting long and I didn't even do a shortie! Bad Tina, bad Tina! Sorry, I was busy tonight learning how to handcuff people!

Tina 5-4-2001 2:53

Ok, so my shorty was a bit short, and not a complete story, here, just another quick shorty to supplement the other.

Robert held her close, her head on his arm, as he sobbed “You have got to forgive me, I am so sorry. You told me not to drive that car after I had been drinking, I should have listened, now look at you. My God look at you, look what I have done to you. I am so very very sorry.”

“I’m sorry sir, you will have to put her down now, she is gone, and there is nothing you can do to bring her back. Sir, now listen to me sir, you have the right to remain silent . . .”

Jerry Ericsson Stories 5-4-2001 0:00

Teekay - I did notice the name change, in fact just before Jack archived the "sick" notebook, I had posted a notice to ignore the name change at the end, it was a sort of typo, slip of some short, that I saw, just seconds after I pressed the enter button.

Only problem, nobody got a chance to read it before the big smash/crash or whatever happened. Then I thought 'what the heck, lets just see how many people notice it.'

Jerry 5-3-2001 23:49

Hi All,

HEATHER & HALLEE: Don't worry about me and the rejection slips. I don't even care about them anymore, which is really good, because that low down sunk feeling I used to get is so bad!

ROSEMARY: Thanks :-)

MEL: Thanks :-)
I have a girlfriend who is an aries and so is her fiancee (they're over in England at the moment, they went to Paris for easter and he proposed to her at the Eiffel tower ~swoon~ That is so romantic!)
Anyway, when they're at loggerheads you don't want to be around, but they definitely understand each other, which just goes to show that horoscopes are not all a load of bullocky.

JERRY: Keep forgetting to tell you that in your phantasium story your character Wendy?, changed her name at the end.
And you thought no one would notice didn't you? Heh heh.

Didn't work on the ghostie last night either. Watched 'heartbeat' and critiqued your story as well BEN. It really threw me when I got to the part where you stomach was rumbling and your back hurt. Talk about a cliff hanger heh heh.

Now I really have to get off this computer and go and do something productive, like ring my MIL and invite us all over to her place for dinner. She's a great cook and I'm not. I'm a better singer though.

Teekay 5-3-2001 22:31


*whispering* Don't tell anyone that I don't have a green VW beetle just yet!

Heather (one last time) 5-3-2001 21:44

Wow, I am a delinquent reader of the NB today! Teekay, I missed your post about the lonely little pink slip. I'm sorry. ((((HUGS))))

and some BUG HUGS to go with those.

(Picture me arriving in a little green VW beetle; I step out, run over to you, swoop you up and squish you 'til you beat on my back to let you down.)

Wait - you're taller than me.
Well, it was a nice thought.
Can I have my VW beetle ferried to Australia?

Heather (again) 5-3-2001 21:42

Sorry everyone - I had a comma in the last web page addy by accident. This is the right one.
*pointing down and blushing profusely) :o)

Heather the real site 5-3-2001 21:38

Hey folks! That was a poem I made up tonight at's 'poetry in motion' contest, but I couldn't enter it because I entered another one last night, and you can only enter once every 24 hrs (which I soon found out).

If anyone is interested in that contest (one winner of $100 every day and it's US currency, everybody! wooo hoooo!)
then the link is above. :o)
But read the instructions - your time is clocked, and then they pick a time at random and then the ten or twelve entries that day that are closest to the time they picked are then judged by a panel to find the winner.

At the home page of you can look up people's poetry - I know Howard and I have poems there, and I think Howard's daughter does as well!

Anyhow, liked the shorties tonight! SIGH.
Good topic again, Mary!

May I suggest next week's topic?


Anyone like that idea? Might add some humour.

Love and muses
or is that roses?

Heather 5-3-2001 21:36

Forgiven, by Heather Myles

End was bone;


But visions of alabaster

Promised me


Heather 5-3-2001 21:23

This is my shorty, this time I tried real hard to make it short, but I think it suffers a bit for it's shortness.

“How dare you! After all you have done to me, then you come crawling back to me and ask for forgiveness! How dare you!”

“But darling, I did it all for you. I took that money to buy you nice things. I beat that old man, because he was going to tell on you for what you did.”

“I never asked you to steal for me. I never asked you to protect me, did I?”

“Well no, I guess you never did.”

“Now, get up off your knees and let’s get on with this robbery, my God you sure pick stupid times to get in arguments, and make sure you tie that attendant up so he doesn’t get loose this time.”

Jerry Ericsson Stories 5-3-2001 18:11

Here's my shortie. Please don't be offended by it, it doesn't mean anything. I was just fooling around. It kind of left me at a point where I had to decide what book it was he picked up. Kind of like trying to figure out what book Rod Taylor grabbed at the end of THE TIME MACHINE.

"You don't really believe that stuff do you?" the old man asked, shaking his head. "It's a load of crap."
"One man's garbage is another man's treasure," the boy said softly, smiling.
He reached down and grabbed the book from the boy, looking at the faded black cover and sorting through the ripped pages. The boy stared up at him, patient for the moment, knowing the old man would give the book back eventually.
"Half the pages are gone," the old man laughed quickly. "How can you read a book with half the pages gone?" He tossed it back to the boy.
"When you don't have very many to begin with, you can forgive those little things," the boy smiled, opening the book again.
"We shoulda never taught ya to read. I told your mother it was a mistake right from the beginning, but would she listen? Of course not. So what happens? They kill her, because they say she's subverting today's youth. Have you seen today's youth? How can you subvert that lot?" he said, shaking his head again.
He started to clean up the camp, rolling up the old threadbare cot they used as a bed, picking up the two blackened pots and the dishes he'd scrubbed clean with sand, putting the knife and twisted fork into the knapsack.
"Are you just gonna sit there and read all day? We've got miles to go before we sleep."
"I'm comin'" the boy said.
"Well, hurry up. I can forgive a lot of things, but wasting my time isn't one of them." He looked out over the desolate landscape, shuddering at a memory that seemed to come out of nowhere--probably from the pages of that book, he told himself--and picked up the knapsack.
"How come you don't read anymore Grampa?"
"Life doesn't allow me those sort of extravagances anymore. I have to take care of you. I don't have time for that stuff."
"But you did once, didn't you?" the boy insisted.
"Of course. Who do you think taught your mother?"
"Have you ever read this book before?" the boy asked, running to catch up to the old man.
"I have," the old man said plainly.
"Should I keep it?"
"If you do, you'd better hide it. It's one of those banned books. That was why they killed your mother."
"It's one of the reasons all of this madness started in the first place. People took it to heart. Started believing everything in it."
"But I don't see anything bad in it," the boy said softly.
"And you shouldn't," the old man said quickly. "it's other people seeing things in it that did this."
"So, who wrote it?"
"It wasn't just one man, but it's about him, and those who followed him. They wrote it."
"So what was his name?"

It took me a long time to hit that little post button. But I figured, what the Hell. Maybe you can forgive me?

Ben 5-3-2001 17:54

Repaying the Debt

It wasn't enough.

Nathan watched despondently as he walked back to his seat. Several others passed him, notes and checks clutched in their hands as they approached the basket in which they placed their offerings.

Sitting, Nathan watched the steady procession of men and women. The band played a gentle melody that had a calming effect on the congregation, but couldn't keep the heaviness from Nathan's heart. Even as he felt God's Spirit in the place, he felt only self-condemnation.

Just wasn't enough. He'd caused so much damage - so much pain. How could a sum of money repay that debt of sin?

He glanced around at the familiar faces of the church - they'd been so accepting of him. They had taken him despite his damning past. Such care and love seemed unnatural, so unlike the cold faces and stony hearts he had grown up with. He felt vulnerable - but so blessed. He wanted more - more of Him.

I don't deserve more. How can I ever? Lord, Jesus... I don't deserve this love.

God had walked him away from his old life - a brutal neighbourhood in which he blackmailed, robbed, intimidated and crushed people for what little they had. Suddenly, he found something sweeter than the power he had - meekness. Humbled before His Lord.

With everyone back in their seats, the Ken came up to speak some words of encouragement before leading them into worship. As the music rose, Nathan closed his eyes and began to pray silently.

He began to cry out - God, I don't deserve this! Lord, how can you give me this? Tears began to wet his eyelids and he dropped onto his knees, overcome with guilt and amazement. He could feel the Holy Spirit in him - indescribable, a well of love and warmth.

Jesus, I feel so dirty. I've done so much wrong... I've done so much...

Weeping silently, he didn't hear Ken as he prayed and spoke out to the church. He knelt before his Lord, devastated by the power washing over him. In the sudden silence, Nathan heard Him speaking, each word strong in his mind.

Nathan - you are forgiven. Your sins were paid for before you ever commited them.

Welcome to your new life.

Come on!!!

Richard 5-3-2001 16:45

**Mel's shortie (I hope!)**

"Everything's beautiful, Dad."

"I think so, too, Son. Except--" The older man sighed, rubbing his chin as his eyebrows knit together.

The second man, a younger image of his wizened father, drew close and laid a comforting hand upon his father's back. "What is it, Dad?"

His father stared through the window, inhaling the sweet Spring breeze. The landscape below them was breathtaking in its beauty. Birdsong trilled through the trees. "It's the choice. In the midst of all this beauty, my favorite ones are choosing not the good, but the dark paths. They're all becoming lost. It's perhaps better to end it all now, before it gets worse."

The son grabbed his father's arm and swiveled the ancient figure to face him. "Oh no, Dad! Let me go down there - give me a chance to turn things around."

The father turned his gaze to his son's, scrutinizing, pondering, softening, then unflinching. "So great a deviance to bring back to balance - it will command a great counter-weight; it will cost us both..."

The son touched his father's cheek as a tear fell there. He looked into his father's eyes. "Forgiveness always does. I will go at once."

A star touched the earth where the newborn lay, amid birthday gifts galore. But as the boy grew, his favorite gifts seemed to be two small boxes which he carried everywhere he went. Even grown to manhood, he kept the two boxes with him and began sharing them with any who asked.

"What's in the boxes?" Someone would say. The man would answer, "Everything you need or want. You must choose."
Some people peeked first in the box labeled "everything you need" but then they said "It's empty!" And they'd look in the second box, "everything you want," and found all the things of the world that made them happy. At least they thought so.

One day a man looked in the box of wants and saw a mirror. "Say! What's this?"

The answer came, "Look deep and know yourself truly."

But the curious man became angry and wouldn't look. "I don't want your truth. I don't like your mirror!" And he went and stirred up the people till a crowd had gathered, none of them liking the mirror in the box of wants. Someone shouted "Let's kill him! Break his mirror! He doesn't know what we truly want!"

They grabbed him and beat him and forced him to enter the Valley of Death. They left him there to die, his mirror and box of wants smashed. But the box of need, bereft of its cover, and displaying to all its emptiness, was abandoned at the entrance to the shadowed valley.

The hours grew long, cold, and damp with rain. The man grew weaker until finally the Spectre of Death looked into his face. The beaten man looked back, unafraid, and rasped "I have something they need - the love of their creator. We forgive them all."

The Spectre of Death shrieked as white energy arose from the box of need and pierced the Spectre's black heart. As the Spectre vanished, the ribbon of white sprouted wings and lifted the beaten man back to the window of Almighty God.

Okay, okay, not original, must be a leftover from a glorious Easter...But it was a good practice session for me. Still, rest assured, I won't give up my day job yet!

Melanie 5-3-2001 15:07


Howdy, folks! :-) I did write on the bus home last night - I think I've re-started a good habit, thanks to you-all being here and making me feel accountable! Now if I can just stay awake and later be able to read my scribbles inbetween the bus jiggles, I'll be doing great!

Heather - I agree about using short story techniques in a novel - building characters through their actions makes the writing tighter, less narrative, more meat to the story!

