Archived Messages from 10-31-01 to 12-3-01

Taylor - I got this in an email from a friend who lives on the left coast. I think he is a closet liberal, even though he came out of the closet as a gay. As you are aware, emails like this can be started by anyone, anywhere, so there is no certainty that the fellows name at the bottom of the email is who actually said this, but I will post it as it came to me:

The real kicker for me was the background of the author (at the bottom of the piece), but then you may know who he is already.

What Can We Do About Terrorism?
by Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret.

A few years ago, terrorists destroyed two U.S. embassies. President Clinton
retaliated against suspected facilities of Osama bin Laden. In his television
address, the President told the American people that we were the targets of
terrorism because we stood for democracy, freedom, and human rights in the
On that occasion, I wrote: "Tell people the truth, Mr. President ... about
terrorism, not about poor Monica. If your lies about terrorism go
unchallenged, then the terror war you have unleashed will likely continue
until it destroys us.
"The threat of nuclear terrorism is closing in upon us. Chemical terrorism is
at hand, and biological terrorism is a future danger. None of our thousands
of nuclear weapons can protect us from these threats. These idols of
plutonium, titanium, and steel are impotent. Our worship of them for over
five decades has not brought us security, only greater danger. No 'Star Wars'
system ... no matter how technically advanced, no matter how many trillions
of dollars was poured into it ... can protect us from even a single terrorist
bomb. Not one weapon in our vast arsenal can shield us from a nuclear weapon
delivered in a sailboat or a Piper Cub or a suitcase or a Ryder rental truck.
Not a penny of the 273 billion dollars a year we spend on so-called defense
can actually defend us against a terrorist bomb. Nothing in our enormous
military establishment can actually give us one whit of security. That is a
military fact.
"Mr. President, you did not tell the American people the truth about why we
are the targets of terrorism. You said that we are the target because we
stand for democracy, freedom, and human rights in the world. Baloney! We are
the target of terrorists because we stand for dictatorship, bondage, and
human exploitation in the world. We are the target of terrorists because we
are hated. And we are hated because our government has done hateful things.
"In how many countries have we deposed popularly elected leaders and replaced
them with puppet military dictators who were willing to sell out their own
people to American multinational corporations?
"We did it in Iran when we deposed Mossadegh because he wanted to nationalize
the oil industry. We replaced him with the Shah, and trained, armed, and paid
his hated Savak national guard, which enslaved and brutalized the people of
Iran. All to protect the financial interests of our oil companies. Is it any
wonder there are people in Iran who hate us?
"We did it in Chile when we deposed Allende, democratically elected by the
people to introduce socialism. We replaced him with the brutal right-wing
military dictator, General Pinochet. Chile has still not recovered.
"We did it in Vietnam when we thwarted democratic elections in the South
which would have united the country under Ho Chi Minh. We replaced him with a
series of ineffectual puppet crooks who invited us to come in and slaughter
their people - and we did. (I flew 101 combat missions in that war which you
properly opposed.)
"We did it in Iraq, where we killed a quarter of a million civilians in a
failed attempt to topple Saddam Hussein, and where we have killed a million
since then with our sanctions. About half of these innocent victims have been
children under the age of five.
"And, of course, how many times have we done it in Nicaragua and all the
other banana republics of Latin America? Time after time we have ousted
popular leaders who wanted the riches of the land to be shared by the people
who worked it. We replaced them with murderous tyrants who would sell out and
control their own people so that the wealth of the land could be taken out by
Domino Sugar, the United Fruit Company, Folgers, and Chiquita Banana.
"In country after country, our government has thwarted democracy, stifled
freedom, and trampled human rights. That's why we are hated around the world.
And that's why we are the target of terrorists.
"People in Canada enjoy better democracy, more freedom, and greater human
rights than we do. So do the people of Norway and Sweden. Have you heard of
Canadian embassies being bombed? Or Norwegian embassies? Or Swedish
embassies. No.
"We are not hated because we practice democracy, freedom, and human rights.
We are hated because our government denies these things to people in third
world countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational
corporations. And that hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the
form of terrorism - and in the future, nuclear terrorism.
"Once the truth about why the threat exists is understood, the solution
becomes obvious. We must change our government's ways.
"Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so
the oil companies can sell the oil under their sand, we must send them to
rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed starving children.
"Instead of continuing to kill thousands of Iraqi children every day with our
sanctions, we must help them rebuild their electric powerplants, their water
treatment facilities, their hospitals - all the things we destroyed in our
war against them and prevented them from rebuilding with our sanctions.
"Instead of seeking to be king of the hill, we must become a responsible
member of the family of nations. Instead of stationing hundreds of thousands
of troops around the world to protect the financial interests of our
multinational corporations, we must bring them home and expand the Peace
"Instead of training terrorists and death squads in the techniques of torture
and assassination, we must close the School of the Americas (no matter what
name they use). Instead of supporting military dictatorships, we must support
true democracy - the right of the people to choose their own leaders. Instead
of supporting insurrection, destabilization, assassination, and terror around
the world, we must abolish the CIA and give the money to relief agencies.
"In short, we do good instead of evil. We become the good guys, once again.
The threat of terrorism would vanish. That is the truth, Mr. President. That
is what the American people need to hear. We are good people. We only need to
be told the truth and given the vision. You can do it, Mr. President. Stop
the killing. Stop the justifying. Stop the retaliating. Put people first.
Tell them the truth."
Needless to say, he didn't ... and neither has George W. Bush. Well, the
seeds our policies have planted have borne their bitter fruit. The World
Trade Center is gone. The Pentagon is damaged. And thousands of Americans
have died. Almost every TV pundit is crying for massive military retaliation
against whoever might have done it (assumedly the same Osama bin Laden) and
against whoever harbors or aids the terrorists (most notably the Taliban
government of Afghanistan). Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post screams "Kill
the bastards! Train assassins, hire mercenaries, put a couple of million
bucks up for bounty hunters to get them dead or alive, preferably dead. As
for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball
courts." It's tempting to agree. I have no sympathy for the psychopaths that
killed thousands of our people. There is no excuse for such acts. If I was
recalled to active duty, I would go in a heartbeat. At the same time, all my
military experience and knowledge tells me that retaliation hasn't rid us of
the problem in the past, and won't this time.
By far the world's best anti-terrorist apparatus is Israel's. Measured in
military terms, it has been phenomenally successful. Yet Israel still suffers
more attacks than all other nations combined. If retaliation worked, Israelis
would be the world's most secure people.
Only one thing has ever ended a terrorist campaign -- denying the terrorist
organization the support of the larger community it represents. And the only
way to do that is to listen to and alleviate the legitimate grievances of the
people. If indeed Osama bin Laden was behind the four hijackings and
subsequent carnage, that means addressing the concerns of the Arabs and
Muslims in general and of the Palestinians in particular. It does NOT mean
abandoning Israel. But it may very well mean withdrawing financial and
military support until they abandon the settlements in occupied territory and
return to 1967 borders. It may also mean allowing Arab countries to have
leaders of their own choosing, not hand-picked, CIA-installed dictators
willing to cooperate with Western oil companies.
Chester Gillings has said it very well: "How do we fight back against bin
Laden? The first thing we must ask ourselves is what is it we hope to achieve
-- security or revenge? The two are mutually exclusive; seek revenge and we
WILL reduce our security. If it is security we seek, then we must begin to
answer the tough questions -- what are the grievances of the Palestinians and
the Arab world against the United States, and what is our real culpability
for those grievances? Where we find legitimate culpability, we must be
prepared to cure the grievance wherever possible. Where we cannot find
culpability or a cure, we must communicate honestly our positions directly to
the Arab people. In short, our best course of action is to remove ourselves
as a combatant in the disputes of the region."
To kill bin Laden now would be to make him an eternal martyr. Thousands would
rise up to take his place. In another year, we would face another round of
terrorism, probably much worse even than this one. Yet there is another way.
In the short term, we must protect ourselves from those who already hate us.
This means increased security and better intelligence. I proposed to members
of Congress in March that we should deny any funds for "Star Wars" until such
time as the Executive Branch could show that they are doing all possible
research on the detection and interception of weapons of mass destruction
entering the country clandestinely (a far greater threat than ballistic
missiles). There are lots of steps which can be taken to increase security
without detracting from civil rights. But in the long term, we must change
our policies to stop causing the fear and hatred which creates new
terrorists. Becoming independent of foreign oil through conservation, energy
efficiency, production of energy from renewable sources, and a transition to
non-polluting transportation will allow us to adopt a more rational policy
toward the Middle East.
The vast majority of Arabs and Muslims are good, peaceful people. But enough
of them, in their desperation and anger and fear, have turned first to Arafat
and now to bin Laden to relieve their misery. Remove the desperation, give
them some hope, and support for terrorism will evaporate. At that point bin
Laden will be forced to abandon terrorism (as has Arafat) or be treated like
a common criminal. Either way, he and his money cease to be a threat. We CAN
have security ... or we can have revenge. We cannot have both.
Dr. Robert M. Bowman directed all the "Star Wars" programs under presidents
Ford and Carter and flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam. His Ph.D. is in
Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering from Caltech. He is President of the
Institute for Space and Security Studies and Presiding Archbishop of the
United Catholic Church.
2066 Deercroft Dr., Viera, FL 32940
(321) 752-5955

Jerry 12-3-2001 14:33

Christi - tried to get back onto MSN messenger and couldn't!
Back on your tales,

Heather 12-3-2001 5:52

Jerry: Who said that? I would like to know who... The way I see it America has every right to hit back

Been following it a bit... Think that everythings been handled well, however I would do a few things differently, but since they are bound by the Rules of War or whatever... My idea would be taken from the movie "Lawrence of Arabia"

taylor 12-3-2001 4:21

Well I guess it had to happen. Some highly educated egghead has circulated his "Reasons" that we are under attack. He places the blame on the "evil" American who assiginates dicatators, yet keeps other dictators in office for our own ends. He basically said we deserve it, and we have NO RIGHT to go to war over this.

This, he explains, is our "wake-up call!" He goes on to say that we MUST stop supporting Isreal, we must stop all interactivity with all nations, and only GIVE money and food to the poor of the world.

He goes into how we were wrong in Vietnam, we were wrong in Desert Storm, and we are still wrong with the embargo on Iraq that kills millions of peace loving iraqees, most under the age of five.

Basically he makes me sick, and his outragous accusation is an affront to those poor souls who lost their lives on the 11th of September.

He then goes on to list his pedigree, his PhD in international affairs. His combat record in Vietnam, his good works with the Catholic Church. Because of these affilations, and his superior education, we MUST listen to him, because he is right ofcourse.

I sent the letter back to my friend who sent it (He lives on the left coast) with my annotations inserted after each outragous statement.

I doubt it will do any good, except maybe the fellow who sent it will avoid getting my dander up over politics. I know I get in more trouble both in this notebook and with my friends over politics, but it is JUST SO MUCH FUN!

Write On!

PS - Teekay- When I first came to the notebook, I had a saying, but on reading the comments, I saw that someone (The Goodweed of the North) was using it.

In college, I always greeted my friends with "Greetings and Salutations!" IN fact when we were nearing graduation, all I could get out was Greetings, and they all answered back AND SALUTATIONS! It was quit fun, but I didn't want to get into it with (Was it Goodweed or TOM, I think it was The Old Man).

Jerry 12-3-2001 0:40

Just taking a break from my story at the moment... Need to tear myself away from it I think, beginning to think about it almost 24/7

In an attempt to lower the road toll here, they have lowered the speed limit in suburban areas from 60 ks down to 50 ks... It seems funny, since alot of accidents are caused by excessive speeding

taylor 12-2-2001 19:58

Hi all,

Did the book signing thing with Mary Lou yesterday. Maybe if we'd thought about it, we would have realized that selling books to people in a library might not have been a really good idea. Most people go to a library so they won't have to buy books. (At least I do.)

She didn't sell any books along with about 40 other authors but she learned more about what you might need to take with you to these things. You never know ahead of time how much space there will be or even if there will be a table and chairs.

CAROL, While there, I had time to finish your MS. Will write up my notes soonest and e-mail them along.

Mary Lou has a new car and the drive to Austin was great. Not so good on the way back--it rained the last thirty or so miles. Still raining today. Crazy weather.

Friday, I had sold 23 baby chicks to a pet store in a fleamarket about 15 miles away. The poor man just knew he would sell them this weekend with no problems. The weather people said this would be a beautiful weekend.--NOT! His best crowds are on weedends. Hope the little babies don't die. We considered going to see them today but were afraid we'd end up bringing them home. Don't need more chickens!!!

HOWARDLY: (or was it GARISS?)I can't add to your movie list, very seldom go to movies. The last one was SPACE COWBOYS and the next one will be HARRY POTTER. My favorite books are usually the last good one I've read. Currently it's Mercades Lackey's latest--TAKE A THIEF. Actually the first two thirds of the book was excellent, the last third has slowed down considerably. Very strange.

Did you know Mercades Lackey lives in Oklahoma too?? Thought that was interesting to have so well known an author nearby. Could be you don't read fantesy?? Sorry, I don't remember.

Going away now,

Rosemary 12-2-2001 16:46

HEATER -- Don't feel bad, my wife has a sweatshirt with Pooh all over it!

howard 12-2-2001 12:37


Hello everybody,
Hello Newbies, and welcome.
Just got back in the UK but leaving for Turkey in the morning (Early Hours). Good to see everybody still posting, though I have only scanned through for now.
I will catch up in a week or so. As you know, I am always around at Christmas so keep in touch.
Got to go pack a back.

Eddie French 12-2-2001 8:20

Jerry! Congratulations, Papa-in-law! Yipppeee! I'm glad it was a wonderful celebration, and the cake didn't make a slide for it. (My Godfather almost tipped ours on the big night; the whole room of people holding their breath - it was the only time that evening my Grandmother wasn't yakking!)

Oyster - 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'...
But I like Howard's mix-title. How about
'Crouching Tigger, Hidden Pooh'?

Oh, my. What have I said!
Hold your noses! Pass the bum-wipe. Don't step in the bushes! As Owl has said before, "Did YOU do that, Pooh?"

Howard, you genius, the mock movie titles were a treat!
Keep 'em comin'! And never apologize for tickling our ribs.

Oh, yes, Oyster - That 3 am thing? Been there, and have done that too often! That's why I switched to banging my head against the coffee machine at 5 am. It has the added benefit of steaming my pores. :o>

Since it's the weekend, I'm pounding the keys at night - oh, brings back such sweeeeeeet memories! *snort*

Heather 12-1-2001 23:54

I just discovered that if you RMC (right mouse click) on a bad link (like Howard Spicer's link below (Hi Howard!)) and then click on properties, you'll see that it actually appends the new link to the webwitch address, thus directing the search first to webwitch, where it will never find the new link. Simply copy out the new address, starting with the www, and paste it into the address bar on your browser, and it works fine! Might want to fix that one too, Jack...
The correct link is

howard 12-1-2001 22:38

You mean "Crouching Tiger Sleeping Beauty?" Disney made a bundle on that one!

howard 12-1-2001 22:32

Thanks Jerry for the tip on the sidewinder joystick. That was on Sonny's Want List for Christmas. That kid rivals Sally of Charlie Brown's Christmas for ... um, greed? Need for money?

Glad the wedding pre-empted thoughts of cold, Jerry. I'm having enough for everyone, and since I've got the flu to boot, I'm annoyed.

The first real night out we've had in months and I'm not giving it up! The Child-Runner is here (she's sweet sixteen and the kids like her) and ...

Never mind. I just popped in to also say: Howard, I Laughed so hard at your combo movies!

And Teekay, we're going to Harry Potter in that long, boring week between Christmas and New Years when I'm desperate for some way to celebrate what the School euphemistically calls Holy Week.

I call it Unholy Week of Terror ... no writing, lots of nagging and two kids who do not understand that once upon a time Parents Ruled and Kids Drooled.

Which reminds me ... one of my fave movies of all time is Crouching Tiger, Sleeping Lion??? Anyone know the one I mean? I probably got the title wrong! My head is so flu-stuffed, I may never think coherently again!

The movie I mean actually won something at Cannes and I LOVED the womano-a-womano fight scenes. And even better it made me think and imagine!

Then again so Did Willy Wonka and I loved both the book and movie. Raoul Dahl and Dr. Seuss Rock, man!

And Heather 4 a.m.? I usually conk out about 3 with keymarks on my face the next day!

Oyster 12-1-2001 19:44


I wonder if you and members of your group might like to check out - it's aim is to help writers find publishers in any field/genre. It also aims to make life easier for publishers.


Howard Spicer

Howard Spicer Link 12-1-2001 15:37

Hey All:

Of course you are all right on all counts I did take out the three grarantees and replace them two with certains and the last one with a sentence. This is it. THAT'S A PROMISE.

Also I changed the "THEY DON'T REALLY WORK" too.

I do believe all those claims I made. I didn't tone it down that much. I do know all girls won't end up in an abusive relationship. We can't know ahead of time which ones will. That's why I think it's a good idea for all girls to be able to recognize these abusive partners from the get go.

My book is that good. I believe that. I really do. It is different from all the rest. Watch and see. Although I know people are sue happy, I can't imagine what the charges would be. One never knows does one? It's a strange world.

I'd be happy to post the new one, but you know what happened when I posted more than one version of the poems.

Debra 12-1-2001 14:13

Hi All,

Have to give an update to the Dating Life Magazine thing. Since their e-mail stated "get a paypal account and then we'll pay you" or words to that effect, that's what I did, I asked a friend to collect it for me and then send me the money via post.

This morning the transaction was completed. In the meantime, the magazine found my posting regarding non-payment and threatened me with legal action if I did not remove it and every thread in regards to it (even those posted by other people which is pretty hard if not impossible to do!).

I don't know if they are still in business or not, their main phone # is out of service and their website is down. First they said they had a substantial amount of articles (I believe, but I may be slightly off) that the amount was enough to last them through next year. Next (on Tuesday) they said that I had caused them considerable financial losses and my posting had been forwarded to their lawyers.

Since what I said in my posting was true, and I have since re-posted that yes, one condition has changed since my original- I did get paid, the NWU says I don't have much to worry about.

Anyway, that's the news at this hour. I'll post my new website url when I have it completed. You seem like a great group and I appreciate the welcome, even though I'm a bit of a lurker at this point. ;-)


Yvonne 12-1-2001 13:33

Typo in the last try. This address should work.

Tina actually THIS is the correct address 12-1-2001 12:55

If we're going for just the top ten, my #1 is always Amadeus. Every actor was superb, the settings and cinematography captured every emotion, and the music of Mozart ran through every scene.

Teekay, glad you liked Harry Potter! I want to go again. And BTW, I sent you an e-mail. Let me know if you don't get it because I wasn't sure of the e-address I used.

I've included the new address for my webpage. I had to move it to Shaw. Nothing on it has changed lately, it's still just pictures. :^)

I plan to steal at least two hours for writing today. It's been such a busy week I've not had time for much, and I'm feeling antsy. Heck, maybe I'll steal three!

Tina new address for my webpage 12-1-2001 12:49

I think its kind of impossible to list a top 100 movie list... Since it will have to depend alot on the individual
1 movie I like... another 1 might hate it kind of thing

taylor 12-1-2001 3:21


Morning All,

JERRY: Boy you tell a good story. I felt like a little kid at her grandpappy's knee reading your ghost post.
I just read your post about the child and the dog. Beautifully written, the ending was almost poetic.

MEL& TINA: I thought the movie was brilliant. I've only read one of the Harry Potter books and it wasn't the philosopher stone, so I just sat open mouthed (mainly being that I was scooping handfuls of chips or popcorn into it) and just marvelled.

GARIESS: Another suggestion for the best films - Harry Potter.

DEBRA: You're the one with the book on the shelf not me, why on earth would I be disappointed - you silly duffer :-D

Afternoon All;
Happy Saturday arvo, I had to get off in a hurry yesterday coz a storm blew up and I would hate anything to happen to my modem.

HEATHER: Sorry about that. It was a good storm though, lots of atmosphere. I love a good storm.
Your towel post was hilarious.

CHRISTI: My rejection count is now at a healthy 16 :-D. I'm thinking of putting it on a diet.

GARIESS: Ah, you are brilliant. I wonder does the Doctor see the witty wicked humour and quick intellect behind the high blood pressure and lightbulb injuries.( Oops....sorry )
;-) Perhaps not, nevermind - his loss.

TINA: Anne of Green Gables, the entire series.
Little women
The magic faraway tree series (when I was a kid - it's just not the same anymore)
All creatures great and small
vet in a spin
If only they could talk
Pillars of the earth
The hobbit
Quo Vadis - even though it was terrible it was a brilliant book.
Letters to my son.- a little jewel I picked up from a second hand book store. Might just search the bookshelves, blow off the dust bunnies and re read it.
Ummm, I'm sure there are heaps more, I'll have to think on them.

GARIESS: Why don't you rank them in in top ten by genre. It's hardly fair to compare Peggy Sue got married to Apocolypse now, but it was still flawless.
Just a suggestion - I know this is your baby.

VIV: We have a bookshelf in almost every room and two floor to ceiling ones in the loungeroom which are layered two - three deep. There's not a room in this house where you wouldn't find a book or two except the toilet.

JERRY: Do you mean your son is getting married? I must have missed something. Anyhow, BEST WISHES.


Teekay 12-1-2001 1:54

There are too many to limit the list to ten, so I've been forced to combine several ...

The King Kong and I -- Yul Brynner carries Debra Kerr to the top of the tallest pagoda in town, and throws her at a passing plane.

Tootsie meets Ghandi -- Dustin Hoffman and Ben Kingsley open a drag club in downtown Bombay, and peddle elephants and salt on the side.

The Lizard of Oz -- Judy Garland lands in an amusement park full of cloned dinosaurs, and a T-Rex has Toto for lunch.

Saving Private Benjamin -- Tom Hanks and Goldie Hawn romp across the beaches and meadows of Europe in the 40's. She throws herself in front of Gert Frobe, who's about to do in Hanks with a milk can.

Mary Poppins Triggers the Apocalypse...Now -- Julie Andrews lands in the middle of a firefight, just missing a Huey piloted by Martin Sheen and finds that she just can't get no satisfaction.

Good Morning, Dead Poets! -- Robin Williams wakes up early in the wrong country, and reads the lyrics of Louis Armstrong hits to a class of Oxford undergrads.

Titanic On Golden Pond -- A famous ship goes down in the middle of a shallow lake in Maine, and hits bottom with three decks above water. They have to hold the band (and Jane Fonda) underwater in order to properly drown them.

Smokey and Miss Daisy -- Morgan Freeman goes on sick leave, and Burt Reynolds fills in for him. Jessica Tandy gets blisters on her bum from sliding back and forth on the back seat during all the chase scenes.

All the President's Aliens -- Robert Redford and Sigourney Weaver join journalistic forces to uncover high level chicanery involving the smuggling of illegal aliens in the abdominal cavities of unsuspecting aides.

and last but not necessarily least...

Willy Wonka rides a Blazing Saddle -- Gene Wilder gets a headache changing hats, and Arthur Kennedy farts while trying to fly after eating all them beans.

sorry --- it's late

howard 12-1-2001 0:23

Oyster - The Sidewinder joystick is manufactured by Microsoft. I have an older one, it has nine programmable buttons, a knob on one side that can be used for an accelerator, and besides moving the way a joystick can move, the stick itself can be turned to the left and right to serve as a rudder in flying games. It also has a point of view hat that can be programmed to do just that, look out the side or back of an aircraft in addition to the normal forward view. There are many models of the Sidewinder, mine is a simple one, there are also ones that actually receive feedback signals from the game and allow the operator to "feel" the game as well as play it. I think it is one of the best joysticks made for the PC, there are others in the running such as the CH Flight Stick PRO, I have one of those also, but have put it away since I got my Sidewinder.

They make wonderful Christmas gifts to husbands who love gaming as well as boys who play the games.

Jerry 12-1-2001 0:14

My Top 10 Movies of all time:

1. The Mouse That Roared
2. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
3. Star Wars
4. The Time Machine
5. Star Trek The Movie
6. Of Mice and Men
7. Robinson Caruso on Mars
9. The Green Beret
10. Sleeping Beauty (Disney)

Books - Sorry, I tried, but my head just isn't in this tonight, only came up with three. Will give it a try when I haven't had such a busy day.

We did have a nice trip, the weather was super for both up and back. In fact the trip up was so filled with wildlife that it seemed to go very fast. Among the wildlife were three coyotes, nearly a hundred pheasants, a red fox, two bald eagles, and a rare golden eagle.

The ceremony was beautiful, as a civil ceremony can be. The lady who performed it was very good, and very professional. My daughter took all the wedding pictures using my old Pentax SLR 35mm that I picked up in Japan on my way home from Nam. The bride's daughter was the combination flower girl/ring bearer, and did a wonderful job. The bride and her father had been at odds now for several months, and hadn't spoken to each other for nearly a month. When she called him and asked him to be a witness, he said yes, she was so happy to be back on his good side. Overall it was a wonderful day, one that we shall remember till the day we die. They still plan a formal church wedding some time in the spring, but as far as I am concerned, there is no need, once the knot is tied it is very hard to sever, and one wedding should be enough for any couple. But you know me, I am sort of old fashioned that way, in fact I still look on divorce as a bad thing, not an easy out for those who do not take their vows in their heart as well as in their mind.

Well I ramble on, I did try to write a short story involving the cold tonight, but my mind is still full of the wonderful things I saw today, and I find it hard to be creative right now.

It is a strange thing you know. I recall when my children were young, I would have been mad as hell should they sing the full trip from Bismarck to Lemmon. Yet when it is our grandchild, it didn't seem to bother me, in fact I rather ingoted the trip. Must be something that happens when that grand is attached to the singer.


Jerry 11-30-2001 23:57


I would give weight to the considerations raised by Heather in regard to your jacket cover. Liability questions aside, it would be wise to soften your proposal. I would strike the use of the word, Guarantee. Also, your final paragraph implies that every girl who reads your book will be in an abusive relationship. That can be fixed mechanically in the wording, but the overall inference gleaned from your message is that every girl has the question, and only you have the answer. I see this as setting yourself an impossible task. The position you put yourself in will be too hard to hold. To be superlative in your presumption leaves you no wiggle room. To begin with many girls will never be in an abusive dating relationship and you would like your material to sound pertinent to every girl. I understand your deep commitment to your topic, but I see no reason to narrow your appeal. I urge you to think about this. You have a very good message to deliver, It should be important not to sabotage your own efforts.


gariess 11-30-2001 23:31

I believe that in trying to identify the top 100 movies of all time, one needs a system needs to be in place. I have considered starting with the top 10. The reason being that one's comprehension of 100 films at a time is too chancey. It seems that ten are more manageable, and one has the fall back position that nothing is final until it is final.

I will therefore ask our membership to propose nominations for the top 10 spots. That way if one has a particular passion for a subjectively appreciated entry that fails to meet top 10 standards, one still has hope to see one's choice in the remaining 90. Where I recognize that total objectivity is neither possible or desirable, we must be wary of runaway subjectivity. There exists in all of us the phenomenon of an unusual connection between ourselves and a particular favorite which fails to inspire anyone else on the face of the earth. I have in my collection, a particular photograph that I like very much. I realize it is something strictly between me and that one picture. Everyone else looks at it and says things like, "Why in hell did you waste a frame on this?" I understand why they don't like it, and I understand why I do. I keep the picture on my wall, but I do not place it in competitions or exhibits. I assure you this kind of thing will come up in the selection of our top 100 films at one point or another to one extent or another. I will post the preliminary top 10 entries in a few days. In the meantime see what suggestions come to mind. Thank You.

gariess 11-30-2001 22:59

Um, sent the post before I could continue with more grand reading fodder! Never you mind, friends. I can't think of any right now anyway. Too tired!

And it's only 11 pm. Believe it for me, will you?

Heather 11-30-2001 22:58

Debra - I read your back cover copy for Sweetie. I doubt you can make claims such as those. You may want to write instead that the book will enable young women to make the right choices, should they come into a situation such as dating violence.
Also, I would not state that 'other methods' do not work, only why you feel that your book will. Your method may not work for everyone, and making such a claim could get you into hot water! I would refrain from calling your book a 'cure', as well. It is up to each person to choose for themselves what they will or will not do - especially when it comes to taking advice. Your book may be able to help. There are no guarantees.

I just felt that I should warn you; what you write for back cover copy is entirely up to you. It's not that I didn't like what you wrote - but with people suing McDonald's over the spilling of (DUHHHH!)HOT coffee, you never know.

Thanks, everyone, for remembering some of the authors I couldn't! Of course, I remembered Steinbeck as soon as I'd gone offline. Murphy would make a lot of money had he made bets about his 'laws'.

Oyster - I have trouble stopping as well, once I get into the writing groove. Sometimes, in view of that, I neglect writing for the day simply because I'm too tired to spend four hours hunched over the keys. (Or longer)
That is also exactly why I had to make a schedule change - sometimes I'd look up and it was 4 am. How did that happen? Well, I started writing at 11 pm, and took a break in the middle to keep up on email and the NB, and then went back and edited, and then wrote more... and I was getting too tired in the daylight hours. It's working, when I get my buns off the mattress in time!
This morning I was in a foul mood, and just nitpicked at my short story for LT*. I smoothed it out rather well, so all was not lost!
Oh, I loved the appearances of Carlin and Ringo Star on the Thomas series! I was a bit surprised to see Carlin on a kid's show, since his latest comedy material is rather, um, adult only? Maybe it always was!

Anyone else find it romantic to Christmas shop with your spouse? My kids went to the annual Karate Club movie night at their dojo, so my husband and I had 3 hours to shop, hold hands, running up and down the rows, giggling at things! My giggling was arrested as soon as the cash register showed the total, but my husband didn't even flinch! I'm still amazed.
Somebody hold me down, I'm floating!

Oh, except for the death of George Harrison. That doesn't sit well. *sniff*

Later, friends!

Here's another book for the list:
To Kill A Mockingbird

More grand reading fodder:

Heather 11-30-2001 22:55

Books?! Don't get me started! You all know by now my favorite science fiction author is Zenna Henderson, so anything by her would top the list. Other Scifi:
Heiro's Journey
The Unforsaken Heiro
I Robot
the Foundation series (yes, more than a trilogy)
the Colossus trilogy
The Lost World (the Arthur Conan Doyle original)
Red Planet
Damnation Alley
Lucifer's Hammer -- not really scifi
The Day of the Triffids
Out of the Deeps
The CS Lewis trilogy:
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
anything by Arthur C Clark or Ray Bradbury
include fantasy?
The Hobbit
The Silmarillion
anything by Mary Brown
Moorcock's Stormbringer series
etc etc
again, there's so many...

howard 11-30-2001 14:29

Nuts! The website didn't work. I'll try this">The Unofficial Beatles Wesbsite

I hope I didn't put the Notebook into failure! And if I did, sorry, Jack!

Oyster 11-30-2001 13:30

Two writings in the little white box in one day? I must be addicted. I'm letting a few stories 'ripen' lately, which means I can't stand to look at them anymore!

Carol, glad to see you have 'inspiration' to get down to it. Getting down to it is never a problem for me, stopping is. I once spent an entire Christmas writing a novel. Spouse was so upset he pitched a serious, scathing hissy! For various reasons which I won't go into, I pitched a serious hissy right back, and we've come to a truce. I've learned to discipline myself in terms of when I write, and Spouse has learned to discipline himself as to when he does overtime at work.

Balance is good. And the novel I wrote during that Christmas? A pearl needing a bit of polishing but I like going back and reading it. When I can't find a really good novel at the library, I go back and read my own. Some of them actually come up to the standards I hold other writers to. Yet, since I have a Friday Printer downstairs, it gets tiresome reading off the screen for too long.

The reason I popped back in is that the webpage I cited beside my moniker is the T.U.B.LA.- The Unofficial Beatles Website, in honour of 'dear' George. I wondered what I could do to say goodbye and honour a man so creative he took my breath away with his words; then I remembered a whole bunch of songs George wrote with John.

George Harrison was one of the most prolific of the Beatles in terms of lyrics, but he was kind of a ghost in a lot of ways. Maybe even an oyster!

Lacking the on-stage charisma of Lennon, the pretty boy good looks of McCartney and the sheer Nuttiness of Ringo, people rarely noticed George Harrison, but he was truly the anchor of the group ... what kept them together writing and performing, I think.

Oh, and on Ringo *Evil Wicked Grin* ... Son was entranced by Thomas The Tank Engine series when younger. He actually has a collection of tiny Thomas trains in a tub downstairs. Guess who was Mr. Conductor on Thomas? None other than Richard Starkey, and for us really old folk, Mr. George Carlin took a turn as well at the role on the American version of Thomas, too, pony tail and all!

Interesting where talented people show up, isn't it? And entertain a whole new generation.

Oyster 11-30-2001 13:27

Greetings All :)

I was sitting here, reading the posts, when my attention was drawn outside. At first I thought Dickie (the cat) had gotten outside and wondered how. I haven't let him out because of the snow. Then I realized just what I was looking at. Not only one animal -- but two. Two otters cavorting and playing in my driveway between the house and the garage! We have no nearby lakes -- well, not that close at least. I don't know why they were here, but they sure brightened my day. Poor hubby killed his bad back running in answer to my excited call. He did feel it was well worth it though. :)

This day has just been getting better and better. Thanks to the buddy system with Viv, I wrote for one hour. My timer is digital and allows me to start and stop it whenever I want. So I set that, wrote, took an occasional coffee or potty break and wrote some more. The story is now close to the end and I'm sorry Viv, but I don't think I can wait till next Fri. to finish. :) It felt so good this morning, I'm going to try it again tomorrow. Oh happy day!

Heather - yes, I have read "Mister God, This Is Anna" -- it's been years, but I still remember it well. An excellent read.

Viv - I have no problem making lists. I'm good at making a list of what to do and when. My problem is keeping to the blasted thing! hehehe

Debra - I wish I had read your book years ago. I do however, have several nieces. Keep me posted on the pub. date for this one please? (Guess that means your back cover is effective - I'll buy 2 copies )

Tina - It's so good to see you popping in more often. The best of luck to you in your decision. I know it won't be an easy one.

Jerry - congrats on the kid's marriage! I hope everything was beautiful and they have a long, healthy life together.

Happy Day All!

Carol 11-30-2001 13:07

Hi all!

Jerry I'm LMBO!(laughing my butt off). After scrolling through the last few offerings, Son & Spouse will never find your description of those toys!

I have a funny feeling if those two go a snooping, your ghost story will intrigue both of them. Distraction by story is a good thing, I'm finding!

So now I don't have to worry about my snoopy family (who seem to think I have a secret life) lurking and smirking here and getting inspiration to go out and spend more money! I'm off the hook! Although on Son's first 'Christmas List' a laptop was listed. To quote Daughter "Like, uh, no!"

Which reminds me ... anyone know what a 'sidewinder joystick' is? Some kind of snake with a sexual issue?

Hope the 'marrying off celebration' went well, there, Jerry. Congratulations on a new fam-member.

Tina Glad to see you back! Killing off a character, eh? I always had trouble killing off even fictional characters, until I gave them such nasty traits, words and actions that I was glad to see them go! Killing off the good ones was a quick way to end the story, but I kinda fall in love with my characters, warts and all, and hate to see them die.

Maybe I should be writing for television, eh? They never kill of characters for good in sit-com scripts.

hi Christi Glad you enjoy my postings. Thanks for the hello, it makes me feel included. And this group is worth being 'included in', to my mind.

Okay folks, the oyster shell is finally opening for ... I'll have to do some research on how and why oyster shells open to continue this analogy ... but I got my first 'read'
back in aeons.

Did I ever pick a jewel of a reader! And he's right into the process as well as giving some pretty good insights! So I'se not no fraidy cat no more.

Can you tell I'm still reading Stephen Hunter? His old So'thern dialects take me back to a place and time in The Ole Mississip where I can bask in vernacular.

I am looking forward to Jack's Notebook opening, though. If we can get some kind of password protection up and running. Man, I'm so confused about 'privacy on The Internet'. I still think there isn't any such thing with all the hackers out there!

And has anyone else noticed the 'echo echo' and 'tests' in between our words? Lurkers and smirkers, I've discovered in other discussion forums do tend to pop up here and there.

But it was Mary and Carol and Heather who started this germ of thought. Spouse has ICQ, I had it, but forgot all the particulars when a freind helped me set up my account. I didn't have anyone to ICQ to, being green on The Net. I could set up another ICQ thing, I'm sure.

Would it be possible to start up an ICQ type of Notebook, Jack? I mean on ICQ, not here? And then a secured place where we could access with our passwords to find out where everyone is right here on the site?

I talked to a friend who is an absolute whiz at 'inter-computer communications' and although he's been nagging me to 'get cracking on showing those pearls' he reminded me the only safe way of protecting one's work is by snail mailing it. Groan, did he really need to remind me of this? Yes, I think so.

Why? Because both U.S. and Canada Postal Services have stringent laws about snail mail and snooping.

Arggh! Sometimes I really wonder about my well-meaning friends. I open my oyster shell, and start working through the medium of email, I find a group of supportive fellow authors on the Net and then I get this nonsense about privacy not being private!

Did I mention this friend of mine works for the Government? Could be that's why he's so ... circumspect these days, eh?

It's a Teacher Professional Day at the kids' school today. We survived Parent-Teacher Interviews (somehow) and I'm off to try NOT to break my tailbone again on the slippery slopes of snow at a local man-made hill in the middle of a Park name (approporiately) Prairie Winds.

With the predicted windchill out there, I think I might have to join the kids on their whiz down and walk up the hill to sled with joy, or turn into an Oyster Popsicle!

Didn't that guy who discovered The North Pole (no, not Santa) say something about movement reducing freezing?

And Jerry, is there snow where you live now? I'm up for a Jerry Story ... they always inspire me! And you, like Snorli, Jerry, seem to be able to pull stories out of the air and make them readable. Snow, cold, frozen ... hint, hint?

Oyster 11-30-2001 11:38

I'm going to miss George. I'll say a prayer for him and his family. We all might?

This is back cover to my dating violence sweetie. I'm writing it myself. Please let me know if you like it.

Dating violence is one of the biggest problems facing our young girls today. These abusive partners come from all kinds of families; some you would never dream could produce such a person. There are many complex reasons why girls get caught in these webs of horror. The reasons they get caught, are later on dwarfed by the reasons they stay. After reading sweetie, every girl will understand with the clarity of a professional each and every bone of this skeleton.

Sweetie is unlike any other dating violence book. It doesn’t have useless testimonials, graphic details abuse or clinical references. It doesn’t need them and they don’t really work. You might be wondering what’s left, plenty! It’s the privilege of any girl reaching into the future and plucking out her own diary. That’s what this is. She would write what she learned, not references that had little or no effect. What she would write is, why is seemed to feel good at first, what made her stay, how she learned there was no romantic spin on jealousy, what it cost her staying too long and HOW she got free. That’s just to name a few of the things she would write.

Sweetie is guaranteed to cure every girl currently trapped in a dating violence relationship. It is also guaranteed to prevent every girl who reads it from in staying in one, by educating her on his signals. For every girl who reads this book today, every abusive partner will be out of business tomorrow.

Debra 11-30-2001 11:15

Anne of Green Gables was written by Lucy Maude Montgomery.
And I love 'Wrinkle in Time' and 'Where the Wild Things Are'. What great books! Which reminds me of 'All the Pretty Horses' - the kid's books not the adult one. And I can't believe I forgot Tolkien and 'Lord of the Rings'. (smacking myself in the forehead)

And here's another movie nomination: Rain Man.

Hey Rachel, do you know of anyone driving from the Okanagan to Vancouver on December 2,3 or 4th? I really really need a ride, so I'm asking Everyone.

I have a hard decision to make. One of my characters in 'Freeborn' has to die, and I don't know which one. I was hoping that events would choose for me, but they didn't and now I'm almost ready to draw straws. This is WAY tougher than I thought it'd be.

Blue Skies!

Tina 11-30-2001 10:31

Sad to hear about George Harrison... Very sad... Never been a beatles fan myself, but I know hes been an inspiration to so many people

taylor 11-30-2001 9:59

Sad news this morning, we have lost another Beatle, as George Harrison died of cancer.

Well we are off to marry off the kid, check back in late tonight.

I was however frightened last night when I could not connect to the notebook. That would be a fate worse then death!

Jerry 11-30-2001 9:31

HEATHER -- "A Wrinkle in Time" was written by Madelain L'Engle -- it's part of a trilogy - and one of my favorites!

howard 11-30-2001 8:31

Heather: Mary Ann L'Engles wrote a Wrinkle in Time? I can't remember exactly how to spell that name. I liked A Little Princess as a child because of the illustrations. I also have a book I love with a verse that goes:

Silver Hidden in the Gold
Young Man Hidden In the Old
Laughing Lord with Weeping Eyes
Bring King and Ring Before Sunrise.

That is the Great And Terrible Quest. Can't remember who it is by right off hand and since Hana is downstairs asleep in the chair by the bookshelf, I don't want to turn on the light and look.

Does everyone else have a bookcase in every room in the house or is it just that this house is so small I can't fit all the books in one room.

For my favorite learn to read crew of 5 year olds I love:
The Francis series: Bedtime for Francis (etc.)
Good Night Moon
Monster at the End of This Book (With Grover!)
These are the kind of books I think Mel can write.

I also love the Silver Chalice, and the Robe
Weird books, I have on my shelves desu neh.
In German I love the Lotta series:
Lotta konnen Fahrad learnen
Pippa Langstrumph series
Stumpt Peter
Die Kleine Hexchen

Illustrated Man is neat too, but I can't remember who wrote it right off hand. It's in our bedroom with my sleeping husband. Everyone is sleeping. Guess I should join them.

Carol: I'm glad you don't mind that time difference. It's great for me since my real day off is Friday. I don't get any time on weekends because I teach Monday and I have the family as well. I usually have to get everything ready from Saturday on because I drag it out. If I'd make a LIST and stick to it!!!!!

Today was really nice for me because of our writer's date. I hope it feels the same for you. I'm looking forward to hearing what happens in the story you gave me on Wed. I was kind of down so it acted as incentive to read it.

Allein: I hope you post your next chapter to me so I can pick it up tomorrow. Not sure if I get to go to Gotemba. I learned there were a few too many people for the bus. I have a handkerchief I borrowed from a very old missionary priest when I was on the train the other day. My nose wouldn't quit running so I borrowed his handkerchief. He's so old it worried me. I have to get that back to him. If I don't get to go to Gotemba I'll get on the train and head up to Fujisawa. It would bug me if I don't get it back to him. I asked his address and he drew me a map. He's a nice man. I wouldn't mind another chat with him if he has the time. Either way I could print and look it over on the way down. Fujisawa is a good long ride too.

Viv 11-30-2001 8:30

A list of my favourite books that I recall...

Pet Cemetary: Stephen King

Green Mile: Stephen King

Executive Orders: Tom Clancy(still reading it)

The Day the Earth Stood Still: Cant remember the name

The Twins Trilogy: Time of the Twins, War of the Twins and Test of the Twins adventure books based on D&D

On the other end of the scale...I think you need bad with the good:
Running Man: Stephen King
BioStrike: Tom Clancy

taylor 11-30-2001 5:27

Oh, no, here we go...

Mister God, This is Anna
by 'Finn' (no last name)

A beautiful little book, I'll dig it out of storage and read it, now that I thought of it! Anyone else read that one?

Heather 11-30-2001 4:25

*waggling hand in the air - teacher, teacher, I know! I know!*

Here's another great book: 'A Wrinkle In Time'

First person to name the author wins a prize!

Heather 11-30-2001 4:23

Ah, yes, it was Ken Kesey who wrote 'Cuckoo's Nest'.

Tip of my tongue is now being weighed down with all the authors' names hanging onto it. :-P

Heather 11-30-2001 4:21

Gariess, don't move: Here is a movie that MUST be on the 100 greatest films of all time...
--The Changeling

Now that was a creepster of a film if ever I saw one. From that ever-bouncing Indian Rubber ball, right down to the eerie music box tune.

Your post was brilliant. The Changeling deserves to be on your list for free, I think.

I'm also thinking that 'Gallipoli' was a really great little film. Add that one to the general compilation list.

I second your nomination of 'Willow', Tina!
(Crit on its way soon!)

Favourite books? Now there was a list around here somewhere. Oh, yeah! I left it on the forklift. :o)

Narnia Chronicles, specifically 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' (Lewis Caroll)

Stranger With My Face (read this as a teenager, no idea the author... ask me the storyline, it's a humdinger)

Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins

Jonathon Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (yes, it is on the way home soon, Christi!)

Jane Eyre, Emily Bronte

The Road Less Travelled, Dr. M Scott Peck, M.D.

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

It, Stephen King

Anne Of Green Gables (Author? Help!)

Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Hellen Keller's biography - amazing book, can't recall what the heck the actual title was...

Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury

Pigmalion, George Bernard Shaw

1984, George Orwell

Flowers For Algernon (author??? On tip of my tongue!)

Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East, Baird T. Spalding (all of the series)

Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat


The Chrysalids

Carrie, Stephen King

Catcher in the Rye

The Velveteen Rabbit

Where The Wild Things Are

Don Quixote, Cervantes

Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath

(I am really awful at remembering author's names if it's been a while since I've read the book...I'm also not going upstairs to look for the volumes, either!)

That's all that come to mind right now.


