Archived Messages 5/29/01 to 6/20/01

Wow, there's a lot here. I might actually have to think a bit...I hate that :-)

TL: Of all the characters I've come up with, the newest is always the fave. I created a young saint in China, called her St. Freda...killed her though. And then there's George, a young Englishman who seems to weave in and out of several stories...killed him too, but he keeps coming back (but not as a ghost). Edna St. Vincent DePaul, a crippled artist married to a fat, abusive bastard of a husband...killed both of them. And there's Yevgeny the Dwarf, another artist--I seem to like artists for some reason--but I didn't kill him. Each character is different in one way or another though; each one has a history I try to relate through different means. I enjoy creating them, and try to make each one a little more in depth than the last one. I add a little more insight, a little more sensitivity, and a little more description to each story so that everything grows along with me. I think that's why I like writing so much. I can see myself growing with the characters, and improving.

RHODA: I don't tell my friends what I'm writing until they ask me if I'm still writing, and then I just say Yup. When they come over and I happen to be working, and they ask me what I'm writing, I patiently try to explain it to them. And then I say, You wanna hear a bit of it? I like to read it out loud because it's good to hear it.

Randall: It's funny how you said the other side of time like that. I actually used that expression in my story today, but not in the same context, and it was just a throw away line--but I thought it was neat. I like your explanation a lot better though. Yours had a little more thought involved, mine was just babbling.

And who doesn't like at least one John Denver song? Remember when Magnum P.I. ended, and they faded out with that Denver song? Can't remember the name of it, but personally, I think that was one of his best. Just love that song.

Rhoda: As long as the horse is not drunk, I don't think they can arrest you. My neighbour drives a bus, and he says he was driving the other day and saw a horse tied up across the street from a small neighbourhood pub. He thought, nah, what are the chances? Sure enough though, next run, the horse is still there, still chewing grass. Finally, near the end of his day, he sees the guy on the horse, barely able to hang onto the saddle horn as the horse walked him back home in a nice, slow, straight line.

It's midnight now, so I figure I can get a couple hours of work in. I'll start by re-reading what I wrote today, editing it as always, and maybe come up with another page or two. The secret, they say, (and Randall will probably know this because it comes from Hemmingway), is to leave of at a point where the story interests you. That way you'll be eager to get back to it.

Ben 6-20-2001 2:59


Wow. My brain hurts. Randall, time has sides? I love it. Our perceptions are so limited! But Heather, I disagree that the past is fictional. The future can be anything, and the present is all we can affect, but the past makes us who we are. Good or bad. We use the past to determine who we are now, as a person and as a people. I can see the past. Every time I think about my friends and family, my father, my grandmother, the flowers I planted when I was eight, my first bicycle, my dog Poco who was lost when I was 16. I can hold it in my hands; the mental hands I use to weigh a decision, that is based on the things I’ve learned in the past.

Rhoda, so glad to here how your garden grows! It is a lovely feeling, when tender seeds erupt into life.

Mary, of course you don’t write like Diana Gabaldon. You write like you! And I challenge anyone to say that what you write is any less than what she does. I’ve read your work, I know the truth! And the reason you ‘bother’ is because you have things to say, unique things that people like Gabaldon would never ever think to say.
Oh, and remember that she had been writing for years, just not fiction. 'Outlander' was her first fiction, but her job was writing academic stuff.

I Solemnly Swear that I have HUGE respect and admiration for all stay-at-home moms! Your patience and devotion is beyond my limited scope of comprehension. You are all awesome!
Really, when people work at a daycare, or are a nanny, it’s considered ‘real work’. Stay-at-home parents have ten times the work load, 24/7. I don’t know how anyone considers it to not be ‘real work’. I place that attitude in the same slot as when ‘mom’ goes out one night and ‘dad’ is home with the kids, and people say he’s ‘babysitting’ his kids. Ahgg! That makes me very irate! Any man looking after his own children is being a parent, not a babysitter!

Okay, now that I’ve contributed my rant, it’s back to writing (after I go move the sprinkler). I’ve had an amasing week of writing, and I don’t want it to stop yet!

Tina 6-20-2001 1:21


Was Randolph Scott jailed for RUI (You know, riding under the influence)? After all these years, they still haven't figured what they added to that Sasperilla.

Rhoda 6-20-2001 1:12


I loved THE UNICORN SONG by the Irish Rovers. My father played that for me as a kid along with Jeannie C. Riley's HARPER VALLEY PTA. I sang the Unicorn Song to my babies as I rocked them to sleep by night.

Another favorite: Jim Crocre's TIME IN A BOTTLE.

That's it!!!


Time exists only in a bottle--the little one we all live in or is it a yellow submarine? Ah, I don't know. I'll leave the philosopical stuff to you, my friend.

Rhoda 6-20-2001 1:06

Oh, and what ever happened to Randolph Scott?

Jerry Ericsson 6-20-2001 0:28

Gotta agree with the opinion that John Denver was a great singer, I loved many of his songs, but many may be unaware of another gift he gave the world. It was John Denver, and his expensive attorneys who first dreamed up the double jeopardy defense in a DUI arrest. You see John was arrested in Vale, if I remember right, and put forth the defense that since his privilege to drive was suspended by an administrative hearing, where he was forced to give testimony as to his actions in the crime, he had already been punished for the crime of DUI, and that jeopardy had attached at the administrative hearing. His judge bought it, and dismissed his case in court. The state appealed the decision based on the fact that if it were allowed to stand, it would overturn all DUI convictions in the US, and change the way the law handled DUI's all over the US. The judges ruling was held up in several appeals courts, but eventually overturned by, and I may be wrong here but if memory serves me, by the US supremes. Why do I know this, you may ask, well my required 40 page report on law for my Research and Writing 400 was based on this case and the two cases his attorneys used in court. I managed an A on the report, so it impressed the hell out of the instructor at any rate. Even though he was a drunk, and was probably a bit on the tipsy side when he flew off to the great beyond, he was a hell of an artist. I too remember that muppet show, God how I loved that stupid show, it is a sad state of affairs that shows like that aren't made anymore, no awards are given to shows about homosexuals who interact with straight women and such. The entertainment world has gone to hell in a hand basket, it is no wonder our kids are killing kids, no wonder that the militia's are drawing such a great following, that boys are blowing up federal buildings. Ok so I can rant a bit too, but to do any other would not be me.

Jerry Ericsson 6-20-2001 0:11

RANDALL - WOW - what a wonderful theory for a book, when are you going to begin writting it? I want to read it when you have it started, then when it is done. The other side of time, think about it, well apparently you have, now write about it!

Jerry Ericsson 6-19-2001 23:54

Randall - does time actually exist, or is it a concept put forth by man?

Without clocks, the seasons still run themselves, but does the Earth believe that each year is the same year over?
Does the Earth have a natural rhythm that we have merely trodden upon and structured to suit ourselves?
Just think of daylight savings time. How ludicrous is this idea! If we stopped cranking our clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall, would modern society fall apart? No. So why do we bother? Just another filler for the eternally bored over-sized brained folk that try to prove their omnipotency by controlling our lives on this planet.
If we had smaller brains we wouldn't do such self-destructive things like structure our waking hours with clocks (and jobs, meetings, and other stressful schedules), or fiddle with machinery, or atoms, or the atmosphere. We wouldn't be a consumerist society, nor a mass of desperate fiends in a series of races after the big unattainable, the large unknowns. Our minds wouldn't dwell constantly in the future, which, for the sake of truth, is fictional. All we have is this moment, right here. Right now.
We don't need a machine (such as a clock or a time-card) to tell us that.
And past? What is past but the previous moments we can not manipulate? It is fictional then too, because we cannot use it. We cannot see it. We can't hold it in our hands.
This moment, we can hold. And we can keep holding it, because it's always new.

Heather 6-19-2001 23:46

John Denver - yup, loved his music too. Grew up on it - his appearance on the Muppet Show - remember that? He sang 'Grandma's Feather Bed' and all of Gonzo's chickens were bouncing all over... I think almost every Muppet was on the bed in that skit. (And four hound dogs...)
My Dad used to sing in the car on our many family trips, (and sometimes we'd sing along of course!) and he'd sing 'Country Roads' a lot, and 'Sunshine on my Shoulders'...
So for Father's Day I burned a CD for my Dad with a whole pile of songs on it that he used to love to sing on those trips. Even put on the tape 'The Unicorn' song by the Irish Rovers. He had a tear in his eye when he got into his SUV and popped that CD into the player.
Nothing like saying 'I love you' with a song.... (Yeah, that's a Jim Croce song)

Heather 6-19-2001 23:10


Good evening!

Randall, off on a tangent, is not a social person. He hears nothing but the gears, albeit rusty, spinning in his head. Does not communicate well, a manner that is single-minded and often construed as aloof. Randall ponders and the world fades away. Not someone to trust while disarming a nuclear device!

The Chambers Brothers had as good a definition of time as Stephen Hawking, on widely divergent levels to be sure. But then, we all view time, the passage of, through filters within our own conception of what's what, if you will. By events, "Happy Fathers Day, you'all!" past, present and future. "Merry Christmas!" June 21'th is big in my own little personal area of time anticipation. Marks the beginning of summer, but from that point on the days become shorter, starting the long, slow slide to fall and winter. My favorite time of the year. I'm up at 7 AM, at work by 7:30 AM, coffee at 7:31 AM. Short drive, huh? Should see me leave the driveway! Or pour the coffee Teekay! :-) Lunch from 11 to 12 back to work till 5 PM, then home. Time is and has directed my life for, at least 53 years. That's why a few of us have beards...not enough time to shave.

SO WHAT? What in the hell are you.........

Well, today the other delivery driver, wrote a short message on a package of auto air filters. "Next delivery to the other side of time." He meant..."other side of town" of course. I strolled in, mind in neutral, saw the note, slid to a stop, stared, WHAT? Gears squealed behind my eyes and the world faded away. Which side of time do we live on? Jeeze, never realized there was more than one! "...other side of time." Have I missed something in life? Time has sides???????? WOW, no wonder I'm so confused! Is it possible the dinosaurs lived to the right of time? Not in the past as erroneously reported?

May we cross time from side to side? Not forward or backward, but a lateral movement? Gears spinning faster now, rust and debris bouncing inside the cranium.......Thought there was only three considerations in time...past, present, future. Now someone has identified time has sides? Mr. Hawking tells us the light from a distant star does not indicate the star still exists. Just escaping light waves, photons speeding merrily along at 186,000 miles a second. If another planet exists at the same distance as earth, but 90 degrees from our position...would time be moving, sideways? Black Holes capture light, eradicate gravity, indeed, punch holes in the very fabric of space...and time! Are there Black Holes, perhaps with a side-saddle mentality that warp space, punch holes, sideways? To the other side of time?

Left or right? Center? Left of center? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The assistant manager, recognizing the signs gently led me to a chair and gave me a glass of water. I heard him tell the other employees. "He's okay, off on a tangent somewhere. I've known Randall for years, soon as he sorts it out he'll be back with us."

Yes, I know I'm weird. But at least I know the correct site to jot all this down on and have some REAL good company as well. Huh?

Good night :-)


Left or right?

Randall 6-19-2001 23:06


I especially love all the wicked rotten ones. They have all the best lines.

Debra 6-19-2001 23:05

***Rhoda again***


I have to comment on your post because you decribed my life. I have been out of the job market for almost 14 years. I normally don't feel so out of place because everywhere I have lived I have found people of similar occupation, but here in Owasso where everyone works and on a given day I am the only adult on the street, being a stay-at-home mom gets lonely indeed.

It was difficult with my sisters-in-law when I was with them in England. One of them stayed at home many years and just recently returned to the job market. The other one is a working mom and plans to be one the rest of her natural life. It was awkward at times because in many of their conversations I had nothing to add. I just sat there silently listening. At times I felt completely out of touch because my world and my perspective was so different.

But I am glad I made the choice to stay home. This life might not be for everyone, but thank God I had the choice--some don't.

I am looking forward to getting a part time job or doing some volunteer work next fall since my youngest will be going to school full time.

Rhoda 6-19-2001 22:35

Oh, Mary, you and I have so much in common. I'm lucky to get four hours of sleep a night during the week. I sleep like a dead bear on weekends, so I'm extremely lucky my husband is understanding enough to just let me lay there, decomposing in the sheets.
Sometimes he gets a little peeved because he's a morning person (and I haven't SEEN a GOOD morning more than once, though I've seen too many early ones) and he likes to get our weekend projects started before ten a.m. Unfortunately, ten a.m. on a weekend is not my finest hour. Can't even hold a hammer until noon at least, and that's with lots of coffee to lube up my finger joints. (Internally, you understand)
And, frustration factor increasing here, I'm the one usually designing the project. So, our hammering time together is short, since by the time I'm raring to go, he's fizzling. Not much overlap.
I have to remind myself though, is it vital that our closet drywall job be mudded and taped this very minute? Is it lifethreatening if I don't have somewhere to hang the out-of-season clothes and coats other than in the laundry room? Well, it's not the highest priority. I'd rather get those three hours in a night writing (or somewhere in that neighbourhood) and have a completed novel rather than have a satisfying spot to shove clothes. Both will get finished. It's all a matter of which comes first.
Now when it comes to kids, my husband, and our precious family time, yes, they get my number one attentions. Top priority.
I'm a bit of a neat freak (can a freak be described in terms such as 'a bit'?) so cleaning comes next. I can't seem to write many pages while at a cluttered desk - even mess distracts me. I am like Mary with the timing - I've always been far more energetic and productive after night falls. From the kids' bedtimes until around 3 am I'm a dynamo - the only thing is that I can't run the vacuum at midnight since it wakes everyone up, or I would.
I usually have enough time to check emails and post during the day while my son builds at his lego table.
My serious writing demands full concentration, which in turn demands a quiet, calm, neat and clean atmosphere, (coffee, notepads, pens all lined up neatly, and energy). It's been working quite well so far, this staying up late habit, but I do admit I could use more sleep. What is that adage? Not enough hours in a day.
I'll give it some thought. Serious thought. I could probably streamline my posts a bit more! (Oh, I hear your shouts! You agree!)
I can't take time from cleaning, and I have to go to work at some point in my evenings, spend time dancing in my studio or my livingroom (that's my workout) and I certainly won't take time away from family.
Hmmm. Maybe I'll just never go out for groceries, like Sean Connery (William Forrester) in 'Finding Forrester'!
What a great idea.

Heather 6-19-2001 22:25

I love that idea branied about here on giving up housework. I have been working at doing that for years. Ask any of my neighbors who happen to show up on my doorstep unannounced.

The garden is better. My sick plants are hanging on and improving, and I GOT SPROUTS!!! I am so happy I could sing.

OK, here goes:

Inch by inch,
Row by row,
Going to make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch,
Row by row,
Someone bless these seeds I sow,
Someone warm them from below,
While the rain comes tumbling down.

Plant your rows straight and tall,
Temper them with prayer and song,
Mother Earth will keep them strong,
If you give them love and care.
Old crow watching hungrily
From your perch in yonder tree.
In my garden I'm as free as that
Feathered Thief up there.

Thank you John Denver---may you rest in peace. How I miss his music. No one will ever replace him.

I had a long discussion with one of my critique buddies on the phone the other day. I had met her last fall at the ROMANTIC TIMES conference in Houston, and we have been trading our writing ever since over the Internet. We talked about writing, our projects, and did a lot of brain storming. After that session, ideas and words just started flowing and I am writing new stuff again. I am determined to turn off that blasted internal editor and just let the words flow. I can check the facts, the spelling and the grammer later.


I am glad your friends are supportive of your writing. I don't mention my writing anymore to anyone who doesn't write, because all I seem to get when I do are blank stares.


I have been in a similar state for the past two and a half months. With me it is John Lawhead and his Pendragon series. I have read three out of five of these books. I skipped the last two for now and went on to a newer book called AVALON. I cannot put that book down either. The interesting thing is that while I am reading these books I am still reading an occassional romance and science fiction novel. Also I am working my way through a book on the Scotch Irish. I don't know what has happened to me, but my reading speed has greatly picked up.


Reading is essential to the writing process. It is good you have found something that has inspired you so much. You will learn a lot subconsciously from the experience. Diana Gabaldon started writing not knowing exactly what she was doing. She just wrote her novel the way she wanted to. I wonder what would have become of her if she had asked all her writer friends and read all the books on it and studied the market. She probably would have concluded that the book of her heart could not have worked and had given up or maybe she would have settled for something less. I admire her greatly.

Speaking of reading. I read an older book from the library recently called PRINCESS. Has anyone else here read that book about the Saudi Arabian princess? That book opened up a whole new world for me. It was utterly fascinating. I read the whole thing in a day.

Got to go clean out a fish tank, feed some cats, and get some kids off to bed.


Rhoda 6-19-2001 22:24


I love all of my characters. Even the wicked and rotten ones. How could I not? Hum, sometimes I even love the wicked ones more (winks).

Take care you.


Rachel 6-19-2001 20:34

Ben: I know what you mean. I get a three month vacation. I always think I'm going to have time to write or do what I want. I end up doing the same things....clean cupboards that were disarranged, scrub floors, do laundry, make breakfast lunch and dinner, clean all dishes, sew up rips, take child to her classes and sports, and there's always that lovely trip out to buy food. It seems like I ought to have time to write. Then I get really resentful and depressed because it feels like everyone expects me to do things just because I am home. When I am teaching, the house is a wreck but everyone pitches in because that's the only way we'd survive. I declare Saturday cleaning day and everyone does the chores then.

No one will respect that demand when I'm writing. I'm expected to write at night when all the housework is done (it never is). I don't make a paycheck so it "isn't serious".

It's the NOT "working person's syndrome". When I didn't work and "JUST" stayed home with the kids, I was treated like a bloodsucking B****ch by society in general.

I think that envy of someone staying home writing is what makes it difficult work. It's the same if you do the stay at home mother job.

It's the same with young mothers when they go through the exhausting process of taking the kids to the pool. They pack up all the toys, towels, lunch, put on all the little swimsuits and sandles, take off one swimsuit and change diaper , put swimsuit back on and then find the keys to the car. They Go to pool. They sweat profusely and watch proudly as their magnus opus finally learns to put face in water. They hand out sandwiches and drinks. Then they do the gathering....Gather the kids, the soggy towels, the bentos, sandles, the stray toys, and start for the showers. After driving home through heavy traffic and making dinner they hear the oh so famous words....

"You went to the pool all day. That must be so nice. Lucky you! I had to work!"

I think this is about the same as writing/housework. If you compound it with kids you have an even heavier load. Still, I'm glad I did kids and marriage. Those people are worth it and all my stories come from the things I've experienced with them and through them. That last one came from my youngest daughter age 7. I asked her why she didn't go examine the interesting living creatures in the rice but just walked with her friends in the center of the road.

I guess the best way to manage is figure it's worth it, because you really love your wife, and you really love your writing. You got in as much as you could.

Why feel guilty?

But I always feel guilty too.

Viv 6-19-2001 20:11


Howdy dudes,

MEL: I could give you stacks of advice about what to do, but it would all be made up. I sort of do the BEN thing. Do what I can and don't sweat it too much.

BEN: Don't worry, once you get that first book published your wife will look at your writing with new eyes.
You'll probably still have to clean the garage though.

MARY: I know the feeling. There are plenty of books I've read where I've thought "Bloody hell, there's no way in the world I can write as well as this." and the only thing that cures the depression that brings forth is when I read a book and I think, "This is a load of rot, I could do better than this in my sleep." Which I probably couldn't, but I think it anyway.

GARIESS: It is indeed very good to have you back sir. :-)
And the writers cramp I get is actually cramp from using my hand to write too much. ;-D

Finally thought of a new ghostie story. Was racking my brain (sing.) all last night. My thoughts must've all got together while I was sleeping and dredged this little number up.

Teekay 6-19-2001 20:00

552 kb - a record!!!!

6-19-2001 19:27

Still writing.
Working on a screenplay.
Was thinking about character and figured I'd ask...

Of the stories you've written, who is your favorite character?

TL 6-19-2001 16:06

HEATHER: Nipple shots aren't obligatory to me, but then, I'm not fifteen. I don't complain if I happen to see one, but I'm not disappointed if I don't either.

MELANIE: Got my life in order? Hardly the case here. I've been off work for all of last week, and go back next Monday. (They just called today.) I've edited two stories, and have about 1200 words of my new one. Hardly what I'd call a productive week. Not exactly the output I was hoping to have with ten work days off. I guess the wife has other ideas of what should be done with my time off. Clean the garage and organize things in it; do the laundry, and the vacuuming; clean the car; help get dinner ready; fold the laundry, sort it and put it away...and now that football season's starting, it'll be even busier. So, even with everything done, I still have to get up in the morning or stay up late at night to write. I think it's because she doesn't take it as seriously as I do. She thinks a clean house is more important, but that's because she's a neat freak and I'm not--but I wouldn't want it any other way.

TINA: Socially, we don't go out as much as we used. We go to visit friends, but that's about it. No dinners out anymore, or nights on the town, no more pub nights/bar hopping/dance your face off until ya puke nights like we did tewnty years ago. Now we entertain at home, and it's usually in the kitchen because she likes to make "appies" for the company. They all think it's great that I write, and understand that I need time to do it, and they're even willing to sit and listen if I ask them to...but that's only after they ask me what I'm writing now. If I had my way, I'd be independantly wealthy, send the wife and kids off to Florida, or California for weeks at a time, and write all the time. But since I'm not, and since I can't (they wouldn't let that happen), I do what I can, when I can, with little or no regret. I always tell my wife she's my favourite distraction. And since she has Thursday off, I know I won't be getting anything done then.

Gotta run though. I want to look up something about Fauvism, a neo-impressionist style of painting in the twenties in France. It was a fore-runner to Cubism--and then I wanna see if I can find something about counterfieting. After all, I got all my chores done early so I could have the time to look around. I hope I can enjoy the day; it's only noon.

Ben 6-19-2001 15:11

MARY: YES! STREAMLINE!!! :-) I've tried to streamline children too but, as you know, it doesn't work. SO, I'll work on everything else! Thanks for your thoughts. Dream happy things...hire a babysitter once in awhile so you can have a big chunk of time to yourself. It helps!

Mel 6-19-2001 15:05

Howdy pardners!

Hope all is as it should be with your lives.

I am in a tailspin, all tangled up in what I am reading. I can't write anything; I can't sit still without that book in my hand for more than ten minutes. It has everything that I love, bundled together by a genius tale-weaver. It is times like these, when I am totally enraptured by someone else's written words, that I wonder why I even bother. Never in a million years will I have the abilities Diana Gabaldon has. That is not self-deprecation, it is just reality and fact. She wrote "The Outlander" as a practice novel, just fooling around, and my best work doesn't hold a candle.

MEL: The sacrificial lamb for me has always been sleep. I have really bad sleep patterns and my most productive time of day is between midnight and 3AM. Even before I started writing, all my housework and projects were done then. (I have never enjoyed sleep much anyway) That was back in the old days when I was single and running the 2AM sweeper didn't perturb anyone but my dog. I also had the liberty of afternoon naps, which my children have stripped from me quite efficiently.

After I started writing, and after the children were born, the only time I could sit at the keyboard without being interrupted every fifteen seconds is late at night. I am not a person who can write with constant interruptions, I need my concentration, and peace. Sooo...sequestered in my dark little cave of a writing room, with only the light of the monitor (can't even see the keyboard), I type away my thoughts. Unfortunately, you have to walk thru my writing room to get to the bathroom, but my husband learned fairly quickly via 'the evil eye', that he better not be passing thru between midnight and 2AM (sometimes 4AM if I am on a roll).

However, even I can't survive this many years on only three-five hours of sleep a night and it has finally caught up with me. My doctor has put me on a program to make me get more sleep and hopefully cease my nightmares. I hope I adjust soon, this is crazy. My point is that since I can't give up sleep in the face of writing, what do I do? I think you and I are quite a bit alike in our priorities and it is one hell of a dilemma. My plan is to try to streamline everything in my life except my children. Children can't be contained, it's a 'highest disorder' scientific fact. All my other responsibilities and duties, however, can certainly stand some trimming and heightened efficiency ratings. That is what I am working on now, dumping all the excess baggage and keeping the essentials (writing be one of the essentials).

I am just starting in this process myself, but as I come across ideas that really work for me, I will certainly share them with you.

OK, guess I had better stifle myself for a while before I get evicted. Good luck and happy writing.

ps: shortie night theme, friends/friendships

Mary 6-19-2001 14:41


6-19-2001 13:49

Uh, tina...

I rewrote and revised the first few chapters, may answer some questions. Also have a new title. "Human Voices Wake Us" enjoy...


laura 6-19-2001 13:24

TINA: Thanks! I think I've got it figured out! I'll be SUPERWOMAN and do it all--no, not all--I won't give up writing or family...I'll give up: HOUSEWORK! YES!!! (uh, what? I already gave that up? well, not counting this week, that is, getting ready for a houseparty, but after that...? HOORAY! I'll be FREE for the SUMMER!!!) :-)

Mel 6-19-2001 12:54


Ah! It’s movie review day. Yes, I say Tomb Raider on the weekend. Liked it for the same reasons Jack did. It came from a video game, so that changed my expectations, made me forgive the weak dialogue. Yes, I saw Finding Forester and LOVED it. A truly beautiful movie, with Sean Connery to boot (drool drool… Tina, get control of yourself! Pant pant sigh) My most recent favourite movie would have to be Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Superb. The story, the acting, the cinematography… excellent and beautiful. It deserves every single award it wins.
Looking forward to seeing Atlantis and Shrek and Planet of the Apes and Lord of the Rings and (a long way down the line) Matrix 2 and the next Star Wars!

Mel, it’s a never ending battle to balance writing, family, work and life. I have nothing the likes of your dilemma, but I understand it. If I write too much, I feel guilty for not seeing friends and family and getting to the gym and park as much as I like to. If I commit to social activities, I feel resentful to lose writing time. (sigh)
Here’s a question. Think ahead five years or so, or even ten. Will you be disappointed to miss this opportunity to do something you clearly believe in? Or will you be disappointed to have been set back in your writing and have your family time hampered? Regardless of your decision, time will still pass and you’ll be two years older at the end. Which choice carries regret? Take the one with no regret.

Heather, I love your t-shirt. Still chuckling….

Rachel, it definitely makes play-fighting hard! Some days Troy and I have to be cautious every time we come near each other. We’re always out to get the other with a pressure point, or a choke. Keeps life interesting! :-D

Here and gone again.....

Tina 6-19-2001 11:01


A sunny day to everybody here - if not from the sky, then from my smile... :-)

TEEKAY: Teekay also sounds Australian, maybe like you know some kangaroos or koalas personally (supposed to be a compliment - I would personally love to know, personally, some personable kangaroos and koalas!) :-) {Hmm, must be "witty block" -- don't pay any attention)

ALLEIN: We took the fambly to see "Atlantis" on the weekend. Loved it! :-) Especially the robots doing their awesome thing near the end - cool effects. And no sappy songs - yea!

JACK: "Atlantis" is very good, once you get past the "Stargate" parodies, mostly in the beginning. I KNow Disney likes to poke fun at a variety of sources, but this part just came across to me as unoriginal. On the other hand, they did a great parody of "Selma" from "Night Court" and the overall special effects were very cool! :-)

ANYONE: Ever have trouble balancing the writing life, family life, and the social responsibilities? Sometimes I think my writing should be all-important (next to taking care of the family) and I shouldn't concern myself with any other community commitments. But then I feel the "head rush" (akin to the writing head-rush after you've written a great scene) when I sing an anthem with the church choir or ring bells with the handbell choir and fill the congregation with the joy of inspirational music...well, I'm also an officer in an organization that serves God and country (Order of the Eastern Star) and I have before me the opportunity to reach out to community charity groups and REALLY make a difference in this life, in my little corner of the world. Not just writing about a better world to inspire people, as my sf&f is all about, but to actually make a tangible difference in the here and now...Well, it's scary, to me, a writer usually living in a futuristic dreamworld of my own creation...and I know a two-year commitment to be a leader in OES will really cut into my writing time and family time even further...sigh. If I don't do it, will I regret it? Probably. But then I will get my novel done sooner...But will the novel make any difference to anyone else's world?? Maybe. Decisions, decisions...Any of you writers out there have similar predicaments? I bet you've all got your lives in order: you play with your families, you write your stories, and say "to heck with any other commitments: I'm a WRITER!" Um, please let me know if I'm forming the wrong picture of you - I could stand to hear a differing image!! My guilt-ridden conscience, y'know, too often letting myself be distracted from the writing thing (although I'm almost always writing stuff in my head, no matter what I'm doing!)...

Well, that was long-winded! (Breathe here. I'm going!)

Have a good day - write a few words for me! (MEL'S MUSE: I know you're trying to get me to sit down and write that P* story...sigh. Will I make the August deadline or not?? At least other social activities are curtailed for the summer - yes! :-) Just let me get through this graduation weekend and the 10-yr-old's end-of-June birthday...!)

Melanie 6-19-2001 9:19

Uh, sorry 'bout the typoos *snort*

Forgot to mention another movie I thoroughly enjoyed (saw it on TMN last week): The Big Tease. (1999 film)
It was absolutely side-splitting! Filmed in an unusual manner, and perfectly delightfully funny!
I recommend it if a very light, bubbly mood is desired.

If not, I recommend sleeping.

Heather 6-19-2001 9:15

Ben - are nipple shots obligatory? Total exposure? I thought lately, with all the Brittany Spears you can choke on, it was belly buttons. ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz...

Guess we'll have to re-think the pictures for back cover copy, friends! HA HA HAHAHA HA HA!

Top of the mornin' to you all,
and a supoer-productive day. Or, if you're more like I am, a super-productive night. Obligatory, my dear Watson. Obligatory.

Obligatory; James Obligatory.

Anyone seen 'Finding Forrester'? I enjoyed it very much. Sean Connery lives up to his title of 'actor'.

Heather 6-19-2001 9:11

Jack: Me an' Kim took Wes to see it last night. Of course, Wes being 15 with raging hormones, he found it hard to believe there was no obligatory nipple shot when she was wearing that nice, tight, jumpsuit in the north country. I think he had the movie confused with that old one when I was 15 "The Deep". :-)

Ben 6-19-2001 3:51

p.p.s. Also, I just noted that things were to a half meg here. I will endeavor to Archive sometime tomorrow. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-19-2001 3:42

p.s. Unless it is Moulan Rouge

6-19-2001 3:41

Allein: Look forward to the updated picture. I will be working on a Flash front end for the page with a fall back to a regular page. I envision something along the lines of our pictures flowing in in muted colors but when moused over the slide into focus in full color with text describing that picture flowing up the side. Will think about it. This will take this week to pull off. Will let everyone know.

Just got to see Tomb Raider today. Despite all the negative reviews I liked it. Liked it a lot. It was non stop action with a plot that was faithful to the game and the spirit of the game. Which, I think is why Ebert and Roper split their decision. Roger Ebert, the died in the wool science fiction fan, loved it. Roper, the stick in the mud nose in the air movie reviewer, joined in with many others and just did not get it. Perhaps to put things in perspective, I went to the newspaper site and read Ebert's full review. He called it one of the first true popcorn movies of the season. I agree with him. I also look forward to Atlantis, which, BTW, both of the notables mentioned above, liked. I especially am interested when Ebert mentions that this is the first homage to anime from Disney. And, all I have to say when I hear that they are skipping the singing and dancing is, Yipppeeee. Horraaaaaay. Halllllllelujah. Hmmmm. Well, yes, from that you might suspect I can do without musical numbers.

Jack 6-19-2001 3:39

Gariess: Sartre was an existentialist - perhaps the major philosopher behind that 'concept'. I have a T-shirt that says:
"I'm not here, you're not here, don't leave a message, there is no beep"
[Sartre's Answering Machine]

I also have other T-shirts that say nothing.

Rachel: My zit of the month had very bad timing. (So do all of them!) I have to learn to plan things around the once-a-month pimple. It also has no taste in where it pops up. Usually in full view, and no concealer on the planet can hide it. ARGGG!

Blood sugar bottoming out. Must go find snack.
Then write.

SLudging to the cupboard...

Heather 6-19-2001 3:06

That’s an interesting word you used, shenanigans. One of the few words in our language taken directly from the language of the Irish, very rhythmic and phonetically interesting.
About all that "wish" stuff you were going on about. I don’t know who Sartre was. He might have been the guy who heard me make a wish once and said, "Why don’t you wish in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills up first?" Actually, now that I think about it, that was a guy in the Philippines, Randall. In Pampanga though, not in Olongapo (Air Force.)

Nobody who looks like a Simpsons character is going to touch my teeth unless it is against my will and done with ill intent. I’m sure your techniques will improve soon with the xray materials.

When you get a hand cramp it comes out, "Arghhh, hand cramp!" For me it’s always, Arghhh, ha;klbjl. How do you manage that?

I agree. I have always been told that titles can’t be copyrighted. There are something like twenty songs titled. "I love You" under copyright. I would think the same goes for literary titles. Sometimes choice is involved. When Dolly Parton recorded Nine To Five, another woman recorded a song under the same title. The publishers worked out a different title for the song. I can’t recall the title but the fist line was, "My baby takes the morning train. He works from nine to five and then…" It just worked out better for both interests regardless of legality.

I guess that’s enough for one long post.

I am the weakest link, Goodbye!!


Gariess 6-18-2001 22:30

Jack - The picture you have up is fine. It's from the 10th grade but I haven't changed much. Maybe when I get back from NY I'll have a more up-to-date picture for you. :)

I just saw Atlantis and it was very good. Unlike the previous Disney movies there was no random breaking into song and dance numbers. The characters were a little under-developed because there were so many, but most of them were very funny. And in the end - the special effects are wonderful. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-18-2001 21:59

Heather - I do know what you mean about the once a month thing. If I get ant acne, it is at that time, or right before i'm supposed to look good for something, or have a picture taken. One would think that as adults we would get to put zits behind us (grrrr). I tend to get only one zit, if any. That one zit will seem to stand out like a neon sign to me. People never seem to notice my zits. I think I'm the only one that they are a big deal to

Mel - That was my front (winks).

Ciao for now.


Rachel 6-18-2001 20:51


Hewo hewo hewo all you fine unfeathered folk,

BEN: Don't you just love it when you get an idea in your head and you can see that it's got enough scope to make it the size of a book (one of my major problems).
When you posted your plot idea I had a bit of a giggle cos it brought to mind those people who post here and say. "I really love writing, but I just don't know what to write about, so could someone please give me a plot" :-D
Good luck with it and I sure hope you don't run out of ink before printing 'C & co.."

TAYLOR: Don't be gone too long. I'll miss you.
P.S. Have you posted the dracula story?

HEATHER: I got just as confused as you did with the photo for S*, and then, I clicked. Oh how silly of me. ALLEIN doesn't use her real name either.

HEATHER: I'm going to try and work on a story for P** today. I don't know why, I haven't any clues as to what I'll write I'm only doing this coz JERRY is.
Oh, he said 2 stories. Okay, I'll try.

RACHEL: I wouldn't really get bopped on the nose, which is pretty lucky coz I wouldn't know a judo move to save myself, although I can do all the sound effects REALLY well:
oooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeYAH! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhh HA!
And I do all those snake like writhy actions pretty good too. I've never gone farther than that though.

ALLEIN, AMERICO, JACK, RACHEL: (in alphabetical order) It is so good to be able to put faces to the names.

Okay, so TEEKAY it is. Good, I was rather partial to it myself and now moreso because of what MEL said.

Well that's it from me today all you good folk. I'm off to find my pen and paper and hope for something ghostlike and creepy yo arrive.
Fingers crossed.

P.S. I have a bit of catch up reading to do in P*. I'll get to it a bit later.


Teekay 6-18-2001 20:35

RACHEL: Hey, back (or front, whichever way I caught you facing!) :-) Your picture came out very nice.

HEATHER: Couldn't post to the NB over the weekend - it seems there were maggots all over the posts...yuck!!! :-{
HAHAHAHAHA Writing time while waiting for my son...Hell no. The party's at MY house! I've got to clean it before Sunday!! His graduation ceremony is Saturday evening - have to fit in the cleaning before then. If I'm a good girl and do some cleaning each evening, take off Friday from work and clean some more, MAYBE I'll be done by Saturday evening and can do some (*looks both ways for distractions*)-shhhh!- writing, while the graduate is off Sat. eve on his congratulatory Senior Class cruise on a nearby lake (that's the Keuka Maid in Watkins Glen on Seneca Lake, Howard and Mark, or anyone else lurking in New York State!).

TINA: Oh no! Reviewing my novels-to-be made me see them in a new light! A plot-thread I thought was minor (my little heroine-to-be) is really a crucial plotline! Now what do I do with the REST of the plots and subplots??? Too many ideas, ramming into one big happy slam-dance in my brain! Ohh, the confusing joy!! What to write first??!! WHEN to write it all down? (I know, I know, RANDALL, I gotta write it all down!!!)...My muse is getting ready to bite me bigtime and I haven't got time this week to write...oh dear, oh dear...maybe I just won't sleep for a few days and write, no, no, I'll be a walking slughead (that's a really slow worm). I don't drink coffee so can't stay awake that long anyway...oh, fiddle-fish!!! Okay, turn on the Internal Tape Recorder to back up the Remembery...don't forget these ideas...don't forget these ideas...don't forget these ideas...

Mel 6-18-2001 14:28

Just a note to the frugle computer owner - the price of RAM (PC110 or PC133 SDRAM) had simply fallen so far, you can't afford not to upgrade. Just got a flyer from one of the sites I buy stuff from, they are selling 256 MEG SDRAM PC 100/133 for only $45.00 Not more then three months ago, SDRAM was going for a buck a meg, so that is down from $256.00. They are selling 128 meggers for 34.00, not quite as good a buy, but I was paying that much for 64 meggers a couple of months ago. I guess the price reflects that all the newer systems take a more expensive type RAM, and they are phasing out this type. Anyhow, all my systems take it, but I already have over 256 meg in all of them. Oh well, guess for that price I can buy a couple of spares anyhow.

Jerry Ericsson 6-18-2001 14:18

Rachel - Cool

Viv - That's a nice idea. A poem I wrote is entitled Hachiji Juugofun Sugi - the exact time the bomb fell on Hiroshima (which is the subject of the poem - sad poem). I'm planning on trying to write a haiku around the words Hanpa wa Bu (leftovers suck) - this one would be a very silly poem though. I love Japanese.

Jack - I love the page. :)

Americo - I was happy to finally see your picture. You look like one of my teachers from Jr. High. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-18-2001 13:49

Lucky you, Rachel! If I washed with just water I'd have a mob of zits slinging piercing and jabbing weapons at my face and the damage would be irrepairable! (Almost is)
Last batch came swinging Japanese Sai, and wow, they were hard to bounce! Still nursing my poor fists... (heh heh)
No prongs allowed. It's a once-a-month attack, if you women all know what I mean... *blush*

Mel, hello! Been a while since you've posted! Does the party mean you'll have writing time while you wait up for your son?

Taylor - only need pictures if Phantasium is published. Let's all think POSITIVELY and get those snapshots taken now!!!
(And shy people can post a cartoon of themselves)

Let's see. What cartoon would best describe me?

Okay - have to go offline for a bit and then back on for some email/edits...

Good to see you back Hallee!

Jerry - laughed my head off at the ballpeen hammer part of your latest post! I'd go for a car like that. That way when I roll it down a hill it won't look any worse for wear... (kidding)

Mary - Oh, dear! I'm so sorry to hear how hard it is for you. Heartbreaking indeed. (((((HUGS FOR YOU)))). Wish there was some way to go about giving the kittens away without the mama cat hurting (or you to be reminded of that hurt). I don't think it's possible. ;o< Wish it was, very much.

Mark, where are you?

Heather 6-18-2001 13:45

Randall - Callie is the name of one of my characters. I have seen that it is the name of your dog. I always feel a little weird about characters who share names with dogs. Maybe I’ll leave it. Callie kind of suites this girl.

Mel - Hey girl :o)

Jack - The Shadows page is really neat. Thanks (hugs for you). I’m almost over the shock of seeing my face on the screen. I have felt really strange about that. I’ve never really told anyone much about how I look. I like the faceless, shapeless, voiceless net thing. Still, this is okay. I’m okay with this (smiles). It’s kind of neat.

Rhoda - There are critters and birds that love fresh seeds (grins)! Don’t give up on the garden. You could try starting the plants in the house. I think it is neat that I look the way you thought I would. Then again, you were a part of S* and I did base the physical form of Emma on me, well, sort of (smiles)!

Mary - Thank you. You are very kind (smiles).

Tania/Teekay/’Agnes - I’ll call you what ever you like, well, almost what ever you like... Yup, Miss Congeniality really busted me up. My hubby likes it when I sing that; kiss me, hug me, thing. He tends to accept the offer (grin/wink). Then again, I don’t sing it all the often. I have a wide variety of cheeky songs that I sing to him ;o) Besides, I’m a karate kid (laugh), my hubby would never try anything with me, (you mentioned a pop in the nose - smiles). Dan knows that a block can hurt as much if not more than a punch. I have done that thing where I say ‘Attack me, c’mon, c’mon, attack me, pleaseeeee’ He never wants to (laughter). He knows how evil/playful I can be. Can I cook? Well, uh, er, that could be debated;o) I’m a pretty decent cook these days, but I used to cook a lot of really bland/dull food. Dan has spent the past 17 years teaching me to cook. I think I’m getting the hang of it (lopsided grin). On the name game. I don’t think you should go with Grintch. Sounds too much like a certain tall,green, small hearted, tight shoe wearing fellow. I like the name Agnes. I think it is very pretty. I have never known an Anges/Aggie that I did not like.

Heather M - I don’t use anything on my skin. I don’t even really use soap. Yucky eh? I just wash with water. I’m kind of a natural sort. Thanks for the compliment (big, wide smiles) Gezz, this picture thing is great for the ego ;o)

Americo - I like that picture of you (smiles and hugs).

Jack - Is that a war hammer figure you are holding in your picture?

Alline - I did get the next chapters. I have them printed and will sit down with them in the next few days.

Barnanbas - I want to read the rest of your story. I’m sorry to have been so slow.

Take care all.


Rachel 6-18-2001 13:15

What a way to wake up in the morning. At about 5:30 AM it sounded like the whole damn town blew up. That boom was followed by another, then another, then even more. Worst damn thunderstorm I have ever heard at that time in the morning. As I lay there listening to the thunder and heavy rain, I heard the unmistakable sound of hail hitting the neighbors lawn tractor that sits just outside our bedroom window. Well with noise like that, I simply had to get up. (I love to watch a good thunderstorm in action!) Seems like I have been up all day already, and it is only a little after 9:30 AM. Went outside to survey the damage, looks minimal, a few bean plants bit the dust in the garden but it was kind of soft hail. I picked up a stone that was a little over a half inch in diameter, then dropped it on the driveway and it simply splatted. Guess we were lucky it was soft, as I hate the idea of getting the car and pickup fixed, house roofed again. It has only been a year and a half since the last major hail storm. Up north of here in Bismarck ND they had the worst hail storm in the memory of most citizens just a couple of weeks ago, now you can buy a cheap car up there at most of the lots if you don't mind the look of exterior decoration by ball peen hammer. Oh well had a chance to have breakfast with the wife, something I usually miss, as I rarely rise from my bed until around 8:00 AM, and the air smells so good after a good rain, so clean and fresh. Well best sign off and get off the computer, I hear the rumbles of thunder in the distance, the weatherman says we will have a series of rain/hail storms all day. Sure glad I got the grass mowed a few days ago.

Heather, I have to get at least two more stories in **P**, and I hope everyone else submits at least that many each, we must make our anthology big enough to attract readers. Will get to work on them today, I will use my laptop if necessary, as when it storms here we usually have problems keeping electricity.

Jerry Ericsson 6-18-2001 11:44


Hi, All! Sun shining, a bit cooler (70's) than last week's blistery 90's...end of weather update for southern tier of New York State.

TINA: RE: letting characters breathe (NOT! yeah, me too). That's what fills most of my revision time, adding in the rest stops I never took on the first fast-paced journey through the adventure, just needing to get it all down on paper before the elusive muse slips off... RE: gardening (NOT! Black Thumbs here). You stirred some childhood memories -- ah, summer vacations at home, making the garden rounds for snacktime in the wild: pea pods, snap beans, chives, sometimes strawberries, and black raspberries in several locations! Who needed lunch??!! :-) RE: Names...yeah, I'm still trying to rename a pocket of space inhabited by sorcerers and their repressed women-folk who are protected by a natural power (earth-fire) greater than their own..."Dimension S" doesn't cut it. Need something descriptive, elusive yet alluring, older than time, beyond the shrewd perception of the menfolk - this is important to a future story about their world, where there will be upheaval of power-tyrants and a renewal of the ancient nature and balance of the place... I feel a new name almost at the tip of my tongue (*displays tongue** can anyone read it to me?) Now tell me more about "Shadow" and maybe something will come to mind to help you... :-)

BEN: RE: Titles...Titles first with me, usually they just come, sometimes they come faster than story ideas, so I save them up for future reference... :-) If a title sounds familiar or suspiciously pre-used, I check the library reference "BOOKS IN PRINT" -- I like a unique title, one that will reflect the story AND grab browsers' attention. I think titles are very important; books ARE judged first by their covers...and by their titles, by both editors/publishers and readers. A fun, title-generating exercise: choose a bunch of letters, at random, pretend they are an abbreviation for a title, and make up a word for which each letter stands (e.g. "MWOSH" could be "My Whistle Or Sue's Horse" or maybe "Metallic Warriors On Swift Hounds") and you take it from there. Keep a list of the ones you especially like - a thesaurus can help you tweak them into exactly what you want for a story. Of course, this doesn't work as well for stories needing titles, but if you like to squeeze a story idea from a title, this can be a lot of fun.

AGNES GRINTCH: Stick with Teekay! :-) Like it!!! It's unique! It's exciting!! It'!!!

VIV: I like your new title. :-)

JACK: I like the S* page so far. NICE pics of everyone! :-)

Here's wishing you-all a storm of passionate writing today! Mine's sort of "on hold" till after preparations for this (high school) graduation-party weekend for my son. :-)

Melanie 6-18-2001 11:42

Sorry I misunderstood your post. I had completely forgotten about Strawberries** and I knew That Shadows** had already been published. In my mind that only left P** and The other one that Jack started.

Historicals make excellent ghost stories. I think they had more ghosts back then.

I posted my last Ghost story in P** yesterday. Please let me know if it is not clear. I left a lot to the readers imagination.


Rosemary 6-18-2001 11:33

HALLEE: On a more personal note about the kittens, I miss the little buggers terribly. I even had them all named which is a big mistake because as soon as you name something it gets personal. Let's see, there was Gracie(white with tabby patches and a mask), Othello (long-haired, all black), and Speedy(short-haired tabby).

I don't know if you have ever had to find homes for kittens before or not, and I also don't know if this part will affect you the same way it affected me...but the mama cat is walking around calling for her kittens and it is breaking my heart. I have been there, wandering around looking for a little one that isn't there anymore. I can hardly look at her because I feel terrible for ripping her kittens away from her. It had to be done, I can't keep ten cats, but she doesn't know that. All she knows is that her kitties go out front in a basket and don't come back. Sighs. Just brace yourself ain't easy.

Mary 6-18-2001 11:09

Morning everyone!

AMERICO, RACHEL, JACK, ALLEIN: Lovely photos of you all and a great page to showcase your collaborative efforts. Good job.

ON TITLES: I am terrible at titles, but once in a blue moon I come up with something that just rings. My contribution to **P** is a title that means something to me, but I think it is a tad obscure for the masses to get. It is titled "Sweet Honesty", but without knowing that Sweet Honest is also the name brand of a perfume which smells exactly like Lily of the Valley, it would mean nothing to the reader. That was a working title that I still need to replace.

ON KITTIES: My favorite cat had her kittens two weeks before the adopted cat did. I ended up with seven in all. The first batch are six weeks old and totally adorable. I put flyers with their pictures on the post office, drug store and laundromat bulletin boards along with signs at each end of our street and in front of the house on this past Friday. Three of the seven kittens found homes this weekend. Good happy homes with young girls who hand picked their new pet from a wicker basket lined with a baby blanket. I gave a free food dish and four days worth of food with each one.

We have decided to keep the last kitten from that first batch. A long-haired tabby female with gorgeous yellow eyes, so we only have to find homes for three more kitties, which aren't ready to leave their mother yet. I am sure it is going to prove more difficult to place this second litter, as they are the ugliest kittens I have ever seen (textbook examples of why inbreeding is frowned upon).

ON TEEKAY: I like that you use this name instead of your real name. Besides...even if you started to use Tania, I would instantly translate that to Teekay in my mind.


Mary 6-18-2001 10:58

I'm sorry, I missed your story because I was so excited at posting mine. Selfish of me. Yours is fantastic. See other comments in the workbook critique, but it's amazing. Scroll down and read Laura's posting folks, or you are going to miss something.

I'll read the workbook more. I'm not good at criticism yet but I'm learning better ideas on how to do it as my work is critiqued. Laura's story makes you want to know more and gets your imagination working. I want to know what the children look like. I want to know how old they really are. I want to know who the leaders are among the children. I want to know more...hurry up Laura, post more this week. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Viv 6-18-2001 10:56

Hey guys:
Got the title for my story today. Urban Legands in Japanese translates as Toshi Densetsu. I'll stick a star beside it (Toshi Densetsu*) and then translate it as Old Tales in the New (Modern?) City. Really, it pretty well describes what happened. Tokyo suburbs grew up fast around the rice fields and these are the last of the family rice plots. They'll be taxed out of existance in the next generation.

Got to go walk dog!

Viv 6-18-2001 9:03

I read that the Strawberries Club is giving a party on the Moon, my favorite holiday resort and where I write my best poems, wrapped in what remains of an old flag Neil Amstrong forgot here in 1969. Respect the wish of an old cat and go picknicking somewhere else. The Moon is mine!

Jon 6-18-2001 7:31


Thanks for a lovely page. We are all very well, and Rachel and Allein are really very beautiful. It's a pleasure to have such fine collaborators!

Americo 6-18-2001 7:29

Jack: if we want to contribute to P*** we gotta use a photograph for a bios page
No thanks, I do not photograph well at all...

taylor 6-18-2001 5:43

Morning all! Hope everyone had a great fathers' day.

BEN: I stress, worry, and fret over titles long after a manuscript is complete. And the ones I come up with still suck. I don't do well with titles.

VIV: Oh, I'm so sorry - that is terrible - I don't even know what to say. (((hug))))

RHODA: The writing is going well. It took me a full week to write two chapters, but I spent a lot of my time researching renal failure - finally found what I was looking for, and as soon as I catch up from all the posts last night, I'll get back to it.

MARY: My kittens are driving me insane. I actually have to lock them and the mama up at night because last week, twice, I woke up at about 3 in the morning with all six of them sitting on my bed, staring at me. Now they're maniacs - all over the place. (One is gorgeous, though - dark gray with dark gray eyes - me thinks Conan's already picked one to keep). (sigh) How are your wee ones?

AMERICO: You look exactly like I pictured you - very unusual for me.

Okay - I'm off to write. Have a great Monday all!

Hallee 6-18-2001 5:04

p.s. and, what I really meant for Allein is whether she wanted me to use the picture she had in the bios page or a more up to date picture. As I said earlier, I may not be firing on all cylinders at the moment. Take care everyone.

6-18-2001 5:03

Sorry: I should have just said Allein. I was referring to her in her Heather mode.

Oh, also, I will be setting up a PHP page when I get a chance where everybody can enter their details and picture and so forth and it will generate a bios page with the information included. That, however, is far far far down on my list of priorities.

Jack 6-18-2001 4:54

WAIT a minute! I forgot that Allein's name is also Heather!
I think Jack must mean Allein (Heather) and the picture is for the 'Shadows' page!

Yeah, head examined. That's next.
Hi Taylor, have a productive time.

Heather 6-18-2001 3:19

Jack, do you mean a picture for the bio page? I'll send you one via email now!
I must have been daydreaming and missed the picture exchange!!!

Oh, and Laura - sorry - no can read. No time.

Heather 6-18-2001 3:16

hi everyone

may not be in for awhile...heap of short stories to write, and novel

Will drop in from time to time
Good luck with writing

taylor 6-18-2001 3:14

Teekay: In our emails I almost forget to call you by your real name! Guess it's because I've been calling you Teekay longer than I have Tania.