Ben - Well, okay, if you MUST make us cry, make it a whole box of tissues. Give your doomed character a need we all feel, put the solution within his grasp, but fleetingly - and then knock him off. (Then switch to sf&f and resurrect him for the sequel, okay? Er, no, of course not! Just kidding... Not everyone can be Mr. Spock.) :-)

Jerry - I like your birthday-years logic! 25 sounds pretty good to me (pushin' 50 meself in a few yrs!) But I won't discount college years - some of the best times of my life! :-)

Tina - Hi! Tell us more! Whatcha writin' now?

Mary Lou - I like to think up characters and situations and see where THEY lead me, usually to a humungous family reunion or picnic where I can't even count all the heads. To pick only one or two at a time to write about seems futile when they're ALL having such a grand time - TOGETHER. My novel's turning into quite a saga, lots of room for sequels (BEN) while getting to know the characters all better.

Teekay - Aries. Married an Aries too - not easy: we're bull-headed/angry at the same time, bummed at the same time. But we completely understand each other (I think!). And WOW! Nice shortie. Well, not "nice" but DEEP! I guess mine (to come) could be a sequel (or prequel) to yours...

Hop - I have started reading PSIFORCE (not finished yet) - I like it a lot! :-) I mix my characters' psychic abilities with elemental powers: seers work through fire, teleporters through air, telekins through water or air, empaths through the earth. Fun, isn't it? :-) And Hop, you are DEFINITELY an artist. You don't have to do things perfectly to be an artist. Like all of us, your writing needs some polishing to make it shine more brightly, but something in your story GRABBED me, not just the psi-force! It was your artist's spirit. Keep at it! :-)

Rachel - We're a one-car family too - for over 23 years! It's tough sometimes but it's worth not paying the extra bills for a 2nd car.

Hallee - Am reading your ms. avidly! :-) Like it! Like it! More! More! I'll email again soon.

I'll be back with my shortie (I think). Hopefully, the shortie will be shorter than this post--??!! :-/

Melanie 5-3-2001 13:53

Greetings Writers,

I'm not going to say I liked your shorty, it was not a likable piece. But, my respect for your writing, which was already plentiful, is now massive.

Just because I listed my preference for Si/Fi and Mysteries, I am now reading(just started) the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Should be a big change. Broaden my horrizons. Stuff like that.


Rosemary 5-3-2001 12:04

(((((((HUGS)))))))) Teekay.

Hallee 5-3-2001 11:47

Barnabas - Got your e-mail. I like what you are doing (smiles). I'll get back to you soon (bright smiles).

Allein - I got your e-mail. I know that we will be able to pick you up. I'll be in touch to work out the particulars.

Ben - I can't do this Friday. Dan needs the van. Ah, the life of the one car family... I'll be in touch :o)

Ciao for now.


Pnokio - Are you lurking?

Rachel 5-3-2001 10:38

Q: Why is it difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring
and good looking?
A: They've got boyfriends already.

5-3-2001 9:08

Finally managed to drop in again.

I guess my favourite kind of writing is Science Fiction and Fantasy because I love to create worlds.

Sent an e-mail with what I believe is a copy of the corrupted archive before it was corrupted which I saved on my computer. Hope it helps in the re-construction.

I believe a quick peek into Version 0.02 of Psiforce in the work book will show you what I think of "psychic abilities."

If it's been archived I'll e-mail the more complete version to you if you like.

Katherine Kurtz novel's are okay but the publishers got the series so mixed up I don't know what's happening anymore.

Besides creative writing (which I consider still poor) I also speak a second language (poorly) and draw (also poorly) and can play the piano (now very poorly). Maybe I'm not a dual artist after all possibly not even a artist (yet).

In Psiforce one of the main characters is to die at the end of the book, but he'll be back and more powerful than ever, I get goose bumps thinking about what he's going to be like when he returns and the havoc he'll raise.

Wasn't offended, just away, I'm just really busy with University starting and so many assignments due.

Hope you got my e-mail.

Right now I'm going through a "writing revival." After suffering from Psiforce block I started to work on a guide to my novel and ideas started to flow again so know I'm inching my way through writing Psiforce again.

Missing persons
Kru where are you? You didn't respond to my e-mail either. I'm worried.
Ramon, hope you're reading this.

Barnabas "Hop" 5-3-2001 6:27


Hi All,
well got another rejection slip today. It looked kinda lonely so I went and put it on 'the spike' with the rest and now it's really happy.

MARY: HAHAHAHAHA I totally understand. I've finally given up lightening my hair. It always turns 'sluts yellow' when I do it and then I have to run out and buy another hair colour. Usually auburn otherwise it goes green. See, I'm an old hand at it.

BEN: To be honest I much prefer to read a novel than a short story. I never really thought about writing short stories, but that seems to be what comes out. Guess I'm just a quiet shy kinda gal with not a lot to say.

MEL: So are you a capricorn? :-)

MARY: I think you look better with auburn hair, but I also think you'd look really good if your blonde was more a white blonde.
Well you asked.

ROSEMARY: Major bummer about the wordpad!

HEATHER: Whoooo eeeeeeeee whooooeeeeeeeeee whoooooooeeeeeeee. Wow! you're really moving!
I went to rescusitate my ghostie last night and while I was looking for it I wrote my Thursday shorty instead.
I'll try again tonight.

BEN: I'm honoured. Course I'll take a look at it.

"What's the matter with him?"
I can hear them talking. About me. A muttered response. I can imagine what it was. Now both are speaking in muted tones. No doubt Harris is taking Ross step by step through the father's visit and what happened afterwards.

I punch my fist into the wall again and scream a welcome to the white hot pain shooting up my arm and spreading through my body. The bloody bandage does nothing to cushion the blow. I hear more bones break.

I kick the wall. kicking, kicking in demented frenzy. From the corner of my eye I see Ross standing outside my cell.
"Hey big guy, why don't you quit with the redecorating and get a bit of shut eye now?" They're probably wondering why the tranquilisers haven't had any effect. I wish to God they would. I wish they'd kick right in and numb me. Numb my body and mind and mute this agony that eats at my soul.

I look at him and what he sees as he looks into my eyes makes him back up a step. He is lucky, he can move away from the rot. I cannot. There is no escaping who I am.

I scream out. I open my mouth wide, wide, wider and from a distance I can hear the anquished howl which rips from my throat. Maybe the tranqz have started working afterall. Ross backs further away.

"Jesus! What the hell is wrong with him? Harris has come to see what's going down. They both stand and watch me for a while. Guess they're wondering if they ought to call the nurse back. I do nothing and after a while they move away.
"Christ! What did the old man say to get him into that state?"
"Dunno," says Ross.

But I know.
I know what he said.
The man who came to see me today. The man whose daughter's body lies cold and lifeless at Rookwood. The man who came today and saw the rot in my soul and didn't flinch from it.

I scream out again because there are no words. No words to comfort or to soothe or to hide behind. No words to undo his words. No deed to undo my deed.

It was as though he knew. He knew what to say to bring me to my knees. To make me hang my head in shame, regret and sorrow.
All my life I have learned to live with hate and with violence, with force and ugliness and anger. I know how to handle them, how to defend myself against them. I've had a lot of practise.

The bastard! The bastard! I cannot escape. I cannot. Ever since he spoke them his words have been eating at my brain.
The bastard!
I punch the wall again, and howl out again, but it is too late.
He forgives me,
and against forgiveness I have no defense.

The End.

Have a great day/ night all.

Teekay 5-3-2001 3:26

Susan and Melanie: I was happy to read your comments re short stories vs. novels. I agree it's easier to write novels, especially if you arre detail-oriented (a nice way of saying long-winded). The short story takes a lot more discipline. The writers groupI started several years ago concentrates on short stories, and that has improved my skills considerably. BUT I still don't like to write them. I guess I like to play with words and see where they lead me.

Mary Lou 5-3-2001 0:44

You know I've been thinking, about this birthday thing.

I really don't have any memory of life until I was about 4 or 5 years old, so those, let's call them five years don't count. 50 - 5 = 45

That year and a few months that I spent in Vietnam, I really wasn't myself then, I was someone else, a soldier, so that, let's round that down to a year don't count, so
45 - 1 = 44.

They say a man is not complete until he is wed, and I was wed when I was 17, and a few months, so let's round that up to 18, so

44 - 18 = 26

I spent two years in college, back in 94-96 and during that time, I was just a kid in school, so they shouldn't count either, so:

The 26th of this month, I will be 25, what the hell, I am just a kid, beer all around! Happy days are here again!

Jerry Ericsson Stories 5-3-2001 0:24


Just me saying hi. Returned home an hour ago, and thought I'd pop in even though I don't have time right now to catch up.

(oops, guess I don't need to do that!)(old habits)

Tina 5-2-2001 23:33

What me nervous over something so simple as turning a half-century old, na, not me. Not nervous nervouse nercvoue a bit!

Jerry 5-2-2001 22:04

Why do women close their eyes during sex?
They can't stand seeing a man have a good time.

5-2-2001 21:21

MARY -- You have such lovely blonde hair, why'd you color the roots black?

Mark 5-2-2001 18:02

TEEKAY: Okay, I just posted an small excerpt from a short story into the short story workbook. I'd appreciate any comments you might have about it, but remember, it's only a small excerpt. It was the first six pages. I would have finished it off and brought it right up to the end, but my back was getting sore. (No cutting and pasting here, just sitting hunched over the keyboard banging away.)

MEL: The story itself is 110 pages, and yes, he dies, but not as tragically as I'd like, so I'm gonna have to work on that I guess... :-)

MARY: I like your hair brunette too. And I like your 'don'ts' for writing. Especially the last one. If I listened to all the advice people gave me about writing what you know, I'd never come up with anything good.

JACK: Give me a call when you get into town. Have you still got my number? Let me know, and I'll email you if you don't.

Gotta go. Kids're coming home from school in a bit. I might have to walk to the store to get more milk. Our son came back from Edmonton last night, and strange to say, the milk content in the fridge has gone down considerably. Ciao for now!

Ben 5-2-2001 17:19


Jerry, I've got to email those birthday joke-games to my Dad! He's turning 58 this year. He's so dreading that ol' 6-0 I just know it. He dreaded 5-0 badly enough.
Heck, I'm sure he had thoughts of canes and walkers and bathtub balancing aids long before he turned 40!

Rosemary - if you use your browser to go forward and back between the notebook and the posting page, it will work, even if cutting and pasting won't.
Give it a try and see if it doesn't make it easier for you. Easier than going back and reloading pages.

That would be very frustrating not to be able to paste anything into the text box - especially concerning the workbook. Maybe one of our resident computer geeks (ha ha, we're all geeks, aren't we?) can tell you what properties to change in your program so you can paste! I compose all of my posts right into the box, and the same with all of my shorties for shortie night. I haven't done that in the workbook unless I was writing it right then, as I went. (I did that with all of my stories for Strawberry And A Moon)

Mary, I think I prefer your hair brunette, but it's fun to fool around with hair colour once in a while. Enjoy it while you have it, and then when your roots come in, dye it back! Your natural colour will then be the astonishing one!

Teekay! Hope you can pump some electricity into that shortie and post it in P* soon! I love your ghosties.

Oh, I wanted to add to this conversation about novels vs. short stories...

I too thought that I would not be able to write short stories. I figured I was too long-winded for that format. But, as I became more involved in the NB family, and grew so comfortable here, I tried shorties more and more often, with more detail and more of a story focus in each. Not saying that my shorties are perfect, or best sellers, or even anywhere near published (though I'm still waiting, and hoping...) I can see where I've improved with practice and passion.
I still find I can get more complex plots and ideas expressed in novel format better, but there's something about first impressions in a short story. You have to let the characters speak through action, gesture, words, instead of filling up pages with exposition. I think we could all use that technique a little more in novel length work especially, because it just tops all other forms of character description. SHOW us your character in action, doing something that defines them clearly to us more than any other words may, and that, my friends, is vivid imagery your readers won't soon forget.