Heather 11-30-2001 4:18

One other quick note. Sometime tomorrow, probably after Fran and I do a bit of diving, I will archive things since we are up to about 700 k.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-30-2001 2:26

I must thank everyone for the excellent recommendations to the top 100 movies. There are many of your nominees under consideration that I had not thought of. Please do not stop nominating films as you think of them. I intend for this to be a long and thoughtful process. My goal is that our list will surpass, in taste, the deplorable selections of the American Film Institute that was relased a couple of years ago. Of course the AFI is just a bitch of the Hollywood machine and their list was aimed at promoting video sales and rentals. We shall have an honest list, mainly because I cannot imagine any reason coming along to tempt me to corrupt it. Let's hope things remain that way. My integrity at this juncture is not for sale, but then no one has made me an offer yet.

The list will contain many of the AFI's choices but the placing will be different. The first film booted off the list will be Forest Gump so don't anyone bother to propose it. It was this selection that branded the AFI as being a whore of the industry. It was a popular current selection that needed a boost into profit territory at the time of AFI's publication of their list. Many a nose wrinkled when sniffing this amiable but otherwise non-noteworthy movie in the top 100 of all time.

Some contenders for the top ten of the 100 will be The Hustler, Treasure of the Sierra Madres, The Searchers, and others. I do not believe that the great biblical extravaganzas such as Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments will rate top ten status.

Genre classics such as The Maltese Falcon and High Noon will probably rank below top ten unless there are remarkable merits to consider, although I cannot think offhand what genre classic could have greater merits than the Maltese Falcon, and I will not find a top ten ranking for it. I know The Searchers is a western and so a genre classic, but it has otherwise remarkable merits, such as outstanding previsualization, a most remarkable use of the medium to tell the story. None-the-less do not hesitate to propose anything that comes to mind.


gariess 11-30-2001 1:48

So much for not stopping in much. Damn this place is addictive!

I just wanted to share this eye candy with the girls. It's tasteful.

Heather, I'll look forward to the crit!

Christi, good for you!

The Next List Question:
Favourite novels? What would you put in the top 100? Could such a list ever be compiled? Probably not.

The entire Narnia series
Little Women
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
2001 A Space Odyssey
I Robot
The Once and Future King
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Yearling
Never Cry Wolf
Anne of Green Gables

And many more I can't think of right now. Oh well.

I just read a great quote.
'They say that if God had meant for us to fly, he'd have given us wings.
I say that if God didn't mean for us to fly, he'd have given us roots.'


Tina Merry Christmas (for the girls) 11-30-2001 0:48

Americo and Rachel: In updating some of the listings on I added links in my listings for Shadows In A Dream directly to my personal web page and Allein's. Was wondering if you either of you had web pages I could link to. While I am at it I will link to you from Author Web Sites if you pass the URL's to me.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-30-2001 0:29

Greetings All :)

Jerry & Randall - thanks for the ghost stories! Jerry, your mention of the light on the hill reminded me that we do have a similar local legend about 20 miles away. I have yet to take the trip but I just may have to do so real soon. In this case, there is a light that swings back and forth. The alleged culprit, an old train conductor who died on the nearby tracks many, many years ago. I'm going to have to have the neighbor tell me the story again and go see them for myself.

Viv - that's a great idea for your daughter! I wonder how many more kids would benefit from such a simple idea rather than medication.

I see by your post that our time difference is going to be a minor factor in our buddy system. As I post this, it is still Thurs. night for me. Once I'm posted, its off to bed for me so I can get up bright and early, let the dogs out and settle in for a cup of coffee and an hour of writing. Knowing that you've already got your's written, means I have no excuse of any kind! hehehe I can't let my buddy down. And I won't -- twelve hours from now, I'll mail out whatever it is I've managed to produce.

Debra - "Sweetie" sounds interesting and I really admire your drive to get it published. Way to go!

Rosemary - I have Word 98 which will convert just about anything sent. Thanks so much! I'm really looking forward to your input.

Christi -- congrats on the outline!!

Gariess -- Two things for you dear man. 1: I'm really getting to like the Geezers. 2. One of the first posts I sent you was after your then/than, etc. I now find myself trying very hard to catch such common mistakes on a regular basis -- even in my journal. Thank you! In the past, I was worried about slowing up my creativity if I stopped at all to get every word properly written. Now I know it just isn't so. A short pause, an eye roll and I get the right word (well -- most of the time ). Now, with my luck, I'm sure you'll find plenty of mistakes in this posting. That'll be another lesson -- don't write when tired. hehehe

I'm off to bed .... Sweet dreams all!

Carol 11-29-2001 23:30

Gariess! I do not think of Geezers using the term 'meatball sub'. I would have thought they were more into 'Dagwoods'!

Hee hee

Heather 11-29-2001 21:47

For shorty night, another Geezer episode.

You must understand that the objectification of women is not a requirement for participation in the Geezers. It is just covertly encouraged by the membership, board members included… board members especially.

I had just made the meeting with no time to spare, going directly from my doctor’s appointment. At the table Tom said, "Gary, why is it you have all these doctor’s appointments?"

I said, "Well, Malarkeyass (his name is Malaquias)is a data junky, like a lot of doctor’s, and I seem to have all these chronic conditions that call for tests and medication adjustments. He has a closed practice, you know, and an overloaded patient base. The receptionist has a secret list of his more interesting patients and she refers to this list when someone calls for an unscheduled appointment. If you’re on the list, you get your appointment, if not, you pound sand."

Woody said, "You talking about that woman, that comedian?" Woody would have said, "comedienne" had he been familiar with the distinction.

"No, Woody," Tom said, "You’re thinking of Paula Poundstone. Gary said, ‘pound sand.’"

"Oh," Woody said with his tell-tale twinkle. I thought that was her name, ‘Poundsand, Paula Poundsand.’"

"Well, I think she is pounding sand right now," Brian said, and immediately cracked himself up.

"Pound STONE," Tom said in the tutorial posture that he takes toward Woody and Brian in such matters. A minor silence signaled that I should pick up the former train of thought, if I could get back on board. I remembered.

"Well," I said. "It’s just that he loves the numbers, Malarkeyass does. Just today, after adding another smooth muscle relaxer to my regimen two weeks ago, he exclaims, "Blood pressure one-eighteen over eighty-one. Perfecto! Perfectomundo, dude!" His face all lit up like a Nip lantern. (Success, and all it took was a year or so of juggling pills like a Ringling Brothers center ring headliner) You can tell he’s as happy as the proverbial pig. It’s part of what makes him the most sought after Medico in the neighborhood. The fact that I am putting in a second medicine cabinet is my problem, entirely. He loves to fix people, He gets my BP down to the index mark and you’d think he just scored a piece of Claudia Schiffer. Hey, you don’t suppose he sprung a woody, do you, Woody?" They snickered, politely. They’ve caught my act before.

"Naw," Woody replied. "Not Claudia Schiffer, those models are too skinny. Maybe Reese Witherspoon, that’s more my speed."

"You pervert," I said sternly. "You would do that sweet little, bubbly Reese Witherspoon? What a degenerate. You should do time just for saying that."

Woody looks at everyone with his impish grin. Sometimes Woody isn’t quite certain that someone isn’t more than just yanking his chain. "I didn’t say I would do her," he said sheepishly. "I just said she was more my speed."

The table broke out in derision. "Yeah, you wouldn’t do her, just like Gary wouldn’t do a meatball sub," somebody said amid the mock groaning and cavorting.

"Give us a break, you old goat," Brain reprimanded. Again Woody’s big Howdy Doody eyes darted all over the place with uncertainty.

The Chairman, Parker, rose up and said, "I, I, I, have to go pick up m m my daughter." Whenever he makes this kind of abrupt exit… which is often, the Chairman never stands on ceremony. He simply announces his departure and then executes it with no superfluous verbiage. We all know that Parker is rarely in the moment. There is no question that he does not listen to us. He merely takes comfort in the sound of our voices while he thinks his thoughts. It has often been suggested that Parker only comes "here" to go "there." Wherever "there" is, and whatever he does there is strictly between him and his god.

Upon Parker’s leaving, a couple of honorary attendees came in and the discussion took to meandering. These were Bobby Golden, a former night club singer and the Emcee he worked with for years, Ed Kane. These two have been kicking around together for years, now. No longer in, but not yet out… because there is but one way "out" of the nightclub inside once one has spent a lifetime in it. One simply dies one day.

We’ll have more on Geezers another time.

gariess 11-29-2001 21:32

Twice I've double posted. Sorry folks. Double sorry!

Carol: Did it. Not all that easy to get up and I wasted some time out on the back porch with the cat while the coffee brewed. It's now 10:00AM and I'm still in my pajamas. Still, this is MY DAY OFF (sorta') Got an appointment at 11:00 with the passport office to get my daughter's picture retaken. She had an ear showing or something and the picture was rejected. Maybe she just needs to drool more and have one nostril running. I could add some fake pimples with a red pen.

Got to run. Will send it before tomorrow. I'm glad I had an excuse to sit down and write and a person waiting. It helped a lot. I don't especially like the story because it's shallow but it's what I could come up with on the train. I like yours better. Still they are good ghosties. Heather....get prepared! We'll get these right!

Heather: I know just what you mean about the disappointment of missing your morning by being too tired. Thank you for taking the trouble to make sure I knew what was going wrong on my writing. I agree with you...repetitive use of a word AND NOW repetitive posting POSTING!!! (Oh please let this post only once!)

I think the problem is that I fall off line as I write and have to get back online to post

viv 11-29-2001 20:04


Hellewwwww ALL!!

I can't believe it, I've been writing up a storm and I've got a good outline for my VERY FIRST NOVEL! Huge thanks to the people who by their words or by their actions are responsible for getting my butt in gear, especially Mary, Teekay, Tina, Heather, and my sister, Wayshow!

Mary, You crack me up!

Heather, YOU crack me up! (HEEHEE! A handtowel??? Like ohmigosh!)
I'm sooooo sorry to be lagging on the critique, but it's coming, promise!

Tina, Teekay and I aren't exhanging pages or anything, but we do tell each other how our projects are coming along. You're welcome to join in, the more inspiration the better!
I'd love to see what you're up to.

And Teekay, YOU crack me up (well duh)! And you ARE a silly billy; of COURSE you're allowed to have a crummy day for the reasons you listed. Sometimes getting a rejection in the mailbox is that final straw to break the camel's ... er ... uh ... pelvis? I know it's terrible, but I was secretly jealous that your rejections never bothered you. Isn't that awful?

Oyster, Still lovin your posts!

I wish I had more time to say hi to everyone, but I've got to get back to my story! It's haunting me I tell you! I loved everyone's choices in movies, and I have to add in some that may have been missed:

Sense and Sensibility
Rear Window
His Gal Friday (really all of Katherine Hepburn's movies)
A Christmas Story
Office Space
Nothing to Lose (yes, it's Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins, and I didn't want to see it either, but anyone who doesn't pop a blood vessel while watching this movie doesn't have a pulse!)
What About Bob? and Groundhog Day
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Gone with the Wind
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
Long Hot Summer
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Abyss
Tremors (Give it a chance, guys! It's one of the funniest movies EVER MADE!)
2001 and 2010
The Hobbit and Return of the King (The old animated versions)
Arsenic and Old Lace
Army of Darkness
and the more recent X-men (a guilty pleasure ... maybe it's just seeing Wolverine without his shirt on ... whoa and yowie! Rrrrrrrrrrr.)

That's it fer me!

Love to ya, guys and gals,
Peace out

Christi 11-29-2001 17:28

I almost forgot!
TINA - I printed out 'Daniel' and edited it 'by pen'. I will go into the attachment you sent and use my highlighting method soon, and send it back to you! I enjoyed it VERY MUCH!

Randall - halfway through your story!

Heather 11-29-2001 13:42

Mary! Hi back, sweetie!
I think the chatting every other day will work out, too. 7 am is fine with me, but if there's a better time for you, let me know. This morning I was a little late getting up for my morning writing session... pooooooh. I got in a little late from work last night and had a hard time making it to the stairs to go to bed! Slug city.
I slept like a zombie and didn't drag my carcass out of bed until 7:45. By that time, my daughter's alarm was going off, and it was time to start patrolling the kids!
"Okay, you go this way, get yourself dressed, you go that way, set out the cereal bowls! I'm going to stand right here until everybody's dressed and fed!" (Except me!) For some reason the second I close the bathroom door to shower, the kids think the ref has left the boxing ring. Hmmmm.

Not as if I can't HEAR them punching each other, I just won't always leave the hot water to separate them. I usually just yell that I know what they're up to, so they either separate on their own, or go to another part of the house to slug it out. There is no such wrath as that of a nearly-naked mother, dripping water all over and yelling her head off, chasing you around the house 'in' the first towel she could find - a hand towel. "There will be NO FIGHTING IN THIS HOUSE!" Luckily everyone ended up having a good laugh over the choice of towels. Might have been traumatic!
That was last month. So far I've been taking my showers before the kids are up... oh, I almost forgot what it was to have a shower in peace. *sigh!*

Debra - best of luck with your Sweetie books. Have you ever sent them off to a traditional publisher just to see if any were interested?
A publisher that publishes books on demand will likely need more of your money in order to advertize your book in a wide-spread form, which may include ads on the internet. Essentially, you'll have to sell a truckload of your books before your investment is worth it. If that's the way you want to go, all the power to you.
The book 'Shadows in a Dream' is a publish on demand title, so if I'm not quite accurate, they will better be able to tell you! (Rachel, Jack, Americo and Allein)

Heather 11-29-2001 13:38

Morning all,

Last night was the first freeze of the season for us. It actually snowed a little north of us. It's really very early, usually doesn't do this until January, if at all. Here, it dipped to about 28f. for around 5 hours and added rain. In South Texas, that closes down the city until 10:00am or later.

My sister drives an eighteen wheeler to Dallas on Wed. nights and usually she is home by about 4:00am. Today, she got home about 11:00am. She wouldn't even talk about the ice and scaryness. Just said she didn't crash and she was going to turn her phone off and go to bed. Has to drive to Houston tonight.

The knees are doing better. They put me on Vioxx, I'm doing physical therapy and I put myself on a diet. In about a month, I've lost 18 lbs. I think that is helping as much as anything. I'm 5'10" and can (use to be able to) carry a lot of weight without noticing it. The stuff creeps up on you.

This Sat. I'm going to Austin with Mary Lou for a book signing in one of their libraries. I think it has to do with The Texas Coalition of Writers. (spelling prob. there?) Two adverse things about having your book published with PublishAmerica are 1. the books are poor quality. (she has already replaced one for a friend. The book literally fell apart.) and 2.the books are priced too high. ($21.95 posted on the back of a large size paperback.) I will say that PA agreed to replace the books if she will send them the cover of the damaged ones.

I'm working on it. Need to know what version of what wordprocessor you have unless you want the critique copied into e-mail.

Got to go now. Think I'm going to steam a cauliflower.

Rosemary 11-29-2001 13:08


It Snowed! Yay!

Mel, I saw Harry Potter on Tuesday, and loved it! Hermione all but stole the show, she was great. The only scene that even remotely disappointed me was the quidditch game. It was too computerised. But the rest... I just want to see it again! And I will when it comes to the second-run theatre. The funny thing was that we didn't go to a late show, it started at 7:30, and there were only a half-dozen kids in the theatre. The rest were adults, and we all left with smiles on our faces. I love that. Hope you enjoyed it Teekay!

Viv, that sounds like a wonderful thing to do. The bash, I mean.

Worst movies... The American Patient. Gorgeous. Payback. Highlander 2. Mom and Dad Save the World.
A few more for the Best list. Princess Bride. Forrest Gump. Good Morning Vietnam. Finding Forrester. Fried Green Tomatoes. Shawshank Redemption. Ferris Beuller.

Jack, I feel that the WB needs the password protection. It sounds like many publishers consider open posting on the internet to be 'pulication' unless it is not available for public viewing. I would not post any of my novel on a site without protection.

All you writing buddies, way to go! That's an awesome idea (she says jealously). Let us all know how it works out.

Time for work.

Tina 11-29-2001 11:11

Debra - I actually quit twice. Well I guess the truth be known I quit many times, but twice I quit long enough for the craving to subside. The first time was after I became disabled, and money was very tight, I gave them up and figured I had the addiction licked. I was off them for over six months, and at a point where it didn't even bother me to be among smokers. Well at least that was what I thought. Then the Bureau sent me to college, and nearly all my new classmates smoked. When we went on break, everyone headed out the door for a quick smoke. After about a month of breathing in all that second hand smoke, I just couldn't take it any more. I drove down to the Indian Reservation just south of where I was going to college and bought two cartons of Kools. The first few were just like starting smoking all over again, I had the cough, the light head and everything. After the first pack, it was just like old times, and I think I even smoked more. I kept smoking the whole two years in college, and about a month after. Then the money got shorter again, and I took a job at a company that didn't allow smoking on the premisis. That was enough for me to go through the withdrawal again. The second time was worse, but I think it was because I knew that I failed the first time. What really did it for me was the patch. They were still prescription then, and when I asked my Dr. for a script, the gave me the whole non smoking thing, then ended it with a statement "you know of course if you are using the patch, and smoke, it can cause a heart attack, it can kill you." Well my determination was reinforced with the fear of death, that was enough, I gave all my cigarettes away to a friend of mine, two cartons if I remember right, and haven't had a cigarette since.

It is worth it! You feel so much better, and when you are finally free, you have a new found respect for yourself, knowing that you have beat the tobaco companies, in their quest to keep you addicted.

The air in our house is so much fresher, our cars don't reak of cigarette smoke, even our little dog seems healthier. The windows in the car and house are easier to see through because there is no smoke film on them, and my breath is much nicer. I don't cough when I get winded. My tendency to get a cold in the fall and not get over it till summer is gone, in fact I can't recall the last bad cold I have had. I don't have to suffer the look of a lepor by people in cafes since I no longer have to sit in the "smoking" section. I know those are becoming a thing of the past in most cities, but here, there are no non-smoking sections, I guess we are to far in the sticks for that regulation to be enforced.

At any rate good luck with your mom, just let her know that after five years, the damage to the lungs seems to reverse, in fact after my last chest X-ray, my Dr. said that my lungs look normal, like a non-smoker. There just is no down side to quitting, and the up sides are so great that it would take an entire book to cover them all.

There's a thought for you next sweety book "Sweety Let Me Tell You About Smoking!"

Jerry 11-29-2001 11:11


I know what you mean. I've been trying to get my mother to quit since I was a little kid. I know the warm eyes that suddenly turn cold. I don't care. I'm still after her and will never give up. Thanks for telling me how long the cravings lasted. Maybe putting a number on it to look forward to will make it easier for her.


I've never smoked in my life. Let me tell you it wasn't easy in high school. I took a lot of ribbing when I didn't want one. I can't tell you how much taking it paid off over the years.


I didn't even notice that. haaaahaaaaahaa!


I've been a little busy signing a contract to publish my second sweetie. The title is "Sweetie how much should you give up to keeep that relationship, I can answer that!" Before you yell yiiipppeee it's another self publisher. But this one is different. They have a marketing department and a distributor. My first one had neither. The didn't get more than a few hundred dollars from me and they can't make money unless they sell my book. Also I'm writing the back cover and designing the cover myself. This was something I wanted to do. I was worried if I got a commercial publisher then I would lose control of all that. This way if it gets popular they have to leave it the way it is. I'll insist. I will get a quartly statement and check. I can use copies of either or both to send to agents. See I can end this contract at any time. I can still look for an agent just like I'm doing now. I'll just be making money while I'm looking. Don't be dissappointed with me. It's not a cop out. It's a new world out there for writers. Stephen King proved that. I'm not comparing my work to his, just the desire to get it done on my terms. Books are products. My first sweetie's contract will be up in May 2002. If nothing happens I will publish that one with them too. I already rewrote the whole thing. It's regular book length now. I will have a line of products when I'm through. I'll be making money and someday someone will notice. Someone will! My motto is sink or swim. I live it, when I'm not over tired. Heeeeheeee

Debra 11-29-2001 9:39

HEATHER: Hi Hon! I think that emailing our work every day and chatting every other is going to work out very well for us. I didn't realize that you had already sent me things or I would have sent mine as well. I will send mine today and we can chat tomorrow. Is there a time of day that is better for you? I have to re-install icq (mine won't load for some reason). As soon as I am up and running, I will email you.

I hope that once the Workbook is up and running that it is used a hundred times more than it was before. Sometimes you just don't know what you have until you don't have it anymore. Thanks Jack!

Mary 11-29-2001 9:32

Carol, got your story and like it. Read it during class and could stay with it despite distractions. That means it's pretty good. Looking forward to more. You are good!

Jerry, liked your ghost stories! Agree with you on Ritalin. There were several suggestions my youngest take it but I found out that she was enjoying long daydreams. Gave her a journal instead and taught her to write down what she "dreamed". I was rewarded by knowing we have gnomes in the trees around our house who have rich productive lives.

Heather, thanks for the e-mail. If you get in a jam, just send and I'll do my best.

Best movie for me: Man That Would Be King, Lillies of the Field, Space, Forrest Gump, Shrek, and for horror Silence of the Lambs (but not the sequel)

Now bed. You all write too well.

Viv again 11-29-2001 8:48

Carol, got your story and like it. Read it during class and could stay with it despite distractions. That means it's pretty good. Looking forward to more. You are good!

Jerry, liked your ghost stories! Agree with you on Ritalin. There were several suggestions my youngest take it but I found out that she was enjoying long daydreams. Gave her a journal instead and taught her to write down what she "dreamed". I was rewarded by knowing we have gnomes in the trees around our house who have rich productive lives.

Heather, thanks for the e-mail. If you get in a jam, just send and I'll do my best.

Best movie for me: Man That Would Be King, Lillies of the Field, Space, Forrest Gump, Shrek, and for horror Silence of the Lambs (but not the sequel)

Now bed. You all write too well.

Viv again 11-29-2001 8:48


Hi, everybody! :-) Just a quick note here as I need to get started at work...

VIV: Nighty-night!

TEEKAY: We saw the HARRY POTTER movie about a week ago. Tell me what you thought of it! I thought it well done, mostly; it stuck close to the book, although Hagrid's scene with the Dursleys was underplayed or shortened too much. To me, in the book that was a climactic moment in the beginning when Harry was told he was a wizard and that his relatives had kept it from him all his eleven years! The movie didn't do that scene justice. The rest was a fan's visual feast, moving castle staircases, Quidditch in the air, roving ghosts, the Mirror of Erised,etc. :-) I better stop!

HOWARD, how's the shoulder?

ROSEMARY, how's the knee?

I hope all you WRITING BUDDIES keep the rest of us updated here with your buddy endeavors. It's very inspiring! :-)

You-all have a writing feast today, or at least a word-fest! Write fast, write well, or write sloppy and fix it later! heh heh (my middle name is: fix it later. hoo boy!)

Mel 11-29-2001 8:45

I didn't forget. See you Friday American time. I'm getting up at 4:00 AM Friday Japan time to see if I can rough out the idea I got on the train. Think it's all there if I can get it down on the page. Sat. we have to get up and on a bus for the annual Christmas bash with the folks with leprosy. (Sounds weird but it's a little party where you take some gifts and a lunch to share) Kind of hard to explain, but I'll have to get up early to fry some chicken and make rice.

I'm calling this a day! Want to get UP tomorrow, not lie there like a dead fish.

Viv 11-29-2001 8:27


Hi! Speaking of ghost stories. Ever hear of the Marfa Lights? Marfa, Texas is a small town in southwest Texas. I have copied this from a web site and given credit to the writer. It has been featured on numerous TV programs and countless magazine articles. A friend once went down there to see them. He came back convienced. I've never been there, perhaps some day.

The Marfa Lights

"by Cary Darling"

Editor, Strange Texas News

MARFA - The West Texas lights have been attributed to anything and everything, from swamp gas to static electricity, from St. Elmo's fire to rabbits with phosphorescent minerals on their tails running around.

One theory is that the lights are an atmospheric phenomenon much like a mirage, which under certain atmospheric conditions can cause lights from starts just over the horizon to bend backward towards earth, and cause it to appear to move around and change shape color and intensity. However, the orbs have appeared in a variety of atmospheric conditions, which would seem to dispute this theory.

Another theory involves seismic activity, which the are surrounding the region is considered to be geologically unstable. The faults in the earth's crusts shift during tremors and earthquakes and the lights could be the result of static electricity being discharged due to the friction as rock is moved against rock underground. This theory would seem simple enough to prove or disprove, by noting the times of sightings of the orbs and comparing them with recorded seismic data for that region at the nearest geological center.

Whatever the cause may be, thousands of visitors continue to flock to Marfa every year in hopes of sighting an orb, and thousands of visitors every year return home happy with an unbelievable tale to tell.

But the area just 10 miles east of Marfa, Texas has an allure unlike most places on earth.

Marfa, Texas is a small town with a population just over 2,000, and the area 10 miles east of town near the base of the Chianti Mountains is the hot spot for the phenomenon known as the "Marfa Lights"

The "ghost lights" as they are referred to, by a Texas historical road marker posted on U.S. Hwy 90 have appeared in various sizes and colors almost nightly beginning at dusk for well over 100 years now.

The first reported sighting was in 1883 by rancher Robert Ellison, and the sightings have continued non-stop since. What was once local lore has now peaked the curiosity of millions worldwide.

The orbs appear at dusk on the horizon. The red, blue or green lights dance around in the night and at times split into two separate entities. Efforts to get near them have failed and left those who have tried feeling as though the orbs were toying with them.

The closest report is that of geologist Pat Kenney who was in the area in search of uranium deposits. He is to have claimed to coming within 25 yards of an orb and says now, "finally, after some 15 years of studying the lights and searching for their source, I kind of adopted the local 'let 'em be' philosophy, and quit looking so hard."

Please visit Cary Darlings web site for more info on the Marfa Lights.

Good night


Randall 11-28-2001 23:33

Jack - I really don't know a damn thing about password protection of web sites, but I found this page that talks about it. I don't know if it will be of any use what so ever, but I will post it and you can look at it if you have time. You probably know a bunch more about it then the guy that wrote the page, I don't know. Just a suggestion.

Jerry Password protection site 11-28-2001 23:12

Forgot to mention, that farm where we moved when I was young, belonged to an old man who lived in town. His son and family were the last to live there, and several years before we moved to it, their four year old daughter was out playing by the well when the family dog, a large German Shepard/wolf cross went a bit mad and chewed out her throat. She died on the table in front of that very window, as her parents were trying to stop the bleeding. We only learned of that after we moved. Seems his son refused to stay in the house one day after the child was killed, and the house sat empty until we moved to it. It has sat empty ever since. Last summer, I drove out to that farm, it is now abandoned, and even the road has been left to the elements, it would be impassable with a car, and I was having second thoughts driving down it with my full sized four wheel drive pickup. At any rate, every building on the place is gone. Even the huge stand of cottonwood trees that blocked the wind west of the house now look like a pile of Lincoln logs dumped by some giant child in a fit of rage. You see there was this wind storm several years ago, with straight line winds of over a hundred miles per hour that hit that area and blew everything not tied down away. I still got a chill down my spine as I drove up the driveway, but all that remained was a bit of wood, and the hole where the basement used to be, even that was nearly filled in by the sands of time.

Jerry 11-28-2001 22:29

Forgot to comment on worst movie, it has to be an old drive in show called "Birds Do It, Bees Do It" The previews said it was a love story beyond any other. So we had to come see it when it came a few weeks after the pre-view. It turned out to be a documentry on the sex lives of animals, interspaced with brief comentary by some fellow with a heavy German accent.

The below story is true, I just forgot to put any introduction to it. I must be getting old. I just put it up as a response to Carol who has never seen a ghost.

Jerry 11-28-2001 22:07

Three ghosts I have known.

The first ghost I ever saw revealed itself to me when I was very young. While I don’t remember which birthday had been my last, I assure you it was long before I was privileged to wear long pants, probably around five or six years old.

It had been a long day for me, as I recall it was about mid summer, dad had finished planting his crops, and was now spraying to kill hoppers or maybe it was an herbicide, I never knew which, and for these purposes it makes no difference whatsoever.

At any rate, I remember being very tired, mom had cloths on the line, and dad had imbibed a bit too much, as was his practice. I recall mom scolding my father, as we had been sitting on the front porch, dad and I, and father was showing me his wonderful ability to shoot a hand gun by shooting the cloths pins off the cloths line. Mom was furious because cloths pins cost money, and by God, she would have to re-wash dad’s pants as they fell off the line as dad’s little .22 pistol bullets shattered the wooden pins.

As the sun sank slowly into the west, and darkness encroached upon us, dad decided that tonight would be a wonderful time for a bond fire, besides he had some old truck tires by the garage that were doing nothing but taking up space, and they were in the way. Besides, it was hot in the house, and the mosquitoes were getting thick, and bothering the hell out of all of us.

Dad sent my two older sisters to the garage to roll those tires up, while he went in the house to find the coal oil to use for igniting those tires. I sat on the old railroad tie that was our front step alone. The sun was gone now, and there I sat, I could hear my sisters giggling at the tires, as they bounced over rocks in the yard, and went very where except where the girls were pushing them.

I could hear mom giving dad hell about the cloths pins, as he was hitting the bottle for another swig before burning the tires. It was then that I spotted the spirit, or maybe it was swamp gas, as some have suggested, but the nearest swamp was hundreds of miles south of where we sat. None-the-less, there it was, floating atop the small ridge that ran behind the house, a light, not very bright but in the darkness that falls upon the farms and farmers so far from cities, and city lights, any light shows for miles. This light though, could only have been atop that ridge, as there was nothing beyond for nearly thirty miles except that small cemetery that lay just beyond that hill.

I called to dad, and he came, he always came when I called, no matter his condition, and I loved him for that. When he got there, I could smell the whiskey on his breath, but he was concerned, and asked me what was the matter, “Look!” I cried, and pointed to that light, swinging back and forth, much like a railroad conductor beside a moving freight train with his signal lantern, swinging it back and forth, signaling the engineer.

“Oh, you got to see it, it has always been there, but only appears on special nights like this one.” My father told me, “They are the will-o’the-wisp light; at least that was what my dad called them when I asked him about them. Nothing to worry about, it is probably the spirit of a lost Indian buck looking for his squaw, and nothing more.”

About that time, the girls got there with their tires, and the bond fire was lit, with the fire, the lights disappeared. I got to see them many times after that, they were always the same, always going the same direction, and I had to wonder, was it swamp gas, where there was no swamp, or perhaps a lonely spirit from the graveyard that lay below that hill, or maybe that lone Indian Buck looking for his Squaw.

No matter, I was happy when dad put the farm into the soil bank, an early farm plan where the Federal government paid farmers not to plant their land, but to let it grow up to weeds, and we moved to a rental farm so dad could have land to work, and pasture for his cattle. I was so excited about the move; I must have been ten when we made that move. Dad and I hauled the first load of furniture to the new farm house, just ten miles from the old, and once there, we lay out a mattress and bedded down for the night. Since it was cold, and the only stove in the house was the kitchen cook stove, we lay the mattress near the stove in the kitchen.

It was a fall night, I can remember that, and I had to start the new school soon after the move. At any rate, as I lay there to excited to sleep, I saw it. Floating before the window that looked off to the east, a shadow in the full moon, translucent, almost glowing in intensity, the body of a small child standing, floating nearly four feet above the floor. I lay there amazed at what I was seeing, the figure just floated there, moving it’s head back and fort, back and forth as if saying yes. I must have watched it for five minutes, transfixed on that figure, when it dawned on me to be frightened. It hit me like a bucket of cold water, this might be a ghost. I shook dad, his snoring stopped for a second, and I thought I had awakened him, but then started again with a gasp. Maybe it was the loud snore that followed, it was loud enough to shake the glass in the window, that scared the ghost away, but it disappeared. I lay there for a long time, maybe an hour, maybe two, I did not know, watching for it to come back, it never did.

The next morning, I told dad about the ghost, but he just laughed and told me that my imagination was running away with me. All while we lived there, the ghost never appeared to me again, but after we moved from that house, I learned that one of our aunt’s saw it, while she was staying with us to baby sit, while the folks went to town. She gathered up her three girls jumped in her old ’57 Plymouth, and was gone just seconds after seeing the spirit. One night when my parents came home from town, accompanied by one of my uncles, as they sat out in the car taking a last pull on the whiskey bottle they saw it. It was in the same window that I had sighted it, doing the same thing. It so frightened my uncle that he quit drinking completely that day, and never took another drink until he died sober many years later.

Several years after we left that old farm, when I was young and full of piss and vinegar, I took my girlfriend and another couple out there, looking for the ghost. I can’t be sure that they weren’t lying, but the girls swore they saw it, in fact they were so frightened they just couldn’t let go of us until we left that place.

My next visitation took place many years later while I was working on the Police Department of a small North Dakota town. At the time, the Department worked under the direction of the local Sheriff, who’s office was also in the town.

Late one night, another officer was taking his friend home, after a rousting game of Doom on his home computer. As they drove down the highway, they spotted a fire off on a small gravel road. Ever the cop, he had to investigate, and when they arrived at the fire, they found it to be a car, sitting just over a railroad crossing. The fire was so hot that they could not approach the car, but the officer stayed with it, trying to no avail to douse the flames with handfuls of dirt, while his friend rushed over to the local airport just down the road and called in the fire. When the Firemen arrived and put out the fire, they found the remains of a local lady in the car. Well they couldn’t tell for sure who it was, but they knew who drove the car, and what was left of the body appeared to be female, so everyone thought it was her, and in the long run, it was. There is no reason to say her name and I shan’t to spare the family any further grief, but suffice to say, she was a nice lady, and we all knew her. She worked at the local liquor store, and had worked with my wife at the Nursing Home before moving on the sales job.

To make a long story a bit less long, suffice to say, the drunk who was at that time the Sheriff, arrived and botched the investigation so badly that any evidence that could have been garnered from the scene was lost. This turned out to be a murder, but he Sheriff ruled it to be an accident. It got blown way out of proportion, when Unsolved Mysteries heard of the case, and spotlighted it and our fine town on national television. It cost the Sheriff his job, and gained me my position as the Chief of Police with that department. But that is not important, what is important is what happened a couple of months after the incident.

It was around midnight on a late fall night, there was a full moon that shined so brightly that it almost looked like daylight when you got out away from the city lights. The location of that accident was within the patrol boundaries of our department because of its close location to the cemetery, and golf club that ran beside the grave yard. As I drove down that road on patrol, I saw it. It was her, I knew her well. She was standing by the railroad crossing as I approached. She appeared to be made of fog, almost as you could sort of see through her, yet her shape was there, in fact I recognized her face from the many times I stood in the liquor store visiting with her about her boys, both of whom were friends of my son’s. As I got closer she began to run. Well it wasn’t actually running, it was sort of floating, as I couldn’t see her legs moving, yet her speed was that of a runner. She went down that road for about a quarter mile, and then turned into the gate of the graveyard. I had the window open, as I usually did on patrol, to try and hear anything that might be important to my job, and as she turned that turn, I heard the unmistakable sound of a woman’s scream, she screamed “NOOOOO” I gunned the car, and turned into the graveyard, just in time to see her run up to a grave and disappear. I had to know whose grave it was, so I drove down to the spot, and got out of the car. With my flashlight, I read the name on the headstone. It was hers.

I never figured out what she tried to tell me that night, and her murder goes unsolved to this very day. I always had a suspect in mind, but I best not go into it, as there is no evidence pointing that way.

Jerry 11-28-2001 22:03


Hi All,

Oh Lordy me! I re-read my miserable day post and what a whinger I am. MARY's cat had it much worse than I :-D
Actually, I'm thinking my life must be pretty darn good if little things like that put me into a swizzle.
Homones, I'm blaming my hormones :-D

TAYLOR: Worst movie? It's gotta be 'A beautiful Life'.

HEATHER: Thankyou. That is soooo sweet of you.

RHODA: Forgot to say in my earlier post that I enjoyed your post re: freedom :-)

DEBRA: I've been thinking about you, wondering where you'd gotten to, what you were up to. Glad to see you again :-)

JERRY: Congratulations on giving up. I read in the paper the other day, that they're looking at putting pictures of diseased lungs and clogged up arteries on the packets to try and shock people out of smoking. I think the price of a packet after they put these pictures on might be pretty well a shock tactic in itself :-)

JACK: Gee, I don't have any suggestions, because I know little (read-nothing)about what's available re: formatting thingy stuff.
I'd like it to be password protected though.

Gotta go,
today we plan to see the Harry Potter movie. I'm as excited as a little kid.
Popcorn, and chips and coke......*sigh*

And I've said it before, and I'll say it again, because I think it sounds pretty cool , and because I can't right at this moment think of anything more original:

May your quills never blunt, nor your inkpots run dry.

Teekay 11-28-2001 18:48

Oyster - The digital camera was a xmas gift from my son two years ago, so we could do video visiting on the web. The DVD drive I bought when I spilled a glass of water on my computer and blew the cd drive. I found it cost the same as a CD drive, as it was on sale for $32.00. Now who could resist a bargain like that? The rest of my toys have come from selling stuff on Ebay and using that money to buy the stuff I need to make my computers, so the cost is minimal (at least that's what I tell the wife).

If you are careful, you can build a fairly nice computer for not much change. I started it all by selling my two old computers to my sister and her daughter, then used that money to build up the rest of the systems that I have now. It was a long draw out thing, and through it all, I learned many valuable computer lessons. I also learned how to fix computers, so not all is wasted.

Jerry 11-28-2001 18:00

Greetings All :)

Mary - poor kitty cat! LOL I'll have to remember that torch trick though. Never can tell when things will break down and emergency methods are needed.

Jerry - While I've yet to meet a ghost, I know I wouldn't mind talking to some of them. Especially any of my grandparents. :)

Heather - should be sending you an email tomorrow. Not long to wait now ... . How are the mints holding out?

Started taking another look at Grandma Ghost today, keeping some of Teekay's comments in mind. I'm very, very glad to have found this site and the wonderful people who live here. {{All}}

Carol 11-28-2001 17:57

Afternoon all,

Would it work to put the new workbook at an obscure address and only give it (the address) by e-mail to members who request it? No links anywhere. If not too much trouble, keep a list of who has the address? I'm not sure exactly how these things work and that may be a silly suggestion. :-P If so, sorry.

Rosemary 11-28-2001 17:41

Heather: Just getting a bit swamped with the holidays. Yes, I could put up another version of the tdforum. The problem is getting the password protection working. I am actually considering using something different on a IIS server and am still exploring that.

OK, question: if I create another straight forum for posting of material without the password protection, it leaves it out there for everybody to see. I think what we really want is some way to password protect and keep this private. Until I have time to work out the strictures of things since halcyon went out of business, what are your suggestions?

Jack Beslanwitch 11-28-2001 17:13

Mary Your "Torch Story" was so hilarious I've been smiling big since reading it. First the Lasagne, then the cat, good that the cat is now wary of 'hot things'. I saw all those pretty things on your website and want several, but alas, the Tree Bill caught up with us. No pearls for the Oyster for a while, methinks.

Rhoda Excellent post. I read it twice and was pleased.

Teekay What a day you had. Hope today is better for you. Many a day like that have passed for me, and there have been times when my kids' 'hissy fits' are so large and huge, there isn't room for one of mine!

Jerry I am NOT letting the Spouse or the Son anywhere near this page. Not after your description of all those toys! DVD's, digital camera ... I'm sure you earned them and probably paid for them with all the money you saved 'not smoking'.

And Jerry, thanks for the description of a brilliant writer who got 'in trouble' and would, but for the fact the label factory wasn't open, probably been diagnosed with one of the alpahbet disorders. And new ones every day, folks!

A title flashed through my head as I read your post. "Writers on Ritalin" Can you tell I'm a sucker for alliteration?

Okay, I'll admit it, I've 'seen' or 'felt' ghosts too. Our local historical park, Hertiage Park, has a few 'spirits'. One day this summer Son and I went into a house and despite the fact there was no one in there but us and some very unlife-like manniquins, we both got spooked. Found out later that the blanket on the lap of one of the inimate models was reputed to be 'haunted'. We've been in the house since the blanket was removed and no 'spookies'.

I read "Ghosts of Alberta" by local Ghost Investigator Barbara (oh why can't I remember her last name?)and heard her on the CBC. For a skeptic, Barb sure spins a good tale or several!

Hmmm, I never really thought of writing ghost stories, but now with all this talk of Grandma's Ghost, I could go hide in my basement office and scare myself sillier by writing one than I did watching Blair Witch Project. No, that wouldn't be a favourite movie.

I finally watched "It's a Beautiful Life" after a friend nagged me to. Since seeing documentaries and interviewing holocaust survivors some time ago, I've deliberately stayed away from movies about 'the camps'. I refused to see 'Schindler's List', too.

But I sat through Beautiful Life and found it ... watchable. I was able to discuss it rather detachedly (is that a word? if not it is now) with my friend, who adored the movie.

My gentle reader finally (after some fancy computer work) is going to highlight my prose in colours! How about that! ROTFLMBO (Rolling on the Floor Laughing My Butt Off)imagining what my story will look like when he gets finished with it!

Speaking of which, once upon a, (oh, back in the 70's) when it was discovered that poly-chromatic print was possible, a publisher printed a graduated series of books in polychromatic text. The whole series cost my gal-pal, who was teaching Grade 3 at the time over $500.00. These books used different colours for words and phonics to help kids 'decipher' the english language.

I won't go into the whole project that followed, but I did write several 'ghost stories' for gal-pal's class and coloured them with felt pens. The stories were a big hit as 'reading privilege' for after they did their regular reading, and I wondered.

So, when my daughter's best friend was struggling with reading but was proficient at pronouncing big words and verbally doing a whole lot of stuff that indicated she was bright and willing to learn, I tried an experiment.

Might work for you, there Rhoda.

I had my young friend 'dictate' a short prayer (one they were doing for school) to me and I typed it on to the screen. I then showed her how to 'colour' those words using the mouse to block 'em and the font colour option to colour them one word at time. Not only did it keep her busy and amused for about 20 minutes, she learned the prayer and so did Daughter!

Polychromatic text rocks for some people, but it hurts my eyes and head. Could this be because some of us are more colour sensitive and NEED colour to inspire us?

Now see what you've done, folks? You've jogged my long term memories with all your great stories. Now if I can only remember what else I was supposed to do today ... I'd be laughing!

Oyster 11-28-2001 13:03

that's right lung not long

howard 11-28-2001 11:29

DEBRA - There are many reasons to stop smoking. I quit the morning the surgeon removed a lung-sized tumor from my right long. Three months later he removed a fist-sized tumor from my left lung. That was in July and October of 1982. I went from 118 pounds on July 31,1982 to 215 pounds in the fall of 1983! The scars from those surgeries have scared more than one person into quitting.

Least favorite movies? I tend to forget most of them, but a few that come to mind are
On Golden Pond (just didn't care for it)
Bonfire of the Vanites (ditto)
Best in Show (what a dog!)
Blood Beach (total waste)
and a bunch more

Back on the favorites side -
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
On The Beach
The Quiet Man
Citizen Kane (of course)
The Sand Pebbles
Short Circuit
The Birds
Ghost Busters
Hamlet (Mel Gibson)
Tom Jones
The Graduate
The Rain Man
Midnight Cowboy
Philadelphia Story
The Amityville Horror

Howard 11-28-2001 11:27

Debra - The reasons I quit smoking were many, but taste was not one of them, even those low tar menthol smokes tasted fairly good. No I quit because I coughed all the time, I wheezed when I over exerted, and the cost was outrageous, especially when money was so tight. It came down to a choice of smoking or taking the medication that keeps my blood pressure down, that medication that keeps my heart beating in rhythm, and the other fifteen bottles that I have to open every morning. I guess I quit because I want to live longer.

Funny how x-smokers are the ones who complain the most about others smoking. I try to avoid that, I try not to comment on that horrid smell that hangs on their cloths, in their hair, on their very skin. I do mention to my sister from time to time, that while it was hell to quit smoking how much better I feel now. The problem is, even that, comment touches her off, and she is mad all day.

I remember being that way, I recall the days if anyone, anyone at all mentioned my smoking I would go off the deep end, so I guess I can't blame her.

Too bad though, she doesn't make much money, never has, yet she spends so much money on those dang cancer sticks. Like myself, she coughs all the time, and I suspect she wheezes when she exerts herself. The problem is though, she will only quit when she makes up her mind to, and like any other addiction, it is very hard to go through that withdrawal, and it lasts for so very long, the longing for another cigarette stayed with me for over a year, and at times it sneaks up behind me and hits me over the head, but I resist, and hope that I never again light up on of those deadly things.

On a completely different topic, I was shocked this morning to hear that the US Senate is starting hearings about the Justice Department holding those aliens who have violated their stay period, or their visa stipulations. The hearings are because the Attorney General refuses to release a list of names of those held. Now it appears to me that releasing those names to congress will be the same as releasing those names to Bin Laudin, as most of those idiots who work at the capitol in the Senate side will release that list as soon as they get it so they can get their picture on television again.

I have written my senator to protest.

Enough ranting and raving, I hope everyone is well, and writing to their heart's content.


Jerry 11-28-2001 10:56

Debra, your head is peaked? Interesting.

Heather 11-28-2001 9:04

Jack - Is there any way you can put the workbook back up just the way it was? (without the 'tree format') Would that work, or has something else changed, so that you can't go back to the way it was, and are having a time of making it go the 'new way'? I think everyone's anxious to have the pass protected area, whether it be in the old format or not.