Rachel! 'Miss Congeniality' - my husband bought that for me for Mother's Day (loved it) instead of 'Thunderheart' because they didn't have it in-store. I have a copy of 'Thunderheart', but it's got commercials and the beginning is cut off. If ANY of you haven't seen Thunderheart, DO! I highly recommend it. Very few people that I know have seen it, but of those that have, they agree unanimously that it's an incredible film. (Oh, and I guess I don't have to mention that Val Kilmer is in it)??? Do I? *knuckle biting*
And Rachel, you take a very awesome photo. You simply glow! (All the skin creams in the world don't make my face glow like that - I look like I'm sweaty instead... of course yours is probably your natural 'glow' and not cream-induced! Fudge and pooh. Although, I did glow when pregnant. Sorry, folks, NOT going there just for the great skin and nails) ;O)

ON PHANTASIUM: The project is open to ANYONE who would like to contribute more stories. I won't close the project until August 1, 2001. (Jack's timetable willing) Please keep in mind that stories should be as close to polished as possible. Any changes and so forth can be re-posted, space allowing.(You can email the new version to me directly if you would rather do so)
I will be copying each story into my computer, and doing the edits with each collaborator by email so that we can work together to achieve the most polished and professional work. I would like to submit the finished manuscript(s) to publishers, but we need more stories first. There may be a few stories that will not make it into the ms, so remember: We want the manuscript in tightest form and with only the best of the collection. I have pledged to be honest and fair. If one of your stories doesn't make the cut, it is in no way a personal affront.
I will likely change the title from Phantasium as well, just to let you know. We can vote on the title I have in mind later.

And now, without further ado,
I'm signing off for the night.
The novel beckons.

Heather 6-18-2001 3:11

Hello everyone: Yes, I will be working on getting the Workbook up and running correctly first. I will also be working on the Shadow page. I have more or less a place holder there now, but have plans to provide a somewhat nice rotating flash slider that rotates from one pictures to the next to the next. The only picture I do not have is one for Heather. If you can send the one you would like me to use I will get to work on that after I get to the Workbook, get the thing functioning and then send out the email to everyone to resubmit for a login and password.

Today was taken up with church, visiting my cousin again and taking care of details for finishing up our bid for Westercon 56 . If I had not mentioned before, I will be the Vice Chairman for the convention if we win. It will be a 1700 to 2500 person convention taking place in the seattle area.

Jack Beslanwitch Shadow In A Dream web page 6-18-2001 2:54

I'm gone

Ben 6-18-2001 2:51

No Laura, but if you're on at the same time I am, why don't we see if we can go into the chat room?

Ben 6-18-2001 2:42

Ummm, I guess no one saw, but I also posted a short story (that may turn into a longer work) in the wb earlier. I STILL have not gotten so much as a 'Nice to see you posted' about it.

Have I suddenly disappeared into the twilight zone?

Laura 6-18-2001 2:40


TEEKAY: I'm gonna immerse myself.

I was thinking about this counterfieter--did I spell that right?--during the second world war, maybe in France, maybe in Poland, painting great works of art for a crooked German officer who is supposed to be sending original paintings to Germany for Herr Goering...I haven't got enough info on my Mau Maus to do it justuce yet...and being half Jewish he's condemned anyway.

Now, reading what I just wrote, some of you might think it's stupid to want to give out a plotline like that--copyrights and all that other crap--but that's because I don't care about that sort of stuff. What I write is gonna be different than what anyone else is gonna write, because what I write always changes anyway. And if someone else writes it, that doesn't mean it's gonna get published: publishing is a crapshoot I think, a game of hit and miss. And besides, what if I want to write a story based on the life of a famous painter born in 1842 and dying in 1926, kinda like Monet? He goes to England during the Franco-Prussian war, or maybe he serves and gets sent to Morroco? He has a wife, five kids, and then has a mistress and his wife kills herself because of the mistress?

AMERICO: Sorry I missed the "Strawberries and the Moon" compilation. I don't know if I'll submit anything to **P** because I don't really do ghost stories. But I'll gladly hang around to see what you've got coming up. I like to write historical fiction because I like to delve into that sort of stuff--I love researching things.

But now I have to go to bed. I'm bagged. I'm getting up too early and staying up too late. Of course, I won't go to bed right now, because I wanna see if I can come up with a good opening line for my new story, a "Bombs bursting in air, and the rockets red glare" kind of thing, which of course could be an air raid in 1943, or Bastille Day in Paris, 1869.

Ben 6-18-2001 2:38



Rhoda, did you soak the seeds before planting? That helps speed germination, especially if the soil tends to dry quickly.
For the tomatoes and squash, are they hilled and mulched? Pile dirt up around them, leaving a depression around the stalk, so that water concentrates on the roots of the plant and doesn’t run off. Mulch them to slow dehydration.
Wow, I suddenly realise how much I miss my vegetable garden. Peas are my favourite, a sentimental throwback to when I was wee and my grandpa used to take me out to the garden (BIG farm garden) to pick peas. One pod for the bucket, one for us, one for the bucket, one for us… My dad was a potatoe man, and kohlrabi. I’d always go with him to dig up fresh spuds for dinner, to be barely steamed and served with butter. Kohlrabi was picked young and eaten raw. Mmmmmmm. A good day for memories of them both.

I love my cable connection. As Jerry said, it’s fast and I’m always on-line, ready to do whatever I want without any extra cost. The bonuses, at least with, is that I can have 5 e-mail addresses, and 5 web pages, no extra cost. My father-in-law and sister-in-law don’t have computers, but get e-mail through us.

Teekay, the sun Heather is talking about would be the same one that gave me a burn yesterday! Spent all day at a street festival, and despite liberal sunscreen still came out rather red. But what fun! Good food, good music and dance, good shopping!

Sounds like I’d better get my a** in gear if I’m gonna put anything in *P*. Nothing like a deadline to get Tina motivated…

And titles just happen. Usually I discard several before the right one happens, but I don’t actually think about it much. Now NAMES are another matter entirely. Like the name of the world where ‘Shadow’ takes place. Absolutely nothing has ever come to me, despite concentrated thought about the problem. Something neat, like Ba’jor, or simple, like Pern or Dune. Or after an old Earth god, like Mars and Jupiter? I just don’t know….

Okay, I’m rambling so I’m gonna go.
I’ll ramble in my world of…. ?

Tina 6-18-2001 2:32


RACHEL: By golly, if I weren't already married! Ummm, can you cook?

Saw Miss Congeniality and thought it was fantastic. I'm always singing that song to hubby and he's pretty sick of it by now. If I try it one more time I may just get bopped in the nose.
"You want to punch me, you want to kick me, you want to pinch me, you want to murder me."

RHODA: Maybe beans and corn need longer to germinate?

I've just realized that I'm the only one here who doesn't use her real name. Well it's the initials of my real name.
Do you think I ought to post under my real name or should I just keep using Teekay? Voting booths are now open.
Agnes Grintch.

Teekay 6-18-2001 1:36

Well with cable, you are "always on" so there is no dial-up problem, no busy phone lines, no wait. The speed downloading is between ten and one hundred times faster, so in the long run, it is much better. There are folks that setup their own servers on cable service, and use their computers to store other folks files and such, it is just so much better. My son had it for quite some time when they lived in Bismarck, now they have moved, DSL is available, and they have that. He says the DSL is much better, as with cable service, it does slow down when lots of folks are online at the same time with the same cable service, however with DSL that doesn't happen. I guess DSL would be better, then of course, a T-1 line would be even better, but much more expensive. Our local ISP is going to offer DSL, right now they offer a local network connection with their server giving T-1 service, but it is so expensive only some local businesses can afford the hookup, as you have to by both ends of the hookup, at about $300.00 per side for a total cost of six hundred bucks, then additional fees for setup and so forth bringing the hookup fee up to eight hundred bucks, a bit stiff, then service charge of around seventy bucks per month. They say the phone company will be offering DSL soon, with a minimal setup fee and only the cost of our side of the hookup equipment, so that sounds do'able when they get it set up.

Jerry Ericsson 6-18-2001 0:03

Heather - well for me it would be a bargain, you see my mom is getting on in age, and wants us to keep the phone line free in case she needs us, so we pay for a second phone line, that cost us an additional $28.00 per month, bringing our total bill for internet well over the $50.00's it would cost for cable, so I would jump at a chance of getting faster service AND cheaper. Oh well, it is but a pipe dream as the cable company has said there are not enough subscribers here to merit the cost of the equipment.

Sometimes living in paradise has an additional cost that is not obvious to the passer by.

Jerry Ericsson 6-17-2001 23:55


RHODA: Sounds like a water shortage or varmints.

Mary 6-17-2001 23:35

Hello all you beautiful people.

JERRY: Other than speed, what benefits are there to a cable connection? I am happy with my 56K...I click on the link to the Notebook, I blink, and there it is. Is cable more reliable? Now THAT would be a step-up.

HEATHER: Wow...that **P** sure went fast. I thought it would be open for a year. I don't know why in the world I thought that. If it takes approximately a year for one person to write a book, it should only take 5 people two and a half months...less with more contributors. I just didn't see it coming.

RACHEL: Yes, you are gorgeous, but I already knew that! ;-)

HOWARD: Thinking of you.

LITTER: Did you get the kava kava info I sent you?


Mary 6-17-2001 23:33


When you can't get to the Notebook for a couple of days, it is hard to catch up.


You look just like I have imagined you. That doesn't often happen with Internet friends.


I'm glad you got back with us and got your Internet connection problems taken care of.


I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It has been a rough year for you. My prayers are with you.


How is the inspirational romance going? You are a virtual workhorse and oh, how I admire you. Best of luck with the new project.

Well, what have I been doing when I could have been working on my new novel or when I could have been here posting? I have dug a garden and planted it. Something is really strange though. I planted corn and beans and they never came up. I planted again using different seed and I am afraid the same is happening. It has been three days and still no sprouts. The tomato and squash plants I put in thrived last week and now they are wilting one by one. Perhaps I had better go back to writing!

Rhoda 6-17-2001 23:18

Jack - Thanks for letting me know that you got the pic. I always worry that things I post will get lost. Yes, I also hope that PA will pick up the pace with delivery time. I ordered copies last week. The person I spoke to, told me that it shouldn't take longer than three weeks. I will let you know if that is a fact.

Jon - Pussy is a queen.

Viv - Gezz (grin/blush) Thanks;o) Now if only that were all it took to sell books... Hum, a million copies? That sounds like a good thing!

Americo - I have booked my trip to the moon. I look forward to my appointment. On a more serious note, I accept. Thanks for the compliments (smiles and hugs).

Heather - Can you make it to the moon? Cause'... It's a marvelous night for a moondance...

Mary Lou - Best thing to do is to contact PA and ask them. Each situation is unique. I would hate to tell you one thing, then have you experience another. Write to them, ask any questions that you like. I think it is always best to get things direct from the source when you can. In this case, you can (smiles and a hug).

Americo - Yup, its the Berne convention.

Teekay - I'm 32 year old. I like hot coffee, good conversation and... Uh, never mind (winks). Anyway, I'm just a kid (big, wide grins)! So, yah think I'm goregeous. Hum, have you seen Miss Congeniality? If you have, then... "You think I'm gorgeous, you want to hug me, you want to hold me, you want to kiss me" said with my very best Jersey accent.

Okay, I better go. I have to do the kids to bed thing.

Take care all.


Rachel 6-17-2001 22:12


Hi All,

JERRY: I did have something to say. I only pointed out that it was of no interest :-)
You see even if I said I had nothing to say, well that would be obviously wrong because simply by writing that sentence is an affirmination that I do indeed have something to say. However, by pointing out that it was not of 'interesting' content well then, tell me, are you bored with reading this yet :-D

RANDALL: As I have pointed out to JERRY in a very gentle way, you must read ALL the words. ALL the words I say.
Now had I read your post not reading all the words I would have come up with:
"Good God we honked the horn on the petty officer After he ran up the gangway."
I've put a touch of port in your coffee this time. For medicinal purposes you understand.

JERRY: He sure sounds like an interesting book character. They sure don't seem to make 'em like that any more. Bit of a shame really. Or not. I don't quite know, I'll have to think about it.

RACHEL: You are gorgeous!!! You remind me a lot of myself HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA, I have sunglasses like that. :-)
When I scrolled up, I noticed it was JACK'S post and then I saw your picture and thought Jack had shaved his beard off. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA oh dear, it's gonna be one of those days.

HEATHER: Sun? Sun? What is this sun of which you speak? ~Brrrrr~

BEN: I usually get the title at the end of a story. I start with some hokey pokey thing, but at the end 'usually' the right title comes to me.
And yes, if you're lookingvat selling your work the title is very important because that is what the editor or whoever is reading it sees first and if it doesn't sound interesting chances are he/she won't read the story.
I also think they should be relevant to the story, unlike JERRY's 'How to make a million dallars" or whatever the title of that story was he posted which had nothing what so ever to do with making a million dollars.

JERRY: You sly old fox you :-D

BEN: I think it's time you immersed yourself in another story.

AMERICO: Ummmm, isn't RACHEL over the age of 33?

Re: Title copyright:
I've seen plenty of books at the library with the same title by different authors.
Also, I named one of my short stories 'Saving Grace' and a week later in the video shop I noticed a new release video of the same name and I definitely didn't copy that (I'd never seen it before) and I'm not changing the name of my story because it's just perfect for it. Unless someone threatened to sue me for $ 456724527528:00, then I might think about it.
But I wouldn't be happy!


Teekay 6-17-2001 21:09


I would like to clarify that when I mentioned deadlines, I was referring to "Strawberries and a Moon". That project was closed on the 7th June 2000.

I believe that Phantasium is still open to new collaborators.

Americo 6-17-2001 19:52

I'm not an expert on copyright, but I know what it consists of. You fill in a form with your personal data, the title and a very brief summary of the contents of your book. You also deliver a copy of the work (in paper, in a disk or both). The case of the writer who had to get another title because someone had already registered the title he wanted to give his book shows that titles are under the same protection as the contents. At least that's how I interpret it.

I have read in the Internet that titles are not protected by copyright. I don't think that's right. But I am not a lawyer, and it may be that the USA copyright is different from here. My impression is that copyright legislation tends to be international, at least for the countries that signed the convention of Berne (or was it Geneve?).

In any case, I cannot imagine any serious Author using, maliciously and with dishonest intentions, something which he did not create himself. So the title issue seems to me, above all, a question of common sense and morality.

Americo 6-17-2001 19:38

I just went back and read some more, the deadline is posted and I won't have to sneak around. I guess when I read that Ben wouldn't be allowed to join, it surprised me.

Rosemary--Again 6-17-2001 18:46


Is **P** colsed? I read all posts and don't remember seeing notice of an ending time. I thought Jack was going to rework the site and I was waiting for that to post my second story. I'll go ahead and post it in a few minutes, (have to go to my sister's computer) try to sneak it through barred doors.

I have definitely been told a number of times by different authorities that titles cannot be copyrighted. Maybe it's different where Americo is.


Rosemary 6-17-2001 18:42

Rachel: Received the page proofs for Tarnished Honor. How long did it take "your" book to get into print after you returned them to PubAm?


Mary Lou

Mary Lou 6-17-2001 18:17


From left field, so what else is new, here are the lyrics from a Doors song. I quoted from this a couple of months ago. Without the music, songs like this are little stories. Inspiration that may tweak ones imagination, toward a title or a novel length story.

Not much else going on at the house today. Pretty laid back, hot as the dickens outside.

I looked at the lyrics to several songs by the Byrds, but could not pin down what I wanted. There are many, many influences that would help a writer in title selection.

How many titles could you arrive at from the song listed below? Let the publisher worry 'bout the legalities. :-) I mean, THEY have to do something to earn their cut, huh?


The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)
The Doors
copyright The Doors Music Company ASCAP

I wanna tell you about Texas radio and the big beat.
Comes out of the Virginia swamps
Cool and slow with plenty of precision
With a backbeat narrow and hard to master.
Some call it heavenly in its brilliance
Others mean and rueful of the Western dream.
I love the friends that I have gathered together on this thin raft
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping.
This is the land where the pharoah died.

The negroes in the forest, brightly feathered
They're saying "Forget the night
Live with us in forests of azure
Out here in the perimeter there are no stars
Out here we are stoned, imaculate."

Listen to this, I'll tell you about heartache.
Tell you about the heartache and loss of God.
I'll tell you 'bout the hopeless and
meager food for souls forget.
I'll tell you 'bout the maiden with wraught-iron soul.

I tell you this,
No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.

I tell you about Texas radio and the big beat.
Soft driven slow and mad like some new language.

Now listen to this, I'll tell you about Texas.
I'll tell you about Texas radio.
I'll tell you about the hopeless night
wandering in the Western dream.
I'll tell you about a maiden with wraught-iron soul.

Randall 6-17-2001 17:59

Money isn't important on summer vacation. Neither are big trips. It's dumb stuff that's important. The kids understand when you get laid off and there isn't any money for fancy trips. Trust me, I've raised two completely broke most the time. They've been really nice when we talked it over. We sat down and I had THEM make a list of stuff they wanted to do. I told them to get creative or else. They came up with stuff like sleep late, walks, paint rocks, tie dye, baltik, oil painting (but that was too expensive) so I got cheap water colors and nice fancy paper. We took the train to Enoshima (the beach a half an hour away by train that is dirty and polluted and not nice for swimming) We tried to paint pictures of the sun as it set but the colors swam by sooooo fast. We had to admit it really taught us a lot about how hard it is to paint.

Just make sure to take your time to get to know each kid really really well. That is the pay off for not having work.

We're loosing our job too. 14 months before retirement. Wow. What a kick in the pants for 20 years of work. I'll loose mine with my husband because I can't stay here. Please repeat these words to me as I tell my kids that they can't go to college anymore. It won't be so bad for the little one but the big one will be in her junior year. Maybe she can get a really decent loan, but first we have to kill off our savings. That won't be hard!

Viv 6-17-2001 17:33

Guess what folks! I've already decided to change that title! Urban Legands will be in Japanese. It won't translate exactly but I'm going to find the right shade of meaning in Japanese. Fitting huh! Also fun. I love having a lot of languages to play with because it adds to the fun. Japanese is cool because it has a lot of little shades of meaning for each word. That is why Bunraku, Hiku and simple free verse sound better in Japanese.

Gotta go to work. It's 6:21AM! I'm late.....

Viv 6-17-2001 17:25

Now Americo, that is something I did not know. I was under a certain impression that titles (especially one-word titles) were not subject to copyright laws in the same way that the story itself is.

And now, calling all ghost story writers! Grab your pens and write one last, mind-numbing story for P**, for very shortly the project will have to come to a close, as Americo has decided to begin a new project in the near future. (Ahem, yes, and I too, shall have to write one or two more for the collection before it closes!)
Do not rush the writing of your stories, but do, please do, gather your thoughts and get them posted!
The date of August 1, 2001 will be the (tentative) deadline for all P** stories. Of course, I will have to ask Jack!

I hope you are feeling a little better today Jack, and that you will have an abundance of strength when you need it.
Blessings heaped on you and your loved ones!

Ben - titles, well, they always just sort of 'arrive' for me. Sometimes they arrive as I've just begun writing the story/novel, sometimes with just working out the concept/theme the title pops into mind. Other times I have the story part-finished or fully finished before the title comes to me. Once I got all the way through re-reading the story once before the title arrived. I'm not sure what I'd do if my titles didn't come so easily. Perhaps I'd take a phrase that I particularly liked in the story and use part of that. But most often the title sums up the essence of the story. That's the goal, so I hear. ;o) Sorry to hear of your woes, Ben. Hoping you pull through as unscathed as possible.

Which reminds me - here's a neat site. Wondering how original your work is? Even if you just want to check a few sentences (or even a title), go to the link, type in what you want to check, and you'll get a reply in your email! The sources (I think) are also listed in case of the work not being original.
I don't know about site security, but I'm going to try just a sentence or two. Not from my novel, of course...

I got word of the link from the Writer's Digest newsletter this week.

Ta ta! And Happy Father's Day again.

Heather Link 6-17-2001 17:25

Hello. everybody! And happy Sunday to all the living. As for the dead, they are in peace and in our hearts. They are well.

A New Yorker I spoke to on Thursday explained to me that Man is intrinsically good, otherwise, with all the stress we can all imagine in Manhattan, there would be much more criminality there. Convincing!

But Man can also be evil. I am a terrible sinner. But who knows if I will become a saint one day (if I work very, very hard)? My worst sins are lazyness and a tendency to get angry. My main virtues... well, I cannot see any... But I probably have some virtues. I cannot see them now but perhaps tomorrow I'll discover them. Or next month. It's not easy to know oneself. We must think about the saint and the sinner that co-exist in each of us and in the people we know/knew. "Nosce te ipsum", know yourself (Socrates). Well, it's much easier to know the others, or at least to think we know the others. I'd rather write about my neighbours...

Ben: It's a pity you went away for a while. During that time some of us wrote a novel and a collection of short stories. The first has just been published; the second is a work in progress and closed for further collaboration (we respect deadlines here). But you (and everyone) will have a chance to write wonderful things in the months to come. Just stay tuned and keep posting. And start studying yourself and the others. You'll love this project.

PS. After deep study, I'm happy to inform all the Notebookers that Rachel has been selected the best collaborative spirit in the premises. This is a remarkable feat, as she was also the Secretary for S*. After having proved that she possesses great talent as a writer and great qualities as a friend, she will be appointed Secretary for "Strawberries and a Moon" in a ceremony to take place... in the Moon. Everybody invited for the party. Heather will be the guest of honour.

PPS. Heather: titles, and even shades of colours, can be the object of copyright. I know an author that had to find a different title when his book was already been printed. The title he wanted for his book had been used by someone else and he did not know it.

Americo 6-17-2001 15:55


Good morning Ben!

Titles for your works..... Kick out the jams and tune in....the radio that is. Research songs, it's fun, entertaining and good for ones soul. Rock, country all good. Mostly rock though. Country music, though they have managed to elevate the lyrics in the last decade, are usually a parody. "If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me...." kinda thing. I enjoy "reading songs" listening to the words. Yes it is another persons work but there is nothing wrong with gathering ideas. And it seems rock, serious artists anyway, put more of a message in the song. Honestly, read Bob Dylan music for instance. :-) (Grin) Ah, perhaps we should exclude Bobby Darin's "She wore an itsy bitsy, teenie wennie, yellow poka dot bikini....." which was a hit in the 50's. (Well, how would you spell "poka dot?")

I wrote a book several years ago about ....well, never mind. :-) The title, THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE CALLING was "borrowed" from an 80's Genesis/Phil Collins song.

Late at night when you call my name
The only sound you'll hear
Is the sound of your voice calling
Calling for me.

Not sure of the song title but the verse is 99 per cent correct, Annnnnnnnnnnnd not sure of the legalities, but on the title page I gave the band proper and full credit. If I ever decide to submit, I'll let the publisher worry ‘bout legal aspects. (Randall writes for fun!) I heard a song by the Byrds recently, last week sometime. It was a late 60's song and was stunning in lyrics and message. Will look it up as soon as I finish this and post it. The 60's music is a gold mine, that is GOLD MINE! Of titles and ideas.

At least that is my opinion Ben.

It's kinda weird really, searching for a title. It's only a word or words, and we are surrounded by words on a daily basis. It is the RIGHT combination of words writers seek. And I've seen some really stupid titles on novels that were real big.


PS.... ATTENTION SF writers!!! URGENT!!!! 8:00 PM Central Standard Time. Discovery Channel for STORMS. Bring pen and pencil and notebook. Or tape it. About storms that might effect the earth from space. Be there or be square! :-)

Randall 6-17-2001 13:40

Hey there: Yeah, I've been lurking about. Rather bored with everything I've been doing and reading. Must be the lay off. I phoned the mill yesterday to hear the taped message as to whether I'd be working this Monday, and they said, maybe Wednesday. Oh happy day...and whoopee sh*t. If it were not for the fact that I was getting holiday at the end of the month, we'd all ready be screwed. Now it's just the holidays that are screwed. I can live with it, but the kids might be a little choked at the idea of a do nothing summer.

But I finished editing my novella. Now I'm gonna send it down under if I don't run out of printer cartridge. It might be a little late if I do...I sent a stroy out on Friday that Kitty looked at and gave me some suggestions for. But, instead of subtracting on the wordcount, I ended up adding about five or six hundred.

I was watching something on the Impressionists the last week or two ago. I didn't realize how much I really liked those guys. Got my head going in all sorts of different directions again. It doesn't seem to take much to get an idea these days.

I have a question. How does everyone come up with titles for their stories. Personally, I have Bartlett's quotattions, and I take a quick skim through that, looking for something that might go along with the subject, or theme, and then work out from there. Some titles just come to me.

And do you pick the title first, or last, or is it even a part of the process? Sometimes the titles suggest themselves to me, and I run with them. The Iconoclast was a title that was suggested to me after my mother gave me an icon that was in the family since the second world war. It came from Eastern Europe somewhere near Khazikstahn, and seeing it brought all these words associated with Icons. Iconoclast stuck, and the story worked its way through that word. Tarot Cards and Tea Leaves was about a psychic that used to live in the neighbourhood.

And are titles important to the story? I just threw that out there because, like I said, I'm bored.

AMERICO: What is this series you're thinking about? I'm curious. And can I...I mean if you think I'd be all right...history? Even I sound too desperate here...I'd better go.


Ben 6-17-2001 12:34

Jerry: Even with access to cable internet in my area, I won't fork over the $40 a month (even with free hookup, which is offered non-stop around here). I'll stick to my 56K thanks. Not that I wouldn't mind a faster connection on occasion, but I have enough bills to worry about! My cable bill is already collosal.

Top of the mornin' to all, and
a very wonderful Father's Day!


Heather 6-17-2001 10:58

Hi Rachel: You look nice in your picture. With a smile like that on a book, you could sell a million copies.

Jack: There are a lot of things a person is helpless to fix in this world. I wish it weren't so, but it is. I think the best thing to think about is the relief your cousin must be feeling right now. I don't think he'd want you to be sad, just glad for his release.

Heather: Thanks for the sending the heat my way! We had hot rain today! I hope it's a hot rain day again tomorrow. It's kind of fun to walk in.

Gotta' get some sleep. Night all.

Viv 6-17-2001 10:54

DAD BLAST IT! I wish I could even GET cable internet service! I would pay $50.00 bucks a month for it would it be available. (That's what our cable company charges for it where it is available) I called them about cable service and they told me we lived in too small a community for them to make installation of the hardware profitable. Profit is, of course, the name of the game so I guess I will plunk along at 56K until someone offers DSL at a reasonable rate. It is available here for $800.00 set up fee and $64.00 a month, which leaves it not an option based on my social security check.

Jerry Ericsson 6-17-2001 10:09

But you should see Pussy.

Jon 6-17-2001 8:13

Hello all: Still a bit sidetracked with thoughts of my cousin and occasional wonderings if there was anything I could have done to prevent it, followed short steps after with the realization that no - Bud would have had to wanted the help for me to give it. Each of us have our own demons and our steps to walk. We cannot prevent certain kinds of self destruction and we cannot prevent the world from visiting its own kind of meyham on those hapless creatures who are prone to its victimization.

Rachel: I did indeed get your picture and will begin work on the Shadows page. Just hoping that PublishAmerica is a little more prompt with others on getting copies of the Shadows in a Dream to them than they have to me. Oh, well, we will see.

BTW, for those wondering what Rachel looks like:

Jack Beslanwitch 6-17-2001 2:08

you got that right, I never did like the old fart all that much, and he was a horriable thief too, always stealing anything that wasn't tied down. One time he stold a bunch of my dad's tools, then one day, his well broke down, and dad went to help pull it and fix it. When the old fart pulled out the big pipe wrench that he took from dad a few years earlier, dad saw it and cornered him on it. "Look, it has my initials stamped right in it!" Dad said, pointing to where he stamped his initials GE on the tool. "Hell that's Generel Electric!" the old fart replied. Dad took the tool home with him anyhow, as it was his.

Jerry Ericsson 6-17-2001 1:13

Jerry: But he sure had a shitty sense of humour.

Heather 6-17-2001 0:57

Viv, ever been to Michigan?
The weather there is the same as the weather where I am. Or, let's see...

nah, I'm not going there. I'm pooped from the sun and the heat, though it wasn't so smouldering today that I lit on fire or anything. Managed to walk far enough to mow my lawn. Made dinner for seven, (company!) and played a little soccer. (Pardon me - football for all of our European NB friends)
And now what I wish more than anything, is to


on second thought, I'd better not hatch any wishes at this time. I wouldn't want to wish myself into anti-wish-establishmentarianism. Then I'd want to wish myself back and have none left, and learn that, as a matter of fact, there never were any wishes. What would Sartre [sic] say to that...? I'm sure he'd wish me a...

*chortle chortle*

Okay, too much sun, that's my excuse. Really.

Happy and productive writing to all,
and an editing nip to boot.

Heather 6-17-2001 0:56

Debra - I think there was just a little bit of good in the old fart, at his wife's funeral, I heard him say to her (body) "I should have treated you better." She proceeded him by about a year. When she was gone, he went to pieces and entered a nursing home, where he withered away.

Jerry Ericsson 6-17-2001 0:50

Now can lie to your friends.....and I can lie to mine. :-) But let's not lie to each other! I know you have SOMETHING to say.............:-))))))))))

Did I ever....say girl, seen any 'roos lately? Tried to smuggle one on my ship one time in Sydney. The officer of the deck eyed my bulging coat.

"Randall, I know you're not expecting. And I never saw you hop around like that. So....take the kangroo back where you got it.

Goodnight Teekay!

MORE COFFEE DEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Randall 6-16-2001 23:17


Good evening friends

Some interesting comments on what must be one of the most beneficial (?) perhaps interesting species God placed on the planet, maggots, the larvae of flies. And yes in the Navy we called the mobile canteens, "roach coaches" as well. One of the most hilarious conversations I witnessed in the Navy was a rather terse conversation between an officer of the deck and a highly agitated "roach coach" owner operator.

We were home ported in the Phillippines, Subic Bay (Ah, sweet Olongapo) tied up at a pier. A Filipino owned canteen rolled to the gangway about mid-morning, honked the horn, then proceeded to open for business. Sailors have been known to eat anything, but some of the "lunches" on these wagons were of a highly questionable substance. Still, all is grist for the old mill! :-)

The petty officer on the quarterdeck announced on the ships PA. "Now hear this. Now hear this. The mobile roach coach is on the pier."

The Filipino owner heard the announcement, aghast that his cherished, albeit, dinery on wheels should be called such. In the colorful language of persons speaking a second language the conversation went something like this. After he ran up the gangway.

"I no have roaches on my canteen."

The young, squeaky clean officer reassuared him. "Just a slang expression sir. I'll clear it up."

"I no have roaches on my canteen. We clean, we wash, no roaches. Sailor wrong, no roaches. Clean food. American food, all clean. Hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwhiches, no roaches, we cook no roaches."

"I understand, no roaches on your canteen." The young ensign tried to ease the man off his quarterdeck fearful the ships captain, or worse the executive officer would happen on the scene. (Ship Captains were, as a rule good mild mannered men, usually very friendly with the crew. Now, Executive Officers, the number 2 guy, were "Hatchet Men" and feared like a condemned man fears the executioner.

About this time an old moss covered Boatswain Mate strolled around the corner. "Permission to go to the roach coach sir." Then Boats, grinning wildly, saluted the flag aft, the officer of the deck, the canteen owner and strolled casually down the gangway.

The young watch officer could only stare blankly, lost in the decision making process. Nothing in his naval reserve training had prepared him for this. Typhoons, fully trained. Weapons, trained. Ship steering, ditto. Navigation, no problem. Now his naval career was sinking, all because the petty officer of the watch wanted to play a joke. How could a career oriented naval officer handle a mad, mobile canteen operator without getting other, higher ranking officers involved? This would not look good on his service record!

Halfway down the gangway the WW II Boatswain Mate turned and hollared at the Filipino.

"Hell come on Juan, gonna open for busisness or not? We know their ain't no roaches on your #@%&*^! Canteen. Alive anyway."

Situation resolved.

Minutes later the red-faced officer turned to me. "Randall, from this point forward....if you ever call that thing down there a roach coach on my quarterdeck, I'll have you cleaning heads till you muster out!!!


Good night everyone.


Randall 6-16-2001 23:05

I mean the worst thing I have ever heard.

6-16-2001 22:29


If my husband had pulled a dirty trick on me like that, his funeral would have been the following weekend. That is the WORST

Debra 6-16-2001 22:28

Two days of sunshine, two days of lawn mowing! Did mine yesterday, then today the daughter sort of hints that her little push mower would have a hard time cutting her lawn which is huge. Soo I was off again driving my little garden tractor across town to mow her tall grass. She was right, I don't think her little mower had a chance. All that cool rain we have been getting made it grow like mad.

See Teekay, I didn't have anything to say either, but I said something anyhow.

Jerry Ericsson 6-16-2001 22:19


Just a post to let you all know that I have absolutely nothing of any interest to post.

Yeah, I know, like, what's new?

Teekay 6-16-2001 19:29

Ok, well there were times we called them roach coaches too, could have been in Va. where we called them gut trucks, I do remember calling them that though. Oh I remember calling them roach coaches too, guess slang is slang, just varies according to who is saying it. Called them maggot wagons too once in awhile. Didn't make any difference what we called them, the food was ALWAYS lousy anyhow, but it was better then nothing, and beat the hell out of C-Rations.

Jerry Ericsson 6-16-2001 19:27

They're called roach coaches here, too.

Hallee 6-16-2001 19:23

Viv - Thanks. :) Actually, Azol is 17 - he was 16 when Tanek was born. His species (actually, he's half of one and half of the other so his father's species I should say) gets their baby teeth when they're about 1 to 2 years old and then get two adult molars before they're twelve and the baby teeth don't fall out until about nine or ten - at around 16, 17 or 18, they get a final set of molars. The exception is their fangs which are replaced every ten years. Although, Tanek's mother is of a species where the women have no third molars, so she will most likely never have them - however, she's 15 when the series ends so we'll never know. :)
If you like, I could send you a fact sheet about the three major alien species in my story.

Allein Allein's World 6-16-2001 19:02

Hello everyone,
From the time I was 5 years old until I was about 71/2, we lived in Japan. My father was an Air Force Captain. Your posts and that short story remind me of the little I remember of those times. I really wish I remembered more. We had a house boy named Tommy and a maid named Mechico(sp?). One of the things I noticed in your story was the name Yokota. That was the name of one of the bases we lived on. Right outside of Tokyo. Earlier, we lived on Boffou. Don't know where that was. My sister was born in the hospital at Johnson Field outside of Tokyo. All of this went on from 1948 thru 1950ish. I have a few very vivid memories of that time, but very few. That's where I started 1st grade at 5 years old. I think they would take anyone who showed up. Enough blathering from me.

Ps, They call them Roach Coaches in South Texas also. What a concidence.

Rosemary 6-16-2001 16:36

VIV: Maggots look like fat rice grains.

Mary 6-16-2001 14:24

Allein: Neat story! It's not at all soppy, it's interesting! I like the second set of teeth at 30 idea. That is a good evolutionary idea. I needed a new set of teeth about then, and all babies ought to use ESP to tell us where it hurts! Good aliens...wish I could join that group.

Heather: Cars are a pain. I didn't know it got hot in Canada! Could you send a little here.

Rosemary: Those salmon eggs are sold in jars for fishing. They are red and say bait on the side. HOWEVER they are called Ikura here in Japan and usually seen at the sushi bar. I eat them only when I have to be polite in a social situation. I've always used them as bait. I took my kids back to America once to visit the grandparents. My father kept his bait salmon eggs in the refrigerator. I caught my oldest daughter sneaking them for a snack. She said they taste just like the nice red sushi salmon eggs! All the more reason NOT to eat them! If you have a chance to buy some as BAIT, do so. Trout and Browns go for them!

Jerry: It's not called a gut wagon here but a ROACH COACH!

Teekay: Thank you! I'm still just dabbling though. When I'm a real writer, will be when I actually have the discipline to sit my little you know what down for a couple hours a day and just concentrate on my work at least three to four days a week. Right now the writing is an escape I use when teaching gets too stressful.

Mary: Thank you for reading that until 2:00 AM. Also thanks for the comments. Your maggots on a gut wagon was interesting. How thick is a maggot? I picture them as thin little white worms, am I right? Yuck! Why do I want to know this??

Viv 6-16-2001 14:12

Oh Heather!
I don't know what to say.

Teekay, that was one very REAL sequal. That does need to be memorialized in *P*. Your dialog was very convincing. I do know an Ima and she sounds just like your posts! When I wrote Ima Spider I kind of guessed it might be you but the reaction convinced me that I might actually be dealing with a person existed. I don't really want to hurt anyone who chooses to come to this site...mentally ill or not.

May I help with the ending where Ima Ryder reincarnates into Ima Spider?

The day I read your post that said, "I think Ima Ryder might be heading Viv's way", I was wondering what you meant. It was a little disturbing to think that this Ima might be arriving. I hoped you weren't Ima herself heading over for a real visit. I turned on my answering machine just as a I wouldn't answer a sudden demanding call from Narita International from an unexpected guest.

I went to wash my windows upstairs. Just as I was thinking, "I wonder what Teekay meant by that," a huge hairy benjo spider dropped out of the gutter, flew past my ear and landed with a bump right on the window.

I lost my temper and gave that spider a good swat with my rag. Down it went two stories and landed with an audible splat right on the concrete walkway below.

I looked down at it and said to myself, "Well, That HAD to be my visit from IMA Ryder. How typical that she'd turn herself into IMA spider!"

I walked downstairs, flipped off the answering machine, got my trusty bug box and went outside to get IMA. I figured she ought to visit a couple of classrooms...dead or alive she'd be a great success. There's nothing like a big, hairy bug to entertain kids.

Well, I went outside and Ima was gone. It was a little like the scene in Halloween. One minute the buggy man is there and the next he's gone.

Since it was a crazy day, I decided to ignore the fact that the cat might have eaten the evidence and just enjoy what my muse was telling me. Ida had reincarnated.

Well, I sure wouldn't tell this tale to a bunch of strangers. I'd probably find myself in a padded room.

This site is certainly interesting.

Heather: You are right about going on the net only to send a post. I can do that and will once I have to move from this house. Here I can access the American internet system. Once I get to my new house it's far enough away I won't have a telephone. After that, I'll do my posting from campus. It's also free! There's a way around every minor detail and it's usually free.

Viv 6-16-2001 13:48

Huh? There really are gut wagons that have maggots on them? Wow, and we always called those trucks that came by selling sandwiches, pop and stuff like that gut wagons, or at least when I was in the Army we did. Now I have seen my share of maggots back on the farm, you know up on the hill where dad always drug the cows that happen to die of natural causes, not the .22 in the brain that we used when we were short of hamburger. In fact maggots make wonderful bait when fishing, if you can get enough of them on the hook at once. Now I had an uncle (he is dead now, I wrote a short story about him once, but can't seem to find it anymore) who raised sheep. When one of them died, he would butcher them out and eat them. I always wondered when his wife served mutton if he killed it or found it's dead bloated body in the barnyard. I worked for him when I was a kid, driving tractor on his farm, putting up hay every year for five years. He paid great $5.00 a day + room and board, but like I say the board wasn't all that great. Me and another kid who was working there decided to quit one weekend because he refused to give us a ride to town for the weekend like he promised. Well he got mad and just left, taking his wife along. There we were, neither of us with a car, and it was a long way back to town. Just our luck, another Uncle delivered bulk fuel to farms, and happened to deliver that Friday, so we caught a ride with him back to town. I guess he looked all over the farm, then drove the road back and forth twice looking for us. Kind of a mean joke, but not as mean as he was. I recall one night after work, when he came home from town and told his poor wife (She was mom's sister, he no blood relative) that their two children were in a horrible wreck and they both died. Well she just went to pieces, as well she should, he let her cry for over an hour before he told her he was joking. I guess it is little wonder that his funeral attracted only a few relatives. Yes, I did attend but only to support my cousins.

There I go again, rambling on best shut up before I fill Jacks wonderful site to the brim.

Jerry Ericsson 6-16-2001 10:10


Hi All;

ROSEMARY: Eating a pizza with a man inside sounds pretty scary or pretty exciting depending on ones taste. :-D

TAYLOR: Thanks anyway, but I wanted something sort of spooky yet appropriate. Convergence just isn't spooky enough.

VIV: No Way!!! You need the little kid who tells the story. Oh don't get rid of the little kid. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! (anguished plea)
And I'm as real a writer as you are. I keep the fact that I like to write like a dark and dirty secret. There are very few people in this world who know of my passion for the written word. As a matter of fact, I could probably count them all on one hand. Not counting you guys of course.
This is beginning to feel a bit like an A.A. meeting.

Gotta go and um.. ah... err... oh yeah, write something.

light bulbs (settle down G.)

aaaargh hand cramp.

Teekay 6-16-2001 2:39

VIV: I just came from the Workbook and must say, you have written some good things over there. I love your imagery. Especially in the piece you are considering for **P**. The spot where the little naked boys' heads are popping up from the water like bubbles. And the staple-like rungs of the ladder. I like that. If it weren't 2am, I would even say more, but the fact that I stayed up til 2 just to finish reading your stories should say something in itself.

HEATHER: Read your "13" too. I like that quite a bit! It is a nice conversational style with just the right mix of suspense and tension. I can tell you one thing, I would have left the boxes! I would have been way too scared. If the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, I figure that is a whole lot of years of instinct telling me to get the hell out of Dodge.

Good work guys.

Mary 6-16-2001 1:46

Well, today was also good, I got to clean teeth and take X-rays on 2 people and assist on 2 fillings. :) Of course I didn't do everything perfect - on one person the X-ray was slightly off so not all the teeth got on the film and on the other I mounted them in the little cardboard thingy wrong, but at least the picture was good. And I was working with a new dentist and some new equiptment so I wasn't very fast at the filling, but we did a good job.

I think the main dentist there looks a lot like Dr. Nick from The Simpsons.

And now my story:

Tanek poked her rubber duck with her finger and giggled as it moved. Baths provided lots of amusement for her - she loved the water. She splashed up some water from her small bathtub and looked up at her father who was now dripping with soapy water. She grinned.

Azol dried his face with a nearby washcloth. Dipping his hand in the water he splashed Tanek's chest a little. "Why is it that whenever you take a bath, I always end up getting a shower?"

The baby spouted a long stream of gibberish interrupted by an occasional small laugh. Daddy, you're silly! she thought.

Azol could read his daughter's thoughts and was surprised that babies thought quite a bit and were much more intelligent than most people would think. Tanek didn't really talk yet. Sometimes her gibberish resembled words but Azol couldn't tell if she was really trying to talk. Usually to communicate, she would cry or point to something she wanted. She was especially fond of bright things or toys that moved.

Azol picked up the rubber and squeezed it so it squeeked. "Funny little duck, huh?"

Tanek grabbed it and made it squeek - the duck's head went immediately to her mouth, as did most objects. This time it went right back out again. Tanek winced in pain.

"What's wrong, Princess Sweet Pea?"


"You're teething again - wonderful." Azol looked inside Tanek's mouth and saw the edge of a tooth just coming up. "You realize that you get to repeat this process when you're about Daddy's age, don't you?"

Tanek tilted her head to the side. What now huh?

"That's right."

No way Daddy. Not doing teeth thing again.

"That's teething, not teeth thing."

Whatever. The princess began playing with her duck again.

Rean entered the nursery just then. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you had a naked girl in here Azol."

Azol threw a washcloth at him. "Quiet you!"

"Hey. I come in peace. How is my favorite neice, second cousin, cousin person," he kissed Tanek on the head. "Our family situation is really screwed up."

"You're telling me?"

"You remember that tomorrow is Father's day, right?"


"Did you get something for Dad?"

"Of course I did. I felt I kind of owed him something for the whole giving me life thing."

Rean rolled his eyes. "What did you get him?"

"A new watch. And you?"

"I'm doing my shopping tomorrow. That's why I wanted to know so I didn't get him the same thing."

"Didn't get anything for your own father...tsk, tsk."

"Technically he's my uncle."

"He raised you, didn't he?"

"Touché." Rean patted Tanek's head. "Night little one." He ran out of the room.

Azol looked at his daughter. "I don't expect anything from you except unconditional love." He picked her up and wrapped her in a towel and held her in his arms. "I love you, do you love Daddy?"

Tanek gazed into her father's eyes. "Wuv Dada?"

Azol was surprised. Had these words really come from his little girl's mouth.

Tanek giggled and bounced around a little. "Wub Dada!"

Azol hugged his daughter to him. "I love you too Tanek. And you're a gift beyond words."

Sappy, I know. But, it's father's day oriented and has aliens as characters. :)

Happy Father's day to all the Dads out there. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-16-2001 1:23

Wow! I won't complain about my connection fees anymore! $39.00/month... Canadian... for a cable hook up! And my hookup was free. I've never asked if there's a better deal for doing 6 months at a time.

Working on 'Shadow' tonight. A scene just popped into my head. It's a scene that I'm inserting into a spot I thought I'd finished with, but once it came to me, it became neccesary. Sometimes I get so caught up with moving the story line along from A to B to C, that I forget to let the characters breath along the way. This new scene is a nice, deep breathe. Feels good to write this kind of stuff.

Heather, I hope it's the fuel pump. If it's that new, shouldn't it be under warranty?

I'm gonna go write again. TTFN

Tina 6-16-2001 1:14

JERRY: My service charges 25/month for 56K....35/month for cable connection. If you pay by the year you get one month free, but I have never done that. As a matter of fact,

HEATHER: Mine is three days late! ;-)

Mary 6-16-2001 0:54

RANDALL: Have you ever actually seen a maggot on a gut wagon? When I used to work alongside the butchers in the meat department of our local grocery store, I helped load scrap onto the trucks (gut wagons) that would come every Tuesday. They would pick up bone-dust from the saws, entrails, fat, skin, bones and trim from a whole weeks worth of meat cutting. I have never seen anything more reminiscent of a horror flick than thousands of maggots roiling in barrels of week old slime as we loaded them onto those beastly vehicles. And the stench? I had to wear a rubber coat to help load or they wouldn't let me back in the store and that's STILL not the worst job I've ever had.

Mary 6-16-2001 0:45

Heather - welcome back, glad you made it. My ISP charges $26.00 a month for 56K connection, a bit high, but right in line with the others here in town and none of them can give a 56 K connection. How could anyone forget to pay their ISP bill, that's like forgetting to buy groceries when the cupboard is bare. This is the ONLY bill I take care of, just to make sure it gets paid on time! (Well I do enjoy talking with the fellow who runs it, he is the only one here in town that knows as much about computers as I do [well almost as much]).

Oh well. I was working on that story, well it seems that I play with this damn computer way too much, formatted the hard drive yesterday and put on windows 2000 (had win ME) then I remembered why I didn't put 2000 on before, it wouldn't support my 3d video card, sooooo, formatted the hard drive on my computer today and installed win 98. I forgot to backup that story, so it is back to scratch with it again. Probably for the best, it was getting a bit long and sluggish, needs new life anyhow.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-15-2001 23:47

*Heather strolls in*

Viv? It's okay! I was just behind on my payment. No need to dash to my rescue. Just had to await a day when my husband was off work (and the server office open) to drive up and pay it. I pay for my internet service in six month increments, and I always forget to write it down on the calendar. They do send notices to renew, but they often get deleted after reading them, and then two weeks go by before I remember I haven't paid them yet!
I'm great with paying insurance and property taxes and so on, but why is it I forget to pay my server? Oh yes, that's right. It's a pain in the ass to drive up there.
And today it was more of a pain than ever before: After I went up there I was stopping in at the little neighbourhood store before I went home, and when I came back out my car refused to start. I was only three blocks from home, and the garage where we regularly have to tow the car is a mere two blocks in the other direction. It was too dang hot to push it those two blocks, so I walked home and got it towed. What a shame to pay $40 bucks to get a tow down a whole two little streets! Sheesh. It's so hot here I'm sweating blood. (Oh, darling platelets, don't fail me now!)

Anyhow, I'm hoping it isn't the fuel pump AGAIN. If it is, this will be the third one, and we just had it replaced about three months ago or LESS! It had better NOT be the fuel pump, but by the way it turned over but no gas was going in, I'm suspiscious.
Well, enough belly aching. We've got enough if it's the fuel pump. If it's a gasket or something more expensive, we'll be without a car for two weeks until my husband's next payday. We can't touch our nest egg for car repairs or we'll never keep a 'cushion'. Not much of a nest egg anyway.

JACK ~ I'm so sorry for the loss of your cousin. I'll be thinking of you and your family, sending blessings your way.

Gariess, SO great to see you finally popped in! Naughty naughty. Leaving us all in stitches, wondering about lightbulbs and all sorts of shenanegans you could have gotten up to. At the very least, did you have a good vacation?

Litter! Loved your shortie poem!

I finally wrote my short story for P** ! Isn't it about time?
I just have a few last-minute fix-ups to do now, and then I'll pop back online to post it.

By the way, Viv - if you have to watch your hours with the Japanese server, my suggestion is to write your posts offline, and then get back online to send it. Or even just emails. My mother writes her emails while she's offline and then just connects to send them. It's great for saving hours if you tend to be as longwinded in emails and posts as I am!

And Viv, why shouldn't you consider yourself a writer? Of course you are! You write, don't you? Just because you don't make money at it all the time doesn't mean you're some sham artist. You write. Hence, you are a writer.
A real writer is a person who is real, and they write. A fake writer might be IMA. See, she wasn't a real person, so she can't be the writer. It was TEEKAY!
I'm so glad you thought my editing suggestions helpful. Really, it's just something I see when I read a story. I edit everything, but most of it isn't on purpose. I edit magazine articles, news articles, poetry I find in odd places, heck, I even mentally edit brochures. SOme of them are terrible! (Oh, all right, I admit it. I hate brochures, and most of them are awful)

So, getting in the swing of things, I'll go now and brush up my story for P**.
Oh! Before I forget - VIV - titles aren't copyrighted, at least not in the same sense as the work itself, I don't think. More than one story on earth has the same title. Don't worry about it.
It's the story that's different. It's not plaigarism to title your story something that's been used elsewhere, in another sense, in a totally different context. It's a TV show. Leave the title as is, unless you really do want to change it. I'd leave it.

(Okay, going now)
Toodle ooo
and back soon.

Heather 6-15-2001 23:20


TGIF You'all!

(Wrote this post Thursday afternoon. We survived the storm, most went north and east of us. Still the rolling thunder extended well into the AM. Reminded me of a previous life, when I was a German infantryman at Stalingrad. Oh, the artillery fire was horrendous and lasted for days. The bitter winter cold....I died there.....but this is another story.)

Hey, good afternoon! Was taking a nap a minute ago and a weather alert awoke me. An emergency bulletin on the TV raccous and ear shattering. Tornado alert till 11 PM. Great, means no sleep tonight...again. Summer in tornado alley.

Thanks Americo. Knew you would come through. The book on the French Revolution.... Should I be in the Bastille and you break me out, or vice versa? How about two......well, plenty of time to work out the plot. Honestly, I'm not qualified to write the definite novel of the French Revolution. "Every man got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood.)

Callie is doing fine, the power of dogs to capture the human heart never ceases to amaze me. Eating like there was no tomorrow and driving our smaller dogs crazy as she wants to play.

Saw an interesting sight today. I was delivering parts to a customer and passed by a large cemetery just outside town. The one I have written about before. Under the trees, amid the tombstones, power mowers and weed eaters, three men reclined in the grass. They were taking a mid-morning break, in what to them was nothing more than a work environment. What might have been, uh, unsettling (?) to many was common to these men as the rested, drank coffee and smoked among the dead. Who probably needed company anyway! :-)

Breaks are a working persons opportunity to relax. Usually taken at mid-morning and mid-afternoon for day workers. Though I don't believe the cemetery association has a night shift, who knows? If there was, I'm sure along about mid-night the same three would be taking their ease, sipping coffee and having a smoke. Taking a break, kicking back for a few minutes.

Several years ago I was taking a dump truck load of trash to the local, federally approved and licensed dump ground outside of town. Sorry, that should be "Sanitary landfill." At the entrance a dozen garbage trucks were lined up and the men sitting inside ... taking a break. There was no place to sit outside, so....... Drinking coffee from stainless steel thermos jugs and eating donuts or honey bun (pastry roll) inside the truck. While the most disgusting aroma imaginable swirled through around them. Just passing within a few feet of the trucks was enough to blister the paint off my truck...but the trash boys were taking their break totally immune to the horrendous smell that would gag a maggot off the gut wagon. (Sorry Ladies.)

Texas state employees religiously observed the two breaks allowed them. And usually streeeeeeetched them out. On a seal coat crew, when possible, equipment was shut down in the middle of a highway and out came the prevailing stainless steel thermos and donut. If it was REAL HOT we would crouch under the huge trucks and equipment, trying to get out of the sun. Water coolers were full of ice water and cokes and mountain dew and dr. peppers and on occasion something special for the afternoon trip back to the barn. Ah, usually no more than a six-pac, per pickup. At the end of the break, hardhats were filled with ice water, donned, thereby soaking the body underneath... a liquid inoculation to heat.

Lunch was also a break of sorts and records broken as how fast lunch could be eaten, lunch box tucked under your head and a quick 30 minute nap taken. That is AFTER listening to Paul Harvey (news commentator) on a battery powered radio. State hands can and will nap anywhere at lunch. Large concrete floored drainage culverts are prized for cleanliness, lack of dead animals and brush. Any county road hand will have in his mind location and condition of the nearest culvert and drive 5 miles simply to eat and nap in a "clean" spot. During the hot summer months finding someplace cool to rest from a summer day labor is a priority.