Has anyone read 'The Ficus Prophesy'? It was a winner of Writer's Digest competition either last year or the year before. I should think it would be available through some archive, perhaps easiest to find using a search. Believe me, it's worth the read. It's a great example of showing the reader the character through action and dialogue without nary a word of expository boringness. Wonderful story, too, BTW. I'll try to find it and post the link later.

I agree too, that cooking and baking is an art, no matter if you follow recipes or pictures. (There you go, Hallee!) I follow recipes often, and you DON'T want to see my cakes. If someone else baked the cake, I could decorate it. But the cake part sort of halts the decorating process if it falls flat or smokes on the platter! Hmmm. Great icing, Heather. Too bad about the cake! Might be better for me to just put icing directly onto the plates. WOw, what pretty china! You mean it's edible?

My cooking is, well, mostly edible. Especially if it's a tried and true recipe. I have a nasty habit of memorizing the recipes and then 'add libbing'; don't have sugar? Add a little jam. Don't have milk or cream? Add a little low-fat sour cream. Don't have soup stock? Boil water, add fresh chopped garlic, two or three vegetable boullion, and some diced onion. Voila, stock!

But that's about as good as it gets. I once added chocolate pudding mix to instant potatoes. Thought they could use a 'bang'. Boy, was I mistaken about what sort of 'bang'. (BANG - who shot the cook?) Butter would have been enough. But instant potatoes! I don't touch those any more, but I did try the Crocker kind, and the kids loved them. I don't have the stomach for that stuff any more. (Guess WHY ha ha ha).

Well, my novel Symphony hit a grand total of 70 pages! It's just over 16,000 words now. I can't believe it - in a month. Give me three more months like this and my novel will be DONE. I think that's what spells relief. Forget TUMS.
Coffee and ONE FINISHED NOVEL. Oh, and the latest copy of Writer's Market would just add that sparkling touch, wouldn't it?

I'm not dreaming any more, friends, I'm DOING.


Heather 5-2-2001 14:04

Okay, Jerry - you snuck a couple in while I was posting - just wanted to say your birthday games sound highly entertaining (I've seen the list before now or else I'd still be laughing!!!) You're not nervous about this upcoming party or anything, are you? :-)

Melanie 5-2-2001 13:57


Hi again -

Mark - Ah. The lovely little white variety. Doesn't matter. Your wife knows you write fiction (um, don't you?). *grins* Just teasing you. :-)

Mary - WOW, Mary! Your hair looks good either way, 'tho I personally think the brunette makes you look more like a princess! BTW, your little prince Jake is such a cutie! :-)
Good list of writing don'ts - I, uh, follow most of them fairly well...Um, population explosions? Well, what are novels for, anyway? And if you can't name your kids after you, um, oh dear...Nope. Sorry. I'm going to do it anyway!

Rosemary - Ah, horseback riding...I was never much good at it--we had a horse while I wass in high school--but I loved every minute of it. Do you label all those pics. with which horse's ears are upstanding? Thanks for the camera tips, anyway! :-)

Everyone, keep a-writing! I'm tryin', I'm tryin'...more on the bus home tonight, I promise!

Melanie 5-2-2001 13:52

Oh and speaking of birthdays (we were speaking of birthdays wern't we?) here is the list of games for my birthday party on the 26th of this month:
1. Sag, You're it
2. Pin the Toupee on the bald guy.
3. 20 questions shouted into your good ear.
4. Kick the bucket
5. Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says Bend Over.
6. Doc Goose.
7. Simon says something incoherent.
8. Hide and go pee.
9. Spin the Bottle of Mylanta
10. Musical recliners

Jerry Ericsson 5-2-2001 13:17

Mary - looks good to me, but then, when the sun works on my hair, it goes blond too. Just a note though, prepare yourself for blond jokes. You know the kind -
What is the mating call for a blond?

"Teehee, I am sooooo drunk!"

Jerry Ericsson 5-2-2001 13:15

Just one more quick note.
Teekay and Heather,
I would dearly love to be able to use the notepad or whatever wordprocessor available, but My version of Windows does not allow me to copy and paste into a HTML field. I'm sure it's just a matter of a setting somewhere but it hasn't bothered me enough to try to talk to Microsoft. I do the copy then go to the box and hit paste. Nothing happens. I can copy off of the notebook proper and paste it into WP. No problem. It's just these boxes. I have to type every word in. Explains the few and far between stories posted in the workbook. Also the lousy spelling.

Sigh--Someday I'll get it fixed. Probably when the computer breaks and I have to have it repaired. Two birds with one stone. (Sounds vicious to me)

Gone for sure now.

Rosemary--again 5-2-2001 12:40


Morning Writers all,

About the fuzzy pictures,----After many years of taking pictures from moving horseback, (Most wind up with tips of horse ears in the pic.)and on road trips at 60mph through the truck's windshield, I have learned that 400speed- 35mm. film never blurs. The only drawback I have seen is that if you enlarge the pic. it will be grainy(sp?)

That's it for now.

Rosemary 5-2-2001 12:24


Hi guys, here is a link to a picture of me with my new hair. I must admit that I hated it when I went to bed last night, but it is growing on me. Get it? Ha. That was a bad one just for Howard.

I know what you mean about letting a two year old name your pets. Our cat's name is Thumper after the Bambi character. All the fish are named "Swim". Her big plastic bouncy horse isnt exactly a pet, but his name cracks me up. His name is 'Cow'. She likes to pretend she is a rodeo bullrider. She says she is a bullrider, but named the horse, Cow. Go figure.

I suppose I should say at least one thing about writing in this post. Ummmmm. Errrrrrr. Ok, here is a list of fiction 'Don'ts'.

*Don't write stories in which the last line is: And then I woke up.

*Don't write about things you know nothing about.

*Don't write a story whose main point is that it's from an unexpected point of view. (ie. I can't help it if that's all I understand. After all, I'm just a dachshund.)

*Don't let your stories have population explosions.

*Don't name the characters in your story with names that are phonetically similar.

*Don't preface your story with a lot of background that makes your reader impatient.

*Don't take all those don'ts too seriously. Art is made of broken rules. If you dare.

Mary hair 5-2-2001 11:40

** Mark **

MEL -- Yes I cook (and Bake). They are creative outlets which sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. "I lie" was not intended as a statement to reflect back upon that paragraph, but as another enumerated item in the list of my creative outlets.

The classic example, of course, is the crowded room and my wife asking, "Who's the most beautiful one here?"

Mark 5-2-2001 10:43


Hi, guys and gals, writers all -

Heather - I have a "ghostie" to write, on a back burner for years now - a love story with a mystery of sorts - still sifting it in my head, I guess. I don't know if it would qualify for *P* - Are there any length or theme requirements other than a ghost be involved? Bagpipes - I love 'em too - you play, I'll listen! Sewing? I do button or seam repairs only; needles attack me (ouch!) and the thread always knots up -- grrr!

Susan - I've found to get rid of writing blahs you have to fall back in love with your own work - spend time daydreaming about it, reintroduce yourself to the characters and them to you - ask them new questions, give them the challenge of inviting your muse to come out and play. Role-playing games - tried any of the ZORK games? I love 'em!!

Rosemary - I'm glad to hear you say that about a kid "doing great things" since I've chosen a kid to re-start my stalled sf novel :-) I hope he makes it! And your baby ducks too... :-)

Howard - "Origami increasing" - very funny! :-) So, how many and what titles are floating between NB-ers these days?? My librarian's curiosity...

Jerry - Artistic leanings did NOT miss you! I'm NOT good at "pretty-ing things up" - THAT is an artistic talent, along with photography. I always seem to move when I click the shutter, so I gave up trying. Too many photo albums filled with fuzzy faces and blurry happenings - looks like I took everything from a moving train!

Teekay - I just made the "Teekay sings" remark to get you going - you're so funny. :-) Good cameras are becoming more compact though - maybe you can get one that fits in your palm like a thin paperback. You can keep your handbag and take pics. too!

I think I never really left the "daydream world of childhood." Barbie dolls were my best friends growing up and (my deep dark writing secret) they became some of my best characters in my writings, daydreams of stories yet to be even, originating with the little melodramas I used to play out with my doll friends.

And Teekay, ditto on "seen a lot of crap that's been published" - unfortunately, every library has way too many of these and not enough fantastic fresh reads by new authors like you-all!

Mark - Now 'fess up, do you really cook or not? If you lie, how will we ever know the real you? Unless of course you mean that you lie DOWN while you're waiting for the cake to bake. Or you lie IN WAIT of confusing all us NB-ers. Are you lying on the floor laughing??

Susan (and all) - I agree with novels being easier to write. They take longer but are easier. I used to write short stories but always had trouble keeping word-count down and still coming up with a fantastically bright story with vivid characters, etc. BUT! I discovered a writing secret one day - At one point I had several ss started and ran out of steam on ideas for the novel, when click! My muse did a funny thing - she took the short stories and THREW them all up in the air...and they landed in my novel, not disjointed, not a collection of shorts but integrated, intertwining with branches of the same vine and sprouting a new title for my novel...what else? SHARDS... :-)

Mary - Condolences on the hair. I keep getting mine cut, shorter than the husband likes it, but I like it. He can deal.

Hallee - Decorating cakes is definitely artistic, even from a picture. Mine look like freshly mowed road kill. I'm a dump-and-run cook; not good even for recipes. Cooking is defintely artistic. Anyone can study anything but if the art isn't in you, it won't come out right. Uh -- you do closets? How 'bout attics? Do you hire out? I'm not artistically ready for this garage sale my hubby wants to have in another week...

Ben - You kill all your characters? No hope for sequels?? If I could get on your boat right now, I'd shove you into the water myself! (grinning! Need a towel?)

You all sound very artistic to me. I can compose a few simple tunes on the piano, rake a bow across the 'cello strings once a year, ring a handbell or sing when the mood strikes, used to draw pictures but not nearly anything as exciting as writing - getting down into someone else's moccasins and seeing life through their perspectives - then transcribing their thoughts and feelings onto paper, THAT's contentment! (Don't ask me why, it just is! You all should know.)

Now that I've written half a book here, I better get to work - breaktime I'll be escaping to piece together a few more "shards." Y'all have a fantastic day, filled with writing pleasures! :-)

Melanie 5-2-2001 9:46

Allein: Delighted to hear that you will be able to make the social. Whatever my duties as host for the social, I will try and set aside some time to just sit and talk and socialize with my fellow Notebookers. Take care.

Oh, Ben, just a reminder that I will be leaving for your neck of the woods this Friday. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 5-2-2001 5:53

Teekay: Nice to see you back, laughing of course. But I do know what you mean about short stories. But like Susan, I like longer short stories, and novellas. They are harder to sell, but there are markets out there. I'm supposed to be starting another short story, but I was looking at a novella I wrote the last year or so ago, and started editing it again. It's a strange sort of a story in that it's a two parter that I wrote at two different times a couple of years apart from each other. One part takes place in 1908 Vienna, and the second part, ten years later, at the end of the Great War. It's a love story with tragic overtones I guess. It was something I'd thought about for a long time, just because I liked the title I chose: "Cinderella and her Sisters". I just got carried away with it. Now I'm looking at it, thinking I can addd another forty or fifty thousand words, and have a novel if I want. But my first thought is to put it with a couple of other stories I have kicking about, and making a short story collection out of it. I'd like to go that route, but it's easier to sell them if you actually have the stories published first. So maybe I'll shelve it for a while and see what I can do with my Mau Mau story...or work on them both. In fact, I think tomorrow I'll post part of it in the workbook so you can have a look at it. A couple of thousand words doesn't sound like too much does it? :-)

Rachel: Let's do lunch. Friday look good?