:o) Good day to all!

Heather 11-28-2001 9:03


I just peaked my head in for a sec.

I'm thinking that if you were enjoying the full flavor of those other smokes for the past fifteen years, maybe you still would be.

So you can think of it that way. It took fifteen years for you to retrain your brain to think they were nasty.

Fear not my friend. You're off them for a reason, and I think it's because you couldn't stand the taste of the low tar.

Debra 11-28-2001 7:59

echo echo

11-28-2001 7:50

Oh, no - I forgot these screen gems:

Monty Python's:
Life of Brian
The Meaning of Life
Quest for the Holy Grail

uh, I'm sure there were more...

And how about Steve Martin's 'The Jerk'?

And a few more...

The Naked Gun
Police Academy (only the first one)
It Could Happen To You
Wild at Heart
The Goonies
The Lost Boys
Pink Floyd (The Wall)
Heavy Metal (cartoon)
Das Boot
So I Married an Axe-Murderer
Rob Roy (someone mentioned this one, loved it!)
Running Man
Terminator II
Rocky (first one)

Overload, warning, warning...

Heather 11-28-2001 7:22

Mary - sent you the short story I finished this morning!
I like the emailing what we've written each day (even if it's not much) and then chatting on icq to discuss our work.
I think every other day during the week is great for the chatting - I don't know how lively I'd be on an 'every day' schedule... but I can manage 'every other'! :o>

(Oh, I've sent you an authorization request on icq, too!)

Carol - THANKS! Awaiting the crit with bated breath, thank Heaven for wintergreen gum!

TEEKAY! Sweet mother of...! What a day you've had. I'll trade you my Griswold adventures from work a few Sundays back for your yucky day. Wait, maybe I'll do you a favour and keep it. :o)
Maybe this news will cheer you up: I've made you two CD's!
Sending them soon, too.

To all of you who have a book being held captive on my shelves, they shall all be sent back for Christmas! I know, I'm sooooo cheap :oD

Rhoda - still so glad you decided against Ritalin for your son. GREAT CHOICE.

Jerry - Ritalin's been around since the 40's, which I recently found out from Carol! Pretty cool, having her critique my novel - she's got the research bug!

I don't think the list of favourite movies will ever be as short as 100, Gariess, if you've been compiling our lists!
Too many movies!

I too, enjoyed 'Legends of the Fall'. Might have had to do with Brad Pitt and Anthony Quinn. *blush*

Heather 11-28-2001 7:12

How could I leave out "The Green Mile" from my list?

How about the other side of the scale? Whats your least favourite movie.
Mine has to be "Barracuda" Found it so boring I fell asleep during it twice, and missed the ending on both occasions.
After that, I didn't bother with it again.

taylor 11-28-2001 3:56

Anyone mention "Shawshank Redemption" yet? Another great character movie.

Mary 11-28-2001 1:39

I caught the cat on fire today. She jumped up on my work table while I was soldering some wire and flipped her tail into my blow-torch flame. Nothing smells worse than burnt hair. Ok, almost nothing. Cat is fine, just wary of my torch now. Come to think of it, most people are wary of my torch. Especially my husband since he caught me browning the cheese on the lasagna with it. (My broiler broke and I was trying to hurry it along...deadlines you know.)

I can't make a list of favorite movies because I love all movies. Even really bad ones. I can say, though, that good, stong characters are more important to me in a movie than the storyline. Not that plot isn't important, but the characters are what does it for me.
(Legends of the Fall was excellent that way.)

I like Shrek quite a bit.

Took both of my kids to the doctor today. They have a cough I don't like. Turns out that Jake has Croup and Trachial Bronchitis; Faith has Trachial Bronchitis and Pink-eye which I KNOW she got from her cousin at Thanksgiving who's mother swore the whole time that he did NOT have pink-eye.

HEATHER: Yes, I will partner up with ya but I like 7am better. Is that ok for you or not? We could pick a night-time hour or whatever you want. I can't really do between the hours of 11am and 9pm but anything else is fine and dandy. Let me know what you have in mind. Did you want to say 7am every day or every other day? Or do you want to meet on ICQ or messenger twice a week and discuss what we traded during the week? So many options! You pick.

G'night everyone.

LITTER: It is good to see you here again more often.

Mary 11-28-2001 1:35


JERRY: I'd not heard anything about 'The Fifth Element' either until a friend told me about it.
It's sci-fi, but it's damn good.

Teekay 11-28-2001 0:57

Interesting, I guess I never thought about the old couple that way when I was writing it. To tell you the truth, having seen a couple of ghosts in real life, I attempt to avoid ever seeing them again. Maybe it is just me.

Speaking of the 5th Element, my son gave me the game, I never even knew they made a movie by that name. Maybe it is one of those that a person of my ancient age would not enjoy or something.

I have a hard time going to movies, the combination of my bad back and bad hearing have combined to a point where I just don't enjoy them any more. I do keep trying when a good one comes along, for instance, I did see the last Star Trek movie in the theatre. That was before the big remodel of our local theatre and the sixty year old sound system was in such bad shape that I couldn't understand more then a few of the words in the whole movie. Then came the much bailey-hewed (locally) two hundred thousand dollar remodel. My daughter went right away, and came here to report that the sound system was now beyond compare. A wonderful surround sound system with fabulous base. So, I saw "The Grinch," the sound was defenety different, it was so blasted loud that it sounded garbled to me, and again I came away wondering what was said by most of the actors. When Hannibal came along, I couldn't pass up one more try at going. I actually was able to understand most of the movie and to my dismay had horrible nightmares for a week after. Since movies are now released so quickly on video tape, I now simply wait until them come out there, and I can set the volume and tone to my liking and watch them from the comfort of my king size recliner.

Now the Government is telling us that low tar cigarettes are as bad as regular. Damn and I put up with those stupid tasteless low tar smokes for fifteen years before I gave those nasty thing up, when I could have been enjoying the full flavor of my old favorites Kools. Sometimes you just can't win.

Way to go Canada with Ritilin. I have been against those drugs since I first heard of them. I assure you I would never have allowed my kids to take them. I have seen the results, and haven't been impressed. I recall responding to an accident in our riverside park one day. There was this little Vega with it's front end split by a tree. There was no evidence of too much speed, the road was relatively straight, and there is never any traffic in the park. When I interviewed the driver, he told me that he had been on Ritilan for over three years, and sometimes he just couldn't keep his attention on any one thing for any length of time. I thought he was lying, so I interviewed his parents, who agreed with their son. As I submitted his name to the DOT for a drivers license retest, I wondered how many others there are out there suffering the same fate at the hands of today's teachers and doctors in their attempt to control misbehavior with drugs instead of punishment.

I will be the first to admit that had that drug been around when I was young, I am sure I would have been put on it, or at least the suggestion would have been made. I spent more then my share of time working for the Janitor after school and in Detention Study hall. But in the long run, I learned, and I think the work I did after class had a lot to do with my success in the adult world. I only wonder where I would be today had Ritalin been around back then.

Jerry 11-28-2001 0:33

CAROL: Oh yes, definitely 'The Fifth Element'. I find the more that film is watched, the more you see that you missed the first time.
Don't get the impression that we normally do this, but my youngest daughter does, and it's one of those films where, if you're walking past, you stop and stay.
That film would have to be near perfect in everything. Script, casting, scenery, the works. That is definitely one film I would give a ten out of ten to.

Looking forward to getting your shorty.

Teekay 11-27-2001 23:35

HOWARD: Please do ignore my last post. I mixed up it's a wonderful life with it's a beautiful life.

I advise anybody who's a big softy or even a little softy, to stay away from 'a beautiful life.'

Teekay 11-27-2001 23:23

Oh {{Teekay}} - what a day! I'll send you Grandma Ghost right away. Its lost direction should give you a good laugh. heheh - Your comment about the drive-in reminded me of another movie to add to Gariess' list: Lethal Weapon 2 where Pesche (sp) says, "They f. you in the drive-in!"

Carol 11-27-2001 23:20

HOWARD: I thought 'A beautiful life' was one of the most tragic films I have ever seen (not that I've seen many) I cried at the end, and not the polite little sniffling type that you can hide behind a kleenex either, I mean the mouth gaping, drooling, mucous making, chest heaving type.
It was just awful. (both, my crying and the film)
I do see the thread of beauty in the film, but it was practically over powered by the muck and mire and fear and horror and despair.
It was heartbreaking, I wish I'd never seen it.

Teekay 11-27-2001 23:18

I can't believe I double posted! I never do that! (Rap my knuckles with a ruler. Ouch! There now, that salves my conscience).

Rhoda 11-27-2001 23:16


I greatly applaud Canada. Now if only the United States educational and medical establishment could get on board with this knowledge. There are some places in this country where they would put it in the water supply if they could.

I really think the problem with such children as ours is that they do not respond to the simple magic bullet. Everyone (especially in the US) wants the easy, quick answer for everything. I have decided long ago that my son has certain personality traits to temper. He also has much to learn regarding how to balance the call of his imagination to the needs of the real world around him. He will learn it, but not overnight and not with the taking of some pill.

Rhoda 11-27-2001 23:13


I greatly applaud Canada. Now if only the United States educational and medical establishment could get on board with this knowledge. There are some places in this country where they would put it in the water supply if they could.

I really think the problem with such children as ours is that they do not respond to the simple magic bullet. Everyone (especially in the US) wants the easy, quick answer for everything. I have decided long ago that my son has certain personality traits to temper. He also has much to learn regarding how to balance the call of his imagination to the needs of the real world around him. He will learn it, but not overnight and not with the taking of some pill.

Rhoda 11-27-2001 23:13

Greetings All :)

Howard -- hmmm, I keep thinking about that line you're looking for. All I come up with is: "But Maudie was never one to do what was customary." Who knows? Maybe if the bride doesn't dance with her father, she loses her groom to the maid of honor? hehehe

Jerry - Nice story! What caught me, is how I would have done the story differently. Personally, I think the old couple very romantic and I would have looked forward to having "ghostly" hot chocolate every year. But then, I am weird. :)

Viv - You're on! I'll send you my ghostie story as it currently stands so you are up to date on it. Then, I'll write for an hour on Friday and send you the update. Rosemary has been kind enough to take a look at it for suggestions. Thank you Rosemary!

Gariess: Some of my favorite movies in no particular order
Eddie and the Cruisers
The Green Mile
Star Trek V
Paint Your Wagon
The Replacements
Space Cowboys
any Cary Grant comedy :)
The Fifth Element
The Patriot (Mel Gibson & Steven Segal titles)
The Dark Crystal

That seems a short list but all I can think of at moment. :)

Write a few words today everyone!

Carol 11-27-2001 23:10

I may never learn. My computer has been going through some sort of illness, everything I tried only made it worse. At my witts end tonight, I installed XP to see if it will fix it. I think it did. Still there is the issue of my DVD drive not being able to play movies, but after a bit of thought, I only have one DVD movie, and I allready watched it twice, just to see how it was to watch a movie on my computer - not all that great. Then there is the issue of my intel camera that sits atop my monitor. It doesn't have any drivers to work with XP, but then it has been over a month since I have done anything with it but test it to see if ti works, and should I need to take a photo of something, it works just fine on two other computers in the dinning room. Now don't quote me on this, but I think I can survive with XP if it cures the crashes I have been experiencing with ME.

Granted the illness has it's roots with my need to have the lattest software, I signed up with a beta testing site and regularly download beta and alpha software to "test" on my computer. It was just after signing up for that site and installing the first few beta's that the crashes began, and eventhough, I have un-installed all the beta's in an attempt to get up and running again, it kept on crashing.

The never ending story continues.

Jerry 11-27-2001 23:04



CHERI: A Country Practise used to be one of the hottest series around in the 80's. It's about a small country communityrevolving around the hospital, thus the name. I'm thoroughly addicted to it.

JERRY: Woah, good story, Dude!

HOWARD: Well, you're well on your way to having that story finished. Now all you have to do is concentrate on the middle. Just make it a little larger than normal is all :-D

CAROL: I'd love to read Grandma Ghost.

TAYLOR: He-e-ey, I used to watch unsolved mysteries too! Never watched twilight zone though because I've never had the opportunity.

GARIESS: Oh yes, add Ferris Beuller's day off and Back to the Future to the list, and Trading places oh, and definitley Labyrinth. Thanks HEATHER :-)
Oh, and can't forget 'A night on the town'.

MEL: I know, chapter 9 *sigh*. I was thinking last night that there are always so many new novels coming into the bookshops, it can't be that hard to do. Other people manage to be able to get the bloody things written, so why am I so slow at it. And then I wonder if I'm going to be one of those people who it takes 6 - 15 years to write a book. And then I go to sleep.

LITTER: Hate to be a stiffy stoofer, but JERRY had Apocolypse Now.

I've had one of those crappy days today.
First I had to ring the stupid phone company, and it was such a long, tedious, fruitless project, and I had to listen to 3 years of 'blow your brains' out music while on hold.

THEN I had to go and pick up my daughter from school, waited for 20 minutes only to find that she wasn't where she was supposed to be at the time she was supposed to be there, but when I finally found her she had the hide to say it was MY fault!

THEN they didn't give me the free toy with the happy meal at McDonalds, but number one son only realised this when we were almost home, so had to go back again and this time there was a 6 mile line up at the takeout window.

THEN drove past the newsagents to see if Writing Australia was in yet, but no, of course it wasn't, coz so far it's only a week late.

THEN found a rejection letter for one of my stories, which wouldn't have been so bad if not for all of the above.

And the thing is that none of them are big enough to lose my temper and chuck a hissy fit over, but all together they form one giant, seething, putrid, throbbing, nasty, ulcer making, boil like.......thing.

Aah, there, I feel so much better now :-)

Teekay 11-27-2001 22:58

I just had to come and peek.

Howard, I thought I was the only person ever to enjoy "Dirty Dozen" with Lee ... Lee ...argh what was his name? I loved that movie! Thanks for reminding me of it.

Rhoda, good news for Canuckians ... the Canadian Medical Association has warned that long term use of Methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin) commonly used to 'treat' Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder is now found to have serious side effects, especially after long term use! Yay!

I could probably run myself out of space on Learning Disorders and my 'former professional' opinions on them, so I'll close this shell, except to say ... most of the more brilliant business people and successful entrepeneurs I know (including The Spouse) spent some time in detention or got strapped or got in trouble or, or, or ...

I'm with Viv, you do what's best for your kids. I never knew a kid dying from detention, and as Viv pointed out, at least our school day in North America beats Japan's. Isn't it 7:30 to 5:00, Viv? I remember a friend teaching in Japan and her day was so long she was glad to come back to Canada for a 'regular' school day.

And Japanese students had a much higher rate of suicide for several decades due to the inherent competition and 'honour' issue.

Good job on the assignment, Viv! Congratulations!

Uh oh, Daughter is home from Guides ... *irony* she had a 'speaker' who spoke on Japan! She just drew me a picture of the traditional Japanese 'shoes' complete with wooden blocks.

I'd better go, she gets to take one of the dogs in for Badge Testing Day ... oh dear. That means I'll have to go too. oh double dear. Ms. Busy will be in here helping me make mistakes, soon.


Oyster 11-27-2001 22:31

And who could forget:

Driving Miss Daisy
Fried Green Tomatoes
Coccoon 2 (never could spell that)
Soldier in the Rain
The Great Escape
Stalag 17
Bridge Over the River Kwai
Elephant Walk
Out of Africa
gahhh! I can't stop!

howard 11-27-2001 22:03


Your posts about your children interest me greatly. Your family sounds lovely, and your children creative and intelligent. I too have one of those challenging children. He is eleven years old and very intelligent, but he daydreams in class, is somewhat disorganized (he inherited that from me), and he spends almost every lunch hour in detention. For the past couple of years everyone has been pressuring me to get him evaluated for ADD, but I just cannot bring myself to do it because I don't want to put that child on mind-altering drugs when I don't believe there is anything wrong with him. I also have considerable doubts about this "disease" or chemical imbalance, or what anyone wishes to call it.

I do have one positive thing to add. A week ago, an optomitrist who specializes in learning disabilities has diagnosed my son with an eye-teeming problem. He sees small print double. That might explain why he doesn't like to read like my other children do. The good news is that the problem is correctable with therapy to retrain the eyes and to train the brain to see things correctly. I only wish we had discovered this problem a few years ago.

Rhoda 11-27-2001 21:59

LITTER -- I, too, had far too many to try t limit my list. Apocalypse Now is indeed on my longer list, as are several you mentioned. Also:
Miracle on 34th Street (the original version)
Cool Hand Luke
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
It's A Wonderful Life
The Hustler
The Sting
Close Encounters
Schindler's List
Robin Hood (Costner)
In The Heat of the Night
Mississippi Burning
The Alamo
Same Time Next Year
The Dirty Dozen
The Mechanic
Blazing Saddles
Young Frankenstein
A Fish Called Wanda
The Secret of Roan Innish

Enough already! Are we doing favorites or what we consider the "best" movies? The list is ever so much longer!

I upgraded my firewall following your warning - installed version 2.9 to replace 2.5 of NetworkIce Defender. Then I had to rip it back out and reinstall t.5, because I couldn't do a blasted thing with this machine! Some sort of incompatibility. :-(

howard 11-27-2001 21:58

I apologize for the error in the last post. It's terrible the way I've been posting so many errors lately. I need to write, copy, paste. I've gotten in a hurry lately and it shows.

Viv 11-27-2001 18:48

Hi Carol: Let's start with a ghost story. I have one festering too. If we get stuck we can ask advice. I agree with only doing critiques on request. Let's just try to get the habit going during the hub-bub. I think maybe I'd like to put my neighbor in the story. It's more fun if you know the characters.

Oyster: Thanks for the kind comments. I know what you mean about explaining kids to school systems. I hated school and found it such a hassle I didn't bother with it. We had local schools and miltary DoDD's schools available to the kids. The local schools were pretty good in Germany, but in Japan not only did they do a bad job, they kept the kids for such a long time. How can you enjoy or teach your kids if they are gone all day? I wanted our rules not the Japanese school rules in their hearts. Now many of the Japanese are beginning homeschooling. It's a nice deal if the kids don't care too much for their classmates. When they do, they should be in school!

We are flexible. We do one class at a D.o.D.'s school (algebra,) three classes at a local juku (algebra & Japanese) and the rest at home.

It's sort of what-ever works for the KIDS. I think even the teacher's know that a "system" doesn't fit many people.

Back under. A friend slipped me a writing job. It goes from 3;00-6:00 EVERY DAY. It's respectable and would allow more time for my own writing and daughter's education. Oh, I'm excited. Time to rewrite resume!

Viv 11-27-2001 18:42

Do you have a way with words? If so, enter Project Home Improvement's quarterly writing contest for a chance to win $500 cash. We are a Houston-based non-profit organization aimed at revitalizing the interiors of homes of low-income residents. Please log on to for details.

Project Home Improvement Link 11-27-2001 17:36

Hi all,

Viv, I adored that sketch of the 'suited woman'. I have had several of those in my life. Some are even (LOL) still close friends! Over the years I've learned a great deal about success, and an old clipping from Ann Landers' column (anyone see the bio on her and Dear Abby?) still sits typed and framed on my desk downstairs. By that definition, I'm a success 10 X over, and I'll bet you are, too, Viv!

Let me know if you want me to put in the little white box here, that Definiton of Success.

Daughter is 9 and Son 11. Both are, as you put it, Teekay, 'challenging' their school. School challenges work both ways. The largest part of the School Challenge is helping teachers and administrators to understand that while my kids don't 'conform to the norm', they are learning! Sonny's reading Shakespeare and Daughter is constantly performing and creating ... art, music, anything that is auditory and kinesthetic, she whizzes through! And what a leader! That kid can charm and organize a group of kids like no one I've ever seen!

I'm finally at the stage where I'm ready to let the pearls out of the shell, I think. I'll let you all know how that goes after my first 'read'.

All those movies ... so many good ones. Being a reader more than movie-lover, I usually take a 'book to bed' and read myself to sleep. Currently immersed in "Pale Horse Coming" by Stephen Hunter, I feel like I'm reading a modern-day Faulkner. And drooling!

Uh-oh, my email is bonging, I'd better go see who it is!

Thanks for all the support folks. Just reading this Notebook (and Jerry's stories) helps me to realize I ain't the only oyster in the bed!

Oyster 11-27-2001 15:05

Hi All,

A bit more time available now that my PC woes are temporarily over. Top ten movies – far too many to confine to 10 so here are my favourites. First 10 has ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Apocalyse Now’ tying for my all time favourite. The rest are in no specific order and it was a tough choice to have to relegate some of my favourites to my 2nd ten. I wonder if there are any surprises among these, for those who know me?

I cannot believe that nobody else had Apocalypse Now?

Apocalypse Now
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Last of the Mohicans
Ben Hur
Independence Day
The Deer Hunter
2001 A Space Odyssey

The Name Of The Rose
Crocodile Dundee
The Man Who Fell to Earth
Shakespeare in Love
The Killing Fields
The Man Who Would Be King
Quo Vadis
Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory


Litter 11-27-2001 14:14

Rhoda - well said! Inner freedom is the only place to start - and Jesus is our shining example. You are right in that he never attempted to heal an organization of people - only the individual. God in person, God as personal.

Mary - YES, I would love to do the writing partner exchange with you! Are you up early these days, too?
What a stellar idea. That'll really get our butts in gear, just knowing someone else will be having a 'look-see' at what we've been up to in our little word programs.

I love your latest necklace - breathtaking!

Brain starting to simmer -- trying to fix my schedule lapse from over the weekend, and I'm having fun trying to keep my face from hitting the keyboaraaaDDDDDOIHGOEHGf08334h

Heather 11-27-2001 12:25


Hi, Everyone! :-)

RHODA: Well said re: inner freedom!

I think freedom comes with responsibility toward our fellow humans, i.e. not hurting them and watching over/caring for them as needed. Without that responsibility, freedom isn't freedom; it's CHAOS.

MARY: Your post on writing motivation was VERY inspiring! :-) I like the buddy idea too; I need to make time to be accountable first to myself, too.

My favorite movies have already been listed, mostly:
Sound of Music
Back to the Future
The Matrix
and so many more...
How about:
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Last Starfighter
The Tenth Kingdom
The Secret Garden
and on and on and on...

TAYLOR: Yea on the ending! Now about that middle...Good luck!!! :-)

TEEKAY: Welcome back! :-) Yea for Chapter Nine! :-) Keep a-goin'...

EVERYBODY: Keep writing!!! I just received some new large-print books at work, recently published titles...oh the joys of librarianship and the heartache of being a writer and not finding MY books there yet with the others...Keep writing, EVERYBODY!!! One day, I'll buy YOUR books for my library. :-D

I DID finish HALLEE's crit...!!! YEA, ME! Now on to the next writing project...

Y'all have a tremendous writing session today, in honor of new books being published every day! :-)

Mel 11-27-2001 11:03

All Time Favorite Movies:--or at least the ones I can think of at this time,

The Sound of Music
Ben Hur
Rob Roy
That Thing You Do
Beauty and the Beast
Star Trek--First Contact
Star Trek--The Voyage Home
The Quiet Man
Jane Eyre(the one with Timothy Dalton which is really a mini-series)
The Beautician and the Beast
Sister Act
Sleepless in Seattle
The Mask of Zorro
Sea Chase
The Court Jester
The 13th Warrior

Freedom. As was stated in previous posts there are different types of freedom, but no freedom can be enjoyed unless we are free from the inside. Most bonds are self-imposed, and these are the most frightening. Such tyranny is caused by fear, guilt, self-doubt and lack of faith in God, and I wholeheartedly believe that the societies where state-supported tryanny is allowed to flourish are societies where the leaders and the people are bound up with these things on a personal level, so ultimately personal freedom results in societal freedom.

Afganistan and Islamic countries as an example. If these people really had faith in God, they would realize that God acts upon the hearts of people and writes His laws upon their hearts. Yes, God has created the institution of government for the common good, but ultimately order and justice are maintained by the conscienciousness of the populace. If most people in a society are good people, well intentioned, and know they are held accountable by God for their actions, they will most likely be law abiding and peaceful. The precepts of Islam are kept and maintained by fear--fear of harsh judgment and fear of societal rejection. I don't mean to pick on Islamic societies, because Christian ones have in their history done the exact same thing.

The Christian church and the Christian world was very wicked when the institution held great power as it did in the middle ages. At this time, Western Europe tried to retain a theocracy just as most Islamic countries do now. The trouble was that temporal power almost destroyed the spirital power and the spirital holiness of the church. No doubt the founding fathers of the United States realized this and instituted the prohibition against the establishment of a state church. (See MARY, I have addressed the task you set for me a few weeks ago).

In all of the New Testament Jesus never asked his followers to bring down the Roman government or any other government. People tried to draw him in to politics, but they never succeeded. Jesus always dealt with the inner person and personal holiness. He set people free from spiritual bonds such as addictions, past sins, sickness and demonic oppression. He also set many free from the religious, hypocritical leaders who oppressed them with terrible burdons, but that freedom was achieved without a revolution or war. Yes, blood was shed, but that blood was the blood of Jesus who never ever lifted a hand in violence. Soon after came the blood of the martyrs who in the example of their Lord never lifted their hands against their oppressors. Jesus knew and understood that the things that really hurt people were the things within them and that true transformation for the individual and thence for society was to set people free from the inside.

Rhoda 11-27-2001 10:28

Thanks for the newest ghost stories, Tina, Randall and Jerry! I'll get to reading them as soon as I can. My head is not in 'edit mode' at the moment. I'm rarin' to go on Symphony, as soon as I get caught up here. It's 5 am right now, so I'm ahead of the game. I am dressed, sweet-smelling (for now, ha ha) and the kettle is boiling for tea.

Viv - Ack, who doesn't have a neighbour with cleaner windows, fewer dust rhinos, and unwrinkled clothes? Time to STOP giving a rat's sphincter! You can take your first short story in print, roll it up and plug those in-the-air nostrils for her when the time comes! Please take photos. We'll all want to see that.

True of False: Dust is ten times faster than the speed of light. Dust is also cosmic, so having it around the house means you are totally in tune with the Universe, dude.

Any horizontal surface in the house will produce dust as a bi-product. (A bi-product of what, we don't know; ask your coffee table)

People tend to produce clutter as a back-up for when their dust-o-matics jam. Dust-o-matics jam on a daily basis, usually right after a recent over-sized batch of dust has been exfoliated, and the dust-o-matic must be reloaded.

95% (or more) of dust is actually minute flakes of dead human skin. Good thing it's dead, huh?

Answers: All of the above may be true, depending on whether you're a Douglas Adams fan or not. Also depends on whether you are human.

Movies, no particular order/rating:

Sixth Sense
Of Mice and Men
The Sound of Music
Trading Places
Frankenstein (b+w)
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (original)
Frosty the Snowman (original)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (original)
Oliver Twist
A Christmas Carol
Forrest Gump
Pretty Woman
American Beauty
Rain Man
Good Will Hunting
Fried Green Tomatoes
Star Wars (original trilogy)
The Last of the Mohicans
Star Man (yeah, who mentioned that one???)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Breakfast Club
The Outsiders
The Blues Brothers
The Matrix
Sixteen Candles
Better Off Dead
The Fly
The Shining
Uncle Buck
On Golden Pond
As Good as it Gets
Terms of Endearment
Sleepless in Seattle
Mr. Saturday Night
When Harry Met Sally
The Muppet Movie (first one - the trip to Hollywood)
Dirty Dancing
Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Up In Smoke (Cheech and Chong)
Schindler's List
La Bamba
Back to the Future
Shakespeare in Love

As you can see, I watch too many movies and can't pick just a few that I like.

Heather 11-27-2001 5:49

For all you American viewers... May have heard of this other tv show... Love watching this on Fox Classics channel at night
"Seargent Bilko"

taylor 11-27-2001 4:59

Teekay: A Country Practise? Now thats going a long way back... Use to love that show

My favourite kind of shows use to be "Twilight Zone" the coloured version. "Unsolved Mysteries" But my all time favourite tv show
Just love weird tv shows

taylor 11-27-2001 4:23

I'm looking for a person that is looking for a true story that would be intitle Luke 23:verse 31 this is a true story of a town that has use all of there power to keep the truth form coming out on the way that it treates it poor people and you will find court doctrine of all matter to be factial I all ready type a lenty notice but some how I lose it in the time it took me to finish I will retry at a later date I just want to try your web site

Ila mae Willams 11-27-2001 2:46

Heather - Another story for the project, I guess the snow and cold woke up my muse, she has been beating me about the head and shoulder region until I write something, anything. I have written a few letters, (something I NEVER do), when they didn't satisfy my muse, I wrote an essay, but it was not enough. I hope this little short story will satisfy her, as my niece's computer is ill, and I must make it over there and fix it before my name is Mud.

A Christmas Story
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

We started as a small group of carolers, every Christmas season; we would go from home to home in our neighborhood singing Christmas Carols. Our only purpose was to bring a bit of joy to our good friends and neighbors. Several times each night we were invited in for eggnog, hot chocolate or maybe a martini.

As the years went by, our little group grew from the original five to ten, then fifteen, then more. I think it was our fifth year when Good Morning New York had us on the air one December morning. We had a great time with our television début, but we were not prepared for what was to come next. Since I was the “leader” or so that chick on Good Morning New York told the audience, my phone was the busiest. There were calls from all over New York City, and some from out of town asking that we come spend a night caroling. Most offered to pay, both in cash, and drinks.

Once we got over the shock, we talked the situation over, and decided we could all use a few bucks, like everyone else, we had Christmas shopping to do. More money equaled more gifts. A simple equation.

The first few jobs went very well, and were very lucrative to say the least. Unlike our neighbors, those for who we sang paid not only in drinks but cold hard cash. Many were very generous indeed. Our first three jobs netted us each eight hundred dollars.

After ten jobs, we were falling into the swing of things; we spent less time indoors warming up, and more going from home to home being well paid for our charming dress and songs.

We were on our twelfth excursion when it happened. The night started out well, even the weather was with us, dusting us with a nice gentle snow fall, leaving a trace of snow on our tall hats and bonnets. We were about half way through the neighborhood, and had collected well over nine hundred dollars when we came upon the old battered looking house. We nearly passed it by as vacant, oh how I wish we had.

As we walked past the gate, someone, Bob Johnson I think it was, commented that there was indeed a light on inside the old home. The neighborhood group who hired us made it clear that we should visit all the homes, and not wanting to get a bad rep, I felt we should at least give them a few bars of “God Rest Yea,” or maybe “Jingle Bells.”

I held old rusty gate open as the group made their way up the snow covered walk up the steps to the old enclosed sun porch. We formed our nice half circle formation, and opened with “Silent Night.” We hadn’t sung more then a few bars when the door opened, casting a dim glow over us, and illuminating the snow covered front yard. An elderly woman stood in the doorway, a gentle smile came over her face as she took in our song.

When we were finished, she came a bit further out and walked up to me, as I was in the center of the semi-circle. “Would you good people like to come in for some nice hot chocolate?” She asked.

“Thank you kindly madam, but we must be on our way.” I replied.

“Oh, what a shame.” She said I was so hoping that you could, you see my husband is bedridden, and can’t come to the door, I’m afraid he couldn’t hear your wonderful voices, and he does so love Christmas Carols.”

I felt my heart break just a bit, we had time and what better way to spend it then to brighten an old man’s Christmas.

“Of course we can come in and sing for your husband!” I replied, and followed her through the cluttered old front porch into her kitchen. There was barely enough room for all of us, the line of people stretched from the doorway all the way to the kitchen. The old Lady filled her tea kettle with water from the tap, then put it on the front burner of an old four burner propane stove that stood in the corner of the room.

“Won’t you please come back and sing for my husband, he is in the back bedroom, back there through that hall. she said, pointing to a dark brown door down a long dim hallway that seemed to go on forever. “The water should be hot by the time you get back.” She said, as I began the long walk to the bedroom, followed by my snake-like group of singers all dressed in Dickens era clothing.

When I reached the door, I knocked gently. “Come in.” came a weak voice from behind the door. I opened the door, and moved inside, making room for the rest of our group. As we readied ourselves, I looked over the room. It was quite barren, only a bed and a commode for furnishings, other then a small bedside table covered with very old antique bottles of medicine, some of the labels were visible, one said “Doctor John’s Special Elixir” another said “Genuine Hopi Medicine Syrup.”

An elderly man, I would guess somewhere between eighty five and one-hundred ten years old lay in the bed, covered with several thick heavy quilts even though the room was very warm. We began to sing “O Holy Night” when he began to stir, he sort of propped himself up on an extra pillow that lay beside him so he could better see us, and I think I saw a trace of a smile come across his wrinkled leathery face. We sang two more songs, and then filed quietly out of the room. His wife had hot chocolate all poured up for us, and despite the drinks we had received from other homes, this tasted particularly good. I don’t know if it was the hot chocolate, or the circumstance, that warmth one gets when he does something nice for another, something like that.

When the cups ran out of chocolate, we thanked the nice old lady, then excused ourselves and filed out of the house, through the yard and back to the sidewalk. We walked down the block, past several empty lots to the next home, where we were greeted by another nice couple. We sang several songs for them, then they invited us in for hot totties, a drink we never turned down. As we sat in their living room enjoying the warm liquor, I commented on the nice couple down the street.

“What nice couple?” the lady of the house inquired.

“Why that nice elderly couple who live down the street in that old run down house.” I replied.

“Oh you must be mistaken, why that house has been empty now for over thirty years!” the husband interjected.

“Well there surely were two people in that house when we were there, in fact the lady served us hot chocolate!” I said.

“I’m getting scared Henry!” the lady said.

“I know dear.” Replied her husband.

“Am I missing something here?” I asked.

“Well you see, there was an elderly couple who lived there, oh must be forty years ago now, my folks used to tell me the story.”


“Yes,” he went on, “According to my dad, the old man was very sickly, and suffered greatly, it got so bad that his poor old wife couldn’t stand it and, well, she did away with him.”


“Well that’s what some said, murder suicide, is what the police ruled.”

“Murder suicide?”

“Oh my yes, you see after the old lady slashed her husband’s throat, she slashed both her wrists then lay down beside his body and bled to death. Dad said it was the milk man who found them when there were no bottles sit out for three days, he became worried and tried the door, he found them like that, dead in that bed down the long hallway, behind the dark brown door.”

We finished that neighborhood, then hung up our caroler’s cloths forever. We just couldn’t take singing carols to ghosts.

Jerry 11-27-2001 1:16

Favorite Movies of all time?

The Mouse that Roared
Willey Wonka
The Good the Bad and The Ugly
High Plaines Drifter
Robinson Caruso on Mars
The Red Death
Star Wars
The Grapes of Rath
The Sound of Music
Sleeping Beauty
Snow White
The Toy
Rooster Cogburn
What if they Gave a War and Nobody Came
Alice's Restarant (You can get anything you want!)
Ma and Pa Kettle
The TIme Machine
I Led Three LIves
The Deer Hunter
Apocolips Now
The War of the Worlds
Around the World in Eighty Days

Well winter again showed us who was the boss. There is now so much snow on the ground that my poor little dog drags when he goes outside, not a plesent feeling for him I am sure. Nothing serious for we humans, just a few inches, but there is quite a wind with it, so it is building drifts. Temps have dropped finally to normal of around 20 F.

U feel even older as our daughter celebrated her twenty-ninth birthday Saturday.

Write ON!

Jerry 11-26-2001 23:45

This is addictive!!

Cheri 11-26-2001 23:13

I just love reading everyone’s posts!

Litter: Lucky for me I’m a bit like Oyster – “I’m still getting used to email.” My husband, however, is very good with all the technical stuff and I tend to pick it up pretty fast. He already has Firewall and Norton Antivirus, but don’t ask me exactly what they are.

Oyster: LOL. Love it!!

Gariess: Most of the movies I thought of are already listed, but I’ll put my two cents in anyway. In no particular order;

Wizard of Oz
The Sixth Sense
Star Wars (any of them or all)
The Sound of Music
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Teekay: What is ‘Country Practise’?

Mary: You’re right! I need to determine what’s really important and start taking some action. THANK YOU !

Taylor: I hope I can get as far as you in my work. I must have started at least 50 different novels, but never seem to get the middle, just the beginning and the end.

Jerry: Scared me!

Viv: I feel like a bum, my house is a mess, and yet (as my mother likes to say) I’m always running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. (Nice picture huh?)

Boy! I’ve gotten wordy! That’s what happens when the kids go to bed and hubby goes to his brothers to watch football.

Think I’ll try to create something and not waste any more precious time.

Thanks for letting me ramble a bit.

Cheri 11-26-2001 23:08

Movies? - A few of mine are:
The Wizard of Oz
The Pawnbroker
Sleepless in Seattle
You've Got Mail
Pretty Woman
The Patriot
The Sixth Sense
Star Man
The Outlaw Josey Wales
the whole Mad Max series
Pale Rider
High Noon
My Fair Lady
The Sound of Music
The Green Mile
The Shawshank Redemption
Field of Dreams
It Came From Outer Space
War of the Worlds

I had to stop here - too many more to even think about listing!

VIV -- I'm one of "those" myself - don't make the error of lumping us all into one stereo type. Snootiness and arrogance are not qualities exclusive to any one group or set of beliefs. (I knew you knew that -- just couldn't resist a little chain-jerking). :-)
The problem is that some of my righteous brethren and sistren feel like they got that way on their own. It just ain't so. No way.

I've been working on the same first line for a week now, and can't seem to get it running. What's the next line (and only the next line) after:

"There is a custom around these parts that a bride’s first wedding dance has to be with her father."

the last line is:

"And Maudie never saw him again."


howard 11-26-2001 22:37

Teekay - hmm, a ghostie story, huh? Well, to tell the truth, I have a story that is festering. "Grandma Ghost" took a turn on me and I just can't get it back onto the road. Perhaps some kind soul would offer to take a look?

Viv - I'm not much different. Though my neighbor is very kind and ignores all the dust bunnies in the house. I confess to having a severe problem with starting stories, getting bored or frustrated and putting them away. I looked earlier tonight for an old piece and found more "in progress" material and plain old jotted ideas than I thought possible. A commitment of one hour per week suits me fine for the moment. Just that one hour, on a regular basis, I know can start the habit in the right direction. If you wish, we can say no critiques for now and just focus on putting words onto the page. BTW - your next door neighbor sounds like a fodder for the mill. hehehe Wouldn't that get her goat? To suspect and not know for sure?

creak, creak -- where did Grandma Ghost go? ....

Carol 11-26-2001 22:20

HOWARD: How I wish I could lie and say that Stephen Hawking and Helen Keller were excactly who I meant for they are brilliant examples of freedom of spirit. When I typed the post I used the word bodily in a more removed sense, thinking of the Afghanis or any living under represive conditions over which they had no control.

VIV: Now there's a thought. Maybe all writers are part bum :-D. Taken up with 'higher' things, who has time to polish the silver :-D.
I'm glad you got rid of her. Dreams are usually hard enough to realise without having naysayers in your ear.

LITTER: Yes, thanks for the warning. When I read it my mind instantly fled to a blank email I received from a friend of mine, which I thought was really strange. There were no attatchments though, so I wonder what that was all about.

Country Practise is over for the day. I adore that show. I'm whizzed back to one of the most contented times of my life.

Now, gotta go find my pen.

Teekay 11-26-2001 20:26

Wow! Lovely work on that last post. I think I forgot about paragraphs when I posted that one. Amazingly bad! Sometimes you have to laugh because I'm out there teaching grammar. It's funny I ended up with the job. God has to have a sense of humor.

Oyster: How old are your kids? I know exactly what you mean about 5X and my youngest daughter. I used to have to sit there and watch her write each word five times. When she started going off into her method of spelling I'd sort of make a "batsu!" sound, or clear my throat. This is like having a dog watching you as you eat...makes you real aware of what you are doing. It drove both of us batty. It worked but I wouldn't recommend it because your eyes start to cross and you grind down your back molars. I learned to let my imagination go and still look interested. It's a real help when I am in a meeting and I feel differently than the person who is speaking.

Viv 11-26-2001 20:06

Hi Allein:
You're absolutely right! I looked at my post, and your post and laughed.
Carol, Allein is warning you. I'm inevitably doing twice as much as I should and getting caught in tangles of projects left half-done. Still, I'm worried about my writing. I love it yet I don't love myself enough to admit that I want to work on it. I say things like, "Ahhhh, I'll never be any good. Better concentrate on earning money because we need money a lot more than we need me sitting at home pretending to be the great writer." Plus I have one of those Christian conservative neighbor's who is always giving me the snoot because she thinks I'm crazy because I write stories. She says I write and let the dust pile up around me. She's absolutely right.

I ejected her from my home and cut off all contact with her the minute I heard her start in on me. Still, she swishes that well dressed little bottom as she walks past my house, nose in the air on her way to her very important life. I catch a glimpse of her and immediately all the dust and unfinished items on my list come to mind. I'm afraid I'm more bum than writer. She's right.

Still, nothing ventured nothing gained. We'll go in really slow. I'll take an hour on Friday and we'll see if I can keep it up through the holidays. If it's incoherant, it's because I got exhausted!

Litter: THANKS FOR THE WARNING! Virus checking right now.
Don't need any suprises! Congratualtions for catching it before it got into your e-mail and got everyone else. What's a fire wall and how does it work?

Viv 11-26-2001 19:47

Here's a list of my top favourite.

Sixth Sense - of course
Chips the War Dog - a real tear jerker ending, good story
Empire Strikes Back - my favourite Star Wars movie
Way of the Dragon - best fight scene on film I think

I deliberately left out the Blair Witch Project, because that would never get a look in

taylor 11-26-2001 19:47

TEEKAY -- you said >You may have the most bodily opressed person whose mind may be free (this is fairly rare, thus all the discontent in the world)<

You mean like Stephen Hawking, for example? Or Helen Keller?

howard 11-26-2001 19:15


Morning you lot,

JERRY: Thankyou, and Bless You :-)
For the write On, in case you're wondering.

GARIESS: I'd love to take part.
Peggy Sue got married.
Anne of Green Gables - all of them.
Little women.
For richer or poorer.
Sixth sense.
Reading the above list I feel a bit shallow, but I don't watch anything too sad or too heavy. Braveheart being the exception.
Are you going to be watching the nominated films and then making up your own mind?
BTW: Great theorising. That's material for a desk calendar if ever saw it, only I'm not sure it would fit.
It would have to go on February :-)

TAYLOR: Don't worry about it, all you have to do is finished the book and that pineapple will be in the bin before oyu can say Hunky Dory. :-D
It always helps to have something to aim for dontcha think? :-)

HOWARD: I think it all depends on what you want to relate the freedom to. Personally I think the ultimate freedom comes with death, but I also think that freedom on earth is only obtainable within the mind. You may have the most bodily opressed person whose mind may be free (this is fairly rare, thus all the discontent in the world)
You may have the richest man with all his wordly goods whose mind is not.
And then, in the most everyday sense, freedom is having the right to do as you please without harm to others.

CAROL: HI! Good to see you :-)
If you're looking for something to write, why not try a ghostie short story for the project we have going.
Hurry though, coz time is running out.

TINA: Thanks girl :-).

MARY: Inspiring. I love inspiring :-)

OYSTER: I don't think you could call me school challenged, I tend to think while I was there the school was the challenged one. :-D
Personally I found it boring in the extreme. Far too formulated and not enough room for growth and creativity. Suffocating, restrictive.
Now I look back on school days with mild nostalgia, but only for lunch and recess time, and of course Art class :-)
One common note an all my report cards is 'T* does not apply herself' or words to that affect, and you know what, I still don't in things I'm uninterested in.
I did some kind of personality test a while back and I worked out to be 1% of the population, something like I could rule the world, but really couldn't be bothered. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I thought that was soooo cool, I get permission to be potentially brilliant, yet humble :-D
Geez, if only I had your problem with writing too much. I find short stories far easier to right that the novel.

In answer to your question, I find it easier to edit my own work. After a few days I am sufficiently disattatched and able to look it over with a critic's eye and hone it down or pad it up, and I don't have to worry about hurting any feelings.

Be prolific one and all
I must rush now because Country Practise is coming on.

Teekay 11-26-2001 18:58

Greetings All :)

A negative writing date so far today, but after reading the recents posts, I've settled on a direction. That's a good step. :)

Mary - Your wise words were very helpful in making this step again. Thank you. Were you picking up my vibes when you posted?

Viv - I would love to be your buddy! Thank you. You'll soon discover, I'm nowhere near "twice as good" though. Email me with details of how you'd like to work it. I'm agreeable to either Fri. or Sat. mornings.

Howard - Real freedom? Good question. Freedom is not only the ability to create, but also to be willing to explore new ways of thinking and doing things without fear of reprisals. The only restriction: no harm to anyone.

Oyster - Yep! It is much easier for me to edit someone else's work than my own. But I have noticed that I benefit from the experience. I become more aware of the easy mistakes that can and do occur and becoming aware, I watch for them more closely.

Gariess - I will take a little time to consider the movies. I have a lot of favorites, and a few that I consider classics.

Time to think about making supper.