Well, bored you'll enough. (Clouds forming north of us, gotta check it out)


Randall 6-15-2001 20:30

Love a story with a twist. Didn't see it coming.
Good job.

**Rosemary** 6-15-2001 20:12

**Rosemary**Back again,
That story is already excellent. You can cut and tweek a story to death. Be carefull you don't cut the heart out of it.
What amazed me, is that you use caviar to fish with.

Re-internet bills--I don't know about Canada, but here, (USA) most of the charges are the same every month. From free to $29 a month then up for the cable kind. I use CompuServe. There was a $400 rebate when I bought my computer if I signed up for three years. I figured up three years at $22.95 per mo., then subtracted $400. It came to around $11 per mo. I figured that would be okay even though 3 years is a big commitment if it turned out to be a lousy connection. (It didn't)
On your new Japanese server, you don't have to be concise, just learn to type faster.

Glad the storm didn't do much damage to you. We didn't even get a dribble from it. Are you still going to have to move again? Hope things worked out for you. :-)

I'm going to skip the Monthly writer's meeting tomorrow because we have to go buy about 50 bales of hay. For those of you who don't keep livestock, bales of hay run about 60 or so pounds each and its just my sister and I doing the work. I plan to be pooped. :-(.

Gone for sure now. (Famous last words.)

Rosemary 6-15-2001 19:55

Thank you so much! I can't wait until Heather gets back on line. She should be seeing these comments because she really made a difference in that story. I should post the one I started with. That is what is great about this site, you actually do learn little tricks that make your writing better from actual writers.

What I'm hoping to hear is that it is good enough for *P* and that's where I want to see it. I'd be proud to have my writing included in an anthology from our site. We have real writers here, who are working. We might not have an instant publication success with *P* but from what I've seen, we have something pretty likely to get in print. Heather has what it takes to get this up to standard.

If she says it's not ready for *P* I'll go for another re-write. I think we could cut it more and leave off the little kid who is telling the story. That would make it a much darker tale; which I am edging around. I tend to walk out of scary movies because I get scared. With this story I gingerly stuck one toe in at a time. It moved from mush to a little scary.

I sure appreciate what you said though. You know what is going to be fun? When I can see exactly what is wrong with a story and how to correct it. I figure it's like learning how to fish; some of it is luck, but you learn things like how to make the bait stay on the hook; when a spinner will work; when you need to stick a salmon egg on that spinner; when to use a float; where to sit; when to come; and when to let go as you cast so you don't make a "bloink/ splash". Right now I'm getting an awful lot of "bloink/splash"es before I get things working smoothly.

I'm a little worried about Heather because I think internet bills might be a little like phone bills. I've been hit by some whopper international phone bills. The worst one was when my daughter wrecked her car on her way to high school! It took a while to calm her down then give her instructions on how to handle insurance, court room, repair work.

Here my server is quite inexpensive, but in about 60 days I'm going to get stuck with a Japanese server. They are lousy and expensive. Rats! I'll learn to be a very concise writer. (Ok folks you can stop cheering!)

Viv 6-15-2001 19:32

Garries - Hi you Magoo! It's nice to see you pop up ;o)
Take care you.

Rachel 6-15-2001 15:28

TAYLOR: Here's a good site that has some research on Tunguska.

Hallee Tunguska 6-15-2001 14:11


I didn't exactly miss Hayden. We spoke a couple of times before he posted. Well, that is to say I did miss Hayden in the usual sense - before we spoke.

What's happening? I heard that some anthology from the NB has been printed, published, posted?



gariess 6-15-2001 12:19

Morning all,

Absolutely loved your shorty poem and I don't like poetry.
Hope this means you are feeling better.

Thanks for the comment on my shorty. I was afraid it was too long, but others were longer so I went for it.

While I was in the Short Story section, I read your entry about the story being read to the kindergarten children. (Sorry, I forgot the name, I'm really bad about that.) Anyway, I thought that was some of the most professional writing I have read on the Work/Note book. When you find the right outlet, (couldn't spell nitch) that story will be published.-------About Heather, It sounded like she just forgot to pay her server bill. These days that's almost as bad as having your electricity cut off. She'll probably be back online soon. -----Just noticed everyone else said that.

Great to see you posting again. You still haven't told us the exciting (almost said 'scary') things you have been doing while gone from here.

Just a reminder that I put a new short story (to you) on the Workbook.


Rosemary 6-15-2001 11:20


Hallee, that was some fun, eh? Loved the 'redneck'.

Gariess, hello!

Arik... a pizza with a man inside?

Here and gone again....TTFN!

Tina 6-15-2001 10:42

Swedish chef is my favorite...rolling.

6-15-2001 9:50

DIALECTIZER? Man am I having a good time with that or what? I just changed you all to Cockney.

This is really going to help with writing dialogue when your character speaks in a dialect. I wish there were more choices on the site. Maybe in the future.


Mary 6-15-2001 9:48

VIV: I don't think that it is necessary to be worried about Heather. As far as I know, she was just having a glitch in her online service.

Mary 6-15-2001 9:43


I'm very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

What's going on with her.

Debra 6-15-2001 9:34

A thought for TEEKAY: figured out a title yet? How about Convergance?

taylor 6-15-2001 8:54

teekay: As I ran the vampire story through my head, I figured its not a spirit thing
Its not a vampire, vampire if you know what I mean

taylor 6-15-2001 8:19


A good morning to all!

JACK: My condolences and (((HUGS))) for you and your family.

ROSEMARY: Cool shorty. :-)

LITTER: Another cool shorty-poem. :-) I'm with you on that Roswell bluff-stuff! When your daughter starts college, be prepared to miss her a LOT! My husband and I were homesick for our daughter something terrible the first few weeks she was gone to school, and we were the ones still at home!

ALLEIN: So glad you're feeling "up" again! :-)

TAYLOR: It certainly is (the world full of evil) and they certainly do (the bad things humans keep doing to each other). But the sun still shines on everyone - maybe there's hope still to turn things around...

HALLEE: Funny site! :-) Elmer Fudd is my fav.

Y'all go out there today and write with your deepest passions!

Mel 6-15-2001 8:04

Yes, a real writer as in Real. No wonder you aren't getting hired as a secretary, it's not what you are supposed to be doing. I've read your stuff and that's real writer material. It reads like the things I stop to read in books. My writing isn't there yet but after Heather worked with me, it sounded a lot better. I learned to trim the beginning (which may not be trim enough yet). I also learned how to make my writing a lot more scary. I was having a lot of trouble coming up with scary imagery.

Mary: I couldn't even try on Aliens. I didn't even find a blip or a bleep in my brain that might suggest Alien stories. I think it's due to rainy season and the fun of ending the school year for my daughter.

Allein: Cross your fingers for my daughter for luck would you as she heads into her J-test on Sunday! She's only doing level 1 & 2 this month. It's a first formal exam and she's never taken a group exam. It's not that it's so hard, but I'd like to see her pass so she'd get the confidence to do more.

Viv 6-15-2001 7:48

Check out this site - it works and it's hillarious!

Hallee The Dialectizer 6-15-2001 5:05

JACK: So sorry to hear about your loss! ((hugs))

LITTER: Aww - how exciting! ((hug)) to you, too.

VIV: I wouldn't worry - she'll be back in force when she gets her server back.

Okay - off to do some writing. (I know - not editing. (sigh) - nothing like breaking a promise made to yourself).


Hallee 6-15-2001 5:03


Evenin' all,

AMERICO: Well yeeha. And I went to apply for the secretarial position, but darn it, I don't fit the job description, which is probably a good thing coz I don't visit Granma all that much.
I'm sure that all the other contributors to SM* would be honoured to stand with me in that good book.
BTW: How much does it pay?

ALL: I'm not really big headed at all, it's just this wicked hair cut growing out. I'm really a very nice, quiet shy person, even my parole officer says so.

ALL GULLIBLE PEOPLE: I was only joking about the parole officer bit.

VIV: A real writer???? Are you being sarcastic?

HOWARD: Listen, you may not have said it, but I know what you're thinking :-)

VIV: HEATHER will only be offline for a little while.

ALLEIN: Thanks for the inspiration :-) Couldn't have done it had your name been Jane, or Sue, or Mary or... need I go on? :-D Glad you're feeling better.

GARIESS: GUESS WOT!!!! HAYDEN was here and you missed him! That'll teach ya.

TAYLOR: I didn't post that post so you wouldn't post in P**. I want you to post in P**. I just couldn't risk HOWARD thinking, well, you know, that I thought vampires were spirits because that would just undo all the good work I had done previously in my spiritual debate with him.
I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Gotta go. Could rivet you all silly with how I almost broke my leg yesterday, but I'm far to hungry. I do believe I hear a pizza calling my name.

Teekay 6-15-2001 4:56

the vampire story of mine is not a P*** story
You will find out why when I post it

taylor 6-15-2001 4:10

Tina - I am fine. Nothing special here... Ohh, I almost ate a pizza with a man inside, but actually, I am happy.

You all remeber the Ender's game book? Well, I read the "Ender's shadow", it is about bean, if you remember him. The book is very nice.

Arik 6-15-2001 4:05

First a dark dark post...

My Alien story has to be put on hold, someone has done the roswell thing...So I'm going to change the subject in it

as for the darkness, today I have been trying to see if there was a mention of 'Tunguska' in the local paper, 1908 was a bad year for where I live.
An outbreak of diptheria, poisonings, murders and mutilations...

If I was going to write an account of the world through my eyes, my interpretation I will call it
"The evil that men continue to do"
subheading: the race that never learns
Its a dark world we live in

taylor 6-15-2001 4:03

I just want to let you know what happened. I left on a trip some time ago. I had a departure planned on a Thursday, but I left a day early and forgot to tell you guys. The trip became extended for much longer than I had planned. I did come back for a couple of days somewhere in the middle to read mail and see some family, but I neglected to contact the NB before I took off again.

Actually, as excuses go this one totally sucks, and if I were you I wouldn't buy a word of it. Still, I wanted to drop in and say hello. Hi, Rachel, Teekay, Heather, Tina, and all.

gariess 6-15-2001 2:38

Just found this site, thought it a good one to bookmark, you may like it too, more online-books to read at your leasure.

Jerry Ericsson The On-Line Books Page 6-14-2001 22:22

Jack - I'm sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Viv - Yum, ice cream. Actually, at the other office I'm doing my externship at there's a pint of mint chocolate cookie waiting for me. :)

Teekay - LOL!! :) Thanks for the good read.

I'm in a much better mood today.

See, here's what happened...I drank 2 straight frappucinos on Tuesday night and was bouncing off the walls until like 2 in the morning when I finally went to sleep and then Pepper started barking at 3 and 4 and woke me up and so I probably only got about 4 hours of sleep that night.

Then Wednesday at my extern site I was tired and on top of that there was so much to do and I felt that I was being jipped because I don't get to do anything dental related - all I do is sterilize instruments and do little household chores and stuff.

Anyway, yesterday was just terrible.

But today, I talked to my supervisor and she agreed to talk to the dentist and see if I can't start doing something besides sterilization.

Tomorrow I'm at the other office - at least there I get to assist a lot more with procedures. Nothing big like root canals or extractions, mainly fillings and I can clean teeth.

I clean my own teeth every day - they shine yellow as buttercups - I need them bleached. :)

I'm still going to write a story using my characters who are aliens but I think it'll be more father's day related.

This weekend is father's day - they've been playing that commercial for the Outback Steakhouse lately. Yum. :) I like their song about Mum better though.

The Mariners lost today. :(

I have mint chocolate cookie ice cream at the office for tomorrow.

Okay, I'm happy again. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-14-2001 21:40

Jack: Ouch. If the cousin was like you, the world lost something special. It's sad that some folks get driven into addictions. I hope now he has a found a much gentler place than this earth was for him.

Teekay, Rachael, Mary, Anyone?: I'm worried about Heather. Got her address? I'm posting mine so that you can send it to me if you do. That's a work address so I should get anything by Monday. I think I'll send her a snail mail and see what I can do to get her back on line again.

Teekay: That story was really better because Heather edited it for me the first time around. She helped me chop out a lot of corn and stupid details. I think it still needs chopping. I also found out from my daughter that Urban Legands is a bad title because it is a tv program and movie in America. Can anyone think of a title. I'm stumped. Sheesh, I would go pick a name that's on tv for my concept. Try again.

Viv 6-14-2001 21:28

Jack - i'm sorry for your loss.

Take care you.


Rachel 6-14-2001 20:58

Just read the news -- Jack, I'm sorry for your loss.

Litter 6-14-2001 20:34

Hi all,

It’s the end of an era for me and mine at the moment. It doesn’t seem like it has been long since I photographed my eldest daughter before her first day at school, but tonight I watched as she walked out of the assembly hall in her High School for the last time, having just collected a hand full of prizes. 13 years of schooling gone in a flash and daughter #1 on her way to Uni in October… Brought a tear to my eye. She’s the kind of kid that doesn’t seem to have to try and never seems to break sweat to excel. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Anyway, From time to time I have thought a lot about the Roswell ‘situation’. Too many things remain unexplained and too many excuses issued by the military to be able to draw any sort of definitive conclusion -- I love it -- information, disinformation, MIB, subterfuge, conspiracy….

Anyway, here is my shortie, inspired by the above:

The Roswell Affair

They came with a bang not a whimper,
Those little Grey beings from the sky -
The ‘monkeys’ from a far-off star system,
Condemned by Earth’s gravity to die.

Did they come on a fast flying-saucer?
Or cross the void from another dimension?
Or were they animals in a test vehicle…
Well, that was the government’s contention.

A weather balloon was the first excuse,
Or a missile from White Sands range -
A super-secret supersonic aircraft,
Or a red herring, just for a change.

Was it a weather balloon on steroids?
Or a missile which didn’t exist?
An aircraft 50 years before its time?
Which excuse, to you, smells fishiest?

But imagine this, just for a minute,
That there is indeed something out there -
A cover up of presidential proportions,
Just imagine it’s true… if you dare!

© LitterAli

Y’all take care now,


Litter 6-14-2001 20:32

Jack so sorry to hear of your loss. I know exactly how you feel, I lost my father to the DT's when he was hospitalized for back pain. It makes one wonder at these people we trust our lives to.

Jerry Ericsson 6-14-2001 20:25

Hello all.

Jack, my condolences and prayers, and a big (((HUG))). Be well.

Arik, that's a loaded question! Floods, storms, death, birth, publication, earthquakes, surgery, graduations, job loss, arguments, rejection slips, world travel ... many things have happened to the notebook family! How about you?

Mark, are you out there? And Hop? And Gariess? And Richard? And Eddie? Hallooooooo

Laura, I sent you that crit. If you didn't get it, let me know and I'll try sending it again.

Heather, I tried to scan in my map, but it's just to big. Next I'm gonna try photocopying it and having it reduced that way.

Time to make dinner. See y'all.

Tina 6-14-2001 20:20

Me again,
I posted a Short suspense story in the short story section, but I forgot to format it with spaces between the paragraphs. Sorry if it's hard to read.

Later for sure.

Rosemary (Again) 6-14-2001 19:27

Greetings all,
I haven't had time to read the notebook yet, so if I'm not answering anything, I'll get to it in a bit.
I'm at my sister's computer so I can copy and paste my alien story now.

--------------------Who's the Alien?-------------------

Frost crackled underfoot as Benji tramped toward camp. The sun beat down with an uncomfortable cold blue glow and he worried that he didn't have the right protection from unseen rays that were doing who knew what to his skin. He passed the remains of the escape capsule that had unceremoniously dumped him on this barren blue planet.

Camp was set up beneath one of the very few plants large enough to provide shelter. It had large fleshy bright yellow leaves attached to a brilliant white trunk and limbs.
Benji longed for the shapes, colors and textures of Earth. Even the smells here had a bluish tinge. At least the atmosphere and water were compatible with his physiology.

He entered the door to the insta-plaste-form shelter that had come with the escape pod. Quickly shedding his outerware, he threw himself on the cot. Weak from exhaustion and strain, he didn't notice the change right away.

Later, with a sigh, he removed his arm from across his eyes where it had lain as he rested. The first thing he noticed was the top of the small table he used for dining. It was covered in strange globes of many different shapes, sizes and colors. He sat up staring for a minute before letting his eyes search the rest of the room. The floor now had a soft fluffy carpet of lightest yellow and his one chair was covered in a crystalized type of thorns.

Benji swung his legs off the cot and set one bootless foot on the new carpet. It was soft, fluffy and throbbing. Slowly he placed the other foot next to the first. As he adjusted to the feel of the new covering, he noticed it was much warmer than the original floor.

Taking his nerves in hand, he crossed gingerly to the table, giving plenty of space to the prickly chair. He carefully touched a couple of the globes on the table. There was an outer skin and an inner mushiness. He picked one up to smell it. A pleasant tangy odor filled his being. His mouth watered.

The escape pod crash had destroyed all the analyzing equipment and half the rations. He had enough nutrient bars to keep him alive for two more weeks. After that, he would have to experiment. Since the crash had also wiped out the emergency signaling system, he had almost no hope of rescue in the immediate future, if ever.

He shrugged. What difference would two weeks make? His hand shook a little as he raised a globe with a pinkish tinge to his mouth. Just as his teeth touched the surface, it squeaked. Holding his breath, he carefully placed the globe back on the table.

Suddenly, booming in his mind, he heard, "Thank you, ALIEN, for sparing my offspring."

Benji fell to his knees, hands over his ears and shook his head. ""Too loud, too loud!" he shrieked. "Who are you? How can you be in my head?" Benji rolled to the floor, still holding his head.

"Sorry. I am the being above your shelter." The tone was much softer this time. "ALIEN, it is hard for our species to come by protected brooders for our younglings. Not many grow to maturity." Benji could feel sorrow in the voice. "If you allow us the use of this place, my people will ensure your safety and health until others of your kind come for you."

Still rubbing his head, Benji began to uncurl. He said, "That may never happen, but you're welcome to my shelter." He moved back to the cot to sit. His shoulders slumped. "I won't live much more than a couple more weeks anyway. You could have just waited."

The voice in his head said firmly, "You will not die, ALIEN. Your pod will help our species survive and we will make sure you live."


I'm not sure if it had anything to do with it, but I was watching the Robinson Caruso Movie at the time.

Rosemary 6-14-2001 19:15

Sorry everyone if I have been a bit sidetracked. I got a bit of a bombshell landed in my lap yesterday when I found out that a cousin of mine who had been close when we were kids, was about to die. He had had a hard adult life and ultimately became drug and alcohol dependant and somehow was forced into a detox situation where they did not realize to what degree he was dependant. He died earlier today and I have been sharing with my other cousins, his sisters, to help them make the decisions that grow out of these circumstances. It is situations like these that make one reflect that there but for the grace of whatever that divinity is there would go I. I am lucky in that I largely missed the genes for addiction. Yet, I say goodbye to Bud Kilpatrick (1952 - 2001) May you find the peace now that you never found in life.

Jack Beslanwitch

Jack Beslanwitch 6-14-2001 18:24

Ops, scratch artist insert artists.

Jerry Ericsson stories 6-14-2001 16:38

Americo: Thanks for the boost. I need it more than you can imagine sometimes.

Ben 6-14-2001 15:15

Thank you guys for remembering *smile*

Anything new happned in the last year? *grin*

Arik 6-14-2001 14:45

Dear Editor,

There is a new short story competition which I though might be of some interest to members of the group. It has a prize fund of £3000 (c.a $4200US) and is free to enter. The url is

Thank you for you time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,


Jonathan Hanna Short Story Competition 6-14-2001 13:53

Americo - I would love to have my work published along with the artist who contributed to SM**.

Randall - I know what you mean about formal education. I went through most of my life as a high school drop-out. Sure I took the GED and passed with no problems in the Army (required to get a promotion) but I never thought of myself as anything other then a drop out for most of my life. I never tried to write at all before I went to college, although I used to regal my kids, nieces and nephews with stories I made up on the spot. They used to love these tall tales, yet I never even considered writing them down. In fact once there was an opening on a local newspaper, and the editor offered me the job, first part time then full if it worked out. Well I thought about it for a few seconds then turned him down, saying I didn't know how to spell well enough to do such a thing. Well that all changed when Workers Comp sent me to college. Oh I figured I would do ok with law classes, as I was a veteran of nearly 18 years in law enforcement. Computer classes didn't scare me a bit, as I played with these infernal machines since the first Commodore 64 hit the market and spent most of my recovery from surgery playing around with a PC. English had me terrified though, as it was my worst subject in high school. Like you said, I couldn't diagram a sentence, and had no idea what consisted of a proper paragraph, and to tell the difference between an adverb and an adjective absolutely had me in a daze. Well I had English Comp 101 in my first semester, and what a surprise. We were taught the basics of writing. Well the instructor first had us write a short story, I think the first was about a person we knew. Anyhow I did a fair job at that, but then she went into a review of basic English, you know the adverb thing. Well I did horrible. I could see my GPA falling from it's 4.0 to a 0.4 quickly if something didn't happen quickly. It was my luck that our instructor was a writer first and a grammarian second. I told her when we began the review that while I had no idea what these words were labeled, I knew how to use them. After we wrote our third essay, I can't recall the subject anymore, she wrote on my paper something like "I see what you mean, you sure know how to use them!" and from then on, my 4.0 GPA was safe in her class. I went on to take all the English classes that were offered in my two years in college (along with, of course all the computer classes I could fit in). I think they all helped a bit, but none as helpful as English Comp 101. I know I have a long way to go before I am as good at writing as I want to be, but the formal education helped me a lot. I think what it showed me wasn't necessarily how to write, but the fact that I COULD write if I wanted to. Oh the nuts and bolts of writing helped, I can't deny that, in fact I still refer to my textbook from time to time, mostly because I want to feel that comfort of the past when I was young again (at least for those two years in college with all those young folks).

Well I ramble on, I know there was more that I wanted to contribute, and if I missed an answer or some such thing, I apologize. Must be old age creeping up on me again.

Oh, I found out why that http:// always appears after my name, this little program called airobo form fill puts them there, along with my psudo email at, the one I use anywhere that looks like I will get spam from. Curse you ai!

Jerry Ericsson 6-14-2001 10:46

HOWARD: Don't ever bury the jokes, even the bad ones. Let's have at 'em! :-) As a plaque in my kitchen says "Life is too short to be taken seriously!" (author unknown)

Mel 6-14-2001 9:05

btw -- I'd be pleased and proud to be included in that illustrious group!

howard 6-14-2001 9:00

RANDALL - Glad to hear about your dog - that can be a real heart-breaker.
What is 'diagram a sentence'? :-) and a paragraph is just a sentence that's indented 5 spaces. isn't it? really?
I think your dialog only suffers from one fault - you don't post it often enough! :-)
TEEKAY - whaddya mean don't know anything? I never said that! Just a little off the beam on angels, that's all. I guess. Sometimes.
MEL - dunno what came over me. I was casting through the remains of my mind and that just popped in there from some forgotten place way back in time. Found some stuff I needed to bury again too. Maybe shoulda included that one.
AMERICO - Trying to remember what I contributed to SM. It's good to see you posting again!

howard 6-14-2001 8:58

Wow! Thank you I really needed that! Boy, praise from a REAL writer. Neat.

Randall: What do you think Mark Twain would say on the subject.

Allein: We'll look for you on the weekend. Sending you a hot fudge sunday with a cherry on top and a bunch of oatmeal cookies. (My absolute favorite when in a funk) Enjoy!

Viv 6-14-2001 8:45

AMERICO: Yes! Learn the rules and then break them! :-) I resemble that remark!!

Mel 6-14-2001 8:29


Hi, you-all! Grab your writing implements and get fired up -I feel it's gonna be a crazy and inspiring day...Are the muses gathering firecrackers or what? Early shorties have me grinning... :-)

AMERICO: Thanks for the grammar support. It's still confusing- not always so easy as it seems, but hearing the "rules" again from time to time sure does help straighten my brain a bit.

HOWARD: Boo Hiss! Grins... :-) Hope you find your mind today...if not, send us another mindless joke - gotta love 'em! :-)

JERRY: Good shorty! I figured someone might take that twist, but you had me fooled till the end. :-) BTW, I asked about the Robinson Crusoe's - just a S'more with PB instead of chocolate, is that it? How 'bout a Crus'more - PB AND chocolate with the marshmellow and crackers?! I'll have to try 'em this July when we're on our camping vacation. :-)

ALLEIN: Get some good sleep, girl! Happy dreams...

MARY: HAHA a microwave! Good one! :-) Oh and I love Shel Silverstein's poetry! :-) Good link. And I think your shorty theme is going to 'rouse some most unusual results!! :-)

RANDALL: YEA for Callie! So glad for you too. :-) I too await Americo's reply to your question on grammar. My two cents: I think dialogue should ALWAYS be written as you speak it to friends. If narrative continues in a first-person POV, it too needs to reflect that character's language, even in thinking. But otherwise, narrative flows better (usually) when it's grammatically well-written, with occasional exceptions, I'm sure. I'm not published yet either, so I can't say what editors prefer, but as a reader I prefer a smooth-flowing narrative with all the i's dotted and the t's crossed. If it isn't smooth, my English-major editor-eyes get hung up and the flow of the story is interrupted for me. Just my opinion here! You, of course, must write with your own style--what's most natural to you. And what you can write of things you've learned in all your travels and experiences, THAT is unique to you and your writing style will glow with those things only you can write, regardless of the language you use to convey them.

TEEKAY: Ha Ha Hee Hee! I do hope you made ALLEIN laugh too! :-) What a lovely, warped shorty! You and Jerry are hard acts to follow but...

my alien shorty (blessedly short, you'll thank me I'm sure for its brevity!!! this should be almost as bad --no, worse--than HOWARD's joke!):

"Hey, who's that?"
"Oh my god-it ain't one of us! Lookit that dark skin tone!"
"And the blobby body!! Oh, I don't like the feel of this, one o' them aliens mixing in here with the rest of us! What're we gonna do?"
"DO? I'm outta here!"
"Me too! Yikes! A landslide!!!"

"Hey, Mom, look! There's a raisin in my Honey-O's!"

Melanie 6-14-2001 8:26


I agree with Jerry Ericsson and therefore with you too:"Write the way you write, for to do any other would not be your writing." Yet knowing a bit of grammar can't hurt. Writers are expected to know the rules... and to break them whenever they think it necessary. I like your "oral style" (as you called it). Another guy whose style I admire is Ben. I believe that life experience is a much better school than University. But the best is probably to have both of them. Have you written our novel about the French Revolution? There's a good theme for you...

People: I'm thinking of considering editing "Strawberries and a Moon" at last. There is some good stuff there. The problem is time and someone to do the public relations chore for me. Those who have worked with me know that I am a ruthless, impatient editor and would not like to have me as correspondent... I need a kind secretary, not older than 33, green, black, brown, blue or gray eyes, and above all, very, very patient. She'll get 10% of the proceeds just to deal with the publisher and the collaborators and answer all my questions in 24 hours (maximum...). Private answers only (photo may help...).

So what do Eddie French, Jerry Ericsson, Teekay Mancia, Rhoda Fort, Howard Tuckey, Heather Myles, Rachel Olson... well, can't remember all the names of the potential collaborators... have to say to being included in the same volume, side by side and without knocking down each other?

(As if he cared about their opinion... JON).

P. S. And be ready for a surprise. A new project, no less!!!

Americo 6-14-2001 8:22


VIV: I just read 'Urban Legends'. I think it's fantastic. Well done.

Teekay 6-14-2001 3:02


Hi All,

RANDALL: I cross my fingers that your dog may recover.


HOWARD: Whadda shocka!

RANDALL: You know I had a positive feeling that she'd make it, but I didn't want to say anything and raise your hopes. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, I am sooooo amazing!!!

I made a boo boo yesterday. I said vampires were spirits and they're not. Just thought I should let you all know that I know they're not and especially HOWARD who just might start to think that I don't know what I'm talking about ALL the time :-)

There was a knock at the door
'Knock - knock.'
"Oh, come in Allein, what's happening with you?"
"Don't talk to me. I'm in a foul mood, I've got better things to do, the only reason I'm here is you couldn't think of anything decent to write for your damn shorty."
"Why Allein, this is so unlike you. Pray tell, has anything happened to upset you?"
"Did anythi....? You bet something happened."
"What? What happened?"
"Well, I was walking home and this darn flying saucer was following me all the way."
"And finally it stopped just in front of me and this little door on the side slid open and this little green man came out."
"Oh yes, go on."
"Well I've heard about not approaching cars that pull up beside you, but no one said a darn thing about flying saucers so I asked if there was anything I could do."
"Well what happened then?"
"Well the nasty little piece didn't say a thing, just stuck this strange probe like thing in my ear. It was all very sudden, and then he was gone and I haven't been myself since."
"Oh no, Allein. I know what's happened. The little green man has gone and mixed you all up and now you're ALLIEN."

Taaaa Daaaaa and if you read this story my sympathies are with you.

Gotta go, I've just devoured about 3646521738813 jellybeans and I'm feeling a tad restless.

Teekay 6-14-2001 2:32


Anyone loving Shel Silverstein...please check out this awesome link. I highly recommend it.

Mary shel links 6-13-2001 23:52

Can't spell either! :-)

Randall 6-13-2001 23:27


Jerry, right on. I recently told a lady, that I was developing a style in/of writing. A style that is ME, and no other. :-) I heard that laughing up there! Americo is correct, and I wish I had just a little of his knowledge. But I have little grasp of the science, if you will, of the proper use of words, connection and relationship to each other in a sentance. Some of his terms have no meaning to me, and it probably effects my writing.

"Why hell Randall, you claim to be a writer! But don't know how to diagram a sentance? Form a paragraph? Holy cow!"

(Red face, squirming) Well, yeah, sorta. Secret's out. My formal education stopped after the first 6 months of collage. Wanderlust grabbed me and soon I was inside the Navy recruiters office in Abilene. My education continued, in a less than formal sense but on a wider level to be sure. Still the South China Sea may be a learning experience. Knowledge may be acquired at all levels of life, not all in classrooms but on the wide green ocean. Add 27 years on the hiways of Texas and I learned a LOT. About life, people, friends and society at MY level.

I attended a heavy equipment operators school many years ago. A man I know very well, and admired said something most equipment operators never thought of. He related he worked with dirt, liked to work dirt, and had spent his life in dirt. The simplest of terms well put. If it wasn't for highways, no building foundations, no farm produce, no need for heavy equipment operators!

Words are dirt to us, as related to occupation.

I believe we all struggle with words. Lord knows I do. As I translate the inner workings of imagination to print sometimes it is very difficult to format what I see quite plainly in my mind. I sure I wish I had paid attention to my english teachers instead of staring out the window in hi school. But I didn't and I have found a way around the lack of education. Write as I speak.

Lord, look at the time! :-)

Gotta go, and goodnight.


Randall 6-13-2001 23:26


Yes! It makes so much sense I can't stand it.

That's how we say we like it up here to use an example.

Debra 6-13-2001 22:09

Randall - So glad to hear your puppy is doing great, must be a load off your mind. You know I am no expert in writing, and I am sure my writing points that out, but one thing I have learned is that there are no absolute rules in writing. There is however proper usage, and it should be observed when you are giving background, or of course when in formal writing. I think what you are saying is that in dialog, one should write as the character speaks to you in your mind. For example if they are living down in your neck of the woods, then they would speak as you speak, if however they were living in New York they would talk like old Cipowitz on NYPD blue, or his buddies.

You know I was reading this Writers Handbook, which is made up of essays on writing by a whole bunch of best selling authors, each gave advice, one essay would say, "Write for your audience!" the next would say "Never consider your audience when writing, or it will mess up the natural flow of your writing. So I guess what I gleaned from the several I read while we were camping was write the way you write, for to do any other would not be your writing. Does that make any sense?

Jerry Ericsson My story 6-13-2001 21:50


Well....Callie made it!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slept very little last night, when awake I thought of her in the vets office with an IV stuck in her leg. Alone in a strange place...with a dozen barking dogs in the next room. I managed to get by the vets about nine this morning. The office lady looked startled as I walked in.

"Oh!" She frowned. "Mr. H, have you talked to your son? He was just here. We thought he might have called you by now?"

Well I thought, this is it, Callie died last night. My son is no doubt searching for me now, probably upset. Then the lady smiled. "You have a real fighter there. She was sitting up in her cage as we came in. The vet had us remove the IV and she ate a good breakfast."

It seems we caught the illness just before a bacterial infection set in. A day, perhaps only a few hours delay might have tilted the scale the other way. And the ability to combat Parvo has improved the last several years. Anyway, Callie stayed at the vets all day, and was sent home at five this afternoon. They left a "shunt" in her leg just in case and want to see her Friday for a quick check up.

(Whew) Managed to duck a serious blow to our family. I really expected the worst this time.

Americo, may I bend your ear for a minute? No, no BS kinda thing, an honest inquiry. Not everyone speaks correct grammar. I understand what you're saying, obviously your talent comes through your posts. But...(I struggle) is it not possible to write as one speaks? Most people I know butcher the Kings English when speaking. Isn't writing, speaking? Telling an oral tale on paper in a cyber way? I write as I speak, that, no doubt is evident. (BIG GRIN) Best reflected as German/Irish/Texanese/Manual Labor/Lower level of society/Good Old Boy...kinda person? I hate to ask this, (red face) but.....Is it real important to write that correctly? (Boy, I'm blowing this!) What I mean, is it necessary to have every rule, so dear to an English Prof's heart, followed in a manuscript? I'm not published, but have 4 books behind me and one forming in my mind. The only way I can write is, as if I'm telling a story to a bunch of friends. Using the language and techniques I know best. Is this bad?

Thanks to all the nice comments about Callie dear friends. As I write Sean has her outside laying the grass of our front yard. Another hurdle in life cleared. I await the next one.


Randall 6-13-2001 21:21

Ok, now someone asked me what a Robinson Carouse is, well you take a soda cracker, spread it with peanut butter (Chunky but creamy works too) then put on a flaming marshmallow and squish it down with another soda cracker.

Blond jokes - ya gotta love em - for instance, Q: What is the mating call of a blond?
A: "Oh, I am sooooo drunk tee hee."

Sorry bout that for you sensitive blonds out there

Jerry Ericsson 6-13-2001 21:11



A blonde went to the appliance store sale and found a bargain. "I would like to buy this TV," she told the salesman. "Sorry, we don't sell to blondes," he replied. She hurried home and dyed her hair, then came back and again told the salesman "I would like to buy this TV." "Sorry, we don't sell to blondes," he replied. "Darn, he recognized me," she thought. She went for a complete disguise this time, haircut and new color, new outfit, big sunglasses, then waited a few days before she again approached the salesman. "I would like to buy this TV." "Sorry, we don't sell to blondes," he replied. Frustrated, she exclaimed "How do you know I'm a blonde?" "Because", he replied, "that's a microwave.

Mary 6-13-2001 20:30

To save my sanity (what little is left after today) I'm moving my Thursday to sometime this weekend. Why? Because I can that's why!

I'm very cranky and tired so I'll leave before I offend anyone.

Sorry if I've offended anyone.

Allein Allein's World 6-13-2001 20:27

I have been a bit behind lately, seems I was always a day early with my shorty, then I was on time, then late, well let me get back with the program, here is my shorty a day early again:

There be Aliens
By Jerry Ericsson

“Honest, I heard them, Bill said that there were aliens holed up in the old Bixby place.” Bobby whispered.

“What kind of aliens, the kind like on My Favorite Martian, or Third Rock, or maybe the kind on E.T.?” asked Myron; his head turned almost all around.

“Do you two have anything that you wish to share with the class?” scolded Sister Mary Beth.

“No sister.” Said Bobbie.

Myron spent the rest of the class worrying about aliens who had come to settle in Bison, he knew there must be alien life on other planets, after all there were so very many stars in the sky, and the way he had it figured almost all of them had planets. How could it be any different, he read about many of them in his favorite sci-fi books and magazines, and on the internet, he found that site with photo’s of the Alien Autopsy, and if it was on the internet, then it must be true. It was all he could do to concentrate on his class work, but he was determined to finish all he could so he wouldn’t have to take it home. Homework first was the rule in his house.

That day after school, Myron met Bobbie in the park across from St. James Grade School.

“Well what kind of aliens?” Myron asked again, punching Bobby in the right arm.

“I don’t know, Bill didn’t say, in fact he wasn’t even talking to me, he was telling mom and dad.”

“Your mom and dad know?

“Well I don’t think they believed him, but they said he should call the cops.”

“Call the cops, why the heck would they call the cops anyhow, shouldn’t they be calling the Air Force or something?

”No silly, the Air Force stopped caring about aliens after they closed Operation Blue Book way back in the 1900’s, I saw a program all about it on the History Channel.”

“You watch the History Channel? Why would anyone watch that stupid channel, don’t we get enough History from Sister Bellingham’s Sixth Grade History?”

“I don’t watch that stupid channel, it was just on, Dad was watching it, he always watches that stupid channel and if I want to watch TV, I have to watch what Dad watches, he guards that clicker like it was his key to heaven or something.”

“Well we gotta go look. We gotta go see if there are Aliens before Bill tells someone else, like the cops or the army, or maybe a scientist like in ET!”

The two boys made there way across Main Street, the only street in town with a traffic light, then over to the East side of Bison where the Bixby place stood, right on the edge of town. From across the street it looked forbidding, dangerous, off limits.

“Well do we go in or what?” asked Myron.

“Ah, gee, I don’t know do we dare, what if those aliens get us and take us back to their planet or something.”

“Cool!” replied Bobby

“No, really I mean I don’t want to leave mom and dad back here on earth what would they do when they get old like Uncle Robert and need someone to take care of them, who would take care of them if I ain’t around any more.”

They heard a car approaching from the south, “Quick, get behind those bushes.” Said Bobby pointing to a stand of Lilacs where an old house stood before the tornado of ’98 took it, leaving a hole in the ground.

“Look, it’s stopping in front of the Bixby place.” Whispered Myron.

“Who do you think is in it?"

“Don’t know.” Said Myron

Four large men got out of the car and rushed up to the front door of the Bixby place, one of them pounded on the door and shouted “Immigration, inmigración!” then the second man kicked in the door, a few minutes latter, the four came out, escorting five Mexican nationals. One of the men spoke into a radio and a van pulled up behind the car, the aliens were placed in the van then the van and car drove off.

“Well how the heck could I know he meant ILLEGAL aliens?” pouted Bobby, as the two disappointed boys headed for home.

Jerry Ericsson 6-13-2001 18:33

Interesting that http:// follows my name on all my lattest posts. Wonder if it is trying to tell me something.

Jerry Ericsson http:// 6-13-2001 17:54

An oldie...(while I'm out searching for my mind)

A king was worried that his daughter might not be treated gently on her wedding night, so he ordered one of his eunichs to secret himself in the royal honeymoon chamber to observe and report back to him.
The next morning he asked how things proceeded.
"Fine, your majesty, fine."
"Is that all you can say?" cried the king. "What happened, man?"
"Well, my leige, they entered the royal bedchamber and closed the door. Then she doffed her clothes and said 'I offer my honor'."
"And then?"
"Well, your new son in law doffed his clothes as well, and replied 'I honor your offer'."
"And then?"
"And then, well, that's the way it continued all night,,, honor, offer, honor, offer, honor..."

howard 6-13-2001 17:48


re: relative clauses

use "that" ONLY in defining relative clauses, e.g., "the man that is there is my friend" or "the peach that she gave you is sweet".

In case of doubt if a relative clause is defining or non-defining, use who (for people) or which (for things). Those pronouns are always safe. Very easy!

Americo 6-13-2001 15:59

HOWARD: Yes, I am! :-) Of course, I am reading way too slowly for my liking as the motion of the commuter bus keeps putting me to sleep, and reading exchanges places with the never-never-land of dreams!! If I would go to bed in the evenings at a more appropriate(earlier)bedtime, I would be able to stay awake longer on the bus! Maybe tonight I'll be a good girl and get my proper rest...

Mel 6-13-2001 15:57

MEL - Are you enjoying the book which I sent you?

howard 6-13-2001 13:41


DEBRA, JERRY: That grammar site ( is PERFECT! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Also found a second site through it - (TRY Quinion's "Weird Words" section for a quick pick-me-up whenever you need one!) :-)

For anyone tuned in to my grammar dilemma of the day, re: using "which" or "that" -- I brushed up my grammar facts and learned: these words are relative pronouns used to introduce restrictive (essential) or nonrestrictive (nonessential and set off by commas) clauses. These relative pronouns are "NOTORIOUS CONFUSABLES" and "which" can be used for either clause, thus my remaining confusion!! Traditionalists use "which" only for the nonessential clauses (set off by commas, unnessary to the sense of the sentence). However, everyone seems to agree on "that" ONLY used in essential clauses; its use limits the scope of the noun. So...

At the intersection, Mel had to choose which road to take. She would take THAT road to the left, WHICH led home, and next time, she could follow the road WHICH/THAT she preferred, WHICH would continue the "which hunt." She had learned that obsessive correction is best avoided, a fact WHICH can only serve to confuse a writer more!!!

Mel 6-13-2001 11:33

maybe try again

Link 6-13-2001 9:12


Here's a site that I got from Jerry a long time ago.

You might find your answers there.

Debra 6-13-2001 9:11

Hi, Hallee and Viv!! You must've posted as I was posting... A good day to you both...

Mel 6-13-2001 8:41


Hi, gang - where has a week gone?! Ah yes, hubby's doctor appointments, training a new youth services librarian at work (yea! now I can take off that second hat I've been wearing for a year and a half and try to find my own desk and office floor did all these book-trucks accumulate in my office? Yikes! Looks like a disaster zone....oh! It IS a disaster zone! If you're coming to visit, put on your hard hat, your life is in your own hands - visiting my little overstuffed cubicle may be hazardous to your health!!! Beware falling books-zone!).

HEATHER: Thanks for info - I passed your warnings onto my poet-son. He doesn't smell a scam (who does, at 17?!) so he is leaving his poem where it is and taking his chances. The ironic part: his poem is about "conscience," warning (his older sister) about going down the wrong path...ah, er, well, I guess we all take some wrong turns here and there! BTW, I love YODA too!:-) So wise...

HEATHER, TINA, TEEKAY: I love Calvin and Hobbes too! :-) There are a series of very funny ones about the library, my favorites, of course!

RHODA: Thanks. It WAS a scary week, last past! :-{

HAYDEN: Hello! Your artwork is BEAUTIFUL. Good luck in the daddy department - enjoy! :-)

RANDALL: Thanks for the continued inspiration! I'm trying harder to write it all down...I get distracted too easily. At least my muse is working harder, once again. Now to find the key to keeping up with her! PRAYERS for your doggie...

CHRISTI: Thanks. Yes, am back to the daily grind, trying to make writing time more prolific and making time to write a higher priority.

ALLEIN: Take your time re: the wedding thing. Choose wisely - be certain true love runs deeply, in both directions, and you'll have a happy marriage to whomever you choose.

JERRY: Robinson Crusoe's? I've camped many years and never heard of these....?!?!

ARIK, GAIA, anyone else new or returned: Hi!

I enjoyed the sand dollars-sand stars-star fish conversation! :-) They sound so beautiful - never seen them "in person." I love watching rivers and lakes...Ocean-wise, I've seen the Pacific once and the Atlantic them both, although the Pacific is nicer for swimming. The time my family went cross-country camping and saw the Pacific, my mom, bless her, about my age then, went running ahead of us in glee, yelling "ohh, I want to touch the Pacific ocean!!" She stretched her wiggling fingers toward the water's edge--and the incoming tide washed over her shoes. :-)

ANYONE: A Grammar grappler for today (and I'm asking, 'cuz this keeps stumping me) -- which, "which" or "that," should be used in the middle of a sentence when you're referring to a noun just used? i.e. At the intersection, Mel wondered which road to follow: the one WHICH turned left or the one THAT veered right? (I hang my head as an English major - I can never keep this grammar rule straight!!! Anyone got any helpful hints for a dingy remembery?)

EVERYONE: May today's words flow like ocean-current from your muses to your printed pages! Swift and smooth... :-)

Melanie 6-13-2001 8:32

Heather: Oh, no e-mail, but you still managed a quick post. Oh, why now when I was waiting to hear what you thought about the story. Hurry up and come back as soon as you can.

Anyone on the notebook. Let me know Heather's address. I'd send a donation toward the start up of her e-mail. Bills come and go but friends on or off line are worth it. Heather, we'll try the mail your direction. I have a feeling that Canadian mail is more honest than our mail.

Randall: Sometimes it's the quality of life, not the quantity that counts. You gave that pup a lot of peace and happiness. We're all slow sometimes at getting around to immunizations; what counts is you gave the love and affection that a dog needs.

Mary: Aliens huh? Gee! I've never even thought of a science fiction story. What is fun about you is the variety of subjects you choose. I'll try this, but I'm not promising to post this time. I'm pretty well stumped. Hummm aliens. I'll have fun thinking about it tomorrow.
You know, I'll be teaching and thinking about alien life...shouldn't be too hard. "Hi! I have a fun project we all can try today! Hey, You in the front with your eyes rolling and tongue protruding....are you in pain?"

Hey, since Heather isn't able to critique, the stories I posted in the short story area are fair game to everyone in the notebook. Have at it. Maybe we can all improve on it before Heather gets back and spare her a bit of anguish.

Viv 6-13-2001 8:22

Hi everyone! Well, we survived Allison. Tallahassee had one death from the flooding and several close calls, but we had partly sunny skies this morning, and there's only a 40% chance of rain this afternoon. Our house survived okay - we had about an inch of water in the laundry room, but we were able to block it off to keep it from coming into the house. I just have a bunch of wet clothes that need to be washed today before they bake and mildew in the 90 degree weather.

RANDALL: I'm so sorry about your dog. My heart goes out to your family.

HEATHER: No email? Aww - I'm sorry. If you can get online - you can instantly set up a hotmail account for nothing - just to keep you going. (grin)

TINA: I remember the last Calvin and Hobbes - it brought tears to my eyes. It was just him and Hobbes sitting and watching a sunset.

ARIK: Of course we remember you! Welcome back. Stick around this time.

MARY: Okay - I've exhausted the last blonde joke. I'm ready for another one.

RHODA: I started a Christian romance today. I don't know how well I'll do it, but I've been wanting to try and was struck hard by my muse this weekend. I'm excited about it - I have really been trying to come up with something that hadn't been done and redone. I hope I can pull it off.

Time for me to start my day. Have a wonderful Wednesday all!


Hallee 6-13-2001 8:21


Sorry to hear about your sick collie. I will hope and pray for a miracle, but I realize the gravity of the situation and that you must prepare yourself for losing her. Take care and God bless you for being the kind man that you are and for taking these pets into your heart and home. My thoughts go with you.


How could I ever forget you? I had wondered if you had forgotten us, but obviously you haven't and I am gratified. Don't stay away so long again.

Rhoda 6-13-2001 0:09

Forgot to say WELCOME BACK ARIK - so glad you are alright, we have been seeing all the violence in your nation, and feared for your safety.

Jerry Ericsson http:// 6-12-2001 23:58

Ah, what a wonderful camping trip, even the weather was on our side. Fabulous days highs going into the mid 70's, lows just cool enough for fantastic sleep. I relaxed and read about half an old issue (1988) of a writers source book, filled with essays on how to write well. Now this is a THICK book of a couple of thousand pages, almost had to hire a small boy to carry it around for me, but thought better of it, and let the wife tote it around for me. (KIDDING! pull back the nails) The lake was like glass, the boats were all quiet, as were the campers. The nightly campfires glowed in the distance, much as ours did to other campers, marshmallows were roasted, smores were consumed in great gusto, as were Robinson Corroso's. I took over a hundred photo's with our little digital camera, and imported them onto my laptop, then copied them over, I guess these digital cameras seem to be sensitive to shock because I dropped ours a few weeks ago. Anyhow you can't even begin to recognize anyone in the photo's. Oh well more stuff to sell on EBAY, so long as I list it as not working, I can sell it with a clear consiounce.

Oh Aliens, what a wonderful topic, I will be contributing, already have the short tail running over and over in my mind, even as I type.

Randall - I do indeed have several Kel-Light's - they give a wonderful combination of illumination, combined with a back-up ready weapon. We were always cautioned, however to keep in mind the damming testimony it will give when the defense attorney asks you on the stand, "Now officer please explain to the jury how you first shined that bright flashlight into the defendants eyes, then while he was blinded by that bright light proceeded to strike him about the head and shoulders until he fell to the ground." Needless to say, the light served me well as an illuminating device, despite the comfort it gave me knowing that the six pounds of aluminum in the body of the six cell light would certainly put a dent in head of that person who just spat in my face and tried to take a polk at me. = - - Sorry to hear of your sick pup, a sick pet is almost as bad as a sick child, except they can't tell you where it hurts.

Well, I have been re-created, and feel all fresh and ready to write. So write I shall.


Jerry Ericsson http:// 6-12-2001 23:55


A little gloomy tonight.....we have a young border collie at the vets, fighting for her life. My fault, she has Parvo, a canine illness that usually kills. Should have got her shots weeks ago. Should have... the worst excuse a man can come up with. We call her Callie, and she wandered up about midnight 2 months ago. Just a little black puppy with huge eyes, scared and lost. My son, Sean, and I both heard her whineing outside the house. He went outside, couldn't locate anything and came back in. We heard her again and Sean got a Streamlight flashlight (Bet Jerry has one as well), a very powerful police light from my pickup. Sean found her huddled under the neighbors shed.

The heck of it is, once an animal like this (lost, small, adorable, friendly, etc.) arrives in our home, it usually stays. Bunch of softies live here. :-) Callie has grown to a big puppy dog, and you can see the intelligence in her eyes. BC are, I believe the smartest of all dogs. Might be wrong, not sure on this. Was working on the computer last week and she came up to me and climbed into my lap. Short of bopping her, nothing would stop Callie and soon she was ensconced in my lap for a few minutes. Go figure. What was she thinking? I understand dogs consider themselves members of the family pack, adults as parents, kids as siblings. I know our little female Laspho (uh, small Chinese dog) pees with her hind leg UP. No squatting for this Chinese lady. Guess she figures she is the matriarch of the doggie side of the family and rates...........a leg up?!

I noticed Callie was ill Monday night, thought it might be Parvo and had her at the vets this morning at seven. Sure enough, it was. They have her on an IV, all night at least. The vet was hesitant to say whether she lives or not. She said it depends on the dog and how virulent the illness is.

So.........................shit!!!! And I don't usually cuss on the site. Not a lot of sleep tonight. I will be at the vets ASAP tomorrow morning, praying for good news.


Randall 6-12-2001 22:30


Arik! So good to see you here again! I’ve often wondered how you’re doing. How ARE you doing?

Heather, I so agree about those annoying plastic food hood thingies. I classify them along with that new window cleaner that you don’t have to wipe off (how good is THAT for the environment?) and fake bacon. Yuck! I am a proud Tupperware queen.

Rosemary, I’ll trade you your 90o for our lousy rainy gross weather. The hotter the better.
Oh, and I haven’t noticed anything like that from my computer. Maybe it’s your connection?

Teekay, I’m so glad you’ve discovered Calvin and Hobbes! He’s an absolute riot!

Hi Gaia! Welcome!

Must be off and about, now. TTFN!

Tina 6-12-2001 21:50

Teekay - That's okay, I've got about 3 people reading it right now and someone else will read it when I go to NY.

Heather - Huh? I missed something appearently. ?:

Arik - Glad to hear from you and glad you're okay. :) *hugs*

I like this weeks shortie topic - I feel I must write something. *cracks knuckles* Better get to work! :D

Allein Allein's World 6-12-2001 20:48


Hi All,

ALLEIN: I would offer to read 'Mali & Azol' for you, but I have just enough on my plate at the moment. If I took on anymore I wouldn't have any writing time left over for me. :-)

TINA & HEATHER: We have Calvin and Hobbes in the Sunday papers, I usually skip thae cartoons, but I read him and the ones on the net and he is sooo cute. I'm going to see if I can buy a book of it.

GAIA: What a great name. Welcome to you - and thanks for the info.

TAYLOR: Well I would. A vampire's a spirit, no?

ARIK: WELCOME BACK!!!! What. You needed a reminder?!?!?!?!

I feel a bit like the white rabbit today, "I'm late, I'm late........"
Well, I'm not quite, but I will be if I don't get a move on,

Teekay 6-12-2001 20:33

Howdy all,

Nope, it wasn't me. I don't do kids, just tell people how to raise theirs. Don't you just love people like that.

Is is my imagination or what? It seems like the notebook is jumping around. I was at my sister's house earlier and all of Monday was missing. Now, I finished reading the postings, then went back to the top and there were messages there I hadn't seen. (without refreshing.) (:*{

Anyway, I have finally figured out how to copy and paste into the Workbook from her new computer but should I wait until Jack finishes the changes?