And speaking of Mau Maus, I found an excellent site from Kenya today that had everything I could have ever dreamed of about Mau Maus. With that, and a couple of good Missionary sites I found the other day, research is looking pretty tight. I'm not as good a Christian as I should be I guess, so I have to look in the Bible my brother gave me when he became a Born Again, and the concordences I have. I take a little from here, and a little from there, just so my preachers actually sound like they know what they're talking about...coz God knows I don't :-) But it was never a big deal as far as I was concerned. My Dad gave up going to Catholic services when they got rid of the Latin, and because of that, I didn't have to go anymore...yippee! No news better to a nine year old in the summer time than knowing he doesn't have to polish his shoes and get ready for Church.

Now all I have to do is come up with a good angle for my story...and of course everybody dies. I don't like happy endings as much as I should. It's something my mother used to complain about with my stories--and still does. I think with happy endings though, it's just melodrama, but by killing 'em all and letting God sort 'm out, then you have tragedy--and a noble death makes it all the more tragic. On that happy note, have a nice day y'all! :-)

Ben 5-2-2001 5:02

MEL: I'm not an artist. My little brother is - he's fabulous - ended up majoring in art in school. And my older brother, he's really good, though the art that he dabbles in or the cinematography that he majored in are not his passions - his music is his passion. Me...other things that people would consider talents are just education and application. I decorate cakes - but I have to have a picture. I learned the skill and learned how to apply it well, but nothing is created from me - I just follow the picture. I'm a really good cook, but I almost always use a recipe. I also do the design work for our company proposals and brochures. My proposals are now the talk of the town, and I get a lot of phone calls from people asking me to show them how I do them - but my boss has invested a lot of money and I have invested a lot of time and energy learning how to do them and how to really utilize Word so that I can. So, I don't consider those artistic endeavors, because they're just applying education.

I couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler, my pictures only turn out sometimes, I don't paint, and I can't sing or play an instrument. I'm completely left brained - I love high math and can do a lot of complicated math in my head. My idea of a good time is to work a really complex problem out - even if it takes days. Some of my more fonder memories of high school were the math competitions (I was co-captain of the team). I'm one of those types that you call to head a committee (sigh - time is so rare now because of that) or to help you organize your closets or something.

MARY: (hug) Um...maybe you shoulda read the label. Oh - my cat is in a labor as we "speak" - she's huge, I can't imagine there's less than 6. Poor Kitty. Breathe, Kitty, breathe. (That's her name...never let a 2 year old name pets - we have Fish and Kitty - the fired her from the naming responsibility.)

Time to get to work. The coffee is just about hitting my system now.

Have a great Wednesday all. My sister leaves this morning *sniff* I'm a little sad.


Hallee 5-2-2001 4:54

Well, the theme for Thursday is forgiveness and I am sure going to have something to write about if my husband forgives me for what I just did to my hair. Sighs. MEL: Do not include hairdressing as one of my creative outlets.

Wow, am I ever blonde! Strawberry blonde. It's 3:30AM, do you know where your wife is? You better hope she isn't in the bathroom with a bottle of "Extreme Bleach Blonde" hair dye. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Mary 5-2-2001 3:24

Actually I think novels are easier to write. With a short story you have to really limit your story, limit descriptions. You have to do a lot with fewer words, and I confess I have some difficulty with that. I'm afraid I'm rather longwinded. With a novel you can do more in depth characterization, and have a more complex and potentially richer plot. Novels tend to cover a longer period of time and you can have more characters whereas in a short story, one can only have a small number of characters, usually no more than three or four. My short stories tend to be novellas. I couldn't write a short short to save my life ( and really don't want to). I know this limits my options in regard to publishing, but I've got to do what I'm comfortable. Well, that's my opinion of novels and short stories. It's two in the morning, so I probably should go to bed.

SusanS 5-2-2001 1:57


MARK: HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA Trust you! Okay, okay, so the title's a little hard to remember, but the story is unforgetable.

Teekay 5-2-2001 1:26


5-2-2001 0:39

Q: What is 60 foot long and smells like pee?
A: A conga line in an old folks home!

5-1-2001 23:49

Oh, I guess it goes without saying that I did the same with my kids. One forgets things like that some times I guess.

Jerry 5-1-2001 22:55

TEEKAY gets the "Quote of the Week" award "Quo Vadis! I've been trying to remember that name. That is definitely one book that stays with you always." yuh. obviously.

ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS -- Edit, Write, Photograph, Display. In my MIS life, I write data queries and display the results in (we hope) appealing fashion. I edited the company website. While I've been known to create webpages (and sites), I've not had any web activity in quite some time and have quit posting my personal website address because it has fallen into obsolesence. I cook and bake. I lie.

Mark 5-1-2001 22:46


Teekay - you sure brought back a memory I had long forgoten, you see, my sister had her boys (she had 3 of them) she and her husband would come to town and pick me up for the summer and I would stay with them, to care for the boys. As they aged, and my sister and her husband moved farther and father away, the tradition ended. About fifteen years ago, we all landed in the same town, I went over one night shortly after they moved back and the boys sat out on the deck with me and her husband drinking beer. When we were getting a bit tight from the beer, they brought up how I used to sit with all three of them on my lap in the big chair and tell them tales that brought nightmares to visit them. In fact they begged until I dreamed up a tall tail and told them out there on the deck. I have done the same with my other nieces and nephewes, and hope to do the same with the twins when they come into this world and are old enough to understand. In fact I may keep this one just for that purpose.

Jerry Ericsson 5-1-2001 22:04

**Teekay**Back again,
well having the archives go all screwy sure saved me a bit of time.

MARY: Quo Vadis! I've been trying to remember that name. That is definitely one book that stays with you always.
Wonder how RHODA's doing in Scotland. Wonder if she was brave enough to try the hagis.~shudder~

MEL: :-D I draw as well. Please don't count my singing as a creative endeavour, that would be bordering on blasphemy. I don't really draw much anymore though. When I have spare time these days it's usually taken up with reading and writing.
One other thing I really love to do and really gets me in the mediative mind frame is patchwork by hand, although if not careful with the needle it's a real quick trip back to the real world.
I'm also a frustrated photographer. Frustarted because I keep seing these really gorgeous scenes, like a pastel mauve and lilac sunset with trees silhoutted in the foreground or dewdrops on a spiders web draped between flowers AND I never have my camera on me.
Maybe I ought to just buy a bigger handbag so I can just lug it around with me.

ROSEMARY: When you have the notebook window open, if you go to the start button and from there go to programs to accesories and then select word pad, then go to a clear space on the bottom bar and click on the left hand button and then select arrange windows vertically, you can type out your responses and then just copy and paste to the notebook. :-) heaps easier.

JACK: Oh Goody, we get to talk about writing. Ah, now you'll be sorry.

I LOVE writing. Not the actual scribbling on paper to the stage where all the blood leaves my hand and it starts to cramp up, and not the part where I have to type it all onto the computer, but I love where my mind goes during the writing process. That step back from reality to the realm of the imagination. I think maybe only writers, mad people, and Capricornians are the only ones who are able to go back to that daydream world of childhood, where anything is possible and the characters which inhabit the mind are much more interesting and colourful than those in the outside world.

Now there are people who would scoff at this and tell you that life in the outside world is much more interesting than anything you could imagine. These people either have a very exciting life or little to no imagination. Don't listen to them, these people will probably never write a novel. They probably wouldn't even want to.

Now, what do I like to write about.
Well, I've always wanted to write a novel, but until lately had never actually gotten around to beginning one. Since coming to the notebook, I've had a few false starts, but from those starts and some honest critiques I've finally caught onto the difference between writing a short story and a novel. In my opinion Novels are a much harder thing to write.
I tend to see my novel as a long term goal, but while writing that my plan is to write and sell short stories to magazines. My new years resolution this year to post out at least one short story every 2 months. (I like to allow room for laziness) At the present time I have 2 stories out and 1 short listed for a magazine in October, which I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed about.

What do I like to write?
Well my short stories usually have a twist to them. I love stories with twists.
My novel iis so new I really don't quite know what that'll turn out to be about, but I love history, I love old people, I love a bit of a mystery, I love comedy so I'm sort of incorporating all this into my book.
I'm determined to finish this book. It may never see the light of day, but by writing it I will learn from it and then I'll go on from there, but I know, that if I just keep giving up because things aren't going well, I'll never write my book.

In my heart I believe I will one day have my book/s published. ot necessarily because they are literary masterpieces, but due to perseverance and the fact that I've seen a heck of a lot of crap that has been published.

Now I've gone and gotten myself all inspired I might go and resurect my ghostie that I started a while back, see if there's any life left in it.

Teekay 5-1-2001 21:40


JERRY: Read your ghostie. It was so cute! A marriage of kids story meets grown up story. I could picture you sitting in front of the hearth telling this story to your grandkids. Only in some bits though. Note the rudey bits.
And I do so love a happy ending. :-)

Teekay 5-1-2001 20:36


Hi All,
Think I've got a bit of catching up to do.

JERRY: Thanks for that link. It looks great. I think I might give it a go. Do you think that their trying to get contributions because of the Hollywood writer's strike which looms on the horizon?

I wonder how much script writers do get for their work. I think it should be just as much as the actors, after all, the script is the foundation of it all.
Hmmmm maybe it ought to be more.
In the workaday world you wouldn't see a labourer (actor) getting more money than a Doctor (writer) would you?

Welcome to my wierd and wondorous wamblings, now I'm off to do some catching up.

Teekay 5-1-2001 20:29


Rosemary - here's a simpler route to that method: If you are writing a post and want to go back to check the NB posts, just go up to the top tool bar on your browser, and click on the 'back' button. Then click on the 'forward' button to get back to your post.

It works well, but once in a blue moon a post gets lost in web-limbo. Happens unless you write your posts in wordpad or another word program, and then cut and paste them into the text box. Of course, if you delete your 'word' post without saving it and it doesn't arrive intact on the NB, you're back to square one again!


I used to do a lot of sewing and my mother is getting to be quite a quilt master. I sewed a lot of my own clothes, including T-shirts that rivaled store-bought. The thing is that fabric these days is so much more expensive (either that or I just didn't think it was and my mom paid for a lot of it!) and it's hardly worth sewing your own clothes when you can buy them for less - and save yourself the hours of ripping out seams when mistakes, as they inevitably do, happen. At least mine do! (Might I add they come with company?)

Once in a while I'd nearly chuck out the item I was sewing, but at the last minute my mom would call down - if I was having one of my very loud 'I hate sewing' fits. She was usually able to salvage my Frankenpants. Or my Frankenshirt, as the case may have been.

I never got the hang of knitting or crochet, or for that matter, my mother's loom. My mother was a potter and a weaver, and even created an artist's guild with some friends. It is still prosperous today, and in fact, my birth mother is a member! We had moved away before that happened, but it's still funny, the way things work out.

I have helped my mom design a few quilts for weddings and so forth, and we made my daughter's hand-appliqued heart quilt together. There are 63 appliqued hearts in that quilt, and I thought I was ready to retire for good when we were finished. I have often thought of the half-started quilt I was making for my son, but now it wouldn't cover his legs! (It was a baby's crib quilt in size) I'm thinking we'll design a new one, large enough for a twin bed - and the colours will be a bit darker. Right now my son (age 3) is in an Ikea bed, and it's half-way between a crib mattress size and a twin size. That is my only beef with Ikea! Why make a bed that has a unique size? (The bed we bought from my sister in law, and didn't realize until she brought it in that it wasn't regular twin size...)Unless I buy sheets from ikea, none will fit that bed very well.
Ah, the joys of ranting and babbling.
I partake of both. THe question is, is it too much?

SO, though I may weild a pen and brush, TLR and SLR cameras with relative ease, I do not hesitate to admit that I am no expert at many things. I decided about three years ago that if I would be master of any one artistic medium, what medium (modicum?) would it be? I have let many passions sit under the wings so that my one dearest passion-outlet could flourish: writing.

Hmm. That doesn't mean I don't paint or decorate or cook or design at all, or ever again. But it does mean I spend 95% of my inspiration sitting here, or in my studio, composing these little strings of words and thoughts into something I desire vehemently to be beautiful.