Carol 11-26-2001 17:25

Viv - Don't rush things. :) Just take it nice and slow. Sit down, drink some hot chocolate and relax. :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 11-26-2001 16:22

I received an email from a cyber friend today. I contained 2 attachments -- one purported to be a .txt file and appeared empty, the second purported to be IE5\FVDF7P8W\SEARCHURL.M and, on attempting to open, wormed its way into my system files. If you get a blank email with such like attachments, or similar, PLEASE DO NOT OPEN! Update your anti-virus files (you do have and virus protection program, don't you?) and think seriously about a firewall. I use 'ZoneAlarm' which is available at I got mine free on a PC magazine but it normally costs about $20.

My virus definition files (InoculateIT Personal Edition) were only 5 days old and they didn't pick up on the viruses -- only my firewall averted the further dissemination of these viruses which attempted to get online via Kernel32, no doubt to remail itself to everyone in my address book. The firewall effectively shut down the Kernel32 connection option and stopped the worm from sending. Using the latest virus definition files purged the virus from my system, so this is obviously a new (less than a week old) virus configuration.

For the more technically minded of you you can see the actions of my anti-virus software below.

All good things,


Inoculate IT log files:

Scanning memory...
Scanning boot sectors...

C:\ Master Boot Record matches template, is OK: standard Win95 OSR2.

C:\ Partition Boot Record matches template, is OK: standard MSWIN 4.1 FAT32.

Scanning file(s)...

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\KERNEL32.EXE - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\kdll.dll - Win32.Badtrans.5632 trojan. Deleted.

C:\WINDOWS\Local Settings\Temporary Internet

Files\Content.IE5\FVDF7P8W\SEARCHURL.M.pif - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00013608.EXE - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012398.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012400.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012401.EXE - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012403.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012404.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012415.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012417.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012418.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012419.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012421.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

C:\RECYCLED\NPROTECT\00012423.PIF - Win32.Badtrans.29020 worm. Deleted.

Finished scanning: 16:43:59, 26/11/01

Number of files scanned: 40784.

Number of infections: 15

Number of infected files deleted: 15

Litter ZDNet Zone Alarm 11-26-2001 14:34

Prolificity, or what on this page? First of all, I am green with envy about all the websites. I am website challenged right now. I'm still getting used to email!

Jerry Speaking of prolificity, every time I read one of your pieces and peeking at your website a name comes to mind. Snorli Snorlison. His name is even in my dictionary! The man wrote so proflifically and in such a simple literary style, he actually won a peace prize, I believe.

Also, Jerry, good point about grading. We need some benchmark, but it sure is hard to be judged on results that are so constrained by cirricula.

Viv: Thanks for the kind words about Daughter's Learning Journey. This morning she 'remembered' she had spelling homework. It was such a busy weekend and with report cards coming home et al, I simply sat her down at breakfast (she's a morning person, I'm not) and had her do her spelling corrections once. Not 5X as the teacher wanted. What, 5X is better? Not with Daughter. It just gives her more opportunties to spell it her way ... 5 X!

Teekay: BK = Bright Kid. I live with 3 (if you count the Spouse). Worth reading is Mary Lou Kelly-Strezsnewski's (sp) book, Gifted Adults. For those of us who were school-challenged and are still learning, Mary Lou points out that school is that some people don't get it until 'later'. I've discovered that school is a hostile place for BK's. The Yearn to Learn is beaten down by the system, so helping my family keep on a 'learning curve' is almost a full time job!

Gariess: My son discovered John Malkovich. I swear we've seen every John Malkovich movie ever made except the one you mentioned. Do you have a title?

My top movie would be Steel Magnoilas and then, Mathilda.

Cheri: A friend of mine who survived her children's growing up and is now writing romances full time had this to say to me when the kids acted up: "Writus Interruptus: a non-terminal condition common to writing Moms. Translation: The Kids are fighting so loud I can't hear myself write."

I wish I'd thought of that one!

Mary: Thanks for the term! I think I've found an 'accountability partner' in the least likely place! I'll try out this 'gentle reader' first then I think I'm on my way to opening the oyster shell.

Taylor: Mea agree-a: Freedom is truly "not saying something" ... a skill I could learn a bit more of.

Unfortunately, intolerance, bigotry, prejudice, hatred, conflict and politicians get on my nerves. And then I feel compelled to write or speak. Although the 'wisdom' of years has taught me that shutting up about certain subjects is good, too.

I am working on a short story. I hate writing short stories. Why? Because now that I've figured out to end them, I just have to go here and 'fix' and there and 'fix', writing more on each 'fix'.

Then I have this huge whacking novella I have to pare down to fit the 2500 - 3000 word range for publication.

Does anyone else find it MUCH easier to edit someone else's work than their own?

And I hate this wordpro program. Someone in our family (probably my also perfectionistic son) turned on the grammar feature and I can't figure out to 'off' the thing. It feels like I've got an on-screen editor! Grrrr!

Now is there a story in there, Jerry? The computer that killed writing creativity?

Oyster 11-26-2001 13:27


Red Violin
How to Make an American Quilt
Wizard of Oz

I'm not gonna number them, but those are my personal top 6 in no specific order.

Personal freedom to me is being able to choose my beliefs and values, how I live my life, and how I would raise my children. Societal freedom happens when everyone can make those choices, while understanding and accepting their neighbour and not impinging on their personal freedom to make different choices.
I know that seems too basic, but in my happy little idealistic world it works. In my realistic world, I know that we must fight (physically and intellectually) to keep our freedom, or else politicians, extreme religious leaders, and our neighbours will try and take it away.

Heather, I e-mailed you 'Daniel' last night. If you didn't get it let me know and I'll try again.

Teekay, congrats on chapter 9!
And FYI, 'Blue Skies' is a skydiving expression. It's just a wish for a good day, since the best day of skydiving is under blue skies.

Mary, cute cute cute cute cute :-D You have adorable kids.

Viv, yes I took in the meteor storm. I froze my butt off and it was SO worth it! I was counting 6-10 meteors a minute at one point. It was the best storm I've ever seen, and our skies were perfect and clear. There have been other storms over the years, but this was the biggest Leonid storm in a long while. I don't know about skydiving in it. No time to look when you're freefalling, and a big square canopy above you to block the view once you pull. But yes, people skydive on bright moon nights and I'm told it's awesome. Can't wait.

Here's a visual, written by Douglas Adams in 'So long, and Thanks for all the Fish'. I just love how he can do this and still make it funny. I can't write funny. Ever.
The night was uneasy with rain. The rain clouds themselves had now moved on and were currently concentrating their attention on a small transport cafe just outside Bournemouth, but the sky through which they had passed had been disturbed by them and now wore a damply ruffled air, as if it didn't know what else it might not do if further provoked.
The moon was out in a watery way. it looked like a ball of paper from the back pocket of jeans that have just come out of the washing machine, and which only time and ironing would tell if it was an old shopping list or a five pound note.

Ok, this is longer than I intended.

Tina 11-26-2001 12:47

Mary: Thank you twice! Thanks for the reminder to write! I've been missing it. And that's a great idea for the 4:00AM writer's club to exchange pages no matter how terrible! Can I join after I quit my job? Maybe before I quit my job...except I may get fired if I try that too often. I tend to get writing and the time goes zip! I may try it, copy to disk then send at work while I teach my computer classes. I'm excited. I may just get that started. Carol, you want to try it????? I already know you are twice as good as I am but what the heck! What about having ours be a Friday morning club? Sat morning club??? ANYTHING EXCEPT MONDAY MORNING! That way if I'm three shades to the wind and fall asleep in class I won't get in terrible trouble because the students will all be sleeping as well. Anyone else in the early riser crew? I can post it to all of you since you can always hit those extra copy buttons.

Mary: Thank you for the website~again!!!! I'll be careful this time and store those addresses very carefully.

Howard: Neat question. I defined freedom for my children this way. Anarchy is when you have no rules or responsibilities. You do and say whatever, when ever you like. If it hurts someone it’s not a problem. It's easy to do, but hard to stop.

Freedom is when you have the responsibility to speak up and care for others so that they will be able to do what they need to care for you. Everyone must work together. Freedom is hard work. You have to keep checking to make sure everyone's getting a good deal.

There’s a great story by a science fiction writer about this. The trouble is it’s late, my husband is sleeping and I can’t sneak in and get it off the bookshelf. I’ll get back to you in the morning. It’s about a park where Anarchy reigns. A woman is wearing a long scarf. She’s not wearing anything else. She calls attention to herself which is stupid because when anarchy reigns it’s dangerous to do so. Anyone remember the title. It’s pretty late and after getting up at 5:00 AM, I’m brain dead. Get back to you in the morning.

Snooze time.

Viv 11-26-2001 9:14

Mary: Thank you twice! Thanks for the reminder to write! I've been missing it. And that's a great idea for the 4:00AM writer's club to exchange pages no matter how terrible! Can I join after I quit my job? Maybe before I quit my job...except I may get fired if I try that too often. I tend to get writing and the time goes zip! I may try it, copy to disk then send at work while I teach my computer classes. I'm excited. I may just get that started. Carol, you want to try it????? I already know you are twice as good as I am but what the heck! What about having ours be a Friday morning club? Sat morning club??? ANYTHING EXCEPT MONDAY MORNING! That way if I'm three shades to the wind and fall asleep in class I won't get in terrible trouble because the students will all be sleeping as well. Anyone else in the early riser crew? I can post it to all of you since you can always hit those extra copy buttons.

Mary: Thank you for the website~again!!!! I'll be careful this time and store those addresses very carefully.

Howard: Neat question. I defined freedom for my children this way. Anarchy is when you have no rules or responsibilities. You do and say whatever, when ever you like. If it hurts someone it’s not a problem. It's easy to do, but hard to stop.

Freedom is when you have the responsibility to speak up and care for others so that they will be able to do what they need to care for you. Everyone must work together. Freedom is hard work. You have to keep checking to make sure everyone's getting a good deal.

There’s a great story by a science fiction writer about this. The trouble is it’s late, my husband is sleeping and I can’t sneak in and get it off the bookshelf. I’ll get back to you in the morning. It’s about a park where Anarchy reigns. A woman is wearing a long scarf. She’s not wearing anything else. She calls attention to herself which is stupid because when anarchy reigns it’s dangerous to do so. Anyone remember the title. It’s pretty late and after getting up at 5:00 AM, I’m brain dead. Get back to you in the morning.

Snooze time.

Viv 11-26-2001 9:14

Howard: I had a similar discussion with someone about freedom, and I do use the term lightly.
And this is what the guy said to me which stood out and stuck in my mind.

"Its not the right to stand up and say what you think about something. But freedom is having the right not to say something"

taylor 11-26-2001 9:05

A question just came up in another group I'm associated with. Someone remarked on how the B52 has brought freedom to Afghanistan, as evidenced by the internet, tv, female faces, etc now being seen and enjoyed over there. Then I asked "What is real freedom, anyway?" then qualified it with "What is real freedom, without impinging on the 'real freedom' of anyone else?"
I haven't had any feedback yet, but thought I'd put the question to this group also.
How do we define "real freedom?" and how do we define it for ourselves without disallowing the real freedom of our neighbors?
Is there perhaps no such thing as real freedom?

howard 11-26-2001 8:02

Easily replaced by a pineappel fridge magnet... I think I can let it slide for the time being.
I will be someones inspiration someday

taylor 11-26-2001 4:31


I theorize that one day Medical Science will identify the hormone we secrete into our blood streams which creates that euphoric state in which we lie awake at night amusing ourselves with the ramblings of our own minds. I sometimes wonder if the disappointment with which we later review these musings is the salary of our conditioning, rather than a true appreciation of what our minds examined when we turned them loose to play.


gariess 11-26-2001 1:23



My dearest Teekay, how wonderful it is to feel your irrepressible presence once more. I don't know how nice it is for Taylor to learn how easily he can be replaced by a pineapple magnet, but then you were never one to diddle about the tough issues, were you?

I was wondering if you would like to participate in the building of a new top one hundred list. The top one hundred movies of all time. I am working on this project, but I have come to believe it is too much for me, alone. I need consensus. I think my list needs the discriminating input of a group of discering minds; not to mention the representation of the Southern Hemisphere.

I should like to ask everyone to submit a film for entry into the Top 100 Films of All Time. In considering ways to continue the rejuvenation of the NB it seemed such a likely diversion. The way people are continually bemoaning the shortage of time, I felt that just thinking of a movie that one likes a great deal could hardly register very high on time suckage index. Just name a film and place it in the list. Name as many as you like. For instance you may choose "Dr. Strangelove, #55. You could place it wherever you like, but this way there should be little pressure, you could make it #4 or #99. It won't matter much because it will only be a suggestion on your part. I will have no objection to opening discussion in the NB on any suggestions. The important thing at this juncture is to nominate films for consideration. This way if a great film is overlooked for no good reason other than poor memory, at least it will be the poor memory of a bunch of us rather than just me. I look forward to seeing what films get nominated.

Please, no one ask me why my ambitions are so trivial. I do not wish to explain why I aspire to such mundane things as list building rather than being a cat who rules the universe from a submarine or some other such imaginative megalomania. I hope it will be enough for you all to leave at that.


gariess 11-26-2001 1:08

Write ON!

Jerry 11-26-2001 0:42

Randall - ah yes, all those calls actually happened, I won't go into who or when, the only exception was that all were settled with no death. The officer was successful in saving his mother-in-law, the cop turned his head in time and his uncle missed, the EMT's saved the daughter.

I guess I just extrapolated on what could have happened.

It is the one story I will not print out or show the wife or kids, as they would of course, place every call, every person place and thing, as it effected them as well.

Jerry My Page 11-26-2001 0:19

Hello All :)

I'm back. Whether you like it or not. :) I saw a new name -- Hi Cheri!

Jerry, I "enjoyed" the story. I always hate to say enjoy when reading a story of this nature, contemplated suicide is not enjoyable. But still, you've conveyed all the reasons and emotions so well -- including a believable halt to the act.

Taylor - congrats on finding your ending! Sometimes that's the hardest part and finding it is so helpful in filling in that dreaded middle.

I'll pick up the flow of conversation from this point on. I'm at odds right now on what to do tomorrow. I need a writing project to work on, something specific and I have no clue at the moment. There's a number of life swords poking into the brain matter confusing my focus. Gotta put up a stronger shield. :)

Happy writing all!

Carol 11-25-2001 22:51

We all wear many hats. We are mothers, fathers, lumberjacks, heroes and artists. And writers. When time gets tight, which one of your hats gets put in the closet first? More and more often it seems that my least worn hat is my writing cap. If you find yourself in the same situation, especially this time of year, the only remedy is to actively make time just for writing. You have to be honest with yourself about how important writing is to you. How much do you want it?

Do you want it badly enough to lose that extra hour of sleep? Do you need it enough to let your spouse take the kids to the movies by themselves? The time is there if you are creative and honestly want it. It all boils down to how much you are willing to sacrifice for it.

Let the process of working that out serve as your litmus test for how serious of a writer you are or could be. Do you want to write the novel to beat all novels? If you have it in you, you can do it. Do you write just for fun? That's great too, but please don't let a serious talent, gift or dream go by the wayside just for the sake of hitting that snooze button three more times.

Judge Judy can wait, if you are watching Springer shame on you. Pick up your pen, sit at your keyboard or stare into space, plotting, and create something. Live your dream, there is no excuse.

If any of you are interested in accountability partners to help you get in a routine or schedule, then pair up with each other. Buddy write. Heather and I could both say, ok at 6am we are both sitting down and writing for an hour, then we are trading what we wrote via email no matter how horrible it is. Or Teekay and Christi could agree to exchange at least three pages of writing per week to trade opinions and editing. I think that this is something that could really pick up our writing until the Workbook is back online. Who knows, maybe we will stick with it even after the Workbook is back up.

Take care everyone, and write something today!

Love, Mary

Mary new beads 11-25-2001 22:49


TAYLOR: Aaaah, sorry, I thought you meant...., well, you know what I thought you meant.
Anyhow, you're coming down off the fridge and I'm putting the pineapple magnet in your place. :-)

Teekay 11-25-2001 22:25

A slow, quiet sunday...aaahhh!

We've been busy putting up the Christmas tree and outdoor lights. I love this time of year. Listening to Christmas music, decorating the tree, buying presents...of course I hate the crowds at the mall and any other stores you go to. And I haven't even begun my Christmas shopping!

My muse hasn't been here at all this week. I know someone mentioned having the creative juices flowing during the night and I know what you mean. Seems I have a thing for laying awake a night with my head just running full tilt, but the problem is I never have pen and paper handy and if I did I don't think I'd be able to put it down on paper as fast as it plays through my head. One night I tried to, but found it didn't make much sense the next morning.

Ah well, the kids are fighting about something again, so until later... Have a happy!!!

Cheri 11-25-2001 19:34

Teekay: No...I just said I have the very last part done, the middle should be easier, I never know how to wrap up a story good, so this is big for me

taylor 11-25-2001 19:33


Hi All;

JERRY: Woah, goosebumps, especially when I read about the daughter, and I loved the ending.
The story was one of dismay and despair, but you managed to invoke hope very nicely.

TAYLOR: Wow, really? You've almost finished your book? I'm going to stick you up on my fridge for motivation.
That's fantastic - WELL DONE!
And thanks for the welcome :-D

GARIESS: YOU'RE BACK!!!!!! YEEHAAAAAAAAAW GRANDMAW! I thought you might not be coming back, you were away so long.

Going - now-to -write-some-more-of-chapter-10. (justdoitjustdoitdon'tthinkaboutit,justdoit)

JERRY: You haven't said 'Write On' for a while, and I quite miss it, and HOWARD, I quite miss your 'Back On Your Heads'.
How pathetic is my life?
How pathetic is my computer?
There's something wrong with it, it's soooooooooooo slow. I have to go now and get a hammer and fix it.

BTW; HOWARD, thanks for the recipe.

Teekay 11-25-2001 18:26




Jerry: WOW! Tell it like it is Pal. Great story. Me thinks, perhaps you are incoporating real life events from your life in your stories? At least tales heard from around the office?

Either way it should make us all understand that the taking of a human life.......subtracts away from all involved. No one understands, at least I don't. I, being the father of a 19 year old college girl and a 18 year old son who is going into the Air Force, would fall apart if something happened to either one.

[Aside]..."OKAY OKAY!" And as my WIFE correctly points out...the husband, a long suffering HUSBAND of 21 years I might add, would...also...fall...apart if anything ever happened to her. [Shouts]..."THERE HAPPY NOW!" [Door slams in the distance.] :-)) Wives, huh?

Remember the movie Big Jake with John Wayne? The movie ends with a terrible gunfight, many "bad" guys killed. Big Jake makes an exit, announces that they are going home and walks away smiling. Behind he leaves a good friend dead, (the Indian) and a cherished dog, uh, named, "Dog" who died saving Big Jakes grandson. I've never watched the movie end without thinking that in real life actual persons involved would be an emotional wreck. At best! Yeah, yeah I know it's Hollywood and just a movie, but movie folks have hammered into our heads through pictures like this that taking a life is, somehow, can be accepted? That the death of a close friend, or relative, simply another chapter. Turn the page, move on. I don't think so.

(Sorry guys. I was going to make a short post! Not preach!)

As a stone makes ripples in a pond, incidents in life affect karma. It might take a while for the ripple to arrive, but soon it will, it's coming, then consquences break on the shoreline of our humanity.

Heather: Working furiously on the ghost tale for HEATHERS HOT FIRESIDE TALES. Give me a word count. How many to fit in? Deadline is Dec 20. Right? Think you're gonna like it.


Randall 11-25-2001 12:24

In fact I am making my own list of the top ten movies of all time to counter that sorry collection proposed by AFI a couple of years ago, and I am going to put OMAM in the list right now before I forget.

gariess 11-25-2001 2:31


If you were refering to the movie with John Malcovich and Gary Sinise, I agree. That was a fine film, one of the few that does justice to the book. In fact one could tell that the movie was respectful of the book, even if one never read the book. That might sound preposterous, but there are times when a film simply delivers the goods, and one just knows it must agree with the book. It's when you see the movie and you "get it." There are times when Hollywood let's a good film get to the screen in spite of its efforts to prevent that from happening.


gariess 11-25-2001 2:27

Welcome back Teekay... was wandering where you were.

On the subject of grades: I don't think a huge fuss over As Bs Cs Ds or Fs, just as long as the student knows what he has been taught
But thats easy for me to say, being a C average student

Still writing on... Now that things have settled down for me personally anyway, I feel now I can get down to some serious writing, without feeling like I'm going to offend some everyone with every word I write. I know it sounds stupid but that's the way I felt.
Just getting the last scene of the book down before I forget it... It feels funny writing in the very ending of the book now.

taylor 11-25-2001 0:01

Well winter has finally reared it's ugly head. It is getting a bit on the cold side today, with highs only in the thirties (not really cold but colder then the 70's we have been having). Rained a bit this morning, but the ground is still warm enough that it didn't freeze. We had our annual parade of lights tonight. Not a bad turnout, the floats were all patriotic with flags and red white and blue lights on them. We enjoyed them very much, the parade was followed by the lighting ceremony at our petrified wood park. They did a wonderful job of lighting the park, as one of our late citizens left them a couple of thousand dollars to be used for Christmas lights. Then a candle light ceremony in memory of the victims of 9/11. We didn't stay for that, not that we didn't want to, but the parade was long enough to sit, and we both needed to get home.

Jerry 11-24-2001 23:35

An offering to our little collection of ghost stories, not sure if it qualifies or not.

A Ghost of A Chance
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

It happens to cops some times, he knew that. His old pal Danno told him about it. That was so long ago, he nearly forgot about it until today, when it happened to him. Danno had it bad, in fact it wasn’t three days after Danno told him about it that Danno went home late one night, kissed his wife and kids, then without a word went into the bathroom, sat down in the bathtub, and ate his gun.

Now it was his turn, and should he tell the truth, there was nothing he could do to stop it. He didn’t know if he would go as far as Danno or not.

He sat, fingering his old .45. His hands caressed that old gun like it was a beautiful woman. It felt so familiar. It had been by his side now for over twenty-five years. Ever since that Christmas so many years ago when his lovely young wife presented him with it on Christmas Eve. She knew he wanted it; she was with him when he first spotted it lying in the display cabinet down at the Red Owl store in Pierre. A week latter she caught a ride back to Pierre with a friend and picked it up. It took all here whiles to keep him from going back to Pierre before Christmas. It seemed she came up with a million reasons why they shouldn’t go. Once she said she just wanted to go ice fishing. Ice fishing, my God, he knew she had never been ice fishing in her life, but he took her out to Millers lake, and they sat on buckets on the ice, dangling their bait before the cold fish, until they were both too cold to stay any longer. Cold and shivering, they returned home where they warmed each other in bed.

He pulled the slide back and let it slam forward. The slide picked up the top round of the magazine and pushed it into the chamber. The old gun was ready now.

Then it happened again. He was back on duty, ten years ago, standing in the hallway of the Catholic Church, watching as the ambulance crew worked feverishly over a young girl. As he got closer, it dawned on him that his own daughter had the exact same cloths as the girl laying beneath the EMT while another was at her head breathing into her mouth.

A few steps closer and he nearly fainted when he realized it was his daughter. The EMT’s stepped back, “She’s gone.” One of them said. “Best load her and take her to the mortuary.” Said another.

He watched, he could feel his intestines tying themselves in knots, yet the tears never fell. He was a professional after all. He stayed and took statements from the Priest who called the EMT’s. The Priest told him of his daughters last moments, of how she begged for forgiveness, how she confessed her sins, how she told the Priest of her broken heart for having been torn from home and moved across the State so her dad could get a better job.

The scene faded from view, another began to appear, there he was, walking into the jail cell to check on the only prisoner, his very own uncle, whom he had arrested just hours before for domestic abuse. He pulled the door open, but his uncle was gone. He looked at the windows, there was no way anyone could escape their jail, as he stepped further into the cell, he caught a bit of movement from above to his right. As he turned his head, his drunken uncle jumped from atop the cage, kicking him in the head. He lay there as his mother’s brother kicked him repeatedly in the ribs, and head. He heard his partner come through the door; he heard the report of the revolver, as his partner fired to stop the assault. He felt again, his uncle’s blood spray over his face and the weight of the body as it fell on top of him, he could smell the blood, that sticky salty smell.

He looked down at the old .45, a bit of light glinted off the blue steel, so well cared for that it looked the same today as that day so long ago that his wife presented it to him on that happiest of all Christmases.

He was standing by the wreck, looking into the car where two women lay bleeding. The car was almost totally demolished, a drunk driver had struck it from behind with so much force it pushed it into a ditch where it impacted on a brick planter next to an insurance company. It took him a minute to see who the two in the car were, the car looked a bit familiar, but as he knelt down next to the driver, he discovered it was his sister-in-law, and mother-in-law. Feverishly he fought to keep the driver’s airway open, until the Ambulance could get there. It was no use, they were injured too badly.

The funeral’s flashed in his mind, there were so many. So many dead, so many calls, so much loss. It was too much for anyone to take, he knew that. It was just a matter of time. Even the Department knew that. He thought of the Department, how they first sent him to shrinks, and then when it did no good, they put him out to pasture. Some sort of stress disorder his paperwork said, but he knew. It was just too much death, to much violence, to much pain. It had to end.

He raised the barrel of the gun to his mouth, pushed it in, just an inch or so, until he felt it against the roof of his mouth. Then he put his thumb on the trigger, and as he began to apply pressure the doorbell rang.

He put down the gun, and got up from his recliner. His little dog barked as the doorbell rang again. He walked over to the door, and opened it. There stood two people, in long black coats. He knew who they were, Jehovah’s Witnesses, he could tell, as they had a Watchtower in one hand, a Bible in the other. Usually he sent them packing in quick time, but not today, today he invited them in. Today he offered them coffee. Today he actually talked to them, well listened would be a better word. Today he actually listened to them as they told him of the word of God. After an hour, they left.

Somehow, he felt a bit relieved by just having contact with people again. He hadn’t spoken to another person for over two weeks now. He put his gun back in the holster up on the top shelf of the closet. Then changed into his old blue jeans and walked out to the garage where he loaded the fishing poles into the back of his beat up old pickup truck, then drove out to Millers Lake to try his hand at ice fishing again.

As he sat there on his bucket, he said a silent prayer to God that the ghosts of the past would leave him alone, at least for a little while.

Jerry 11-24-2001 23:14

Howard - Just wondering, how can a student tell weather they are passing a class if they are not graded?

How can they tell if they are successful, or failing?

How can they bring home a report card with PRIDE and show mom and dad that they brought that C up to an A?

How can they tell if they are in fact intelligent, gifted, or stupid as a rock? Really they have to know these things. Don't they?

Just wondering.

Teekay - sorry about that, A&E is the Arts and Entertainment network, they show good old series such as Murder She Wrote, also have the program Biography, which examines the lives of famous and some not so famous folks of here and now, and yesterday. Lots of good stuff, sorry you aren't lucky enough to pick it up down there.

Jerry 11-24-2001 21:04


Hi all you Doody Howser's (Don't ask me, it just sounded good :-D )

Well I rushed back here because I knew t'would be time for the new look work book to be up, and I can tell you, I was shocked! Shocked I say, to find that t'was not.

I could go on in this vein for quite some time,bore me, and probably all else, get up JACK's nose no end, but I have my hands full getting up hubby's nose and nagging him silly- and there are only so many hours in a day.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I hope all is well with you JACK.

MARY: What absolutely gorgeous photos. I especially like the one 'Twas the night before Christmas'.
The kids are adorable.

HOWARD: Yes please, I would love that recipe. Actually, I'd love it more if you cooked the beans and sent them up, but that's not likely to happen, is it.
Is it?

HEATHER: That reminds me, weren't you going to send a recipe for something? I can't remember what it was but it was supossed to be delicious, and easy, I think.

KEN: You sound a lot like me. I too am of the philosophy, 'if it is there, and if it is edible - eat it.'
'Faeries Dream' is an interesting title. If it were in a book store I'd pick it up and give it the once over.

RANDALL: HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA by golly, if you weren't already married.........

OYSTER: I was almost overcome when I read the word 'report'. I was whisked back to those horrid old schooldays of red pens and 'C's' and ....., well, I'm not telling what else :-D.
Gave me quite a turn you did.
One memorable thing I did learn from school was what the word facaetious meant. My teacher was always telling me not to be it, one day I got curious enough to look it up.
Come to think of it, I can't quite recall what it does mean.
Okay, I'll change that to:
One memorable thing I did learn from school was how to spell facaetious :-D
BTW: What are BK's ?

TINA: Thanks for the poem. I never read a poem unless someone actually puts one in front of me. It's beautiful.
I'm curious about your 'Blue Skies' comment at the bottom though. Was that in reference to the poem, or the weather you're having?

JERRY: Thanks for the info on S.K. when I read it I ran around the house like a chook with it's head cut off. Can't tell you how excited I was - until I realised I don't know what A&E is (except accident and emergency at the hospital, and I didn't think that was it), and probably don't get it anyway. *sniff*
It was a huge comedown!

HOWARD: Gret pome. Said wit a Scorttish??? accent it's gret foon, trae et ef'n ye well.

LITTER: Sorry. :-) Mah Scorttish es only lemeted tae wha' Oi've read in berks end frem lestnen tae Belly Connelly.
No disrespect intended, I love the Scottish accent. I also loved teh idea of Scotland - until you set me straight :-).
Who was it said ignorance is bliss.
Such a wise man. I've actually thought about it, and it's true.

HOWARD & LITTER: If the poem was meant to be read in an English accent, then I implore you forgive me and igmore my post.
Actually, it might be an idea to ignore it anyway.
For tis Sunday here, and soon the full moon will be upon us, and you know what that all means,

CHERI: Welcome to you.

Okay, that's all the catching up I'm doing, my fingers are beginning to blister - again.

I was reading the papers this morning and saw J. K. Rawlings new old house *sigh*, just glorious. Apparently she's worth something like $20 000,000:00!! Wouldn't you just spew at all the tax you had to pay?!

I came to the conclusion (as I cleaned the drool from the paper) that one can not write and hope to get rich from it. The love of writing has to be the important thing, writing for writings sake, and come what may.
There, I almost inspired myself.

Okay, now the moment you've all been waiting for *SNORT*. Chapter 9 is put to bed (as we're wont to say in the journalistic world) (Hey! I've seen Superman too you know) and chapter 10 is now in the process of coming into the world.
At this stage the birthing pangs are not too bad.
I knew you were all desperately waiting to hear.

Be well and be writey.

Teekay 11-24-2001 19:47

VIV -- There's a school in Rochester NY (about 200 miles from here) that's trying to do away with the standard grading system now. I haven't heard too much about it lately (maybe Mel knows more about it), but last I heard they were getting close to an agreement on it.

I won't post it here, because I'm submitting it to a magazine, but I have a recipe that my mother wrote as a birthday present for my #3 daughter a few years ago. Andria wanted gram's bean recipe, but gram always "just made them," and didn't have a recipe. So she wrote this down as a poem and gave it to Andria, and now the whole family uses it to make the most delicious "baked beans" (they're not really baked at all, except for special occasions) I ever tasted.
If anyone wants a copy I'll send it via Email. Just don't tell my mom where you got it :-)

howard 11-24-2001 16:56

Hi guys! Picture time again. These are my kids' Christmas pictures for this year.

Take care.

Hi Litter...long time no hear.

Mary My kids 11-24-2001 15:13

Allein: There is so much half done stuff around here that I'm beginning to feel half-baked. I'm scrambling fast but not keeping up.

Oyster: Glad you told your daughter that grades aren't the big deal that learning is. I think grades are the worst way every invented to mark progress.

Randall: I'm coming to your town to live when we retire. Write a book on that town so I can escape there now and then. I'm surrounded by Judge Jailmalls and Deputy Dewights. I'd love to find a bottle of rootbeer just lying in the street waiting for my tire! Good shot! It'd be worth the suit cleaning alone and I'd definitely pay for that cleaning. I'd make sure I took it to the cleaners for him as well. That would give me time to loose a few stitches in the seat of the pants. Not enough to show, but just enough that by the end of the day he'd look like Peter Cotton tail. Good for you and I'm glad there's still a man willing to live in a cardboard box and fry catfish under Pecan Bayou bridge. I can imagine how God laughs when he gets out his horn and blows his song of revenge!

There are men with courage enough to live differently. What a relief! Sometimes I think that is the deal with the homeless in Tokyo. They've just decided enough black suit, ride the train to work and back to a ratty little apartment. A box is just as good, and sometimes a great deal better. I like the idea of someone with enough space to blow away on a horn. I especially like that he got the after church brunch snooties! Write on please!

viv 11-24-2001 14:04

That isn't a problem (I mean with the pies). Those pies represented your very best Thanksgiving celebration. The best of the best and you ENJOYED them. Stop feeling guilty and start feeling happy. You gave yourself a well needed treat! Thanksgiving is a time to feel THANKFUL, not Guilty!
Did you make them yourself?

Viv 11-24-2001 13:49

"Faeries Dream" is going well, six more pages down. And the pies didn't make it to Thanksgiving. I seem to have a problem, if they are there I will eat them. Hope everyone had a good holiday.

ken 11-24-2001 12:46


11-24-2001 7:05

Oyster - Thanks. :) I'm glad you liked the drawings.

Allein Peachick's Gallery 11-24-2001 1:29



Ran into Red Britches a couple of days ago at the courthouse. He is a local legend, a Texas character if you will. Red dropped out of the mainstream of life decades ago. Then dropped a couple more levels till he he puts it, "A level of responsible inconformability...!" Whatever that means. Understanding Red's life style is difficult, he is either operating on levels we don't know or can't see or have failed to reach or left behind. If there are evolutionary levels of intellectual growth it's difficult to figure out just which end Red is on. If any.

To wit...I walked out of the County Clerks' office after having my vehicle registration renewed for a year. As I hurried past Judge Jailemall's office, I heard a lot of shouting inside. Red and the good judge were going at it. Understandable because the judge and I don't see eye to eye on anything either. The only reason I was even walking by his office was the other exit was being painted and therefore closed. Judge Jailemall and Chief Deputy Dewright seem, and I must give them the benefit of the doubt, to be intent on making my life a veritable hell on earth.

Take the incident last week. I was driving peacefully through town ... and yes I saw the judge standing on the courthouse curb awaiting the light ... and yes I noted that some malefactor had tossed a partially full bottle of root beer into the street. Honestly, some people have no respect for the law. In fact, as I pointed out to the highly agitated judge minutes later, I did try to miss the bottle. I really did. That I accidentally, with any forethought or malice in mind hit it square on was not intentional. I patiently explained that it was not my fault the plastic bottle exploded as the tire passed over it and it was just bad luck that the contents ended up on his suit. And no, I felt that having his suit cleaned was not my responsibility.

Moving on. Taking a few moments to relax and sit on the courthouse steps, Red soon joined me. He was fuming.

"Took my horn away!"

"Again?" I replied, knowing Red and his bugle or horn was inseparable. He is quite adapt at it and no one, and I mean no one can blow Reveille quite with as much feeling or velocity as Red. It has caused him some amount of distress. Simply because, if Red doesn't like you, say you tossed him out of the cafe because he "forgot" his wallet, be prepared for a lengthy mealtime serenade, during the peak time of the day. I said he can play Reveille very well, but that's about the limit. To hear him attempt one of his favorites, say BLUE MOON has been equated to a herd of wet hogs tangled in an electric fence.

Sure it's a form of intimidation and payoff, but Red is such a character he usually gets away with it. That is until the celebrated Walls of Jericho episode. Red had been ousted from his customary summer retreat, which is under the bridge over the Pecan Bayou. It seems the owner of a nearby trendy restaurant found his cardboard shanty unsightly. Add to that the sight of Red lounging under a pecan tree frying catfish he had recently pulled from the bayou was not exactly the image the owner wanted to cultivate. Most especially in full view of a patio full of youthful yuppies eating white fish, Brussels sprouts and potato de la cream at $18.50 a plate proved too much for the owner. A phone call, Red was evicted and peace returned to the bayou.

Not quite. And as Jay Leno will readily admit, timing is everything

The following Sunday the church crowd began to enter the cafe parking lot. To the consternation of most, a robed figure was observed striding forcefully from the wilderness of the Pecan Bayou, blowing a horn. The appearance was just what the sermon in one church covered that day. Joshua coming from the desert blowing a horn to collapse the walls of Jericho. Hair wildly disarrayed, robes swinging in the breeze, horn screeching Red began to circle the parking lot. He made one full circle and cars were backing up into the highway. At the second pass, gentlemen in suits, ladies in hi tone dresses and kids in knickers had abandoned their cars and were moving away from the cafe. At the third pass Texas Highway Patrol cars screeched to a stop but couldn't get to the site because the 4-lane highway was blocked both directions. Scrambling through the crowd the troopers emerged just in time to see an enraged cafe owner tackle Red from behind. Which was a real shame because someone said he was doing a bang up good job on the theme from HIGH NOON. Greatly confused the law officers converging on the scene arrested both Red and the owner.

"Are you gonna get it back Red?" I asked after hearing his tale.

He grinned evilly at me. "I got more than one horn young man!"

I want to thank you guys for allowing me to post my absurdities.


randall 11-23-2001 21:53

Man, am I ever losing it today!

My head is spinning with fatigue and overload, but I just had to pop back and say thanks to Allein for the wonderful animated-to-be-art! Wonderful!

My poor daughter came home and cried over her report card. It was not what she expected and her friends were bragging on theirs. I had hints this was coming, since this year's teacher is still on practicum. (I kid thee not!)

And Daughter came home to no trees, too!

Then we browsed Allein's webpage together and she cheered up.

A budding artist ... D. was crushed that her mark in art was not as high as her mark in music.

Allein, your webpage did the trick, thank you! Ooing and Awing at your lovely drawings, Daughter left the room feeling much, much better. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see her drawing later on today. If she ever forgives herself for a mere 'b' in art!

Oyster 11-23-2001 19:26

Howard: Thanks for that quote from Mice and Men. I enjoyed that little gem.

Tina: Also thanks for Tennyson! I like the part about the metor's. Did you get to see the "storm" in the Leonids? I couldn't because it was cloudy this year. Some year I'd like to see that from a small aircraft. I hear it's not going to happen again for the next 30 years but I don't believe it. I've seen three such "storms" here since I came. Each time I heard all kinds of people saying it wasn't going to happen again for another 20-30-40-50-60 years. Now I'm skeptical about that. Next year around October I'll keep my ear to the ground and look up at the sky and hopefully it won't be cloudy or I'll be near a small aircraft that can lift me above those clouds. It'd be worth the price just to go up and fly around watching those metors. In fact, I'd love to jump OUT of the plane and join them (with a parachute on my back!) Can you jump at night? Can you imagine the feeling!

Cheri: I hear you about turkey and family being a bit much when you have to work the next day. As far as writing editing time, I get up like Heather, but it does make me tired. I loose it a lot. Some days I just get so tired I can't read, write or think. Other days it flows easily. I hate the tired days. It's so frustrating. I keep thinking, "if I didn't have to work on everything else so much!!!!"

Hope you get a free fifteen minute break where you can look out on something really interesting or pretty.

Viv 11-23-2001 19:10


My turkey day went well. I love turkey. :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 11-23-2001 17:26

Oh Goody, free feedback, thanks Tina! I stayed up until 3 a.m. (up at 7 with the kids) and am currently listening to a power saw that is taking down 3 huge, drain killing poplars in the backyard. That was AFTER the city came and looked down the drains. That was after *shudder* ... gasp $500 dollars in plumber's bills.

The ends will not meet overlap anytime soon. Being broke and in debt ... if Sparkle Hayter can live off her AMX at the Chelsea Hotel, we can certainly ... find some creative financing over The Holidays.

Thanks Jerry, for the reminder of Stephen King. I actually remembered from this board he was on so I did watch the bio last night. I am as prolific as King. Maybe not as prodigious, but definitely prolific. I currently have six finished novels, 45 short stories and nowhere to send them. That's in between my gracious gift of editing and ghosting ... which is NOT helping us financially. The pay sucks!

My BK's are 9 and 11 (oh lordy, isn't that a coinky-dink, and they act like it too!). I have paid my dues, Christi, I lose a mother and sister (who left me money) and wrote through all that while working two jobs.

And y'know Jerry thanks for bringing up Steve's biography on A&E. I liked this one better than the last one. After reading Tabitha King's books, I realized there isn't just one talented writer there, there's two!

Spousie sat down and watched it with me. We were both great King fans when younger. I read King's work for the characterization and settings, plots and fine literary talent. Spousie *Wicked Grin* LIKED the horror.

But Spousie, upon seeing how the Kings started, began to feel graciously grateful and hopeful. SMILING BIG now. Spousie has be bemoaning my 'little vacation' and now, seeing the abject poverty the Kings suffered through, realizes we got it much better!

I got one of my gal-pals headin' over to bend my ear.

Glad to see you back, Tina. And Cheri, hang in, about 7 and 9, my kids left me alone for more than an hour. More on juggling parenting, writing and pro bono counselling with a touch of Heather-type work, later!

Oyster 11-23-2001 16:48

Read the fourth line of the poem below as
'The fire-fly wakens: waken THOU with me.'

Tina 11-23-2001 15:12

Lurking, lurking, lurking Tina

Hi Oyster!
It’s quite a shock to meet a character whom you never actually thought up, isn’t it? They just walk onto the page, via your fingertips, and proceed to do whatever they please.
I didn’t know that S. Day did that. How on earth did he get that through? I’m guessing he did it while no one was ‘looking’, but I’m still shocked that he got away with it.
As for reading a ‘pearl’, I’m always willing. Just e-mail me and tell me what kind of feedback you’re after.

Hi Cheri! When I was working full time, I used my lunch break as writing time, and my bus ride. Like Heather, I also write until silly hours of the night after my hubby is asleep. I don’t have kids, though, so that makes it different.

Litter, hi you! About computer woes… I have a very lightweight foam bat that I use to pound on my monitor whenever it p$%#*&’s me off. Pointless, I know, but it feels good. ;o)

Christi, ((HUGS))

Heather, I so wish I could whip off that much in one sitting. (sigh)
The happy news is that ‘Daniel’ is done – I just need to type it out – and ‘Freeborn’ is getting closer and closer and closer… I’ll e-mail you ‘Daniel’ as soon as it’s typed.

Allein, I’m almost done the latest chapters…

Howard, no one else has claimed your 'Hiero' books, so I'll send them off to you. It may be awhile, what with the mail moving at Christmas slug speed.

I’m still choked that Stockwell Day got that book banned. I just don’t understand the blind arrogance that leads anyone to think they have the moral right to make that kind of judgement. It boils my blood…

Here's a short poem I recently read, by Tennyson. I liked it enough to dog-ear the page :oP

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The fire-fly wakens: waken though with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

I think, wow.
Blue Skies!

Tina 11-23-2001 15:10

Speaking of writing, I haven't done a lot lately. Seems I need someone cracking the whip. I can whip out a story in nothing flat if there is a place to put it. I should do a hell of a lot more writing then I have been doing, as I have nothing much to do with my time then tinker with computers and write. Oh sure there are the visit's to moms for cards, and playing computer games against the wife over the network. There are the bits of yard work and such that I can still do, and enjoy. In fact I was so full of energy the other day that I installed a switch to turn on and off the power to our outdoor outlet, the one we plug the outfits in when winter comes (should it ever get here, weatherman says tomorrow it will come) that allows us to turn on the Christmas lights at will, and shut them off without much trouble. Took me about an hour longer then it would have before I got hurt, but I got it done none-the-less. Now when I walk past that switch, I feel the pride of accomplishment, almost as good as writing a good story, well almost anyhow.

Jack, we need the workbook.

Jerry 11-23-2001 1:33


Jerry 11-23-2001 0:03

Yes, it is "Of Mice and Men," from a line in "To A Mouse," a poem by none other than Robert Burns. To be exact, it's from verse 7 of the poem, as follows:

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain
The best-laid schemes o' mice an’ men
Gang aft agley
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain
For promis'd joy!

Thus endeth the literature lesson for the day. :-)

howard 11-22-2001 23:37

Cheri - I find time to write by either staying up 'past my bedtime', or getting up early, before the rest of the house is up. I used to stay up half the night, getting little sleep just to get in my writing time, but I found I was too 'out of it' lately, and I have a son with me at home who knocked me over the head with his lego invention last week, saying, "Mom, you fell asleep sitting up!"

So I knew something in my schedule had to change drastically. I need more sleep so I'm not so out of it between 8 and 10 am, before the coffee I've intravenously injected starts working. Yeah, man, I've been mainlining my Sanka, dude. *Guffaw*

I have two children, ages 9 and 4. I have a husband who works alternating shifts - one week he's on dayshift, the next he's on afternoons - 3:30 pm until 2 am. I work a few hours each evening, but only the weekdays when my husband is on the dayshift. I also work for about 4 hours every weekend, cleaning offices. I don't work as much as a lot of moms have to, and for that I am ultimately grateful.
I would like the ends to meet with a little more 'overlap', if you know what I mean...
Anyhow, I was going to work after tucking my kids into bed with my husband on the weeks he's home, and then scooting off to work for a few hours. Then I'd come home and fire up the computer, many times writing until 3 or 4 am. Then I'd get up and do it all over again until Saturday mornings, when nothing short of calamity would stir me before 1 pm! That wasted a lot of time when we could do family things together, but there was still Saturday afternoon, at the very least. We fit in our family outings and games and so forth wherever we could.