Decisions, decisions.

Rosemary 6-12-2001 20:02

Not exactly, Heather. But close. The right answer is: It is Aline's seashell.

You'll have your vanilla ice-cream. BTW: You know a lot about the sea. I enjoyed every word of what you said about the star fish, called here "sea star". That was an interesting thread. Writers should be attentive to everything real (and unreal). And the most beautiful thing in writing is--- not dialogue, not stories, not plots--- its description (Nabokov), it's language (me).

Jon 6-12-2001 20:02

Teekay: Glad you liked the shell. Sand dollars are neat. I love the ocean, and I'd give anything to have the ocean as my back yard. Where is your ocean, quite near or as a 2-3 hour trip by car? As far as beaches go, I prefer the Pacific...especially the beaches in the Washington Oregon area. For tropical beaches, I love the rough beaches on Hawaii. I don't like quiet water as much as I like rough water or cold water. That way you get an uncrowded beach where you can walk and hunt for shells.

Heather, would you take a peek in the short story area. I was exhausted yesterday and posted everything there. It's a chance for everyone to see if it fits. If it doesn't let me know because I will send it to the writer's project in Tokyo. I have two versions, one for them, and one for our notebook. I want to do one more rewrite on the story if it's going to *P*. I think if I can prune that introduction, we'll have the meat of the story. Problem is, I've just plain read it so often I can't see it. It's like my house. It gets messy if I don't leave and come back. I generally take walks so I can see what is out of place. Otherwise, I ignore the mess that builds up.

Viv 6-12-2001 19:32

Allein is the seashell!

Heather 6-12-2001 15:28

HA HA! My email's not working any longer.... the payment fairies have caught up to me!
But they still haven't taken away my noteboo

Heather 6-12-2001 15:27

Nice one, Debra!

Yes, I know what you mean about those hideous diaper bags. I used to carry a burgundy leather knapsack with my kids' diapers and bottles and things in it, rather than bear those awful atrocities made of vulgar-print cotton and plastic linings. Some are even all plastic, like the leak-proof pants you put over your child's training pants...!
Reminds me of those new bowl covers on the market by (I'm guessing) ziplock or saran - they're little shower cap-like thingy-ma-bobs that you stretch over your leftovers instead of bothering with cling film. Is the world just getting so lazy they're willing to pay a fortune just to stay that way?

Give me tupperware. And if the lids are all lost in the sandbox, give me saran wrap. But no shower caps, please. Save those for the hotel, where they'll stay, nicely wrapped in the package by the tub.
Some innovations are just plain stupid. (not an invention, see? We've had shower caps since we've had showers) Mind you, if they really are worth the money and they're so exciting, why haven't three hundred housewives called yet?

Oh, time to scoot
to the land of
make believe

yes, the pleasant fiction.

Heather 6-12-2001 15:24


That's funny. I know just what you mean. I don't like feeling like an ass either.

Although, occasionly I do like to feel an ass.


Debra 6-12-2001 13:38

Hi all - Sorry I haven't been posting much. I've just been a little busy with a few things. I hope to get back around soon. It is good to see that you are all still full of play and adventure. Good writing to all of you (big smiles and hugs all around).

Heather - Hi you. I'm here. It is nice to see some of the old faces coming round. I miss those guys. Oh, and I wasn't the shell.

Take care all.


PS - Sebastian is huge! He is so fun.

PPS - ROSEMARY - Was it you who I told I don't pack a big diaper bag? I can say that is still true. I have a small black bag that I recenlty purchased. I got a black bag, so that my husband wouldn't feel like an ass with the thing slung on his shoulder. Okay, I got it so I wouldn't feel like an ass. I can't hack those teddy bear, pink and blue little numbers that so many people seem to favor. I just look at those and feel a little unwell.

Rachel 6-12-2001 13:21

Oh, man. 90 degree weather before 10 am? That's about all I'd stand and then I'd have to pack up for the north.

I must have been Inuit in a past life.

Heather 6-12-2001 12:26

Hi ARIK! Of course I remember you! Great to see you popping in!
Well, Rachel! You sure pack a powerful email! First Hayden, and now Arik coming back to the NB!

Well, folks, I think the quality of the story is important, when considering if you will post it in Phantasium. We want the stuff of legends, right? If anyone isn't sure, just email it to me first and I can give you an objective opinion, insofar as this is possible. After all, Phantasium is a project, like any other; subject to jealous protection and proud display of its wonders.

Now, about vampires, I don't know - I'm sure it fits at least as well as the Kappa story, and Teekay's devil/demon stories! Just creep us out, that's all. Give us the shivers and goosebumps doing the 'wave' up and down our arms. Those be the legendary ones.

I may be putting off my own P** story (number one reason: because I still work there!!!) but I did write almost 2000 words on my novel in total yesterday. By the time I finished, my word count was 26,262, from 24,274. (okay, so I wrote exactly 1988 words)...
A rather exciting figure.
The difficulty? Well, I'm slowly but surely getting to the part of Symphony I've been breathlessly awaiting.
(Yeah, you could say that would be the last word of the novel, but no - that's something I'm looking forward to as well, but this is the turning point I'm speaking of)

Teekay, hang in there girlie! I'm tryin'!

Hallee - sorry I've been lax with sending back your chapters. I was thinking I'd be cut off from my isp this week, but so far so good! (Perhaps they haven't noticed...)
I'll return what I've edited as soon as I can!

RADNALL (heh heh) Hey will you look at that? A TRUE Elvis story. WOW! I have some of his tears and sweat in a bottle... (kidding)
But actually, I've always liked Elvis. Just can't stand those silly sighting tales. You know, the ones where Elvis was spotted in a mall? Hey, people, he died on the can. It's certified. If you see him, it'll be in the pages of Phantasium.

Hmmmmm. Now that gives me an idea...
Of course, I have so many to write about I tend to get immobilized. Have to keep my magnifying glass at my writing desk to remind me to stay focused.

MARK, where art thou?

Gariess, hey! Whatcha up to?

Ok, Rachel, that's your signal!

goodday all and may the muse blow sirens in your ear.

Heather 6-12-2001 12:21

Just sitting here under the fan trying to recover from (almost) heat stroke while mowing. It's not fair for it to be 90 degrees before 10:00 in the morning.

Of course we remember you. There has been wondering about you and worrying that you are okay. Let us know what you have been doing all this long time.

Got to go soak myself for a while now,

Rosemary 6-12-2001 12:02

Greetings, everyone!

How are you? I am not sure, if you guys still remember me, but I do remember you. I recived an e-mail from rachel, a short time ago, and she reminded me to pay a visit here. So.. How are you everyone?

Arik Nesis

Arik 6-12-2001 11:47

Greetings, everyone!

How are you? I am not sure, if you guys still remember me, but I do remember you. I recived an e-mail from rachel, a short time ago, and she reminded me to pay a visit here. So.. How are you everyone?

Arik Nesis

Arik 6-12-2001 11:44

Well it has been one day and nothing mentioned that Tim Mcveigh has used a writers beautiful words to make hurt countless people.

I think there should be a law that if convicted murderers have nothing to say but someone elses' words they should say nothing.

Maybe that's just me.

Debra 6-12-2001 9:11

RANDALL - Yes, Elvis Presley did a benefit concert in 1961, in Hawaii for the USS Arizona memorial fund. He insisted that all of the proceeds from the ticket sales was to go to the fund, and he picked up all production costs. The concert raised over $60,000 (significant $ back then), which just about doubled the pot then.

howard 6-12-2001 8:30

Sorry about this, must be getting sick of my voice by now...HA HA HA

Would you class a vampire story as a Phantasium story?

taylor 6-12-2001 7:29

have not finished with my P*** story yet, I honestly want to make sure it's really good...And my vision of it gets transferred into words so others might understand what its about

taylor 6-12-2001 1:02

Mary: Now you're speaking my language....Is that for thursday night?

taylor 6-12-2001 0:57

Oooh, Gaia, how lovely of you to give us more information!
I have one tiny brittle star, about an inch in total width. Bought on a trip.
I also have a very tiny dried sea horse, poor little thing. A friend of mine bought it for me on a postcard - stuck right on it! Brutal.

Heather 6-11-2001 23:28

Little Known Sea Star Factoids...

Star fish have primitive eyes on the end of each arm, possessing simple vision.
The female 'Brooding Star' actually tends her young for two months before letting them go off on their own, and searching for food for herself again.
The 'Bat Star' and 'Ochre Sea Star' actually extends their stomach around their prey, digesting food before swallowing.
The largest Star in the world is the 'Sunflower Star', reaching 102cm wide. The 'Dwarf Brittle Star' only grows to 2.5cm.

Gaia 6-11-2001 22:51

Errr, that's three minutes from now! (22:45 hrs)

Mary? You still lurking about?
Know what you mean by making the other floors jealous. The bedrooms are all jealous of the fantastic paint job in my bathroom...

Heather 6-11-2001 22:43

Hey everybody - if you're out there at 10:45 Eastern standard time, I'll be in chat. Come on and join in...

The great hopeful grin - ;oD

Heather 6-11-2001 22:42


Mary 6-11-2001 22:01

Hi everyone.

Not much going on today. Had new carpet put in my daughter's room and now the rest of my floors are jealous. It's really soft and cushy and you just want to lie down on it. Unfortunately, it has my sinuses going haywire. Sniff sniff. Hoooonk!

Absolutely no writing accomplished today. I sat down and did make an effort, but t'was useless.

Ummmm, Monday...time for a shortie topic. second...ah yes, : ALIENS

Sleep well. Giddyup.

Mary new pics 6-11-2001 21:59

Good evening!

I was in the Navy from 1966 to 1970. In the states we were homeported in Long Beach, then transfered to the 7 'th fleet in the South Pacific for duty in the Vietnam combat zone. Consquently we were in and out of Pearl numerous times and each time passed close by the Arizona and memorial structure.

As we passed the ship's assembly was called to attention and we saluted her. (Navy ships are classified as "Her") It never failed to raise the hair on the back of my neck. Never. It was as strong an emotion the first time I saw the Arizona, as the last time 4 years later. Realizing nearly a thousand Americans were entombed under the ocean only yards away was a stunning jolt to this boys senses.

I was told there was a connection.....and this is wildly speculative on my part. I was told by an old time sailor that Elvis, yes that Elvis, was in Hawaii filming "Blue Hawaii" and made a significent contribution to the construction of the Arizona Memorial. Anyone heard this story? I only heard it once and have always wondered. When was the memorial built and WHO paid for it?

Anyone? Jerry? Howard? Right up your alley....

Hi Americo! Nice, but all to brief response. :-)))) Still, I admire brevity! So long my friend.


Randall 6-11-2001 21:48

Still putting off my story for P**, by the way. In case you were expecting it soon...
Hardy har har.

Heather 6-11-2001 21:28

Thanks for the info, Jack!
I've never been snorkeling in Maine (where my godparents have a cottage) so I've not had the pleasure of seeing sea stars on the sand under the water. I've only seen them on rocky areas, or under the water line on pier pilings.
There are definitely two different species; some with a wide centre that have more than five 'arms', like a sun, (and indeed, in Maine, they call those type sea suns) and the starfish that has a smaller centre, with five radiating arms - sometimes only four, so they look like a giant purple chromosome you might find wandering the halls of the nuclear plant in Springfield (In reference to the three eyed fish in a few Simpson's episodes). The ones with four arms have had one arm taken off (I take it by accident) and soon a nub will appear, which in turn grows into another arm to give them five once again.
Usually the sea 'suns' sometimes have two tones of colour - I've seen one that was a bright red on top and brilliant lapis blue on the underside, with about twenty arms. The most vibrant of the five-arm type that I've seen is an almost neon fuschia purple-pink. (Brighter than a freshly peeled purple vidalia onion!)
Anyhow, I could just talk about sea stars, star fish (whichever you prefer) for a millenia. *sigh*
I have an unwavering fascination and love for the sea.
Back to writing...
I've written 1,400 words today. I thought at first it was only 1,000 until I went back to the word count from my last writing 'session'. Yippeee~!

May your muse pinch dreadfully hard and accurately,

Heather ;O)

Heather 6-11-2001 21:25


TAYLOR: Maybe you could post your story straight into the P** section afterall. It didn't take all that long to load this time.

Teekay 6-11-2001 20:43


Hi All,

VIV & MARY: What a beaautiful shell that sand dollar is. I've seen plenty of starfish, but never a sand dollar.
I love seashells, they're absolutely fascinating.
In fact, I love most anything to do with the sea, not counting the sharks, the octopus, the stingrays, the killer whales, the blue ring jelly fish, nor anything else that may bite, eat, maim, hurt or scare me-I only like them.
Good luck on getting the farmhouse VIV.

TAYLOR: I think maybe you ought to put your ghostie into the Short story workshop until JACK puts up a new page because the other is just too full already and then re post it into P* afterwards.
Just a thought.

BEN: Calling BEN. Come in BEN.

It's pretty quiet here today so I think I'll go and do something else that's productive.


Teekay 6-11-2001 20:09

I just loaded my Urban Legands into the short story area. I lost all addresses when my computer had its little heart attack last week. It's back, but the addresses are all gone. I will save everyone's address to disc next time I crash. All I cared about then was trying to save what I'd written and my grades and attendance files. Thank goodness I saved that.

Thank you for the info on sea stars. I will go back to Oiso and wade out into the water. The waves were very heavy the day we went, so I wasn't too hot to go in. It looks like there might be some good snorkling if you move carefully. Luckily I'll soon be living about 20 minutes away by car. I'm not squeemish about boiling a few. If you could smell the house you wouldn't be either. My daughter isn't ready to throw out her collection and I don't blame her, but it does smell like we have a dead mother-in-law under the sink. I'll close the window when she goes out to walk the dog. When she comes back I think she'll decide it's time for the Stars to go out to the picnic table.

Hope you like the revised version. It's still awfully tame. I'm working on my ugly imagery, as you can see by my mother-in-law joke.

Viv 6-11-2001 20:00

Viv and others: Actually Starfish is the very old name for Sea Stars. And, yes, they love sand, but underwater. Puget sound is known for a wide variety of Sea Stars. I have seen many during my dive history both here and in Hawaii. My last dive here, in fact, I saw one with too many legs to count and it was at least a foot across and more likely two.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-11-2001 19:24

Did ya here about the trucker who hauled so much vigra that he had to get a new peterbilt?

6-11-2001 14:20

hello persons i sasquatch am hoping you allein and jack persons are well after the shaking. also tina person but it was not so near to you. jack person this place looks different and i sasquatch do like it here still. hayden person welcome to this place again also i sasquatch am wishing to have a porch to sit on also one day. when old. i must go.

sasquatch 6-11-2001 11:48

P.S. Viv - if you find a starfish on the sand it is probably dead. They are normally found wherever there is NO sand. I'm not sure why, but I am guessing that they cannot live where there is sand because of the pods on their tentacles - the ones they move with - would get stuck full of sand. Their stomachs are on the underside in the centre, and if that got full of sand I'm sure they'd choke to death on it. You'll find live ones on and around (and under) rocks, on pier posts, and in tide pools when the tide is out. They can survive without water for some time, as long as the sun isn't shining on them directly.
You can take them out of the water if they're alive, and hold them, and they seem very content to be held and have a gentle 'back rub'.

Heather 6-11-2001 9:42

Viv - send away!

Also, if you boil the starfish in just plain water, and then sit them out on newspaper in the sun until they dry, they won't stink. At least, not enough to even notice unless you stick your nose right onto the starfish and sniff really hard. BUT you must boil them while they are alive - barbaric as this may sound. If they are dead when you find them, no amount of boiling will likely get rid of the stench. Occasionally you may find one that has died and dried in the sun - those won't stink too much. The sun actually acts as a disinfectant. The same with hanging your sheets in the sun after a washing - the sun acts as a bleach/disinfectant.
Oh - if the starfish is already dried in the sun don't boil it - it's like putting shreddies in water - they dissolve.

I have a large collection of seashells, and other sea creatures such as starfish, sponges, sea urchins and corals, but until recently I had no sand dollars. My best friend brought me four beautiful white ones on her last visit, and three of them arrived totally intact. The fourth was broken in half, so I gave the half back to her and said that I'd keep my half. They are brittle and hollow when dried, and extremely fragile. Similar to a dried/boiled starfish!

Anyhow, if you want to know how to go about parboiling a starfish, just ask. There's not much to it, and it's not as gruesome as you may imagine. The starfish will die on contact with the boiling water, and they stay in the position they died in, with the exception of a slight upturn in the ends of the tentacles. I have one that looks like it's dancing, and another that looks very shocked indeed.
I felt guilty that I'd boiled them for weeks. But, my godfather said after seeing the bucket I'd brought back with me, and the four starfish specimens, that even if I take them back now, they will die because they need to have a 'fresh' supply of water that is very cold. In the bucket the temp rose enough to kill them slowly - so he said it would be less cruel to throw them into boiling water than to keep them in the pail. Talk about devastation. I assumed they weren't in pain or dying in the pail, and I could play with them for a while and then take them back to the cove later.
I have the little dancing starfish to remind me to play with them next time while I'm still at the cove - and not to take them with me back to the cottage.

Heather 6-11-2001 9:31

Anyone interested: This link will take you to a site where you will find the legend of the sand dollar and a picture of a sand dollar. :-)

Mary sand dollar legend 6-11-2001 8:51

Made a mistake on the last page. Decks were not the problem. My husband has spent much time reading JANE's FIGHTING SHIPS over the years. Crusiers of that period had big guns on the front. He said they were not accurate about the placing of the guns and turrent on the ships. I don't know. It all looked real enough to me. Maybe there is something to be said about too much knowledge.

Rhoda 6-11-2001 8:49

Hi! I made a mistake Teekay. They are sand stars. Star fish some folks say I think. They are blue, red, yellow and beautiful. They were washed up all over the black sand of the beach. It was wonderful. Sand dollars are in Jack's territory. They are round flat shells with the picture of a star on one side and a little hole on the other. Inside are little dove shaped shells. They are the best shells anyone could ever collect. Our sand stars are nice but he has something so special on his beaches that a poem was written about the nativity using the sand dollar as the example. Jack, send Teekay a sand dollar.

Teekay, you don't want a sand star because they stink like dead fish. They are ok in our house but I keep the windows open above the shelf and throw them out when it gets too awful. We tried boiling them in bleach but they turned to dust.

I may have found our house today. It's an old farm house, very big, very Japanese. The owner will be back in 10 days and then I'll know if we'll fit his specifications. With a dog and a cat, we aren't the renters everyone would choose. I have my fingers crossed.

Heather: Are you ok for me sending you my *P* Urban Legands yet? Are you too busy right now, or would you like to see the finished product? I think it might be ok.

Jack: Make sure I get the password. I'll keep an eye on the site and good luck getting everything to work. Thank you for spending the money to keep the site alive. It's meant a lot to all of us.

Viv 6-11-2001 8:32

Just to let everybody know, I am actively working through the documentation for the tree form cgi scripted message board that I plan to use to replace the present Workbook. It will allow for the individual story to be the one subject with comments and critiques threaded to it. It will also and perhaps more importantly, tighten up the security of the site considerably. This will require that everybody re-register and get new logins and passwords, but that was long over due . More importantly for me, the whole process is hopefully going to be much more automated. I suspect the collaborations will still use something like the present set up, but I will have to think about that. I will see after I get the system up and running. In reflection, I decided this was the primary priority for myself as webmaster of . It may take me a day or two, but hopefully I can work through the permissions and other permutations to get the whole thing running. Then I will get back to all the rest. This will also mean that I will finally be done with halcyon and I can close that account and save myself a chunk of money per month. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-11-2001 5:09


that ending is called a soap plot #11...Learn something new everyday

Finished a ghostie, but not sure what to do with it...It may be a little big to put in P***...Finished the 1st draught anyway...Got to read it carefully to make sure it turned out exactly the way I wanted to...
I don't know if the title I chose for it is the right one

I am no longer going to comment on Pearl Harbour(movie and event) until I have researched it more

Taylor 6-11-2001 3:38

I saw PEARL HARBOR tonight. I enjoyed it and was glad I went. The personal story in it was Soap Opera plot #11. I will say no more about Soap Opera plot #11 for the sake of those who have not yet seen the movie. Still the cast was great and the acting superb and Soap Opera plot #11 was very touching. My husband observed the effects were impressive, but with all that high dollar technoly, the support ships were modern ones, not WWII ones. There were no V-decks in 1941. I would not have known the difference, but surely my husband would not have been the only one to notice this fault which could have been easily fixed by their computers. My Corel Draw could have fixed it.

The movie was a great entertainment experience and the battle scenes were very moving and dramatic. I highly recommend this film, but I have to agree with Jack that TORA, TORA, TORA was better.

Rhoda 6-11-2001 1:40

Teekay - It's completely finished I'm kind of going through it and editing and letting other people read it and give suggestions. I'm also working on the sequel - I have 3 pages so far. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-10-2001 20:16


Good morning all,

ALLEIN: Oh, so you're rewriting 'Mali & Azol' again? (I thought M & A was a novel) Or is this the editing bit that you're doing?
Do you find you have a lot of changes to make?
I ask all these questions because until this ?Novel? I'm writing at the moment, I've never really written anything longer than a short story and because I'm a sticky beak.

VIV: What are sand dollars???

BEN: Did that 'Give me a call' come with a leery wink? I certainly hope so young man!
BTW Is this novella 'Cindy And Her Sisters'? I thought that was going to be a fully fledged novel.
Make the most of this laid off time and write write write. This may just be an absolute blessing.

SHARON HANSON: Hello there. Have you only just discovered this site, or have you been lurking for a while?
Either way, welcome to you.
I noticed that your post says article two. What's article one about?
BTW: Thankyou so much for that depressing little piece, I'm off to find a nice blunt knife now. Don't want to make the job too easy and painless *sigh*.

From perky to prostate,
going now.

Teekay 6-10-2001 19:16

Article Two by Author Sharon Hanson

Dealing with Rejections

Rejection letters are something the new and budding author had better be braced for. It is said that author James A. Mitchner received over 1,700 rejection letters on his number one best seller, “Hawaii”. The question remains how does an author survive so many rejections without losing faith in their work?

Rose Bank Cottage for me was a labor of love, which I knew, was worthy of publication, however five years passed, and over 1,200 rejection letters arrived in the mail before American Book accepted it for publication. As most authors do after receiving many rejections they do a rewrite of their work and begin submitting again, believing they now are presenting a much more polished and acceptable manuscript. Then the rejection letters begin again.

Most likely many authors give up at this stage. For myself after 7 rewrites and nearly one thousand rejection letters, I put Rose Bank Cottage in a cardboard box and shoved it under my bed thinking, “maybe one day I will take it out and read it again.” The dream had died; along with my resolve that Rose Bank Cottage was a book worthy of going to print. Every so once in a while, out it would come again, and I would let another person read it and get the praise and encouragement to try once again, and try again I did. And again the rejection letters came roaring in. Most were impersonal, unsigned photocopies, a standard, faceless, nameless piece of paper that shattered and tore my heart, resolve, and courage to tiny flecks of unstable uncertainty.

Budding new authors are so full of enthusiasm and pride in their work. Like most writers or artists they are never satisfied with the final product regardless of how many rewrites they do, however when they are ready to submit, or as close to it as they feel they can get on their own, the rejection letters become a bitter needle.

Coping with rejection is a skill learned like any other skill in life. It is learned through experiencing the process. Feeling the emotions. Putting up walls against hurt and pain, and shuttering oneself from each seemingly endless blow. Many a great novel never saw print because its creator failed to assimilate rejection in a constructive manner where the editor does not puncture the heart and soul’s pen.

To be a great writer one must have courage and unbending faith in ones work. They must convince the ominous editor that they know their subject so well that they can convince the reader of every word written as being truthful and believable, and whisk their readers away into a different time or space on that incredible journey so brilliantly that they do not wish to return. They must also be prepared to deal with rejection with such grace that the strength to go forward comes from the toes up, and not from the mind and heart. Rejection is an issue of life, and few go through life unscathed. Those with drive, determination, and dedication to see their work published usually survive to see the day their work becomes printed word. Those that don’t are filling the underside of their mattresses with works that will never see the light of day.

Ó Sharon Hanson 2001

Author of Rose Bank Cottage Sharon Hanson Rose Bank Cottage 6-10-2001 17:53

Hello everyone I am the Author of Rose Bank Cottage, an historical romance being released this fall.

Author of Rose Bank Cottage - Sharon Hanson Rose Bank Cottage 6-10-2001 17:50

Ben: Good luck with not being laid off for too long. I can well relate since I am still among the ranks of the not working. Take care.

Jack 6-10-2001 17:30


Save that McDonald's job for me! I would love to have a job right now, even that one.

Hope you get gainfully employed again soon. In the meantime, good luck on the writing.

Rhoda 6-10-2001 15:24

Teekay: Finished my novella. Give me a call. It's not that bad actually. Now I gotta get to work on something Kitty looked at for me. Nothing like insightful people who see things the author always seems to miss. Gotta do housework now. Oh yeah, I got laid off this week, maybe the week after too. Time to start taking this writing stuff a little more seriously unless I want to be the guy behind the mike saying, "Welcome to McDonald's. Can I take your order?"

Ben 6-10-2001 15:08

Kamikaze was the "Devine wind" but anyway, it was an overall bad idea, especially if you were selected to "serve"

Yes most soldiers are hero's in one way or another, at least those who have been baptised by fire. BUT many are also villains, look at the Japanese actions in Manchuria. Do a bit of research on what was very appropriately refereed to as the "RAPE OF MANCHERIA" I am sure you will find that the acts of those "hero's" left very much to be desired. People scoff and complain about Lt. William Calley and his troops because of the Mai Lai massacre, they scream about the horror of war, and charge those soldiers with being war criminals, yet very little is said of the rape of Manchuria, or for that matter the horror at Hue, in which the hero's from North Vietnam and the Viet Cong murdered all the teacher, preachers, politicians, and anyone who had ANY contact with the American forces, totaling in the tens of thousands murdered and buried in shallow graves just outside Hue. This following the Tet Offensive, an Offensive that militarialy was a total loss for the communists, were it not for the American Press who told America that the war was indeed lost. War is Hell, it has been said, but we learned in Vietnam that while War is Hell, actual combat is a Mother Fu____!

Please when you think of war, think of bloody bodies of your neighbors sons, think of the poor children who are killed in "collateral damage" think of the homes now in ash, think of wives who wait for ever for their husbands to come home. Then if you must, think of the Hero's who went off to battle for YOUR way of life.

Well we are off to the campground, to avoid the crowd, we will be camping Sunday through Tuesday. The horrible storm that hit Bismarck ND missed us completely, all we got was some hot weather that went away suddenly with the passage of the storm north of us, bringing nice cool dry air, making sleep a pure pleasure.

Jerry Ericsson 6-10-2001 11:58

The latest I heard about PA was from a friend of mine announcing that his book, published i there in February, was going to have a hardcover edition and nationalwide promotion... I'm also waiting for some copies I ordered last week. Who knows if the first printing is already sold out? Perhaps Rachel could inquire. Thanks for the future webpage.

I'm a slow answerer, but I do answer....

Happy Sunday to everyone.

Americo 6-10-2001 7:37

Morning all. I've been lurking, enjoying reading the posts, but haven't had a whole lot to comment about. Everything I would have said is getting said.

JON: I suggest you title Rhoda as "Rhoda the Wise". (smile, Rhoda)

Finished editing my second book - at work on my third. It's been a good week.

Okay - off to make waffles for breakfast. Have a good Sunday all.

Hallee 6-10-2001 7:26

Mary: Left my gossip piece in the short story place even though it's not a story. Thought it might be a bit late to put it in the Notebook. Critique folks, it's ok. It's just something I fiddled about with. Kind of like sketching. It sounds like I could go further here. Suggestions? Maybe an axe murder.

Viv 6-10-2001 7:01

It's working again! A working computer is the best thing in the world. Now I only have to locate a house. I found the towns in which I'll consider living, now I only have to locate a 4 bedroom house. Found a nice stretch of ocean with sand dollars of every color. Unfortunately, no place to live because there's not a form of transportation feasible to get to work. Still, there's something to be said for the things you find on the way to finding things.

Jack, Glad to see you are back and feeling better. It was fun playing around with the line concept. I'm going to try it on the computers at work. If I mess up there, I won't feel so bad.

Heather: I can pester you with this story now!

Viv 6-10-2001 6:47

On the issue and sources for WWII, I suggest a couple of suggested titles. One is the history that Winston Churchill did starting with the Gathering Storm and finishing with Triumph and Tragedy. He has a deft way with words and it is good to remember that he began his political career after going under cover in the Boer War as a journalist. Other useful sources are the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer did a tremendous amount of research to chronicle the creation of a monster told from the natural mileiux out of which it grew. In similar fashion, for the Japanese side of the war I recommend the movie Tora Tora Tora. It is actually quite good and does tell the more accurate account of what actually happened in most respects. Still, if you do any research on WWII make a stab at checking out information about the Flying Tigers and other odd bits such as that. As always, there is a wealth of information and disinformation on the internet, but still a quick search in Google will get you to a lot of interesting spots.

The main interest for me is reading what led up to the war. What were the sociological, cultural and economic conditions that underlay the aberrations of real politics, diplomacy and military force that exploded in such wildly divergent different ways. World War II, whether we are talking the holocaust, the creation of atomic bombs, the sheer desperate determination of different populations whether American, free French, British or what have. Actually, in this regard I suggest one other movie that just got released on DVD and I recently purchased. It is called Hope and Glory. It is fiction and tells the story of British citizens in the midst of the Battle of Britain and does so with pathos, humor, tragedy and always a sense that this rings very very true. At any rate, this has become a very long winded ramble. I will say good night. Take care.

Jack 6-10-2001 6:29

Teekay - I was 14 when I came up with a few of the main characters and sort of began fiddling with the plot. I wrote a few short stories, but not very good. I was 17 when I began the current version of the novel.

Allein Allein's World 6-10-2001 4:00

Mary Lou I'm sorry I missed your post. You must have (obviously) put it up when I was writing mine. My parents were in occupied Holland at the time of the war. They lived through it. My Dad never watched war movies on T.V. He hated John Wayne because his movies glorified the war in his opinion. He said the one thing they should have put in the movie houses was to pipe in the smell of war. I worked with a man who told us stories about the war. He went over with the Canadian forces. But he never once told us a "war" story. He told us about French whore houses, stealing eggs from farmers, and being on leave. He did say once though, when someone asked him why he never told us what it was like, that he saw the ground moving like waves on the ocean because of the bodies underground and the maggots. 'Nough said 'bout that, eh?

Ben 6-10-2001 1:32


Can you say recovery disk? I annihilated my computer and had to go back to the way I was day one. Thank the lucky stars that all my 1800 bookmarks are intact.

TEEKAY: Yes, I have all the body parts in the original padded envelope you sent them to me in.

Ok...I didn't really have anything important to say, I just had to make sure that I got everything reconfigured so I could make it here if the urge strikes me. Now I am off to reinstall my shirtless cowboy desktop theme.


Mary 6-10-2001 1:26

TAYLOR: Here's my slant on things for you to help clarify a few of the facts for you. At the time of the bombing of Pearl, the Japanese were in Washington negotiating a treaty because of the embargo the Americans had placed against them. (They were holding the oil from them because that's what the war machine needed to keep moving. The Japs decided to take the oil that was available in the South Pacific near Sumatra or Java, or one of those plces like that.) The Americans were upset about the invasion of Manchuria, and the move the Japanese were making for control of the entire South Pacific area. The Japanese knew the only way they could succeed in the quest for their new "Imperialism", they would have to take the American base at Pearl out. The idea was to present a declaration of war moments before Pearl was attacked. But the ambassadors were kept waiting, and the declaration of war delayed--but the attack was not. The Japanese lost great face because of this. Had it have all gone according to plan, the attack would have been legit. At the same time they bombed Pearl, the Japanese were all ready making plans--okay the plans were drawn up years earlier by Yamamoto--but they wanted to finish the Yanks off and destroy them by also taking out the base in Manila, which they also did. ANd yes, had the entire fleet been present at Pearl, the results of the war would have been a lot different, and possibly lasted a lot longer.

I hope that helps everyone somewhat. The Japanese know they made a mistake, and they are well aware of the fact that history will always look at them as having attacked and provoked the war with America instead of having announced it.

Ben 6-10-2001 1:24

I'm a little late getting into the act but here's my contribution. I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. We heard the news on the radio (no TV then). It's something I will never forget. My entire four years of high school matched the time period of the war. Although I had no brothers in the armed forces, I had cousins and friends who were. As soon as they were old enough, several boys in my class enlisted. Some of them were killed, several wounded, and some of them came back but they were never the same. I stood in line with ration coupons for sugar, meat, and other necessities. Tires and gas were rationed and lots of cars never left the garage for years. We could not attend out-of-town sports events. We had stamp drives, paper drives, write letters ccampaigns, etc. Every extra ciricular activity at school was directed toward the war effort. The newspapers and radio broadcasts were filled with war news and casualty lists. Newsreels attracted people to the movie theatres hoping to catch a glimpse of a loved one no matter what horror showed on the screen. Although the people in the United States were spared the physical aspect of war, sometimes it's harder to live with what you know is happening and can't see I married a WWII veteran and have heard first-hand the terrible price we paid to save countries that have forgotten about the American blood that colored their soil red. So, when you speak of reading about WWII or going to a movie that glosses over the real story, think about the people who lived through those times. We know and remember.

Mary Lou 6-10-2001 0:50

To answer the Question about the USS Arizona which is the one the Pearl harbor memorial is built over, yes, the sailors are still there, and the ship is still considered to be on active duty because both gun turrets are above water. So those stationed at the Memorial are on active sea duty.

About the stategy, well, it was good but they were not after what they got. They wanted the Aircraft Carriers and the subs...they thought ALL the fleet was there, they didn't know that half of them were out on training runs. If they had gotten the carriers we would not have been able to win the war.

Laura 6-10-2001 0:04


About the Kamikaze pilots, to them it was a holy war, it was more than bravery, it was them earning a good place in the afterlife by taking as many of infidels with them and doing so with courage and refusing to let their fear get the best of them. They were the "death wind" as the name says and perhaps it was stupid, but isn't any war? To them it was Jihad. To them it was a matter of honor and of pride. Somthing to be remebered for.

laura 6-9-2001 23:58

I will see about seeing that WW2 series...And yes the only imformation I have had is from movies and history class
But I said it along time ago, that the history classes only teach one perspective, and not the whole story. I will research it more

I have seen some of this documentary about Pearl Harbour last night, and there was a mini-sub sunk by a navy ship 1 hour before the attack...That's why I am a little surprised about them not being alerted...

But to all the soldiers who fought in all the wars, I personally would like send thanks to them all...All will not be forgotten

taylor 6-9-2001 23:49

teekay: americans got into the war cause of Pearl Harbour...
But young Jap soldiers, I believe, wanted to get into the action, wanted to prove that they were men, that they were heroes to their country...And they were young and at times a little stupid...
So were any soldiers I reckon

I honestly dont understand why anyone would want to become a kamikaze pilot, but in a way the China Bombing after Pearl Harbour was almost the same...Risking their lives for...I wont continue that thought

But that allows us something to look up to...true heroes none of this comic book crap...
Sorry I seem to ramble on at times dont I?

taylor 6-9-2001 23:40


THE WORLD AT WAR series was made in Britain. The copyright is 1973, 1974 by Thames Television Ltd. Thames. It was narrated by Laurence Olivier and was first run in the United States on PBS. I think Time/Life puts out the series on videos. Actually I special ordered our set from Time/Life. There are nine tapes with three episodes apiece.

I hope you can find the series. It was very informative and interesting.

Rhoda 6-9-2001 22:31

OKAY everybody.
I admit I have been throwing the S** word around and promise to quit. It started with my reaction to a post by TAYLOR that sounded a tad hyper to me. Then TEEKAY said all Australians were S**. I said she usually sounded S**ry but always very interesting.

I'll bet they were only the most interesting body parts.
I'll also bet you're having a ball. Nothing like a new project to get the juces going. I'm that way right now with that Short Story class. (started to abbreviate but too many s's:->) I just need to work harder on the stories.

was the 'oops missed' suposed to show that you did it on purpose?
AND, you are right, we had not joined WWII at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. I'm not going to say I remember it because I was born the year before it happened, but my father and my husband were both in that war. (Husband was a tad older than me.)
ALSO, I was not trying to offend you, you are the one who suggested you were scary. I just agreed and then sweetened the pot just in case. Maybe confused would be better than upset or grateful. :-)) This switching back and fourth to read-then-answer is getting me confused.

Going to get a cup of decaf. Brings up an interesting subject from that class. When you read (or write) that a person goes across the room to pour himself a drink, do you always assume it is alcoholic?

Enough of that for now.

Rosemary 6-9-2001 21:43

I brushed off that last post too fast. Far too many errors.

Rhoda 6-9-2001 21:35


I can't wait to read SHADOWS. Hope your interview with the producer goes well. Say "Hello" to Thomas for me.


You'll never forget my name now.


Great to see you posting again. In answer to your question about the most amazing thing I remember about my British question, I would have to say it was something I witness in a pub in Edinburgh. This pub had a thing every Sunday night where live muscians and singers would come and regale everyone with traditional music. These two men from Fife sang some traditional stuff and a lot of American country-western music, not the Garth Brooks stuff, but the old stuff like Hank Williams and Dolly Parten. Apparently American country music is greatly liked in both Scotland and Ireland. A music seller in Ireland complained to me that they couldn't get the good old classic stuff over there, and if they did manage a few CD's they would sell out of them immediately. But the most amazing thing was that in this Edinburgh pub the men sung Loch Lomond and every Scot in there was practically in tears. They would sing along and look as if they were singing their national anthem. Then came the beautiful song, CALADONIA, which I had never heard before. There again, not a dry eye in the house. I love that Scottish sentimentality. I love people who can get choked up about their traditions and homes and not feel any embarrassment. I can appreciate this because I too am an old softly at heart and can cry at the drop of a hat. My brother once gave me a terrible time after he saw me crying while listening to a recording of DANNY BOY.

Enjoy your trip to Paris. There is nothing like travelling to another country. And, yes, I believe the experience does give authenticity to writing.

Rhoda 6-9-2001 21:33

I hear blasphemy! Heather, did you hear it too? Aaaaaaaaagh! Teekay, you don't know what 'Calvin and Hobbes' is? The horrible, uncensored blasphemy!

(taking deep breath) C&H is a comic strip. It ran for years, and was drawn by Bill Waterson. It's about a six year-old boy (Calvin) and his tiger (Hobbes) who is a stuffed animal, but to Calvin he's very real. Calvin has an imagination that will blow your mind. He's every energetic, curious, stubborn, bratty boy you've ever known, rolled into one. He has a love/hate relationship with Susie, the little girl next door. He has a plethora of fantasy alter egos, like spaceman Spiff and Stupendous Man. He is absolutely hysterically funny. When Waterson stopped drawing the strip, I almost cried. It is pure genius. I put in a link to take you the official website, but if that doesn't work try

Rhoda, I think I'll look for that series. Maybe the local library has it. Do you know, is it American-made or from Europe?

My muse has bit me again. Time to go and write. Yay!

Tina Link 6-9-2001 21:24


MARY: Yup, ROSEMARY called me scary too. She's really loose with that S**** word.
Probably says it to everyone.
BTW: Did you keep the body parts?

Teekay 6-9-2001 21:00

p.s. Strike the last comment about PublishAmerica being down. Seems to have been a very temporary hiccup and is back up.

Jack 6-9-2001 21:00

Not sure what happened, but seems to be down. Still, I second Americo's comments below about ordering your copy of Shadow. I will be setting up a web page sometime in the next day or so and will announce that here as well. Probably it will be located at but we will see where I ultimately make it happen. Take care everyone. BTW, I ordered my copies and have not seen my copy of Shadow as yet. I am looking forward to reading it in printed form.

Jack Beslanwitch sfnorthwest 6-9-2001 20:57

She did.....REALLY!

Mary 6-9-2001 20:36

ROSEMARY: Did I ever tell you that TEEKAY sent me cut-up body parts in the mail? Gruesome.

Mary 6-9-2001 20:33

Yes, it was Taylor that Rosemary said was sounding scary. 6/6/01 at 11:36 I believe. Maybe you are scary too Teekay and I just missed that.

ROSEMARY: Big hugs...I love being scared.

mary 6-9-2001 20:33

TEEKAY: I would have sworn that Rosemary called Taylor scary not you. I am pretty sure about that.

Can that count as my gossip shortie? Hehe.

Also: Thanks for the kind words about my poem Heather and Teekay. I appreciate it.

HEATHER: The office is all pale gray paneling and white mini blinds. He does have many live plants (healthy even) that break up the space, so that is good. There is the front office/waiting room and three patient/treatment rooms to take care of. This is going to be fun.

Good night all.

Mary 6-9-2001 20:28


RANDALL: *YIKES!* I am so sorry!!! How remiss of me...GLUG GLUG GLUG GLUG 'Now hold that cup still, I can't pour when you're waving your hands about all over the place'.....GLUG GLUG GLUG 'Oops, missed'.

ROSEMARY: I plagiarized that last bit from you. I hope you don't mind. :-)

Teekay 6-9-2001 19:13


Top 'o the mornin' all,

MARY: For what it's worth I too loved 'Red Satin Lover', but I've already told you that :-)
BTW: Congrats on your new job. What a fantasy come true, decorating to you hearts content with somebody elses money *bliss* AND free massages!!!!!

ALLEIN: Weren't you 14 when you began 'Mali & Azol'???

HEATHER & TINA: What is Calvin & Hobbes? Is it a comic book?
Have a great weekend HEATHER.

TAYLOR: Ummmmm, I don't think they were at war at the time Pearl Harbour was attacked. I could be wrong - okay, I'm probably wrong, but in the dark recesses of my mind I remember reading something about that.
And also, I don't feel the Americans and Japanese do share the same ambitions. The Japanese have a totally different ethics code. How about Kamikazze pilots for instance.
AND have you ever seen Japanese game shows where they torture the contestants (in a way) and who ever is left standing wins?????
Freaky man. Scary to think that's how they get their jollies.
We think 'The Weakest Link' is cruel.

AMERICO: Hahahahhahahahahha (quite demure laughter.) Wonderful.

ROSEMARY: So by calling me scary you tried to offend me, but evened it out by saying I am interesting?
Should I be upset or grateful :-D

AMERICO: I do desperately want that book. I'm going to try another book shop on Monday. I hope they can come through.

teas to make, toasts to eat.

Teekay 6-9-2001 19:04

RADNALL (grin)

Jerry-I feel your emotion. In the words I sense how quickly you wrote the post to Taylor. I don't know how, or what mental function we use, but writers can read between the lines as a non-author reads the printed word. It is a remarkable talent. Great post.

Hi Taylor! Hang in there! New minds! Fresh Ideas!

Hi RHODA! :-) Notice I got the name right! :-)))))))

There are so many computations regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor as to boggle the mind. Their fault, our fault, no one's fault. Maybe just destiny? Pre-determination? Someone asked General McArthur why there were more war criminals tried in Germany than in Japan. If my memory is functioning I believe he replied. " The Germans are Anglo-Saxon, they knew better. The Japanese are oriental with different values." Or something like that. Maybe, just maybe it was that simple? Values.

Hi Americo. Seems like I made this comment last year and you called me on it?

I, that is Ol' RD (Randall Dandle,) believe the Japanese military were too far into the concept of Bushido for rational thinking. Dazzled by the polish on rattling swords? Not with the global mindset in 1941. (Whatever the hell that was!) Maybe Japanese ideas could be understood if we imagined the military brass of America would have been fixated on Old West Gunfighters, or Manifest Destiny?

That's a good one.

"Get them Redskins outta here. Move 'em to the reservation! Got ground to plow, buffalo to slaughter, trees to cut, dams to build. GOLD!!!! WHERE??!! Tarnation!!! On the reservation? Well gol dang it, move them varmits again! Call in the calvary!"

Make any sense? No? Perhaps war leaders in Japan were hung up on Samurai codes of conduct? As they understood them? Outdated values, caught between medevial thinking, war tech and the projection of naval air power. Once they acquired the means of war, industrial manufacturing, ball bearings, internal combusted engines, that required oil and metal and workers....they had the devil by the tail. Unable to let go, could not hang on and were devoured, taking the country with them.

All I know is if we ignore the past it will sneak up and bite you on the buttocks! Hard! As most Vietnam vets will quickly point out! Never fight a land war in Asia, or southeast asia for that matter.



Randall 6-9-2001 16:12

Thanks, Jerry, and all the kind Notebookers that can bear my posting in this glorious forum, well-known for its lively discussions about the joys of writing and living and seeing Pearl Harbour. Have you ordered Shadows in a Dream? We want to make it a best-seller and a great American movie. So please hurry up getting the book. Who knows if you are characters in it? The fact that you were not alive yet when the book was started does not mean that you may not be there. The last proofs were corrected only in Abril/May. (This is not a promise, just a charming possibility).The Notebook certainly is there, symbolized in the famous Chelsea Hotel of New York. And Jack dances very well on the roof of the Chelsea by the moonlight of a glorious summer night, in what is probably the most beautiful scene ever written in English describing a ball at the top of a building under the stars. (Excuse immodesty...). But my favorite characters are Emma and Aline.

Sorry, Jon, for my taking your job for a moment as literary and publicity agent. I've been enjoying your anti-advertising campaign. Please do not exaggerate.

PS. Thanks to our old Thomas, I expect to be meeting on Thursday Rosemary Rodriguez, the American movie director and her husband. I'm looking forward to it.

Americo 6-9-2001 13:34


I did not think you said anything truly offensive. I just think perhaps you might have been a bit uninformed. I am not sure how old you are, but I take it you are young enough not to have parent or even a grandparent who did not live around that time like I did. You are looking back at that war without a personal connection and it is understandable you might think the things you do.

Most of your knowledge of that war probably comes from what little they taught you in school and from movies like PEARL HARBOR. Such movies have value, but they are not necessarily historical.

I would suggest that you might get a set of videos, THE WORLD AT WAR. I got this set for my husband for Christmas about four years ago. Last year I watched the whole 12 tape set from beginning to end. It cronicles WWII by not only giving information, but it features interviews with the policy makers and generals from the war. This series was done in the '70's when many of these people were still alive. I had heard the some of the stories from my father and from teachers in school who had fought in the war, but this was the first time I had ever seen an account of the war from beginning to end (the tape covered the Weimer Republic all the way to the dividing of Germany). Before watching those videos I had not really conceived how horrible the war was for people other than the Jews in Germany. I wept after seeing the one about the Bataan death march and the one about the horrors experienced by the Chinese during the Japanese occupation. After seeing those videos I better understood the decisions made during and after the war. The videos put into perspective the dropping of the atomic bombs and the importance of the United Nations and why people revere and embrace it even now. It also showed the horrors of living in Europe with all this going on. At least the United States population never had its homes and land a battle ground like those in Europe.

I believe there is much value for younger people to know about this war because it has defined so many of our policies and institutions of the present, not only in the US but throughout the world, for it was indeed a world war in that hardly a corner of this planet went untouched by it, and every where it touched never was the same again. Such a series of tapes with actual footage might put into perspective for you why people get so emotional over a discussion of that war. Memory of that war should be in the hearts of all people for if for no other reason that this war showed both the depths of evil and the heights of virtue that a human being could possibly experience. That is why we have all these Holocost exibits around the world. That is why people can still view concentration camps so we not forget what human beings are capable of--so we not repeat the same mistakes.

Rhoda 6-9-2001 11:37

Just getting ready to go out to mow.

It was the 'interesting' part that was the compliment. I pick and choose which critiques I accept and the favorable ones tend to win out. I do mull the others over and pick out useful tidbits.

Everyone have a great weekend.
Bye now.

Rosemary 6-9-2001 11:05

Oh, Taylor, you didn't offend me. It's just the thought of all those brave sailors sleeping in the deep; their children who still morn their passing, their wives who grieved for so many years, their parents who tried to understand why.

Americo - So good to see you back again, stick around this time, we have missed you. I see your cats have been back for awhile, but is so good to see you your self back again.

Jerry Ericsson 6-9-2001 10:35

TAYLOR - While it may have been good strategy, it was certainly evil in nature. I would put it in the same category of shooting someone in the back. You know in those old western novels and movies. It is ok to get in a gunfight, so long as you give the other fellow a chance to draw at the same time, but to hide and shoot from behind cover is evil. I don't think the US would ever do anything quite like that, you know to attack another nation without provocation, without a state of war being declared first. To do so would be to go in the face of international law. It would be evil. It would be wrong. It would be murder on a grand scale. That is what Japan did, murder on a grand scale. Yes there are still bodies in those ships sitting on the bottom of the harbor. I have heard those speculations that the President knew about the attack in advance, but those who have studied it say he probably did not. They say that some in the Intelligence community did know shortly before the attack but they failed to notify the proper folks.

Oh and I realize that the Japanese thought they had good cause to attack, as the US was cutting off trade relations with them because of their aggressive acts against other countries. The horrible things they did, such as raping non-combatants in China, bayoneting young children and babies while they were clinging to their mothers breast. Mass assignations of teachers, preachers and mayors in the nations they captured. The torture and murder of prisoners of war. I could go on, but needless to say, I think the Japanese nation committed a great crime against the people of the United States and I don't feel a damn bit sorry for those who died in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But as you say, the attack on our navy as it sat peacefully enjoying the Sunday morning was good strategy. But I don't think the US would have done the same thing had they had a chance. No, I don't think we would have, but who can be sure of anything like that, I wasn't there, in fact I wasn't even alive then.

Jerry Ericsson 6-9-2001 10:23


One afternoon I got a call from J***, a well-known film director. Like any truly great man, he did not give a damn his celebrity and sounded anxious, kind, even shy. Could I please have lunch with him on Sunday? He would like to talk with me about one of my novels.

The invitation was so unexpected that I almost forgot it. I arrived late and nervy at that restaurant downtown. Already sitting at the table, J*** was browsing my book.

"I loved this story. I want to make a movie out of it. Could you sign the book for me, please? Just your name."

I signed it silently.

"What are we going to drink with the arroz de pato"?

I suggested "D‹o S—-Vida" 1975. My mouth was dry and I really needed some wine.

"A good vintage. The f*** producer will pay the bill. How much do you want for the adaptation?"

I told him the first figure that came to my mind. In moments like this I think in millions, not because I'm greedy but because I'm rather poor at Maths.

"And how much if you write the script yourself?"

"The double."

I had no idea how much that would be, but "double" sounds easy enough to make the calculations later.

" I'll tell the f*** producer".

"Well, J***, I'm really interested in that movie. Perhaps we could negotiate. I've asked too much."

"Don't be silly. The more you ask the more respect the f*** producer will have for you. How many filmscripts have you written?"

" WellÉ none. But I'm a writer, you know. "

"Do you see much cinema?"

"Not really."

"Have you got any experience of movie techniques, script writing and all that?"

"No, J***. Perhaps you should ask someone else to do the adaptation. A professional."

"Are you crazy? I hate professional scriptwriters. And, to be honest, I wonÕt give a damn for your script. I already know the movie by heart. It's all here, here."

He drank a glass and suddenly looked cheerful. His voice became almost soft.

" You just write something for the f*** producer. He needs to show it to hundreds of bloody cretins like himself. Write something nice, poetic. I will not even read your script. But the actors and actresses will have to. At least some of them, those who know how to read. The scriptgirls will certainly have to, poor creatures. You wrote the book, I'll make the movie. Two completely different things, two languages. All I want is your title and 40 thousand words to show the f*** producer."

That summer I wrote the script. The movie was shown in 1991. I saw it a dozen times, disguised in the crowd. I don't know if J*** read the script or not, but I was told he said once, in a pub, that the producer had enjoyed it, that f*** cretin.

Americo 6-9-2001 8:18

Heres what I will say, I still stand by the fact that the bombing of Pearl Harbour was good strategy...And I think the Americans would have done the same if the shoe was on the other foot.
Americans and the Japenese soldiers held the same ideals...And boy were the Americans caught napping, I heard they had a couple of early warnings of Japenese occupation in the waters
Have they still got people buried in that battleship?

If I offended anyone...Sorry

Working on another P*** story, this one will be much better, I think its a real killer...Gonna make sure this one turns out right

taylor 6-9-2001 6:47

Heres what I will say, I still stand by the fact that the bombing of Pearl Harbour was good strategy...And I think the Americans would have done the same if the shoe was on the other foot.
Americans and the Japenese soldiers held the same ideals...And boy were the Americans caught napping, I heard they had a couple of early warnings of Japenese occupation in the waters

If I offended anyone...Sorry

Working on another P*** story, this one will be much better, I think its a real killer

taylor 6-9-2001 6:46

Heres what I will say, I still stand by the fact that the bombing of Pearl Harbour was good strategy...And I think the Americans would have done the same if the shoe was on the other foot.
Americans and the Japenese soldiers held the same ideals...And boy were the Americans caught napping, I heard they had a couple of early warnings of Japenese occupation in the waters

If I offended anyone...Sorry

Working on another P*** story, this one will be much better, I think its a real killer

taylor 6-9-2001 6:46


Allein, I'll take you up on that, just not quite yet. I'm afraid I wouldn't get to it right away. I'll let you know when it's a better time (I don't say 'good' time, cause that just won't happen) But I'm looking forward to it!