How about YOU?

My windy gossip column (just kidding Ben) for the day.

Heather 5-1-2001 20:04

Other artistic things? Well I do cook a mean Ox Tail Stew, and my special hamburger's are to die for, although I rarely make them. I used to love re-finishing furniture, and carried that love over to re-finishing gun stocks, but those are all things of the past, as it is hard for me to do the work anymore. I do enjoy fishing, but I don't get enough of it, what with the weather and finding someone who can come along, just in case. Camping is our get-way but those are not artistic. I am good at fixing things, and sometimes I do pretty them up a bit, but again that isn't art. I think the art stuff jumped a generation, in that my daughter is an excellent painter, and photographer. I do dabble in photography, and have several different 35mm Camera bodies, and a fair collection of lenses and filters, but again I rarely get find anyone who would like to come along on my jaunts into the countryside where all the good photo subjects are. Occasionally my daughter joins me, and we both gather our equipment and search for old abandoned farm sites, or unusual formations that make for good photo's.

Oh but I do enjoy writing, and playing around with computers, in fact broken computers, that make others frown and cry, make me happy, as they are like a crossword puzzle to me, trying to find the problem and fix it. In fact yesterday I made my weekly jaunt up town for medicine refills and to pay the internet bill. The fellow who owns the computer store/ISP was having a hard time finding the CMOS battery. After I made out the check, I asked him if I could look at the machine, and he said sure, good luck, I have been looking at the dang thing for over an hour. I moved a couple of ribbon cables out of the way, and there it was. He looked at me like I was from Mars, then said, "I would have found it eventually!"

Jerry Ericsson 5-1-2001 18:23

AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG!. Sorry this is the third time I've posted, I've either gotten lost or cut short in both of them. I was saying that I am not only still working on my MS, but am also waiting for a GRAD SCHOOL to contact me. Well, I hope this one gets through...

Laura 5-1-2001 17:41


MARY - don't forget - origami is increasing!

in creasing...

Yes, I cook, among other things. Probably got too many hobbies.

MEL - I've got TWO copies of "Ingathering," just so I'd have a loaner. It's wonderful!

Another author I really enjoy is Sterling Lanier. His "Heiro" books are among the best of the "post-nuke conflagration" genre. I have copies of those to put into the "flying books" mill too.

gotta run - photoshop class in an hour.

Howard 5-1-2001 17:30

Rosemary - thought of that, adjusting the witholding, and we are going to do that. Only reason they got so much this time was we had no idea it was comming until it came, just days after we sent in the return we were notified that they were doing this to us.

Jerry Ericsson 5-1-2001 17:07


Thanks for the info. about Eddington's books. I'll check out the Mallorean series, but I think I liked the first one because the main character was a young boy. It's always so encouraging to see a kid doing great things instead of throwing rocks at the neighbor's dog. ALSO, The actor on 10th Kingdom that played the Wearwolf has showed up in a number of regular programs this year. I always think of him as "Wolfie," no matter how serious the part. That should be great for his carreer.
The Momma duck has 11 babies. They are about 3 days old now, still staying with her pretty well. When they start wandering off on their own, we need to cage them because they never make it after that.

I hadn't even thought about the publisher being lousy, I just thought that if they would publish that book, then our really great book in the same genre (kind of,) would have a pretty good chance. Perhaps I am mistaken about the difficulty we will face in the future, getting a publisher.
There is the posibility that they only publish non-fiction so the whole subject would be moot.

I just found out how to be in the middle of a post and go back to check out names or whatever. While posting, I just go to favorites, call up the notebook again. Check out whatever, then do a 'page back' and my post is right there waiting for me.

That's enough "smartiness" from me for now.

Rosemary 5-1-2001 16:25

Jack - My parents said it was okay for me to attend the social. :) I look forward to going.

Rachel - I sent you an e-mail about the party. :)

Allein Allein's World 5-1-2001 16:10

Hi everyone! This is my first post in awhile. I stil feel a little low about my friend, but I guess I'm moving on. I still hope to reconcile with him someday, but I'm learning to live with the fact that he's gone, for now. I'm writing stories again and that feels good. A few days ago I got an idea for a short science fiction story, actually it's now looking like a novella, and slowly began to work out the details. My outlines, which used to be very linear now seem to be less organized with possible story directions rather than exact statements of what's going to happen. They seem to work though, and I find them somehow less constraining on my writing. It was good to feel inspiration again, and it helps to ease the pain of losing my friend.

I also quit my job two weeks ago. I start my new job tonight. I got tired of abuse and humiliation from my manager and his vicious shrew of an assistant manager, so I walked out, throwing my hat and apron on the counter as I left. It felt so good and I don't miss that terrible place one bit. They treated me so bad and I deserve so much better. Three days later I had another job, but it didn't start till this week so I got a much needed week's vacation.
Now if I can just make myself work on my SF novel. I remember a time when it so excited me to work on it. Now it just gives me the blahs.

As to other artistic endeavors, I design and sew cloth dolls. I also make teddy bears. I knit and crochet. I've made two quilts and have a couple more in the works. I play roleplaying games. I cook and bake. And recently I've started an indoor herb garden. I'm also growing some tomatoes, to be transplanted when its warm enough. I never thought of myself as having a green thumb, but I have to admit I greatly enjoy watching my little herb garden grow and I can't wait to reap the produce of my tomatoes. When I was in college I took a class in ceramics, but wasn't very good at it. My pots looked so crude and ugly. I always feel like I have to be doing something creative, be it writing or something else. My Grandma Poynter was excellent at sewing, cooking, gardening, crafts, needlework. She was very creative and I think that's where I get my creativity from. I'm always thankful to her for that.

SusanS 5-1-2001 15:53

Pardon Pardon the the double double post post, I hurried to the 'stop' button to add a last few sentences, but obviously I didn't get there in time!

Heather Heather 5-1-2001 15:06

Rosemary - actually, I don't think any of my (recent) posts have been cut off, so it probably wasn't my post.

I did respond, however, that if the ghost stories you read were that crappy, I wouldn't want to take Phantasium to a publisher that is likely known for publishing crap! Just my thoughts. :o) We don't have enough stories to consider publishing it yet ~
but that's another story! (Yes, I've been putting off my phantasium story because I've never written a ghostie before and I don't want it to come out all cheesy and silly like Ghostbusters. NOt that I didn't absolutely adore that movie all those years ago... just want my story to actually give readers a case of goosebumps - not the chuckles.

IS THAT SO WRONG? (ha ha ha ha ha)

Ah, on the topic of artistic endeavors, I will admit to a number of them.
Tattooing (though I haven't done one in years now)
drawing, detailed illustration (I can whip up a pretty darned good technical illustration if I need to)
painting (watercolours, oils, oil pastels, acrylics)
photography, though I'm an amateur most definitely
music - piano (rusty now but I have my grade 12 in classical) flute, and organ (can play a wicked charge of churchy music or use samples to do Depeche Mode kind of stuff) and I'd love to learn to play the bagpipes sometime.
We've got a violin, but I'm so bad it's not worth the cost of lessons. I've played the sax, but was better with a flute.

I decorate too, though not for hire. I've got enough work on my hands with just my house and friends' places. (And if I visit my mom and dad for more than 48 hours, I'm bound to be doing some work there, too. My mom goes from room to room during her months off work and redecorates. When she gets the whole house finally finished, she is onto new outdoor projects, and then eventually she starts redecorating all over again. She also helps out family doing their projects too. Their house is large enough that it takes 2 years to redecorate - with four months a year off for work - and then another year of outdoorsy projects...)
Yikes. She's not bored, is she folks?

Neither am I.

Anyhow, most of my other artistic endeavors get back seat to writing all the time. Photography I dabble in quite regularly, and I designed my future house recently, but other than that I don't draw more than ten or twenty pages worth in my sketchbooks a year now)

Explains why my children's books are sitting there, manuscripts needing major overhauls, and I was having a hard time with the illustrations. Tried all different styles to capture just what I wanted for the one book, and finally found the images I thought fit best - and then my energy on the project fizzled out. The other one I can't finish all of the drawings until I do more research and write the ending of the ms. That'll be a while! I'm too busy with Symphony.

Oh, I cook. I don't bake much but I do bake a wonderful apple pie (or blueberry) from scratch. My cakes don't seem to like gravity all that much, and my husband's cookies kick my cookies' asses.
We can't be good at everything.

Heather 5-1-2001 15:03

Rosemary - actually, I don't think any of my (recent) posts have been cut off, so it probably wasn't my post.

I did respond, however, that if the ghost stories you read were that crappy, I wouldn't want to take Phantasium to a publisher that is likely known for publishing crap! Just my thoughts. :o) We don't have enough stories to consider publishing it yet ~
but that's another story! (Yes, I've been putting off my phantasium story because I've never written a ghostie before and I don't want it to come out all cheesy and silly like Ghostbusters. NOt that I didn't absolutely adore that movie all those years ago... just want my story to actually give readers a case of goosebumps - not the chuckles.

IS THAT SO WRONG? (ha ha ha ha ha)

Ah, on the topic of artistic endeavors, I will admit to a number of them.
Tattooing (though I haven't done one in years now)
drawing, detailed illustration (I can whip up a pretty darned good technical illustration if I need to)
painting (watercolours, oils, oil pastels, acrylics)
photography, though I'm an amateur most definitely
music - piano (rusty now but I have my grade 12 in classical) flute, and organ (can play a wicked charge of churchy music or use samples to do Depeche Mode kind of stuff) and I'd love to learn to play the bagpipes sometime.
We've got a violin, but I'm so bad it's not worth the cost of lessons. I've played the sax, but was better with a flute.

I decorate too, though not for hire. I've got enough work on my hands with just my house and friends' places. (And if I visit my mom and dad for more than 48 hours, I'm bound to be doing some work there, too. My mom goes from room to room during her months off work and redecorates. When she gets the whole house finally finished, she is onto new outdoor projects, and then eventually she starts redecorating all over again. She also helps out family doing their projects too. Their house is large enough that it takes 2 years to redecorate - with four months a year off for work - and then another year of outdoorsy projects...)
Yikes. She's not bored, is she folks?

Neither am I.

Anyhow, most of my other artistic endeavors get back seat to writing all the time. Photography I dabble in quite regularly, and I designed my future house recently, but other than that I don't draw more than ten or twenty pages worth in my sketchbooks a year now)

Explains why my children's books are sitting there, manuscripts needing major overhauls, and I was having a hard time with the illustrations. Tried all different styles to capture just what I wanted for the one book, and finally found the images I thought fit best - and then my energy on the project fizzled out. The other one I can't finish all of the drawings until I do more research and write the ending of the ms. That'll be a while! I'm too busy with Symphony.

Heather 5-1-2001 15:01


Hi again -

I wrote a few more sentences on my lunch hour! Okay, so four sentences is barely enough to warm up the pen, but for me, lately, it's really something!! :-)

Rosemary - I mentioned the BELGARIAD. The sequel series --the MALLOREAN -- is also fantastic (same characters, additional adventures). The Diamond-Sapphire-Ruby books (Elenium series) were good but not as good as the first two sets. My husband really liked the TAMULI set, a sequel of sorts to the MALLOREAN - I didn't get that far. BELGARATH was great and am now reading thru POLGARA, but slowing down as the story is the same, just being retold thru a diff. POV. Still, the BELGARIAD on the silver screen would be fantastic!! BTW, cuddle your ducks for me when you catch 'em! :-) I'm a country girl at heart.

Kitty - Forgot to tell you this past weekend we watched...the 10th KINGDOM (first part only). Oh yeah - definitely put Wolf on the Hunk Wall! Nicey-Nice!!! :-)

Mary - Gee, Mary, you've got more than two artistic leanings - writing, singing, watercoloring, re-decorating...Terrific! :-) You will never be bored...Actually, as a writer who could ever be bored??? But the other stuff is so much fun too... :-)

Back to work - maybe I'll try writing again on thebus home...what? Oh, okay, I WILL write again on thebus home! See!! You guys did it for me again!!! Write on...!