Now I've made a start at getting up at 5 am each weekday morning, and writing until the rest of the family gets up. I have yet to do so on a work night, but I can tell you now I won't be waiting to go to work until after the kids are in bed. I want to get there, do my 'run' and get home to tuck them in, if it's possible. I'll be too tired to be much later than that, and I still need some time alone with my husband - other than at 7 am. Anyhow, so far so good. I love writing when it's dark out, so getting up that early still affords me the dark cover of night! And, wow, it's been so long since I've seen the sun rising instead of setting. I'm actually enjoying it!

I never thought I would, me - a bonafide, forever nighthawk.
We'll see what happens come the weekends!

Anyhow, Cheri, that's how I manage it. I usually get 1000 words written per sitting, including edits, but now that I'm not getting more tired as my writing time progresses, I find I've whipped off 1500 words per sitting, edits and all.
I really want to keep this up!

Bright-eyed and with tale,

Heather 11-22-2001 22:26

Hello again!

I really didn't think I'd get a chance to drop in again so soon.

Funny thing about titles, I sometimes get a title and then come up with ideas for a story. The most recent one is "The White Stones". I have the basis for it, but the big problem is time to work on it. I wish I could do as Oyster does, but, alas,(too many commas?) a four and six year old don't come with off buttons. Neither does a husband. I don't even want to think about housework, jobs, ...aaargh!!!
How the *beeeep* do any of you find the time to write????

Now I'm getting frustrated and I really need to go to bed. I have to work tomorrow. Next year I think I schedule off for the friday after Thanksgiving!!!! It was a good one, but I definitely had too much food and maybe a little too much of the family.

Hope everyone has a good night...hope the kids don't wake me too many times tonight!!

See ya!


Cheri 11-22-2001 21:43

Hi All,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my colonial (oops!) friends…

Had Thanksgiving here in sunny (?) Scotland for the first time! Sister, brother-in-law and their kids from New Mexico were here on a visit, feeling kinda out of things away from home, so we had a semi-tradionalish Thanksgiving for them here. – Strange, eating turkey and stuff with a whole month yet ‘til Christmas!

Very sick computer for a whole bunch of days. Now it works but I want to pummel it into oblivion for all the crap it put me through for the last few days *&$%$&*%&^!!!

Rhoda – the email fairy has been.

May you all have the joy that comes with faith and/or herbal rememdies.


Litter 11-22-2001 19:11

Pssst! Cool!

I knew something I didn't know before... :oP

Heather 11-22-2001 18:28

Pssst...HEATHER---You got it!

Not Mary ;-) 11-22-2001 15:39

From Stephen King's recent book 'Hearts In Atlantis':
Bobby Garfield "got an A-Plus on a paper in which he compared Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' to Golding's 'Lord of the Flies'.

A quote: "people needed a beast to hunt. They found a Ralph or a Piggy or a big stupid hulk of a Lennie and then they turned into low men."

OK, that's it for me....promise!!!

Mary 11-22-2001 15:38

Mary - I just got ICQ again, under the name Hexagon, if you want to authorize me and we can chat there again sometimes.
I still remember your icq name! I'll see about sending an authorization your way...

Heather 11-22-2001 15:36

And every day is thanksgiving! *blush*

Heather 11-22-2001 15:32

But Mary, nobody has been able to remember where the title came from! So don't worry. And very interesting fact - I didn't know the original title of 'OMAM'. Definitely doesn't have much ring to it at all!
You know, that's a book I found just as wonderful in movie form.

Heather 11-22-2001 15:31

Just realized that Canadian Thanksgiving is on a different day than US Thanksgiving. Still...I don't take it back, Heather!! ;-)

Mary 11-22-2001 15:31

No, no, I haven't quit yet.

Howard, just wanted to tell you that I thought ghost gym was hilarious!

I guess Phatasium is where we each exercised our capacity to scare, just like I do at the real gym!

Heather 11-22-2001 15:27

Well geez. By the time I hit post a whole bunch of you guys already gave the answer. Now I feel like a real dope.

Hi HEATHER!!!! Big hugs to you and Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Mary 11-22-2001 15:23

HOWARD: I don't think I will win your extra credit points but I would guess 'Of Mice and Men'. I might be able to garner some of your favor by knowing that the original title of OMAM was 'Something That Happened'. Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? Big hugs and Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary 11-22-2001 15:22

Oh, one more thing before I go...

Can't use Phantasm instead of Phantasium - 'Phantasm' was a horror flick from the late 80's. You know, the one with the guy who threw this deadly silver ball, and it had blades in it... something like that. I never saw the film. Probably a wise decision. :o)

Heather 11-22-2001 15:19

Thanks everyone, for the feedback on the title of the ghost stories collection.

So many people like both.

*throwing hands up in the air*


Heather 11-22-2001 15:17

Um, I'm really terrible at remembering to post my email addy. It's linked now.

Heather 11-22-2001 15:15

GARIESS - yes, "Of Mice and Men" is another (perhaps the only other) title, but where did it come from? Litter would know, but he, alas, is preoccupied elsewhere.

howard 11-22-2001 15:15

Oyster - I'd love to read your 'pearl'. I am very busy, but slam it home into my email inbox and I promise to read it when I have a chance.
Don't worry about my eyes, Mary! I love editing, actually. Oh, no, now I've given it away... I am a 'strangeling'!

I love coming up with titles too. Hi to Christi and everyone! Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

I have to run - - - off, off and away, away to do mundane chores.

Gariess - 'Of mice and men' was lifted - you're right... and I can't remember the source either. I think my mom knows.

Heather 11-22-2001 15:12

On titles, I love making them up, but I don't know if anyone would consider them good or not. I don't really enjoy the toughies, but when they just come it's fantastic!

Christi 11-22-2001 14:20

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, AMERICA! Hope your day is filled with family or friends and food, though not too much of either. Hahaha. There's so much I'm thankful for I can't even begin to list them all. Let's just say I'm as thankful as hell! Hugs all around!

Hey, G! Thanks for the laugh!

Oyster, I'm glad to have made you smile. You usually do the same for me. :) All you really have to do to obtain a reader is put the offer out there (or rather a 'request', but it helps to make rather a big production of it :)), telling what you need read and would anyone like to take you up on it. There are a lot of story lovers here and usually someone will read it, unless everyone's inundated with ... you know, stuff. Then you just send it to thier mailbox as an attachment and viola!
The Workbook used to serve us well in this manner; we posted stories and obtained feedback from whomever felt like critiquing. Hopefully it will be open again in the near future.

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams,

Christi 11-22-2001 14:18

"Of mice and men" was lifted. I just don't remember what from.

gariess 11-22-2001 14:09


I agree. We should have more Aussies in here. Aussies raise the spirit quotient considerably; witness Teekay and the sadly missed, Hayden Grayell. Even McLaren, if that's the kind of spirit you welcome. Sip, sip, glug, glug. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, Floor!

gariess 11-22-2001 14:04

Christi: Thanks for putting a smile on my face! This 'voice' I've 'found' shows up more in my writing, than in my speaking. It drives people wild when they meet me.

I can stay silent for hours, and frequently do! Usually when my fingers are madly flying across the keyboard and my mind is in my writing. Everything 'outside' ceases to exist. Period.

Bringing up two gifted kids helps one find a voice. Epsecially helpful in dealing with major distractions, and catastrophes, humour is essential and company comes, regarldess of whether I want it or not. To speak, whether and discuss, is expected. My family 'of choice', with it's myriad needs for an 'active ear' is benfitting from all those years I was a play therapist. Always with the questions! Always with the conversations! Always with the adventures! And they drag home their friends' parents, too! Privacy and solitude are now commodities I cherish for a few moments a day only.

There are days when I want everyone in the world to shut up and leave me alone. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen any time soon! So when I need to write, I hide in my office downstairs beside the laundry room and turn on classical music to tune out the sound of the doorbell and shut off the ringer on the downstairs phone.

I've noted Bragg's Book, and will have to read it. Just finished "Corpse de Ballet" by ...Argh! I can't remember her 'real' name! Fiona Hill was her pen name as a Romance Writer. Now she's switched to mysteries. This particular author actually writes about the process of writing from a 'privileged perspective' while 'solving' a mysterious death in a ballet company. Since I love dance but have two left feet (and left arms) I was vicariously soaking up the ambience of a fictional dance company while laughing at the author's lead character's ability to procrastinate on writing a romance novel.

Who hasn't found 'other things' to do instead of sitting down and finishing a chapter or a story!? Mea culpa. Yet, as "Hill" points out in her book, she becomes immersed and surprised by her characters' own will to do what they 'will' when she does sit down and let the writing flow.

Writing is easy and hard at the same time, requires research as well as creativity, this author points out. I've discovered once I start writing, the characters evolve of their own volition and I'm left blinking. Had I meant to write those scenes and settings? Uh, no. But they're not bad, not bad at all! I can hardly wait to see what those characters get up to next!

Next to Andrew Greeley's "God Game" I don't think I've found a book that really describes how characters emerge out of thin air and take up residence in my computer! Soemtimes it spooks me out ... big time!

"Corpse de Ballet" suprised me with it's insight into the 'creativity' of writing a novel. It's worth a read for the underlying themes.

My fiction has been published. I fell prey to something early in my discovery of the joy of writing that gave me an extreme distrust of 'willing readers'. In both cases, my unfinished short stories ended up in U Literary Magazines, with different titles, endings and someone else's name! One I fought, one I let go.

Since I was busy with two other careers at the time, and writing non-fiction was a large part of one, while the other paid the bills, I simply took this as a sign that my 'hobby writing' (as my family called it) was not worth persuing, since it was not a 'secure job'. Our family motto was 'strive and secure that good government job'. The talented in our family (writers and musicians both) kept at their 'hobbies' but certainly were never supported in any 'non-real job'.

Needless to say, I left my 'hobby' on the back burner for my own personal pleasure, despite the good-natured nagging from writing and non-writing friends to put the stories 'out there'. This good-natured nagging has now become rather insistent. So the last few years I've started paying a little more attention to it.

Over the last few decades, I've gradually 'found' my fiction voice. Doing a bit of 'ghosting' for established writers (who sometimes even pay!) I've slowly come to recognize much more than writing "Engineering Techniques for Dummies", or "The Dynamics of Learning Modalities in Non-Structured Play Venues." I like having a hand in creating a novel, or polishing a short story. I've discovered, despite my prejudices to the contrary not all readers and editors are work theives! By and large, writers are not flakey artistes, either! That myth was taught to me as a child.

Most writers I know hold down a minimum of two careers, sometimes one of them is even writing!

On the topic of endings ... I still have trouble creating one that satisfies me. I'm learning to ask for help, ideas, suggestions and not struggle through it on my own.

On the topic of titles ... I use the old standard of journalism. Catch attention first, then validate. Or not (hehehehe).

Oh, and Mary? One of our provinicial politicians, a man named Stockwell Day had Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" banned in Alberta. No one is quite sure why, but I was fortunate to read it (and savour the title) before moving to Alberta. By the time Mr. Day and his book-censuring ilk got to the Legistlature with their list of 'bad books' it was too late.

A trick a friend uses to find her titles is to take a particularly strong theme in one line of her book or story and hits the Thesaurus on her word-pro program. She has Wordperfect 5.1 and an excellent (and sometimes funny) thesaurus. So far her titles have been used as her work is published, so maybe that could work?

But if Phantasium is, as I suspect, a collection of Sci-fi ... I'm not all that sure the current Sci-Fi terms are in any thesaurus, except maybe

Thanks for including me, folks. I see the engines are revving, and I have a question.

If one of my pearls is ready for a 'read' ... how would I get it to one of you folks?


Oyster 11-22-2001 12:47

Heather: I like 13 and I like Phantasium. Why not Phantasium 13? Sounds more like science fiction so you could add a subtitle concerning ghosts. Just an idea and I can't come up with the subtitle...wouldn't you know.

Bed for now. I'm doing your routine Heather. Only I have to drive to work starting out at 5:30AM. So now I take the laptop and type in the car during traffic jams. Atsugi gives me about a half an hour of writing time. I'm driving because I'm toting all the kid's workbooks and science experiments back and forth. Too much to carry.

Viv 11-22-2001 9:12

Welcome Cheri! You sound like a nice addition to the notebook! You are as busy as the rest of us but still enjoy writing!

Heather: Please don't bother with my request for that editing right now. I didn't count on "P" taking off at the same time. You've got to have worn out your eyeballs enough for now. Just set that bit of mine aside and say, that's not priority right now.

I'm having to do some priority making myself.
Allein: You are priority now. I'm getting it done tomorrow and we have the translations almost done. I'll be on top of Hana. Two more weeks until the big test but she can use the practice. I will head it all your way very soon plus the box I want to send you. I'm real real slow but I have a string around my finger.

Viv 11-22-2001 9:06

There's only one thing I hate more than trying to find the perfect title for a story... And that's trying to figure out the perfect ending

taylor 11-22-2001 8:44

Happy Thanksgiving to all you people who celebrate it... I'm not one of them.

In Teekays absence, I feel as if I'm the only Aussie... We need to get more Aussies in here.

I am having one of my short stories read by an IR(Ideal Reader) See where that leads... It is a ghostie, but well the ghost doesn't come until late

taylor 11-22-2001 8:42

...and "Phantasium" is not all that preposterous a word, either -- a litteral translation might be "where the ghosts work out."

howard 11-22-2001 8:41

Titles? Yes, very hard to do. I've come up with a couple that have stuck with me, and that someday I'd like to affix to a book of my own. Have you noticed that at least two of the four cited titles were inspired by a line from another work?

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" was from a poem by John Donne.

A virtual "cuppa" to the first who can cite at least one other!

howard 11-22-2001 8:39

I would rather have my propositions NOT dangling, thank you very much. guys crack me up sometimes.


Re: Titles for the new anthology

Legendary 13 sounds like a spaghetti western title to me. I personally liked Phantasium best even if it is a made-up word. Phantasm is better, but not very electrifying. Makes me think of David Copperfield. (the magician, not literary reference) Personally I suck at titles, but I know a good one when I hear it from somebody else.

My list of Good Titles would include "Of Mice and Men", "Flowers for Algernon", "The Color Purple" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Those are excellent titles representative of the content and symbolism found in the work. Easier said than done. I haven't pulled it off even once yet. HEATHER: You have all my best wishes aimed in your direction because I do NOT envy you your job on this project. All that editing. Sheesh. Making my eyes hurt just imagining YOU doing it.

Happy Thanksgiving you all!

Mary 11-21-2001 23:25

AMERICO and HEATHER - I've been unable to find an 0nline copy of that article, but it's in the Fall 2001 issue of Intercollegiate Review (see the following from their web site)
The Fall 2001 issue of the Intercollegiate Review is now available, offering a rich assortment of scholarship and opinion. The lead article by National Humanities Medal winner Louise Cowan calls upon us to return to the classics, those works of literature or poiesis that have "selected themselves" into the canon by their own intrinsic excellence.
You can get to the site at and request a free copy of the publication. I'm not sure if they'll send it outside the USA.

howard Link 11-21-2001 20:42

Christi again

ArGH! I hate it when I'm gung ho with my writing and dying for someone to talk to and nobody's here! Where are you all???

CONGRATULATIONS, RHODA!!!!!!!!!! Paid or not paid, it's going on your resume! For a start it's great! And those editors don't need to know that you didn't get paid. Good job! You should've told us.

Vicky, In one of my writer's books (I think it's in an article in Writer's Market 2001) it says that the average writer (and these are the figures for published writers in writer's associations) only makes 5,000 a year, not even close to enough to live on. Writers (for the most part) love writing for writing itself; it's not the moneymaker most people think it is. Hope that helps.

Mark, Wish you wanted to stay, but if you don't that's your prerogative. You'll have noticed that the NB has its ups and downs and if you weather the downs, the ups can be mind-blowing. It was nice to see you, even if you seemed a bit surly, mister. :) (Really, I'm kidding!)

Ken, Boy are you ever right about 'day jobs.' Disgusting to the core. :) Good luck on that. I'm having 'pie envy' at the moment.

Congratulations to Rachel and everyone involved in 'Shadows!' That must be a great feeling.

Americo, I cherished my extra kiss. It's in my pocket for safekeeping.

Randall, I'd love to see one of your stories in the collection. (Maybe even more than one???)

Oyster, You hardly seem the shy retiring type! Your 'voice' is quite fun and clever. I really enjoy your posts. Keep going with the fiction--you seem like you have a lot to say. (BTW, have you ever read "All Over but the Shoutin?' It's written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg and it's as amazing as anything I've ever read. I thought of you because you were a journalist.)

Oh, I nearly forgot. TINA! Don't give up on us! We're just starting to rev our engines again.

Hey Taylor, Gariess, Allein, Mel, Sasq, Viv, and Howard and Jon! So good to see all the gang ... except for TEEKAY!!!!!! Miss ya, girl. Hiya to ANYONE I may have missed.

Christi 11-21-2001 20:15

Thanks Heather and Mel for the salutations.

Our server went down and I went through on-line withdrawal ... ugh! Flip side is I'm getting used to the wordpro program on this computer, too. I can even (fingers crossed here) cut n'paste into the email box (I think? I hope!) which will save a lot of postage some day.

I ain't giving up just yet. I may be a lot of things, but quitter ain't one of them! So I dropped the J. and am going with Oyster.

My calendar says tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day (U.S.A.) so Thanksgiving greetings to all who hail from parts south of Canuck-land. May you not have to Phone The Turkey Alert Line anytime tomorrow.

One of the most difficult things I've had to do with my writing is learn to write spontaneously. This particular skill I've been practising 'on-line' ... couched in *Wicked Grin* anonymity. A private and slightly introverted person by nature (and nurture), it's been a very difficult thing for me to find a 'voice' that allows me to say anything that isn't warranted and backed by reference lists, resources or 'expert' opinions!

Having 'collaborated' on Tech Manuals, written Policies and Procedures ad nauseum and a few other 'corporate' roles my employers along the way felt would 'enhance' my job description(s) and thus would warrant a pay step increase, it's been an uphill journey for me to not wince when I catch myself even using the word 'I'.

Writing fiction saved my life at various different times, and my sanity, too. More so than writing freelance newspaper articles under a male by-line, and watching the carefully crafted articles edited to fit into a small space between an advertisement and a picture.

I did not laugh at the time, but I do now at my editor's sincere but blunt words. "No, don't simplify the articles, that's my job. You just keep writing the way you are. Maybe one day I'll have the space to print a whole one. We're not a community newspaper, you know. We're in this business to make money."

Needless to say, journalism was not a primary career choice! At 25 cents a word (and usually ony 50 were published) I wasn't going to be eating on those wages!


Oyster 11-21-2001 17:01

Heather on the title, I too like both, but I think the Legendary 13 would grab me by the neck should I walk by a book display.

Mel, I guess I never thought of the morbidity of laughing at the death of a 90 year old lady farmer, but then I was a cop for 18 years, and I guess that sort of thing just grows on a person. At times when one sees things that make your stomach turn, gets your dander up, pushes chills up and down your spine, it is helpful to make fun of it. I think almost every cop who has ever put on a badge has after a few years developed a morbid sense of humor. It is easier, I guess to joke about these things then to cry about them.

Jerry 11-21-2001 14:49


I think you're the one who went to Ithaca, I never did. My stepfather played against the team, however. He had a totally different jingle that remarked upon the smell from Cornell. I just totally made up the Haiku.


gariess 11-21-2001 14:21


Okay, I've just poked in and read the top few posts, but I've got to put my input into the title debate.

Heather, I think the Legendary Thirteen is an AWESOME title, and tho it may sound presumptuous to some, I say whatever it takes to make a title jump off the shelf and into a reader's hands! I used to worry about seeming egotistical, but I've realized that to go somewhere with your writing you have to say 'to hell with worrying about ego!!!!!!!' Just my thoughts. :) I did like 'Phantasium' too, but either title will need a blurb below telling what's inside; in any case, I'll be happy with whichever is picked.

Thank you, Heather, for your work on this project and the work that you surely will do. I'd like to volunteer for any grunt work you might need help with, as time allows. I'm sure it would be a good learning process. :)

Hello and welcome to Cheri! I think you'll like it here!

Hiya to everyone! I'll catch up with the rest of the posts later.

Christi 11-21-2001 12:50


I wanted you to know that I agree with MEL. I have thought from the strart that your PHANTASIUM was an excellent title. Just because some literary snobs mentioned that it was not really a word doesn't mean it couldn't become a word. It looks and sounds spooky. Excellent qualifications for the title of a book about Ghosts. Just use a subtitle that explains that it is a book of ghostly short stories. You can be sure there won't be other books with the same title.

Although we understand, others might think it odd to sit laughing in front of the news about a poor old lady that had just died of anthrax. :^D It's so much fun to pick on you. Please don't get mad and make me quit.
Congrats on your son's coming nuptials. (I really shouldn't use words I can't spell.)

Welcome. The Notebook has been the best Muse Kicker I have ever found.

Just read your post to MARK. I thought you said you needed help with a dangling proposition. A lot more interesting than what you really said.

Gotta Go now.

Rosemary 11-21-2001 12:18

Sent you the intro, Jerry. :o)

Mel - mornin'! I too, like Phantasium as the title, but it was a draw between that and Legendary 13. It has a lot to do with the legends behind the number 13, though as Howard mentioned, it sounds as though we, as writers, are being presumptuous - that our work will be legendary... etc.
I suppose we'll leave the title thing up in the air for a while longer; might have to leave it to a vote later.

Got my 1,000 words written again this morning!
I think this schedule change will work - not just because it's better for the family timing, but because I am, strangely enough, feeling just as ready to write at that time as I do at night. In fact, as far as editing goes, I'm not doing that right at the end of the night, getting more and more tired as I progress. Now I'm more and more awake, catching goofs in my writing from the beginning of the day.
Fingers crossed that I can keep this up!

Where is everybody? I guess you're all shining up your houses for the U.S. Thanksgiving?
Makes me kinda glad we had Thanksgiving last month. Need all the time I can get to polish the house for Christmas!

Earlier and earlier,

Heather 11-21-2001 12:04

Watching CNN this morning, and this fellow who was reporting from Conn. where that 90 year old lady died of Anthrax said the following: "Of course there is a lot of wild livestock in the area." Now I have seen some pretty wild cows in my day, but never heard of them being called "wild livestock", it brings to mind a great open area with wild cows running to and fro. Maybe in Australia, where I understand there are wild cows. Anyhow it just struck me as being funny, in fact I laughed out loud, something I don't do much anymore when watching the news.

On a brighter note, our son will be getting married the end of this month.

Jerry 11-21-2001 11:39


G'Mornin', writing friends! :-) Just a brief "hiya" - I'm home today to prepare for a holiday feast tomorrow - lots to do and that little time-gnome just isn't cooperating! He keeps carting the minutes off in his wheelbarrow faster than I can find them! Wretched little man...

RHODA: Wow! Congrats on three published articles!!! That's GREAT!!! :-)

HEATHER: Not that I have submitted a story yet, but for what's it worth, I like the title "Phantasium" better! :-)

HOP: Thank you for encouraging words! :-) Same to you, buddy. Keep that pen a-moving! :-]

CHERI: Hi! Welcome! You sound like my kind of harried writer-mom-wife-working woman-person! 8-] Hang in there with the writing - I know from experience that muses die hard. And they'll prod you hardest when you have the least time for them, like when you're trying squeeze a week's worth of housecleaning before a big holiday into one teeny tiny day (soon to be only an afternoon, heh heh - oh dear! Where did that nasty little gnome go with my morning???!).

Gotta get scrubbing. EVERYONE: Have a wonderful day (and that means taking at least five minutes -- before Gnarly Gnome comes along with his wheelbarrow -- to WRITE something you've been wanting to write all week. I'll even try to take my own, maybe after the bathroom is shinier...


Mel 11-21-2001 10:57

I'm not going to be bothered adding in my ghost story for "Legendary 13" Did not think it was impressive enough... Looking back at it ewwwwww.

Is there a word limit for entries though?

taylor 11-21-2001 1:33

Heather, I would love to read the intro myself.

Jerry 11-20-2001 23:45

Howard - sent it on! Uh, I see why '13' might be preferrable... can I get back to the NB on that tomorrow? I'm heading off to bed at an insanely early hour.
Good reason: I have none left!


Welcome, Cheri. Sorry, I'm too exhaust-a-pooped to say much more at

well, now


Heather 11-20-2001 22:43

I've been reading your NB for about a week now and have finally been able to drop in and say HI. This is the first time I've "done this sort of thing"(haha).

I have always enjoyed writing, but the last writing I did that someone besides me read was in high school. Please don't ask how long ago that was...ugh! Between working full time, running a small side business and taking care of two young children and one husband(at times it seems like there's more than one) I wonder when I will ever write that novel/short story/article(anything!!).

I'm not going to post anything just yet, but did want all of you to know that I'm "lurking". It took me a bit to realize exactly what that meant.

Anyway, I love reading all of your posts and hope that my muse starts giving me a swift kick in the rear.

As someone here said once (I think it was Ken or Tim) "I think this NB is addictive.

Catch you later!!

Cheri L Veneziale 11-20-2001 22:04

...and yes. I'd like to see the intro!

howard 11-20-2001 21:43

HEATHER - Just a thought - why not simply "Thirteen" or even "13" ? "Legendary" seems a bit presumptuous, no?

howard 11-20-2001 21:41

During my study break a week before my exams I had to opportunity to go to an outdoor centre as an adult volunteer. My brother is only 8 you see and they needed a few parents for the school trip to the centre.

What happened? I was assigned to the repelling activity and for most of the day spent my time on a slope back against the tree unbuckling children from he repelling harness. By the end of it my feet were wobbly and I kept feeling like I should be falling over. The good news is I'm now a pro at climbing the repelling area with only a rope.

Has anyone ever tried becoming a character from one of your stories? Tried doing that in a chatroom and the results were interesting. No one liked him and the other regulars there didn't quite believe we were the same person.

Writing is hard. But keep doing it etc. etc. etc. (words of encouragement and wisdom which I don't really know but you can fill it in yourself)

Rachel, Allein, Americo and Jack
To have an article about Shadows! Very exciting. Wow. (I'm speech/wordless).

Barnabas "Hop" 11-20-2001 19:58

Vicki: What kind of writer? There are many ways to use your writing skills to earn money. Not everyone sits down and cranks out a Harry Potter, but writing comes in handy.

Ask your teacher if she wrote her classes, or simply follows a book. You'll be able to tell whether she's a good teacher by her answer. The good ones write their own classes. They are the types of teachers who can't be replaced. So practice your writing skills along with the computer skills. You won't regret it as you write your resume.

There are other reasons to write as well and MONEY is not always the measure of the worth of the skil. Teaching is another skill that in terms of hours and expectations is low paid. In teaching one will never get rich, in writing, it's a gamble! Sometimes a writer will really sell. All careers are enhanced by an ability to write. If you can't write, you sure can't create a resume. Don't get discouraged. If you like to write, there's a place for you in this world.

viv 11-20-2001 19:56

P.S. Howard - got 'Aunt Aggie'! THANK YOU! ;-D

Heather 11-20-2001 17:14


~I now have all of the short story submissions from Phantasium, now to be titled 'Legendary Thirteen', or LT*, and we will come out with thirteen authors if everything goes as it should.

~LT* will close as a project on December 20th, 2001.

~Email me any story submissions not previously submitted to the Workbook that you would like to have considered for inclusion in LT*.

~All editing suggestions are just that: Suggestions. Take 'em or leave 'em. The final condition of your stories is up to each of you, although with a perfectly polished collection, we better our chances for publication.

~Should you wish to polish/revise your story(ies) on your own, just let me know on the NB or email me, I'll gladly await the revised mss!

~I have the introduction for the Legendary Thirteen ghost story collection. If anyone should like to read it, I can email you a copy of it.

Thanks, everyone!

Heather 11-20-2001 17:11

Rhoda - Congrats on the articles! I had no idea you had some published. Even without pay, isn't it all worth it to see your words in print? Well, at least for a while...

Vikki, see Rhoda's posts. You will be reading the truth - painful and painful.
If a writer were to crank out an article a month for a major, highpaying magazine with an international circulation, you would probably soak up somewhere between five and ten thousand dollars per year - but ONLY if you were a regularly featured writer, and the magazines would have to pay $500 for each article. You can guess how many of those abound, or how stiff the competition is.
Now I'm sinking into depression. Where's my blue funk quiz?

Heather 11-20-2001 16:51


The real money is in painting houses or flipping burgers. If you want to pull a salary and not be a journalist, consider something other than writing.

Rhoda 11-20-2001 16:06


This year I have written three published articles for a magazine with a subscription base of about 500. I have written revisions on a novel I wrote and have started a new one. I would say that this year I earned...(I have to think real hard about this)...$0.00. Yeah, that's it. Not even another to file for income tax.

Rhoda 11-20-2001 16:04

Heather, does that mean that all my submissions were there? I sure hope so, as I don't seem to be able to find any more around here. Some of those I sent though had a bit of editing done on them, so you might wish to compare and see which version you like the best.

Jerry 11-20-2001 15:17

Oh, just come back, MARK,and tell me I've switched my hitchers and hikers and I'll be happy. :-]

Mel 11-20-2001 14:45

MARK, that was all for fun, I hope you realize. You are missed around here! Come on back, and tell me what to do with that dangling preposition! :-]

Mel 11-20-2001 14:12


Hi, KEN! I'm looking forward to more of "Faerie's Dream."

MARK: Spelling, grammar, and punctuation usually come easily for me. It's not so with everyone. That doesn't mean those with technical-writing difficulties have weaker muses. It does mean we can all learn from each other, especially when those who "CAN" will help teach those who "STRUGGLE."

I have been inspired here by everyone, even by gutsy muses who confuse paragraph construction with seventy-three-floors' worth of elevator shaft. Sometimes, you've got to look beyond the dents in the fender and realize the car still runs well enough to get you to your destination. And if a grateful hitchhiker enjoyed the tales you spun while driving and he offers you a $50, maybe you'd drive to the nearest body shop and bang that fender straight.

And the NB can only get better with more "hitchers" of various writing experience "hiking" rides. Come on back, Mark, and offer someone a $50 in writing advice, won't you? Someone's "fender" will really love you for it. :-)

Okay, at least come back long enough to make me drive into the ditch, won't you? My muse needs a good noseful of dirt now and then to make her see more clearly.

Mel 11-20-2001 14:07

Mark - I even left you a typo tidbit. Enjoy! *wink wink*

Heather 11-20-2001 13:41

Mark! Glad to hear I've been disappointing you regularly. I always knew I had a fan base. (!)
It's been quite a while since I read your piece, and forgive me, but I thought it unfinished. If you want it to stand as is, I'll be re-reading all the work and will take it as such when I select and so forth. Thanks for popping in again - missed you. And I liked Edgar. Would he spank me for using fragments in the stead of real, writerly sentences?
By the way, Star Office is rather nifty, and the CD held other gems as well! Thank you, Mark. I was born on the 13th, too; I've something of a fondness for the number.

Ken, good to see you back as well.

Well, the morning schedule has proved successful - at least for day 1. I wrote nearly 1,000 words; 1K is my daily minimum requirement, so I've about 150 words to go before checking off today as 'productive'. *deep sigh*

Carol - I know you're on vacation, but in case you drop in on the NB befire checking your email, I've added a scene to chapter 3, and augmented the one following it. I'm sending along the 'revised-revised' chapter. If you haven't critiqued the chapter 3 I had already sent, please go ahead (instead) on the most recent! Thank you. :o>

JACK - BIG THANK YOU TO YOU for sending me the file again - this time I was able to save it without a hitch. Now I've got every story submitted to Phantasium and I can now slump over in my chair with relief.
Thanks to all who have been searching frantically to find their ghost stories from the WB.

Americo - yours we must still locate! On your mark, get set...


Heather 11-20-2001 13:39

Hello all. I didn't dissappear. Just that I've been so busy trying to nail down one of those disgusting day jobs(you know, the paying type) here in the bowels of South Carolina, that I haven't had much time to cut on the computer. So I thought while I was sitting here enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie (oops I think my dear Cathy made those for tomorrow.) I thought 'd try to catch up. Maybe I'll have a chance to post some more of the "Faerie's Dream" tonight . Untill then, keep writing.

Ken 11-20-2001 13:11

"Mark will be #13 (IF he comes back and finishes the story - anybody have his email addy?)"

oooooohhh ... I like being #13. I was born on the 13th.

As for finishing. I rather like the idea of leaving my ghost with his sudden chill. He has experienced new feelings all along, mostly physical sensations. This chill is different, an emotional sensation. That physical part of the story, thus the short story, is over.
You're the editor, if it seems too incomplete, then don't use it. But I'm done with it.

Steven King's formula for horror is to paint a picture of something in near-perfect normalcy, then bit-by-bit, detail-by-detail, warp the whole environment into something threatening.
I prefer Alfred Hitchcock's flair for suspense: Make us realize something has to snap, then make us wait.

Muhammed's writing evoked Poe for me.

I'm kinda with Tina on the direction the NB has gone. I'm popping back in because Howard called here twice (yes, telephone, twice) to find out if I was OK. Yes and no. I'm pretty sure I won't be a regular here.
I was Edgar, the nasty nit-picker. I remain disappointed with the level of writing here, even in gossip and chit-chat, I expected a writers' group to understand spelling, grammar and punctuation. Gariess was always good about pointing out what people really said.

Jerry can't be held liable for his input because his cats have learned to type.

Mark 11-20-2001 11:56

I am doing a project in my computer skills class at school, and I have been trying to find out an estimated salary of a writer over the course of a year. Would anyone out there be able to help? I'd be very greatful if you could e-mail me with any figures.

Vikki Ollier Land of Glasswell 11-20-2001 10:40

I am doing a project in my computer skills class at school, and I have been trying to find out an estimated salary of a writer over the course of a year. Would anyone out there be able to help? I'd be very greatful if you could e-mail me with any figures.

Vikki Ollier Land of Glasswell 11-20-2001 10:40

I am doing a project in my computer skills class at school, and I have been trying to find out an estimated salary of a writer over the course of a year. Would anyone out there be able to help? I'd be very greatful if you could e-mail me with any figures.

Vikki Ollier Land of Glasswell 11-20-2001 10:40

Far so, so good


here before

is this what morning looks like?
First snow of the year too. I forgot

that mornings are so white-bright and retina-jabbing. But that was at 7 am
two hours

will I ever get used to this?

I'm smiling,
so it's possible.

Somebody once said that anything is possible. It was probably that 'Anonymous' guy. He's so prolific. *really awful AM humour*

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
"Make me one with everything."

Coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeee please help

Heather 11-20-2001 9:10


Hi everybody! :-)

JERRY: hee hee hee! That was a good 'un! :-]

HEATHER: GOOD LUCK with the early A.M. schedule! I'm still tryin' to do that too - it seems hit and miss at best. Drat! I write/read best too in the QUIET of the wee hours. There's something almost magical about the night when everyone who is usually noisy is asleep. :-) One can meditate, commune with the muse in deep solitude, open those silent doors to other worlds, and discover winged dreams unfurling, all in the slow tick tock of a moonglow.

When I was a teenager, I'd burn the candle deep into the night, writing, dreaming, tiptoe-ing through mental corridors bundled in the hush of night. I felt like I had a special privilege, awake while others slept, story-hunting by moonbeam and catching whispers of inspiration within the only hours of the clock that would feed me as nothing else could...

Whew! What did I have for breakfast? It seems not all my marbles are polished this morning - better go wake up the rest of me, reel in the muse before she steals my fettered time (later, dear muse, later!).

Hi, ALLEIN! I do like your website; your drawings are very well done. But all the ads I got trying to surf your site! Eek! They were a pain.

Hi, RANDALL! The treasure-story sounds intriguing! :-)

Hi, Oyster! Hi, Howard! Hi,Taylor, Americo, and Sasquatch!

Everybody else, time to REPORT IN! I need to know you're still out there! Give me hope! Give me strength! May your muses be block-free and running freely through the midnight meadows of your minds!!! :-]

And all who celebrate Thanksgiving this week, have a peace-filled, happy one! Feed your muse some bacon bread! Mmm...

Mel 11-20-2001 8:34

Hi, Allein! Cheering for you to find the perfect job... soon!

Randall - yes, please write a ghost story for P*.
And anyone else still wishing to write one for the collection, please do. If you are technically a newbie and haven't read the intro for the collection, I'll see if Jack has that so he can either post it on the NB, or send it to me and I can subsequently email it to you. It is getting very close to cut-off time for the project, so let's get workin'! (Of course, that's only if Jack has time and is willing to go hunting for it...)

Basic parameters are: Somewhere between two pages and fifteen or twenty (or so) in length, but remember, I'm not picky so long as the story's good. Put the word count on the mss if you like, estimate if you don't have the word count function on your processor. The stories must be about entities/ghosts/ghoulish things - I must have a hand-written copy of that intro SOMEWHERE... (*%)*&$*_#(%!

Still trying to open the files, Jack! I'll keep at it. :o/

Here is the list of Phantasium authors so far: (and you'll be on the list as soon as you write yours, Randall!)


(Randall makes 12)
Did I miss anybody?
If I did, just say so!

Mark will be #13 (IF he comes back and finishes the story - anybody have his email addy?)

Taylor - if you give that ghostie you wrote another go, I'll see about including it as well.

Remember folks, I may have to whittle some stories, so do not think of me as a heartless wanker. I may not include all of the stories you have submitted, if they aren't of the highest quality we can muster...(Okay, so think of me as a heartless wanker, if it will get you to polish, purify and prune!) ;oD
Once I have saved to disk all the submitted stories to P*, I will begin the editing process in earnest, and will communicate with each author individually by email during this stage. Each of you are responsible for the final, polished copy of each story that will be included. I'll give ample time to polish, but I would like to have everything finalized before Christmas, so I can start the new year with publisher research and submission of our collection! I know a month and a half (with Christmas holidays in the mix) seems short, but if each pulls his/her own weight, it can be accomplished!
So GET EXCITED friends!
We're getting there.

Saints and Sinners up next, film at 11.

Heather 11-20-2001 8:32

Hi all,
Not much going on here - still looking for a job. Updated my webpage - I've got a recent picture of me on the Coffee Clan webpage :)

Rachel - That's really cool about the interview! :) I really hope more people will read Shadows and we'll all get to do something like that. That would be sweet! How is Sebastian, btw?

Jon - I gave my whip to my brother, he needed to chase some pesky cats away. ;) J/k

Tina - We'll miss you!

All - Have a nice day. :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 11-20-2001 0:29


Greetings one and all!

Heather... No on the submission to "P". Have not that is. Hotmail is so slow I could not e-mail you my questions tonight. What are the guidelines? Word count? Etc... Are we working with a deadline and what would be the end result for "P"?

If you need a story I'll work something up. :-) Annnnnnnnnd I have just the plot in mind. Lost treasure watched over by vengeful ghosts..... The background for just such a tale is lurking inside me! I have recently re-read CORONADO'S CHILDREN by J. Frank Dobie. I said re-read because I have been reading Mr. Dobie's novels since I was a teenager. For the unaware Mr. Dobie writes, among other stories, tales of lost mines and buried treasures in the southwest. Another novel of his, APACHE GOLD AND YAQUI SILVER details the Treasure of all Treasures, the Lost Tayopa Mine complex in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Ah, sweet sweet dreams of raw gold and silver bars and opals and emeralds the size of hen eggs.........

One lost mine Mr. Dobie discusses at length is the Lost San Saba Mine. I was born in San Saba, at an early age, (grin) and the small town is just a few miles from where I live now. Jim Bowie, (yes, that Jim Bowie) and his brother Rezin were aware of the location. Supposedly, that is. A large party including the Bowie brothers were enroute to the mine site in 1832 when they were attacked by a large party of Native Americans. Clearly a case of racial bias and minority harassment. The battle site at Calf Creek, McCulloch County is about 40 miles from where I live now and was owned at one time by my grandmother's brother. The Bowie boys were forced to return to San Antonio and sadly Jim died in the Alamo in 1836. Bummer. There are stories of a waybill to the mine removed from Jim Bowie's body after the battle by a Mexican Officer. And if you go into any pool hall searching for the map, someone will no doubt sell you a genuine, guaranteed bloodstained map for a couple of bucks. :-)

BTW... (whispers) I have a TRUE map to Jean Laffitte's 10 Jack (mule) loads of pirate booty buried on the Gulf coast. I might be persuaded to take on partners for a small contribution? The map was passed on to me by an old priest who swiped the map from his mother's, brother's, gardener's, son-in-law's wife's, niece who needed a sex change operation. Interested????? American funds only. :-)))))))))))))))))))))))

As a young man I once dug for lost treasure, with my brother and grandfather. But the treasure proved elusive and only now do I understand that the REAL treasure was the interaction between a grandfather and two his two boys. A real tangible treasure...

Yes, I can work something up. Give me a few days Heather.

Working on the editing for the new book...Title: THE DUMBULL OF VINE STREET & OTHER STORIES.

Outta here, my dear

Randall Dandle

randall 11-19-2001 22:52

Tina - see what you have done, everyone is so much in shock at your leaving that the notebook has nearly died off.

Jerry 11-19-2001 21:44

Hey, Tim, are you lurking in the notebook? We're waiting for more on your excerpt! :o)

Okay. I'm making a major schedule change in my life - or will be making a determined attempt at any rate. I am going to start rising at 4:30 am like Hallee does, to write before the house awakes. I don't know how this will work with my job hours, obviously I'll be heading out much earlier than I used to; thank God for the flexibility I'm granted with it. I may need some morning sunshine - perhaps I'll start reading the posts from the previous night in the morning, to rise with a smile! I'm not a morning person, and never have been, but I'm basically getting very little sleep as it is, so I've got to rearrange something! At least it'll be dark out when I begin my daily writing - I'm not sure why I find this condition so condusive to creativity. Could it be the DARK SIDE in me? I used to paint at night as well, and also I get my in best reading under the moon.

Wish me luck!

Heather 11-19-2001 19:00

A retired cop friend just sent me this one, thought you might enjoy a bit of police humor.

A man was going up to bed, when his wife told him he'd left the light on in the garden shed - she could see it from the bedroom window. But he said that he hadn't been in the shed that day. He looked himself, and there were people in the shed, stealing things.

He rang the police, but they told him that no-one was in his area, so no-one was available to catch the thieves. He said ok, hung up, counted to

30 and rang the police again.

"Hello. I just rang you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed? Well, you don't have to worry about them now, I've just shot them all."

Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an Armed Response unit, the works. Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to this man: "I thought you said you'd shot them!"

He replied: "I thought you said there was no-one available!"

Jerry 11-19-2001 16:42

I care, J. Oyster. I've enjoyed the glimpses of pearlessense so far. :o>

Heather 11-19-2001 16:37

Thanks, Howard - yes, I did get Late for Supper and Annie! Sorry about that! It was the third one you wrote that I don't have! Please do send it. I'm also interested in that 'apologetic' you mentioned to Americo... Hmmm.

Jerry - thank you for sending on 'Black Hole'

Jack - I couldn't transfer the files into any readable format - I'm sorry! I'm not sure what format it was sent in, but I've got Corel 2000, Version 9. I can open any version of Corel, and I was able to transfer Howard's MSWord files without a problem. Could you re-send it in something compatable? I'll keep trying to transfer it myself, but so far no luck. Thank you, Jack.

Thank you Americo, for searching for your ghost story.
Give Jon a kiss, preferrably on the face.

And now to make a legible list of what ghosties I've already received so that I don't keep asking everyone for the same stories over and over!
Sorry about that. I'm panicking at the thought of losing any stories again, so what the heck, two copies are better'n one... so long as they're not in the same place!

Hi, J. Oyster, hey everyone. It's the darkest, rainiest day in a long time; seems the sun hasn't bothered to get out of bed - I wish I could crawl back into it. Ah, November.

Mohammad: I started to read your post, but found I began to get lost in the great burden of description somewhere around the middle. I found the imagery did not make the story any clearer. I did enjoy your writing voice, but perhaps the actual story might be better off with less 'clutter'.

Heather 11-19-2001 16:34

Just popping in with my daily TBI post.

I rather enjoyed Muhammed's links to various offerings. I found his literary style similar to Shauna Baldwin Singh's, with a touch or Rohinton Mistry ... who both published fairly well here in Canada. Shauna now resides in New Yuk, I believe, and writes more of women than older men.

In fact, my thanks to Muhammed for his timely appearance, gave me a whole new character to build a theme around. Could be another pearl in the making ... who knows ... who cares?

J. Oyster 11-19-2001 13:47

Jon cannot send any telegram today. He's busy making burqas new-style (just a little shorter on the ankles). I'll send you the ghost shortie soon (when I find it).

Classics would be welcome. Thanks.

And kisses to all the girls (two for Christi).

Americo 11-19-2001 13:43

Heather - Were those two stories in the bunch Jack found?

Jerry 11-19-2001 11:13

SASQUATCH! It's good to see you here again, and thanks for the encouragement. We "humans persons" all need it!

HEATHER -- I sent you "Supper" and "Annie" a couple of weeks ago, as MS Word attachments. I can send them again if you need them, and yes, there was "Aunt Aggie," do you need that one also?

TEEKAY - I hope you're just on vacation. Or do you call it "holiday" down there?

AMERICO - It's good to see you here again as well! I recently read an excellent apologetic for the Classics - if you're interested I'll see if I can locate an online copy.

TINA - Please don't stray long!