Heather, have fun! Hmmm... a weekend at the cabin with the inlaws, on second thought, sanity is a more important goal.
About Calvin and Hobbes, if I was stranded on a deserted island, one of the few things I'd want along is a Calvin and Hobbes book. I can read him over and over and over and over and... you know what I mean. The one with the coffee table, and Calvin pounding nails into it, and his mom running into the room yelling 'Calvin what are you doing?' and he says 'Is this a trick question?' I'm laughing just thinking about it.
Regardless, I hope it doesn't rain!

Be well.

Tina 6-9-2001 2:58

Teekay - I hear ya about reading at the monitor. I agree about Richard being good. Wow. :) I never wrote that good at his age.

Tina - Actually, I'm not really updating my webpage anymore but I can e-mail it to you if you like.

Unfortunately, Fortunecity is being stupid and I can't get into my File Manager (this has been going on for about a month) and I have no freaking idea how to use the stupid FTP so I'm probably going to be changing servers around July (when I have some free time).

For the first time today I was mistaken for being older - today this guy in our office wanted to know if I was the dentist. I wonder if he wore glasses at all because I don't look old enough to be a dentist unless I was some kind of child prodigy. I'm not by the way - I'm boarderline crazy house. :p

Allein Allein's World 6-9-2001 1:56

Wish me luck. My family and I are going to my brother in law's log cabin home for a weekend 'retreat'. It sounds great, except for the fact that my husbands OTHER brothers are also going to be there, and his mother as well.
I'll be seeing a lot of the trees on the property, and spending a lot of time hiking under them...

Don't wonder if I'm gone for more than the alotted weekend; I never claimed my sense of direction was profound.

Speaking of people missing from the NB, where's Mark?
Sasquatch? Oh, I could go on... and on.

Mary, if I could erase what that teacher said to you I would, and I'll make a bet that you wouldn't have any misgivings about your poem 'Red Satin Lover' if he hadn't said what he did. I believe that.
Sometimes the inner critic is not our own voice, but a discouraging voice from our pasts. Let those ghosts lie, bury them, cremate them, heck! Grind them up for the roses.
Just don't let them creep into your hearing and let a good poem get dissected because of it. Or any other piece of writing that you feel is fit to be published as is.
Or just fit to be enjoyed. Yes, that's the most important.
I saved it for last on purpose *wink*

Pats on the back and hugs for you, Mary. Congrats on the Chiropractic contract! Can't wait to her what you come up with - what's it look like now, besides horribly outdated?
Remember - if he doesn't have any real plants, make sure he gets at least a few (preferrably easy to care for in case someone forgets to water them) They really make a difference.
Hmmm - guess it would be cheeky to say that if you were redecorating an acupuncturist's office, you could place a few cacti in the window? *snurfle*


But I may be away a few days longer due to forgetting to pay my #*%)%#_ server.
I'll let you know what insights I unearth on my day-long hikes away from inlaws. I'll remember to bring my compass and survival gear: Pen, paper, sunblock, bug repellant, and a Calvin and Hobbes book.

Heather 6-9-2001 1:33

MARY - just don't let him jerk you around! (chiropratic joke) Congrats on the begining of a new career, just don't forget how to write.

Jerry Ericsson 6-8-2001 23:32


Something even funnier: I am getting paid in "adjustments". I don't think I will ever have to pay for chiropractic services again. I feel like the doctor on "Little House on the Prairie" when his patients would pay him with chickens.

Mary 6-8-2001 23:17


LAURA: I checked out your site. I can tell that you have really put quite a bit of thought and time into making it a nice meeting place for people of the writing sort. I will visit again.

This next bit has nothing to do with writing other than it will cut into my writing time. I got my first commercial contract for redecorating the local chiropractor's office. I am SO excited. He gets a lot of traffic in and out of there and the place hasn't been touched in twenty years.

Funny side note about the whole thing: I have some really funky looking chiropractic tables in my basement. I hope I don't get any company that thinks the tables look as kinky as I think they look. Oh my.


Mary 6-8-2001 23:13

Hi All!

I came home from work and firmly decided that I’d do some gardening before I sat down at the computer. But then I wanted to check the e-mail, and then it’s so easy to check the notebook, and now here I am, composing a post, when I’m supposed to be outside weeding!

Such is life.

Rachel, yes I tried to send you the video of the kickboxer and his broken leg. There’s no other way to send it, so far as I know. Ah well, your computer just saved you a lot of sympathetic pain. ;-)

Allein, I haven’t finished reading ‘Mali and Azol’, but one of these days I’ll pop in and do so!

Rhoda and Randall, well said.

Speaking of Richard, where’s he gone to?

Laura, it worked! The last link got me in. Nice place you’re setting up.
I find myself spending too much time in the notebook (happily), so I doubt I’ll get by your place too often, but I’ll keep an eye over there. And I started your much desired crit; just one more chapter to go.

Rosemary, I agree with you on nuance and humour and subtlety. It’s such a fine line between an economical use of words, and not losing the soul of a piece. I’m not referring to your piece, just the thought in general. I never stop arguing with myself about where to draw the line. I think it’s one of the reasons I prefer writing my novel to short stories; there’s so much more room – and expectation – for details.

Jerry, (((HUGS))).

Now, I am going to garden!

Tina 6-8-2001 22:48

TEEKAY: Yes, I love that hopeful story too. The poem was "Red Satin Lover" and I sent the form of it to LITTER, who also wrote a very good poem out of it. He sent it to me ages ago, and now I can't seem to find it.

Anyhow, I will never forget what that poetry mentor said about it...he said, "It's like 'Crocodile Rock' with one foot stuck in the mud."...sighs. Sad part is, I still feel like he is right. Maybe one of these days I will drag it out of hiding and polish it up some more, but I don't think I have expanded my knowledge enough yet to make a difference.

Good luck and hugs to all.

Mary 6-8-2001 22:43


Hi All,

ALLEIN: I did start reading 'Mali & Azol', but I'm hopeless at reading too much from the monitor, my bum starts to go numb and I get all fidgety, however I remember being suprised at how well you wrote for being so young. You wrote well even if you'd been 40, I didn't mean it to come across that you wrote well for your age - which you do, you write well for any age.
I must have been a total dunce as a kid, for look at how you write and how RICHARD writes, you're both so talented.

TAYLOR: The movie 'Pearl Harbour' was not true to form apparently. They didn't want to offend Japanese theatre goers who's money counts just as much as any ones in the box office takings.

HEATHER: Well now, I don't want to be too greedy and hog all the geniusism for my self, besides, you with a weldering iron soldering it on makes me think I might prefer to be a dunce :-D
NOT that I don't think you'd be a remarkable solderer, it's just that, well, I wouldn't want to have to pay you for it.

JERRY: Well written.
I think the wonderful/horrible thing about being a writer is being able to see within a aituation. We can look at a newspaper headline or hear something on the telly and instead of just accepting it and coming to some type of judgemental decision, we have the ability to be able to look within and to see how such a situation may have arose.
Usually we have the ability to be able to see both sides which can also make us seem like fence sitters when it comes to voicing an opinion sometimes.

ROSEMARY: Oh, I thought scary was a compliment.
BTW: People who teach writing classes are not necessarily experts at it- franky I don't think there are any experts at it. (Except for CHRISTI who now holds the genius crown.)
MARY's writing teacher once picked a poem of hers to bits, that poem later went on to win a first prize. (In the same state as MARY had first written it.)
I love this story - it shows such hope.

Well, that's it for me this cold and grey Saturday morning. Perfect weather for losing myself in getting chapter 2 onto the computer.
Oh, if only I could lose myself doing that. What a pain in the bum it is.

Teekay 6-8-2001 22:03

Rhoda: I beg forgiveness in mis-spelling your name. Randall

Randall 6-8-2001 20:48


Very good Rhonda. Always depend upon you for clarity in thought. :-)

Taylor, I read your post and understand what you did not say. The ability of all of us to participate on this site is a prime example of a God given right, enabled by men and women who believed in their country and their right to say what they choose. Many, many, too many died for this freedom. And they died so you could say what you want to say, whether we like it or not. You have just as much a right to comment on your inner (and outer) feelings as the feeble older person who fought for your rights.

No one will run you off this site for indulging in free speech. Especially those who fought for freedom of thought and speech. Because we fought for you. And none more so than the men and women of WWII and Korea. Rhonda is right on in saying we are different than the previous generations. But the values of freedom are still there, the desire for freedom still there, the will to defend these rights still there. WE are still here!


Randall 6-8-2001 20:47


You go girl!!!!

Rosemary 6-8-2001 18:37


There has been all kinds of things posted here, and some of it has been extremely outrageous. So far I don't think any one has been kicked off. However, be warned by someone who has too often posted things she should not have. Oftentimes what is inspired by a bad mood, by reading too much of the press, etc. precipitates discussions, misunderstandings and bad feelings that should never have been.

Freedom of speech such as we enjoy in the US, Canada, Austrailia and elsewhere in the free world is a precious gift indeed. But the responsibility of having to live and own up to what you say is enormous.

Also consider that those who are young today have never lived through a deep economic depression and have never faced the real possibility of hunger. My mother and father did. Furthermore they faced the threat of having an enemy who could actually destroy them and their way of life. Thousands of people died in WWII (mainly civilians) before the United States ever became actively involved. Young Americans and Western Europeans today have never faced a threat real or perceived that could kill them or endanger them. Don't expect to identify with them because your life is so much different. But do realize that the life you live today is night and day different from almost ten thousand years of human history when all people had to think about was how to keep a roof over their head, avoid a plague, defend their homes and property, pay tributes or taxes to their landlords or overseers, survive a famine and feed their families. Be happy and thankful you have it so good.

Rhoda 6-8-2001 15:06

Hi all :o) I am just reading over the posts now! Everyone is out and about on the NB.

Tina - You sent me an e-mail. I wasn't able to get it. It was too large :0( Ah well...

Ciao, ciao, for now!

Rachel 6-8-2001 13:38

arrrgh...I was just there it works but it won't link to this site, you may have to type it in and go manually.

laura Link 6-8-2001 12:58

it is working, I was just there, you may have to refresh once you get there but it is working....

laura Laura's writer's lounge 6-8-2001 12:53

Sorry about the double post. Looked like it didn't go the first time. It just sat there. OH Well, going to be one of those days.

Me again 6-8-2001 11:40

Morning all,

Excellent suggestions all, just wish they had been before I turned the paper in. I understand about having to be concise and cutting out all extranious words but at the same time, you have to be careful not to cut all the humor and nuance out of the piece. The "Oops, missed" was suposed to show that he had done it on purpose. Typical brothers squabbling. The headline at the end was for the teacher. She had been talking about alliterations and I thought I would use it and explain at the same time. BUT--you're both right. That piece needs a lot of work. Luckly, I turned in two pieces and didn't depend on that one.
If anyone remembers 'Sweet Obsession' the si/fi story about sugar, I turned it in the week before and except for a couple of small technicalities (like spelling the character's name differently in a couple of places) she seemed to love it. Got an excellent review from her. Very encouraging.
The work and fun that we do on the notebook has its useful side. (Useful is not the right word, but my dog kept me up half the night and I can't think right now.)
Bye for now. and Thanks again Teekay and Heather. Even after I called Teekay scary. :-}

Rosemary 6-8-2001 11:39

Morning all,

Excellent suggestions all, just wish they had been before I turned the paper in. I understand about having to be concise and cutting out all extranious words but at the same time, you have to be careful not to cut all the humor and nuance out of the piece. The "Oops, missed" was suposed to show that he had done it on purpose. Typical brothers squabbling. The headline at the end was for the teacher. She had been talking about alliterations and I thought I would use it and explain at the same time. BUT--you're both right. That piece needs a lot of work. Luckly, I turned in two pieces and didn't depend on that one.
If anyone remembers 'Sweet Obsession' the si/fi story about sugar, I turned it in the week before and except for a couple of small technicalities (like spelling the character's name differently in a couple of places) she seemed to love it. Got an excellent review from her. Very encouraging.
The work and fun that we do on the notebook has its useful side. (Useful is not the right word, but my dog kept me up half the night and I can't think right now.)
Bye for now. and Thanks again Teekay and Heather. Even after I called Teekay scary. :-}

Rosemary 6-8-2001 11:38

Just sitting here listening to music, thinking of an old boyhood friend who just took his own life, jotted this down and thought I would post it here, it isn't very long.

Sky Pilot
By Jerry Ericsson

“How long has he been this way this time?”

“Bout eight hours, we have got to do something.”

“I know honey but what, last time your father got like this, he nearly hit me just for asking him if he wanted a beer.”

“I remember mom. My God, that music, how many times can one person listen to that Animals tape, and it’s so loud, I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t called.”

“They did, about two hours ago, I tried to explain, Bill was in the war too, I think he understood. He said something about getting him admitted to the VA.”

“Does he have the gun this time too.”

“Yes, the pistol this time, you know the one, the war trophy one that he took off that dead NVA officer. He had Tom get him a box of shells for it, I am scared he will use it.”

“You just have to call the police mom, before he hurts someone, before he kills himself.”

The music got louder, so loud that it shook the windows. The Animals singing Sky Pilot, it was Jim’s favorite song, well not the absolute favorite, but in the top five.

Jane and Julie went out on the deck, where they both lit up cigarettes and sat down at the table.

“You have to call them mom, he is getting worse and worse.”

The music stopped, the girls held their breath, then the shot. Thirty one years of pain, thirty one years of nightmares were over. Jane was devastated, but somewhere in the back of her mind, she was relieved.

In Memory of Verlin who took his own life 6/5/01.

Jerry Ericsson 6-8-2001 11:38


I just read your care packages post. I'm tearing up and getting chills. I don't know if you realize how moving that was. We are all connected. Not only that we never know how much we affect people's lives. One person CAN do a lot even change the world.

Thanks, for putting my day in perspective.

Debra 6-8-2001 9:54

Hello all: Am moderately on the side of getting well, finally. So, I will endeavor to do some of the chores with both the Workbook and the Notebook sometime tomorrow or, at least, get started. I did correct the HTML that Rhoda did on Hayden. Somehow the bracket got in the wrong place.

Big news is that the DVD of Jin-Roh arrived from Singapore today. In Japanese with English and Chinese sub titles. All regions, BTW. Finally had a chance to sit down and watch it all the way through tonight. Am fair to moderately blown away. This is from the same team that brough us Ghost In The Shell. It is a multi layers and I do mean multi layered psychological drama set in a parallel universe in which Japan lost a nuclear war ala World War II with Nazi Germany and this takes place subsequent to the occupation, sometime around the 70s. The writing is top flight and the thematic incorporation of the original Grimm's Fairy Tale Version of Red Riding Hood makes me wonder where the writers are around in Hollywood. I like. I like. I like a lot. More to the point, I want more. Notice all that saliva pooling on the cold concrete and crinkly celluloid strips underneath your feet ;-) Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-8-2001 3:09

I agree with Teekay, Rosemary. If there's a limit, such as 250 words, you have to be as economocal with words as possible, but that doesn't mean to leave out the point of the story. If you have to write a line on the bottom to follow the story in order to explain it, then obviously there's something pretty big missing in the story. Easier to rewrite since it's only 250 words.

The whole 250 words should focus on the point of the story and then the characters - little else matters with such a short limit on words. I wouldn't worry even with the 'Oops, missed' stuff - that's just fluff.
If the action has nothing to do with the point of the story, it doesn't need to be there. I couldn't figure out what the fight scene was FOR.
(I know what it's over, just not the reason it was part of the story)

I really hope you clarified everything for the class, and remember - it's all a learning experience.

Like tonight - I posted my shortie before editing it at all, and then noticed some things I should have changed, etc.
That teaches me I shouldn't be so LAZY, even if it's an exercise for the fun of it.

Good shorties, Jerry and Christi, and Litter too!

Teekay - your genius is a helmet, and if you like, for a nominal fee, I can weld it on for you - so no one can usurp such a sought after prize.

Oh, and Gariess, just where are you, after all? You were so pining for Hayden to come back, now he's here and you've been gone ages! I should wonder if you didn't have a little lightbulb accident on the coast. You didn't go looking for a submarine sandwich on the hill, did you?

Pussy - nice poem... how do you type with such delicate paws? Does Jon type it for you as you recite? I imagine he makes quite a handsome secretary. Do you have to remind yourself to concentrate on the poetry and not on Jon?

***code in effect,ummm, now!*** I imagine Rachel is the beautiful shell! ***code off, so now only Jon may read the above coded message*** Pussy, you must translate for Jon.

Heather 6-8-2001 3:06

Helloooooo everyone, just popped in

Teekay: How long does an era last? That's what I am going to find out, I am going to make it last as long as I can

Mummy returns....All I can say is that I wanted 'The Rock' to have more of an acting role, waiting for The Scorpion King...Then I will see how good he is at acting

I saw Pearl Harbour last night...Jeez I hope I am not becoming cold hearted, I felt nothing during the movie, however the ending was good for a laugh...
But the Japs bombing of pearl harbour was a stroke of strategic genius I reckon...Got to find out more of the correct statistics before I can comment more...

If I say what I really thought deep down about it I will get kicked off this site.
However I will never deliberately disrespect anyone who fought for their country

Taylor 6-8-2001 2:40


ROSEMARY: Sorry, my point in that last post is that even if you only have 100 words to work with, if you leave out all the hanger and use words which are important to the story it will make it much more focused.

Hope this doesn't post twice.

Teekay 6-8-2001 0:43

This is a HTML free zone? I did not know. Sorry about the previous post. Hayden's name in big purple letters would have been great. Oh well.

Rhoda 6-8-2001 0:40

Melanie - No special guy for a wedding. I have a boyfriend, but we're not too serious.

Teekay - I know you know about Mali and Azol. Have you read it at all? Just curious because I don't remember who has and who hasn't. Have I told you about Morningbird Lane?

Allein Allein's World 6-8-2001 0:37



Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! For getting Hayden to come back and visit.


I am beside myself with joy to hear from you, and you are going to be a father. Congratulations! I am sorry to hear about your fortunes with your publishing contract, but hang in there, I know it will all work out for you.

Rhoda 6-8-2001 0:37


CHRISTI: Duh, uh, I err, I duh I, I dunno, something feels duh,..... sorta funny, my... uh, my.... ummmm head's cold and my ears .....they uh, they feel.... sort of real light and uh .....airy sort of thing.

I don't know how you can expect me to write a shorty with only one brain and no 'Genius Crown"! *sheesh!'

JERRY: heh heh, good one.

ROSEMARY: Sawdust covered Hanz's high-heeled boots. He reached for the pitcher of beer just in time to meet Bruno's big paw on the handle.
Dotty frowned and said, "Boys, boys. There's plenty for all of us."
"Make greedy Gus wait his turn." Bruno tipped the picture into his mug. The last drops ran over the top onto the table. "Oops. Missed."

60 words.

Sawdust covered Hanz’s boots. Reaching for the beer pitcher he met Bruno’s paw on the handle.
Dotty frowned, “Boys, boys, there’s plenty for all of us.”
“Greedy Gus can wait his turn.” Bruno tipped the pitcher into his mug, the last drops running onto the table. “Oops, missed.”

48 words.

I'm saying the same thing, but removing unecessary words. And I think by removing those words the story becomes clearer.

Teekay 6-8-2001 0:34

WW II what a war, the second war to end all wars. I guess I am among those who had no relatives fighting in it. Dad was too young to fight in WW I and too old to be called in WWII, one of his brothers was in the service, but he was in the Coast Guard, and stayed around the USA.

Oh Mom and Dad did participate, what with the rationing, victory gardens and all. They even sent care packages to mom's cousins in Germany, who were starving because of the war. In fact I used to write to one of them, she was the one who told me that Mom and Dad's care package saved her and her children who had absolutly nothing, no food, no new cloths, nothing until the care packages arrived every month. I am sure the rest of my relatives did simular things, well most of them, there are a few who I have doubts. I guess I did know many who did fight, back when I first came home from Nam, I was invited to join the Legion, and I did. Used to go down and have a drink once in awhile with all the Vets at the club, and hear them talk of the war.

Write on all.

Jerry Ericsson 6-8-2001 0:18


You're right, the piece is missing something. We were limited to 250 words, had to have 3 characters and be in a genre we didn't like. I added a line at the bottom that indicated that they were in town to close a business deal and if word got out the price would go up. I then had to cut words out above to meet the limit. Hope that fixed it because I had to turn it in this morning. BTW, you've always sounded a little scary to me but it's always been interesting.

So glad your dog came home. My Sister's dog left about 3 weeks ago and I miss him more than she does. The last time he did this, he came home dragging a rope. Maybe later???

Out of here for now.

Rosemary 6-8-2001 0:11

Haydon - Welcome back man, glad to see you drop by. I do recall you, although it has been some time. It seems there are always some folk who dissaper from time to time, only to come back and say hi. Always nice to welcome them back.

What happened to Arik?
Hope he is safe what with all that is happening in his neck of the world right now.

Jerry Ericsson 6-8-2001 0:07

Hey, I did it on time this week, here is my THURSDAY Shorty. Hope you enjoy it.


“My God! Is she really dead?” Ask Mildred, a Winston in her right hand, a cup of coffee in her left.

“Oh my yes. Burned to a crisp my husband told me, and he should know he has coffee with Bob and Bob works on the Fire Department.” Said Wilma

“I wonder who killed her?”

“I talked to MA, and she said her husband the Sheriff said it was an accident. Said Emma as she filled Mildred’s coffee cup.

“Well I don’t believe that, Bonnie was just too good a driver to have an accident.”

“Bob said the Sheriff told them it was an accident too, but he didn’t buy it any more then I do.”

Lynn O’Brady came in and sat at the booth in the corner, he nodded at the three ladies who sat at the waitress table.

“My son said that Lynn probably killed her, because she caught Lynn selling drugs to her son Ronnie.” Whispered Wilma, nodding toward the officer who was lighting up a Kool, and had the Daily News opened before him.

A few days later, word got around about the officer, the whole town knew, well almost the whole town, except Officer O’Brady who remained blissfully ignorant.

That Tuesday the ladies again met at the waitress table.

“I had coffee with Audrey on Friday, and she said that the Sheriff and the Highway Patrol Commander got in a big fight about Bennie’s accident, sounds like the Commander will try and get the Sheriff removed because he insists it was an accident.” Said Mildred

“I know,” said Wilma, but I think it was the cop that did it. I heard that the States Attorney is going to have an autopsy done to see if she was murdered.” Said Emma, sitting with the other two ladies.

Suddenly Wilma screamed at the top of her lungs, Emma dropped the coffee pot and it fell to the floor, shattering and splashing hot coffee over everything, Emma included, who joined Wilma in the scream.

“Hi ladies,” Said Bonnie, “had a great vacation in Bismarck last week, but it sure is good to be home again.”

Jerry Ericsson 6-7-2001 23:52

Oooof! There you are, Teekay, you little devil! *Snort* Lookie there, I just snatched your crown!

Christi 6-7-2001 23:31



Mel, I'm so relieved to hear that all is well with your hubby. That was some scare. Now you can get back to the daily grind and enjoy it!

Tina, I felt much relief for the doggie-come-home too. Whew! It's so traumatic when a pet runs away.

Oh, Litter, your shortie was hilarious! Now I'm going to feel longwinded. Okay, I AM longwinded. Hugs to you in the hopes that you'll feel much better soon.

All this info about sprain and breaks and YOWCH! I've never broken anything but my pinkie finger but I've had TONS of stitches.

Congratulations, Hayden! Nice job on the babymaking! :) I look forward to checking out your site.

Hey, Randall, Always love to read your posts.

Wow, Heather, Your shortie was gorgeous!

Teekay, you haven't posted for a few days. Aren't you going to give us a shortie?!?!?!

I'm lucky that shortie night is short on shorties (groan), because mine is looooongie! Sorry, guys, I got carried away. This was a fun topic, Mary!

The Glass is Half Empty
By Christi Ritchotte

Doreen was halfway down the block before she felt the breeze on her rear end. That’s funny,” she thought, and reached around to smooth her skirt out. She recoiled in horror when her hand touched the skin of her bare right buttock and yelped in a high-pitched shriek. It wasn’t a loud shriek, no indeed, but just loud enough to attract the attention of Ralph, the Schwann’s man, two old biddies taking a stroll, and a truckload of filthy construction workers, who lost not a moment before they filled the air with cat calls and whistles. “Take it off, Mama! Woo woo! Will ya lookie there, I think she’s got the hot’s for ya, Frankie!”

Blushing furiously, she yanked the hem of her skirt out of her control top pantyhose and stalked up the street to where her friend, Marjorie Tanner lived. Tears threatened to come but she steeled herself against them. Fine thing, a grown lady crying over something so trivial. It was just that the day hadn’t started well and this hadn’t helped her hurt ego. Her boss had called her at home as she was leaving for work that morning and informed her that she would now have Mondays off for at least the rest of the month, and to enjoy the reprieve. The slowed-down economy had not done wonders for the business. But Doreen knew what her really meant. If a layoff happened, and it wasn’t looking good at present, she’d be the first one to go. She wasn’t the boss’s shining star, but she’d be damned if she’d kiss his ass like the rest her coworkers.

Doreen rounded the sidewalk, heading towards the rickety gate of the house standing on the corner, the house with splintered wood shingles that just screamed for a paint job. When she got to the gate, the latch stuck and she felt her temperature go up another ten degrees. Marjorie should really get that lazy husband of hers to fix some things around the house and yard. She needed to crack that whip, it was the only way to get a man to do his job. Her nose wrinkled up when she finally got the latch open and looked at the massive expanse of yellowed yard, taken over with weeds. The place was an embarrassment. Everyone else knew it; it was a wonder that Marjorie didn’t seem to care.

The wind blew, reminding her to clamp onto her skirt as she walked up the front steps to knock on an old screen door latent with holes. She did not wish to give a repeat performance of what had happened on the street only moments before.

“Hello? Marjorie, are you home? Marjorie!” Where was she? She was always home with her boys, dressed down in her schoolmarm attire. Marjorie never had seemed interested in appearing attractive to others. Doreen couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen her in makeup. Who knew, maybe it was a rule in the stay-at-home-moms handbook or something.

“Hrumph.” She peered over into the driveway. The car was here, so she had to be home. “Bet she’s out back playing with those boys, making dirt highways again,” she muttered. She picked her way through the yard, careful not to dirty herself until she came to a cluster of unkempt shrubs. Disgraceful.

She was about to yell for Marjorie when she heard the voice of her friend. She peered around the shrubbery and saw Marjorie sitting on the back porch in her rocker, not a child in sight. She was on the telephone, her voice was low, as if trying to be discreet, but not so low that Doreen couldn’t hear. Doreen’s ears tingled and a slow smile came to her lips. She knew she shouldn’t eavesdrop, but it was a hard habit to break. She’d been eavesdropping on conversations practically since the womb. It was how she got her juiciest bits of gossip.

“No,” Marjorie was saying. “He hasn’t come back yet. I don’t think he’s coming back.” Her voice was upset-tearful.

Oh my God! Shaun was leaving her! Doreen was gasping from shock. Theirs had always seemed a happy and idyllic marriage! She held her breath, afraid to miss out on a single syllable.

“Yeah, he packed up his suitcase after he told her he’d been having an affair with this woman for ten years. I just can’t believe it! I mean, you think you know your own parents … and for this to happen after forty years of marriage …” She sighed.

Her parents? Oh that was even better! What a scoop!

“Yeah … uh huh. Well anyway, I don’t really want to talk about it right now. I’m still in shock about the whole thing. Let’s talk about something else, shall we?”

There was silence and then a laugh. And then something Doreen wasn’t prepared for-her own name.

“Doreen Pierce? Yeah, she still comes over here, doesn’t seem to matter how many hints I drop. I mean, how do you tell a person as persistent as she is that you just can’t stand her … but in a nice way? I don’t know, Hannah, I guess she’d be okay if she didn’t spend every moment that she’s here saying the most horrible things about other people. She’s the worst gossip I’ve ever heard, and that’s including my Great Aunt Sophie, the old battleaxe.”

Doreen felt like her heart had stopped. Her face flushed over so completely that it almost hurt. How could Marjorie say such things? Marjorie liked her; she had to! Marjorie liked everybody! Tears sprang to her eyes and rolled down her cheeks in silence. She didn’t want to listen anymore. She didn’t want to hear what else Marjorie had to say about her.

Head hung low, she walked unseeing all the way to her house, wiping her eyes on her sleeves. Her nose ran in a steady stream. Oh God, she WAS a nasty person. She was horrible. She did say hideous things that no person should say.

She stood in front of her entry mirror staring at her reflection. The woman in the mirror was a miserable scrub. “I resolve to be a nicer person,” she said out loud to see how it felt. It felt good. “I resolve to care about the feelings of those around me,” she said louder and with more conviction. Soon she was near to shouting. “I WILL CHANGE! I WILL!” She straightened her back and threw her shoulders back. She would show Marjorie the new caring Doreen, the sweet, kind and attentive Doreen. Marjorie would be happy to see her coming the next time, and she would tell her friends what a sweet and caring person Doreen had turned into.

Doreen smiled. She’d call Majorie and ask her to lunch. They’d chat and get to know each other all over again. Doreen couldn’t wait. She picked up the phone … but before she punched in the number she hesitated.
Yes, she would do it and it was going to be wonderful, but first she had to call Velda to tell her about Mr. And Mrs. Tanner’s separation. She’d fall over dead in her Cheerios!

The End

Christi 6-7-2001 23:26


Hi Everyone,

ROSEMARY: I read your piece and I think that Yes, it really should make some sort of sense. Is there more to what you posted or is that it?
It's rather hard to give an opinion on such a short piece. It was written well enough, but we didn't get to see any character building or even get to know what it was about.
I know that there have been shorter pieces posted here, but they've generally had a point to them and I didn't really see one with this piece.

ALLEIN: Of course! I know about Mali and Azol *slaps* up the side of my head.

TAYLOR: Having the crown makes you a genius you silly. You can't be a genius without the crown. "tsk* I thought everyone knew that.
See the bumbling idiot HOWARD's become since I took the crown?

HOWARD: Just joking there HOWARD.

TAYLOR: Psst. Not really, but don't let HOWARD know, he might get upset.
BTW: How long does an era last?

ROSEMARY: Most Australians are scary. It's one thing we're good at. :-D For some of us it's the only thing we're good at.

HEATHER: I found a brain, but I'm keeping it. Now I can say 'I'm racking my brains.'
Besides, it probably isn't yours because, as far as I know brains can't swim.
Oh wait...... darn it. It was my brain the whole time.
Great, now I have to go back to 'racking my brain'.
Any one seen a spare brain around? Heather?


TINA: I really hope you find your dog.

JON: Well my guess would be 'me', but as I wasn't even around at that stage *SOB* I'm guessing I'm wrong.
I didn't email this guess as it was a bit of a non guess and I don't think they count.
Do they?

Now lets see if this works:
I really hope I get my book published.
Wait, first things first.
I really hope I get my book written.

MEL: Yes, the ending was definitely the best part. I was really looking forward to it.

LAURA: Every time I tried to go to your site I couldn't get there or it was down or some such, whichever it was I couldn't get there, so I gave up. Sorry, I'll try again later.

BARNABAS: I went to your site too and you only have one part of it up and working. Let me know when it's all up and running okay.

HEATHER: No rush. No rush at all. You just take your time.

HAYDEN: O yes, we know you very well, and you have GARIESS to thank for that. Wonder where he is now.
Congratulations BTW.
Always wondered where writers go when they stop coming here.
Anyway, welcome back.

I've got a fair whack of stuff written on my ?Novel? and I think I'd better start typing it onto the computer because it's beginning to look REALLY scary!

Almost forgot, I got another rejection slip today. Can you believe it? I forgot about it. I am getting sooooooo hardened.

Teekay 6-7-2001 23:04

Sorry - the first two paragraphs in my shortie should have been one.

(And I didn't really title it 'cause I didn't know what was going to pop out)

So I think I'll leave titling it until later...

Viv- just got your message when I refreshed this page.
Sorry to hear of the computer and the moving woes.
I may be offline for the upcoming week - forgot to pay my server! I hope I can get over there and drop off a cheque in time before we get cut off...

(The server office is, of course, out of town)

Best wishes and muse-attacks to all,

Heather 6-7-2001 22:57

Thanks, Randall.

Nice list!

Don't we wish publishers would give us that kind of info?

HAYDEN! I've heard much about you and wanted to 'meet' you via the Notebook for some time.
Welcome back, even if it's only a brief interlude. I'm sorry to hear about the belly-up-ishness of the publisher interested in your novel. I guess here comes the cliche in the writer's world: Keep sending it off.

I had a passing fantastical malfunctioning thought recently: To send off a short story or two printed on NEON purple paper, but I have a feeling this would piss off the editors, rather than make them sit up and say, "Aha! Originality! What verve! To send such a story on succulent purple paper - WOW! Hey, Frank, pass me my cheque book and those contract forms...")
There's nothing that says amateur like purple neon.


Oh, and Hayden? Congratulations!
If you name him Othello and he turns out to be a mime, don't blame yourself. It was just meant to be.

Shortie Night...

Oh, gossip. OH GOSSIP!
"I have a love-hate relationship with gossip.
There have been too many Gregs in the world who think you'll go to the Lookout and romp in the back of their mother's station wagon when there's been gossip making another infamous round, and you happen to make it into the punchline more than once a month.

"It doesn't matter what the gossip claimed, it was name-dropping and the boys didn't listen too close anyhow, far as I'm concerned. When does a man listen to a woman with pricked ears, 'less she's tellin' him what's for supper, or what's on the TV?" I said.

"Oh, Merla, don't you bet any big lump sums that they weren't listening with a fever to that gossip, and I'll bet they still do so long as there's a firm set of breasts mentioned!" That was Hattie. She always had a thing about men ogling big-breasted women, since she wasn't one of them.

Then my sister Miranda chimes in, and I have a love-hate relationship with her, too. "You're just mad about gossipin' 'cause the stuff about you's true, you goat!"

Now that was it. "It's high time you got your batteries checked, Miranda, darling." She hates it when I call her 'darling'.

Hattie starts chuckling in that low-down deep Southern lady's chuckle. She primps her frizzed-out hairdo and turns to me with her cheeks rosier than a MacIntosh.
"Why, Merla, don't get so catty. She's only heard some hot tidbits and you're not givin' her a chance to wade in," she says, fanning herself with the glossy ad from the newspaper.

I cross my arms over my chest and I heave a sigh, while my eyes roll on up in my head for a wild minute. "All right, Miranda, what's it now?"

Miranda gets this little girl-devil gleam in her eye, and I wonder if she's going to split like a sack of dried chili beans before she can blurt it out. "I hear you've been out with ol' Henry and you're seein' him again tomorrow night," she giggles.

My eyes are almost done rolling. "Now what makes you think that's a hot bit of gossip, girl? That's nothin'! You should hear what that little Bessie-Lynn did down at the lumber yard! I heard she had her knickers up 'round her head after hours with that delivery boy, and they got caught when the cops came to investigate the commotion! That coot Jerome down the street saw those lights flick on and off, an' thought there was a burglar out back!"

Now I waited until Hattie and Miranda stopped laughing and blushing to serve the iced tea, and I squeezed those lemon wedges 'til they were flat still waiting.

"Merla, you never heard that! You're just makin' it up!" Hattie exclaims, and she waits for me to refute my sources.
So I don't.

I just shrug instead. Then I thought better of it and added, "You just wait 'til those two have to get married, and then you'll know I wasn't tellin' you no lies."
I started gulping back my iced tea, as it was hotter than sittin' in a bee hive wearing that long dress.

"Well, I'll be the first to know about that," Miranda chimes in, "Cause she comes into my store every couple o' days with her Aunt, and they're always buying the oddest things."

"Like what?" That's Hattie. Always wanting to know even the boring stuff.

"Well, like her Aunt's taken her in since her mother disappeared, and they've lately been buyin' that fertilizer, that what, I think it's called blood and bone meal? For roses, she says. But that bung looks just like ashes to me. They could be mixin' in ol' Wilamina's body parts and passin' it off as fertilizin' roses."

"Now Miranda, where do you get off?" I ask, turning to her and giving her that look I always give her when she starts spoutin' nonsense.

"The cops never did find her, and they didn't rule out foul play." Hattie takes Miranda's side.

"Don't you think there're a few hundred better places to put Wilamina than a rose bush? I mean, if they did off her. Which I'm sure they didn't." I pour myself another glass and I look up to see Hattie's face. She disapproves. I think it's because she wants more iced tea but doesn't think it's polite to take the near-last glassful. "Besides, you'd have to grind her up first and all that if you wanted to make it look the same as bone meal," I say, thinking that it's a little morbid, but also a little late to take it back.

Miranda's nose is crunching up and her face looks much like those pinched-up lemon rinds.

"Hey, you brought it up," I reply, giving her another look.

Hattie finally gives in to her thirst and asks for another glass. Then she gets this funny expression on her face. "I wonder if they're the sort to do that kind of thing. I mean, that Aunt of hers is the meanest old witch I ever met, and no scruples to boot. And that girl, she's got about as many scruples as her Aunt, I dare say."

Now it's my turn to be amused. "I'll tell you she's got at least one," and I put my empty glass down and start rubbing my hands together. "She let that Scott down the street from her go awful easy. She never chased him, never bothered him again after he told her he got another girl pregnant. And he married her too, and Bessie-Lynn went to the wedding, all happy for him from what I could see."

"That's only because they didn't open her wedding gift yet," Miranda chirped. "You should have heard what she did!"

Now Hattie and I are transfixed, hanging our ears on Miranda's every word. "She filled up a box of broken Crystal with horse shit! Then she put that inside a bigger box with those styrofoam balls, so you could hardly smell the inside box, you know? And then she mailed it to their house the night of the wedding."

"Oh, that's horrible!" I shout, and I'm backing through the porch door to the kitchen to make more tea.
I can hear those two old coots on the porch laughing about the gossip, and I start to wonder if we'll ever stop gossiping, ever. I mean, Hattie, she's older than I am, and me and Miranda, we're both just about ready to skate on into that retirement villa they just hammered up over by the river.

I've got another batch of iced tea and I'm standing at the screen door, waiting 'til Miranda sees me so she can open it for me. My hands are full with lemon wedges and the pitcher, and with my arthritis in this humidity, I can't kick the door open with my hip any more.

"You ol' codgers," I laugh at them, "Will you take a look at how you're carryin' on while I'm in the kitchen? Couple of old birdies, still singin' away..." and I'm on the porch again, we're watching those young kids strut by arm in arm, and I get to wishin' I was still nubile enough to dance - really dance - with Henry tomorrow night. Instead, we'd be here, on the porch, with me wishin' he'd think me young enough to kiss. Or even, dare I say it? Young enough to go to the Lookout again.

Heather 6-7-2001 22:41

A half an hour trying to get that right but I learned more than you'd think.

Jack, take good care of yourself and don't worry about something as silly as this right now. When you are up and around, I'll bug you again. Thanks for the interesting trip backstage. Nothing like a new idea to bring the frustration level back down and give you something to play with in your mind. "Now if I tried typing html I wonder... Need to look back at Jack's post."

Viv 6-7-2001 22:40

Can't find the bad word. Try a less disgusting concept.

Flowers. Sorry folks. I have to post this to see it on the source stuff.

I'm sorry to do this but somehow it would make me feel more empowered before I go house hunting if I actually accomplish it. Am I procrastinating? Probably, but I'll try one more time. It's chasing away all the homicidal thoughts I'm having toward a certain group of move-happy people.

Viv 6-7-2001 22:25

Hi Heather:
I did a bit of revision at work and got the story back in the correct format. I'm working in wordpad right now. I also spell checked. I'm going in on Saturday so that I won't have to "be polite" and keep time on the computer short. I need to do my grades, write papers, and work a little more on the story. I don't like it. I hate doing private stuff in a public place but if I have a quiet place where I can work, I can get better work accomplished. I just don't know what I think on the thing. Half of me wants to rip off the beginning and ending and the other half of me says it needs to be there. I really did a major revision so I'll check before I post. If it fits, fine. If it doesn't tell me so I can fit it elsewhere if you think it stands on it's own.

The computer is still down and now I've been given orders to move in 60 days. During finals. I'm not a happy camper. In fact, I'm going to find a few fine folks to slaughter today. Actually, I'm not. The powers that make the decisions are well insulated and there's nothing you can do to rock their comfortable little boats. Looks like the move will be made when all moves are made...during the most impossible time to move. Swallow twice because it's going to be rough going down and tougher coming out, but this is the way we make our money.

What's tough is I have to keep the whole thing positive so that the family can make a great adjustment. I think I'll go looking for a house today and see what I can find. Maybe if I find something nice I'll feel a little less scared and a lot more positive about what I can accomplish.

I just wish my computer would work. I wish I could get it to work myself. Jerry, what you said sounds like what everyone else is saying. It works IF and there are a whole lot of IF's. I have a feeling the first three tries aren't going to work and the result I get will be "homemade".

Jack. I'm going to try that trick. Even if it doesn't work this word fits with the exact way I'm feeling right now. SHIT!

Viv 6-7-2001 21:56



Wrote the last part of the post last night, but surprise, surprise, surprise not a lot of flak.

Thank you.

Hallee-I'm from Texas, central Texas. I saw something yesterday that set me off on a tear. Sorry guys.

Jerry-Hell buddy. What can I say? Maintain kool. Write with emotion!

Heather-Thank you. Expected no less from you. My heart goes out to you, your family and your grandfather. Bless him and I hope he sleeps forever in the Arms of the Lord.

Melanie-Thank you and write, write, write. Even if you have to make a fool of yourself as I. But WRITE IT DOWN! It is so important to put one's thoughts on paper. So very important...........

HOWARD-I knew better. Knew it was ‘44 not '45. Stupid mistake. When writing with emotion, it is best to keep head on straight.

Wrote this last night..............

"Well now, stepped on some toes did I? In all fairness I did qualify my post as blowing off steam. And if I offended anyone, please accept my apologies. Okay?

However, I feel it is important to deal cards from the top of the deck. So to speak. No doubt Elite Writers is a quality bunch, dedicated to the art of writing perfection and writer gratification. Goes without saying, huh? Of course anyone may ask for writing qualifications, after all without background checks how may an individual know who they're dealing with? And I believe EW said references would be checked. God knows a writer from the School Of Ronin should be excluded from such an elite gathering of writing talent.

So any business seeking, say, soliciting writers for assignment, or, okay, freelance work would be prepared to offer, oh, proof of financial dependability, and business reliability.

1. Elite Writers...Please make available a hard address. Land line, with area code please, physical location, street, or apartment or basement. Notarized.

2. A list of company employees, longivity, qualifications, education, etc. Notarized.

3. List of contacts within publishing industry, include phone numbers. Notarized

4. Please make available a list of owner and owners and editors. Notarized.

5. A city and state business license with addresses to match #1. For the last five years. Notarized.

6. An audited, itemized account of business expenditures, for the last five years. Notarized.

7. An audited, Federal Income Tax return for the last five years of owner to match #4. Notarized.

8. Ditto for state, county and city taxes. Notarized.

9. An audited, notarized, itemized. personal financial statement for owner and owners. Last five years.

10. Please make available a list of writers who have submitted work to Elite Writers and published. Thoes who have not.

Sadly, there are persons who seek to defraud writers. P.T. Barnum, who should know, said "There is a sucker born every minute." More up to date the post office says of mail fraud (E-mail fraud) it is too good to be true it probably is."

Persons who seek to employ writers with a promise, at least hinted, should be viewed with skepticism. At best.


Randall 6-7-2001 20:31

Hi all

Rachel dragged me out of my studio and demanded that I drop by and say 'hi all'. For those of you who don't know me, I spent a lot of time driving through these parts a few years back. Now I just drive the lonely back roads of my mind...hey, isn't that a song.

Nah, it's not that bad. I've spent the last two year trying to get novels together. I had a bit of luck being short listed for a major prize, was told I'd get a book contract, but the publisher got taken over and know how it is. Haven't been able to break back in. Since then I've written three other novels [the last of which I'm holding out good hope for] and a few short stories.

I've also spent a lot of time illustrating. Have a look at my website, and especially at which is recent work, but not on the main navigation.

But, RHODA, JACK, BOB, SnARLY, etc, the biggest change is I'm going to be a dad. At 45! Didn't think I wanted kids till the 'accident' happened, and now I'm going spare about it all. Running around trying to be sedate and measured and calm and!!

Yes, I know, I'll have to get a sidecar for the Porsche, but I accept that.

Jo's over the moon, of course. Sept 28 is the due date and it's a little boy. Should I call him Jack, Bob, Witch...nah, none of those fit.

But we have decided a name to call the little fellow if he gives us trouble. We'll call him Heath Othello Petersen. Try saying that!

Anyway, I'll not tie up the list. You all stay well. Blame Rachel for this return. I can't guarantee that I'll spend much time here though.

Oh, BTW, good luck with the publication, you Fearful Four.

Les(aka Hayden, aka Percy, aka ummmm..., aka...oh, whatever)

Hayden Link 6-7-2001 19:19


So relieved to read that all looks well for your husband. I can imagine how frightened you both must have been.

Rhoda 6-7-2001 18:01



Great to see both of you posting!

Teekay - hang in there girlie, I'm trying!

(Wait: Yoda has something to say about that. "Do or Do Not, there is no Try.")

Okay, Yoda, you'll just have to have some patience.

Heather 6-7-2001 16:49

SusanS: From the sounds of it Logan is unable to deal with something BIG in his life - a recent trauma? Did something terrible happen to him prior to his 'breaking off' of the friendship with you and your husband? His turning to a different crowd (especially a crowd that uses methods of reality escape) indicates to me a profound instability, and with pushing all of his trusted friends away, I'd say he did that so that no one could help him. He doesn't want it. He cannot accept it. There is nothing you can do, so my best advice is this: if you really do love him, let him go. You can't force him to take the ear, the shoulder, the friendship, and trying to force it onto him will only push him farther off. He also sounds as though he's got a death wish; still, there isn't anything you can do about it if he's not hanging around, dropping you hints. I hope he finds another route for dealing with life,
but that is completely up to HIM.
If you feel better praying, then pray. But try not to dwell on it so much - it's adversely affecting YOU.
If you think that feeling hurt about it for the rest of your days will prove to him how much he means to you, it won't. It will only serve to keep you miserable.

MEL - sorry to hear you ordered the darned book. I'm sure you'll get it, but it won't be worth the money.
Chalk it up to experience, but I'd be leery of any continued dealings with them. I wrote a letter to's director and editor, requesting that ALL of my poetry be immediately removed from the site, and from consideration for future publication. Your daughter still retains the copyrights to her poem - I'd suggest she does the same. If you notice, the only way to contact anyone at is by letter, that is ALSO why the comments are all so positive - of course they won't put anything to the tune of 'rip off artists' in the comment section.
If the comment section was site accessible, more than likely there'd be some negative comments up for at least as long as it took to notice them and have them eradicated.

BUT... if you do read through the comments? You'll notice very few claims that the publication of a poem has done anything for the author. Most of the comments are written about the first time they had the anthology in their hands... yada yada. Of course, these could also be completely fabricated. I couldn't say which.

Heather 6-7-2001 16:45

Howard, I don't know where they served, but two uncles of my mother and an aunt, served in the military during WWII. Uncle Johnny was in the navy and Aunt Frannie was a nurse in the army. I don't know which branch of the military Uncle Phil served in. My mother told me that they would never talk about their experiences in the war. They just refused to talk about it. I only found out a few years ago that my grandfather on my mother's side, tried to enlist, but was 4F. My other grandfather was a cook in the army during WWII, but he never talked about his experiences. Now, except for Aunt Frannie and Uncle Phil, they're all dead. I wished they would have talked about their experiences. It saddens me a little not to know what they went through during the war.

I was a small child in the early 70s during the last years our country was in Vietnam. I remember Dan Rather reporting from Vietnam. Being a small child, I thought it was perfectly normal for our country to be at war. Isn't that funny? It never hit me at the time what a terrible thing war can be.

SusanS 6-7-2001 16:28

RANDALL -- I feel it too. (but it was June 6 1944 - not '45)

We attended the funeral of my wife's uncle a few years ago, and were surprised to see an honor guard from the US Army there. Not reserves, not American Legion, but the Real Deal. They told us how that on 6/6/1944 my wife's uncle Lynn was wounded but kept going onto Omaha Beach, dragging his buddies to safety, and taking out more than one machine gun emplacement to ease the way for those coming behind him. We never knew it until then. He never talked about it, even to his wife and daughter.
About 30-35 years ago a fire captain in my home town drowned while rescuing two kids who had foolishly got their boat caught in the backwash of a dam in the Susquehanna. He saved the kids, but drowned in the process. It wasn't the first time he'd been hailed as a hero; he was also a decorated veteran of D-day.
We have our memorial day services too - but these two are the ones I remember first.
dunno where I was going with this, but thanks for bringing them to mind again.

howard 6-7-2001 15:55

For the record I'll take a sprain over a break any day. I've had both. When I was 18 walked in front of a moving car and broke my leg in four places. I have never forgotten the pain. Actually agony is a better word. Absolute agony! Two operations restored my leg to working order with only a scar to show for it, but the operations hurt too. Having a metal plate and screws put in your leg is also agony. A couple years ago I sprained my ankle. It hurt, but it healed in a few days, and the pain was nothing compared to the pain of my broken leg. To make matters worse, the inflatable splint the paramedics put on my leg had a leak.

Tina, I'm glad your dog came home. Pets are so important. The few times Night has gotten out, have been nerve wracking to me. Fortunately he's sleeping like a little angel on the couch. It won't last.

I heard some disturbing news from a friend today. This friend is a close friend of Logan, the friend whose not speaking to us. He tells me he hasn't spoken to Logan in weeks and is very frustrated with him as well. Logan just seems to be pushing away all the people who care about him. He's really messed up and I can't do a thing for him. To make matters worse, the crowd Logan is currently hanging around with is rather a rough lot. They're into drinking and drugs and I know that isn't good for Logan. I fear for him. I know there's nothing I can do now but pray, which I do, everyday. I don't understand how someone can push away people who want to be friends, who want to help. Allen and I would do anything for him, but he can't seem to handle that. It makes no sense to me.

On a lighter note, my husband got paid a day early and he gave me some money. I bought some more science fiction books. Andre Norton and several books by Leigh Brackett, another early science fiction writer. I also bought an adorable teddy bear at a flea market, another addition to my collection, and another thing for my cat to knock off the dresser.

Well, I'm going to try and write a few words, maybe a few pages if I'm lucky.

SusanS 6-7-2001 15:37

of all the times to typo.....darn it

6-7-2001 15:23

******crossing my fingers hoping I don't get fired as shortie night queen extraoridinaire******

Mary 6-7-2001 15:22

Groan, creak, hobble, gasp for breath -- Hi peeps!

My bi-weekly communication.

GERRY -- very sorry to hear about your recent loss. I can only guess at how it feels.

JACK -- Belated HB’s

MARY -- Unfortunately I didn’t get it finished -- too ill when it mattered. Not to worry, it will for the basis of a future submission.

ROWHAD -- fancy a contest for who is the most down at the moment? OR, like me, can’t you be bothered? Thanks for the continuing funnies.

VIV -- re ‘How'd you get the line through shit?’ Use a narrow bore straw and sniff very carefully…

ALL -- General felicitations and hiyas…

Anyone done any script work/screenplays? Anyone want to talk about it? Now then, who was unsettled by my little poem last week?

SHORTIE (Requisite health warnings taken as read.)


“You now that guy?”

“What guy?”

“You know, the one with the, ehm, what’s its name?”

“Oh, him!”

“Yeah, him. Well, you’ll never guess what he’s gone and done?”

“You mean…”

“Yeah, that’s it -- so you’ve already heard?”

“No, but I guessed.”

“Would you believe it? I mean, it’s just not right, is it?”

“Well not in those circumstances…”

“What circumstances?”

“You know?”

“Yeah, I guess I do…”

“You do know who I’m talking about, don’t you?”

“Does it matter?”

“Guess not.”

“I always think that too much knowledge is a bad thing -- just slows up the flow of the conversation…”

“I guess... Who’ll we talk about next?”

What about what’s her name then?

“Who do you mean?”

“You know, the one with the, ehm, what’s its name?”

“Oh, her!”

“Yeah her. Well………………………….”

Litter 6-7-2001 15:10

I have three things to say:

Read my novel

Read my continuing short story,

Visit my site


laura 6-7-2001 13:08

That was me (below). Sorry.

Pussy 6-7-2001 12:09

There is a nasty rumour going around that the floor told the table,
"Close you legs, I can see everything ..."