Melanie 5-1-2001 13:51

Jack - I send you hugs and hopes for future writing.

Rachel 5-1-2001 13:06


Morning all,
Recently I got a new subscription (much less expensive than renewing)to Writers Digest. On a Monday, I received April's issue. By Thursday, May's issue was in my mailbox. At this rate, the subscription will be over in about a month. {:-P (Old joke. Please don't explain to me how subscriptions work.) Anyway, In the April issue there is an excellent article on AGENTS. Especially the lower half of page 30. Named "Is a Bad Agent Better Than None at ALL?"

Your poor Income tax return. Can't you adjust your dependents or quarterly payments or whatever to come out oweing the Gov. a few bucks at the end of the year??? Maybe you feel it is right to pay them this way. But It doesn't sound like they were right with you.

Sorry, normally I would go back up and find your name, but we can't do that anymore. I absolutely loved the Belgaraid series by Eddings. Started at book one and went straight through. The funny thing is, I haven't been able to get interested in any of his other series. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.

Obvioulsy, one of my main reading interests (and writing) is Si/Fi. Heavy on the Si. Also read a lot of Mysteries. Lately, I must be feeling insecure because I have been concentrating on COZYs.

Will be signing up for a course on writing short stories at a local group for seniors. Still hard to accept that in some areas, I am a Senior. Unfortunately, in the areas that it matters, they don't accept you until you're 65 yrs. old. I'm having enough trouble believing I'll be 60 in a year-and-a-half.

I finally decided the post following my post about the Ghost Book was yours. (Sorry if wrong) It was during the Notebook Hi-Jinks and you said I was skoffing at ghostly things. The end of your post was cut off and I still don't know if you got or want the name of the Publisher for future use. Got to return it to the library pretty soon. Heaven forbid that I would write it down for future reference myself.

Got to go round up baby ducks. You wouldn't think anything would want to eat them. They're just a little fluff with feet and a beak.


Rosemary 5-1-2001 12:34

I know most treasure hunters use metal detectors, maps and luck to find their treasures. I however have a habit of stumbeling over them. The latest find - A large book titled "History's Gratest War." With the comming of warm weather we here in the North Country put away our warm winter cloths, and drag out the old tshirts. Well the wife stored some of my tshirts in an old trunk she received as part of her aunt's estate several years ago. At the bottom of the trunk was the old book. Now normaly I would get excited to read a histroy book of any kind but last night I picked it up, and looked at the first page where the author's names were. Here is the list of authors:

S.J. Duncan-Clark (War Correspondent)
Gen. John (Black Jack) Pershing
Admiral William S. Sims

It is heavily illustrated with photo's taken by "War Trained Photographers.

What a great book written by those who were insturmental in winning the war. Now I expect it will be a bit biased, but as they say, history is written by the winners.

Jerry Ericsson 5-1-2001 11:50

MEL: I would also love to know what other outlets everyone here has. I can't wait for people to start answering your question. I bet we won't be all that surprised. I know that Howard cooks. Heather paints. Christi does origami...hehe, just kidding hon, I have no idea.

I do home make-overs, interior and exterior. I love it when people turn their homes over to me, especially when they don't have a lot of money for me to play with. It is fun when I can go into a store and buy anything that I feel fits the space, but when on a limited budget is when I get the most creative. When you need the most bang for a buck I really shine. You can call me the bargain basement decorator, but I would rather you didn't. Haha. The best job I ever got was a woman who hired me to redo her whole house, inside and out, from the carpet, to the paint, to the vinyl siding and new garage doors. I couldn't believe that she never even asked to approve anything first. She just handed me the money and said, "Go for it, and it needs to be done by my daughter's open house in 5 weeks." Can you say 'subcontractors'? That was a blast.

I also do watercolors, but I just dabble.

Last, but not least, I sing. I really do, and I am not half bad either, if I do say so myself.

LITTER: I found a site that has pc desk top themes with clan tartans. I found your last name there, so if you are interested in the link, please let me know and I will send it on.

Mary 5-1-2001 10:16


Good morning, y'all!

Howard - I LOVE Zenna Henderson's writings! Thanks for the book-sharing offer, but I've got her anthology INGATHERING: The Complete People Stories. I, uh, haven't read it yet, shame on me! But years ago I read PILGRIMAGE and a couple of the others... I'm also re-reading THE HOBBIT! May not make it through LOTR before the movie comes out but hope to. What a great year for sf&f movies! LOTR, Hary Potter, and so many others! Wish they'd turn Eddings' BELGARIAD into a movie! Or how about Katherine Kurtz' DERYNI Chronicles??

Ben - You are so lucky to have a boat to sit and daydream on...sigh. Watching the rivers and nature is always so inspiring for me to get writing, too. Watch out you don't fall in (again!) :-) BTW, Jamala is definitely African - there's a kid's book here at the library with an African girl named Jamala.

Christi - Are you working on sf&f for kids/YA or something else right now? Psychic powers, portals, or time twists? :-) My 10-year-old actually helped me think up an 11-yr-old character I needed to re-start my sf&f novel. I think sf&f reaches a lot of ages!

Hallee - Welcome back! Did the Cape inspire you to write some new stuff? BTW, waiting eagerly for Ch.7...

Heather - I find it fascinating that so many "artists" usually have artistic leanings in more than one direction - you write and draw, I write and "do" music, Teekay writes and "sings"...How many other dual artists are on the NB, I wonder? My fingers are crossed for you, Heather! :-)

Mary - Cuddle those kitties for me too! :-)

A sparkling, good-writing day to every one of you!

Melanie 5-1-2001 8:35

I am a tad late announcing this week's SHORTIE THEME, as I generally like to have it known by Monday, but I had a little difficulty coming up with a good one.


HEATHER: I didn't expect you to say teeny weeny tattoos, but I didn't expect what you said either! :-) I think that is awesome and I am glad you trusted your tattoo (I want to call her artist, is that right?)artist so much. If I were her, I would have considered that job an honor. I don't get all the shallow tattoos out there. They mean practically nothing to the people who have them. Those are the people who will end up regretting their tattoos. It is nice to hear how seriously you took yours, and the symbolism behind them.

CHRISTI: Well aren't you the sweetest thing? Thank you!

HALLEE: I love the story behind why Nora Roberts began writing. I think that publishers are definitely going to have their hands just as full with you! You are both very prolific writers.

JERRY: Loved your phantasium contribution.

Good luck this week with your shorties everyone!

Mary 5-1-2001 7:24

Christi: In a word, or a couple of words, about how to choose. You do not. Still, there is always the question of first loves. As an extension of the earlier question. What genre was your first story. In my own case, yes, it was science fiction and desperately desperately bad. The only saving grace is that that long ago first novel done when I was in Junior High did not survive the many travels here, there and everywhere. I will not regail you with the plot. It is too painful to contemplate :-). Still, it was a beginning and I have to say that I have not actually completed an entire novel since. So, maybe if I get in touch with that long ago aspiring writer in his teens I can rediscover how to go from beginning to end again. Just some stray thoughts late at night. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch Jack and Fran's Place 5-1-2001 5:51

HEATHER: Fascinating. I could watch the guy that did mine and COnan's, "Tattoo Tommy", for hours on end, I think, and never be bored. He would swipe the cloth over the pool of blood and ink and there would be this perfect design. Again I say fascinating.

CHRISTI: Thanks, hon. I don't know about the "deserving" - but the "desiring" is certainly there. (Hug)

MARY: I LOVE J.D. Robb. When I was reading the beginning of your post I was planning to recommend her to you. Have you ever read her Nora Roberts books? They are as well done, but just carry the romance in them. To me, she is the master. If I ever, in a review, get compared to her, (assuming I ever get a book out there to be reviewed) then all of my goals will have been met.

I have no idea what happened this weekend - all the posts are gone. So - I'll just assume I missed nothing and go one with it. (grin)

Time to get back to editing. I know I mentioned this in email, but I don't think I did it here. I'm starting to enjoy this task. Not nearly as much as writing - but it is fun to read what I've written and fix it.

Happy Tuesday all! Life's nuts - I'm tired - but it should slow down soon (I hope!)

Hallee 5-1-2001 5:14

Don't worry Ben - I can't help but CHAT away!
Oh, and to mention what's going on in my writing life today, (a very long extension of yesterday), I now have 64 pages of my ms. (4 from tonight and some editing). I have another ten to type in as well. So, in total, 74 pages in four weeks is pretty darned great for me(give or take since handwritten tends to turn out longer than a typed page) and this week looks more productive than last. Wooo hoooo!

I'm hoping to turn out another 25 pages this week - outlined most of those already. My sister in law speaks 6 languages, and I'm awaiting her return from France (vacation) to do some translations for the novel. I haven't made it to the part where I'll need them yet, but even so, I will need to write in English first what I wish translated! First things first. To sleep I go.
Yeah, after 20 hours, sleeping is priority number 1. Sigh. Wish I didn't have to sleep until the weekends!

And I'm still waiting for a response from Glimmer Train Magazine. FINGERS CROSSED, everyone? Mine are starting to cramp.

Heather 5-1-2001 4:51

No teeny tiny tats here! Unless you count the one on my hand...


To answer your question, Mary, we had them done about a week or two after we decided to be married, and we went to the one and only Laurie Stewart (Nighthawk Tattoo, Guelph) to get them done. I went first!
I guess even if we had gone to a tat studio that had several tat artists working there, we still would have had the same artist do both. We wanted them to be as identical as possible (with the exception being that the symbols inside each archway are different, but with the same 'flavour')

I did tattooing for several years myself, but that ended shortly after my daughter was born - couldn't have long hours of high concentration when she needed my attentions! I also didn't want that sort of traffic going on in my life when all I wanted to do was curl up and watch my baby sleeping. I may get back to a few tattoos here and there someday, but I don't do near enough drawing and sketching to keep up with the demand of tattooing - especially the custom and freehand work my clients always came for. I'd spend all day sometimes drawing for and tattooing one client (with long breaks for them during the drawing parts of course). Such is the price for complete originality. A rite of passage.

Heather 5-1-2001 4:43

Heather: Okay, I apologize to one and all. Gossip is all right. Please forgive me; I don't know what came over me; I was being a cad, and I won't let it happen again... :-)

Mary: It was easy not to read her books. I did start the first one, but it was taking me away from my writing time at that particular instance. I didn't have the same posting at work I have now, and so I wasn't at liberty to read at work. But to hear the woman, she's awesome I tell you. Just awesome.

On the writing side of things, I started to scratch out the beginnings of a new story. Don't know where it's gonna take me, and don't really care. (Mau Mau, missionary, Mau Mau missionary...) One character I'm thinking of calling Jefferson Davis Munro, and the other one, the Reverend Stapleton Grieve. I like the names. I just have to come up with some good African names. How about this one: Yaphet Kokuumo? And Jamala Kangatta? Do they sound African enough? I think I better do some browsing and see what I can find here on the web.

So, gotta go, got a lot of work to do :-)

Ben 5-1-2001 4:37

Hideyho everyone! I hope I haven't missed too much.

Mary, I think your poetry is awesome, and I also think that there have been pulllllllenty of poems already written about flowers and meadows. Did I say plenty? Because there are, you know. Plenty. ;P So now you don't have to worry about goofy flowers and weepy meadows and you can keep on writing your awesome poetry! :)
Oh, and Mary ... congratulations, Gramma! HEE!

Oh Jack, dear Jack. How do I choose just one? I always tilt towards sci-fi and fantasy, I think I'll always love those genres. What drew me to them in the first place was the wonder and awe they instilled in me. But I do love almost every genre, except for the gothic vampire-type stuff. I read some in high school and it didn't ring my bell.
I just finished reading 'Bag of Bones' by SK and it was so amazing. I actually physically tipped a mock hat to him after reading the last line and said aloud, 'Hats off to you, Mr. King. You are a true master.' And I didn't even feel silly!