RANDALL -- You'd best be saving all those musings and anecdotes! Remember I'm in line for the first autographed copy that goes outside the family! :-)

howard 11-19-2001 8:40

Heather: I have passed along what I have of Phantasm. Hope it helps.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-19-2001 5:13

Sasquatch! Wonderful to hear from you. I am so glad to see that you have found hope to be on the other side of even the most horrendous of events. That's the way I see it too. Never before have I seen such solidarity among our neighbours. It is uplifting.

Heather 11-19-2001 4:54

Dear Jon

C-r-ack! My cat o' nine tails is 'rearing' its wild mane!
Saints and Sinners is to begin soon. But first: Let's start wrapping up 'Legendary 13'!
Everyone who contributed to P* PLEASE send me a copy of each ghost story if you haven't already! This is imperative; otherwise I have nothing to edit and nothing to submit to a publisher. Pitchfork 'em all over! (I've even included my email addy on this post) :o>

Jerry - keep looking for the Black Hole story, and the Woman in White; (And many thanks for the stories already sent)

Americo - would you have kept a copy of the story you posted in the NB for P*? I have started to look through the archives for it, but my eyes are about falling out.
Great to see you posting, too, dear heart. The article about Rachel and the group (Shadows in a Dream) was scintillating, and I felt so proud of you.

Rachel - do you have a copy of the ghostie you wrote? Congrats on being interviewed! WOW!
(Last time I was interviewed it was for a job...*snurgle*)

Teekay - I'll need 'One Red Shoe', and the many stories you wrote for P*! Blast it all, I could just smack my computer for crumbling, just before I could save all the stories to disk!

Mary - darned if I can remember the title of the story you wrote for P* - dang it was a creepy one, too! Have you found it on the harddrive yet? Hope so!

Mark - I realize I am probably writing to thin air, and you're a busy guy, but if you're lurking by chance, send me your ghostie, too. And finish it! (BTW, thanks for Star Office! You're getting a Christmas card whether you like it or not... I know where you live)

Randall - if you haven't written a ghost story for P* (Honestly, if you did I'm sure I'd remember) so get on it!

Howard - We'll be needing 'Late for Supper' and was the title 'Annie'? And didn't you write a third??? Send it on, please please please!

Christi, I know that you know that I know all about those three ghosties you wrote and I just know that you know that I am about to demand that they're headed my way, okay, huh huh?
(I'm confused too) :o?

Tina - We want Daniel, rah rah! Will you still finish it for the collection? I do hope so. I'm dying to know how it will end!

Viv - sorry, I haven't sent back the crit on the second short story... I haven't been able to decide how to go about editing it! It's a toughie.
Also, you know the areas you have highlighted in the Kappa story? Don't delete them yet! I think some of them should stay... I'll get to helping you edit it if you like!
I'll also be needing the Kappa Story (Urban Legends) for the collection!

Jack - any luck finding the Phantasium stories on hard drive or disk?

We need thirteen authors for the collection - otherwise it won't have quite the ring to it - you know, like Legendary Twelve? YUCK. C'mon, work those bratty, school shirkin' brains! Get them back to class! Phantoms in Creative Lit 13. It's a new one.
I'm crackin' the whip - and don't think I have any immunity! I'm closest to the whip and I will probably get a number of side-swipes and impetago after-burner.

Pass the Poly-Sporin Ointment!
Give over those bandaids!
I broke a tail.

Okay, and for today's news on writing (inspired by Tina)

I've gone past the 40 K mark and hit 41,600 words. I know, not a big hurrah since the 40K, but still something to spank your lover over! Uh, pardon. Apologies from the ill-contained Dominatrix in me.

Naughty naughty.

That gets me thinking about S&S, not just S&M!
Saints and Sinners, everyone. Don't sit the fence. Write from both sides.

Thank you to everyone for sending what you have found so far from our Phantasium adventures. Let's hope it's a complete journey!

Please excuse my disjointedness, I'm feeling rather


Creak creak.

Now who did I miss?
Forgive me!

Heather 11-19-2001 4:51

Been awhile since your last sighting Sasquatch... Thought you might have only been a hoax... (lol)
Great thoughts there... But don't let it be too long before your next sighting ok

Teekay is still MIA... We may have to send out a search party for her
Let us know you're ok Teekay

taylor 11-19-2001 0:27

tina person i sasquatch will miss you if you do not come to this place. i too am enjoying your tales of leaping from the air plane. for all my friends here in this place i sasquatch have felt for a time since the bad times at the tall houses that there is a hopelessness as you say. this was truly a terrible time and it was felt at many places in this creation but the spirit of you humans persons is not broken and we creatures can sense that it is being strong and stronger. for a time there was a confused time and not knowing the direction but we feel that is in changing and begins again to move. do you not feel the spirit of the one to be a strength again? i sasquatch feel that what we have waited for is beginning to be. there is still a sadness there but also is the feeling of coming together again and overcoming the evil which attacks all of creatures in this. i sasquatch feel again hope. do not leave this place for long friend. i must go.

sasquatch 11-18-2001 22:42


Good Evening, everybody!

RANDALL: Your cousin has a brilliant idea, methinks! :-] I may be ready very soon to join her special forces! Life is making me crazy!!!

GS: Nice Haiku. Was it a gal or just the city that drew you there to Ithaca? :-)

CHRISTI: We also have a gazillion neighborhood squirrels - I could have smacked two of them today with the car as they just sat in the road till I was practically on them (I did slow down!) and one couldn't decide which way was best to run...crazy creatures!

TINA: Hope you're still lurking to read this. I add my voice to everyone else's: don't give in to lurkdom! I know this site sometimes gets "chatty" but that's part of our writers' lives too. For me, I have felt great inspiration and support in just getting to know some other writers through here, whether we're talking writing or other things. It helps me SO MUCH to know that other writers are "out there" and knowing you're all only a few keystrokes away... And when we DO talk writing, my spirit SOARS, maybe akin to your skydiving adventures. I lurk sometimes too, but the best input for my lazy distractable muse is to keep tuning in here in an active way. I hope you'll stay close and keep us posted on your writing--and other--endeavors. And dare I say by JANUARY I should be ready to do some reading/critique-ing for you! Let's start the New Year right! :-]

As for writing inspirations, I've re-subscribed to Writer's Digest after a few years' break; they've just listed 365 days' worth of writing exercises/inspiration for 2002. I'm gonna need some of those for those blue-green funk days, of which of late I seem to have had more than my share! 8-x

I'm now retiring to the upper loft where my pillow--and story brainstorming--await(s) me. Pleasant dreams, everyone! ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Mel 11-18-2001 21:49


Tina.....DON'T GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, if you do, return some day. I left for several months till Teekay and I believe (?) Rhoda e-mailed me to return. Said they needed a standard to judge their work by. :-) Course they never indicated which end of the scale they wanted me!!!!!!! :-)

And I admit that sometimes this site resembles an immense e-mail clearing house. Writing is frustrating. Perhaps we need a site to discuss inane situations (as my posts indicate!) relieve stress, win friends across the world and just maybe, maybe influence someone who will take a seed sown here and make it flower.

My cousin sent me this today. File it under FYI, perhaps.

"Here is a good idea that a friend sent to me, and I believe it will work.

Take all American women who are within five years of menopause - train us for a few weeks, outfit us with automatic weapons, grenades, gas masks, moisturizer with SPF15, Prozac, hormones, chocolate, and canned tuna -
drop us (parachuted, preferably) across the landscape of Afghanistan, and let us do what comes naturally.

Think about it. Our anger quotient alone, even when doing standard stuff like grocery shopping and paying bills, is formidable enough to make even armed men in turbans tremble.

We've had our children, we would gladly suffer or die to protect them and their future. We'd like to get away from our husbands, if they haven't left already. And for those of us who are single, the prospect of finding a good man with whom to share life is about as likely as being struck by lightning. We have nothing to lose.

We've survived the water diet, the protein diet, the carbohydrate diet, and the grapefruit diet in gyms and saunas across America and never lost a pound. We can easily survive months in the hostile terrain of Afghanistan with no food at all!

We've spent years tracking down our husbands or lovers in bars, hardware stores, or sporting events. . . finding bin Laden in some cave will be no problem.

Uniting all the warring tribes of Afghanistan in a new government? Oh, please . . . we've planned the seating arrangements for in-laws and extended families at Thanksgiving dinners for years . . . we understand
tribal warfare.

Between us, we've divorced enough husbands to know every trick there is for how they hide, launder, or cover up bank accounts and money sources. We know how to find that money and we know how to seize it . . . with or without the government's help!

Let us go and fight. The Taliban hates women. Imagine their terror as we crawl like ants with hot-flashes over their godforsaken terrain."

Neat huh!


randall 11-18-2001 20:02

MOHAMMUD - Welcome! I wasn't sure what to make of your note until I saw that you had posted here also.

GARIESS -- Coyotes are active here also. I was watching the meteor storm this morning at around 2:30 when the critters started yapping and howling all around our hill. It's eerie to be sure, and our dog didn't like it a bit. So far they haven't been too much of a nuisance this year, yet, but I'm sure they'll wear out their welcome soon. They started taking sheep and young stock last year, as well as quite a few cats.
The meteor shower was impressive (as all of God's creation is) and I tried to get a few pictures, but was not able to make the digital camera cooperate. I've had some success with 35mm, but thought this time I'd try digital. Back to the drawing board!

Howard 11-18-2001 19:34

Greetings All :)

I'm going to be having a very busy week, including going out of town for Thanksgiving. One of the great-aunts has traveled to Michigan from Georgia for Thanksgiving, bringing a couple of her children and grand-children. Because of that, there will be so many family members getting together, that we are holding Thanksgiving in the church basement facilities. I love seeing the "old-timers." I've finally gotten courage to ask them questions about their childhood. I so enjoy learning the tribulations they went through in settling this area of the country -- and finding the similarities of trying to survive life and find happiness. In discovering their stories, I not only get material for future writing, but I also find the courage and strength to accomplish my own goals and face my own adversities.

Needless to say, don't get worried if I'm not around much this week. I'll be learning and enjoying and jotting down notes. :)

I wish everyone a peaceful, love-filled holiday.

Rachel - thank you for sharing your article -- I learned a lot from it and have now placed "Shadow" at the top of my list of purchases. :)

Carol 11-18-2001 17:48


Thank you for your words of sympathy. I have at times regretted bowing out of the project, but despite that, I do think you folks did great without me and maybe my going away was the best thing. I bought a copy of SHADOWS and read it and as I was going through I saw where much of what I had added had not been very compatible. You, Rachel, Allein, and Jack did a great job and I am so very proud of you all for it.

The beginning days of the round robin were fun. I often wonder how it would have all turned out if all the original contributors had stuck with it.

Rhoda 11-18-2001 16:21

Well done, Rachel. Hope that your interview was just the first of a long series of exciting events for you and the other co-authors of S*, Allein and Jack. A word of sympathy also for Rhoda, who almost made it. And the sincere hope that the success of S* can be an incentive for all.

Tina, the NB is made of ups and downs, like one's life. I have been disappointed and excited with it many times myself. I think that the greatest poster of us all is a mysterious entity called Mr. Silence. He seems not to see or speak but he's as much present as the blue over the planet.

Heather, telegram from Jon:
"Ask that lady where her whip is."
(Jon has been reported dead 33 times in his young short life; he intends to stop at 50).

Americo 11-18-2001 16:06


I see by your post that though English is not your mother tongue, you do have much proficiency with it. I think what you now need to consider is how to better organize your thoughts. What you wrote did not make a whole lot of sense, because it was thrown at us in one long paragraph.

If you ever return to the Notebook, do tell us a little about yourself. Then step by step introduce us to your writing.

Glad you posted and welcome to the Notebook.


I understand your frustration, but I hope you will reconsider.

Rhoda 11-18-2001 15:55


Uh...hummmmmmmm, (sigh) gee... ah... well, shoot... Darn Jerry.... (pause) Wanna follow up that post from Albany? Heather, wanna take a shot? Rhoda, Teekay, Gariess? I'll have to cut and paste it one to 6.1, take a WAG (wild ass guess) and format some paragraphs in it. Reminds me of a post of mine from several weeks ago when I failed to format paras correctly. :-)

Kinda interesting though. I might invite our friend from Pakistan to join in the general manic madness On WN and stop being a Lurky Lurk. New material and fresh input is, I suspect, always welcome. :-) There are old writers, and bold writers, but no old, bold writers from Pakistan on here. Welcome pal.

Say Mr. Khan, :-) would you mind if I borrowed the salutation...Respected Editor? Really!? I've called them everything else, but never, oh no, (chuckle) never respected. :-) I can affirm that "Look, Pecker Wood..." will not garner a return letter. "Flat faced Old Biddy doesn't work either..." Perhaps "Respected Editor" might reveal a gentler, softer side to Randall's personality......


BTW... If there are mistakes in the post...not my fault. Having to type around the cat who is sitting in front of the monitor, pawing the keystrikes. Yes, we have a new addition, a young female cat. Wandered into the store last week on a rainy afternoon, wet and cold. Really shook up the dog clan when I brought her home that afternoon. Had to gather the fiercesome threesome up for a little one-on-one that first night as they viewed her as nothing less than as a brazen infidel interloper. At best. Worst case scenerios involved viewing her as Islama Bin Kit Kat with an AK-74, searching for a new tunnel. Within an hour of arrival she was standing INSIDE the dog food bowl chowing down as Bridget (Laso), Bubba (Silky Terrier) and Scooter (Chil.. ah, Chau... no, Chialuaha, forget it, small Mexican dog) stood aghast at the affront!

Bubba was showing a little lip and a lot of fang on the left, as Bridget growled savagely on the right. Scooter, the rookie of the clan, somewhat shakily, blocked her retreat. She responded by purring and ignoring them, indeed was fast asleep on Bubba's blanket an hour later.

Better go, Dallas Cowboys playing.


randall 11-18-2001 13:17

From: Muhammad Nasrullah Khan a href="">> Respected Editor, I am Pakistani writer; I am always in search of good literary magazines and personalities. My stories have been published on many good sites which you can read . My story Lifeless Life here on the website of Albany university: <> bvgftr54 view the third anniversery issue and then read the story; I have also written something interesting about Pakistan at the end. You can view my other story which has become popular here and Gabraiel Garcia has also made comments on it; it is In Hour of Death, it is written in response of Garcia's farewell letter to his readers. You can read it here: <> Click contents and then prose; and then "In Hour of Death" You can read another story " On the Way to Retreat at <> My Story Lost Doghood can be read at: (<>). I hope you will consider my story for publication; it will be great honor for me. Thanks. Sincerely, Muhammad Nasrullah Khan. Pakistan . CRIPPLED SOUL by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan I cannot believe what I have been witnessing. Isn't it ironic that those persons, that we try to put in the dark corner of our memory box, appear suddenly at that moment of life when we can't afford any burden of conscience? This unwanted appearance makes us more pathetic when we have convinced ourselves that whatever we did in our lives was not worthless; that the life we have spent was not so futile and absurd, as is the case with the majority. However, there is another court, in our internal self that gives its own verdict. Now we start suppressing that internal voice. We lull our conscience but, in spite of all of our firm efforts, it becomes more violent. Even sometimes it breaks its boundary, destroys our well-maintained external world, and leaves ridiculous imprints on our faces. Why has he appeared, at this moment of life, when I was about to forget him? How pitiful it is that in this one moment, only one moment amongst millions of moments, that it is going to erase all my efforts of thirty years! This pitiless one moment does not care about the hard work of uncountable sleepless nights. Isn't it miserable that one should spend thirty years of one's life to forget only one person? Isn't it funny that I am being sentimental while sitting with my granddaughter? How would she feel if I told her that that old man sitting under the dark shadow of night is causing a stirring in my heart? He is sitting with the same style of Socrates, lost somewhere, quite indifferent to his surroundings. I can recognize him among thousands, the same style of lighting his cigarette and inhaling it. The same style of folding one arm on his chest and the other moving slowly towards mouth, his eyes fixed on the distant horizon. The only difference is that shivering of his hands that now can be felt at a distance, and his white hair is more unkempt. Two strong images of his personality are still alive in my mind. Firstly, a lively young man with intelligent and sparkling eyes and sensual mouth with glorious exalted words. Secondly, an image of meditation; a man with graying hair, lost in the secret world of self, like the old, tired and despairing Sidhartha. How ambitious and full of life he was when, thirty years back, he started teaching. He had the natural talent for teaching. Moreover, his communicative style of teaching and exalted thoughts made him very successful while above all, he adopted this profession as a service, not as a job. He had studied extensively and had wonderful vision but all this was very embarrassing for other tamed and empty teachers. For them, the highest things were their grades and gray hairs. They had very clever and cunning brains, because they had been working hard, on these lines, for years. They would show themselves as wise and their little sayings and truths made them funnier. Their superficial and shallow wisdom was endangered by the presence of this young man, for there was something, which made him different from the others. This made others love or hate him extremely; there was no halfway in reaching him. The most irritating thing to others was that he never showed any reaction to the crazy attitude of people. It seemed as if he had overpowered those violent desires. The head of the department was a cruel, shrewd devil, who, with his favor and disfavor, could build or destroy the careers of newcomers. Though he had a doctorate in literature, he was good for nothing, merely a holy ghost. He compelled people to respect him, surviving by his mean authority. In short, there was everything except education and decency. Therefore, that intelligent young man became intolerable for them. His only flaw was that he had a good brain amongst brains that were mediocre. Why did I become jealous of him? I was ambitious for a secure and successful future and did not want to miss any chance of getting the favor of existing authorities. That was a very comfortable and easy way to reach the height, the only requirement was to please the monsters. Therefore, I did! All possible mean ways were adopted to force him to leave our wonderful heaven. Ultimately he left, silently, without even saying a word. His commitment to the profession and his intelligence could destroy us all. Therefore, before our destruction, we destroyed him. His departure made life smooth again and soon everybody forgot him. Lecturers became professors and professors were awarded with medals. I also earned a scholarship for higher studies, which would otherwise have gone to him. The peacock of a P.H.D was put on my head. My books on education and literature became part of every syllabus. I have come here to deliver my scholarly lecture. I shall tell people how I worked hard to educate the generations of my dear fatherland. My words will make them spellbound and then there will be much applause. In the pleasing sound of that clapping, I will forget this tormenting image. My ego will become stiff and proud but he has again appeared here, in a very concrete form. Before today, he was washed from my memory, but today he has appeared after thirty years. He is sitting in the dark and aloof place of this very old, city railway station; it was his favorite place then, too! I can see him lost in deep thoughts. What is he thinking? Yet, his thinking has not reached to the logical end. Except for me, nobody knows that this silent man's voice can move the statues; his thoughts can melt the frozen brains and his words can purify hearts. Alas! Nobody knows but one who has locked his tongue. A desire to talk to him, at least once, overwhelms me. Something inside me is pushing me towards him; something is quenched in me that wants to burst out but something equally strong is stopping my movement. I am like a person whose feet are chained but stormy air is pushing him forward. What can I do except fall? Yes, I am a fallen woman. Does he still remember me? I do remember once he said: "In this tiresome journey of life, sometimes somebody stops us to make us relaxed. He makes us laugh. We laugh so much that our eyes become wet, then suddenly that person says good bye because he has to go on his own journey, towards his own destined direction. In the beginning we remain lost, missing those heavenly moments, remembering everything about which we laughed. After a few days, we forget the thing, but we remember the laughter and wet eyes; after more days, we forget laughter but those wet eyes remain alive. Then time comes that we forget even those wet eyes. Alas! We die without even taking a bit of those cherished moments. Death cleans everything, while making its own memory. We fall down but life goes on to write more mortal tales with the same excitement. We see the disloyal life moving swiftly in the arms of somebody else, without even looking back to us. Before falling down, we try to make her remember her commitments, but our feeble voice can't even touch our own ears. We die to be forgotten forever. This is the total achievement of life. Our tiring long effort + death = absurdity. An awful nothingness! This is the result of life, for whose sake we go to the maximum extent of meanness; for whose sake we deceive our dear ones; for whose sake we suck the blood of our own species, and then suddenly we are deceived by this. At that moment we try to spit on it, spit which then returns to our own mouths." I want to meet that untamed solitary soul. I want to get rid of this tormenting burden of conscience but at the same time, something invulnerable and unburiable stops me, I know it is my false ego, which will never allow me do so. I know we so-called scholars are slaves of this ego for centuries. We will keep on killing such genius by the fatal poison of our suffocating mediocrity. Yes, I should move now, people are waiting for me; my lofty words are awaited there. Good luck to you, the burden of my soul. The End

Muhammad Nasrullah Khan 11-18-2001 11:54


Thanks so much for your post, as I learned more of the history of this whole site from the responses to your post than I did from going through the whole site bit by bit.

Rachel Congratulations on the interview. It sounds very much like some collaboration and interactive writing are taking place in Canada somewhere ... I have hope now.

Mary What used to happen on Thursdays?

Having 'ghost-written' for so long, I am slowly coming to the realization that promoting my own work, is a hard slog.

Joyce Carol Oates made Oprah's Book Club, though, and when she attempted to try out a 'literary name' to branch out in her style, she got 'caught'. I remember thinking at the time I heard the interview she did explaining 'why' she wrote under a literary name, that there is no privacy in writing anymore.

Gone are the days of O. Henry where writing sold itself on sheer quality of prose.

Or am I being too cynical?

Anyone else out there starting to feel like they have to become a 'celebrity' in order to sell their work?

J. Oyster 11-18-2001 11:40

Hop - Nice to see I'm missed (smiles to you). I'm doing just fine. Things have been busy. I'm glad to see you back around.

All - A couple of weeks ago I had an interview published in the local paper. Usually you would be able to go to the paper web site to check out the story. Trouble with that is the fellow who updates it is on vacation (grins). Anyway, I'll insert it here... Oh and any spelling mistakes are mine.

On-line collaboration leads to book

By Karen Mark

Rachel Olson spent a year working closely with three other authors to complete a novel.

They shared ideas and frustrations, blended visions and writing styles -- all without a face-to-face meeting. The result was Shadows in a Dream, a book written by e-mail under the pen name of John McIntyre.

"It certainly was an interesting process," said Olson, a Maple Ridge stay-at-home mom. "It was a way for people from all over the world to work together."

The project as initiated on an on-line writers' forum by Americo de Sousa, an award-winning Portuguese writer and university literature teacher. About 22 writers initially signed on, but the numbers dwindled to four as the workload increased. About four months into the project, Olson -- who had never published a book before -- became co-editor.

As can be expected, bringing together four authors to write a book was a complicated and lengthy process. The dependence on e-mail also had its challenges, what with different time zones and occasional server problems.

But although the manuscript took a year to complete, Olson said she enjoyed the experience of using writing as the only form of communication. "You have time to reflect -- and you can delete. You can't delete with conversations."

She and de Sousa did most of the writing for the book, with smaller contributions from the two other participants -- University of Montana psychology graduate and webpage designer Jack Beslanwitch, and Washington state highschool studen Heather Burgess.

Shadows in a Dream takes place during a weekend at New York's famous Chelsea Hotel. In the story, four writers who had only met on-line now meet in person and are able to compare their pre-conceptions with reality.

De Sousa gave the writers an outline and length and then set them loose, Olson said. "You had quite a lot of leeway. He was very flexible. As long as it could be brought back into the story he would allow it."

Despite caring for six children -- three of her own and three fostered -- Olson worked on the project almost every day. She said she often writes in her spiral notpad while watching the kids and then transcribes her work into the computer at night.

"You fit it in. If you love something, you find the time for it."

While doing her duty as co-editor, she monitored the other writers' work for bloated dialogue, redundencies, misue and abuse of language, grammar and consistence with the rest of the book.

"It was like a chess game. You had to watch the whole board," she said.

She quickly learned editing is a necessary but thankless job. "Nobody likes what you have to say when you're an editor. I would say that the 'Thank yous' are rare. Most of the time it was, at the very least, a ruffle."

When the manuscript was completed, Olson was in charge of finding a publisher. After sending query letters to 40 publishers, America House Book Publishers agreed to a publish-on-demand arrangement. While it increased the price of the book slightly, it also meant the writers didn't have to put up any financing. The book is avaliable online through Amozon and Barns Nobel.

Then it says (Please see BOOK, Page 32 -- The caption under the picture of me says 'Maple Ridge's Rachel Olson wrote a book with three authors she never met.

Writer overcame dyslexia as a child

BOOK From Page 29

It's the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort," she said. "It's almost like having a baby. It's got all the bumps and bruises. You watch it come from nothing and take shape."

Olson believes the project was successful largely because she and de sousa have the same work ethic, drive and love of literature.

"I've always told stories and written stories," said Olson, who overcame dyslexia as a child. "I think being a writer is just something you are."

Completely self-taught, she has written prolifically over the years and has many novels at different stages of completion. Two are completed and in need of a good editing, she said.

She has tried genres such as horror, poetry and science fction, but generally prefers to write about life and the human condition. Olson often employs a tongue-in-cheek style and enjoys using humour as a tool, but says her darker side does occasionally come through.

She is also an avid reader, devouring everything from classics to modern literature.

"You learn from every book you read, even if it's not good," she said. "I'm lucky, my son Sebastain likes to listen to me read. Right now he's listening to Don Quixote."

Having fulfilled a life-long dream to publish a book, Olson plans to pursue a degree in literature and perhaps even teach writing. And undoubtedly, there are more on-line writing projects in her future.

All - I wish I had more time to keep up with the NB. Know that I think of all of you often. Good thoughts and things to all of you.

Rachel 11-18-2001 11:17

Tina: The first half (Up to the sandwich) was a post meant just for you. I forgot to stick in your name I was so busy writing RATS.

Viv again 11-18-2001 6:59

Rats! Oh Rats! Tina, don't go! I enjoy reading your posts because you are kind, interesting, funny and positive. I like jumping out of airplanes with you.

I didn't know I should be critiquing the shorties. I'm not much good at critique. I'm still learning as my stories get critiqued what to do to get those stories to move along. The most recent thing I learned was to look in each paragraph for a repeat of ideas and words.

If you want to have me critique a story, please send it. I'm very slow because I work, teach my daughter, and keep the house clean and running. It sounds like a easy load, but somehow it doesn't work out that way.

Secret: After January 20th, I will be free for a few months and get really down because of the inactivity. Please please please send lots to me then.

Hang in there and lurk all you like. I get in lurk moods too. Especially when I'm working so hard I can't see straight.

Hey, you all: There's nothing to sharing a sandwich with a homeless person. No more than any other person in a park. You plop down beside them, bring out your sandwich. Say hello. Bring out your knife with the 8 inch blade. Open it. Say as they nervously eye your knife..."Would you like half. This is just too much for me." Cut it. Wipe off the blade of your knife. Fold it away and tuck it inside your napkin then hand them the other half. (Wrapped neatly in a napkin) It works like a charm. Most folks are scared to refuse. After that, you hand them some little packets of mayo and mustard. Ask a question and you have a nice time. You'll find folks really open up once you tuck your knife in the napkin and start eating. Sometimes I think it's pure relief. (It's untidy to tear a sandwich in half and often not equal)

(Allein, this works fine if you are a grandmotherly type. I am your archtypical little old lady with bifocals and boobs that hang around my stomach. YOU ARE TOO YOUNG to share your sandwich in the park. Ugly old ladies packing great big knives are fine.) So any ugly old ladies out there. Get yourself a sandwich and a knife and enjoy just about anyone on a park bench.

Viv 11-18-2001 6:58

Well I think the will to write how I want to write has come back... Woops almost forgot to use caps. LOL. Except, "Hope Bus"(A temporary title at the moment)Until the title pops up somewhere in the story, has kind of slowed so I could research certain things so I can give the characters 3D perspective.
I will keep you guys posted.

Thank you for your remarks Tina. I am sure the zing will come back soon.

Teekay, Teekay, Teekay...Where for art thou Teekay

taylor 11-18-2001 4:28

Tina, I'm going to miss seeing you here as often as you have been in the past, helping to power this ever onward-moving vehicle, but I'm glad to know that you'll still be running alongside, keeping your eye on the torque. I've learned a lot from you - especially how to see the world from above.

I'm so glad you chose to be part of the Legendary 13. Thank you, Tina. (Will 'Daniel' be in the collection?) And thank you for the pleasure of reading your work. I do hope you'll decide that the Notebook is far too addictive to stay away from for long! (((HUGS)))

And now for something completely the same:

Don't leave, Tina!

Heather 11-18-2001 3:03

Sorry we have disappointed you, so. Critique is very hard on the open page and I am not comfortable as a critiquer. I welcome more discussion of writing, myself. I sometimes pose questions and exercises but they are largely unanswered. The NB might be more of a hangout than a workplace, but it works for me either way.

Funny you should mention wildlife. I just watched some coverage of the coyote menace that is plaguing the inlanders in my state. We have them in my part, too, but there is too little sustaining habitat for them to establish a big enough population, here. That still didn't keep the wretched beasts from eating my cat six years ago. He was such a sweet kitty.
Poor Poki, he was not prepared for coyotes. They are extremely crafty hunters. He could always get up a tree if a dog chased him, but those coyotes lie in ambush. I couldn't believe those buggers. A neighbor was walking her little dog on a leash and this coyote jumped out of the bushes and scooped her pooch in a heartbeat and was gone.


gariess 11-18-2001 0:59

He lay perfectly still. His camouflage was so perfect that even when the enemy walked within inches of his body, they had no idea he was there.

At long last, his target appeared. Slowly he reached for the bolt of his Remington 700 BDL Sniper rifle, he lifted the bold handle, then drew it to the rear. Slow Ely, smoothly he slid the handle forward, the bolt stripped the next cartridge of 300 Winchester Magnum ammunition from the magazine, and guided it into the chamber of the deadly device.

He drew in a breath, let it half way out. The cross hairs on the Unertell telescopic sight were placed on the target's forehead, just above the bridge of the nose, below his turban. He began to squeeze the trigger, exerting an ever increasing pressure, until he felt the break and the firing pin of the rifle leapt forward, striking the large rifle magnum primer, igniting the Winchester Ball Powder causing the explosion that drove the one hundred and fifty five grain hollow point boat tail bullet forward at over three thousand feet per second.

The bullet found it's mark. In the telescopic sight, he could see the spray of blood from behind the target's head, as blood brain and bone sprayed onto the wall of the entrance to the cave.

All around him, terrorist were scrambling to find their rifles, he could hear someone fire, but the bullet impacted so far away from him that he was not worried.

"NOW!" he shouted into the boom microphone that was attached to his helmet, immediately he heard the WHAP WHAP WHAP of the helicopter blades, as a Cobra Gun ship, approached the cave, and blasted the entrance apart with it's rockets, a second Cobra followed the first, it's mini-gun spraying the many terrorists with a deadly hail of thirty caliber bullets, it fired so rapidly it was capable of placing one round in every square inch of an area the size of a football field in three seconds.

As the noise of the assault died away, the lone sniper rose from his hiding place, and began his slow walk back to friendly lines.

The beginning of my latest short story...

Jerry 11-17-2001 23:57

Tina, Hang in there, once the workbook is back, I think the zing will be back in the notebook. Jack has been busy of late, but I am sure he will soon have us back up and working on our writing again. I am sure that if you ask for critiques, there are those here who would be more then pleased to help out.

Jerry 11-17-2001 22:35



Is it just me, or does this place sadly lack the spark it used to have? Where are the discussions about writing? About books and authors, genre, style and voice and technique? What happened to writers supporting writers, reading each others work, offering opinions and advice and fair critique? It's great to keep up on what's happening in everyone's life, but not at the expense of discussing writing.

Mary, thank you for continuing short shortie Thursdays. They are the most valuable exercise, even if all we usually do is say, 'nice shortie!' to everyone without offering honest input. The challenge of writing them is the payoff.

To everyone who posts updates on how the writing goes, triumphs and setbacks, victories and slumps, thank you for that. It is a source of support to know that others go through the same kind of cycles and battles.

Jack, it's too bad that the workbook has not been resurrected. Without it and the feedback it generates, much of my reason for hanging out here is fading away. Thanks for this site, and for the forwriters site. The info and links there are sterling.

My offer stands to read work at any stage and give what feedback I can, for anybody who wants another set of eyes. Pure grammar and punctuation editing, structure, or general responses, I'll happily do what I can. Just e-mail me, anytime.

I've pretty much given up on getting more of my own story read around here, so I've been surfing in search of other sites that offer that. Most of them aren't as fun and personal, but I'll be able to get the feedback I so hugely need. Mary, Christi, and Heather, thanks for reading the first 150 pages. My learning curve went wild with your help. Mark, I don't know what ever happened, but thanks for the time you put in. Mel, I know you offered to read for me, when you can. I'd still be hugely appreciative. And my offer stands to read for you, when you're ready. Allein, keep sending me chapters! I'm working on the latest ones.

Viv, Teekay, Heather, Gariess, Howard, Jack, Rachel, Rhoda, Rosemary, Mary, Allein, Hop, Taylor, Mark, Sasquatch, Americo, Jerry, Deb, Mel, Randall, Christi, Carol, Deja, Litter, Eddie, Goodweed, Ben, (whew, I know I missed someone but I meant you too!) It's been great talking with you people, and getting to know you all while becoming friends. I've learned a tonne through all of you in this place. I'll still be lurking here (after all, it's kinda addictive), but I just won’t be around as much.

Oh yeah, Teekay, did you ever mail 'Contact'? And I have Howard's 'Hiero' books. If anyone else wants to read them, e-mail me with your address. Otherwise, I'll send them back to Howard.


Tina 11-17-2001 21:53

A few months ago, I got this GREAT deal on ebay. A 20 GIG hard drive for just $25.00. The fellow who was selling it said it was noisy but worked fine. Well I got it and put it right in. I didn't hear any noise, and was so happy with my new large hard drive. (I replaced a 3 gig). Anyhow, a couple of nights later I noticed that my wife quit watching TV with me at night. When I asked why, she said that my computer was making this horrible noise and she could only take it for an hour or so, then had to leave.

I didn't hear anything yet, but since the seller said it was noisy I figured that was it. I tried everything to make it quieter, I put it in different cases, wrapped it in foam rubber, mounted it sideways, mounted it upside down, nothing seemed to quiet it down. The wife said it was OK, but I knew it bothered her, so I tried to shut it down whenever there was a tv show she liked. Today when we got back from mom's card game, I figured that there was this one case sitting in the back room that I had never tried, so tore everything all apart, and put it in this other case. I worked sort of but since it was a tower case, I had a heck of a time getting everything set up so I could have access. Then, when I finally got everything arranged so I could get to it, the stupid computer quit. Completely, nothing, KAPUTT!

I was fit to be tied, this is my living room computer by my recliner. The one I use to write with, the one I access the notebook with.

Well, I figured, it worked when it was in the old case, so I reversed everything I did earlier. Not an easy task, and by the time I was done, I was dripping with sweat. I finally got everything back were it was, and hit the switch....

Nothing. Kaput!

Took off the cover, pulled the processor, and replaced it with an old CYREX (UCCCH) and turned it on, it powered up and ran! At half the speed I was running it at, but run it did.

Then I got to thinking, maybe if I put the old chip back in, and wonder of wonders, IT RAN!

One of these days I will learn to keep my hands off things when they are working, oh by the way, for some reason the hard drive is quiet again?

The only thing hurt was the index finger on my right hand, I cut it open on the jagged edge of the case when I was putting it away. Lots of blood, but a band aid seems to have stopped the bleeding, and I can still type with it, so no harm done.

Jerry 11-17-2001 21:07

Oh, wildlife. Rosemary, ditto on the skunks. We've had a bunch in the area this year. A few weeks ago, the Humane Society was capturing a sick one in the neighbourhood while we were walking by, on our way home from picking up my daughter from school. P.UUUUUUUUUU! That skunk sprayed the woman from the H Society a few times - you should have seen the face on her! We were across the street and you just knew she'd be sending out for truckloads of tomato juice for a week at least. Nasty.
Other wildlife, though it seems strange in the city, we get wild rabbits, and they like to munch on my tulips! Grrrr.
If only they knew how much work I do in the fall to have a beautiful bulb garden each spring... maybe they'd eat my lilies instead. They grow back even if you plow them down continuously, play soccer on them, bury them in sand and flood them out. I should have thought of planting lilies in the problem areas in the front yard, but I don't think my neighbours would like lilies sprouting from the cracks in their driveway. :o)
Other wild animals that often can be seen on my deck, eating from 'locked' garbage cans - racoons. This year we also had a visit from a family of geese, babies in tow and all; they walked down the hill by the house and went right into the back yard, on towards the river, but got stuck in the yard since it's all fenced, and they didn't want to go backwards away from their destination to get out. It took us some coaxing and about half an hour of throwing bread crumbs to the side of the house where they could 'escape' before they took the right route, and waddled away down the street. They turned the corner and made it to the river!
Very cute. Took some pictures, too.
We also get a lot of deer, a friend of mine had a baby deer in his care for a while, the mother was hit and killed on the road. Lots of ducks and bluejays, and we get a number of cardinals nesting around here. There are a lot of mountain ash trees in the area, so we also get cedar waxwings. Gold finches seem to 'pooh pooh' us personally, and snub us from the neighbours house, so we do get to see them. We see a lot of bats too, circling the yard in warm weather. There are always families with baby squirrels here, too, which we feed nuts and seeds from the deck railing, hopefully next year they will be friendly enough with us that we can hand-feed them. We were pretty close this year. We've also had a few badgers in the area (there's forest not far from here) that the Humane Society caught because someone was bitten.
There's a water fowl park near here too, that we are members of, and you can go and see all sorts of birds and deer there. The deer are the same family line, and each year there are about ten babies, and then those yearlings come back as well. Watch out for swans, though, they're nasty biters!

I think I've gone on long enough about wildlife here - haven't seen any moose around, though. :o)

Back to the book.

Heather 11-17-2001 20:12

Hello, Writers all,

Just got my computer back again!! The fan that was replaced a week and a half ago was bad. I took my computer back and three days later got it back (again). When I hooked it up, the monotor wouldn't come on. Sheeesh! Took it back again, (just the cpu) and their monotor worked just fine. This repair place is about 30 miles away from home so I decided it was time to find someone closer. Took the whole system to a nearer-by repair place and for no charge they showed me that a button had been pushed on my monotor changing the selection to ??audio?? Any way no picture. How this was done I have no idea. They didn't charge me anything so they have my business from now on... At least my sister bought a set of speakers from them. Didn't feel so bad about that.

Just read your post about installing Windows XP. Reminded me of a Texas Aggie joke. It was about the Aggie who kept watching the football reruns of a fumble. When asked why, he said "He's bound to catch that ball one of these times."

We have a minimal amount of wildlife on this side of the Railroad Tracks. In the Morning a few days ago, I saw a buck with quite a rack running down the street. Don't know where he was going. Also, something is getting all our eggs. They break them in the nest and make a big mess. Could be raccoon, possum, or a snake. Who knows??

I've semi-caught-up with the posts. Hi Christi and Hop.

Later Y'all.

Rosemary 11-17-2001 18:58



Debra 11-17-2001 14:24

AH, I knew it. I knew I'd missed re-writing two-thirds of what I had intended to post yesterday.
Great shorties, everyone! I know, I'm a delinquent.
My worst job. My best job. So many horror stories!

I've had quite a few jobs.
None compare to Lifeguarding, now that was the life! (Where do these stupid puns keep coming from?)
I think 'cooking' short order food was one of the worst. The kitchen made the meals for not one but two restaurants, and the bar as well. I was the personal slave. I did a lot of things that were considered the wait staff's job, and the dishwasher was from a mental institution, so only stayed for three hours a day. I did the rest of the dishes, which happen to include the dinner rush dishes. I did all the kitchen prep, cooking and cleanup. Whenever someone in the bar area vomited, it was my job to clean it up. If someone butted out a cigarette in a urinal, it was my job to fish it out. Isn't it a good thing I took handwashing seriously?
I made minimum wage, and no tips, though most of the tips the wait staff made were due to the food orders being hot and fast, (and also the correct order). I had to pay full price for any meals I ate at work, on my break. I worked twelve hour shifts, 6 days a week for the first year, 7 days a week for the following year and a half. My boss was a tyrant. The managers were tyrants. They all felt they were leagues above me, which in pay, they were. They were also lazy, and used me to do the stuff they couldn't be bothered doing - such as taking the night's garbage to the bin, at the other end of the mall, down a creepy 'Bates Motel-ish' concrete corridor, through tens of pairs of doors. When somebody stole the jar full of money that was to go to the 'sponsored children' in another country, everyone thought it was me. I didn't even know there was such a jar. When someone stole money from the women's staff changeroom, I got blamed, even though some of my money was also stolen. They took the $300 and change from my paycheck without any proof. I was evicted from my apartment because that money was part of my rent for the month, and I rented on a month-to-month basis. I moved in with a friend, so luckily I didn't have to come up with a security deposit, and for the time being, rent was cheap. My friend and I worked different shifts, so neither of us got the proper rest (we kept waking each other up because the place was so small)
I wanted to work as a waitress, but my boss kept saying no, because of the boots I wore. I could have worn nice black dress shoes, but one slip in the kitchen grease would have been near fatal. Running shoes were supposed to be worn in the kitchen. Well, my boss insisted I wear the dang things instead of Doc Martens, one day when he was feeling more than his usual jerky. Okay, fine. I wore the running shoes, and slipped, of course, hitting my head on the stainless steel counter. I was allowed to wear Doc Martens for the rest of the time I worked there. But that didn't stop them from making fun of me! (And two of the wait staff wore Doc Marten shoes - basic difference between their shoes and my boots were about 4 lace-holes - but no one seemed to notice that.

So there you have it.
When I came back in to that place once I was a nurse, I sat down, ordered the salad, and waited for my old boss to see me. He nearly shit himself. He was the one who had said I'd never be anything better than a short order cook, and never hang up my Docs and apron. What a great salad.

Heather 11-17-2001 13:31

Another GLORIOUS day on the high plains of South Dakota. In my fifty years of life, I have never seen such a November. Well maybe on year in El Paso, but never here. Every day, the weatherman says "It won't last, expect snow in the next three days!" Yet it goes on and on. It is almost summer, well late spring weather at least, and I am enjoying every minute of it that I can, tinkering in the garage, in the yard or with my pickup. Yesterday I washed it, well not by hand, but ran it through an auto wash at the local Cennex station.

There is a craft fair today, my wife and our two nieces are gone to it. When they return, we will all travel across town for dinner and pinochle with Mom. At least we can have the windows open as we play, and enjoy the scent of the freshest air in the world.

Hope all are having a great weekend.

Jerry 11-17-2001 13:06

Hey there, Nbookers!
I composed a post yesterday, and then it was lost in the great void of netland. Maybe it will turn up someday on Oprah.

Deja - I did not say that I thought you were brainwashing others - the opposite. I said that you might be on the receiving end. Before you get all in a tizz, the notebook does require very careful reading. The reference about trying to 'hook' Jerry was this: You wrote 'If you want to find out what we're all about come to one of our meetings' (paraphrasing)... that's basically how companies sell services - they try to nab people with their own curiosity. Infamous.

Christi! Great to see you back! Glad to see my rotten day did some good. But I can't promise I'll have a bad day again when you need it - :oD They seem to come without any predictable pattern - but I guess that's why I never suspect them. About that big Kathunking, I WILL send it on, I promise! I've been revising it because of a plot change (though minor, I have to follow the thread, and it keeps showing up) so I can send smaller kathunks your way if you like! I don't know whether you'll want to bother reading the beginning again, the first chapter is the one I've changed the least. Let me know! (((HUGS))) It won't be too much longer before I can send it ALL anyhow - I'm halfway through the third chap, and only one more scene to change. (Ye-HA!)

Oh, yesterday's post to you, Christi, was so much more brilliant! (Of course, only Oprah will know for sure)

Carol - see above for info on my (snail) progress. :o) Thanks for your Reader and Editor Elves' patience! Whew!

Heather 11-17-2001 12:44

Hello, I'm back. Exams are over. Holidays are here. I'm enjoying them. Need I say more?

I do not lurk. Too nervous with exams to lurk. Lurking just isn't me. I ignore. So I would an... ignorer? Maybe procrastinate would be a better word.

Everyone seems a little...tense. Hmmm...

I've been gone too long to say much. Just glad, (cyber) life goes on in the notebook.

Haven't seen you post in a while. Hello? What's happened?

Hello all new notebook people.
I've been gone so long I don't remember who I welcomed before. Oh well. Just a general hello then.

Who was suppose to be returning to us from Italy again? My memories of the notebook are foggy at best.

Barnabas "Hop" 11-17-2001 7:50


Good evening!

Document Info under the File icon on WP 6.1, when initiated, reveals...what? Well, Duh! You say it reveals, uh, document information about the novel you've worked on for the last four years. Maybe longer...DA!!!

In a cold stark way, perhaps. But are things what they seem. Are there green lizards in bed...or only dreams of green lizards in bed. Where is the reality, if the rewards, nay...the consequences are the same?

But does Mr. Novell's WP 6.1 reveal the TRUE feelings of the novel. Of course not you say. Ah! You might be wrong old friends!

Let's look at my favorite Document Info...Word Count.

Is word count really important? Only in designating a shortie from a longie I say. :-) When the book in the early stage read 15,441 words what was happening in the household? How old was I? Was the novel headed the same direction then, as now? Were the characters the same? Same goals? Same interaction? How about the plot? Still the same basic SF plot? Now word count indicates 130,000 words, and keeps growing. Novels develop a life of their own. Now it controls me, not vice versa. It either pushes me to the keyboard or repels me. I write it as I hate it as I love it.