Wonder if that will win first prize. If not, I'll write a poem.

Oh well, better write the poem right away:

The table
the floor
the flour
the meal
the wine
the perculator
my platinum hair
my lipstick
and my husband
These are things I love
Hard to make a poem
with such trifles

PS. I'm thinking of making a coup d'état soon. Who will be dismissed from his/her ministerial posts? I wonder...

6-7-2001 12:08

))Mel)) oops-the notebook took my entry before I was done! Here's the rest of the joke:

CAPTAIN: Sir, can I see your license?
DRIVER: Sure. Here it is.
It was valid.
CAPTAIN: Whose car is this?
DRIVER: It's mine, officer. Here's the owner's card.
The driver owned the car.
CAPTAIN: Could you slowly open the glove box so I can see if there's a gun in it?
DRIVER: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it.
Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.
CAPTAIN: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told you said there's a body in it.
DRIVER: No problem.
Trunk is opened; no body.
CAPTAIN: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glove box, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.
DRIVER: Yeah, I'll bet that the officer told you I was speeding, too!

the rest of the joke 6-7-2001 11:41


The sun shines again! :-)

TINA: So glad your doggie came home!! :-) Our house-cat skins out the door, now and then. Usually we chase and retrieve immediately. The other day I was mad and let him go...He returned a while later with a look of "why didn't you chase me?" Pets!!! Gotta love 'em.

Thank you, EVERYONE, for thoughts and prayers for my husband. More good news: yesterday the neurologist declared that my hubby does NOT have MS and DID NOT have a stroke! The bit of dead tissue in his brain might have been caused from being on high oxygen for two months when he was born prematurely. So, we still don't know what caused his recent episodes of fainting and blurry vision (probably stress, maybe even a headache-less migraine) but he has a beautiful brain - yeah! :-)

HEATHER: Thanks. 17-yr-old submitted a poem to them, a contest "winner" - got the "proof" with the typo still in it, like you and Howard did, we sent it back...with an order for the Int'l book...oh boy. I'll let you know IF we ever receive anything...

KITTY: Thanks. Congrats on YOUR good news! :-) What's the name of the anthology with your piece in it(or did I miss that?)?? My "Island Of Forever" is the middle part of a romance that begins and ends in my sci-fantasy novel "Shards" -- In "Island," the couple doesn't remember who they really are or where they're from; they keep getting reincarnated, finding each other, falling in love again, then are "ripped" by an unknown force from their current lives back to their eerie island where they can remember all their reincarnations but still don't know who they really are or where home truly is... So, "Island" is basically a romance, while "Shards" is basically sci-fantasy, with other plotlines. I'm not too worried how to market either story; I was just concerned how much info from "Shards" to reveal in "Island."

ALLEIN: Have you got a lucky man lined up for that ring ceremony of your future? :-)

TEEKAY: Thanks. RE: Mummy 2 - I thought the ending best; I hated the villain (of course) and then he was shown in a "human" way and I actually felt sorry for him for just a cliff-hanging moment, then...NAH! :-) BTW, how's your novel coming?

RACHEL: Thanks.

SUSAN: Thanks. Ditto the writing struggle for me! A few words here and there...someday the words WILL flow again, for both of us!

RANDALL: Keep on blowing off steam, anytime you want. Your "steam" is keeping my creative juices bubbling. :-) I do hope one of your writing projects is a comedy or a parody - you write those things very well! (And that's NOT an assignment, just a compliment!) :-)

HALLEE: Thanks. The crit is coming...not yet, but Sooner not Later! Are your other nine books all different characters? Any continued adventures or spinoffs from characters in the first book? Not that they need to be, just curious! :-)

Well, my muse is scouring the ditches for gosispy rumors for shorty nite, but she hasn't reported back to me yet. So, just in case she doesn't make it back in time, here is a little joke sort of related to the shorty theme for tonight (and JERRY, you may have heard this one, don't know):

(told this year at the graduation ceremony of the Criminal Justice Program at Canton Community College, and written so I can't screw up the punchline - yes!)

A police officer pulls a guy over for speeding and has the following exchange:
OFFICER: May I see your driver's license?
DRIVER: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI.
OFFICER: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle?
DRIVER: It's not my car. I stole it.
OFFICER: The car is stolen?
DRIVER: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.
OFFICER: There's a gun in the glove box?
DRIVER: Yes sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the woman who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.
OFFICER: There's a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!?
DRIVER: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. Police quickly surrounded the car and the captain approached the driver to handle the tense situation.

Melanie 6-7-2001 11:36

She came home!

Middle of the night, our motion light pops on. Very bright, it woke me up. I looked out the window and there she was, absolutely filthy. Yay! (Breathing huge sighs of relief, happy smiles and tonnes of hugs and petting for filthy dog!)

Rachel, I take it you haven't seen this video. I'll send it on. And trust me, the break in this videa is the kind you DONT want! No, I haven't acquired any broken bones yet - at least not from jiu jitsu - but have had various sprains, tendonitis, massive bruises, cuts and the like. So far the worst is tendonitis in my shoulders. It likes to recur if I practice with the bo staff too much, and that's my favourite weapon. :-(

Must go cuddle my dog now...

Tina 6-7-2001 10:48

Tina - I do so hope you find your dear pup. Have you set out the dog's dinner outside for him/her? Maybe he/she will come home when he/she's hungry? (I know precious little about dogs. I do know that my cat never fails to return when she's hungry)


All that I noticed about the blurb in here from Elite Writers was that it had some glaring grammatical errors.

How elite is that?

Just checking.

Randall, I understand what you're saying, however, I don't associate 'elite' with Nazism so much as snobbery.
You don't HAVE to be part of the guild. Signing up does not require a bent for genocide. You're just a 'better writer' if you're one of the chosen few - (yeah, sure).

I've read some paltry articles in national magazines. There's just no telling for taste (or lack thereof).
~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
My grandfather fell on Normandy beach. He got up again, with an eye missing, shrapnel lodged in his temple and a big blank spot in his memory. He had been lying face down on the beach for who knows how long, but was one of the few survivors. (I'm figuring he survived because he appeared dead) I have a hunch that this schrapnel may later have caused his series of TIA strokes, the second-to-last of which gave way to a nasty clot in the major artery in his leg, which in turn brought about gangrene. I'm not sure if it was the gangrene or the final stroke that killed him.

Gangrene, you ask? In the 90's? Unfortunately, true.
I hate to think how far he came, after the war, raising a family, running his own business, being a loving father and wonderful (and I mean wonderful!) grandfather ~ only to be striken by gangrene - something we usually think of in connection to war wounds. Perhaps it was something that had never healed in him.

He was German in descent, but trained at the base in Petiwawa, Canada, and landed in Normandy all those years ago, fighting against the country of his origin.

My other grandfather is still alive, fought in the RAF (Royal Air Force) for England. (oddly enough, he's English)

But I don't see elitism of the highly Nazi sort running rampant in the Elite Writer's guild - merely wishful thinking. I know, I know, that's probably how it started - an unhealthy ego...
But obviously they're still in search of...

(grammar checkers?)

Well, no new pages for me yesterday, on anything. (Poop)
Went in to work and found that the office had had a huge 'party' and found it in their hearts to leave the entire mess for me, which is NOT in my contract as an obligation. (ie: they are supposed to tidy up after themselves, put garbage and food away and wash their plates themselves - I am required only to wash a few regularly coffee-stained office mugs)
However, they might see my 'NOT cleaning up' of the massive numbers of food spills, dirty coffee carafes, obnoxiously flicked candy wrappers in room corners, bubble wrap exploding from all compact areas, twenty new mugs, unfolded paperclips stuck into the billboards at odd angles, marker slashes on the wall, drink splatters on the carpet, musty cream decanters and mouldy butter bowls, red chinese sauce encounters, greasy fingerprints and other such goblins; as a direct insult and decide they'd rather hire a new office cleaner.

Sure, I clean up coffee rings, spilled sugar and cream, and fingerprints all the time, but I'm not supposed to have to if there are three hundred items piled on top of the afore-mentioned things. I'm not the maid; I am only a wiper of surfaces. I am not supposed to have to put all of their crap away because they are too lazy. It is stated that if they expect me to wipe surfaces, it makes complete sense that those surfaces be item-free.
BUT I am cleaning up after them anyway (not without a slight grudge) which only perpetuates their lazinesses. I know this - but since my boss started it, and that's what she taught me to do, I can't now undo it.

I stopped washing travel mugs a while back, my boss and explaining this fully to the staff - since hey, aren't travel mugs that come with you in the morning supposed to TRAVEL home with you at night, whereupon they can sit inside YOUR sink instead?
They had gotten in the habit of getting me to wash their travel mugs AND the office mugs, and of course, clean up after their sloth parties.
My boss and I have other contracts, and more opportunities for contracts as well, and we have been far more strict with what we will and will NOT clean up with the later contracts. And by sticking to it, there are no nasty surprises, no tedious tidying for an hour before we actually GET to the wiping of surfaces part. So, I am going to be speaking to my boss this weekend and informing her that we are going to drop this particular contract after we have signed a new, equivelent-paying one. And I can be free from them at last!

(OH, MY, I can rant... apologies, everyone, for my lack of consideration)

Just thought I'd share something outrageously stupid at a stupidly early hour.

*cute smile*

Heather 6-7-2001 10:46

Oh, I'm so happy!

Mr. McIntyre has just appointed me his literary agent, with the promise that I'll be given a role in Tim Burton's movie based on S*. I thought that I deserve it, my anti-advertising campaign having already reached the confines of the planet.

S* is a roman à clef (a key novel, a Schlusselroman): actual persons are presented under fictitious names (like Aldous Huxley's "Point Counter Point" or Disrael's "Venetia"). Some of the characters do not even have fictitious names (Jack, Howard...). With a little difference: the actual persons are in fact just their shadows, the dream the Author had of them. A scandal!!!

See if you are there yourself and try to guess who the mischievous McIntyre had in mind when he wrote the following:

"She wondered if it was the appropriate moment for her to show him at last her little pink shell and how it echoed the voice of the sea. She decided not. Maybe it did not echo the sea anymore, but it would certainly resound the voice of life."

P.S. You can email me your answers (and your indignation), if you prefer. Those who guess will have a vanilla ice-cream one day.

Jon 6-7-2001 9:04

Tina, Tina...

How's my leg doing? I've had ny knee kicked out a time or two, no, let me give pause... Trice My shouser? Diislocated several times... The name of your video made me laugh my ass off.

Do you have any idea how painful a sprain is next to a break? Come and give me a clean break. I'll laugh in your face. Between you and I, I would take a n ice clean break any day of the week(bring it on. Eye to eye, Ill not blink)l I'll not try to disuadge you from you orientation on this. Let me just say Im sure you bellieve are right ) grins/merry laugheter). Please let me know when a newbie attackes you... Be honest with me. Sensei on site or not;
Please be careful.

The answer is...

Much more merry laughter. Merry is not mean, more it laughs at self. A laugh a self is the best, most unkind , yet more satisying I have yet to find.

Cioa for now.


Rachel 6-7-2001 5:57

TINA: Oh, I'm so sorry. I hope you find your dog today. Let us know, the second you do. And, Allison stayed just a tropical storm, so we'll have a lot of rain, I'll probably get a low-pressure headache that no amount of aspirin can cure, and then it will head on out her way.

RANDALL: I'm sorry...where do you live? (I don't even know if I knew that). We just had Memorial Day. I love Memorial Day - with all the parades and remembering. My grandfather has been doing a lot of geneology - and has discovered a Poe (my maiden name and pen name) has been in every war the USA has been involved in since the Revolutionary war. Fascinating to me. I'm an army brat and have a huge soft spot for veterans, fallen or alive.

MEL: ((Hug)) Your husband has been added to my prayer list. to edit. Oh, it's Thursday. Hmmm. I'll try something later.

Have a great day all!

Hallee 6-7-2001 4:27

Ever have one of those absolutely great days, that ends up absolutely horrible?

Went for a long mountain bike excursion with a group of friends. Had a phenomenally good time, gained a really sore arse. (First time on a bike this year)

Came home this evening. Went to the gate to greet the dog. No dog. Checked backyard. No dog. Checked other gate. Wide open. No dog.

Proceeded to spend the rest of the day walking, biking, and driving around our part of town, searching. Three people had seen her, but still we didn't find her. So tomorrow I begin the job of checking everywhere; SPCA, vet, radio stations, posters. She's basically our child, as dear to us as a pet can possibly be. She's closest to my husband, and he's very upset.

Now that I've dumped on everyone...

Hallee, batten down those hatches! Hopefully the hurricane is mild on your end.

Rachel, have you seen the e-mail video called 'How's your leg'? It's a martial arts thing. If you haven't seen it, I'll send it your way. You'll cringe.

Brandie, Hi! Hang out here for awhile and you'll soon get all sorts of helpful info! To begin, get a password from Jack for the workbook. That's the place to start.

Jack, rest up! Echinecea, lemon tea, and a good book are in order.

Gonna go now. Be well.

Tina 6-7-2001 1:24

Viv - working on this lady's old computer reminded me of the trouble you are having with yours, hope your hubby got it up and running. The problem most folks run into when they clean up a system is not having a boot disk to start putting the system back on. You need to have one of these little gems or you are sort of screwed. I have one that came with an old system I disposed of long ago, but kept that disk. This one automatically puts the CD driver on and looks for the windows install CD, then starts the install. If you don't have one of those, a regular windows 9X boot floppy works, just make sure it boots and installs the CD driver, so you can access the D Drive. Then simply go to the D drive with a D: command, then CD Win9x after that, a simple SETUP command, and your back in the game. Sounds simple, sometimes it isn't and that doesn't always work right either, depends on the machine, some will install windows but when it comes to installing the drivers for all your good stuff, like modems, sound cards etc. it looks for the D drive and forgot where it was. In those cases you need the install disk that came with a CD Drive, run the setup, or whatever it needs (the one I have starts when you type DI) after that reboot and things usually go well again. If it fails to find something, right click on my computer, then click on properties, then on Device Manager, click on the ? icon and remove anything that is listed there, then reboot and it should find the missing hardware. This doesn't always work either, but usually does.

Jerry Ericsson 6-6-2001 23:44

Randall - if you get AMC, flip to it now, they are showing D Day the 6th Of June

Jerry 6-6-2001 22:38

I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again.

Randall geeez!

Debra 6-6-2001 21:46

Good day.

Wow! Elite Writers....catchy name. Elite, meaning folks above it all. Simply the best, above all the rest... Bluebloods. How about that, Blueblood Writers. Simply the Best Writers. Superior Writers? Huh? Would that include us downtrodden masses writing for the sheer FUN of it? Remember fun, Ace? When everything was not connected to money? And control? And manipulation? And political correctness? And lawyers? And editors? And deadlines? And promises not kept? Remember?

Gimme a break.

Not that I would heap ashes on ye head and cover your bodies with sackcloth old master $Elite Writers$. I have the feeling all to many people would rush into just such a literary prison, eagerly searching, waiting nervously for that cherished event THE ASSIGNMENT. Elite Writers.......

Prison, Randall?

Yeah. Writing is a true freedom, perhaps the last true one left in the world. Freedom to use one's brain for whatever purpose, scribbling one's OWN thoughts related to subjects of choice. Not, for crying out loud, waiting for an assignment! What's the matter, aren't persons capable of thinking for themself? Do you need someone to tell you how and for crying out loud, WHAT to write? Can't think for yourself?

Oh I see, money is thy god. Well, hey, honestly, if that makes ye tick, pays the bills, I've no grip with that. Best of luck. Papa began that way, several others..... But, they had ideas of their OWN as well. Somehow I cannot imagine ANYONE, especially Randall waiting for someone named Elite Writers to give a jingle... Kinda funny really. Bearded guy hunched over the desk. Fingers poised over the keyboard, e-mail alert onboard, tele at hand, waiting for the call as a monkey heeds the feed bucket.

"Not now dear. Expecting a call any minute. Expecting the Big A."


"Ah, Randall. I need 1,000 words on the manipulation of laying hens by playing mood music and production quotes related therein to eggs. Are ye game? Eh? Course I have copyright control over your work, pay chicken feed, and, well, how about it? Interested? No! Well, how about 500 words for Cosmo magazine on how to seduce your mate with seductive makeup available through our own outlets? No!! Okay, how about 250 words on Bill and Hillary and the true meaning of relationship in a political sense?"


What happened on the sixth of June?

Not much, just several thousand American, British, French, Polish, Australian and other soldiers died storming the beaches of Normandy. Someplace called France I believe. Not much fun running in the sand and surf with a 75 pound field pack while a member of the "superior race" fires a machine gun at you. Not like a jog through the park. Nothing really important. Just another day. Ho hum. BTW, how far can you goosestep? Seig Heil? What does Waffen SS mean? Know any Jews with tattoos? Feel elderly men in VFW parades as simply old codgers awaiting to die? How's your German?

Then that's what the sixth of June means. Honor it for those who fail to honor the past are condemded to repeat it.

World wide freedom was gained on the June 6, 1945. And the freedom to write what you please.

On edge tonight friends.

Thanks for allowing me to blow off steam.


Randall 6-6-2001 21:19

Hi everyone!

Mel, I hope everyone is okay with your husband. My thoughts are with you. If you need someone to talk to, you have my e-mail address. I appreciated you being there when I was having my problems with my friend.

Writing is a struggle the last few days, but I keep at it. I long for those times when the words flow uncontrolled from my pen, but I'll have to settle for now for the few words I can get written.

Tommorrow's another five am shift so I have to go to bed soon.

SusanS 6-6-2001 20:30

ey...i Am like really new to all of this poem writing stuff. I write a lot of morbid and dark poetry..i was wondering if some of yo wuld like to e-mail me with some tips about how to get better at writing this poetry...and let me read some of your poem..thank you!!!

Brandie Brandierulz 6-6-2001 20:04

Had a brainstorm last night, one of the stories I wrote for SM** would fit nicely with P*** with just a bit of changing. I began a re-write last night, and planed to EDIT it today. Well you know how plans go, one of the wifes friends from work called, they were having computer problems, and could they bring it over for me to look at. Well I said ok, and the rest is not yet history. They had an old system with 8 meg of ram and wanted to put on IE 5.5, well IE 5.5 wants lots more ram, but that's ok, I had extra RAM so I put in another 32 meg and things were going well, when I had the lid off the machine, I notice it has only a 14.4 modem. Well I tell them, that will work but it will be so very slow. No problem I tell them, I happen to have a used 56K modem/soundcard I can replace their slow one with (thats what the old one was but 14.4) So I put that in, now to reboot, and the old version of Windows 95 is to old to work with the new hardware. No problem I tell them, I have the lattest version of windows 95. Ok now they tire of watching me plus it is supper time, and they leave the old pelter with me to upgrade. I begin (a cold rost beaf sandwitch in one hand, a screwdriver in the other). First thing you got to do is format the hard drive. Ok I started that a half hour ago, and it is still counting the bad sectors on their old hard drive. (took nearly a half hour with a vacuum to get where I could even see the inside so this is no surprise). Anyhow should I ever get done with this machine, I WILL EDIT that story and get it in to P**!

Jerry me 6-6-2001 19:48

Elite Writers is building a private network of professional writers who are looking for freelance assignments. Writers who are invited into the network will receive new assignments as they become available.


Elite Writers is a new B2B company based in LA. Founded on the premise that established writers should spend less time marketing themselves and more time writing, our company was started in February 2001 by an experienced group of writers and editors. Our aim as a company is to provide businesses with an end-to-end outsourcing solution for their writing projects.

How it Works:

When we get a project, we'll search our own private database of writers (writers we know we can depend on) to see who's background would be a good fit for the particular assignment at hand.

If your background fits the assignment, we'll email you an offer outlining exactly what the project entails and how much it pays. The pay is based on the budget of each individual project and should be the same as what you might expect on any typical freelance assignment.

As a writer you will be working directly with our editor on each project.

How To Be Considered:

If you are interested in being considered for our private network, please send us the following information for review:

1. Résumé that includes a list of all newspapers, magazines, websites and other companies you have written for, plus a list of guilds or unions you may belong to (WGA, PEN, etc.).
2. A cover e-mail listing your top five areas of expertise.
3. Three professional references.
4. Three samples of your work. URL links are acceptable.

Send all information to . For security reasons we require .txt documents. Most word processors allow you to save your document as “plain text” or “.txt.” To save a Microsoft Word document as a .txt, just go to the file menu and select "save as,” and from the drop down menu choose “plain text.”


Once we have received your information, we will send you a confirmation by email. Because our selection process is rigorous it may take us a while to review your qualifications, but we will keep you informed.

Our main considerations are your professional qualifications and references. Most of the writers in our network are professionals who have worked with Fortune 5000 companies or who's writing has appeared in national publications.

However, we understand that in the creative world resumes do not always reflect talent and professionalism. So if your list of previous publications does not fully represent your abilities, dazzle us with your clips and your cover letter. Anlso, please choose your references with care, because we will contact them.

We put a great deal of time and consideration into selecting writers because our writers are the heart of our company. Having the best professional writers in the Elite Writers Network ensures that we can offer a steady flow of profitable assignments.

Good luck, and thanks for your interest. We're excited to here from you!

Elite Writers Elite Writers 6-6-2001 18:07

Thank you, Kitty; I have plans for creating a poetry/art book with a few close friends and a family member. All of us write poetry, plus we all have a particular other outlet - I paint, mostly watercolours and acrylic, though I'm going back to oils and also pastels, and I take a lot of b+w photos; my best (female) friend also paints (and she's an amazing singer, but audio isn't plausable for this project), and my mother-in-law does incredible collages. The other friends who want to collaborate paint, illustrate, and are into photography as well, so there will be so many styles and so forth; making it more interesting. That project is slowly happening, as I write a poem here and there and file it away. I've found that some of my very old poetry is still good enough, but a lot of it isn't. Annoying and interesting together how we see our self growth through our own work; sometimes it's embarrassing!

Anyway, I've got so much else on the platter at the moment, the poetry/art book is mostly back-burner stuff. My mother in law keeps sending me poetry by mail, and I keep collecting it. Difficulty with also being editor of the project is figuring out how to tell someone that I don't want 'this poem' but 'that one' is great, etc...

When you think up ideas, you also have to be responsible for its gestation, birth, childhood, and guide it through the rites of passage. Not a coincedence that children are ideas at one point, too! (Let's go and have steamy hot sex, my dear husband....great idea! heh heh)

Anyone found a roaming brain anywhere?

It might be mine.

Just an empty thought

Ha ha ha ha

Heather 6-6-2001 13:38

Morning all,

We're about 150 miles from the coast. It's sad to say, but most summers we hope for a hurricane to hit around Corpus Christi so we'll get some rain. It looks like this one is skipping Texas and going for La. Hope it's worn down by the time it gets to you.

I think it's great that your self esteem is in such great shape, but you're really beginning to sound a little scary. I'm sure your schedule for publishing will work out. Sounds like you have enough determination to make it happen.

Take it easy all.

Rosemary 6-6-2001 11:36

You gotta love things that get lost in translation.

Mary 6-6-2001 9:34

Good morning, my beloved comrades and patient readers.

I spent all night trying to erase the H of JOHN on the cover of S*. I used a knife, a rubber and an axe, but the right name (JON) refuses to appear on the picture of the book shining on the home page of this site. Can anyone help me?

PS. Never use credit cards to buy books (mainly those with titles beginning with S). The millions of people who do it everyday are bloody capitalists and do not deserve my love.

PS. RUMOURS have it that S* is highly addictive (more than chocolate).

Jon, saint and martyr 6-6-2001 8:10


KITTY: I went to Cape Canaveral for a conference. I didn't get to see a launch, :( , but when we lived in St. Augustine, we were able to see them clearly. I have two short stories coming out in the September issue of Romancing the Skyze. All I know is that it's a new magazine, June was its first issue, and it's printed quarterly.

ROSEMARY: Are you near the coast? Do I need to worry about you for Allison? It looks like she's going to hit us sometime by the end of the week.

I'd say I'm off to edit, but I'm not. I'm off to read. Picked up the latest from my favorite author a couple of days ago, and I've been sneaking reading in as much as I can.

Have a wonderful Wednesday all!

Hallee 6-6-2001 4:33

Jack - Hope you feel better soon (hugs).

Kitty - I can relate to being behind with reading the posts ;o) I'll be looking forward to signing your book. I like the idea of it sitting on a bookshelf. Thanks. It is great to hear about your happy news. You write, write, write! Go for it!!

Heather - I told you I would find that site. I will look. Things have been a little wild on my end of it all. I've been a little distracted. I do apologize. Sounds like you are in of a strong hug. Here it is... You feel it? You are really a very sweet, kind person. (another hug).

Baxter - Hi you :o)

Mel - Hugs for you.

Jon - Here kitty, kitty, kitty (evil flicker in my eyes). C'mon sweet kitty, I just want to get my hands on you. Uh, er, I mean give you a nice scratch...

Teekay - BURBLE. Ahhh, the Island life (grins and laughter).

EVERYONE - Hi to all of you. Smiles and hugs to all of you.

Rachel 6-6-2001 2:04

See you all in awhile its time to push my body to its limits again

taylor 6-6-2001 1:40


Hey everyone
Jack: I meant it that many people accidentally get addicted to med, not meant as an attck...but be cautious

Teekay: I am not after your crown...LOL. I maybe alot of things but I am no genius...Got my eye on my goals

Whats the date today anyway? 6th? does not matter...Since these have been the couple of years for reaching my goals or doing what I want to do...Heres the biggy

By the 6th of 6th 2002, I will have at least one book sent off to the publishers..."City Wolf"
I won't say it will be published, cause it might take longer for it to be read over and thought about
If this works, it will be proven that it is my Era, my time

taylor 6-6-2001 1:39

Teekay - Actually, I have written another book - Mali and Azol but it needs a better title and I'd like to have it proofread by more people before I decide to try and publish it. I'm working on the sequel now though.

Allein Allein's World 6-6-2001 1:26

Does anyone have a good or bad word to say about American Literary Agents of Washington?

ILLIA 6-5-2001 23:31

Hi writers all,

The laser treatments only work for eyes that don't need them that badly. The Dr. said I would be a good candidate for lens replacement surgery (like they do for cataracts). Then I would only need reading glasses. I'm a Military dependent and they are setting up a clinic for that in the near future. I'll check into it then. Meanwhile, as long as I put my glasses on before getting out of bed and take them off after going back to bed, everything's just fine. Has been for 50 years.

It's wierd that ants are attracted by electricity. They should be able to take that fact and build an ant repeller. Maybe just make an ant attractor and put it in the mean neighbor's yard. (Heh, hee, heh.)

My short story class had us write a short story, 250 words or less in a genre that we don't like. It has to have three characters and be in a short time period. I'm going to post mine now in place of short shorty night. It's almost about gossip. Could use suggestions. Seems to lack something.

Sawdust covered Hanz's high-heeled boots. He reached for the pitcher of beer just in time to meet Bruno's big paw on the handle.
Dotty frowned and said, "Boys, boys. There's plenty for all of us."
"Make greedy Gus wait his turn." Bruno tipped the picture into his mug. The last drops ran over the top onto the table. "Oops. Missed."

Hanz pushed his chair back and grabbed for Bruno's shirt. "You hogged the last of the beer, and wasted the final drops so I wouldn't get any."

Bruno pulled back so hard his chair tipped over and he sprawled on the saloon floor. A crowd gathered around the trio, some booing and some cheering.

Dotty stood and slapped Hanz. He looked stunned. She then went around, pulled Bruno up and slapped him.

"Awwww, what'd you do that for? We're just funning." Bruno hiccuped as he stood.
"No one was supposed to notice us. Why do you think I dressed up like a saloon girl?" She didn't take a breath, much less let one of them speak. "Now, we have to move to the next town and start planning again. I swear, if you weren't my brothers, I'd kill both of you."

Take it easy, Dotty. They think we're just a bunch of drunks in with a bigger bunch of drunks." Hanz put his arm around Bruno and they all left the saloon with an exaggerated stagger.

The headline in the newspaper read: BUMBLING BROTHERS BUY BORDELLO FOR BIG BUCKS.

Does it have to make sense in that few words?
Bye, bye

Rosemary 6-5-2001 23:15

Mary! Go right ahead and post the new version. It's totally up to each individual to re-post or not, if they want to change something in a story post. I don't mind one bit!

Oh, and don't apologize - I've wished more times than I can count that I could alter a post AFTER the fact, but that capability wouldn't be good in this forum. Someone could go back and change our posts that way!
Ok, pro and con to that.

Teekay - don't worry, I'm not returning the proof so Fractions won't be published by NO WAY!
I won't make the same mistake twice. Now,
what was I --oh yes... *oooph!* (tripped over my chair legs)

oh, now what was I? Oh yes... *oooph!* (damn these feet and damn this chair!)

Ahem. So, was I mentioning something about the number two?

Conveniently, I can't recall.

Forgive me, everyone, I'm sprouting elephant wings of sarcasm, and they won't lift.
Back to basics.


heather 6-5-2001 22:50

TEEKAY! I just checked the chat room for ya, but no dice.

It is 9:30 PM here now....I have to get the chillins tucked in, but I will be back around 11PM my time if anyone can be in chat. Unless my connection goes fuzzy, which is becoming more and more frequent. (Crossing my fingers)

Mary 6-5-2001 21:33

HEATHER: I promise not to do this again, but what am I supposed to do if I submitted a story to **P** and then changed it? All I really did was un-geek the dialogue, but it made a major improvement. (As per Teekay's request,btw...thank you.) Next time I won't submit til after I have made sure that it is indeed finished. I hesitate to just submit the 'fixed' version because I don't want to gum-up the page. Thanks and sorry.

Mary 6-5-2001 21:28


HEATHER: HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA I know what you're trying to do. I've had the same thought, but never actually got around to trying it.
That reminds me, I'd better get that book back to the library.

Teekay 6-5-2001 21:24

Still feeling a bit lousy, albeit the upper back pain seems to have corrected it. As for those noting my mention of a muscle relaxant or slightly heavy pain pills. I have used these before over the last thirty years and no, I am not an addictive personality at least in regard to those type of medications. Only used when necessary and they are by prescription in consultation with my doctor and my own knowledge from being a hospital corpsman in the navy.

Now if you were talking about cigarettes, which I quite ten years ago, that would be a different story :-)

As for the line through text, that was just me being a little cute . The technique is simple enough use html brackets and place an s before the text and closing brackets with a closing slash and an s after the information you want to strikeout.

Just take a look at this in view source, do a control-f and then enter Klaatu and you will find the code you will need.

Klaatu Berata Nicto

And on that note I will go cough some more and try getting well.

Jack 6-5-2001 21:21


ALLEIN: And while your at it you could also write another book :-)
Now there's a thought.

Teekay 6-5-2001 21:21


Howdy y'all;

MARY: Good luck good luck good luck and I can't wait to read your next one.

ROSEMARY: Gee, that's really bad. Was it amazing when you got the glasses & were finally able to see?
Can you have laser surgery done?

TAYLOR: You don't happen to have your eye on MY genius crown do you hmmmmmmm? :-D
Actually you can have it if you like, it's making my ears go all sticky outy.

JERRY: I just love camping. Used to do it all the time as a kid, but hubby, unfortunately, is not the camping type.

JACK: Sending hot chicken soup, panadol and liniment your way.

MEL: I think Mummy 1 & 2 were quite similar. It was soooo loud at the cinema. I found myself wishing it would hurry up and end, but I don't know if that's because I was worried that it would wake up my son or wether it just became too boring.
Whoopsy - caps lock again.
Best wishes with those results.
Oh good, just read the post where you got the results.

HEATHER: Okay, here is my opinion on sending your poem to
I think if you feel negatively about doing so then you should just not do it. That they have actually wanted your poem is just as good (in my book) as it being published there, unless they want to actually buy it from you which is another kettle of fish.
To thine own self be true.
And about hat CD and plaque. That's kinda like being an artist and buying your own paintings. :-D
Hang in there girl, don't go for the shoddies. You are gonna make it big.

JON: Do not despair I have my bookstore trying to get hold of a copy. I have a fear of using my credit card on the net. Especially after JERRY's experience.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing the photo of AMERICO.
Tell me, is it really him or did he cut the picture from a magazine?

Today I hereby promise to do some work (play?) on my sad old neglected novel.


Teekay 6-5-2001 21:18

That last post was from me by the way. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-5-2001 21:16

Melanie - :) I'll try to pop in more but now that I'm externing at a dental office 8 hours a day it's harder to pop in.

Tina - Yep, all healed, I can start wearing my retainer again (fun fun fun).

Teekay - How do I feel about being a published young author.'s been my lifelong goal and dream to be published. I'm not even 20 what do I do with the rest of my life? I guess get married...have a family. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. :)

6-5-2001 21:14

Welcome and thanks, Kitty.

And if you really get in touch maybe we can share very useful information about publishing, translations, adaptations-- and of course our common passion, writing. In short, professional stuff.

Americo 6-5-2001 20:39


Well, I seem to be chronically behind in reading and posting. Cannot believe we are galloping through June or that my calendar is full through September.

Mel: My thoughts are with you regarding the unsettling news about your husband's MRI results. I hope from here on out that things progress forward in a positive, best case scenario way.
Regarding "Island": I'm not quite following the discussion. Is this a romantic story in a sci-fi/fan setting or sci-fi/fan with a romantic subplot? Both are do-able and marketable. There is a whole slew of romance sub-genre that cater to niche markets. As well, there are a lot of examples of sci-fi/fan having strong romance subplots. I think the key is writing the story that clamors to be told and worrying later about where it fits.

To toutes les auteurs of Shadows in a Dream: Yahoo and yippee! I'm holding you all to your cyber word. I think I will send it to Americo first, then Jack who can forward it to Allein and then Rachel. When I order it I'll probably have it sent to a U.S. mail drop-the difference of having things shipped to Canada as opposed to within the U.S. can be horrendous, so it may take a bit of time to start its rounds. I'll e-mail y'all as soon as the traveling tome is popped in the mail. Thank you all for agreeing to my little plan. I've made some space on my "signed copies, authors I know" shelf for Shadows in a Dream.

Viv: You are writing stories! Last I recall, you were demurring about being a "real writer." Brava! Keep writing. BTW, what is the O-Ban season? Cherry season is just getting started here and I promise to eat at least a pound or two in your honor. ;-)

Heather: Which issue of Writer's Digest does your "edited" page appear? Also, regarding the poetry, have you considered looking at the Canadian publishing houses? Here in Montreal there is a thriving small press community. I think poetry lends itself very well to limited edition "art" books. Poetry can blur the line between word and form. When I was in Toronto doing interviews at Caitlin's school I noticed some unusual artwork on the wall of the office of the administrator. Finally, after listening to him spout the standard spiel, I asked him about the art work. It was in fact a book combining poetry, drawings and paper sculpture (I think) which he admired so much that he had taken the book apart and framed each page. The frames were designed in such away that he could flip the pages so that the backsides could then be viewed. I guess I have been thinking about that since Trudy was here last week for a freelance writers conference and, in the course of our visit, we had a discussion about books that were more than just words and pages. I have very much enjoyed reading the few bits of poetry you have posted at the Notebook.

Rhoda: Thanks for re-posting your trip link. What a delightful travelogue! I enjoyed it very much. Did you take copious notes with the thought of giving your Brit-based projects an authentic flavor? What was the most unexpected thing you saw/experienced besides the way the names of towns were pronounced (I have a friend whose husband's name is spelled "Talliaferro" but is pronounced "Tolliver"-his ancestors came from Britain).
Ted and I have decided that the family summer vacation will be two weeks in Paris with, perhaps, a side trip to Normandy. We are busy making plans. Reading about your trip was quite inspiring.

Hallee: Was it you who went off to Cape Canaveral for the weekend a while back and who has a romance story soon to be published? If so, what were you doing at the Cape-watching a launch (we saw Space Cowboys last night and it reminded me that I hadn't seen an answer to my question)? And it was unclear whether you posted the name of your story or the name of the publication where it could be found. Repost both, please, and don't forget to mention when it will be available. If it wasn't you, my apologies, and I hope the real traveler/story writer reads this and answers the question because I really did want to know.

Other news of a writing nature from my corner of the universe… I received a call yesterday from the editor of the short story anthology I participated in. She had received the six month publishing statement/report and---a royalty check!!! It is beginning to sink in that people other than the participating authors are buying the book! I was just thrilled to finish my story (my particular fiction writing challenge is finishing a project once started). Anyway, she was on her way out for the weekend to attend the National Saluki Championships, so I don't have a lot of details, but I am delightedly amazed. Which makes me wonder, Jack do I get one of those doohicky link things next to my name in the bios? Do the Fab Four of Shadows have their Amazon link too? Anyway, in the rosy glow of happy news I was hit with inspiration for my Winter Tale, a lack for which has been plaguing me and as it turns out will be a rather dark tale with a medival setting.

Enough from me. Hope to be back sooner rather than later, till then prolific writing to you all.

Kitty 6-5-2001 20:06

b< supposed to be bold, but...b>

uh-uh 6-5-2001 20:04

SOMETHING!!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha... ....ha

how’s that for an inexpensive thrill?


SHIT SHIT SHIT still didn't work.

nope, wrong again 6-5-2001 20:03

b/ something b\ ????

no, couldn't be me 6-5-2001 20:00

Viv - don't send that Writer's Market yet! I've got the 2000 edition. I'm just leery of taking the info for granted and sending work to a magazine or publisher that doesn't want the same stuff any longer. Demands and so forth change too quickly to rely on last year's information.
That's why I need the 2001. Especially for researching magazine publisher info - has to be as up-to-date as possible.

As for how Jack gets the line through a word (shit shit shit), he uses html coding. Something I've not had the time to bother learning, myself, but essential for a website host/keeper!

I might try b> something b< but I somehow doubt it'll work for me. I am not even sure that coding works in this box directly.

Yes, shame shame on the arseholes who take advantage of writers. Shame on anyone taking advantage of anyone!

Grr. Just a little, teensie grr. an infinitisemal gr.
I'm feeling better now!

Heather 6-5-2001 19:59

Hi Heather:
I'm so sorry that happened. It shakes your confidence the way some people prey on the hopes of others. I have an idea for a trade though. I lost your Mr. Bill tape. I have a copy of Writer's Marketplace. Would you like it? I'll send it in your direction and we'll see if it gets confiscated for being porn. Man!!!! I really wanted that Mr. Bill tape too. What is sad is I think the police wanted it as well. Talk about corrupt.

Let me check that date on the Writer's Marketplace book. I know I bought it, stuck it on the shelf and haven't even looked at it yet. I am just trying to build a collection of things I've written. I'm putting my toe into the water to see if it gets bitten off before I start getting hit hard.

Even if the book is too old, would this be a fair trade for that tape you kindly mailed? I'll get it through Amazon, buy a new copy for myself and we'll dive in together.

Howard: I hope you feel better soon. Your poetry is fantastic. I was really looking forward to your posting last week on Thursday. I hope you can post late...even a month or two late.

Mary: I am going to post my "gossip" shortie today. Tonight my husband is going to finish killing my computer so he can resurrect it. I'm pretty nervous because he killed his and hasn't managed to get it going for over two months now. What he's doing is removing all the programs and then reloading them. I have a lot of doubts about this and so does he. He says it will never work as well again.
He called the company and they say that he must push some sort of F button and let it go. Sounds like that button might be labeled "F it up."

Heather: Ditto on the story. I'll post it in *P* because it sounds like the other stories now. I've managed to figure out the technique thanks to you.

Jack: How'd you get the line through shit? That looked neat. See what happens when I try it: ____Shit nope. ---Shit nope. ----nope. Tell me. That would be a great editing tool. Wish I could have you here when we push that F whatever key. Hope your back is soon well, and meanwhile, you enjoy the Valium and your time in bed. May as well enjoy yourself because you can't be anything but sick. As Hugh Prather said, and I'm loosely quoting, if you are sick, you can't help it, so just do what you can to make yourself happy and get through it. Hope there is some way you can watch lots of great movies. No comedies though, the laughter would really hurt.

Viv 6-5-2001 19:39

If you go to Bellibody
Ask not for me, Mariana,
Billybuddy went away
And forgot Susana

That's me, Pussy

Pussy 6-5-2001 19:31

Oh, I'm so happy that no Notebooker has ordered S* yet. Please don't do it. It's a terrible book. I heard that it causes headaches and more than one lady has swooned no less than three times just by smelling it's hellish scent.

Your critic, comrade and advisor.

Jon (saint) 6-5-2001 19:28

Jack - don't fret about taking strong meds to relieve pain. They tell me that we who need such things rarely if ever become addicted. I had a scare recently with some of the stuff I was on, but a visit with the Doctor set me right, it wasn't addiction, but some sort of reaction in stopping it suddenly, it had to be stopped gradually to avoid the effect.

I had an experience with one of those poetry sites. I can't recall the name as it was last year, but I ran into one of those sites, and it invited a contribution. Just for the hell of it, I wrote some of the very worst poetry I could think of and guess what? They sent me a letter saying my poem was selected because of it's "uniqueness" and sent me the proof, also sent me an order form where I could order the book and many for my friends. The letter went into the circular file, as did the six or seven others they sent so far. I think most of those are a rip off.

Strange sensation today. I went to the drug store up town for my usual refill - a task that takes longer and longer each time, as the pharmacist is a friend, and wants to visit for hours. At any rate, we were discussing the pro's and con's of different brand hard drives when this fellow comes up beside me. He looked kind of familiar but I couldn't place him. He commented on my weight loss, saying it had been such a long time since we had spoke. Now this fellow didn't hint at his name, but in the back of my mind, I knew I had met him before. After some time it dawned on me, I knew him when we were kids, we used to hang together at the laundry mat, where we smoked our Kools and tried to hit on the single gals who were washing their "dainties". The last time we met was some twenty five years ago, when I arrested him on a drug raid. Scared the hell out of him as he was asleep when we hit the house, I found him sleeping in his bed, his hand under a pillow. Thinking he had a firearm under there, I put the barrel of my 12 gauge riot gun on his nose and called his name. His eyes were the size of saucers, as he levitated off that bed. Well this is a long story, but at any rate, he realized I was just doing my job, and we had a nice visit.

Well I ramble again. Hope everyone is having a great day, the weather warmed up today to 70 and we had a nice rain. Now the sun is shining brightly, I think I will go out and work a bit on the camper to get it ready for this weekend.

Jerry Ericsson 6-5-2001 19:20

Hm. Now I feel sufficiently vented, yet dispair sinks in.
SHITTY. (Oh, pardon me, Jack - I meant FECALLY)

I guess I should send out more of my work for a better chance at publication, methinks. How can I base a self-evaluation by results from a Vanity press just hungering to take advantage, a Writer's Digest dissection of Haven, (first two pages), and a rejection for a short story?

Really now. I must do better.
(And I've got a row of american postage stamps from Mom all ready to stick onto reply envelopes, too...)

All right. That's it. The librarian is going to be seeing more of me, doing my publisher research. I detest the fact that I can't take out 2001 writer's market. That truly STINKS!
(Fecally, of course)

Heather 6-5-2001 16:22

Oh, I am rejoicing now, that I didn't shell out any money to

I hope you didn't either, Howard!

Poets, continue to be AWARE!

HAHAHAHAH (Heather) 6-5-2001 16:13

That makes four out of four, then, Howard! I KNEW it!
I had that feeling as soon as I saw the first envelope from them about 'Nameless', last year.
I just spent an hour surfing through the listings of poetry anthologies on, and NOTHING at all comes up about any International Library of Poetry, none of their anthology titles came up either.

They also have only a snail mail addy to send comments to, or to contact for any reason. I'm going to write to them (with a disgruntled flavour on my tongue) and request that my poems be removed from the site and from consideration for further publication. I also checked the web page with a sample of the poetry for the latest anthology, in which they want 'Fractions', and the poems that were shown there were AWFUL. Terrible! Flaming examples of amateurism and rotten grammar skills (can we call that a skill?)
Ah, yes, I know that grammar rules in poetry can be easily broken (and forgiven), but a poem with commas every third word?
I too, received each publication proof just as I had entered it into the box on the webpage. Never again.
What a shame it's a sham, huh?

Oh, but wouldn't it have been grand to have that wall plaque, or the CD with someone reading our poems on it (in English? They didn't specify)
for our friends and family, at the sweet deal of $40 per CD.
Oh, man, I just really miss not having that plaque hanging over my TV. Dang. It would have just tossed my decorating aesthetic over the edge. Might have been a fun challenge to make the damn thing look credible and well, tolerable.

Heather 6-5-2001 16:10

HEATHER - I got the same offer from on my poem. I thought that might be the case, but figured I'd give the site a try. It appears to be an automated process - the "proof" copy they sent me was exactly as I had posted it, complete with the typo. It's just another vanity press, but they do have some very good poetry there - at least two that I know of -- yours and mine! :-)

howard 6-5-2001 16:00

Post below is rife with lashings to

Well, nice lashings, if there is such a thing.

Heather 6-5-2001 15:02

Glad to hear your husband is okay, Mel, but what gloomy post? For the nervousness you must have felt, your post didn't show it much. Then again, sometimes it's easier to put on a happy face when hanging in the balance, waiting...
Hope you feel much better. I hope the brain anomoly is nothing serious.
MS isn't such a fun deal. My mother was mis-diagnosed with it twenty years ago, and for months we thought it was true. How horrible! To this day, though, she takes her vit. B-12 faithfully every morning, just in case.
I never knew what lead the doctors to believe she had MS. Perhaps I'll ask her some time.

On uppity moods and all sorts of eras,
(glad to hear you feel you're spurred to be all you can, Taylor)
today I got news that wants to publish my poem, 'Fractions'. I'm not sure if I should send back the proof or not. Reasons? Well, for one thing, the commercialism of makes me nervous. I don't see them as being professional, from the way they hound you to buy the volume that your poetry is printed in, and not only that, but I have a feeling they publish practically anyone's work. I know they allow just about anything on their website. (This doesn't exclude the fact that there are wonderful poets and poems on the site).
There is just an awful lot of stuff that I wouldn't call high quality. (Opinions, opinions)
Of the four people I know who have poetry on the site, all but one has mentioned to me that a poem of theirs is being published by Library of Poetry. The fourth may just not have mentioned it! Okay, so I'll at least be happy that I'm a semi-finalist with Fractions, in their annual contest. And, out of four poems I've posted on the site, two of them have been chosen. One is already in print. (But I didn't want to fork over the $50 American (this is their DISCOUNTED PRICE FOR AUTHORS) to have a copy of a huge book with a little teeny poem of mine in it that I already have copies of) Also, a few months after I sent back the proof of 'Nameless', I got a form letter asking if I'd like a commemorative wall plaque with my soon-to-be published poem on it, for the ripe price of $39.99 U.S. Not only that, the plaque was the most awful- looking thing I've ever had the displeasure of witnessing.
What kind of publisher is this? Not the professional kind, I don't feel. Oh, and I think there were a bunch of other cheeseball items you could have with your poem printed on it.
I think it's more a scam than anything, though from the website there is a page where you can see the names of the judging panel, and their personal backround in poetry/writing. (Whatever)
It's all just a scam on people so desperate for publication that they'd pay through the nose for the chance to have it in their hands. A legitemate publisher, well - technically speaking, the anthologies are available through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and at regular (non-virtual) bookstores. I haven't yet looked to see if the volume with 'Nameless' is in stores - or even stocked at all. I'll go peruse the in a few minutes and see. (I just got so unthrilled with the hoaxy looking that I hadn't bothered checking to find a grand disappointment.)
But I shall decide this week what to do. I don't think I'll send back the proof, which obviously means they won't be publishing 'Fractions'.
Another thing that bothered me was the envelope they sent the proofs in (along with order forms for the anthology, at the author's special bargain rate of $50 U.S., of course): it had a huge window alongside the window where my name and addy were visible. The large window had the proof of my poem clearly visible through it, for any old mailman/woman to read, and all the people who had handled the envelope beforehand. NOT professional. If it's not published, why advertize my bloody poem like that?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Enough bells going off here already.

Well, so it isn't great news, or terrible either. I'll just remember not to post any more poetry on the site, and I'll write a letter requesting the existing poems of mine to be removed.

Another wildly fascinating day. :o>

Be warned, fellow poets!

Heather 6-5-2001 14:57


Man, was I bummed this morning or what? Sorry for the downer post, "guys." Things are a bit better this afternoon - doc says my husband has an abnormality in his brain but it's not cancer or a tumor of any sort. Thank you, GOD!!! It might have been a mini-stroke or possibly the beginning of a mild case of MS. We can live with either of those things, yes, we can LIVE!

Howard, thank you for your prayers, and for your patience with a guilt-ridden silly. My image of you relaxing beneath your whispering oak has been restored. I thought maybe you hadn't written a poem for shorty nite due to my awkward attempt at humor at your expense. Thanks for relieving my mind and -- for your friendship. Now, stay out of the doldrums, willya, so I know you're okay?! And for gosh sakes, go write another beautiful poem. :-) BTW, John Hartford's gone? Ohh, a favorite of mine too..."I'd like to get the open road...." There was a poem, on the back of one of his albums, I especially enjoyed, something like:

"Sometimes I'm not all here...
I'd like to gather myself together to talk about it but
I keep walking out in single file...
maybe I'm just doomed to split up and go my own way..."

Well, I have this afternoon off from work, so I'm going in search of that "open road," maybe do a bit of mental hiking through some fantastic realms and virtual woods...picking up some "shards" along the way...

Keep the campfire burning! I'll be back, after another while...

Mel 6-5-2001 13:35

MEL - will also keep your hubby in our thoughts - and prayers.

howard 6-5-2001 11:27


MELANIE -- What are you talking about?!?! I never saw a word that offended in the least!
I've been a bit pre-occupied, and on some heavy meds lately, so I haven't been posting (or writing) much, but it's not because of anything that anyone has written or said. On the contrary, I come here for reassurance that my world is still here. Sometimes (most times lately) I just sit quietly in the corner and enjoy all the activity around the room.

I just this morning got some news that brought a tear -- John Hartford has died from cancer, at age 63. He was a real treasure, and I'll miss his music.

It seems all my favorites are leaving us - Imogene Coca, Anthony Quinn, Perry Como... I must be getting old, and the world is growing cold - all the more reason to come into the warmth that is here.

howard 6-5-2001 11:03


Hi to All...Wish you were all closer 'round, stoke the campfire, pass the hearty mug of friendship--whoops! Laughter spilling o'er the ground, grinning, teasing, hugging, soul-friends' eyes radiating smiles...hike another mile together...

Oh, I don't know what that-all was, just a mushy morning, I guess. At home instead of at work, the reason timidly unnerving - my husband had an MRI test recently and the doctor wants to see him today - usually they just tell you over the phone, you know, everything's "negative" - um, feeling not so negative but a step from almost, just a bit worried, so I'm here to go with him...hope it was just a jerky receptionist with a false alarm, and if so, we'll tell her where to go to learn proper "bedside manner" when you're speaking to nervous patients on the phone!


ALLEIN: Good to hear from you.

BAXTER: Speak up, anytime!

VIV: Glad your 'puter's fixed.

ROSEMARY: Glad your a/c's fixed. My dad's refrigerator once broke down due to a mouse's nest near the motor. Can't these critters stay away from the hummy-things?!

TAYLOR: Egypt? Wow - lucky you! (soul of envy here)

TINA: My hubby/kid remembers a Christmas when HIS dad played with a new toy until it broke! The son (my hubby) never did get to play with it...

JACK: Get some good rest!!

TEEKAY: I loved "Mummy 2" - better than first one! BTW, I keep reading writing rules too, even 'tho I think I've read 'em all 100 times; still, a new perspective occasionally inspires. The Quest to find the Three Rules for writing a Great Novel Continues...

HEATHER: In the race where the lettuce, the faucet and the bottle of catsup (ketchup) were competing, I believe you compare to the lettuce (always ahead) and I to either the faucet (still running) or the bottle (still trying to catch-up) groan, humor meter has run out of grins... Uh-oh, Mr. Bill?? Oh Noooooo----- (yeah, me too)

CHRISTI: My muse and I came to the same agreement: "Island" will remain a romantic mystery. Fans will have to reincarnate themselves into sf & f buffs to read the rest of the story in "Shards." Thanks for your input! :-)
As for a better day, I'm still waiting (maybe when pass the shadows of a second sister-in-law getting a divorce due to an unfaithful husband...) sigh, again. But thanks for the thought.

You see, Howard, your tree prose-poem was ultimately beautiful, so very beautiful, but to me, so utterly beautiful and... sadly true. I never meant Insult to your writing, GOOD HEAVENS, NO! I apologize from the depths of my soul, here in front of everyone, for uttering a careless word that should never have been said. It has been bothering me ever since and I hope you can find it in your poet's heart to forgive me. This, from a sadly-typical female.

Now my heart really hurts. Am leaving the campfire circle for awhile...