Teekay, on the last post I read from you I nearly choked to death on my popcorn. ggggggggaaaaaahh! Piddling on the Notebook, what a stellar idea! I supposed we're all claiming territory each time we place a post, eh? Hee!

Hey Melanie, Sounds like we like to write about the same things! I'm sure they're totally different on the page, but your description sounded similar to something I'm writing right now.

Looking forward to reading the newest contributions to **P** if I ever get the time.

I hope I didn't miss too much ... can't backtrack ... it's twelve-thirty at night. As my Mom always says, I'm about to turn into a pumpkin.

Heather, Your office phantom gave me the chilly willies! I'm sending you a virtual amulet for your protection. Don it anytime you feel a drafty. ;)
Wow, Heather! I figured you had a couple of teeny tiny tats and you blew that visual right out of the water! They sure sound neat.

HALLEE! I almost forgot! CONGRATULATIONS on selling two stories! I'm so excited for you. I did catch that much before last week got away from me. Cheers, dahling, you deserve it.

Hey Howrad! I just bought a twenty-some-odd-years old sci-fi anthology and there's a Zenna Henderson story in there called 'Something Bright'. I can't wait to read it!!! Whoa, just saw that you were reading Bag of Bones too! Twilight Zonish, eh?

Love y'all. Talk later,


Christi 5-1-2001 3:23

Jack - it could be worse, this year we were supposed to get a refund of over $800.00 but since the Federal Government foreclosed on the house I was living in when I was injured, the decided to sell it for about half it's value, they will be keeping all my tax refunds until that is paid. At a rate of $800.00 per year, that should only take, oh thirty some years, not including interest. Seems the Federal Government doesn't really care that you have no money to start with, don't make your payments for a year and they take your home. If I sound bitter, it is probably because I am, but that is a whole other story.

Jerry Ericsson 5-1-2001 0:26

OK, I can finally give a great big sigh of relief as I finally finish with getting our taxes in to the federal government and the IRS. I am just glad they gave Seattle an extra couple of weeks to get things in due to our earthquake. The only down part of this was the hefty amount we had to cough up to cover our taxes. Oh, well, lots of different circumstances came together to cause that one. At any rate, I will have a bit more time to update and we will see what else I can come up with to capitalize on my time, like writing. :-).

Jack Beslanwitch Link 5-1-2001 0:20

The below link will take you to a site where you can write a skit for Sat Night Live - who knows you may get hired for your work.

Jerry Ericsson Writers WANTED!! 4-30-2001 23:18

Jack - did I miss the question? What do I prefer to read? Oh I read everything that John Grishem has written, a throwback to my college days when I studied the law for two years. Before that, (way before that) I read everything Harold Robbins wrote. I also like the old Zane Gray books (who could hate Zane Gray). I have just started to read Deen Koontz at the behest of my daugher. She seems to think my writings are much like his. I like Sch-fi alot too, and have read tons of that stuff too, from the time I learned to read Sci-fi was my favorite. I can remember reading a sci-fi story back in the 5th grade, a book I got from the bookmobile when it visited our 1 room school house.

Must go, wife just called supper.

Jerry Ericsson 4-30-2001 19:50


BEN: How could you be such a big fan of Gabaldon and not read the books? That floored me. I think I would have run out and scored myself copies of them as soon as her class was over.

HOWARD: I hadn't read "The Hobbit" since it was required reading in my freshman year English class, and with the movie coming out and all, I figured I ought to brush up. I am enjoying even more this second time through. I got the whole set from my hubby this past Christmas.

HEATHER: I think that is an unbelievable anniversary gift between you and your husband. I am assuming you both had them done on the same day, but did you take turns, or did different people do you both at the same time?

Congratulations to my kitty cat who brought four new little kitty cats into the world today. Three girls, one boy and they are precious. I thought for sure that she would have her litter out in the garage, but at 11AM, she came meowing at the back door. She wouldn't come in the house, but she wanted me to sit with her on the back porch. She and the wee fuzzies are now resting comfortably in a laundry basket lined with old pillowcases in the mud room.

Bye for now.

Mary 4-30-2001 18:37

That should read MULTI-coloured water... (I don't like the sounds of mulit coloured water at all!)

Heather 4-30-2001 18:04

*Heather* :o)

Ah, a tattoo that says 'Write On' - *shaking head*! No, don't have any like that!
I have a comet in black-work on my left hand between forefinger and thumb (you know, that funny stretch of pulpy flesh that is only there to allow your thumbs to be opposable)
I have a big piece that goes from my left elbow, swirls around my upper arm, and ends at my spine - it's basically a lot of different coloured and sized starfish and shells and a slosh of mulit-coloured water. I have one on my chest (left side again) which is a Celtic knotwork horseshoe shape (upside down, like an archway) and inside that is the symbol for Hathor, an Egyptian Goddess of Love, Beauty and Strength. (My husband has the exact same archway in the same place, with Hathor's eternal mate, Ptah in his)
I have a black and purple modern (sort of) design on my inner left ankle. On the right side of my body I only have one: A flowery number that is going to be covered over. It will be a swirling of fall leaves and little things such as acorns and maple keys, all flowing down my upper right arm and down to the elbow, the same area as the big one on my left arm. They might mingle on my back a bit, such as a leaf or two floating on the sea. Anyhow, those are it, SO FAR. My husband has his full back done in a scene (Native American scene, lots of animals and a Native on a horse)
and two that I designed on his forearms. I designed my starfish tattoos (really, it could be considered about 30 separate tattoos!)
and I will design the leaves and so on for my right arm as well. I also designed the tats my husband and I have on our chests. It was our engagement present to each other. (A little bizarre, yes, but cool, oh yeah)...

Oh, I guess I was doing what Ben was saying we do a lot of: gossiping! (Is revealing my skin designs gossip?)

Let's see - this is my week off from cleaning offices, so (besides child rearing) I have more time to write during the next five days! I've also written more out by hand and am really excited about the upcoming 'turbulence'!
Mark, truly, THANK YOU - you reminded me to keep focused on story elements - that main one being CONFLICT! I had been concentrating on a lot of elements, but didn't place enough emphasis on conflict. Watch yourselves, writers! Don't get lost in the world of dialogue and forget the basic plot movements! Don't forget the intrigue, the GOSSIP that causes pain or turmoil (heh heh, eh?) the discomfort of conflict that keeps readers turning pages, their passion for your characters alive and deepening.

I was reading something from a newletter by Coffeehouse for Writers, about not having a character be perfect. Of course, my main character's flaws are what gives my novel a reason for being! (So I didn't forget that) It is, however, so easy to make characters so perfect that it isn't logical they'd have problems. (Wait - it's not logical that they'd be on Earth, first) Secondly, problems are the meat of the story!

So, omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores alike, don't forget the MEAT. The protein! The amino acids and essential vitamins and minerals! Don't toss the steak in exchange for a light salad; your readers will thank you.

Heather 4-30-2001 18:03

Wow I can't believe I lost my posting. Thatnk God it was just a short one.

Mel: I just finished a story today that I rewrote. It needed it badly (but I hope I did it goodly). I tacn't wait to get started on my next one. I'll be taking my notebook and pen, sitting out on the boat and daydreaming, thinking to myself: Missionaries, Mau Mau, Missionaries, Mau Mau, like my own private Mantra Missionaries Mau Mau...

Howard: Hope you enjoy Olde English, because that's what you'll be slogging through. Well worth it though. I loved that book, but that's because I was into ancient Rome at the time, as well as early Christian Church history. I tried reading it to the kids once--it's not so strange, my son wanted me to read him "MOBLEY" DICK as a bedtime story, because he heard it was about a whale. Wasn't he disappointed?--and I wondered how I ever got through it the first time. But do try.

Jerry: I read your story. I'd like it better if it was longer...about four thousand words longer.

Mary: I haven't read the OUTLANDER series, but I have met Diana Gabaldon at least three or four times. She comes up here every year for the Writer's conference. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, by all means, drop whatever you are doing and listen to her. She is absolutely captivating. I sit right in the front row of the small classes she conducts here, because I want to hear everything she says, and I want her to remember me, so one day she'll bump into me at one of these conferences and say: Hey, you look familiar. Why's that? And in fact, she is saying that, because she always says Hi to me, and says, I remember you from last year.

Gotta go now. Thinking I should make myself something to eat. I hear starvation diets aren't good for you. Funny I should think about that now, I've been doing it for as long as I can remember,

HOP: Where are you? I'm sorry if I upset you. "Hop" on back.

Ben 4-30-2001 16:23


*GASP* Jerry, that is the worst example of spamming I've ever seen on a message board :p

"How come I just walked in and watched myself leave?"

Richard 4-30-2001 16:14


MEL -- Sounds as if you'd really like the Zanna Henderson stories circulating amongst the notebookers. Someone just referred to them a week or two back, and maybe you could get on the circulation list. Zenna (you old-timers have heard this from me a zillion times before, so go on with watering the petunias whilst I bring our newbies up to date) wrote a series of short stories based on The People. These people are human plus -- look like us, but have some special talents (persuasions) that are meant for good, but sometimes bring them grief. She wrote "Pilgrimage," "No Different Flesh," and "Holding Wonder" -- all "People" stories, and "The Anything Box," a collection of other stories, some a bit disturbing.
The last two are somewhere in the notebook group (I hope to see them again one day) and are part of our "favorite book exchange."
We don't post our snail mail addresses here in plain sight, but now and again someone will finish one of the "flying books" (hey, Bill's got flying toasters...) and make it available to whomever wants to send them their address.
Back to our regularly scheduled program...
MARY - Strange - I've just started re-reading "The Hobbit" meself! The LOTR movie should be out later this year, I think. See for some interesting pix and info re the movie.
Also reading "On Writing," and "Bag of Bones." Soon gotta start "Quo Vadis" or Teekay will think me an ingrate!
SASQUATCH - Welcome! Glad you could find us! That old man must have been totally petrified!
back on yer heads!

Howard 4-30-2001 15:06


Hi, All! :-)

I checked in on Saturday - not many posts, so I checked in again on Sunday and found this new page! So I went to the most recent archives to see what I missed and found a lot of holes!! I'm glad I'd read most of your posts before they disappeared into the glitch! Thanks, Jack, for saving whatever you could.

JERRY - I read your story in *P* - wasn't sure if I liked it, him pulling the trigger, but as she seemed happy about it, I've decided I am too. I love a ghost story with a happy ending!! And Burma Shave signs too... :-)

HEATHER - Any tattoos that say "Write on!" - ???

BEN - Yeah, back to basics! But I enjoy your ramblings (and everyone else's) too. One and a half years ago, I wrote with a frenzy, to get my first novel's basic plot written completely (I mean, 35 years to write the first complete draft of one novel is excruciating!). Then, exhausted, I think, I put it away for a year, knowing there's much meat yet to add to it...Perseverance, hmm...Okay, Teach - I'm writing it 100 times on the blackboard now...What? Use a different phrase every time I write it? Oh dear, let's see, hmm - Write every day, Keep writing, Don't let your muse go on extended vacations, write till your fingers fall off and then write some more... I think I'm getting it: I've actually started writing again (yippee!!) - not actually DAILY yet but it's more frequent...a sentence here, another sentence there, one more on the bus home, one more when my 4-yr-old is in bed...

My point (and I do have one) is that I've only been coming here to the Notebook for three weeks (is that all??!! Seems like I've known so many of you for wonderful ages!!) :-) And through Notebook birthday cheers, and a mind-boggling gamut of life topics, knowing as I do that the input all comes from you, fellow writers, I have been reborn to my writing yearnings and goals. You guys are SO inspiring!!! Pat yourselves on the back and go write a few words on the blackboard for me, will ya? One hundred renditions of "perseverance pays" is giving me writer's knuckle! (or is that just my arthritis?) Anyway, write on!