Where oh where cruel manuscript, does thou taketh thy creator?

Where are the answers? Where do novels take us? Perhaps a fortune teller might know? There are some on-line, on the boob tube, in your town. Are words indicators? How many are necessary? When to stop?

"What kind of a fool question is that Randall? How many words to tell a story?" Old Man Red Britches snorted in derision. "You might as well ask, ‘What does a hog know about Sunday?' "

An elderly wino pal answered my query with a series of curt questions. It was a windy, moonless night as we stood behind a run down pool hall outside the city limits. I had been complaining about words, effect and consequences, as we played eightball inside an hour earlier. After several games we stepped out back for a little fresh air, grape refresher and consultation. ( I lost all games BTW.)

I handed him the remains of our last bottle of Wild Irish Rose. "Don't know Red. I asked you. You're hell on top of the 8-ball, tell me."

Red finished the bottle, discarding it among waist high weeds long dead. There was a loud "clink" as it landed. Light from a green window in the back wall of the pool hall illuminated him. He belted the tattered knee lenght coat with a rope, then spoke, oh, so eloquently.

"Jesus wept."

How simple, so true. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd such is my life. Hung up on word count and not enough concentration on substance. Lesson learned.

Good night...


randall 11-16-2001 23:01

Wildlife in town? Well there used to be a whole bunch of wildlife here back before the Mad Mothers, and the crack down on drunk drivers. When I started copping here, there were these five brothers, giants all. They owned trucking companies, all diverging from their fathers company. When they got drunk, it would take three or four cops to pull them apart. The problem? We only had four cops on the whole force, and we NEVER worked with each other. So when they fought, you sort of stood back and watched until only one stood, then arrested that one. Alas things have changed. The 3.2 beer joints that drew the young drinkers from across the state line is gone. The drinking age in SD has gone from 18 to 21, as it has across the nation. Where three bars and two nightclubs used to serve the drinkers, now two bars fight for clients, both nearly gone broke. One of the nightclubs was converted to a rather nice rambling home just west of town, the other became the subject of spontaneous combustion (where the mortgage papers and insurance papers lay next to each other and catch fire).

No, now we have our skunks, deer, raccoons, mice, muskrats, and the occasional Norwegian rat. There are several breeds of snake found in town from time to time ranging from the simple garter snake to the prairie rattle snake. The deer come in two flavors, the skittish white tail, and the devil may care Mule Deer. I have never seen an antelope, but they may come in when the snow gets too deep. There are, of course thousands of birds, ranging from the simple song sparrow to the wild Turkey, including the pheasant, and grouse. Cotton Tail rabbits are in great number, as well as their cousin the jack rabbit (which is, by the way not a rabbit, but a hare). I have seen turtles, lizards and salamander on our streets, as well as an occasional hungry coyote. There are lots of screech owls, and a few hawks that visit from time to time (had one swoop down in my front yard and carry away a robin who was feeding at my bird feeder). The flying rats (pigeons) keep the spilled grain at the elevators cleaned up, and there are bats in one of the old abandoned stores on Main Street. (It belongs to the mayor so it won't be cleaned up until AFTER the next election). Guess that's about it, except for the occasional horse that jumps a fence near town and happens through, and a cow or two escape the sales barn on occasion and wonders through our streets. Now when I lived up north we had a moose wonder into town, and we police were tasked with the removal. How, one may ask, does a police officer get a full grown bull moose out of town? Very carefully, we sort of surrounded him and guided him through back yards, alleys and streets until he was a mile or so out of town. He was last seen stopping trains some eight miles from town.

I do recall being called one day when I worked here on the PD seems there were a flock of wild turkey's sitting in the trees of my mom's back yard. We called the game warden, who enlisted our aid in hearding them out of town. Not that he was worried that they might do some damage, that wasn't the case, seems he was concerned that some local who was a bit hungry (this was near Thanksgiving, about this time of the year) would shoot one out of the tree.

Enough on wildlife, hope all are well and having a super night, I know I am.

Jerry 11-16-2001 22:59

Oh poo, I just knew I'd regret that shortie. :) Whenever I write about my past I try to put myself back there, and adopt the attitude I had at that time. I can see how that may have sounded awfully immature for a thirty-two-year-old.
As it is, I have nothing but respect for those older than me (well, those who deserve my respect, anyway). It's true that wisdom doesn't ALWAYS come with age, but it's pretty hard to avoid, if you know what I mean. I have always had respect for my elders, never actually being one of those punk kids, except for a brief stint of jerkiness in the late eighties, but it was never aimed at the older folks.
I have to admit, now that I'm twice the age I was when I worked that job, I love the idea of gathering with my friends in the mornings and shooting the breeze over some nice hot coffee. Sigh. I guess that's something you earn AFTER the kids leave the house. Something to look forward to!

Thanks for the kisses, Gariess. Wink, nudge. :P

Mary, Girlllllllllllllll, you have GOT to come to Tucson! That would be so great! You know I'd have to see you at some point, if you had the time. Come on down! You'll love what February is like here; you'd laugh your ass off at all the wussies shivering in their big coats in the fifty degree weather (I'll be one of them). Actually, this is the only time of year where you won't hear me bitching about the heat. Winter in Tucson is what dreams are made of. Hot cocoa anyone?

Mel, You have a neighborhood skunk???? My my! We have coyotes that wander in every now and again, roadrunners galore, and frogs emerging from the ground after it rains, but no skunks. Come to think of it, I'd be interested to know what the local wildlife is like in everyone's hometowns.

Debra, I thought it was adorable how you called the Taliban girlie men. If that doesn't say freedom, I don't know what does. Being a woman, if you were to say that over there it would be OFF WITH YOUR HEAD! Gotta say, warts and all, I love this country.

Where ist everybody???

Christi 11-16-2001 22:20

Jerry: The guy who said they would destroy America maybe was killed by American bombing?
I'm laughing so hard I got tears, that is so funny

taylor 11-16-2001 20:02

Jerry: That would make an interesting trip

Here's the list I have so far
A priest
A man who keeps to himself
A singer/guitar player
There's other passangers that dont have their personalities yet. Mind you one of those 3 above maybe the traitor within.

On the reporters: I have to just say... What a bunch of morons.
Heard of the newsgroup that would not use the word terrorist to describe what happened?
Newsreporters getting into heated disagreements with each other. I know emotions are running high, but come on isn't this just getting a bit ridiculous
And now what I heard in here, sheesh.

This reporter that got to me though was just a day or two after the WTC attack. This guy was on top of a roof I think, reading one of the emails that someone emailed their kid just before his death
And this guy just breaks down before reading the end
I have nothing against that, it proves they are human, well some of them are

Another reporter, something was distracting him off camera, and he was trying to report serious subject but could hardly keep a straight face

It just seems to me that they are having problems keeping up with their professionalism
They also released the recording of the Flight 93 pilot and the control tower, just before it went down
Listened to it last night

I swear I will totally ban any news station that shows any pictures of anyone burning the American flag.

taylor 11-16-2001 19:57

Now I get it. The very fact the torn paper thingy is there, means that there is no picture. There must be a lot of that going around. I’ve seen hundreds of them.

Too cute, you devil.

That was a sweet post about the homeless man. He seems a homeless man with a distinctly Japanese flavor. The fatalism, the ritualism, and particularly the maintenance of dignity which is something so difficult for our homeless to manage. It’s not enough that they make better products than we do, now they even have better homeless. Anyway, you should be proud that I get all that from your post. You are a good observer and a clear reporter. I think that your friend, if you should meet him again, would take some pride in the fact that he was admired by your correspondents. Give him my best from one old soldier to another.

Haiku for you. Viv has got me all Japanesey, if you pleasey.

Ithaca, we kissed.
Does it still have the smell of
Cornell in the mist?

That Ratpack sounds an awful lot like the Geezers to me. Of course, we meet at Three in Dunkin Donuts and stay one hour. It is slightly up-scale from McD’s but different places have different options. We call our favorite girl Benjamin, because she was planning to enlist in the Army. She has since had second thoughts. I believe after we nicknamed her, she rented the movie just to see what this Benjamin stuff is all about. That movie might have done for her military ambitions. Still, it will be a long time before she loses the moniker.


gariess 11-16-2001 19:28

Oh, it just dawned on me, the very WORST job I ever had was Shit Detail in Nam. I only got caught once while I was in the Transient Hooch. This Sgt. came in as I lay on my bunk smoking a Kool and sweating like a pig.

"ON YOUR FEET SOLDIER!" He screamed, I jumped like a startled deer.

In my mind, I wondered if I were still in Basic Training or something, I had no idea that they would continue to shout like that when one got to his duty station. I figured this was going to be one hell of a year.

"You got nottin better to do then lay on your bunk, while I have a job for your young ass." The sgt. said with a smirk.

"The post is restricted due to enemy action in the area and the civilian workers can't make it in. You drew the short straw, you are on Shit Burning Detail!" He explained, as the Kool dropped from my hand where I had it cupped while standing at attention.

"And clean up that damn cigarette first where you think you are anyhow. When you get done, report to the Spec. 4 over by the latrine."

Now I was beginning to wonder exactly where the hell I was too, but I found an old Vietnamese broom in the corner, the kind with a very short handle made of bamboo and straw, and swept up the ashes from around my bunk, then found my cover and walked out into the sweltering heat of Vietnam.

It was a short walk to the latrine, as the transient hooch was nearly next door, when I got there I saw this tall lanky Specialist with white hair, and a fact that looked as though he had been dead for a couple of weeks, his cheeks pulled in, all the bones of his skull visible through his pale white skin.

He quickly showed me the ropes as they were of burning shit.

First one picks up the shit handle, then openes the small doors on the back of the shitter. There under the holes in the latrine were the bottom third's of a 55 gallon drum. They were full of human waste. Using the shit stick, one hooked the drum, and gently slid them out the back side, and a few yards back from the shitter. Then, one poured diesel fuel from the 5 gallon jerry cans over the waste, and using your Zippo that every soldier in Nam carried, lit the fuel. The fuel burned along with the human waste. The black smoke from the inferno stunk to high heaven, and everyone in Nam knew that smell.

I finished the drums in the first latrine, then learned that there were two more in the company area that needed burning too, so we moved on, this specialist and I, and accomplished the mission.

I was very thankful when I was finally assigned to my unit, and as a communicator who worked shifts, was exempt for all details.

Jerry 11-16-2001 13:19

WAY TO GO MR. SECRETARY! Just watched Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfield tear a reporter a new AH, when the reporter asked about "these reports of atrocities by the Northern Alliance." Mr. Rumsfield began by saying, these reports can say ANYTHING you want to REPORT. As far as I know there have been NO mass killings by the NA. Then gave the reporter a good lesson in journalism dealing with SOURCES and ACCURACY.

It is good to see a Sec of Def with the testicles to take on the press in such a way.

Jerry 11-16-2001 12:54

Oh yeah - I left ALL the fruit in the car, except for the driver. 8-]

Mel 11-16-2001 11:36

Hi guys!

CHRISTI: Good to see ya girlie! The jewelry company that I am trying to market my idea to want me to come to Tuscon in February. Still deciding whether I should or not. I don't want to leave my kids and hubby home while I am gone, so we are thinking about making a vacation out of it. I thought it would be romantic to take the train. My husband, two kids and myself in our own compartment. Will be just like home on wheels. Will have to think harder on that.

GS: You couldn't be more right-on about Sunday morning at McDonald's being a slice of Senior Americana. While in high school I worked at McDonald's nights. On Sunday mornings though, I worked as the Lobby Hostess. The uniform was cuter and all I had to do was make conversation with the people in the lobby, refill their coffee, empty their ashtrays and do quick little spot sweeps of the floor. This was THE job to have at McDonald's. It was the easiest and most fun and I got to do it every week for almost a year.

Nobody could flirt with those 'geezers' as well as me
...probably because I meant it. They would read the free newspapers, drink their free refills and watch me. I had my favorites, of course, and I let them slip out the side door with the sports section and not say a word. The men were generally always alone but there were a few regular couples. They don't tend to linger as long.

Then in the front corner was what I always called the Rat Pack(they liked that)a gang of single men, in their late 50's early 60's, that would sit their and drink at least 4 pots of coffee while rehashing war stories, swapping pictures of grandkids and laughing way too loud. They showed up around 9am and lasted til the lunch hour. They always wanted to tip me, but I wasn't allowed to take tips so any money they gave me I put into the Ronald McDonald House donation box.

Geez. I think back on that now and can't believe I was only 17. Fourteen years ago? Seems like yesterday.

Mary 11-16-2001 11:34


Hi, guys and gals. Working on re-attaching my smile...
:-> no, no, not quite...

TAYLOR: Another perspective to busriders; on my long-distance COMMUTER bus, we have sleepers, readers, and talkers; mostly all are medium-income and riding the bus to save wear-and-tear on family cars and a bit of gas money...the personalities are as different as a bagful of Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans (Harry Potter fans are choosing their favorite flavors now). We, the regular riders, are also like family - one big, happy, bus family. There are those who absolutely cringe or pout if they don't get to sit in the same seat each day. There is the BUS FATHER who knows everyone and everyone's gossip to the latest ride on the bus. There is the BUS MOTHER who is first to complain about lack of bus maintenance whenever the faults rear their misshapen horns. We have jokesters always trying to make the stuck-in-the-dumps laugh, if only at themselves ("You're late! SLOW POKE!"). Riding the commuter bus is a world in itself, a time removed from the rest of the world, inbetween the home life and the work life. Anything, anyone, can "happen" on the commuter bus.

VIV: I really enjoyed your lunchtime sojourn with the homeless man. And what a kind thing to do, sharing your sandwich with him. :-) (Oh look, you made me find my smile!)

I, um, have a brief, if unendearing, tale to relate. It's called, "THE PINK, THE ORANGE, AND THE BLACK-&-WHITE" or "ORANGE YOU BETTER OFF WHITE? (NOT A RACIAL SLUR, believe me! Read on)"

Last evening, I received a large delivery of fruit orders I had middle-manned for some of my co-workers in Ithaca. I put the seven boxes of Floridian pink grapefruit, navel oranges, and tangelos in the back of my car in preparation for driving to work the next morning to deliver them to my co-workers.

Back in the house, I considered retrieving the three boxes of fruit for one of my co-workers who I knew had started a week of vacation. The porch light and driveway light were still illuminating the night, so I decided to retrace my steps to the car.

Still on the porch with me? There is a dark sidewalk between our porch and driveway, on an unlit side of the house parallel to our garage. The porch light ends, abruptly, mere inches past the bottom step, before you turn that dark corner to get to the driveway.

Oranges and pink grapefruits uppermost in my mind, I descended the porch steps with great purpose, the first, the second, the thir--

A rustle in the grass, just beyond the glow of the porch light, froze me on the last step. Oops! My mind suddenly recalled, and Oh! My self-preservation instinct whooshed me into HIGH-ALERT.

The rustle in the grass was also simultaneous with the hair rising nearly perpendicular on the back of my head. In that palpably wordless moment, the neighborhood skunk trembled visibly among the shoots of grass, as afraid of me as I was of getting sprayed.

I now know why skunks have a band of white hair striping their timid bodies. I think I have some new white hairs myself. Needless to say, I expect we both turned tail at the same time. All I know for certain is that my band of white shivers ushered me back into the kitchen in Guiness-World-Record time, perfume-free.


Mel 11-16-2001 11:30

Taylor - Why not fill the bus with notebookers? I am sure we wouldn't mind in the slightest. I could make for an interesting trip could it not?

The way it sounds that guy that said he would destroy the U.S. was killed last night by the American Forces. What a fitting answer to his threat.

Thanks for the Caps Taylor.

Jerry 11-16-2001 11:08


In fact, I won't stop until your bum's cracked!

Debra 11-16-2001 9:34


I can't read all the posts, but I get the feeling you haven't been behaving yourself.

Don't make me come down there and spank you! I'll do it!


Debra 11-16-2001 9:33

Hi Christi:

You think that's adorable?

I would have entered my shortie on my best job if my hubby hasen't been hogging up the computer for the past two weeks. I don't know it's something about upgrading to XP or somthing.


My best job was when I worked for a temp agency and they sent me on this job to a place called Davaul Square in downtown Providence,dressed like an angel. I mean I had the halo, wings and white gown. I carried a gold bag full of choacolate and was handing it out for FREE.

You never in your life have seen so many humans gravitate towards your direction while you are handing out free candy dressed like an angel. I was picking up a paycheck to boot. I want to do that again.

Debra 11-16-2001 9:31

GARIESS - Yes, it means it didn't work. :-(
I had tried to insert a picture of a teletype for Heather, but the HTML statement I put in the post points to the picture as it resides on my own disk, where your browser can't find it. Your Netscape or Internet Explorer sees in the notebook a code that says there's supposed to be a picture there, but it can't find the picture to display it. So instead of barfing, it inserts that "lttle torn paper thingie" as a placeholder to let you know that there was supposed to be a picture there. The same thing happens on other pages where our browser cannot find a graphic element that's supposed to be on the page. It shows everything available, and puts that little placeholder there.

MARY - Thanks for that! I too think that a demonstration of faith is better than just talking about it. James (the brother of Jesus) said that faith must be demonstrated, or it's of little use - he goes so far as to say it's dead. He also said that true religion is caring for the needs of the widows and fatherless.

howard 11-16-2001 8:31

The best of jobs the worst of jobs. Well, my job can be a prize winner at times, but there are worse things by far. Today I went to the park to eat my lunch. A homeless man shared my sandwich and we talked about this topic. I asked him the best job he'd ever had. He said working as a gardener as he was left totally alone to do his job and given all the plants he needed. I could see him planting alone in that garden. I asked him his worst job. He said
in his opinion that being a kamikazi pilot was the worst job that had ever been cynically invented.

He went on to say that the kamakazi airplanes were not well maintained. It didn't matter if they were maintained. They were only put(kept) together well enough to hit the target. They also did not have enough gas to do anything more than reach the target area and crash. The pilots often didn't reach the target area. (Gas rationing taken to extremes)

They used 16 year old boys for this purpose.

His best job was being homeless and jobless on a September day. He'd just been given a pair of shoes and a new coat by an organization unknown to him. They simply drove up and gave him a "new" clean jacket and a "new" pair of shoes. He showed them to me and he was right. That was a nice jacket and a beautiful pair of shoes. They were boots and a good fit.

He said it was much better than the old days when the homeless children used to sleep in the station and no one would feed anyone. Now they had places to go to get lunch and everyone shared lunch with him. All he had to do was ask.

We both went on chatting about how rich a society is where everyone, including the homeless, has food, a new jacket and new boots given to him.

No, he wasn't lazy. He was an old man and probably an alcoholic. What he didn't lack was a thankful spirit and a positive attitude. His smile was a bit odd because he only had one tooth, but we had a nice time talking.

It's fine to be this way but when the rain falls hard in the winter and it's bitter cold for days, this has to be hard. He was very carefully clean. His nails, even his hair was carefully combed.

I liked the way this man "worked" at being a homeless person. He told me exactly how to carefully prepare for the night so your feet wouldn't freeze after your shoes wore out and fell apart. He didn't say it in a self pitying way or even act worried about not having boots next year. That would drive me crazy. I'd want to know where I was going to find my next pair. I told him so and he said the war makes you forget about next year because you learn quickly that it might not happen.

I'm glad he has a pair of good strong boots this year.

Viv 11-16-2001 8:11

Ok... You people have dragged the capitals out of me

Christi: Sorry you felt that way. I honestly meant no offense to anyone here

Doorknocking religions: I still stand by my last comment... But I guess its partly my fault, I dont have the heart to tell them to go away please
But they are still nice people

The taliban saying they will destroy America:
Are these guys stupid or what? All the things that America has been through; civil wars, Pearl Harbour, WTC bombing, and others I cant remember off to bat. And now the WTC attack, on the Pentagon... Did that stop America? HELL NO!
Its built it up... America has always bounced back stronger than before
Flight 93 passangers had proven that in the face of a tragedy, the victims can come out on top
And America will come out on top again
Now are the taliban still stupid enough to figure that out?
Enough of that, I'm starting to rant on a bit

Red Cross has turned around and now have said that all the money that was raised for the 911 victims will be going to the victims... And I think we can thank Bill Oreilly for that. That's what I think.

I would continue on that train of thought, but it's going way off target.

Still trying to figure out a wide variety of characters for the bus... And I guess I could randomly pick characters, but that won't work...But wow this is a fun part.

taylor 11-16-2001 3:14

One has to wonder at the intelligence of those leaders of the Tellaban. They said that they will destroy the United States.

Have they ever been here? Do they realize what it would take to destroy the United States? I mean I know if they had a few nukes, and wiped out Washington DC and New York, that would hardly destroy the United States. Sure it might kill a few politicians, and that might make a few of us real pissed off, but to destroy us? I don't think so.

Now the reverse could happen. We do have enough power to completely destroy Afghanistan. We could make that joke the is circulating the Internet true, the one with the map of Lake America where Afghanistan used to be. We won't do it, but we could.

Sure they could release the virus from the Spanish flu in our midst. The horror that killed so many hundreds of thousands in the early 20th century, but that wouldn't destroy us. It would kill a bunch of us, but we lived through it in the early 20th Century, we could live through it in the early 21st too.

Maybe they have something I don't know about. Could be. I could be surprised, but I don't think so.

Enough ranting and raving for the night. Way past my bedtime, and my dog is giving me that look that says "if you don't quit beating on that keyboard I am going to come over and bite you right on your nose!"

I am off to slumber land. Have a great night everyone.

Jerry 11-16-2001 1:28

One last thing, because I know I will forget if I don't say it now.

In defence of those snotty little kids you mention. The Geezers, and I am sure, seniors everywhere tend to have little or no patience with the dull witted and "unmotivated" youth who attend to our needs at watering holes. This is not to say that we don't fully appreciate those others who are accomodating and respectful - in both cases just like the adults we encounter at other establishments and institutions. Ooh, I forgot never to say institutions around seniors.


gariess 11-16-2001 1:02


Upon giving the matter more thought, I don't believe your introduction of religion into the forum was any more than an illustration of your willingness to tell us about yourself. I speculate that in such matters you tend to take the tough issues first. Commendable, actually. It bespeaks a determination to participate, which is good.

For the second time in as many weeks, I have heard an ungodly crash coming from my kitchen. As in the prior instance, I investigated and found nothing on the floor and nothing out of place. I don't, for a minute, believe that anything supernatural is going on, but I would not object if you should happen to think a few good thoughts in my direction.


Gariess 11-16-2001 0:40

BTW Christi,

Macdonalds on a Sunday morning is a true representation of something about seniors. Follow my series on the Geezers. Old people take great comfort in familiar things and in their social conventions. I think my first entry in the Geezers is still on this page.


gariess 11-16-2001 0:24


Kisses to you, dear.


gariess 11-16-2001 0:12

I didn't understand a word of that, except that I gather the little torn paper thingy didn't work. Is that the same answer for all the similar occasions I have had on other boards?

Good luck.

Poor little teenage me laments won't fly very well in this forum. You are entitled to be young and uncertain. You are entitled to your religious beliefs, and you are entitled to mention them in some context.

I don't know if you attempted to spread your beliefs in this forum or not. If you did it was inappropriate, but to a reasonable extent it is tolerable. Nobody here would deny you your right to adolescence, but if you want to hang out with the grown-ups you ought to make some allowances for the fact that we often take a less tolerant posture toward the youthful; just as bears, walruses and apes will do.

Stick around, you'll catch on to it. We watched Allein grow up.


gariess 11-16-2001 0:05

Whups, missed both of the Jerrys!

Jerry, Isn't it nice to be such a fixture at the notebook that people forget to respond to you? :) I know I'm home when I see your name at the bottom of a post. I hope Americo hurries up with S and S so's we can get more stories to read from you and all the other fixtures here. Grin.

Jerry Lee, How nice to see a former Arizonian comin' back! How 'bout them D-back's, eh? (I held back as long as I could.)

Christi 11-15-2001 23:59

Deja - I have nothing against you, or the JW for that matter. I just don't like being disturbed in my home. After all a man's home is his castle, and anyone who disturbs me, is then attacking my castle.

If you will read back, you will find that it was you, not I who made a big deal about your religion. I was simply relating one incident in my life to the others in this notebook, and you seemed to take offence. If it hurt you, then I am indeed sorry, as that was not my intention, and I had absolutely no idea that you were indeed a JW. You brought that fact forward yourself, and I am certainly willing to forget it if you will.

I can understand where you are coming from about school, as I experienced something while not the same, probably similar.

When I entered the sixth grade, my family moved from our family farm to town. I had to make the transition from a little one room country school house, were I knew every student, and was on a first name basis with everyone and the teacher to a classroom filled with other children my age, twenty-nine of them all studying from the same book, all taking the same test, and all of whom knew each other, having been together for the previous five years in grad school. Where I was the only student in my grade, now I shared. Where I called my teacher Ralph, now it was Mrs. Hoff. Where we all sat at our desks and ate our lunches from our lunch boxes, now I stood in line at the lunchroom. Where I had the same teacher for all my classes, now I had a different teacher for music, another for Gym, and another for my normal classes.

Needless to say, it was quite a shock to my young mind. I had a very difficult time adjusting, and in fact failed the sixth grade because of that. I took it over again in the same school with a different teacher, and of course twenty-nine other students, all of which had been together for five years, then there was the stigma of failure, of all my classmate knowing I was a failure. Of the teacher taking that "extra" bit of time to explain to the "failure" how the arithmetic should be done, and so forth.

I was extremely happy when dad found a cheap house in North Lemmon, just across the railroad tracks which happened to be across the State Line, into North Dakota. I returned to my country school, while not the little one room schoolhouse I remembered so fondly but a two roomer, with one other in my grade, but again I excelled again I was able to learn, and my self-worth increased.

So you see, I may understand better then you think, then again, maybe not, for while my situation may have invoked the same reactions, they were not the same. Not really.

I do try and understand though, and always have tried to understand the feelings of others.

Jerry 11-15-2001 23:55


Hello, hello, one and all; how very nice to see you! Seems that I've crawled out of my coffin and decided to lose the depressive veil that was obstructing my vision these past weeks, and what do you know but it's a beautiful night!

Gariess, It's great to see you posting here again! I give you warm and squishy hugs.

Likewise, Litter, and Howrad!

Carol, you're a cutie.

Debra, You're adorable.

Allein and Viv, Hi lurkies!

Deja, Stick around and cheer up! I've enjoyed your posts! Believe you me, no one here will discriminate against you for anything, least of all your religion. I think it comes down to the fact that we all know each other so well that we feel we can say almost anything without fear of injury. On the occasions where there has been hurt feelings it was nearly always resolved nicely. Feel welcome and worrieth not, sayeth me! :)

Ummmm, Taylor, was it you who said you only puntuate to show respect? I liked the lowercase very little before and now I feel insulted by it. Nyah! (Tongue sticking out.) Heh heh. :P

Heather, Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! Your awful day just perked me right up. I larfed my bootie off (Oh if such a thing were only possible) and yelled for my husband to come over. It was so funny. I'm afraid that my son and husband thought I'd finally turned that final bend, but it was worth it. Ditto for your quiz! If I was dumpy before, I'm surely out of it now. THANKS!
PS Where's that mss you promised to THUNK into my box? Where?

Mary, Smile, girlie! Every cloud has a silver lining. It's called lightening. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. I'm just terrible when I come out of a funk. (((((((((((HUGS FOR YOU!!!!!!)))))))))))))))

Rhoda, Crossing my fingers for you. Good luck!

I've composed my post from the memory of what I read earlier, so huge apologies if I missed anything or mis-quoted anyone.
Great shorties!

Instead of recounting my worst job (too many to choose from) or my best job (is there such a thing?) I'll write about my FIRST job. I'll bet'cha can't possibly guess what it was ... take a wild one ... yup, you guessed it; the famous All-American, Mickey D's (McDonald's, for those from Mars).

Ah yes, I remember it well, getting up at four-o'clock in the morning just so I could hoof it down to the store and begin the lovely job of cleaning the previous day's mucky grease, with the help of a glorified vacuum that enjoyed spitting hot lard on me. (I still have an aversion to 'vacuum-looking' devices; just ask my husband.) After cleaning MOST of the sludge from the oil, I'd pump it back into the vat where it was ready for another hard day of frying up yummies (I can feel it ... you're all getting hungry!).

Then on to the shake machine, where I'd take apart the entire thing, clean all the parts and then put it all back together again. This would have been my favorite chore of the morning, for it offered a niblet or two for the old grey matter, but alas, my brain doesn't switch on until at least ten o'clock. Once I'd gotten all the plastic parts and O rings in their proper places, I'd fill the machine with 'shake liquid', kind of a non-dairy creamer type of nastiness. This I included just for you who wondered what was in those MD's shakes, and, by the way, the same stuff that makes up their ice cream. Mystery-liquid, yes indeedy. 'Course this was in eighty-six, so you've got to consider that it must be far worse by now, what with the cheapness of the fast-food chains.

Then I carried on with my other duties for the morning until the real hell began. The morning rush.
Tucson, Arizona is a mecca for senior citizens of all kinds, mean, nice, smelly and perfumed, rich and poor, and most of all, impatient. And all of them liked to have their morning cuppa joe and their cheese danish and their ten percent off, senior-citizen discount. While I love the elderly (I plan to be one some day), McDonald's, on a Sunday morning is hopefully not a true representation of their number. And for all you seniors who dearly love your cuppa joe, your cheese danish and your ten-percent discount, more power to you! Hats off for putting up with the snotty little punks of this world. I'm just glad I don't have to wait on you anymore.

Da End

Christi 11-15-2001 23:53

I spent the night writing a resume, the first one I have done in fifteen years. My writing experience has served me well, for it was relatively easy.

I ask your prayers as I go and try for a particular position tomorrow.

Rhoda 11-15-2001 23:06

Woops! Nobody sees the picture except me? Is that the little torn paper thingie you referred to? That's supposed to be the picture of the teletype, but it didn't copy it to the notebook, and your browser inserts that as a flag that there's supposed to be a picture there, but the dummy (that's me) that posted it forgot that your browser can't see it because it's on my own hard drive.

howard 11-15-2001 21:46

GARIESS -- What "little torn paper thingies" ?

howard 11-15-2001 21:42

Jerry, how would you feel having to type perfect sentences every single day, being able to not make a single mistake? Not even one. Great. I made another mistake. Writing in broken sentences. Thoughts being muffled and choppy. Does it matter? Yes. To an extent. But I thought maybe I could get away with it here. I didn't know it was agaisnt an unspoken law to write I "i." I'm sorry. I didn't know.

And I feel like I'm being attacked here. From every corner. Don't know what you have against me. Nothing, I guess. Just that I'm a JW. How nice. I go to school and get wierd looks from other kids my age. Being tested by my teachers to see if I'm really what I say I am. And I come here to be mocked by a group of elders and writers whom I thought might not mind who I am and what I choose to be.

And I was still not trying to brainwash people. I didn't know that my being on the defensive and trying to unravel the red tape that separates me from other people was wrong. I bet I made a grammatical error somewhere there too.

I'm just here to be Deja. Nothing else. I'm not here to pass out Watchtowers and Awake magazines, nor change people's religion. I just like to read, ok? And I was just trying to make a joke of it at first. If I had anything negative against other people then I'm in the wrong. But accusing me of brainwashing? (sighs)

I'm just another girl. This might sound wierd, but I'd like you people to treat me like " just an average kid."

What am I talking about now?

Deja 11-15-2001 21:33

Howard - the TT-76 was a tape punch machine with a tapedeck on the side. We used to type everything on that machine then send it via the tapedeck. Then to save space, we kept the tape instead of a hard copy of the data. If one was desired, we could run it off from that tape.

Jerry 11-15-2001 21:28

I think I already told you all about my worst job, that being digging toilet holes for my uncle at $5.00 a day when he charged $25.00 a day for my services. That had to be the worst job I ever had.

There was another that, while I enjoyed it, was probably worse.

You see, there was the neighbor's daughter, the girl next door that so many stories are told and written about. Mine was Donna. Donna had a bunch of brothers and sisters, I don't know the exact number, but needless to say, her parents were very close, a whole lot of the time. I first went with her sister Betty, but when my sister had her second child, I was transported to another small town where I cared for her other boy, and helped around the house until she got back on her feet. When I returned, Betty had found another. I was heart broken, but her sister Donna took me in hand, and several other body parts, but that's not the point of this story.

Her brother, the oldest one that was yet at home was a very smart fellow. He had recently graduated from college, where he studied mathematics, and engineering. To begin his life in the working world, he designed a Jim-pole for constructing grain bins. Grain bins for the city dwellers among you are round steel structures, usually as tall as a two story building, where farmers store their wheat and other grains until the price is where they want to sell. They are always in demand, or at least back then they were. The building of such structures usually involved scaffolding, and a lot of hard work; it also took a lot of time. Now Sam decided that he could build them from the top down and much faster if he could figure the way. His Jim Pole did exactly that. The center of the grain bin is round, so the farmer can auger the grain into it, and fill it at an even rate. His Jim Pole was erected first, and held in position by a series of guy wires. To keep it modern, he decided to use the new nylon ropes, as they were lighter and much easier to work with.

The Jim Pole built, he began searching for workers. He offered a good salary, of $2.00 an Hour, and considering my other job paid $5.00 a day, I was interested.

Now his father being a poor farmer, turned mechanic didn't have a lot of money, but in a recent drawing he held the lucky number, and won one of those pop-up campers. You know the kind that folds out and has two large beds on either side. At any rate, they had that set up, and that was where Donna and Betty before her entertained me. We played cards when there were others present, and played with each other when we could be alone. Sam came a knocking and nearly caught Donna and I in a compromising position, I never knew one could dress so very quickly. He came in the camper and offered me a job with his bin building outfit. Of course my head filled with dreams of what I could do with so much money, and I had another excuse to go next door on top of it.

So a couple of days later, he had his first contract to construct three bins up north of town. The cement truck had already poured the slabs, and the semi truck delivered the steel. All that was left was to build, and build we did. Despite the heat from the blazing sun baking us under that steal, the first one went together in five hours. We had a generator, and electric wrenches to make the construction fast. One fellow would be on the outside with the wrench, put a bolt through the pre-drilled holes, and another inside with a pair of pliers would catch that bold with a nut and hold until the wrench torqued out.

The first done we stood back and surveyed our work. The water jug was passed around and Paul, Sam’s dad was slapping him on the back congratulation him on a job well done.

After a short break, we began the next bin. When it was about half way done, the wind came up. It felt so good to have a breeze to cool us off from that sweltering heat under that steel bin. Every once in awhile, the wind would come with a gust, and the bin would swing back and forth. We found that if we all ran to the wind side, we could steady it until the wind died down. We did this several times on that bin, and broke our first record finishing it in four hours.

Sam declared it a day, and we all climbed into his old blue Plymouth station wagon for the ride back to town. We were to get an early start to beat the heat the next morning. When I got home, I was so tired, I fell asleep on the couch, at about 9:00 PM, mom woke me and sent me off to bed.

I got up early the next morning. I was so stiff from the new job that I could hardly raise my fork to my mouth to eat the eggs mom prepared for my breakfast. As I got to moving, I limbered up, and within a few minutes, we were back in Sam’s old station wagon on our way back to the job site, about twelve miles north of town.

The next bin started off about the same as the first two, and we had it three rings up, each ring was about four feet or so. The walk in door began at the third ring, and about two feet of that ring was pre-cut for the opening. I was taking my turn inside the bin with the pliers when it happened. The wind gust came up, and the bin began swaying. We all ran to the side to steady it, but it didn’t steady. Instead, it just kept coming. The rest of the crew backed away, but as I began to back up, the bin gave way and came at me like a runaway truck. I tried to back step, but the bin was nearly half way across the pad, and the Jim Pole caught me in the back, and I went down. The grain bin ran right over me. I was lucky that the doorway aligned with my body, but my left arm was between the bin and cement floor. I still remember thinking, “well there goes my arm!” but luck was with me. It went so fast, and so far that it just removed big chunks of flesh from the arm, then bounced off and lodged in the cement.

It hadn’t been just the wind, I guess the wind started it, but it was those nylon ropes that Sam used as guy wires. Seems that nylon, while being very strong, breaks easily when rubbed by the steel eyes that Sam had used to tie it up on the Jim pole. One of the ropes broke causing the accident.

Well they gathered me up, and didn’t even allow me to walk, but carried me to that old station wagon and laid me down in the back, among the tools and lunches, and then they all piled in and rushed me off to hospital, where the Doctor stitched me up and bandaged my wounds. He took me off work for two weeks. I was disappointed but Sam, being the good boss paid my salary while I was laid up enjoying his sister’s company. He also paid for the pain pills, and my job was waiting for me when I was healed. I worked the rest of that summer for Sam, who redesigned his Jim Pole a bit using steel cables instead of ropes, all went well. You would think that Sam made something of himself with that great idea, but he didn’t. I don’t know why but the next year he didn’t go back to work. I never saw him again until several years later when I began my career as a Police Officer, and had to talk him out of a hostage situation. But that is a different story completely.

Jerry 11-15-2001 21:27

Can anyone, say Howard for instance, tell me what those little torn paper thingys are for? I see them on boards a lot. I click on them but nothing ever happens.

gariess 11-15-2001 20:50

For shorty night I am going to cheap out and paste in the following:

Citibank MC
PO Box 6077
Sioux Falls, SD 57117

To Whom it May Concern,

I had an experience which involved a number of unnecessary charges to my Citibank MC account because of an error in negotiating a check on the part of Citibank. I may have resolved these charges and the problems associated with them through Customer Service.

I am writing to you about the incident because of the very unpleasant conversation I had with Miss Horner, who is a supervisor in your customer service department.

During the conversation she adopted what is commonly referred to in recent times as "an attitude." This was a situation wherein Miss Horner took advantage of the fact that a literal transcription of her words would reveal no wrong-doing on her part but in so doing, made it entirely clear that she did not enjoy speaking to me in the least. I felt that this was innapropriate since I had not invited any hostility in my tone, and my issues were eminently legitimate.

If it helps to make my point, you may be able to hear a recording of the conversation which took place on November, 15, 2001 at around 5:15 PM EST between me and Miss Horner who was in your Kansas City office. I am unsure of the time difference.

I offer you these observations and leave the matter in your hands should you wish to pursue it. I would, however, like to receive an acknowledgement from you that you, in fact, did receive this letter.


So what do you think? Do you think that Miss Horner's orgasm of clerical condescension has got her in the shit? I expect she will at least be sent a copy of the letter in the way of informing her that she has invited an unwelcome form of attention.

Ahh, it’s been so long since I have stuck it into a woman. Somehow it’s not what it used to be.



11-15-2001 20:26

Oh - and this happens to be a piece of Seimens gear - they made good teletypes too, and were actually the ones we preferred to work on in the army.

howard 11-15-2001 20:15

Whaddyaknow -- it worked!
The little box on the side of the big keyboard is a paper tape reader. An operator could produce a tape offline on another machine, then we'd feed it through this little reader and send it off (encrypted if necessary) to wherever it needed to go.
These things were real noisy, and tended to require lots of maintenance, but they were great pieces of equipment.
If you ever listen to news on the radio you may have heard one of these in the intro music - they sound like a big typewriter running at full speed. Lots of news orgs used them in their intros.

howard 11-15-2001 20:13

HEATHER -- here's one

I'm posting this from memory - not too many of these thigs around any more!
We used to hook them up in the maintenance room and print off the news before the newspapers got to "modify" it.
I hope this doesn't screw things up too badly for Jack...

howard 11-15-2001 20:08


I'm not so sure. Wouldn't you think that you were pretty damn clever if you could figure out how to negotiate a route from your mammaries to your tear ducts?

As for the man and wife who perished in the pyroplastic flow, I did admire them. In spite of the fact that to me, volcanoes are the least compelling of things (unless one of them is rolling hot lava toward my heels,) I admire anyone who is so dedicated to an intellectual pursuit that they comitt their lives to it. It must be wonderful to love anything more than oneself.


gariess 11-15-2001 20:03

Carol - you're welcome! I had fun with the quiz. I'll just have to print it out and paste it to my forehead on days when I'm not sure I should be near the coffee pot. :o)

Heather 11-15-2001 19:29

Mary - you're welcome! I'm so glad you're back in the notebook!
I agree, too, about showing through example on the topic of religion and sharing it/spreading the news. I have had so many pushy people at my door, I began to wonder if they weren't selling my address like companies do! There have been the really nice, non-pushy folks at my door as well, and the one guy is really nice and we usually talk for about an hour when he comes by. He brings a new person with him almost every time, and if I'm in the mood or have that amount of time to chat, we usually get talking about all sorts of things. He isn't pushy, but does invite us to go to the 'Hall' (their church building) without fail. I can't blame him for offering, but I always feel like if I was interested in going to a different church, I am comfortable enough to ask him about it.
Actually, it's members of the Mormon church I have found to be pushier by far. When I was in my late teens there were a few pairs of them that would follow me all over the place!
They gave me a gift box once, and said I couldn't open it unless I was baptised by their church, etc. The same missionaries cornered me at my friend's parents home (his parents were Mormon) and lectured me as well, to which I usually walked out, but only when all of my 'no thank you's' stopped working. I felt terrible because I felt I was being rude and hurting their feelings, but in fact, I don't think I did. They were hurting mine. They made me feel that my own religion was wrong, and they were making pains to coerce me into believing that they were the only church/religion that knew the real truth. From my experience, God makes Truth available to all who seek in earnest; and to truly seek, I believe you must turn inward, to your soul. Outward seeking is basically a token, a visible proof, but does not mean necessarily that you have found it - in fact the seed of God's Truth has been planted in our very souls, and it is up to us not to forget to water it, fertilize it, and give it Light. By looking without for this Truth, we let the seed wither away. Like the saying, 'It's right under your nose' - well, yes, and a little bit back towards the spine!

I didn't mean to offend anyone of any religious persuasion. In fact, I'm certain that in every doctrine, of every faith, it is written that God's spirit, or seed, or essense has been placed inside a person's heart (or soul); clearly there is no dispute about it. {I am pretty sure that the 'Made in God's Image and Likeness' has to do with this essense that God placed within us all, as we are all God's Children.} The essense, this seed, is just often overlooked, like our noses. And what's under them.

Jerry, Howard, have no clue what those 'machines' might look like - if you ever find a link somewhere that shows a picture, do put the link up! Curiouser and curiouser...

Whoa, I'm full. Tried to re-create the beautiful butternut squash soup we had at our wedding reception (Since we had a small wedding, everyone got a menu to choose their own dinners from, a truly special touch I am so happy we were able to provide!) I chose the butternut soup, and I could have eaten that and only that for the rest of the meal, it was so superb. I'm getting closer to the right taste, but still haven't found either the missing ingredient, or I've put in something that wasn't supposed to go into it - or maybe it's several items?
Either way, it was still delicious, but not quite so wonderful as the soup on our wedding night!
There's always next year... :o>

Heather 11-15-2001 19:23

Heather -- thank you! You got me laughing and I needed that so much! Hubby has been wise the past couple of days and has had the coffee ready for me when I get up -- around noon. And I will confess to sitting around in my robe all day long. The past week, I've felt far more comfortable answering the phone. I got rid of the telemarketers by changing the phone number and getting it unlisted! Now, when the phone rings, I can make a pretty good guess as to who's on the other end. Today was spent outside. We had a number of chores that did not get done when they should have been. I'm so glad the weather has cooperated and given me a few extra days to winterize.

Best Job/Worst Job? In 1990, a dear friend whom I had worked with previously, offered me a job working for him. He was buying the establishment we had worked at together before and wanted me as his assistant manager. Cool! Since I had quit the job in order to move, I now had to move back to the area. Ok, no biggie. We weren't that committed to where we were living and really didn't like the town that much.

So, on to house-hunting, house-buying, house-selling (which took close to a year) and the dreaded moving. I helped dear friend and his wife remodel and paint the restaurant into their image - with minimum pay only since they weren't getting any income at this point. The day we opened, I found myself demoted to bar manager. A few months later, personnel manager was added to my duties -- they didn't have the backbone to criticise, warn or fire employees.

When I went to work for them, I had to requirements due to my health. One: I had to have two days off in a row. Two: Never call me before noon. They had no problem with my requests.

Or did they? We worked together in harmony with many days of butting heads. Often I was called upon to pick up necessities on my way to work -- the phone ringing at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning.

This was my best job in the way I was given responsibility and the way my suggestions were used to the benefit of the business. I helped with advertising duties and -- man -- could I sell the business and its products! Somehow I even managed to sell a few orders of raspberry chicken breast.

It was also the worst. A day finally arrived where after many repeated requests to not call until after 12:00 p.m., I delivered an ultimatium -- one more call and I would quit. Well, they didn't like ultimatiums ... the next day I arrived at work, they had a list of every thing I had ever did wrong. Even the things I okayed with them prior to doing. That was the worst day of my life.

Now that is the first I've done on here without any editing. At least you found a way to get me to write something this week. Thank you! :)

Carol 11-15-2001 19:01

Howard - Our machines were "tactical" machines. They looked to have been made in WWII. They had nomenclatures like TT-4 and TT-76. As far as who made them is anybody's guess. I recall we had a tuning fork that had a window that one looked through, then timed the machine by insuring that there were only three white dots on the timing wheel.