Melanie 6-5-2001 10:50

sorry to hear that Jack, hope you feel better soon...Don't get hooked though, please becareful...

ps: The world is yours, you just have to reach for it

Taylor 6-5-2001 7:21

For those who are intersted in me archiving. Just got back from CCubed and other responsibilities and come down with a cold, threw the other side of my upper back from my tendinitis in my left eblow and generally feel like shit feces warmed over. When I start resurrecting, I will endeavor to finally get the Workbook translated to the new tree format which should handle some of the issues of bloated pages and also provide a better way to respond with criticism. This, however, will have to take a back seat until I can get a Shadows page up. Got Americo's picture, will wait for others. Right now, between pain pills and valium and such I do not feel all that bad, but do not trust how compux mentus I really am. See you in the next day or two and get things squared away. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-5-2001 5:20

My computer is out of it's coma. I can write! I have to write in MS Wordpad because my Microsoft Word program just won't open any more. Still, it's writing. To celebrate, I spent the day writing. Rainy season is here again today.

Heather: The story is finished. Revised, almost perfect. I don't have a spell check here, or a word count. I'll go to the library tomorrow or over to work and make sure it's a finished product. Right now my eyes feel like fried eggs but my heart feels satisfied. It's what I wanted to send to *P*. It'd work for the Tokyo group but I haven't had time to get down to meet them yet. I have to hold off until my daughter has finished her translator's test this month and bought her next seat on the other test. We'll put our train money into that until July. That project has a deadline of November so I think next month would be fine, right before things shut down for the summer. Everyone will be very upbeat as they come up on the O'Bon season and the end of work. Besides, I feel another story coming on.

I'll get this to you probably your late Tuesday.

Mary: I already have my shortie written. Did it a long time ago! Yes! a chance to throw in another scrap I'd stuck in my notebook.

Christie: Yup. You're right. It is about this site, or anywhere else I get a chance to get ideas that make me feel alive to the tip of my toenails.

Everyone, a round of beer on me. The computer is still kicking. Now if I could just get Microsoft Word back...and excel, and ...

But the good thing was I didn't loose anything. It's all still there in a CD and on disks. Glad I backed and backed and backed again. I also learned I can put all my work on the computer at work. That makes it so I do all my grading and attendance there. I don't have to do it after I come home. More writing and family time when I'm home and easier to do right away before temptation to procrastinate sets in.

Viv 6-5-2001 5:05

Heather: I mean in the past couple of years I have wanted to go out and do stuff, and I have
Not finished a book though, but realised my need for my dedication
I feel anything that I want to accomplish I will...
Enlightened with a newfound self confidence
That I can do anything I wanna do

Taylor 6-5-2001 4:47


Sorry, just realized that I HAVE written more than my quota - just not all within the pages of my book...

Taylor, what do you mean by 'welcome to my era', anyway?
That you've suddenly come into your own? That you've seen the light of the publishing day?
DO, yes DO initiate your own gossip, please.

I'll tell a secret: The wise man plays a zither on the hill, and if you tip him over mid-note, he'll tell you the meaning of existence!

*Did I say it was MY secret?*


Okay, I promise to go to bed now.

Heather 6-5-2001 4:24

*pant pant*
Just got back from writing over 700 words tonight, and editing the last 2,000. Was hoping to get a little more than those 3 pages done tonight, but at least I fulfilled my self-set quota!

May everyone catch the profusion-of-writing bug too!


Heather 6-5-2001 4:19

Thanks for all those compliments, by the way... Teekay, I would love to write some humorous How To's and things for magazines, but for some reason I don't have the publishing experience they want. I'm steering clear of WD for a while since they hackneyed their editing on Haven - really, the POV is not the problem - I've thought about it and weighed it rationally, and without hurt feelings. The strange thing is that had the person editing it read farther than a page and a half, I'm certain it would have been embarassingly obvious. Of course, having it in a magazine means I have no chance for rebuttal, unless they chose to publish a letter, quite after the fact. The thing I don't understand is why they didn't centre the article around the more noteable problems with Haven: the bambardment of images, metaphors, and superfluous adjectives?
There I go again...

Nothing like a pseudointellectual claiming injury.

(Wait, did I call myself a fake intellectual? Darn. Thought I had you all going. No genius cap for me. But I must say the wisdom train might be a nice ride, albeit a little less than lightning speed)

I raise my glass
gulp sassafrass,
and run without my
wee knickers

To all a summer's
heady treat
of sun 'n' seats that
aren't wicker


well, your advice would be sage
if you thought
I should ignore my own admonition

to abolish sleep

but nothing that a tidy mug of coffee cannot fix
or a hearty sneeze can't cure.

Heather 6-5-2001 2:13

OOhhh, gossip! Now that's a stinger of a topic!
Heh heh... Hey, did you guys hear what happened to...

Oh, it's only Monday.

Christi, glad to have you back! And so uppity, too. Now that's more like it!

All right kids. Everyone up to the front of the classroom, and gather 'round! You too, Baxter, and you, Christi, that's it ~ nice and snug in a circle!
Now, we're going to play Telephone... (We teachers call it hot gossip in the lounge) Results posted on Thursday, or shortly thereafter. No weenie girls, please. (I should correct myself and say, No urban legends!) But that's just silly. Urban legends welcome too. *swatting my hands for typing such flap*

Now off I go, singing to the word program to open up Symphony and let my voice ring through the halls! The halls of my processor, mind you.

That dear-heart Douglas Adams has surely gotten hold of me from somewhere deep beyond, possibly I met him once at the Restaurant at the end...

Wonder if he's walking aimlessly, trying to hitch a ride without a body?

Heather 6-5-2001 1:57


Mary 6-5-2001 1:31

Hi All!

Heather and Hallee, I chuckled – no, I laughed so hard that my hubby/kid came in to see what was so funny. Made me think of Christmas two years ago, when my sister and her kids were here for the holidays. My nephew received a race car track from ‘Santa’ and Troy helped him set it up in our basement. They played down there for three solid days, until my sister took the kids and the track home. Troy was very sad. :-(

Rosemary…. Darn ants! Still, it’s kinda neat. Human achievment of technology over weather, thwarted by insects. The bugs shall triumph in the end! Bwahahaha!

I simply must go read the new stories in *P*! I think I’ll have to take Heather’s suggestion, and stop sleeping….

Christi, I think you’re watching too much ‘Crocodile Hunter’. Crikey?

Mary, last weeks topic is a tough one to follow. What brilliant idea will you concoct this week? Have all our brains gone into creative overload from last weeks? Tune in this thursday for the exciting results!

Okay, I’m unable to follow Heather’s advice. Sleepy time now…. Zzzzzz

Tina 6-5-2001 1:06

Rosemary - interesting, the same thing happened to me, with my eyes that is. Well not exactly the same, as they found mine in the 4th grade. Like you said, I can only see about three feet in front of me, and now that I am a bit older I wear tri-focals, if you think bifocals are the pits, try it with three different strengths. I remember my dad complaining when he got his, he was working as a carpenter and he said his hammer would jump three times before it missed the nail. He was so disgusted with the whole thing that he went back to the eye doctor and got three separate pair of single vision glasses. Sorry to hear of your air conditioner woes, you were indeed lucky. We had to turn up the furnace yesterday and today as the temp's dropped down to 30 degrees one night and have yet to go above 55. The weatherman says we can expect 80's again by the weekend. I took a drive down to the county seat and got my license plates for the camper, we will try and go camping this weekend despite the weatherman's warning that with the warmer temperatures will come some thunderstorms. Seems we just can't win some times.

The beard will come again in a couple of weeks, I will continue to shave until I can let mom get a look at my clean face. She hates beards, never let dad grow one. He did during the 50'th anniversary of the town, and I thought he looked distinguished with gray hair and a red beard. My beard has always been a two tone, with what my daughter calls skunk stripes down the middle, but alas, no red. Must take after the German side and not the Swede or some such thing.

I want to thank you all again for the hugs and support during my birthday problems, they helped so much and I did dearly appreciate it.

Well enough of my rambling on, see you all later, I am off to bed.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-5-2001 0:23


How can I say this without sounding like I love myself, and think that I am better than everyone
I am not...But:
Ladies and Gentleman-Welcome to my era!
I say that now, cause what a couple of years its been for me, and I still am going on...
One thing would cap it off perfectly, but I am not going to stir over it...If it happens it happens
Enough of that, within 2 yrs I am going to Egypt for sure, I have learnt more about myself the past couple of years than I did in the last 20

Anyway, teekay forget what I said about your ghostie, my mind must have been on something else

Sad endings: I am writing one with a sad ending, cause that's the way it must be...Go with your instincts

time is short people, cya soon

taylor 6-5-2001 0:21


I was born very, very nearsighted. There is a large portion of astigmatism added in and without thick glasses I can't see three feet in front of my face. They didn't notice I couldn't see until I was in the third grade. That would make me 7 or 8 years old, depending on which part of the year the teacher discovered I couldn't see the blackboard. (birthday in Nov. and started 1st grade at 5yrs. old in Japan. I have very little memory of my childhood before the Year we spent in Michigan. I just wondered if it was because I couldn't see anything clearly until then. NOW--my eyes are changing because of age and I can't see near or far. Not fun. Bifocals are the pits.

I understand about not wanting to write sad endings, I avoid them myself.

Good news:
The a/c repairman came about a half hour after my earlier post. I had ants in the motor. He replaced a $2 contact (my estimate). It took him about 10 minutes. The bill was $89. I just keep telling myself it could have been a lot worse. Now I can live in the whole house, not just the bedroom with the window unit.

Going to go now.

Rosemary 6-4-2001 23:41


Teekay, Wow, both of your ghosties were wonderful! I had no problem following the last one, but I did see the ending coming like someone else had said. I have no idea what could be done about that, but it really didn't matter to me; the story was a hoot to read!
Also, hope you enjoy the book! And don't you worry, the genius crown is safe with you for the time being. I'd be happy to be thought of as reasonably intelligent at this point in my life where most of my day is spent playing tag with my drooly and loveable toddler. But oh wait, you know what that's like too, don't you?!

Mary, Goosebumps on my end too! Well, not on my END, but in my vicinity ... oh forget it! Crikey, I didn't see that one coming. Both yours and Teekay's stories were so vivid. I felt I was there, seeing the sights, smelling the air, and screeching in horror. Great stuff, you guys!

Baxter, You come on in anytime you feel comfortable. The more you post, the easier it gets, just ask ... well ... me! I used to be that shy girl in the back of the classroom, too frightened to make a peep. I wonder what happened?

Thanks, Tina, Heather and Teekay for the cheery welcome. I feel so loved! ;)

Happy days are here again!

Christi 6-4-2001 23:31

Thank you JERRY! Glad you liked it! :-)

Mary 6-4-2001 23:29


A short cryptic note.

Canadian lady, check your e-mail.

Problems on this end?

Goodnight. Hot in Texas today, very tired.


Randall 6-4-2001 21:10

TEEKAY: Thanks for the note about the dialogue. I don't generally hear how it is stilted because that is the way I I would have said, "I will go upstairs." I am a geek. I will change that post haste in my documents. Please email me and tell me what you thought was happening. :-) (Did I send you a picture of my hair since I went platinum? It's not sluts yellow anymore.)

Sidebar about my going blonde: I don't see myself ever going back. I was happy with my brunette hair until I went blonde on a whim. Now I am having way too much fun with it to ever go back. I had to do some major make-up adjustment because something just wasn't working, but now I have it all figured out. I am even having a blast with the blonde jokes.

**Diligently working on my next **P** story. Teekay, wish me luck, since you are the only person besides me who has any idea what it is about. ;-)

Mary 6-4-2001 21:08


MARY: Oh what a wonderfully freaky story. I loved it and I honestly got goosebumps at the end. And did the 'Oh my God' thing. I thought something else was happening although I can't say it here or I'll give away the end.

I think though some of your dialogue sounds a bit stilted only in the way that they say eg: I will go upstairs ...instead of saying I'll go upstairs........
There were a few cases of that happening.

Fantastic! Well done.
As you can see, the page finally loaded.
Now, could you please write another one.

Teekay 6-4-2001 20:56


Mornin' All,

HEATHER: You really should write a humerous 'How To....' article for Writers Digest or any other writing mag. You do it sooooo well.

MEL: Gads! My little beady eyes (not really) lit up when I read about those three golden rules.....until I read on.
Nothing like hope dashed.

JERRY: Ummm, but where's the spirit inn that? And now that you've confessed - be sure to edit it won't you :-D

ROSEMARY: I don't really like to write too much about sad things. I've found the thing with writing is that as I sit down and write the story just unfolds itself, I don't actually sit there and plot it all out. (touchwood).
Why couldn't you see anything before the age of 7 or 8? Have I missed an earlier post?

HALLEE: Well I;m not going to see 'Pearl Harbor' today as it only has its first screening here tomorrow. I'm going to see 'The Mummy 2' instead. Hope it's good. No, I hope it's great.

CHRISTI: I'm sooooooo glad you're back.
About geniushood, there's absolutely no reason to apply. If you want to be a genius you just go and pinch the genius crown from whoever's wearing it at the time - I got mine from HOWARD.
I'm warning you though, if you try and take mine could you please take extra care when removing it as I have it strapped onto my head with sticky tape.
I'm hoping that I shall never have to cash that IOU in and I thankyou very much for the gift of it.

ALLEIN: I keep wondering how you feel about being such a young published author. Let us know.
You guys knew you were being published for a whole year and didn't say anything much about it. Wow, I really envy your self control.
I'm still jealous. Or is it envious?

JERRY: Thankyou *smack* (that's a kiss.) Now it's high time you wrote another ghostie, so move it sonny. (And again - don't forget to edit.)

BAXTER: You don't need to wait till you have things to share. Read the posts somedays and you'll see that there's many a times when although we have nothing worthwhile to say, we just say it anyway.
Just come on in and be yourself.

RACHEL: :-D You seem to be bubbling over with joy so refinedly. In order to burble properly one must use CAPITALS. You burble girl. You burble loud and you burble long. :-D
I'd love to live on an island. Tropical, with mangos, bananas, lobsters and lots of other scrummy seafood, and of course there MUST be electricity for my computer. And phone lines.

CHRISTI: The book is fantstico, and that's just reading the contents. I have soooo much to read at the moment I'm just blown away, and I keep thinking about going back to 'The Ladies Of Cliifs End' (working title) so I'm feeling delightfully overwhelmed.

Going guys

Teekay 6-4-2001 20:39

HEATHER: Conan is thirty-two. So, I have two kids. One who's 4 going on thirty, and one whose age adds up to 5 - which at times gives him a little too much credit.

Hallee (hoping Conan doesn't come behind her to see what's happening in the Notebook anytime soon. Jack! Archive!)

Hallee 6-4-2001 19:48

Congrats again, Rachel! Looks like things are continuing on the upward slant!

Pull up a chair, and we won't tease you if you decide to keep on sitting at the back, Baxter. (Back, Baxter.... hmmmm)

Kids racing electric cars on track behind me - can't think!
Having fun getting lost in Drik Gentry's Holistic Detective Agency, though! It's the only thing that makes that zuppppp sound fade into the backround. Right now I've got three kids. A husband, an eight year old, and a four year old. HA HA HA. You wives know what I speak of.

Heather 6-4-2001 19:40

Hi all :o)

I just told one of my sisters about S*. She lives on the Island and never checks her e-mail (grins). When I told her that a book I had worked on was published she exclaimed "Katie" That was the name of a novel that I wrote when I was twelve. I hadn't heard it's working title said out loud in twenty years. It was so strange. My sister reminded me of how fun it was to work on it. She was my editor. She ate the pages up as fast as I could write them. We spent that whole summer with me writing and her reading. It was really a lot of fun. I think it is about time I gave that novel a good reading over. My sister reminded me of a lot of things in the story I had not thought about in a very long time. I wonder if it is still funny? My sister is very interested in reading S*. That is so cool. I love that she still remembers my old writing and that she seems so interested in the new stuff. I guess that is what sisters do. Just wanted to share some more excitement. Burubble, burbble, that is me foaming over (big smiles).

Rachel 6-4-2001 17:31

Baxter, you are absolutely welcome! Glad to see you're still around. So many people come and are quickly gone again, and it's sad. Feel free to share your thoughts, without fear of censure. You might notice that some of us tend to ramble on occasion, and vent, and cry; if we can, you can! That's the beauty of this place that Jack has created. (Although I'd venture to say that if you talk politics, be prepared for debate! ;-)


Tina 6-4-2001 17:30

Hello everybody,
I've been hanging around but haven't found many questions to ask, or things to share. I'm still like the shy kid at the back who doesn't speak until called upon; if it weren't for my writing no one would know what goes on in my upstairs loft. The lights are on, but nobody comes to the door much.

I really enjoyed the poetry from the 'shortie' thing, and from what I gather, it's an open forum kind of deal, with a theme. I liked the one that didn't rhyme most of all.
I'm no poet, and it's plain to me, so I won't pain anyone with having to look. I haven't tried a poem since University and for a shy person, poetry is about the last thing you want to let other people see. For me, at least

I think I'm feeling more at ease here, so I may show my face a little more. Nobody yelled at me. Nice to be welcomed.

Baxter 6-4-2001 17:18


Hi All!

Worked on my ghostie last night. It’s getting close. It’s also getting long. With the *P* site getting so big, I think I’ll wait to post it until after Jack sets up something else. Jack, is there a way to set up a link to another page, for the incoming stories? Or just another link from the round robin page?

Christi, glad to see you here! I agree totally about ‘Brother Where Art Thou’. An excellently crafted movie.

Jerry, I like the idea you have for a new story. I’ve always loved ‘end of the world as we know it’ type stories. Are you growing your beard back yet?

Hi Allein! Glad to see you here, too! All healed up?

Viv, may your computer woes be short! And that reminds me, time to back up my latest stuff… I keep two backup copies of my writing, one hidden here in the house, and another at my in-laws.

With all the glowing reviews of Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, I think I’d better find a copy. There’s no such thing as too much inspiration.

Time for chores. Be well!

Tina 6-4-2001 16:47

Eek, Jerry - a teacher that was a pedophile? EEEUUCCKK.

Hey there Christi! Nice to see you back and chipper as usual!
And thanks, *blush*

I'll send you the latest of Symphony if you reach the end of what I last sent.
I wrote 1750 words yesterday, so there is another 7.5 pages. I think I've written ten or twelve since I sent you Symphony last, though I'd have to check.

Viv - sorry to hear about the computer woes. Don't worry about Tuesday! Just get that computer back in order and we can email then. But tell me - Mr. Bill has arrived, right?
He'd better have! Or else I'll have to smush his little...

Can't remember what else I was going to say.

Heather 6-4-2001 15:16

Oh forgot to comment on the new stories in **P** - super work both of you.
Mary yours did indeed send chills up my spine, had to go get a sweater after reading.
Teekay - I enjoyed both of them they were both very well written. P** is indeed coming of age and will be a wonderful collection that anyone would be proud to have in their library.

Jerry Ericsson 6-4-2001 14:47

Hi all,
I'm still around - just lurking in the shadows. :) Just thought you guys might be a little worried.

Allein Allein's World 6-4-2001 14:42

Rosemary - that sounds sort of like the school I went to, except there were (if I remember right) ten students in the whole school, and only a couple of grades had more then one student in that grade. Talk about your individual attention in class. I had no idea what they were talking about when we moved to town (my sixth grade) and someone raised their hand in class. Took me a bit to get accustomed to having a whole twenty kids all in the same grade in the same room at the same time. I only went two years to that school, then we moved north of the tracks and I was bussed from town to a country school. The tracks were on the state line, and the closest North Dakota school was ten miles north of town. But that is another horror story that I may get into some day when we get around to talking about pedaphilia (SP} and teachers.

Jerry Ericsson 6-4-2001 14:39

Hooray! I’m caught up, I’m caught up!!!!!! And it only took me two days. (groan) Thank you all so much for the belated Happy Birthdays! They were wonderful! I think birthdays are better in retrospect.
Here are responses to posts so old they will probably confuse the hell out of all of you, but hey, more fun for me! This is apt to be so long that my suggestion would be to search out your name and skip da rest! Hee!

JERRY, I hope you and your family are doing okay now; I was stunned to see all that happened to you around the time of your birthday. I'm very late with saying this, but my best wishes and hopes are being sent your way. This has become quite an extended family and when something happens to one of us, I dare say it happens to all of us. Much love and {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}.

MELANIE, I'm sorry for answering your question so late, but in my totally uneducated opinion, I think a mystery would be the best way to go for 'Island'. I feel more satisfaction as a reader when the story unfolds slowly before me rather than being spoon-fed the idea at the beginning. Hard to say without reading it. J

HEATHER, I've been sorely lacking as a writer and as a reader lately, but I think I'm ready to get on the horsie again. Giddyup! Symphony, here I come! The books you read sound awesome and they seem to have put a fire in your belly.

JON, Sour grapes, you sour puss! Bad kitty! I'm revoking your computer privileges for a week until you can think of something nice to say about *S. Oh, but I think I will give them back to you for the lovely birthday poem you wrote for me. Thank you! HOWEVER ... there will be NO bonfiring (is that a word?) of *S or any other books on the planet, barring Howard Stern's memoirs. On that one you may flame away, dear Jon.

YVONNE, Your book sounds terribly sad! And good too. Good luck.

TEEKAY, Thanks so much for pulling me (scratching and clawing) out of the doldrums.
BTW, where does one apply for geniushood? Not to say that I'd even qualify to stand in the line, of course!
Here’s an IOU just for you, good for one weeks worth of cheering up when you’re in the dumperino. Good on holidays and weekends as well! {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

RACHEL, Yay! It’s nice to see your friend’s excitement rubbing off on you! Now THAT'S what's great about writing a book; getting to see the enjoyment it creates. Kudos to all of the authors! I’m still waiting for my copy (fingers drumming impatiently).

Hi JIM. Congratulations on your first short story! The market you mentioned was pretty damn specific. Kind of like trying to find a magazine that specializes in stories about two hippos who cross the Mohabi desert and come down with a screaming case of herpes. Heh heh. Jes kidding. Welcome to the writer's life, if this is your first foray into it. It's insanity at its very best.

HOWARD, You're precious.

Awesome poem, HALLEE! You just keep on sending out your manuscript; it'll find a home! I do a re-write of my cover letter nearly every time I get a new rejection, but it doesn't seem to be working, dagnabbit!

Hi SUSAN! Enjoy 'King on Writing', I have new respect for the man.

Beautiful shorties this week.
JACK, You made me long for the ocean
MEL, You made me see afar
DEBRA, Very sweet!
VIV, Reminds me of this place. Was it supposed to? :)
RHODA, It’s just lovely to have you back.
RACHEL, Poetry isn't your thing? You could have fooled me!
Very nice, BEN! Symbolism often evades me as well. I either read too much into it, or I don't feel like taking the trouble.
I liked yours as well, SUSAN.
PUSSY, I feel for you. Really I do!
Who wrote Love Story! Whew! Great!
TINA, As always, wonderful poem! Fantastic imagery!
HEATHER! Your poem was beautiful and disgusting, as promised! Beautiful, girl, just beautiful.
JERRY, Rousing poem, but yuck!
Nice to see your poem, MARK. Doing a bit of gardening, are you? :)
MARY, Undulating blue! That was yummy; I loved it!
MARK, HAHAHAHA! One syllable short! Funny!
TEEKAY, Lovely poems, all of them!
DEBRA, Riight!!!!!!!!!!!! Hee!
MEL, Spellchecker is precious! I hope today is a better day for you.
EDDIE, Ouch! Tongue in cheeky, indeed!

If I missed anyone’s shortie it was purely unintentional. This was the most successful shortie night ever, I do believe. Great job, MARY! And congrats on the writing blitz!

I saw the most adorable and clever movie this weekend called "Brother Where Art Thou?" It was fantastic and I'd recommend it to ANYONE who needs a good laugh.

Aaaaand I’m over and out.

Christi 6-4-2001 14:35

Me again,
Just reread the part about the third grade and wondered--I have very few memories before ages 7 or 8. Could it be because I couldn't see anything?


Rosemary 6-4-2001 12:40

Morning all,
My air conditioner bit the dust (literally) last thursday and as we speak, I am waiting for the repair man. My horror now is that the problem is electrical and I will have to pay the a/c man for nothing then get the electrical man in. Any way I go will be wrong.

I thought your story in P** was well crafted but maybe a bit short of surprise. Maybe something like the couple dies in the car crash on the bridge and joins the old man and his dog.----thought about it; your version is better.

a few days ago, you mentioned the school with more than one grade in a room at a time.
I went to the third grade in Michigan while we were waiting for my Father to come home from Japan. (Military) I know it had at least three grades in the room at once. We formed a simicircle around the teacher while the rest of the room worked on something else. I don't really remember a whole lot about it( Started first grade at 5 yrs. old) but I do know that the teacher was the first one to realize that I couldn't see the blackboard. I had made it through first and second grade and no one had noticed. These days I wonder how many kids were in that class and was it just a really good teacher.

Good to hear you sounding so great. I noticed there was a storm in La. that was heading for you but had skipped us. Not fair, not fair. We are sitting her in the mid 90's day in and day out. Not fair, I say.

Just re-read last paragraph and think the repair man had better get here soon.

Gone for now.

Rosemary 6-4-2001 12:36


Great news, guess I will have to go check the new additions out. I have been playing with a little story that I plan to develop a bit. I don't know how large it will go, but I think I can expand it into a novel. If not it will make a nice story anyhow. Something like a solar storm destroys all the computers in the world, not so much the destruction, but the aftermath.

I am off to read the stories!

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-4-2001 10:48

Hi Heather. I've got trouble. My computer is completely destroyed. I'm stuck on the downstairs computer. It's located conveniently where everyone coming through the house can talk to me. My story is stuck in a CD sitting on the desk in my completely trashed study. My husband is having a go at doing the repair job. I'm having less confidence as the programs disappear one by one. Anyway, I may be later than Tuesday. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to get things going. I'm a little down right now. Having a very sick computer is a lot like having a sick pet.

If I don't make our Tuesday meeting, sorry. I also don't have access to your address. Got to go. This computer is really old and it kicks you off line after a minute or two.

Viv 6-4-2001 9:21


Hi, guys and gals, writers all! Hope your weekend was shinier than mine! Glad a few of you enjoyed the Spellchecker poem - a friend of mine emailed it to me, don't know who wrote it (wasn't me!).

Anyhoo, after my week ended rather darkly (family problems and crises), the doldrums trapped me...until I read about RANDALL's crazy computer guy, followed by EDDIE's sheep poem--you guys did it! Squished the doldrums back outta me - thanks! I appreciate it (and your stories!!) :-)

And for anyone out there needing a bit of inspiration today, a quote from W. Somerset Maugham:

"There are three rules for writing a good novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." :-)

Actually, I think the first rule is to have a great bunch of people like yourselves as a support group!! Have a TERRIFIC day! May your Muses enflame you to write a maelstrom of words today! :-)

Melanie 6-4-2001 8:09

Mary - good, sad, and I got the chills reading it!

Heather 6-4-2001 3:21

Make that 'up to a cool 22,500' or so) You can't teach me to think before adding.

Heather 6-4-2001 3:09

Thanks Teekay! Man, it took me long enough, and then, when it came down to the crunch, I used my original idea for the introduction... teach me to veer from the first spark.

I just finished Jill Neimark's 'Bloodsong' and a short story collection by Dorothy Speak, titled 'Object of Your Love'. The first was AMAZING. The whole novel was in first person and it's one of the few with this POV that kept me spellbound all the way through. One thing I learned from reading this literary surprise is that whatever words come to mind, distasteful or otherwise, should be written; given a chance to breathe on the page. Hey, stink is real. Gross is everyday. There's no point evading it. Unless you write fantasy...
The second book (the collection of shorts) was also really quite gripping. There were places where the author described something with a similar tone (or twice with exactly the same wording) that really stuck out, but otherwise I enjoyed the oddball stories, the not-so-happy endings, the surprises. Most of the time the characters themselves were the surprises.

SusanS - I'm wondering what sort of book can be written that DOESN'T focus on characters. Be they animal, human, alien, etc. Sure, there are novels with the focus primarily on historical events, but without the tighter focus on specific characters, isn't the book pretty much a history text? Wait... even history texts... ah, never mind. I suppose you meant that you were more focused on character development with your 40's novel.

(Pardon me, swift swig of coffee and I'll be upside right again.)

MARY! Jolly good! I'll rush over there now and give your P* story a read! (This P* stuff sounds a little nasty...)

Off to read, then to write more...
My novel is now 22,333 words, and I've written 700 today. I plan on rounding that up to a cool 1,000+ by bedtime. (Remember folks, if you cross sleep off your list of things to do, you'll have more hours to write. Promise that you'll stay sane before clinical trials and sign your waivers like good adults now) You even get a nice white coat to wear. But I hear the food is shitty.

Heather 6-4-2001 3:06


HEATHER: I'm just taking this moment to let you know that I have read your introduction to P** about 30 times now, and I just want to let you know that each time I read it, the more I like it.
Well done :-).

Teekay 6-4-2001 2:32


Teekay 6-4-2001 1:55


HALLEE: Thanks :-).

MARY: Any chance of you emailing me a copy of your ghost story?
I can't even get the P** page to load any more.

Teekay 6-4-2001 1:54


HALLEE: Thanks :-).

MARY: Any chance of you emailing me a copy of your ghost story?
I can't even get the P** page to load any more.

Teekay 6-4-2001 1:53


I have been having a lot of difficulty with Prodigy so I'm not surprised you had trouble getting the message through. If the problem is not corrected soon, I am going to change servers (again!). I have another e-mail which I keep for emergency purposes: It seldom fails.

Thanks for all the tips. And, yes I do have a signed contract with PubAm. The copyright process should be underway by this time. Do they wait until the work is registered before they release it?

Thanks again.

Mary Lou 6-4-2001 1:25

I put a story in Phantasium you guys. Please give me some feedback if you get a chance. Thanks. :-)

Mary 6-3-2001 23:03

TEEKAY: I thought it was great. Well done.

Hallee 6-3-2001 20:39


HEATHER: I'm glad you posted that you understood the story. I was racking my brain trying to work out how to make it a bit more obvious without coming right out and saying it. And I wasn't coming up with much at all.

Teekay 6-3-2001 19:57

SUSAN: In reference to your murder mystery set in the 40's, if it's good and finished, I'd start sending it out. Word out that I hear is that the 40's are about to become very popular. They haven't been in the past, I think because it was too recent to be considered "historical" and yet too historical to be considered "modern." Hollywood, fashion (kinda), music (swing) - it's all reflecting that era, and I see literature not far behind it.

Hallee 6-3-2001 19:12

Hi everyone!

I finished reading Stephen King's "On Writing". It was really inspirational. It made me want to get back to my writing. I read another book over the weekend and now I think I'm ready to get back to writing. Sometimes I just have to take a few days off. I don't like taking time off, but I seem to burn out so easily. Now the ideas are starting to come back. One thing King said in his book that really got me thinking, was that you shouldn't give up on a writing project just because it's difficult. Basically you should work your way through it. That got me thinking about Skala's Legacy and the difficulties I've had with it. Maybe the difficulties are signs of my growth as a writer. Growing can be painful at times, and this has been one of my more challenging projects, partly because I'm writing a time travel story, and partly because of the somewhat epic nature of the story. I don't know. I'm going to get through this project though. Hopefully I'll be a better writer for it. Years ago I wrote a murder mystery set in the 1940s. Writing that book was a challenge, as I recall. I had only written action oriented science fiction up to that point. The mystery I wrote was less action oriented and more character oriented, which made it a challenge to write. It's finished now, though I've not yet had any luck getting it published. Someday I hope.

Well it's time to go do some writing.

SusanS 6-3-2001 18:21

Mary Lou,

Do you have a contract from PA? What I noticed, is that they stick to it like glue. They say a year to publication, it will be very close to that. Our novel was out in just uder a year from the time the contract was in hand. If you meet the requested deadlines and do not have a great many changes that you wish to make to the proofs, I imagine that things will move along very nicely. Have you registered the copyright? That takes time, you should be on it right away.

I'm glad that you heard back from them quickly. That has been my experience as well. Don't be shy. Try not to worry and ask any questions that you feel need to be asked. That way you will be able to enjoy this experience. Wow, it is so easy to say that after the fact (wink).

Take care you,


PS - Mary Lou, I tried to send this to your e-mail address, it came back. You might want to check your address (smiles).

Rachel 6-3-2001 14:13


Driving was hard in the UK because the roads other than the the major motorways (which are as nice as anything in the states) are narrow and curvy. No where was driving worse than in and around York.

Unfortunately, we didn't do much around Chester, though we saw enough to entice us. I saw where you could walk the wall but I didn't have time. I was only there for an afternoon. If I have one thing to say about that trip to Britain is that I really didn't have time to look at anything or anyplace as thoroughly as I would have liked to. I still catch myself regreting certain pictures I neglected to take or discovering by reading the guides I brought back that I had missed aspects or things about the places I did see.

Time and distance were the limiting factors. Also I had to respect the wishes of those who were with such as my mother-in-law who took me along and my sister-in -law who was driving (In our family he or she who has the wheel welds much influence). Instead of having my curiousity sated, the trip has only intensified it. I think too much of the things I didn't see like Stirling Castle, Hadrian's Wall, the bridge across the Firth of Forth, parts of Wales, more of the Lake country, Howard Castle, Hollyrood Palace, etc, etc. But what I will take away most was the experience and thrill of it all and the fun times I had with my family members. There were experiences such as my first moment or day of being in Britain. Anywhere I would have been that day would have been a novelty and a thrill. Then there were the people I conversed with that first day and the sight of the houses and streets, the stores, the gas stations, the money.

Anyway, I live for the day I can go back.

BTW, there was hardly any parking that day, so we put our car in front of the alm-houses in Chester. We were blessed in that we didn't get a parking ticket, though we incurred a couple in Northern Ireland. It seems loading zones in the UK don't resemble loading zones in the US.

Anyway, it was a great trip. I can see why you love Chester. It was a beautiful and historic city. Unfortunately I didn't see any street performers, though the crowds of passers-by were entertaining in themselves.

And what would Britain be if not for its people? They were the kindest, most understanding and helpful souls I have known. I am sure there are creeps there like anywhere else. Fortunately I only met one and that was the guy at the VAT table at the Manchester Airport. What they paid him for, I don't know. All he did was say if you want your VAT refunded, call on the little red phone. That was a hoot. There were several distraught people who could get nothing from the red phone but a dippy secretary who knew nothing. I suppose the man was there for no other purpose than to take care of those who were so angered at not getting their VAT receipts stamped that they could be violent. Perhaps he was so insolent and mean because he had to endure a lot of abuse because of a bad system he had nothing to do with but was forced to work within. My poor mother-in-law was in almost in tears because she held the receipts of all our lodgings and had followed instructions carefully and had filled out all the paperwork. She was out maybe 75 pounds or so.

Anyway, even that incident at the Manchester airport was part of the fun even if I didn't get my VAT refunded. And I guess since we don't refund sales tax in the states, that wasn't such a terrible thing.

All and all I had a great time.


Rhoda 6-3-2001 13:57

Teekay - I had no trouble with figuring out the ending of your latest short story in P**. Just thought you might want to know. (Sorry, the title eludes me just now)

Heather 6-3-2001 11:55


I just followed your UK trip through. You did a good job on recording it.
Doing the Chester trip in one day must have been hard, that's quite a drive. I live 20 miles from Chester. At one point on your journey you would have passed within 4 miles of my house. On another day day you were a couple of miles from Nicki and Marcellus (Newcastle), although Marcellus is over in Kosovo right now with the Nato Peace Keeping force.
I'm glad you found your trip so pleasant and I am happy that the British people were so accommodating for your party.
While you were in Chester did you walk the wall? Anita and I do it often. There is a wonderful tea garden just down off the wall where we stop for a drink. Did you get to it?
Did you also enjoy the street performers at Chester?
I could go on for hours, there is so much to see there.
Once again, so glad you enjoyed yourself.

Eddie 6-3-2001 5:50

Teekay: Maybe I just misread it...And by the way I saw Unbreakable, And I was disappointed in it alot

See you all again, I have some notes to go through, notes I took while working out today, unfortunately I didn't find away to write while on the treadmill or X-trainer...
However I took notes in between sets while working on the circuit
Wrote a bit on the exercise bike though, but found it difficult so I mainly used abbreviations

taylor 6-3-2001 4:31


TAYLOR: The guy and the dog died under the bridge 60 years before hand and the dog was wearing the collar at the time.
But I guess if I have to explain that there's something wrong with the way I told the story.
I never really let it rest before I went over it again. I guess when you write a story you know what's going on in your head and the hard part is making sure the right message is coming through to the reader.

Teekay 6-3-2001 0:35

Once every year, I get this itchy feeling beneath my beard. I don't know what causes it, but after a few days of scratching, I give in and shave the whole thing off. Normally I leave on the mustach which has adorned my lip since my early days in the Army. Well the itch got to me today, and I went and done it. Yep, shaved the whole thing off. Went to trim up the stach a bit, but as usuall, the trimmer slipped a bit, and I ended up taking the whole thing off. Now my face is as bare as a babby's bottem. The wife noticed it right off when she came home from her first day back at work, and made a small comment. She is used to it, and knows it will be back on in a few weeks/months. Our daughter came over, and was here about an hour before she noticed. Her comment "My God dad, now you look like an old kid!" Oh well, the itch has gone with the beard, and I look very youthfull, not a bad look after putting up with a 50'th birthday.(maybe that is what causes the itch?)

Jerry Ericsson 6-3-2001 0:21

Rachel: My internet has been on the blink for several days. Finally got it straightened out today, thanks to a learned friend. I took your advice and sent PubAm an inquiry. When I was able to check my e-mail, there was a reply. My novel is in the proof stage, will be formated when that process is completed, and I will receive a copy to go over. That was good news even though no time frame was mentioned. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will be released in the fall. Thanks again.

Mary Lou

Mary Lou 6-3-2001 0:20


I will have to win the lottery to do it again because I will probably never get back there without my husband and brood of three. I was surprised, however, at how reasonable the cost was for one or two people. My ticket to fly was $650.00 round trip, but later I saw flights as cheap as $450.00. I am sure a lot of hotels were cheaper because of Hoof and Mouth disease, but if you plan ahead and can take your vacation in April or early May, you can get some good deals.

Actually you will write that best seller and be able to go there. Perhaps you will even get down to Austraila to visit Teekay and to Singapore to visit Hop. Wouldn't that be great!

Tried to get to PEARL HARBOR, but we didn't make it this evening--typical Saturday evening when things get a bit crazy and planning is impossible. I can't wait to see the movie. I hope it is as good or better than TORA, TORA, TORA. Mummy 2 was good. I highly recommend it.


I have never seen Unbreakable, but I have not heard good things about it.

Rhoda 6-2-2001 23:44


What three days later? You feel better now?

Debra 6-2-2001 23:16

Teekay: Just thought that the strange lights, the sudden disappearence and the dogs collar oddly turning up...well it does not matter still a very enjoyable story

Taylor 6-2-2001 23:04

Mary, congrats! If you happen to need a proofreader...!

Teekay, you funny girl.

Just had a nap while my husband watched a movie with the kids, (to make up for some sleep I've lost somewhere) and I woke up in the dark. What a weird feeling. Maybe I will get back to Symphony tonight. Last scene I wrote was night before last. Gotta keep my tempo! (pun just noticed)

Stay lean with words, and mean with edits.

Heather 6-2-2001 22:55

Mary, You Go Girl!

Doesn't it feel absolutely marvelous when the ideas come so quickly and easily? Oh, to be able to bottle that feeling!

Tina 6-2-2001 22:24

Rhoda - Wow, just looked at your trip, looks like you had great fun, maybe some day I too will take such a trip, all I have to do is win the lottery, or maybe publish a best seller.

Jerry Ericsson 6-2-2001 22:15

Holy toledo! I sat down at my computer three hours ago and had no idea what I was going to work on. I nervously tapped my fingers hard enough on the keys to make a click, but not hard enough to actually register a character. Then from out of nowhere I just started typing. A story. An honest to goodness story. I know where it is going, I know where it has been, I know the people, I know the place. It is a good thing I can type as quickly as I do or I would be super frustrated that I wasn't typing as fast as the ideas were flooding. It is one thing after another, stringing together and building to the climax. It makes sense but isn't done to death. I have never really had this happen before. Generally I have to draw and quarter myself to get the story out. I don't even feel like I am writing it, I feel like a catalyst or something. Ok, now THAT sounds crazy. I am in the zone.

I had to stop because my father-in-law came knocking on the door and it felt good to get up and move around a little. It felt like I had only been sitting here 20 minutes, then I looked at the time and was like, "Crap, did I cook dinner?"

My fingers are itching to get started again, so off I go. I just wanted to share my good fortune and hope it rubs off on someone here.

And the perpetual optimist I am.......waiting for the other shoe to fall.

Mary 6-2-2001 21:42


Laura, now MSN says that they're temporarily down. I'll try again later! And I will give you a crit, but not quite yet. Work was nutso this week, and I'm still working on Hallee's crit. But I will get there!

Mel, I've read your poem three times, and I'm STILL chuckling! Have we all been there, or what!

I write most of my first draft by hand, so the first edit usually happens as I'm typing it into my 'puter. I watch for spelling mistakes and grammar errors every time I read it through after that, but I don't worry about the serious stuff until it's sat for awhile. I'm too attached to every word at first, and only later can I see what to improve. The last thing I get to is consistancy; making sure that the stallion on the first page doesn't spontaneously become a gelding on page 16, and that kind of stuff.

Eddie, good to see you here again!

And a parting line from a song I heard on the radio (forgive any inaccuracies. I've only heard it once and might have the words a bit wrong)
'Memories are nothing but dust
Leave them in the rain
And they turn to rust.'
Robbie Roberson


Tina 6-2-2001 21:27

My firend offered me the series by David Eddings - The Belgaraid. I'm on book three and still going! The books are wonderful, I can't put them down. I really like the characters there is a diversity and balance of their personalities. I can't wait to get to the next book!

Summer 6-2-2001 21:08


JACK: Any chance of getting a new page for P**? The one we have is getting a lot congested.

Teekay 6-2-2001 20:24


Happy Sunday All:

TAYLOR: I'm sorry. I wasn't offended by your comment at all. I just found it funny that you said it should be about UFO's when there wasn't even a scrap about UFO's in it.
It was sort of like saying 'Little House On The Prairie' should be about a wild horse that gets caught.
Or 'Anne Of Green Gables' should be about slave trading.
Not that I dare suggest my writing is comparable to these classics, but I just needed them as an example.
Honestly, I welcome your input. :-)

VIV: No. I'd never feel happy if I lost something after working on it. I figure if the idea was there and I liked the idea, well, then with a bit of effort I can bring it out.
Depressed, suicidal, angry, hysterical, would more appropriately describe my emotions on such a gut wrenching occassion.

MARK: HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey! Wait a minute....................

MARY: I hope that my mistakes jump out and me and wave their little arms around screaming 'over here, over here.'
Trouble with that though is that sometimes they don't. Sometimes they think it's funny to hide behind a verb or a noun, or if they're small enough they hide behind individual letters and I only notice them when it's too late.
That's my method with short stories. I haven't had enough experience with longer writing to have a plan yet.

TAYLOR:...........................and never apologize for long posts.

MEL: What a terrific poem!!

RANDALL: Oh I did enjoy that story so much. Chuckled all the way through it.

HALLEE: I'm planning to go and see Pearl Harbour on Tuesday.

A word of advice: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT rent the movie 'Unbreakable'.
The plot stunk. The script writing was pathetic.
I should've caught on when Samuel L Jackson gave his speel about Tele Tubbies etc. In fact that is when I did start getting suspicious.
Long. Boring. And that amazing twist at the end just made me want to cry to think that I went through all that just to see what the clever?? twist at the end was.
Dysfunctional America at its very worst.
And I tell you what, his kid could've done with a bit of a belting.
And the wife - geez, what a pain in the arse!

What happened Brucie? Do you no longer read the scripts before you sign the contract, have you gotten desperate? Do you need the money? (okay, I take that one back.)

Teekay 6-2-2001 20:16

Edit? What's that, edit? It is something I truely should try doing, but as you can tell from my work, I NEVER edit.

Maybe if I did . . .

Jerry Ericsson 6-2-2001 20:14

I am not a poet either, but if all the rest of you could give it a try and do a good job, then I could at least try too.


Darkness pervades.
There are no eyes to see.
Blindly we trudge on.
Drawing closer to perfection.
Guided only by our wisdom,
Each man only alive to his reality.

Prophets arise.
They have eyes to see.
Incessantly they preach on,
Warning of a rock ahead.
"Shut your mouths," we say,
"Leave us to our own reality."

Phophets silenced.
They will see no more.
Separated from us forever,
Swept away to a world apart.
Resolutely we press on.
Finally free of their prattling.
Now we flourish in our own reality.

Legs crushed.
We never saw it until we stumbled upon it.
Never could we imagine it existed.
That rock the prophets spoke of.
Now in torment we parish.
Constrained are we by another's reality.

Rhoda My Trip to Britain 6-2-2001 19:47

Editing? First, I start a book. Then a couple of months later I rush to finish the book because the next idea is overwhelming me. Then, I start a book. Then a couple of months later I finish and start a new book. THEN, a couple of years later, I'm faced with the daunting (sp?) task of editing ten completed books.


Hey, ya'll - GO SEE PEARL HARBOR. Man - what a movie. And Ben Afleck? Man - what a man. (grin)

Hallee (who thinks few men are more attractive than those in army cargo pants, white t-shirts, and dog tags.)

Hallee 6-2-2001 19:10


Sorry this is late.
I am certainly no poet, and this is really tongue in cheek.
But what the hell........It's the truth.

For just one thousand pound
you can taint the ground
Here's your ewe, infected through
In the trunk, close it. 'thunk'
Look out, don't laugh, Here comes the MAFF.

This old game's just not the same
Since set aside and rapeseed came
So hide the rams and keep the ewes
The'll fetch a mint for future do's

It's all controlled, or so we're told
There's less than one for for each that's gone
Let's keep the count just as it is
And start again when 'T' gets his
It wont be long, just one more week
Then we'll see, it's oh so bleak.

So hand the grand and take the sheep
It's worth it just for one nights sleep
Close your eyes as they arrive
And when it's done, walk or better still drive.
(You'll be able to afford it by then)

Well, I warned you!!!

Eddie 6-2-2001 18:03


Good afternoon!

Bill, my computer guy looked up from the monitor to my sweating face. His small, apartment office was hot and dusty. There was barely room to walk and every horizontal was piled high with papers, hard drives, monitors. Somewhere among the clutter a dog woofed a couple of times.

"Hard drive fried Randall. And these screws from the back of the cabinet...missing. Mouse port is damaged. Sound card has been altered. What does this wire go to? Try to fix it yourself?"

"No, uh, a friend of my son looked at it earlier in the week."

"Uh huh. Would this be the friend of your son? The Texas pint sized version of Bill Gates?"

More sweat. I eyed a baseball bat lying among a pile of smashed dot-matrix printers in one corner, a butcher knife buried in a half-eaten watermelon on the workbench. My computer guy is retired army. Someone said he was drummed out of the service because of a terrific lapse of control regarding temper. And there were the rumors about what he did in an Iraqui communication bunker during Desert Storm. Still, when off the sauce, out on bail, or the mental ward he's not a bad sort. Smart as all hell 'bout computers. And he lets me pay out the repair bills. Which seem to come more exact proporition to the birthdays of my son....and his friend, BG junior.

Bill, computer guy typed furiously on the keyboard for several minutes. He sat back in the old desk chair and sighed. "Well, someone has undone a lot of my programs on here, this A drive is now D drive and vice versa. The CD is rigged up for cassette tape, haven't seen anything so badly done since Desert Storm. And these commands, who in hell entered this mess on MY system?"

I lean to the sidedoor, shifting the weight from one foot to the other. "Not me Bill." I try to smile through the panic seeping into my brain. "You know I'm not a computer nerd...."

He glares at me and I freeze. "No one calls me a nerd!" he shouts. "That officer in Saudia Arabia tried and I fixed him good....teach him to mess with Wild Bill!!!!!

I jerk the office door open, rabbit feet in control.

With obvious effort Bills regains control. "Now Randall, this may be your computer, but it's my baby...and someone has been fiddling around with MY BABY. And I don't like other people messing with my programs..... You better keep that kid away from my system or else...."

By now he is slipping a pair of brass knucks on one hand. "I can fix it for you, and you may pay me out. But this is the last time I'm gonna warn you."

I smile weakly and slip him a small down payment. He has the brass knuckles on his left hand and I stay to his right side. He's mumbling, thrashing through a clutter of papers, diskettes and CDs. An aging bloodhound peers from under the desk, whoofs at me, then back to sleep.

"Uh, when do you think it will be ready Bill?"

No answer and I depart.


The things I go through just to get a weekly pay out on repairs. We have a local yuppie computer store, filled with guys with white shirts and black ties. I mentioned "Wild Bill" to one of them some time ago. He smiled thinly. "We have found that Bill leaves a lot to be desired regarding computers."

Yeah right! I should have asked Boy Wonder why they bring in Bill on ocassion to handle the systems they can't began to repair. But then, they are parts changers, not repairmen, like Bill.

Bill called mid-morning and will come over this evening with the repaired system. I'm not gonna be here. I told my son and BG junior my wife and I were going out and I would rent them a movie and buy pizza if they would stay in tonight....and I never mentioned Bill was coming over with "His baby."


Old Wild Bill may be hell on wheels but he does not know what I do. Old age and treachery are no match for youth and skill.

BTW....doing this on my writing computer, that my son patched together last night. Kids, huh? :-))


Randall 6-2-2001 17:51

Editing? Well, first I put a load of wash in the machines, then I settle the younger ones with a movie on the TV, then, if the phone doesn't ring and the spouse doesn't come up with any other tasks needing my attention, I might get through a paragraph or two of re-reading...and realize how very much editing there is to do! Oh--was that the call to supper? :-/

I do like to catch mistakes all at once like Heather does, but usually re-writes scream for attention first. Oh, to have more hours in a moment than there are seconds in a day!

At any rate, the following is for any of you out there lurking today who maybe need a grin (or a groan) like I do (and believe me you, I need one badly!):


Eye halve a spelling checker
it came with my pea sea;
it plainly marques fore my revue
miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
and weight for it two say
weather eye am wrong oar write.

It shows me strait a weigh
as soon as a mist ache is maid
it nose bee fore two long, and
eye can put the error rite;
its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
its letter perfect awl the weigh --
my checker tolled me sew.

Mel 6-2-2001 13:42

Ok try this....

Sorry, forgot to check my typing...

Oh and critique my stuff PLEASE!

Laura Writer's Lounge 6-2-2001 13:12

Ah, youth. The blossoms. *crunch crunch*
Back to paring and eating the fruits!

Knew I'd remember it at some point.

*looking down, noticing sediments are beginning to form in the bottom of the solution*

I'm dissolving! Am I?
Perhaps I'm resolving.

Wait, I know. I'm supersaturated. That's all.

Heather 6-2-2001 13:03

Mary - on editing and revision and all other forms of alteration:

Usually I just read it through several times, and see what pops out. If there are sentences or lines that don't flow properly, or spelling/grammar mistakes, they pop out immediately, in the first read-through. I fix them all right away, with the exception of the lines or places that 'stick'. I highlight those for working on either after the first run-through, or for a later time. Depends on how tired I am!

Most of the time I can swing through a section or poem twice and have it about polished. Sometimes I have to leave the piece for a long time, waiting for the specific words to gather some fuzz - blur a bit in the mind. Then I'll go back and read it, fresh. I can pick out anything else that doesn't sit right in one glance at that point.
But, as we well know, it's not always something we are willing to do - let things gather dust. Sometimes we want it polished and ready to submit far before the words have settled into sedimentary layers, the murky stripes of age.

Have I been sitting here, in my chair, becoming a sedimentary specimen, myself?
Egads! I'd better hop into my gym shorts and prove I'm still... uh, wait...
The word's on the tip of my... what's that thing?

Oh yes! Forget proof. I haven't found it difficult yet to extract my rear from this chair should duty call...
well, duty does seem to call less and less the more my hearing goes!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled rambles.

Heather 6-2-2001 12:59

Hey all. Just slipping in for a quick 'hi'. I'm off to see Pearl Harbor today - I've been looking forward to this movie for a year.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

MARK: syllable short...hahahahaha.


Hallee 6-2-2001 11:52


In fact you should never grow up. How else can you spend time with us. We're not!

Riight guys?

Debra 6-2-2001 10:17


SusanS: I am glad you like Dragonlance books, they're fun to read especially if they have a Kender in them...I prefer Ravenloft though...

Everyone: My mates still reading over my 'City Wolf' 1st draft...Its his opinion that I really respect, I told him to be completely honest about it...After all it's a first draft...
My muse has struck back, let me see as a thing.
Write Wars
The Muse strikes Back

Thats not an idea, but I have an idea for a book that I, and I mean I should write...
Got the Introduction written down

Funny how a couple of days ago, major writers block, and now I have an idea for something that was literally in front of me every day, jumping up and down yelling...
"What about me? What about me?"
I had to stop and listen.