JACK - Condolences on the "silent' muse. Now rip off the duct tape and let your muse sing! And don't get your fingers tangled up in the tape like I did!! Sheesh. What a mess. BTW, I write what I call science-fantasy, sort of realistic fantasy sprinkled with bits of science, e.g. people with psychic abilities like teleportation, telekinesis, telepathy, mind-reading, empathy, and foresight. I write escape-world adventures, yes, Virginia, there are other worlds out there and you don't always need a spaceship to get to them. I write about natural portals and places they can take you, to have you discover that life lives also beyond the mundane happenings of our own reality. We have so much stress in our world, things we cannot change - I read and I write to escape all that - still wanting adventure but wanting it all to turn out with that blessed happy ending, however hard it seems to arrive at that destination. I love stories with a time twist in them - Jack, your parallel history sounds fascinating! Did you ever see DARK SHADOWS, near the end of the series, where they opened up stories into a parallel dimension, a different time period but happening at the same time? Way Cool.

Thanks for listening - I wait eagerly to hear more inspiring words from the rest of you who haven't yet posted to this new page!!! Have a great day, everyone! :-)

Melanie 4-30-2001 13:40

Good morning everybody. Slow weekend I see.

HEATHER: Tattoos? What are they of and are you telling where they are? ;-)

JERRY: Yes, indeed you are cute, but I haven't read your story yet. I am sure I will like it, and I will head there after this post.

JACK: You do an awesome job with your web witchery. VIV, you couldn't pick a better guy to ask about your site development.

My favorite genre to read is Crime. Fictional. I have read some true crime and find it thoroughly chilling, but I like the fiction because it gets me into the protagonist's shoes a little better in trying to sleuth out the whodunit. That is also the genre that I aspire to write, be it short story or novel length. I must confess to a difficult time with novel length work. I quickly lose interest and if the author can't even stay interested in it, how can they expect the reader to? So, short stories and poetry are my game at present. I don't generally do crime in short stories though, I mostly like character sketches, whatever story it takes to teach us about someone. My poetry can be good occasionally if it is something I feel deeply, but my technical skills aren't good enough in that area to write about flowers and meadows and get across any type of compelling emotion.

Even though crime is my first choice, I enjoy reading all types of things. I currently have "The Outlander" (Gabaldon), "Ceremony in Death" (JD Robb), the Stephen King "On Writing" and "The Hobbit" (Tolkien) on the go. One of them is upstairs, one is downstairs, one is in the car and the other one is at my mother's house. I have a whole stack waiting to jump into the rotation and I can't even remember what they are. I know there is some OS Card in there somewhere.

See you all later, duty calls. :-)

Mary 4-30-2001 11:12


Yeah Jack! I think it's a good idea to get back to the basics. A lot of people here are relatively new in comparrison to others who have been here a longer period of time, and while some of the older ones may know more about others here, the new comers haven't got a clue as to what's going on. I include myself in this latter group, since having come back just a few short months ago. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade by saying the Notebook has become more of a gossip home than a writer's home, but it has...and we are all just as guilty as the next person. And I include myself in this.

To start off with, when I first discovered this site some years ago, I was involved with writing a novel on Roman history. I'd spent far too long on it, researching it, writing and rewriting it, changing it because I just didn't have a proper focus. This place brought that focus into being. And with encouragement from people like Britomart and Phillip, I was able to look at it differently. I know that it has to be redone, but my priorities changed over the following years. I began writing short stories, literary ones I was hoping they were, but the first few attempts were simple contemporary fluff. I'd spend a week or two writing a story and send them out hoping they'd sell. Now, I spend a month or longer on a story, rewite it, hone it, read it out loud to myself and my children--whoever happens to be in the room at the time--with the goal of selling two stories this year.

I sold one story last year, and by selling that one--and for no money either, so I guess it's not really selling is it?--I tell myself I know what is needed to sell. I prefer to write short stories now. I want to become successful with short stories. I feel that all that I tried to convey in my longer stories can be as easily conveyed in my short stories--Man's inhumanity to man, and all that rot--and that I can challenge myself as a writer and a person with differing pov's. I mean how else can you write about early 20th century Vienna one month, and then 1937 Manchuria the next? Or 1969 middle America? Or contemporary Vancouver? I write things that are a challenge to me, things that interest me, with no regard as to what others want. I try to keep my word count down, but I don't really care how long the stories get either, because I can always find a market somewhere. I have a list of potential publishing magazines, and start at the top with the NEW YORKER magazine because it's the most prestigious, and they don't have a set word count. When those stories come back, I send them to the second name on my list, and so on and so on. Eventually I will sell something. It's just a matter of time.

The one thing I have learned after all this time, is that no matter how good you think your stories are, that selling them doesn't mean you'll sell again. Writing is a crap shoot more than anything else I think. With all the thousands of markets out there, you just have to get the right one. But writing everyday is the key to it all. Perseverance is the only thing that will guarantee success of any sort. Nobody ever made it on genius alone. You can't sit back after writing something and say, this is the best thing I've ever done, and then mail it away thinking it's going to be published. Because when it comes back, you find yourself depressed, and then you don't mail it out again. As soon as it comes back, don't even think about it, just mail it. Don't rewrite it if you still think it's good as it is. If you think it needs to be changed, then do it. Because it's just a big crap shoot. What one editor likes, doesn't mean another one will.

And there, now I've gone on and rambled just like I used to.

Ben 4-30-2001 11:07

Jack - Well I guess as far as my favorite type of writings, that would have to be, of course, the short story. I am also very found of writing political commentary from the Conservative point of view, however with the death of Themestream, I no longer have a place to distribute it. Well there was that one article I donated to the Redneck Conservative page that I was making reference to before the archive. I guess the best definition of my stories would be a short story with a twist. Well that is, at least my intention, although sometimes it simply does not turn out.

Jerry Ericsson 4-30-2001 10:37

Jerry, you are cute!
I did read your new shortie in P* (that sounds kind of kinky, doesn't it?)
And I like it very much.

I got the wicked creeps tonight at work - a radio started playing at the back - just happens to be the same back corner where the guy was killed a few years ago. I was just about finished, most of the lights were off in the whole plant. I had human sized goosebumps and I was sure I'd jumped out of my skin. Anyone need a spare skin? I think it's back on now, but if anyone ever wanted to try out wearing a few tattoos around...

Eyes and teeth not included.

Well, Jack, let's see!
I write literary fiction; at least that is my best guess. It's on the contemporary side but not really main stream. The novel I'm working on now (yes, this very second ha ha) I see as a movie script as well - don't know why, but I know the whole plot and can see Sandra Bullock playing my lead female role of Piper Jordan.

(Barnabas, by the way, Piper is one of my fictional characters!)

The whys of this genre? Literary fiction is my primary reading feast. I enjoy it more than any other genre, but have been pleasantly surprised by many the unexpected sci-fi, fantasy and other 'hits' in just about any other genre, though I'd have to say, of the slim pickin's in the romance genre that I've read, I didn't find many of them well written. (Mind you, I haven't read too many since my teens, but I like Hallee's very much!)
Okay, that was very vague. Let's just say that literary fiction tantalizes my mind more often than 'genre' pieces. I think of any group, literary fiction isn't really a genre. It's more the main category where the genres branch from, I think.

I love to write short stories in just about any genre for the fun and experimentation. Next short story project is for Phantasium, which I have neglected far too long. It takes a back seat to 'Symphony', though. So it'll be written ah, urr, um, eventually?
I'll aim for sooner than later.

Whoooo hooo, someone dumped a field full of manure near my work and just walking through the night air those little stinky scent molecules stuck to me! YIIIIIIEEEEE! Gotta go now, rip off my clothes and race full-speed into the shower.

--------Bbbbbyyyyyyyeee! *Eyes watering as I sniff my shirt*

Heather 4-30-2001 3:27

Also, I think I will revive something that we had on the Notebook several years ago and that is to post a potential focus subject for discussion as authors. I have noted that things have been somewhat quiet here and wanted to get things going again.

To start things off, I would like to ask all of the writers here what genre they most like to write in and why? In my own case, surprise, surprise, I am interested in science fiction and fantasy. Given and by association the Writer's Notebook began life as secondary pages for the Northwest Science Fiction Resources I believe you can get a clue as to why I would say that is my own focus. In particular, I have been particularly interested in parallel history and doing some research as time permitted on a nineteenth century novel with something significant changed in how history progressed. My muse has been somewhat silent of late, so I may have waited a shade too long. Still, this gives you an indication of what my own focus is. I was wondering what others like to write. Mysteries? Romance? General? Horror? If this is not a meaty enough subject, dive in and come up with an alternative, but this brand new Notebook needs words, your words. So, lets see if we can share them.

Also, it might be appropriate to remind everyone what the purpose of the Notebook is:

'Welcome to the Writers Notebook, the discussion component of The discussion here has a special emphasis on our reflections about the writing life. Please leave messages relating to the wonder, frustration, pain and joy, of this wonderful art form that we have been forced by our own muse to enter into. This can be a discussion of how to defeat Writer's Block or how to convince a spouse that you really are a writer, the music that best gets you in the mood to write or an event in your life that excites, enlightens, mystifies or places you in awe. All that is a writer's life has bearing on his being a writer.

Feel free to read through the messages in the current version of the Notebook. You can also wander through the Archives that hold the messages and discussions from here stretching back several years and involving people from all parts of the world. And you can jump right in and leave your thoughts and reflections immediately.

If you are seeking a critique of your current manuscript, please consider Writers Workbook, a password protected area specifically for that purpose. Look for a variety of changes coming for that location in the coming month. In particular, there will be new scripts that will separate the manuscripts and allow for faster loading and easier viewing of the manuscripts.

If you would like to know about the writers that visit the Notebook and the Workbook, check out our Biographies that hold the snapshots of the lives of those authors that elect to leave their backgrounds and who often visit and leave messages here. The only requirement for participating here is the willingness to do so. It is requested that we all respect the feelings of each other, but strong emotions, strong opinions and strong comments have been expressed here. We are writers and creative personalities. Be happy that we are.

jack Beslanwitch 4-30-2001 2:48

Viv: Check out and feel free getting in touch with me. So, good luck with setting up the web site. I will also be looking at some other augmentations of the script. Hopefully, the new setting can be as robust and interesting as the old. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-30-2001 0:01








Just wanted to let you know about my story in the workbook

Jerry 4-29-2001 22:36

I knew I should have checked the Notebook before I went to bed last night! :-)

Mary 4-29-2001 20:41

I found instructions on how to make a website step by step. I'm going to try it just so I can appreciate the effort that goes into this site. Thank you!

Viv 4-29-2001 20:38

a pain in the ass?

4-29-2001 20:37

these sequential messages

4-29-2001 20:37

Anyone else find

4-29-2001 20:37

Burma Shave!

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:42

Read it today.

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:42

Be sure not to mis it.

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:41

under colaberation

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:41

It's in the workbook.

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:40

Read it and find out.

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:40

A love story about a ghost, can it get any better then that?

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:40

It's a story about a ghost in love.

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:39

It's a ghost story.

Jerry 4-29-2001 19:39

It's a love story.

Jerry Ericsson 4-29-2001 19:38

Just a note, in case you didn't see it before the glitch, I left a story in the workbook, **P**, hope you enjoy it.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 4-29-2001 19:31

You are the greatest! There are always glitches in new things and the fact that we have you to fix them is wonderful.

Don't forget to save time to write.

Rosemary 4-29-2001 18:50

Rosemary: I think you are correct and I believe I have run down the problem. The issue is that there is no really good way to hand modify the database file that the Notebook is now generated from to make alterations. I have another way of managing it, but I did something foolish and attempted to hand code things. This corrupted the database file. So, we start with a fresh Notebook and what remained on the Notebook is now archived and will soon be posted and available as is. Sorry if there are still a few glitches in how the Notebook is handled.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-29-2001 18:07

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