Did I hear someone in here talk about Stephen Kings On Writing...I'm sure I did.
Took me so long to get through that cause it was so inspirational, that it was a thing with either write or read that book
I may write the Intro of this book in here when its past this stage, see what people's reactions to it are, could work out

PS everyone: sorry about the long post

taylor 6-2-2001 8:03

Jerry - You never have to grow up.

PS - Anyone gives you trouble with that and I'll kick their ass.

Rachel 6-2-2001 4:06

JERRY: Actually, Sweetie, you had it right the first time. That was Mark's post. Big hugs...go to bed.

Mary 6-2-2001 0:50


6-2-2001 0:48

Scratch Mark, replace with Mary, the name at the top confused me. Must mean I am getting tired, think it is my bed time, just put the dog out for his nightly duties, took my nightly handfull of pills, and washed it down with a glass of Metamucil. This getting old is for the birds.

Oh and one last thing, now that I turned 50; Does that mean I have to grow up?

Jerry Ericsson 6-2-2001 0:45

Damn Mark, you can remember back that far? About all I remember from first grade was going to the teacher to hand in my paper, and saying "Here Gary." Now my teachers name was Walter, Gary was my cousin who was a few years ahead of me but helping me with my work. This was in a one-room school house, and everyone but my teacher was a relative.

The Second Grade was in the same school house, with the same teacher for most of the year, he was, however fired for telling the class that one of his calves had scourers. The members of the school board heard about it, and decided that it was an improper word to expose we children to. This despite the fact that we were all farm kids, and knew exactly what scourers were, in fact we stepped in cow shit long before we were ever in school. Ah the good old days when folks were held responsible for the things they said, and the things they did. Walter died about a year ago, he never taught again after that job, but returned to his farm and his calves with the shits. The place where the school house stood is now just a bar hilltop, with a haystack where the building once stood. Gary just had bypass surgery, but is doing well, he has spent most of his life in the National Guard, as an active Guardsman caring for the motor pool, his house is just across the street, but it stands vacant since the State moved his guard unit south to Sturgis SD. (Home of the great motorcycle ralley, and the VA hospital where I get my health care.)

Jerry Ericsson 6-2-2001 0:37

MARK: Nothing prompted me really. It is just that, as Heather(I think) said, sometimes I write something for shortie night that grows on me and that I want to work with further. That happened to be one of them, so like with any poetry I write I went back to it after a little while and read it through.

1) The first time I go through it, I check for obvious word misuse i.e. than/then and other misspellings.
2) The second time I go through, I check for tense.
3) The third time is for punctuation (which I did change).
4)The fourth time I read it, I check for alternate words or phrases to use, and meter.
5)Anything that gets changed after that is all luck and inspiration. So, unfortunately, nothing prompted me that I could harness to use at a future date. It is all just regular grind.

I mention this because I am curious as to how the rest of you go about your editing and proofing. Do you assembly line it like I do? Or do you just read it through, hoping it will jump out at you?

I should mention that with longer works I combine steps so as not to have to read it for technical purposes so many times. Then after I have it all cleaned up, I pack it away to let it go stale in my mind for a while. Then when I get it back out things I may have missed before seem to leap out at me.

Anyone else have any tips or suggestions?

Mary 6-2-2001 0:20

** Mark **

JERRY -- Glad you are feeling better.

Disconnected thoughts on the theme of language --

TEEKAY -- Genius is singular, genii is plural. "Geni" may well describe you some days, one suffix short of a full word.

MARY -- I like it all in the present tense. What prompted you to rewrite? It's a prompt worth remembering.

Ninth Grade -- Diocesan Preparatory Seminary. Studying to be a priest. Ninth Grade. Because we had to know Latin, those classes were intense. We read the Iliad in Latin, translated it to English, then read Caesar and Cicero in order to compare linguistic style -- Cicero elevated, Caesar in-yer-face, Latin Iliad writers middle-of-the-road. Ninth Grade. I know guys in grad school who'd blanche at the job of such a comparison. What's that to do with the NoteBook? We get wonderful opportunity here to observe and compare styles.

Grade School readied me for seminary. Sister Anita, Sister Margaret Mary, Sister Saint Anthony: they all had an effect. Generally they all believed there was one 'right' way to speak, read, and write. We had one 'right' way to spell. Language was prescribed in their classes and we took our exact doses. I think it took about 25 years before I could think of English classes as describing language rather than prescribing it. One 'right' way certainly fits the curriculum of a religious school, but that's another ramble.

Second Grade -- Sister Anita had us reading out loud in class. I got a story about a helicopter pilot. I scanned the story and could see the word 'helicopter' four times on the first two pages (second grade. remember how big the letters were on the page? how much room the pictures took up?). Even in that grade it seemed a flaming linguistic failure to repeat a word four times. On the third instance of the word I said 'chopper' instead of what was written there. Sister Anita stopped me. I didn't have the vocabulary to express myself, nor the gumption to confront her with my feelings. I spoke the word 'helicopter,' went to the next sentence, edited that, was stopped, read the 'right' word, and turned the page. The second sentence on that page had my story's pilot speak of his 'chopper.' I spoke the word 'helicopter.' Sister Anita stopped me.

I got upset after the first time she stopped me, and I lost track of just where the changes had happened and even where I believed they SHOULD happen in order to be RIGHT. Before the day was over I came to some independent conclusions about reading what's on the page instead of what I think belongs there.

More later. Glad to see the big jumble of names in the NB and the rich variety of contributions.

Mark 6-1-2001 23:27

Hi all!

Laura, the link doesn't work.

Heather, I feel your pain! Just had onion rings and garlic pork for dinner. Big Mistake. It's just, they taste so good at the time! Sometimes I wish that I didn't enjoy food so much. Or at least, fewer kinds of food! ;-)

Gross and rainy tonight, which makes it a perfect night to write! Yay!


Tina 6-1-2001 22:27

Yep, Hop, I am feeling better now, just took a few days for the shock of the loss to wear off. The kids were down again, and brought their daughter along for the visit. It was good to see they were getting better too. Things are getting back to normal, the wife just got permission to go back to work from her doctor, who said she is healing well since her surgery. Still a bit cold, we had a wind chill of 33F yesterday, got up to 55F today, and should be up to 70 again soon.

Jerry Ericsson 6-1-2001 22:09

Heather - I will look for that site name. I'm sure I still have it kicking around. I should... If my other computer hadn't melted down, I would. I'll take a look for it this weekend. If not that one, then I'll see if I can find another goodie (smiles).
Take care you.

Rachel 6-1-2001 22:06

Mary - I like BOTH versions of your poem!

Heather 6-1-2001 20:10

Thanks, Debra. Sometimes things like that happen here, for shortie night, and I find I want to market them... but I need to do more research!

Rachel, do you still have that archive of all the publishers' websites? If so, can you post the link?

Ate Chinese food. Still feeling UGH. Slug.

Heather 6-1-2001 20:09


If you don't win some kind of award for that peom, I will eat HIS shirt, what's left of it.

Debra 6-1-2001 18:43


Laura Writer's Lounge 6-1-2001 15:03

drop by, but don't mind the dust...

Laura Laura's Writer's lounge 6-1-2001 15:01

Viv - Thanks (smiles). I like to play with all different types and styles of writing. I have a lot of poetry. I tend to be very critical of my writing. I don't see what it is, I tend to see what it isn't. On the one hand, that is good, it makes me try harder, makes me consider what it is that I'm tryint to say, to write and how I'm doing that. I used to be very excited about my writing. I still have days when I am, but, for the most part, I am involved in how it can be better, in if it is the best that I have to offer. When I look at my old stuff, I think about if it was the best I could do at the time? I have a lot of pieces that I wrote over the years. Some of them have escaped my burning escapades, I am quite fond of those pieces and poems that have. I look at them and see the heart and soul that I wrung into them. I might have been a complete spelling/grammar/punctuation horror story, but I had heart. My writing still does have heart, I just spend a little more time thinking about what I'm doing with the writing these days. Saves a lot of time on the re-writes, spares the people who read my work a lot of agony (grin/wink). I still make many mistakes, and, I bet that one day, I'll look at the writing I do now, with the same sort of fondness that I view my older work.

For me being a writer is an ever learning experience. It is a development of an art form. I hope that I never think I'm done with learning. If I do, if I ever think that I'm the best that I can be, well, that would be the day that it was time for me to pack up my computer, my papers, my pencils and erasers and never write again. That would be a very sad day for me. Yet, it would be the best thing to do. From the highest point, there is only a decline, let me never see the top of the mountain! I want to reach heights, I want to look around and enjoy the view, but I don't ever, ever want to forget that there is and always will be more.

Gezz, aren't I the slush writer this morning (grins and laughter). I'll spare you any further Rachel rambleings.

Take care all.

Rachel 6-1-2001 15:01

Well talk about a tense screw up. Here is the edited version of my shortie. Probably I would change more than just that, but at least now it is all in the same tense. ;-)

Weightless in the cool undulating blue,
My nose sun-painted with freckles,
I draw near and wrap myself around you.

I feel your heat, do you feel my shiver?
The water warms between us and
We kiss like an ocean to a river.

If there are gulls flying, we have no clue,
Nor do we see the sailboats pass
Weightless in the cool undulating blue.

Mary 6-1-2001 13:38


Ok guys, here is my shortie, better late than never. I think. ;-)

Weightless in the cool undulating blue,
My nose sun-painted with freckles,
I draw near and wrap myself around you.

I feel your heat, do you feel my shiver?
The water warms between us and
We kiss like an ocean to a river.

If there were gulls flying, we had no clue,
Nor did we see the sailboats pass
Weightless in the cool undulating blue.

Mary 6-1-2001 10:28

I missed your poem on my first run through because my eyes are a little worn out! Wow! Two poems and both of them great.

Deb: This is a dragon with a new owner. You kind of have to figure things out when you first deal with new pets.

No more poems guys because this dragon is not only in the air now...with two poems...she's rocketing off toward the moon! Dangling along behind her on a leash is the hapless owner. Should have gotten a small one, those big dragons take a lot of upkeep.

Thanks guys. I was procrastinating finishing my short story for P because I felt bad when I did finish it the first time...before I tried to attach it and lost my final final draft completely. I actually felt better when I lost it because after I finished it I felt pretty empty. Does that happen to anyone else?

Viv (again!) 6-1-2001 10:17

Thank you Jerry! That will be fine except for the last line but I can write around that. I mean, after all, she is reading from a book. I'll just have her say something about not needing to be saved...especially because she really Does need saving but hasn't figured that out yet. You did it. Lucky you to be able to do that. I will credit it to your full name and send you a copy if I ever manage to get to the end intact. This is a big first attempt. It's full of misguided, but happy little mistakes. It's a stress break when I dive into it. A happy break from reality. That poem was holding me up because I didn't like what I wrote at all.

Viv 6-1-2001 10:02

The bear lives just over the hill in front of our house, and frequents the gravel pit and the fields across the road. He's (I think it's a he - haven't turned him over to check what's written there) a small black bear, and hasn't bothered anyone yet.

howard 6-1-2001 9:59

Anyone going into chatroom round bout now

taylor 6-1-2001 9:30

OK, I am all shortied up! Great job you guys. I was admittedly concerned about my shortie topic choice and much relieved that it went over well. If it is ok for me to post late, which I know for a fact it IS indeed ok to post late, I will be back in a flash. I didn't get a chance to write anything last night as I was too busy, but I promise to make up for it today.

HOWARD: What was the bear doing? Was he watching you right back? Was he carrying a picnic basket? Was it a brown bear? Are you still around to answer those questions? ;-)

back soon

Mary 6-1-2001 9:10


Holy toledo! I thought I would get my coffee, hop online, scroll down for a sec and read last night's shorties. Well, I just kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and never did get to the bottom before I decided to pop up and say , "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" before I dig in. So many poets in denial here! I did pause long enough to read Jerry's. JERRY: You never disappoint. I must admit I was hoping you would go someplace nice, but the heart goes where it goes; not much to do about that.

I'm off.

Mary 6-1-2001 8:49

Uni lectures are over. Study break is here.
I definitely prefer DS9 to Voyager. The actors seem better and more emotional. Like Avery Brooks and Michael Dorn (Captain Sisko and Commander Worf).

Okay, I've placed the link to my writer's club in the link section instead of in the text. Apparently the html coding keeps insisting on adding a slash to the text.

Anybody heard of Gabriel knight? It's a computer game.

I hope you feel better by now.

I'm always the writing me whenever I post a message.

Hello. Staying around?

Hello. Are you staying around?

Hello. Okay, are you staying around?

Barnabas "Hop" Writer's Syndrome 6-1-2001 6:41


Teekay: I was making an observation from an opinion, meant no offence by it. Its an interesting story and the layout of it was an intriguing part

I dont have much to talk about with writing... But here's one thing I learnt.
If you're out of shape, don't take a Tae Kwon Do class after a circuit training workout.
Learnt that the hardway.
But at least the circuit training and workout gives me something to keep the writing juices flowing though. So my writing hand does not lay dorment

taylor 6-1-2001 5:04

clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap
(abundant applause for the exceptional effort this shortie night!)

Teekay, glad you like 'Contact'!


Tina 6-1-2001 3:43

Um, sorry, Mark, that last post was supposed to be addressed to you...
must be the lack of light in this tunnel.

Heather 6-1-2001 1:36

I'd forgive you if you did anthropomorph the ants to have human qualities, but humans with ant qualities, now that's very wise. Twisty turny, like those hallways we humans like to build. Humanthropomorphing?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and stand in a line up, lugging my purse and two kids.

Heather 6-1-2001 1:33

Deb - the real one is farther down. 'Pretty Ugly' I called it.
It's an oxy-moron in action.

Great poems, all round. Who wrote the one about the leathery heart in a jar? *shiver*

Fess up now.

I liked it, though it was a wee bit over the creepy line.
Now it's all lines for crossing!

Have to go and cross over into dreamscapes. Hey, Morpheus, got a moment to spare? Bring that guy, you know, the guy with that half-ton bag of play-sand.
Tell him it's not enough, he'll need the mallet too, and some bags of clay.


Heather 6-1-2001 1:29

Lovely as it is, I still get distracted
Beyond the grass, the buttercups and seedlings
When my mower hits the mound of
Our persistent front-yard anthill.

I generally resist anthropomorphizing
the little critters, as that makes way
for applying animal characteristics to people,
But I can't help myself

I see the proletariat workers carrying dirt
(as well as carrying their injured comrades)
for the benefit of the hidden bourgeoisie.
In my own little garden I think the thoughts

Of Marx and Bacon about the gardener, labor and workers.
Some worker ants broke my dad's ribs
when he tried to get a union local
to buy voting machines. I could get mad

All over again, and take it out on the shiny little
Six-legged workers I just disturbed with my
6-horsepower Lawn Boy. But that would be inauthentic.
These are creatures of the garden, they were the creatures expelled.

Mark 6-1-2001 0:47

Viv - here is my attempt but again, I am no poet.

Fire from hell come burn up this spell
About this dragon who walks
Bats from the cave, come help him be brave
Give him your wings of flight

Lighten his load
As he flys down this road
To save me this very night!

Jerry 6-1-2001 0:15

Ok now, I told you all that I am no poet, but I had to give it a try. After you read it, I know you will agree with me.

The Tree
by Jerry Ericsson
On the prairie there stands a tree
It has been there since my youth
My father told tales of horror
About that tree and truth

The tales they are true
Just ask the tree
Its size will tell you still
Of a woman who strayed
And the trouble it made
Beneath that tree on the hill

It has grown not an inch in forty long years
Stopped by horror
Stunned by tears
Of a young wife who strayed
And the baby she made
And the husband who did what she feared

He took out a knife and cut up his wife
Then sold her to folks in town
A bargin they said at ten cents a pound
Served with spuds and beer

The flavor was right
That Thanksgiving night
Won’t you pass that platter ‘round

Jerry Ericsson 5-31-2001 23:51

woops commented on the short one.

I'll read the right one tomorrow.

Debra 5-31-2001 23:25


Your poem is about the nights when you don't get enough sleep.



Debra 5-31-2001 23:24


DEBRA: Actually I made that up while sitting on 'The Chair.'

You know, the one with the genius sticker on it.

I'm sooo silly though. It was supposed to read:
'Mix with sacrificed dreams'
Well nobody said us geni (sing) were perfect.

HEATHER: Heavy poem. Well done.
Lucky for me when it came to crossing 'the fine line' there was no other direction to go in.
Really want to chat with you in chat, but MIL and PIL are visiting at the moment and I'm ducking in and out while thinking genius thoughts.
They may not stay long though and I can join you then (if you haven't given up on it.)

Teekay 5-31-2001 22:58

You guys must be posting at the same time as I am!

How about taking a stroll in the chat room?
I'll wait there for a few minutes...

and perhaps we can see that dragon fly!
(Which reminds me, I bought three little dragonflies at the school craft table tonight, (at the big end-of-year bash) and they're beautiful - all pearly beads strung into a dragonfly shape.
I might use the idea to make more of my own... (infringement? Nahhhh)

Okay, I'm headed to the chat room - who'll join me?

Howard's BEAR? I hope not!

Heather 5-31-2001 22:41

Sorry, toots,
the poem got a little out of hand,
and lengthened itself just the same second that I hit 'Enter'!


Wait! I think I've crossed that border! 'Cept I was going the other way...

the long





swallows me



'tranquilizers all 'round! Yipeee.
Here's one for the BEAR, HOWARD!

Heather 5-31-2001 22:37


Geez! You just made that up on your feet. Bravo.

Viv I'm out. I can't top that.

Debra 5-31-2001 22:36


VIV: Hmmmm a challenge heh? Can I as resident notebook genius rise to the occassion?
Let us see what wonders the mind unleashes when it is released from its drudgery as mere mortal to that of genius mortal.
Ah! By Jove I've got it!


Take a sprinkling of moondust
on a dark moonless night,
take a forgotten memory
and a wrong that's made right
Mix it with dreams
tie with gossamer thread
chant fly dragon fly
if it don't then it's dead.

There we go, I think that just might do it.

Teekay 5-31-2001 22:33


He wakes to see the old ooze of mortar, chipping,
slurping from between grime-streaked bricks.
Garbage bags his pillow, cardboard his tent ~
And the mice; his comrades at night, have left his pockets
Bottomless again.
(He'd saved three peanuts in the shell, from beneath the glaring exit sign, 'round back of Petie's Bar)
His blackened finger protrudes from the chewed hole like something filthy, sexual; Empty.

The morning is as grey as his heart ~ drizzling.
His body feels a foreigner, cramped on a tour bus
through the Arctic.
His stiffness and age make me feel
Twelve and hairless.
He starts to speak but instead, half of a front tooth emerges, landing in the crease of what must be his coat. His eyes leak tears, but they dry before
Reaching his frazzled moustache.
I am watching him rouse his broken soul from the alley, as I have my first-break cigarette. I can smell him ~
Oh, ripe sweat and endless dumpy mornings like this one, all congealed,
like crusts of sleep sloughing from pores and clotting;
I shudder slightly as he rolls over
In the black heap of torn and stinking garbage bags.
He spies me leaning on the corner of the brick wall, keeping customers from seeing me
'round the front on Hamill Street, in my apron, my Marlboro staining its yellow flank along my fingers
and across my teeth.

I feel infinitely cleaner than this urchin
who paws his way up the wall,
A string of grunts flying up.
Birds scuttle away from him, I am paralyzed.
The smoke is turned about in the slight wind, and disperses,
and I feel suddenly
As if I am naked.
His eyes bore holes in my hand, watching as I flick the Marlboro nervously.
He stands, still bent, and shuffles my way
And I'm telling myself to run, but I find my feet nailed firm.
His stench reaches me first. My nostrils flare, my eyes are seeping hot tears,
the same tears that onions wring.

"Good morning," He says, loud and clear and gay,
and my heart skips.
His smile, though his teeth are terrible and ugly,
Is in his eyes. Perhaps that is why.
They shimmer and dance up at me.
My breath catches and my cigarette is forgotten.
The onions have faded,
yet my tears, my tears remain.

(c) Heather Myles, 2001

Heather 5-31-2001 22:32


I'd say you crossed that line long ago. I've been paying attention. All you need now is a sign on your office door that says Genius at Work. Well if you have no office you can tape to the back of your chair.


Is this a baby dragon or a big dragon that just can get it's dragon can off the ground?

Debra 5-31-2001 22:28


You know that thin line between genius and madness????? Well I think I've finally crossed it.

I am now officially a genius.

Sorry HOWARD you have been usurped as resident notebook genius.

Besides, you're too busy - that bear just may come back.

Teekay 5-31-2001 22:25

While you are all in a poetic mood, can anyone make a spell to make a dragon fly? I'm having a lot of trouble with this because I'm lousy with rhymed verse. If I use it, I'll credit it and there it will sit in my first novel. Now that doesn't sound very promising or worth doing does it, but I'll send it out to publishers and maybe just the poem will grab the publisher...not the book. Who knows. Anyway, anyone care to take a shot at a flight spell for a dragon. You have to say it first or the poor thing is grounded. My dragon has been grounded for so long his wings are beginning to atrophy.

Viv 5-31-2001 22:24

Some one has to!

Debra 5-31-2001 22:06


DEBRA: Thankyou thankyou and I take a bow and a bow and another bow and a bow wow wow and a bow wow woof woof and I chase that bear right out of HOWARDS yard

Teekay 5-31-2001 21:54


Bravo! I love it. Not only that, IT'S SO TRUE!

Debra 5-31-2001 21:50


This poem serves 2 purposes:
1: It fills the requirements for MARY's shorty night.

2: It shows that nothing beautiful can ever come of force.


In a sun dappled yard
beneath towering trees
On the banks of a river
not scratching your fleas.

Atop majestic mountains
where nymph breezes dance
or in valleys of verdure
wearing denim pants.

On land, in the air
by a bubbling brook
ain't no place so wonderful
as a really good book.


TINA: I'm reading 'Contact'. It's fantastic! riveting from the first page. I'm in a hurry to finish it now so I can watch the movie.

Congratulations to all those who deserve them.

(((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))) to all those who need them.

And abundant inspirational thoughts to all those who want them.

Ciao baby lets call it a day,
ciao baby go ahead and throw those cows away,
ciao baby it's to late to change your mind today

Pleas don't drag it out much longer
breathe before the rain gets stronger

Teekay 5-31-2001 21:43

My favorite breakfast (a poem)

Fried heart
little onions
a taste of azure
to make it hot

Jon 5-31-2001 21:36

We HAD a Howard in front of a bear.

Americo 5-31-2001 21:31


Ah I agree with you about the last poem. WOW!

Debra 5-31-2001 21:25

Wow! Mary, your theme this week has brought out the poet in us all! I'm delighted to read them all! (Although the last one caught me by surprise).

Kal Park

A wooden bench
Thick cedar
Seated on a cliff
Sturdy granite
Overlooks a lake
Dazzling turquoise
Resting under the sun.

Bald eagles and hawks circle above
Watching the mice and the swimmers
More interested in the mice.
Glacier lilies speak directly to the sky
Rooted gladly among the grass and trees
Where a deer slept that morning.

The ponderosa pine
Tall sentinel
Casts shadows over the land
Pulsing heartbeat
Where I sit unspeaking
Seductive silence
On a wooden bench.

(c) Tina Chambers 2001

Tina 5-31-2001 21:20

Love Story

You often used to say to me
Your heart was mine forever,
But the longer it sits in the jar
The more it looks like leather.

I won it many years ago,
It wasn't very hard,
'Twas not with loving words
But on the turning of a card.

I plied you not with poetry
But drugs and alcohol,
Until you slumped, seductively,
Comatose against the wall.

I don't think you'd have been aware -
You weren't very smart -
That as you lay there bleeding
I held your warm, still-beating heart.

And now it's mine forever -
You don't need it anymore -
But it's still a comfort knowing
You're still here, beneath the floor.

5-31-2001 20:42

Here's my poem

Her... Her...
Writer's block. Sorry.

Pussy, the best poetess next to all of you, great poets.

Pussy 5-31-2001 19:32

Thanks! Tuesday! Till then hope all your writing goes well.

Viv 5-31-2001 19:02

I love it! What a great poem. I could see your seagulls! What is neat is you made the rhyme and the meter work for you because the gulls circled, dived, flew in straight lines with heavy beats of their wings. Wow! Impressive. If poetry isn't your might want to reconsider. That was neat.

Viv 5-31-2001 19:00

I forgot to mention a poem I read once that really touched my heart, and which I've never forgotten. I don't know the author of the poem. It is in the book Dragons of Spring Dawning, part of the Dragonlance Trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The poem is titled Kender Mourning Song and it is written from the viewpoint of Tasslehoff Burfoot after the death of his friend Flint Fireforge. The poem so wonderfully convey's the grief and loss felt by Tas, who was my favorite character in the Dragonlance Trilogy.

SusanS 5-31-2001 18:17

Hi everyone! I feel slightly more alive today. It was really nice to not have to get up at 4 am. I don't work another 5 am shift again until Monday.

I was never into poetry myself until a little over a year ago. I find it somewhat therapeutic, though I confess I don't read much poetry. I have found since I started writing poetry that I'm much more conscious of language and word choice in my fiction writing, so I think poetry writing benefits my fiction writing.

Here's my contribution to shortie night.

It's okay to feel things,
Instead of always acting so tough.
It's okay to be angry,
I'd rather you scream and yell,
Then hold it deep inside,
And act so cold and heartless.
It's okay to be just yourself,
Instead of the image you've created for the world.
It's okay to admit you're wrong.
It doesn't make you less of a man.
It's okay to be vulnerable,
To admit that you are wounded and in pain.
And it's okay to come back.
You know I'll never turn you away.

My mother bought me Stephan King's "On Writing". I read an excerpt from it in Writer's Digest a few months ago and found it very inspiring. I've been wanting the book ever since and today Mom bought it for me. My mother dreams of being a writer herself, but never got much encouragement because my father always put her down. I promised to loan her the book when I'm finished. She always worries though that she won't live long enough to finish a writing project. She's 65 and has a heart condition. I try to encourage her.

I'm taking a couple days off from writing to do some reading. I'm feeling a little drained and lacking in inspiration right now. I'm trying to do other creative things such as sewing.

The cat is being a little devil as usual.

SusanS 5-31-2001 17:15

Wait let me try that again


My mother is she and my mother is me
Unconditional love still elusive amid we

Constantly in fear, yet eternally true,
the anguish and hurt often paralyzes we two.

Love ours forever, resolve strong and sturdy.
Prepetually we pray it's just the nature of our journey.

Debra 5-31-2001 16:59

I like poetry for a couple of different reasons. I like the way it reads of course. I was reading A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM out loud on the way back from Edmonton. My daughter actually loved it. My son had to read it for part of his English assignment. I remembered a teacher I had who used to read Shakespear out loud to us. I guess I never forgot it, because nothing sounds as good as listening to poetry. But even he liked it, my son I mean, and he hates poetry.

I like the symbolism people look for in poems, which is something I could never see. (So don't look for any in here); I couldn't be bothered with that myself. I play with words, to see how they sounds and look against each other. I think poetry's a personal thing, and writing it, sappy or not, isn't as hard as some might think. With open, blank verse, almost anyone can string a dozen words together, or a dozen lines. So here's my contribution. It's sort of a DAFFODILS poem like Wordworth's--at least that's what I though of when I saw the great golden hosts lining the side of the road on the way through the Yellowhead Pass in Jasper Provincial Park. That's gotta be some of the greatest scenery in the world!

A great golden host of buttercups and marigolds
stand silent with the daffodils that
fill the valleys, and the hills, with the
silent vision of their echo, echoing out of sight;
they shimmer through the evening's twilight
like a golden carpet that shimmers when
the wind blows across it, like
the waves of the Ocean that fans the breast--
a golden host of sentinels forever silent
on the hills.

I see them on the roadside, waiting,
I see them on the grasslands, skating,
gliding through the afternoons, rippling
beneath the summer and the moon,
beneath the cover of the clouds; I see them standing
in a crowd, of buttercups and marigolds,
all standing with the daffodils
that fill the valleys and the hills,
and there they fill my heart with wonder
as I lay down among the plunder.

Ben 5-31-2001 16:27

Poetry isn't really my thing, but...


Gunmetal gray, shot through with light,
flashes of silver, black and of white.
White winged wonders, spiral and whirl,
I stand under the clouds fling my arms out and twirl.
They dance against the clouds in their flight,
they play in the shadows and in the light.
So often ugly, crass and base,
today the gulls put me in my place.
Their beauty is undebatable,
My appetite for watching them is insatiable.
The quality of the light does change,
the appearance of the gulls to rearrange.
Gone, gone, gone is the beauty I saw,
Once more they are just squawk and caw.
Illusions of the eye I love.
What else could turn a gull into a dove?

Rachel 5-31-2001 15:58

Jack - That sounds great :o) Thank you very much! I'll look at getting a picture to you.

Rachel 5-31-2001 15:49

We have a bear in our front yard

howard 5-31-2001 15:03

Viv - time for your Phantasium story? Of course!

I can squeeze a little time for reading in, uh, somewhere!

You can't save time, only spend it. It's up to you whether you spend it foolishly, or wisely. (To paraphrase Benjamin Hoff, in his book, 'The Tao of Pooh')

So, to be wise, I'll cut this short, since I'll be back later with my shortie. Disgusting and beautiful...
well, there's no harm in taking aim.

*bewoooonggg!* --the sound of my arrow grazing the tree.

Heather 5-31-2001 14:48

CASSANDRA -- Are you still out there? Do you still have "The Anything Box?" I need to check a character in it.

howard 5-31-2001 14:14

MIKE: Cool site - and a barrel of laughs! :-)

Mel 5-31-2001 12:38

Can you write futuristic science fiction?

Brockton, a city of 100K residents in Massachusetts has a really fun future section to their city website. Travel to the future and read stories of what may be coming soon. Please submit a very short story about the future at

Please take a moment and submit your creativity. All accepted work is recognized and published. Take a moment and check it out!

Mike Brockton, MA Future 5-31-2001 12:06

Can you write futuristic science fiction?

Brockton, a city of 100K residents in Massachusetts has a really fun future section to their city website. Travel to the future and read stories of what may be coming soon. Please submit a very short story about the future at

Please take a moment and submit your creativity. All accepted work is recognized and published. Take a moment and check it out!

Mike Brockton, MA Future 5-31-2001 12:04

A Site for Learning

A room full of faces
mouths saying, “I can do
it and I didn’t think I could!”
Slumped Shoulders straightened,
Tentative smiles turning to grins and
early arrivals turn to long stays.
Relaxed effort with a grin.
A beautiful place becomes all.

Vivian Masters 5/30/2001

Sorry folks started today at 5:30AM and worked until 8:30PM.
This is the best I could do for our shortie night. For once though, it's short. I'm shot! Goodnight!

Heather: It's coming but guess what, something happened and I destroyed my final draft. I'm going to have to write the final draft again but now that I know what it looks like, it shouldn't be long. I'm going to make that Tuesday date! See you Tuesday! Hang in there. Sounds like you are doing some work on your own writing. If you need me to wait...that's ok too. Whenever is good for you. This one belongs to *P* I think it will fit now!

Viv 5-31-2001 10:16

Because IT'S the nature of the biz.

Sorry forgot IT'S

5-31-2001 10:03


My mother is she and my mother is me
This bond forever deeper than the sea
Unconditional love still seemingly elusive amid we

Constantly in fear, eternally in hope,
the anguish and hurt often paralyzes.

Our love forever and struggle enduring our union
perpetually in prayer because nature of the biz.

Poetry is not not really my strong suit.

Debra 5-31-2001 10:00

HALLEE: You have tickled me pink! Thank you sweetie. :-)

Mary 5-31-2001 8:53


A Therapeutic Thursday to You All here in the Throng, not a thorny Thursday nor thirsty but thoughtful and thrilling...(Now put that thesaurus away, my feeble-brained muse before I thwack you!) :-/

JIM: Hi! A lot of our library readers enjoy stories set in Scotland...hope you find a good magazine home for your story so we can all enjoy it. :-)

HOWARD: HeeHee - cute golf joke. :-) Now, I've heard of the occasional "trashing" of a book, when its newer replacement is already on the library shelf, or if the donation is in lousy condition (which I'm sure yours wasn't!). But to NOT add a recently new book to the shelf when the library hasn't got a copy?! Not to even donate the donation to a booksale so SOMEONE can treasure it? I think your community college either has a book-hater on staff or some dumb policy about not accepting donations that aren't part of the curriculum...WEIRD!! Next time you visit (if you do), you might ask the reference librarian where the WRITERS MARKET is...?!! Let them know there IS a need. (Some people can't see the "writing" for all the books on the shelves...)

HALLEE: Yeah, send that ms. out again! :-) You go, girl! (((HUG))) for the rejection letter which only means the right person hasn't seen your ms. yet. And your shorty poem WAS a poem! :-) Ya gotta start somewhere; hmm, with a bit of might write another poem. :-) I'm afraid mine are rather rough and yeowchy - much more practice needed, for sure! But here goes nothin'...

"Far Back Afield"

It's there -
beyond the glass
A momentary fragment flickers forward
Then recedes as clouds cover the sun.

My soul, aware,
reaches, but alas!
The solitary mem'ry cloaks the backyard
Of my childhood in decades long gone.

It's here -
in dreams that pass -
A sanctuary garden, perfumes wayward,
Flaming blooms,
wind-cool trees: home.

And I,
far back afield,
Safely held in nature's awe,
Past horse, dog, cat, and Mother's smile.

Melanie 5-31-2001 8:48

~Poem Shorty~

A poem for Short night, Mary said
Hallee stared at the screen with a frown
Quick stories or dialogue come quick to her head
But poetry isn’t so easy to put down

So, I’ll do nothing, she thought, kinda sad
But wait - just a few verses can’t be that bad
She’ll just type a few words – find some little rhymes
It can’t be that hard since it’s all for a good time (har har)

So – here it is, my poem to match the theme
Within the line limit – see Mary’s smile beam
And it all becomes clear – to everyone here
Hallee is NOT a poet – and now everyone knows it!

Hahahaha - kisses all - Happy Thursday!

Hallee 5-31-2001 5:31

By the way - if you receive an Email from HaHaHa, or with subject "Snow White...the Real Story" don't open it! I was real glad that I had installed Norton Antivirus, when I opened my mail this afternoon and the screen lit up with a warning on this virus!
Be aware!

howard 5-30-2001 22:31

Aaarrrggggghhhh! I hate computers!
I'm still in the process of moving folders from my old machine to my new one, and thought I'd take a break and work on this week's shortie. Guess what! I haven't installed a word processor yet! I can't even find the CDs to install MS Office on this beast!
Soooo... seeing as how my (much) better half just headed for the showers, and seeing as how she made sure I understood just where she was heading, I think I'll head that way meself! HehHehHeh....
Before I go, my b-i-l sent me the following - thought you'd enjoy:

Jack, 75, comes home from his round of golf and tells his wife, "I'm
have to give up golf. My eyes are so bad, I can't see the ball after I

"Well, why not take your friend Bob next time?² she says. ³He doesn't
golf, but even at 80 his eyesight is perfect."

So next time out, Jack drags Bob along. On the first tee, Jack rips one
the fairway.

"Didja see it, Bob?"

"You bet."

"Where'd it go."

"I forget."

howard 5-30-2001 22:27

Afternoon all!

YAVONNE: Welcome! Your book DOES sound interesting. Contrary to popular opinion...I can write, too. :)

VIV: I like your post to Yavonne. :)

SUSAN: Get some rest, girlie, and enjoy your two days off!

MARY: I'm not a poet. (sigh) I don't even enjoy reading poetry.

HEATHER: I'm glad you took a break. Now you're all fresh! Sounds like you're on a roll.

JON: Hahahaha. Nice poem - tsk tsk tsk.

JERRY: My heart is still aching for you. I wasn't aware that your daughter already had a child. It's harder to lose a baby after you've already had one - because you know what you're missing. I'll keep your family in my prayers.

JIM: Welcome, as well. You're in good company with the short story writing. (Err...NOT me - there are a few masters here.)

JACK: I look forward to seeing the page you put up for S*.

AMERICO: There is no need to excuse least not with me. Lap it up all you want - this is exciting!

TINA: I'm sending you warm hugs, a nice hot cup of cyber tea, and wishes for clear sinuses.

I got a rejection in the mail yesterday from a publisher. I think I'm going to re-write the synopsis, re-do the cover letter, and submit it again. I've learned a lot in the time since I sent the synopsis off, and I want to give it another go.

Okay - back to work. Break is over. Happy Wednesday, all!

Hallee 5-30-2001 16:09

I noticed that our community college library had no copy of "Writers Market" a few years ago, so I donated a copy. It disappeared. I donated another the following year, and it disappeared as well. I was told later that they'd been tossed in the trashcan. Never heard why. Never donated another.

howard 5-30-2001 13:51

Jim: research in Writer's Market, for short stories...
I haven't written a short story taking place in Scotland, so I wouldn't have been looking for a publisher interested in such. I doubt anyone will know offhand. The best thing to do is research books on publishers that are from 2001. As Mel would admonish, (and I happen to agree!) go to the library! But if you're from a small town you may find that the Writer's Market has a chain on it, attaching it to the librarian's desk!
(Perhaps the Guelph librarians are all secretly trying to corner the markets)

Jon, another delicious poem.
Americo, it's SO good to see you posting more often!

Yes, Mary, I enjoyed Jack's poem. I just find my own poems get sickeningly sweet when I dote on the beautiful.

And, I already have a neat idea for this Thursday's shortie night... aha!

I do so love a challenge of the literary type.
No pun intended.

Well, maybe a little pun.

Tally HO! Fair scribblers of the pen! Rejoice! For Shadows in a Dream has begun to circle the globe and the word on the street is promising!

Now why hasn't my copy arrived?

Ah, that's right! I have too much to read already. It will arrive just as I've finished Mordechai Richler's 'Solomon Gursky Was Here', two novels by our friends here in the NB, 'Bloodsong' by Jill Neimark, and Douglas Adams' 'Dirk Gently's....'. Plus writing more scenes on 'Symphony'.
Can't tell me I'm busy. I'm too busy reading to hear ya.

Musings aplenty to all who hear the call.

I heard it, over the rustle of pages again.

Heather 5-30-2001 13:45


A page to promote S*? Wonderful idea. I'll send you a photo of mine when I get some minutes to switch on my old scanner (hope it still works...). The blurb of the back cover will do nicely.

I've been reading the book. Perhaps the study of the cybernetic mind should have been deepened, but it's a fine novel overall. And some of the Notebookers will be delighted to find an immortalized shadow of their beautiful selves in the pages of what seems to me the best novel inspired on the Internet so far. (Excuse immodesty...)

I love you, and you are our emperor and all that. But your wonderful collaboration was too good for us. That idea of being Faust's cat (actually a dog) was worthy of Goethe -- too intelligent and sublime for our philistine century. Perhaps next time?

Americo 5-30-2001 12:10


I just finished my first short story (5,500 words). It is a Christmas story that takes place on the northern coast of Scotland during a violent storm. It is entitled "The Spirit of the Orkneys." It is a story that can touch your soul...when you least expect it.

Does anyone know of a magazine or book publisher who would be interested in a Christmas story set in Northern Scotland?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Jim McKinley

Jim McKinley 5-30-2001 11:54

HEATHER: I am with you about it being easier to write something tragic, but if I only put up tragic themes people get depressed. (And we don't need any help getting depressed lately.) I gotta mix it up a little, but if you want to write something horrible, sign me up to read it! Jack did a good job of not being sappy. ;-)

JERRY: I can't wait to see what you come up with. I have to admit that I picked the topic because of your family. I thought you might like to think of something beautiful and pleasant for a little while. Hugs to you all.

LITTER: If you are watching, Hi! Screenplay????? Did ya??? Big hugs and sunshine to you.

Hi Howard. You are a great guy.

Mary 5-30-2001 10:50


Not much to say, just wanted to offer greetings and salutations!

My muse has hayfever, so I've been editing lately, and reading. Picked up 'Gates of Twilight' by Paula Volsky. As always, she writes a great book. She takes historic events from our history and applies them to fantasy-type worlds. And she puts out great characters.

Be Well!

Tina 5-30-2001 9:47

JACK: The more links for your book *S* the better! :-) Librarians hook up a lot to and other online bookstores for purchasing.

JON: Um, is it catnip deprivation?

HEATHER: I look forward to your shorty - beautiful AND disgusting (?!) :-) What a challenge!


SUSAN: Chapter 3 received. Try "blocking" the chapter you want (highlighting the text), then "copy" it, then start a new file, "paste" what you copied, then you can send me just the latest, unless of course you make changes to the earlier chapters that you want me to see... It's looking good! :-)

A good writing day to you all...

Melanie 5-30-2001 8:23

Rachel: This sounds great. I have added a direct link to the publishamerica portion of the page that includes S* on both and . The thought has crossed my mind that we might want to create a separate page for Shadows with bios for each of us and pictures. Of course, we might prevail upon Jon to intercede with Americo to pass us a picture that we could include. I could use the blurb on the cover for the descriptions. This is just me thinking out loud, but might be another way to advertise things. Glad your friend was fascinated with it.

Jack Beslanwitch 5-30-2001 7:19


Jon - You wicked, wicked kitty! I am going to make cat gut something if you keep this up... I think there are a couple of people on the NB who could give me some interesting ideas on how to deal with a difficult cat (Bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaa)!

All thoughts of cat gut aside... I liked your poem (smiles and scratches behind your ears).

All - I have a girlfriend who is reading S*. It is so wild to have somebody reading something I was a part of writing. Something that is published. She is very excited. I had no idea she would get so into the book. She loves it. She tells me that she wants to phone me up in the night and ask me questions about the writing. She of course asked about my giving the name of Sebastian to my son. Just as people here asked about his middle name being Jon. She is spreading the word about S*. That is really neat. It is such a feeling to know that somebody is sitting around and talking about that book. That she is phoning up her friends and reading them paragraphs. I think I'm glowing (grins)! It is weird and wonderful and I kind of like this.

Ciao for now!


5-29-2001 22:00

Hi, first of all thank you all for your kind words and support, it is so wonderful to have friends like you all.

Things are getting back to normal again, my son and his wife have gone home with their daughter to get on with their lives, I know it will not be easy but I have confidence in them all.

A poem huh, I have only written one, no two poems in my life, one was a sort of epic, the other I wrote while very depressed, and mad at the world. Thinking I had been betrayed by my friends. If I could find that one, I would post it, but I haven't seen it in years. The other got very long and drawn out, and would not be appropriate here anyhow. I will however give it a try, who knows I may be a poet and note even know'it.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson my page 5-29-2001 20:11

I could not sleep all day.
What if Tim Burton reads S* ?
He shall make an Oscar-winning movie based on that devilish novel!
And those beautiful girls
kneeling at Mr. McIntyre's feet,
ready to all kinds of games
in the night
after the movie
shown amidst an orgy of pop corn
in the lounge of the Chelsea Hotel.
I looked in the mirror.
My nose was green
And I was red all over my soul.
We must destroy that book, all books!
We must prevent words
from poisoning the pure minds of children.
We must set fire to the galaxies
And eat his heart.
His feindish heart that rejected my fine collaboration
as Faust's cat.
And shadows will be forbidden on the Earth.
And dreams no more.

Jon 5-29-2001 20:09

Jon, you bad kitty!
Put up your paws! Now hand over that lighter fluid! Sheesh. You'd think a cat was mature enough not to react out of envy. Go write your own!

Heather 5-29-2001 19:55

Hi SusanS! Sorry - I forgot to refresh the page before I wrote my post. Hope you get the rest you deserve in your two days off!

Heather 5-29-2001 19:54

Welcome, Yvonne. From the sounds of it, your book is for children aged 10-14 or so. It sounds interesting to me.

Jerry, my continued sympathies are with you and your loved ones. I hope you are feeling better today.
Maybe 51 will be a better birthday? ((((HUGE HUGS))))

Ben - congrats on the MC success! I knew you'd be a hit!

Not much to go on about - finally feeling myself since my back did some mean limbo dance without telling me first.
I think I'm happy with my latest scene - ho hum. Now for the hard stuff... the meaty part of the story...
I had to take two nights off since my brain had been in overdrive the whole week and every time I sat down to re-read my eyes started to swim. Time to make use of my dandy printer!

Thanks Mary! Your crit is VERY helpful!
Big THANKS to ALL who have read and commented on Symphony so far. YOU ARE ALL PRECIOUS!
(Mark, this means you, too! *wink*)

I should have at least two more scenes by tomorrow, possibly four or more done by Friday.

Shortie night... hmmmm. Why is it easier to write about something tragic than it is about something beautiful? At least, it seems the writing comes out a lot less sappy-sounding. *shrug* Could be just me.

Maybe I'll write my shortie on something disgusting. LOL

Heather 5-29-2001 19:52

Hi all,
I've been working at 5 am everyday and it's a killer shift. I've been too tired to post. Things are okay right now.

Melanie, I've sent you chapter three of Skala's Legacy. Unfortunately I haven't yet figured out how to e-mail only partial manuscripts with this program, so you've gotten the entire manuscript again. I'm sorry.

Allen wants to use the computer, so I'm going to go now. I have only one more five am shift and then I get two days off. I need it.

SusanS 5-29-2001 18:42

Hi Yavonne,
You're in good company. Welcome to the site and congratulations on the book. That is exciting! We do a shortie night (day) every Thursday. The theme this time is write a poem any style - uh oh, Jack/Mary was that up to 20 lines or must be 20 lines? - about a beautiful place.

You don't have to do it. It's just for fun. It looks like fun to me. I'll play with that idea and see if I can come up with anything for Thursday. I may not, but it'll be something nice to stick in my brain and think about as I walk here, there, and everywhere!

Where are you from? What's it like? How'd you find the diary, or did you create it in your book? What led you to your current publisher? Lot's of questions! You also don't have to write answers for these questions.

For me this is a place I can say, "I write" without someone looking at me and having their eyebrows go up and their nose curl. I've heard everything from, "Oh yah? so, what have you published (prove it)", to "Hummmm, that's as good as an admission that you're unstable and irresponsible!"

It's a welcome relief to come to a place where I hear only encouragement and advice. It also gives me exercises with which to play in order to strengthen some rather underpracticed skills. It's also in English, which is a great benefit. (I'm illiterate where I live!)

Hope you find the same sort of enjoyment here!

I'm off to work

Viv 5-29-2001 18:27

I WRITE. I am finishing a childrens book; 1411 Park Avenue.
It is a Dear God book ;about a girl(ME - 10 TO 14)growing up in the PROJECTS IN St. louis. It will be out before Christmas. It is unique as a Dear God book. IT HAS ISSUES OF DEATH, CIVIL RIGHTS, AND I begin with asking God;"Please God, don't let my daddy die" This book is not fiction, This diary is dated 1958-1962.

Yvonne farris 5-29-2001 18:02

I have travelled around the world and seen everything. Now I can die in peace.

But first I must read and criticise "Shadows in a Dream". I have just received my copy today. I never understood why my collaboration was rejected! So do not expect nice words from me...

Stay tuned and buy yourselves a copy. Or perhaps one hundred. We need to make a big bonfire with that terrible book! (There is blood in my eyes!)

Jon 5-29-2001 14:18

Heather: Down to 3,600 odd words and 8 pages. I'm getting there. Thanks for all your encouragement and help. This is about the strangest thing I've ever written. I'll sit on it for a week, re-read it for little goofs!

Viv 5-29-2001 9:03

BEN: I'm glad the emcee-thing went well for you! Maybe that's a good character to write about someday, "the wedding emcee." Happy writing on the current novella. :-)

Mel 5-29-2001 9:00

Your poem said it exactly. The ocean is beautiful when seen from above, but when you get underwater the colors and the sealife are incredible. Thanks for the memory showers that poem sparked!

Mary-Great idea for shorties!

Howard-not to pressure you, but I'm looking forward to your poem(s)!

Viv 5-29-2001 8:54


Hi, Everyone! Back from a holiday weekend after seeing lots of relatives, but the sun shines dimly on Jerry's sadness.

JERRY: My heart is with you and your wife, your daughter-in-law and son, and all your family right now. I lost a wee one (between #2 and #3)- a miscarriage at 2 months. It's very sad and it hurts the heart beyond description, but it truly is a blessing from Mother Nature to take care of it if something's not right. I hope that next time for your son and daughter-in-law that all will be well.

JACK: Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :-) May you have a terrific year to come (and many more!!). NICE poem to inspire us all for this week's shortie night! :-)

CHRISTI: Belated belated H.B. to you too! Hope your year-to-come is happy, healthy and muse-filled! (And many more, of course!) :-) Now, re: reincarnated romances...Since you're interested, I'll ask your opinion. My "Island of Forever" actually has its beginning and ending in my novel "SHARDS." So, when I finally get to writing "Island," should I reiterate its beginning and ending from the other novel or just leave it all a mystery as to how their lives became star-crossed and then un-crossed? Of course, this might be an unfair question as you haven't read it yet... That's okay if you haven't a clue. Me neither! The muse will speak aright in time...

HEATHER: Bus writing: some days yes, some NOT. Sometimes I can read it, sometimes NOT!! I try to proof it BEFORE I leave the bus so I won't have translation problems later. More often, I do the mental writing on the bus, leaving the printable, readable stuff for scattered stolen moments throughout the day...Soon, it will be time for another planned day off so I can just WRITE to my heart's content for several hours. That seems to fill me like nothing else... :-)

TINA, CHRISTI: I've heard it said, when you can't sleep and tire of counting sheep, just talk to the Shepherd... :-)

KITTY: So, where do old "hunks" go when they fall off the "wall?" Guys like Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Sean Connery age so handsomely, while they may be holding onto the hunk wall with fingernail grips, it may be eons before they teeter off the edge! :-) What great inspiration they are for all our literary heroes...

LOLA: Hi! Whatcha writin'?

A good day to you all. May your muses be meditative, at the least!

Melanie 5-29-2001 8:54


Jerry: I'm sorry to hear about your son and daughter-in-law's painful loss. I feel for them, having felt their pain; and even knowing time will heal this wound, there's not much comfort to be taken from the comfort of simple words.

Jack: Happy belated birthday big guy!! Sorry, I couldn't get to a computer this weekend--the niece was having troubles with hers, and since there was a wedding to attend to and she was the Best "person", it sort of got put on hold along with everything else.

I'll have you all know that I was a great success--as far as I was concerned:-) I was not as nervous as I thought I'd be. I managed to control myself as well as the situation--in spite of the fact that I pretty well had to wing it. And that was the funny thing about it. I tried to prepare; I tried to talk to people who could at least tell me who the out-of-towners were, but they didn't know, or have time. I was frantically scribbling notes before the bride and groom walked in for the formal introduction.

Renu tried to make me sit down and prepare earlier. Later, I asked my brother what I was supposed to say, and he just looked at me and said, "wing it." My sister-in-law said the same thing. Renu was stamping her feet, whining, saying it wouldn't work, I couldn't possibly do it because I'd never done it before. Ha! Piece of cake! I had people running up to the front to fill my glass because I insisted on making toasts for everything. I had them laughing. I wasn't feeling as nervous as I thought I would. I was the life of the party: dancing, laughing, talking to everyone. Even Renu said I was okay. Instead of giving me the thumbs up though, or the thumbs down, she gave me a reluctant "horizontal" thumb...and one of her beautiful smiles. So I felt I'd done okay.

I heard a strange story about a drunken native Indian who called himeself Clapper the Wolfman (clap-clap), that made my mind spin out into a strange tale of my own that I'll have to write down sooner or later.

But now I have to work on my novella. I haven't been able to write for a few days, and I missed it.

Ben 5-29-2001 8:26

And, on to the reason I made sure I posted her shortie suggestion - my shorty:

Quiet time. Measured time.
Blue light. Blue sights
Waiting and watery below

I pause at a surface somewhere off Australia
Off Fiji. Off Edmonds Off Cancun
Breathing through a regulator, I dive deeper
Water wraps me as a mother Wraps a child in her arms

Garden eels wave above the sand like blades of grass
Manta Rays fly with the grace of eagles above
crabs scuttle on submerged sandy bottoms
They are my brothers. They are my sisters

The reef is lime and crimson and rust
Filtered light casts lemon shafts from above
And I am home here a dozen, forty, hundred feet below
I am home here and now

Jack 5-29-2001 7:12

Also: I wanted to note the call for shorties that Mary put out, so I am repeating her call:

SHORTIE NIGHT THEME: Something a little different this week, Folks, but remember that the theme is only a suggestion, please feel free to still contribute outside the topic.

~~Write a poem, any form, under 20 lines, about a beautiful place.~~

Jack Beslanwitch 5-29-2001 7:11

Not sure what happened there, but suddenly the Notebook was generating server errors. So, as a precaution I have archived the Notebook and reinitialized everything. Just want to suggest that ever

Return to