At any rate, I am quite sure that they were no longer used by the time I got out of the Army. This was back in 70-71. I quickly got out of that branch of communications and upped my MOS to 31G - my first was 36K - Field Wireman, I crossed trained into 72E - I don't recall the name, something like landline teletype or something like that, then crossed again into O5E - Radio Teletype then to 31G which was I think something like Communications Supervisor or some such name, at any rate I was in charge of a company level commo section. I also crossed in Comsec and served some time as a Comsec custodian, working sealed in a vault with classified documents and cipher devices. Now that was a lonesome boring job. Later in life, I was trained as a OOE Field Recruiter.

Gotta go check my turkey it has been smoking all day, and should be done by now (I hope)

Jerry 11-15-2001 18:56

JERRY - Only 60wpm on a teletype? We had our Chicago's and Kleinschmidt's running at 100wpm most of the time. Sixty was for old farts. I got so I could field-strip, clean, and reassemble a C or K in a real hurry, and not have to spend a lot of time in re-timing it, either! And that wasn't even my MOS!

howard 11-15-2001 16:39

Yo all!

It was the best of jobs, it was the worst of jobs; Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, in my Junior year of high school, I, little Jerry Lee, tossed chicken from smoky pots for the benifit of Yuma, Arizona.

The best of the job was when the store closed on Friday and Saturday nights. Somehow, I always seemed to cook too much chicken before closing and rather than throw it out, I would fill a bucket or two and head out for the inevitable party by the river. That chicken would buy me a plastic cup and depending on how hungry everyone was, maybe a little "something extra"...

It was the worst in that my Uncle was once in the Navy. Makes no sense, right? Sure it does. "In the Navy, we never took a shower longer than three minutes! We couldn't waste the water!" I smelled like original reciepe (sp) for the entire time I worked there.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee Huh? 11-15-2001 13:30

Hello Mary,

In keeping with both Jerry's teletype story and my worst job ever, I'd have to say working on a Telex 'cutter' doing 'monkey work' typing of certain information then sending it off for 'verification' was the worst.

I hated sitting at that machine (which truly hated me and my typing) and tapping keys only to find that after I'd made the tape, the machine gave me a message that could either mean a) I'm made too many typos; b) there was no information on the subject I was checking. Fortunately the PTB's recognized I had a brain and moved me 'upstairs' to a job where I could use it a bit (the brain that was).

My greatest triumph in that job was recognizing that the Shrew of an Office Manager downstairs couldn't berate me because I was no longer under her authority! Hah! Job went from bad to good in one week!

This also leads into Heather's comments about wordprocessing! My best job ever was with an 'free lance advertising copywriter' who used a PC (one of those terribly expensive IBMs) to type text and print out the product to be cut n' pasted, the 'old' way on yes, continuous feed paper!

Now that HTML (I always get the letters mixed up) I'm learning has new meaning ... I used all the codes for bold, italics, font and colour on the ancient IBM my boss had in his house. I loved that job. Especially figuring out that with a backspace and a few cursor moves, my 'mistakes' were not written in stone. And it was my first ever writing experience, too. My boss at that job liked working with a 'thinking human being' and I got the opportunity to write a little advertising copy. Usually mundane stuff, but it was still better than copy-typing any day!

As for religion ... I was taught tolerance and respect for the JW's who come to our door. Carrying on my mother's tradition, and extending this to various 'apostelic' um, sects, I recognize this particular 'mission' is intrinsic to the doctrine of the faithful. It only takes a few minutes to 'hear' someone out.

I learn a lot that way, since I attempt to follow the 'advice' given in the Desiderata ... "Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to the dull and ignorant, for they too have their story." I recently found out that a Mrs. not a Monk may have written The Desiderata.

To whomever the author was, my great thanks. Passive and active listening have given This Oyster a lot of grit for the shell. *Wicked Grin* No one ever knows if they'll end up in one of my books or short stories, so ... people who know me well have learned to 'curb their tongues'.

I must admit I'm careful about 'disguising' my 'inspirations'. I have no wish to share Truman Capote's fate. Tattling on your pals can lose you a few friends, yes?

J. Oyster 11-15-2001 12:42

Hello everyone.

I am back, and needless to say, glad that I missed the religion debate because now I can comment without being heated. I don't go knocking door to door, making people feel uncomfortable or confrontational because I believe the best way to introduce someone to the Lord, is to live your life the right way directly in front of them. Let them pick up on that and welcome you instead. However, I have a great respect for the missionaries and witnesses who go out of their comfort zone to take messages to people and give them the opportunity to learn and grow. If people didn't take religion to those outside of the church, then we wouldn't be doing our job of trying to teach as many as possible about God and the great things He does. There is a very delicate balance between witnessing to someone and making them feel coerced. I don't think that any JW could say anything to me that would affect me as much as Howard sharing with us how some of the people from his church helped him with his roof. Now, THAT'S how ya do it!

HEATHER: My funk didn't quite get to the robe-fold-stuck-in-the-butt phase, but I think I was well on my way to coffee-table-through-the-front-door. Cute quiz! I received your letter in the mail yesteday, Thank you so much for your sweet words. I sure do wish I could go to that bead store WITH you! Maybe some lunch and a tour around town? I'm on my way! Oh, wait. That's right, the transmission of my car is now in the bed of my Dad's truck. Guess you will have to take a raincheck.

Tomorrow is Thursday (already?) so for those of you who don't mind spur of the moment assignments the SHORTIE THEME is BEST JOB/WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD.

Back later guys, hubby needs the PC.

Mary 11-15-2001 11:06

Lurk lurk lurk lurk, giggle (Heather's funk quiz tickled me). Lurk lurk.

Too tired to do more but interesting reading folks.

Say, where is Mary and isn't this Thursday...nope still Wednesday for you all.

Allein I have a day off tomorrow ahhhhhh after I finish grading 35 more midterms. I'm going editing. Yay! Work's better. I'm not totally mad anymore and everyone is being extra polite to me....fearful I think! I must look a little on the "Indigo Side" It's the get up at five go to bed at 1:00AM routine that gets you. Hana still hasn't finished her work on the translations. Slow & slower family.

viv 11-15-2001 10:09


Where are they going?

Who wants them?

Debra 11-15-2001 9:53


You did it. You snapped me out of my blue funk. Now it's just a green one. :-}

blue funk Mel 11-15-2001 8:20

Thanks, Carol! I was feeling that 'deadline squeeze' and the pressure does work most of the time, but occasionally it does just the opposite and I can't sit still if I was chained to the chair. (Maybe I just don't wanna rewrite the scene... I've considered that at length) :oD

Taylor - See, the thing is, you ARE writing when you post here. I know it's faster not to use capitals, but it's the look of the composition that loses out, even though you may save time. Of course, you're free to post as you wish, and perhaps you are resisting the use of capital letters in order to express yourself creatively.

I just can't, in good conscience, go without using capitals in my sentences. I don't use all lower case in my emails either, and believe me, they're grammatically correct when I send them (save goof-ups) and my 'mechanics' are always 'on the job'. Sure, there are times when I want to just whip off an email and cram it into an inbox without worrying if I left out a space between two words - but on the whole I still do my best to communicate in the same way I would write a letter.

I don't have any qualms about lower case for artistic effect, especially in poetry (It's the principle behind e.e. cummings' usage of only lower case that is half the art,)
but in everyday writing? It's not just habit - I can't send a sentence off to be viewed without putting forth something that looks 'proper' to me. Guess that makes me on the old side? I hope not.
Jerry, I sincerely hope it's not going to be that way in the future, but that's part of the reason why I cringe when I see something like 'E-Z OFF'. If only companies would use a little more imagination in coming up with an original product name, (like 'Swiffer', which isn't a real word, so it can't be spelled incorrectly!) they wouldn't have to come up with stupid anagrams which are aiding in the bastardization of the language. (It's not just anagrams, but I can't think of what they're called..)
I do pray it's not just laziness that is veering the language off-course.

Well, I'm going to have to join Gariess' Geezer Club soon. Today (November 15th) is my Anniversary! Yahooo!
And next year I have another birthday. :-D Kidding, really, I suppose 30 is considered young in some parts of Eternity.

Good to see you're back Carol - I hope you're feeling un-funked! Just for you, here is a quiz (Hope it brightens up your day, even if it's only because I'm thinkin' of you, not because you just replaced a burnt-out lightbulb or two... ;oD )


1. When making a cup of coffee do you:

a) Use every coffee ground in the house for a single cup
b) Add Aspirin, Jolt Cola, Ibuprophen and Peyote to your morning brew
c) Eat the grounds right out of the bag/jar
d) Have trouble bringing yourself to turn on the faucet
e) Never make it to the kitchen

2. When getting dressed do you:

a) Stand there for two hours crying because you can't find the favourite blue sweater you gave to charity three years ago
b) Not bother with underwear or bra, since what the hell, it's 'hang loose day' (If you're a guy, then 'no underwear' and I don't need to repeat what 'day' it is)
c) Put your clothes on, but nothing matches and you don't give a shit. Shorts, kneehigh socks and sweater-vests are the lastest, didn't ya know?
d) Get dressed, are you kidding?
e) Strip, but don't have the energy to get dressed, so your robe is the garment of the day - mouldy Kleenex and dinky cars in the pockets and all

3. When the phone rings do you:

a) Stare at it until it shuts up
b) Shoot it
c) Answer it without saying hello, breathing heavily until the caller wonders whether they've just received a 'prank answer'
d) Tell the representative from Sears that not only will you have your ducts cleaned, but would they mind terribly if you booked the guy for the rest of the week?
e) Hope it's not your mother since you answered with, "Go gnaw the balls off an Ox!"

4. If the doorbell rings, do you:

a) Send your coffee table through it
b) Open the drapes and moon anyone within two hundred feet of your door
c) Howl, snarl and bay like a rabid wolf, after leaving two or three sheepskins on the porch
d) Answer in your P.J.'s (see Q #2) and lean close enough to completely enclose the person in a cloud of morning breath
e) Pound on your side of the door, crying weakly, 'Someone left the lid off the sugar bowl! Was it you?'


*If you checked off any of the above responses to any of the above questions; YOU'RE IN A FUNK. Call the local humane society and ask if there are any Oxen available for rent.

*If you didn't check off any of the responses to any of the above questions, but it was because you couldn't bring yourself to print out the page and find a pen (or use your mental notepaper) then YOU'RE IN A BLUE FUNK! Leave the phone off the hook, twist that stereo knob to the upper-most volume, and pretend you are about to debut at the Ice Capades - naked. Remember to close the drapes unless you plan on answering the door again.

*If you are reading this with your eyes running, a Kleenex stuffed up each nostril, your robe hanging open and one fold of it has been up your butt for the whole day; you haven't shaved your legs in a month, your hair is slicked to the side of your face, you've not moved more than a quarter of an inch per hour all year, AND you have begun entertaining thoughts of making smiling illegal:



Heather 11-15-2001 3:33

I'm still around, just in a funk. Heather, send on that chapter whenever you're ready. I know the wait will give Miss Reader Elf more enjoyment and Editor Elf can just sit quietly in a corner.

Carol 11-15-2001 1:02

Speaking of typing of old, I first learned on old Remington manual and graduated to a Teletype machine in the Army. Now there was a machine, they had figured out how to make the machine only accept one kepress at a time, no matter how many keys you were putting pressure on. Thus you could be pressing hard on the letter t while beginning to press the h key. This made for fantastically fast typing except for one thing, the machine could only run at a maximum of 60 words per minute, due to the motor that powered it. I had one hell of a time reverting back to a typewriter when I got on the PD, again an old manual as using that technique, I always had key jams. But one learns to adapt.

I guess you all can feel free to butcher the English language all you want, after all I am not an editor, nor am I paying you for what you write. It does seem a shame though to profess to be a writer yet have such a callus respect for how you present the written word even if it is just on the internet, where it is accessible to probably forty percent of the literate world.

It drives me crazy to see such things on television, such as e.r. and the trailer of movies where there is no capitalization on the names of the actors and other participants. Maybe it is the coming thing, and the bastardization of the English language will continue until in another hundred years, those who can still read, if there are any, will wonder at the processes we now call proper usage, and fail to understand what a capitol letter is. Then again, I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time. Probably won't be the last either.

Jerry 11-15-2001 0:03

one more thing

a couple of australian relief workers have been released as well, and now on safe soil

a little enthusiastic there people

on brainwashing:
i think weve all been brainwashed about something or rather in our lives...sometimes bad, sometimes good.

why i dont use capitals:
you noticed on posts by me, that i dont use capitals unless to show enthusiasm or excitement... as done above.
i only use capitals on one name at the moment to show my respect for.
when i am writing thats a different story

taylor 11-14-2001 23:06

can i send my heartfelt thanks to the northern alliance here...

its the first victory of many to come im was great news to wake up to in the morning especially after the plane crash in NYC... now that people know that there has been taken a step further into the beginning

a writing subject:

how far should you take a story on the first draught? in other words, what can you use, and how do you find out what uou can use...
such as... location settings mainly

taylor 11-14-2001 22:56

J. Oyster: I don't know about a cure, but it took me ages to get used to how close together the keys are on a computer keyboard in comparison to typewriters. My first novel ended up mostly handwritten because there were so many typos I felt offended reading my own work! I'm quite used to computer keyboards now, (it's been fifteen years since I made the switch) but it took some time to reprogramme my fingers - still making typos, too!
The word processor I used back then was quite useless and rudimentary, even for spelling correction (here I'm making it sound like it was in the Jurassic age instead of the 80's). I was used to a typewriter's key spacing, so often found I made mistakes when correcting previous mistakes! And the computer paper - oh my. It was the kind you had to rip apart, and then take the edges off as well. The printer had an annoying habit of scrunching the paper part way through printing a chapter and the whole latter half would be munched, often the whole rest of the chapter would be printed all on the same line - big black smear. The printer was not able to receive a 'stop it' command part-way through the job.
I ended up either using the electric typewriter in my room, ("It's too loud, Heather!") or writing it longhand. The joys.
To sum up that windy bit up there; Yes. You will get used to it, but don't count on the 'getting used to it' part until your tenth novel or so. *grin*

Heather 11-14-2001 22:16

Hi G.c. wherever you are. I'm rather new, too. I'll second your short treatise on writer's forums.

Jerry, I just read your last post to Deja and immediately thought of an oldster who actually typed in lower case ... e. e. cummings. I recall a student in U attempting to imitate the same style and catching it from the instructor.

This rather pithy. prudish english instructor made me hide my huge, self-satisfied smile behind my hand (I was actually rather envious that I hadn't thought of using e. e. cummings destinctive style to make my writing stand out):

"When you are as famous as Mr. Cummings (mr. cummings?) then you may use lower case familiar. If you want to be graded in this course, you will use proper punctutation and grammar. As well as following the University guidelines for term papers."

The Dragoness had spoken! To wit, the budding e. e. dropped the class. Finally, after hitting every first year english class at the U (and dropping all of them), he went to the local college where he found someone who appreciated his lower case writing style as well as other personal ... affectations? And he still hasn't published anything of note!

However, certain literary magazines are doing all sorts of 'cutting edge' publishing of no case and less punctuation poetry and word pictorals. I look upon these as an art form more than anything else. My particular favourite was a short story handwritten in the shape of a tree. Up here in Canada it is practically impossible to 'get published' in the Literary Arena without some 'destinctive' style.

I actually envy Deja in a way. The only time I can type in lower case is when I really concentrate and I use it for emphasis. While some of my friends minimze their fonts to simulate whispers, I haven't quite mastered that font reduction feature yet. To simulate the computer-whiz kids' versions of whispers, I'll resort to typing in only lower case. As in:

uh oh. i think i've babbled too long.

I suspect I suffer from Olivetti-itis, when the old Olivettis had spool ribbons and exact finger pressure and slamminig one's pinky on the caps key became such a habit, I'll never break it.

is there a cure for this, do you think?

J. Oyster 11-14-2001 21:46

Deja, all you have to do is go back and read your post to Jerry, and you'll know what I meant. And thanks for the thank you, I did see it. I could get into more about brainwashing, but since that freaks you out, I won't.

I haven't read the Toni Morrison book you mentioned - I'll look for it. 'Beloved' by Morrison is also on the sad side - but I still recommend it. 'Tar Baby' is strange, to say the least, but a good read nonetheless. Have a good time!

Where has everyone been lately?

Gariess - husband and wife team... it doesn't ring any cranial bells. People who do that sort of thing (volcano spelunking and research, etc.) don't come across quite so ridiculous as those who purposely do things that would say, get them into the Guiness Book of Records. Some of the tamer things, sure - I admire a person who decides to make the most gargantuan pancake ever. I don't however, see any qualities worth noting in someone who can squirt milk through their eye ducts the farthest. Guess it's all up to taste, another pun not intended.

How about the 'contest' on some perverted show called 'Gutterball Alley' - I happened to be channel surfing and stopped for a precious few seconds. The MC was informing the audience of what the contest entailed, while two men in diapers stood nearby, sipping beer. They'd been drinking it back from an hour before the show as well, so said the MC. The contest? Whoever peed their diaper on the show first was the loser.
Gee, I thought anyone over 4 clad in a cloth diaper on television was a loser!
Glad I didn't stick around to watch... *gag*

Heather 11-14-2001 21:42

HOWARD: Because they didn't call me now for deir free readin!

Miss Cleo 11-14-2001 21:32

Deja - I read your post with an eye to proper usage. I know we all take shortcuts when we post, but the use of shortcuts in posting can lead to such usage in our writing.

What I am referring to, is the usage of the small i when referring to yourself, the failure to begin new sentences with a capital letter, and so forth. I see this in the postings here but only with the younger posters. We oldsters who didn't cut our teeth on a computer keyboard seem to continue with proper capitalization, and an attempt at the proper usage of commas, periods, and other punctuation marks.

Just a comment, feel free to post as you feel comfortable, but it does have the effect of fingernails on a blackboard when I read it.

Jerry 11-14-2001 20:55

Heather, what???? Hook jerry with a guess why. or something or other. if jerry doesn't want people coming to bother him at the door it's not my problem. i could care less. just tell them not to come back. they'll mark it down, make a note of it, i guess. i'm only 16 yrs old. what do i know? well i know that i'm not brainwashed. i choose to do what i want. i could walk out if i want. but if that's what you meant by brainwashing then i'd better throw away my definition i had in mind.

and who's to say what will happen next? i don't want to talk about religion anymore. let's talk about writing and books. i thanked you for the books, too, Heather. I like Toni Morrison. But "The Bluest Eye," the one I was reading for school, it was too sad. Damn Cholly for doing what he did to Pecola. Their lives are completely messed up. " Tar Baby" is my next destination. I'll read it soon.

Jerry. The Chief of Police? Wow. I was thinking you'd be more the fireman-type. Don't know how I guessed that. Just did.

NO MORE TALK OF RELIGION UNLESS IT'S NECESSARY. whew. had enough to deal with at school on that subject.

Deja 11-14-2001 19:27

WONDERFUL news, the American's who were held hostage in Afghanistan are Free and on their way to Pakistan. WAY TO GO TROOPS!

Jerry 11-14-2001 18:35

Smoked two chickens yesterday, boy were they hard to keep lit! Very tasty, we cut into one today, and are saving the other for Xmas Eve. We have a turkey thawing in the sink, I will smoke it tomorow. Boy I am loving this unusual summer weather deep in November. It sort of reminds me of living in El Paso. The weatherman keeps saying winter will come next week, but he has been wrong for the last three weeks, I hope it lasts.

Dija - I don't want to have to peek out the window to see who is there, that simply isn't my way.

Have a good night, oh by the way, I am happy that things are going so well in our little war.

Jerry 11-14-2001 18:32

What I want to know is:
...Why can't we file a class action lawsuit against Miss Cleo for failing to inform us of the terrorist attack *before* 9/11?

howard 11-14-2001 15:08


I don't know of any footage of vulcanologists slipping into their subject matter, but there is some of a renowned husband and wife team who were consumed by a pyroplastic flow. Not film of them, hand in hand, being overtaken by hell itself - and even for these lava lovers I am sure that consumption was a heels first process, - but of that final expedition to a "hot hole."

I found a suggested resume of Kurt Vonnegut on the web. It appears we share one common membership, the Barnstable Comedy Club. Our terms did not coincide. Kurt had to be more tolerant than I ever gave him credit for. Perhaps his membership was obligatory; he did live in the village for a few years. The Comedy Club is so NOT Vonnegut. It is a parochial little community (formerly known as amateur) theater organization. Still, Vonnegut, as well as being superbly brilliant, is a study in contradiction. I found out that his brother, Bernie, was the guy who invented "cloud seeding." Bernie was the consummate intellectual, a family trait to say the least.


gariess 11-14-2001 12:16

Lurk...lurk...lurk :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 11-14-2001 11:55

Gariess - Of course I watch the West Wing. Not that I agree with their politics, nothing could be fruther from the truth. In fact I nearly abandoned them when they went on and on about gun control. In fact I saw that fellow who stars as the Pres on some talk show, and he professed his absolute belief that guns should be totally banned, and that even the police shouldn't be allowed to carry them. Now nobody ask him about the military, but the way he was talking I think he would have said we should also disarm them.

No I watch it because it is good intertainment. They seem to have good plot lines, and the acting is very believable. There is also that old addage about "know your enemy" I also watch Geraldo on his nightly talk show where he interviews fellow liberals, in fact it is very eye opening to watch that show just to see the true beliefs of most of the press corps. When they appear on his show they uncover their true beliefs, many of them are more liberal then Geraldo himself, and that takes some doing.

Of course many showed their true beliefs during the last Presidential election, when they smiled widely when they thought Algore would win, but were saddened, in fact angry and frustrated that President Bush did win.

To balance this all out, I now listen to Rush Limbaugh, even giving up my favorite soap opera on most days to listen for that extra hour (only when I feel the need for a boost in conservativism).

An old buddy of mine, the one who swung me across the line into conservativism is now a lawyer. Of course four years of college, followed by three years in law school turned him into a liberal. Now when we speak, he keeps working on turning me back, but to no avail. His arguments go from "you have to be liberal now since you are on Social Security, because the conservatives want to do away with that program!" To tales of poor down trodden people who, because of the way the world treated them turned to a life of crime. It doesn't work, but it is fun to discuss anyhow. My only regreat is that he now lives so far away that the only communications we have is over the internet, and because he is so busy now, it is a rare treat to get any word from him.

He is a good lawyer, in fact I hired him to represent me with Workers Comp when they denied me benifits many years ago. He did a great job.

Jerry 11-14-2001 10:28

Hello everyone: I have a meeting I have to prepare for tomorrow evening. However, I will try to get to some things on Thursday. Given that it is looking like Thursday it is going to be high winds and rain, it is looking I will not have a chance to try out my new BCD. I went out on a boat dive this past weekend and dove the Tacoma Narrows under the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Some might know it as the successor to Galloping Gurty. It was a drift dive at about two and a half naughts. Can we say bat out of hell or superman with a scuba tank and no cape. Not a terribly long dive, but I avoided immitating a bug on a windshield barely. There were some huge concrete blocks that were used to anchor the boats used when they built the bridge. At any rate, the second dive, I lost my pocket weights in my BCD and elevatored to the surface. This having happened three times before, I finally bit the bullet and dug into some savings and bought a new Sea-Quest Black Diamond BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) and am looking forward to trying it out soon.
I am hoping to have time, thus, on Thursday to make one more desperate stab at making the Workbook a functioning reality. Wish me luck.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-14-2001 3:46

Oh, one more thing - Taylor - I'm not of any physical church either. I don't believe that we must go to a building built by humans to worship, love and understand the Highest Being.
Before anyone jumps on me, yes, I know the buildings were built for God, (and in fact, God requested that Temples be built for His Praise in the Old Testament) but I think that since our bodies are also God's temples, we should first and foremost make it a place worthy of praising the Highest One.

I'm still working on it.


Heather 11-14-2001 2:53

Taylor, I think you're correct when you said that people should approach the church, or members thereof when interested, rather than church members going about town trying to convert people, most of whom will in fact be pushed away from looking into that religion if hounded at the door of their own homes.
I have spoken to the Witnesses on occasion (at length) on days when I felt I was up to chatting and bantering ideas about; and I like that they translate the Bible literally - if you take what Jesus said literally, it is simple truth. He gave many teachings in different formats, as any good teacher would, so that everyone could understand. There are a number of different ways people learn, in general. Some can really catch the drift of parable, and some need it spelled out, etc...
Unfortunately, the way the Bible is, not all of it can be understood literally; and this is explained by God's Mind being far too above our human brains to comprehend. I agree, however, the point of the Bible is so that humans could gain an understanding of God's Great Mind.
I suspect it has more to do with how our language has changed over time; evolved or devolved, depending. It also depends on the individual - they may not have the understanding just yet to capture the true essense in a passage or chapter - but as they grow, they will most likely be able to.

Deja - did you find any Richard Bach books? Love to hear what you think!


Heather (again) 11-14-2001 2:49

Whoops, that would be Alpha with an 'l'.

And I think I managed a few other typos. Have to keep up with my daily quota!

Heather 11-14-2001 2:41

Gariess - you're right - I've seen the dippers too, and those tools they use :o)
They must be a slight bit disheveled in the grey matter to want to hang about live volcanoes, just for a sniff and a dip. I wonder if there is any footage anywhere of the ones who got a little too close and slip--

I agree, Jerry, I don't like to be bothered at home either, day or evening, by salespeople, religious fanatics, or anyone else uninvited. I'm not always well-groomed at 9 am. I'm not always dressed, either - especially on weekends. Sometimes I stay in my pj's until the afternoon! Why? Because I can.
Due to having small children about the house, I usually can't get away with the 'I'm not home' ploy when I get those knocks on the door. There's enough everyday commotion going on that I'm sure can be heard through the door! I have played the 'it's too noisy to hear the doorbell' ploy, only to find out it was my mother-in-law knocking. Well, that's why she's got our phone number, my husband said, smirking as wide as his face allowed. He finds the strangest things hilarious.

He also find it fun to ask paradoxical questions when he happens to be home and a religious bunch come knocking. Don't ask me where he gets these genius Q's, but he thinks them up on the spot. My usual response to those trying to convert me is 'Thanks, I've got my baptismal certificate. It says, Lutheran.' Or, I tell them about that coven thing, that I wrote in my post yesterday... the Baptismal certificate line hasn't always worked. Gotta cache these zingers away for future reference.
I don't mean to insult you personally, Deja, but the religion you are part of happens to find the door to door thing inseparable from being a member - and you are cleverly brainwashed to believe that it's your job to ferret out every single person in need of 'saving' by your religion; just to point that out. In your post to Jerry, you tried to hook him in with a 'guess why' ploy. You may not even realize that you did it, but that's why brainwashing works altogether too well. You take it to be your own word-choice, but in reality, the tactics were planted in your mind long ago.
Now don't get upset and all undie-knotted; I never said that we aren't all brainwashed to some degree - in fact, even if you were only to watch one hour of television per week, it is likely that you would be unknowingly influenced.
Advertisments are little 30-second brainwash sessions. They use vivid imagery, and a catchy jingle so that when you're not paying attention, you start humming the tune. If the commercial can make you laugh, people will not mind watching it three or four times an hour. With all the flashing of the screen (with light patterns) and products, catch-phrases, and symbolism, it's no wonder teens and sometimes even adults have trouble coming to terms with the fact that they don't have to wear only certain brand name labels to look nice or to be cool. Some people feel they have no identity until they wear it as clothing, a sort of transference. It also prevents them from developing a personal identity outside of brand name labels, and so find mid-life crises to be outlandishly difficult, when all of a sudden they realize that they aren't what they wear or what they do.
I love pigeonholing, don't you?

Epsilons... Aphas, Betas, Cappas, Deltas and Epsilons...

(Recognize the reference?) Okay, folks, NAME THAT NOVEL!

On your marks, get set,


Pardon me for going on and on and on and on about


hear any waves lapping?

Hope not!

Heather 11-14-2001 2:38

time to add in my 2 cents worth about religion

i have been to christian, mormons, and studied JW for a time, but not at a church for JWs
i dont have anything against god or the people, just have a thing against organised religion

I dont goto church now, but have learnt alot more of myself after i left... people often tell me i should return to church, however i just tell them that it would be hypocritical of me if i return

i have nothing against people who are religious or goto church, but i am against the people who want to push their beliefs onto people...
in this free world, people should approach them... not the other way around

taylor 11-14-2001 2:28


I have seen those volcano freaks with their little dippers, so there does seem to be something that can hold molten lava. The problem with the stuff is that it loses its physical state instantly in our cold atmosphere making it unmanageable and difficult to work with. You would probably wind up throwing The Evil One into the lava in frustration.


gariess 11-14-2001 2:02


Your news guy was employing an accepted practice from News Conference 101. It’s called a number of things, but it is essentially badgering. It is akin to the hunter who keeps trying to get the target to slip up and step back into the bead. A shot to the right, a shot to the left, a shot to the right, a shot to the right. Ha ha! Gotcha.

A reporter learns never to give up the game. One keeps trying to get whatever is there. Even when it is plain as can be that there is nothing there.

That dialogue smacks a bit of a West Wing script, though. Can’t you just picture C.J. doing those lines? What am I saying? Jerry, watch The West Wing? The Rosetta Stone of the Liberal Entertainment Conspiracy? Silly me.

later, Dude


gariess 11-14-2001 1:53

Ok, no problem. I guess I get a bit defensive about religion. Right now I am considering returning to the church of my youth, but for some reason, my sister has taken it upon herself to insure that I make the change. She is a decon of the church, and has been attempting to convert me back anyhow. In fact as I type this, she is on ICQ trying to get me to come along with my wife to her church and meet the minister.

Now it was the wife's idea to change back, and I can go along with that, her reasoning is that we are getting old, and should be a member of some church so we can have a proper burial. You see, the church wouldn't bury my dad, because he wasn't a member, likewise several of my uncles and aunts. She doesn't want that to happen to her. I guess I feel a bit guilty for not having gone to church for many years, and it seems I was holding the wife back too, although she never complained. Now though we are both failing a bit on the health front, and I guess when you get a bit closer to meeting your maker, the church seems to be more inviting.

As far as your church, I understand where you are coming from, but to tell you the truth, I don't like to be bothered. I chase away salesmen with threats of civil and criminal action, I chase away everyone who comes to my door that wasn't invited, or doesn't have a standing invitation. This comes from many years of working rotating shifts, where sleep was important, and often interupted by well meaning folks from churches, and from sales companies. Now a salesman who came to my door then, had best have his permit in his hand, as that was the first thing I requested. If he were not able to produce one, I would tell him to come in, while I dressed, and haul his ass up to the Police Station, where he would either be arrested, or purchase a permit. You see, I was the Chief of Police, and many a Combined Insurance Salesman suffered my rath for peddeling his worthless insurance at my door.

Anyhow, it is nice to meet you I hope you find what you are looking for at this stite. We have had a good many young folks who's writing matured right here, and I think we all enjoy their company.

Jerry 11-14-2001 0:27

I'm not a Ms. Just a girl. A little girl. N'inquiete pas. I didn't mean anything.

i've had a gun aimed at my head. don't think i'd be scared of anything. and the doors slamming in my face? That's something worth putting in a book. or at least in my photo album.

i'm checking out some of Heather's suggestions. THANK YOU, HEATHER. I have a bunch of books stacked on my bed tonight.

Deja 11-13-2001 23:46

i got this idea while on a bus...
the actual story is based around the people on the bus... unfortunately due to the story circumstances, their lovely holiday plans have been cancelled...

taylor 11-13-2001 22:48

Mr. Deja (Or is it MS?)

I have a thing against anyone who thinks they know more about God, or more about what I should do, or more about how I should pray.

It isn't that I hate or even dislike Jehova's Wittnesses, I just want to be left alone, and that simply does not happen!

Maybe you folks like to take abuse, and if you do then come visit me. This is still a free nation, and you are completely free to come and knock at my door. I am also completely free to slam that door in your face.

Now I would really like to get along with you, as I have attempted to get along with anyone and everyone in this wonderful notebook. All that I ask is to be left alone when I am home doing what I do.

You folks should deffenetly have a keep away from list. Had you one, then my address should be the first one on that list.

I have no need to be converted. I have no need to read the Watchtower. I have no need for intervention from any other faith then the one that I am involved in. I don't want to discuss religion with anyone who comes knocking at my door. I treat the moonies and any other religion who bothers me the absolutly same way, in fact I did the very same to members of my church when they came to my door to discuss church business. Church business should be discussed at church.

Jerry 11-13-2001 22:25


1) I don't care if you're biased or not...against anything.
2)I was just wondering what in the world you meant by Jehovah's Witnesses ringing your doorbell " at this time of night," or something or other.
3) I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses. No, we are not trying to convert heathens from doing wrong-will. It might be part of what we want to do, yes, but that's not it. To find out more, go to one of our meetings. You'll see what I mean.
4) I'm a writer, too. Hey, I'm a writer, who's one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and I'm still alive.
5) We do not go knocking at people's doors so late. Maybe we do. Hm, morning's are best. If you want to escape our lectures on fear and anxiety and depression, and a way to cope with it before you hurt yourself, then look through the window. We'll see you peeking through the crack, and we'll pretend we didn't see anyone there, even if we DID.
4) If you slammed the door in my face, I'd come back the next day and knock again. ^_^. We don't give up that easily.

Deja 11-13-2001 21:55

Kimberlee, Pacific Heights IS a modern story.

Heather 11-13-2001 21:00

Hi, I am not a writer, nor would I like to be. I am just a normal person that has had her life ruined by a modern day Pacific Heights......Is anyone interestd in writing the story based on TRUTH? I have written a brief scenario on what has happened. Please contact me at: if you are interested in a GOOD story.


Kimberlee 11-13-2001 20:57

Hi right back, Litter! Great to see you popping in more often! :o>

Howard, Gariess - understand those musings about what torture might be most fitting... I myself wouldn't mind filling ladin's body cavities drop by drop with molten lava - only problem is finding a crucible that can hold lava. So far, none available. Might have to resort to red-hot pebbles, stuffing them wherever the sun don't shine. On him, that's likely everywhere.

Heather 11-13-2001 20:35

Taylor - is the bus ride your character's taking a long one? If it's a short one, you may only want to give a curt bit of information on the more memorable passengers. For example, the squall of a young child struggling to get from his mother's lap, an old woman with a nubbly scrap of moustache at the corners of her upper lips. She keeps nodding off with her hands draped over the curve of her cane, only to wake with a snap when her chin bangs against her knuckles. There is a young couple having an argument, which gets louder as the bus ride continues. When the bus pulls to a stop, the man takes off out the back doors, leaving his girlfriend to cry quietly in a handfull of ratty Kleenex. When she climbs off the bus several stops later, she tosses a pair of gold earrings onto the bus floor...
You catch my drift.

Just think about what would make you look, or what would catch your interest and attention if you were riding the bus. If you still have trouble, take a bus ride for real, with your notebook handy to jot down any ideas, the sights, sounds and smells - but especially the people.

Heather 11-13-2001 20:31

Taylor - It has been some time since I rode a greyhound, (Get your mind out of the gutter Randall!) but as I recall the type of folk that typically ride a bus are the, shall we say, lower class of folks. Those who can't afford to fly, and don't have a car, or at least one that will go as far as they need to go. I would fill it with poor folks, some the salt of the earth, others a bit off in the attic. Then of course there has to be a drunk or two, a lazy oaf, maybe a nun or two in habit. There should be a good supply of minorities, maybe an arab or two, and there simply must be an American Indian, a wise one who is trying to make it back to the Reservation after a trip to visit his congressman about improving the conditions of his home.

Do I sound a bit off, or is that about right?

Jerry 11-13-2001 20:24

RHODA: Major PC crash at the weekend. Lost the file copy of your chapter but I still have the hard copy that I worked on -- I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Everyone else -- Hi!

Litter 11-13-2001 20:07

hi there i have a comment about writing
believe it or not!

what im having problems with at the moment is I need to fill a busload full of people... believable characters but different types, the bus doesnt have quite a full load

dont know why i bothered sharing this... guess its just a writing thing that i wanted to share

taylor 11-13-2001 18:50

I'm currently writing a hero/fantasy novel that I'm having writer's block on, and another fantasy/hero that I'm flying through. I have other's, but there basicly in the very early stages(scraps on a notebook!).

G.c. 11-13-2001 14:28

Jerry - I usually tell them 'Oh, I'm already part of a coven, thanks'... that sends them packing without time to fetch a suitcase.
They are, however, a very tenacious bunch, and it seems the same people, or one individual in particular will keep coming back no matter how stubborn we are. There's one guy who keeps knocking - he's tried different times of day and every time he comes to the door he brings a different 'Witness' with him.
I am always clear and concise. I don't need saving - already been there, and thank you, but if it was done right the first time, it needn't be done again in a different flavour. Believe me, once you are baptised, it's for good. That wasn't supposed to be a pun, but I'll take it.
Yesterday was interesting - not only has my grace come back, it brought dance partners. I was twirling brooms, making two points every time I tossed paper towels, throwing my cloth in the air and it landed in my hand even if I wasn't looking. These are the days I wish I'd joined Circe D' Solais (An all-people circus - ie: no animal acts at all). No matter what I did at home or work, it seemed the Klutz Fairy has indeed left the premises. Ii should prepare for the next Griswald attack, but how do you save up daily graces?

I suppose they're like time - you can't save it, you can only spend it wisely or foolishly.

2 points

Heather 11-13-2001 11:36

Heather, funny you should mention the Jehovah's, it hasn't been over three days now since their last attempt at saving my decrepit old soul.

I was in the midst of editing one of my short's to send it back to you when the door bell rang. My good wife was sitting in her rocker with the heating pad on her bad knee trying to alleviate the pain. The television was playing, one of my wife's favorites, the name escapes me at the moment, as I wasn't watching it.

My back was giving me particular hell over some small task I attempted that I shouldn't have, and I damn well know what I should and shouldn't do, but ignore my good sense from time to time to undertake them anyhow. Suffice to say, it was not a good time for anyone to ring my door bell, and all our friends and neighbors know better then to ring it at that time of the night in the first place.

But as I say, the doorbell rang. Renn our little terrier goes totally bonkers when that bell rings, and the people at the door seemed impatient, or maybe they just bumped it, but it rang again throwing Renn into one of his terrible barking fits that should have warned them to turn and run, but alas, they ignored the signs and stood at the screen door, they were still standing there when at last I made it to the door, after tripping on my shoes which I had laid aside my recliner but they somehow walked a few steps into my pathway.

Needless to say, I was not in any kind of mood to be addressed by anyone, especially the Jehovah's witnesses.

As I opened the door, there they stood, now I don't think there is a soul alive who would not recognized a Jehovah's Witness when they stand at your door, as they all seem to dress alike. These two were dressed in their best Sunday-Go-To-Meeting cloths, covered with their long black overcoats. In their hands, the tools of their trade, each holding a small bible in one hand, copies of "The Watchtower" in the other.

"Good evening sir" the lady began (did I say there was one older lady accompanied by a young man, no I don't think I did, it was.)

Sir she called me, now in my army days, should someone call me Sir, the response would be "Don't call me Sir, I work for a living!" and I almost said that, but held my tongue.

"We are talking to people in the neighborhood about fear."

Knowing what was coming, and not having the time to discuss anything, I replied: "Well you best find someone else to talk to!"

Before I slammed the door in their faces, I saw what appeared a look of shock on the ladies face, but they went away, and for that I am thank full.

Life is just to short to have to be bothered by those folks, now I can understand that it is part of their religion that they try to convert the heathen to their beliefs, but I don't need conversion. I understand that rejection is also part of their belief, so I go away knowing that my rejection will help them on their way to heaven.

Jerry 11-13-2001 10:38

JERRY and all other interested parties,

I regards to the American media and how they cover stories, read this link on how the American media would report WWII. I think you will get a good laugh over it.

Rhoda Link 11-13-2001 10:35

And G.c.,

What do you write exactly? This site has been up over six years and hastn't shut down yet. We usually share our work on a forum known as the Notebook, but Jack still has to fix it. There are many good critique partners here. So, please introduce yourself, and tell us a about your work.

Rhoda 11-13-2001 10:25


I hear your frustration. That has happened to me countless times with both Internet groups and with ones that meet in person.

So what do you do? Do what you did. Just come on here and share your experiences, discoveries and frustrations with other writers.

Rhoda 11-13-2001 10:21

Well I just found this site. I'm having a very horrible day. My writer's club(frustrated writer's online) went down today, and they announced that it will be down forever! I feel like banging my head against the wall, becuase that is the third time it's happened! Well Hello everyone! I'm going to go stare at the wall!

I have no clue what to do on this site, and maybe someone can explain.

G.c. 11-13-2001 3:42

Jerry - leave XP on the Jehovah Witness' doorstep. They'll be so busy installing and uninstalling and rebooting, they won't have time to make their rounds for another millennia.

Gariess - so kind of you to point that out. I noticed it after posting, and concluded that it was allowed, considering the rest of my evening was filled to overflowing with bloopers and mishaps. And to think I actually thought today would be a fresh start - I should have known that something terrible would happen today; the Universe was trying to tell me something yesterday. It was: Don't leave the house. Not even to buy tampons.

Carol - I'm trying to get chapter 3 ready for you and I keep hitting a wall. I suppose the scene I am in the middle of rewriting is one of those scenes where you don't want to emulate the experience in your own mind because it feels mighty shitty. Ah, well, I'll get through it. Planning on popping into my Corel 9 next and re-reading to see if I get zotted (as in the comic 'B.C.', ZOT!) Hopefully the ZOT will include finishing the darned scene, though I tell you, after today's plane crash shock, I'm not sure if I'm up to it. I can at least send you the first quarter of the chapter, but I'd rather not break it up into chunks...
Yeah, I think my brain's just realized the rest of me has been in shock since 3 pm, when I turned on the TV; and now my brain's finally caught up.
NUMB - that's what it is.

Then again, could be just wind burn. Had to turn back half-way through my walk since I didn't wear a scarf.

Deja - if you want a terrific read, here's a short list:
(These are on my shelf over the monitor, all excellent reads)

The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
Bloodsong, by Jill Neimark
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood (first Atwood I liked)
A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff
The Winter of the World series, by Michael Scott Rohan, including 'The Anvil of the Ice', 'The Forge in the Forest' and 'The Hammer of the Sun'. Couldn't put either of those three down - I was in agony every moment I couldn't spend time reading one!
Beloved, by Toni Morrison, and 'Tar Baby' also by Toni Morrison.
The Clock Winder, by Anne Tyler (if you want to check out an author who is absolutely great at her characterizations, read Tyler's recent works)
My latest reads were two books by the same author; 'The Road Less Travelled' and 'People of the Lie' by M. Scott Peck, M.D. Excellent books, even if you're not into psychology.
I have a collection of short stories by O. Henry - they're great but the language can get rather boggy. You need to be in an early 20th century kind of mood.
Another terrific book: Flowers For Algernon. I can't recallt the author off the top of my head - that book is on my shelves upstairs, and I'm firmly planted to this chair for a while...
Other WONDERFUL books - I absolutely love and will read once every year or two - any books by Ayn Rand, but especially
--The Fountainhead
--Atlas Shrugged

Richard Bach - read his books once every year or two as well, sometimes I read 'Jonathon' more than once a year, as I do 'The Tao of Pooh'.
Any Richard Bach book will do,
Here are a few to look for:
---Jonathon Livingston Seagull
---Illusions - Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
---The Bridge Across Forever
---Running From Safety
---There's No Such Place as Far Away

I recommend reading 'Jonathon' first, the concepts may take a little getting used to.

I also recommend Hemingway (though his work is an aquired 'taste'), Shakespeare, George Orwell, Dickens, Bronte (any Bronte!), Flaubert, and most any classic - check out Penguin Classics, they cover a lot of authors.

I also love Tom Robbins, and laugh outrageously every time I read any of his novels - but I hear his work is an aquired taste as well - why anyone wouldn't just love it to shreds is beyond me. 'Jitterbug Perfume', 'Still Life With Woodpecker', 'Skinny Legs and All' and 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues' are my favourites of Robbins', but all are of the 'can't put down' variety.

And this was the short list, friends!



Heather 11-13-2001 3:05

Heather - I just had that kind of a night. I had a major post all typed into this box, hit the ENTER button, and my STUPID ISP bumped me off, lost the whole damn thing!

Anyhow, I will try and describe my day again.

It all began when I upgraded my computer to windows 2000. THings were working great, even my 3d games were working, as I found DirectX for NT and installed that.

So then I got to thinking, sort of like this:

If windows 2000 is working so well, and it is based on NT, then maybe I was premature in my cursing of Windows XP, afer all it too is based on NT.

So I grabbed my disk and installed XP one more time.

That was the beginning of my nightmare, I spent the rest of the day, and most of tonight trying to get it to recognize my network, it wouldn't even let me online. I was fit to be tied.

Just before supper I used a boot disk to get to DOS and began removing windows.

An hour and a half later, windows was gone as were program files.

Then it became a question of what to install. My wife was on line with our son, who recomended windows 98, as a fall back but the trouble all began when 98 was messing up on this machine. So I decided on ME. I installed it, then an hour and a half latter, I discovered the network trouble. Seems ME didn't believe I had a network connection if it had Dial-up networking installed. Took that out and suddenly everything was beutiful again, I had network, I had internet, I had it all!

Now it is 11:00 PM and I have just finished installing my anti-virus protection, and am ready for bed.

But I have been thinking, if it was just that network problem, maybe, JUST MAYBE I was wrong about Windows XP...

Jerry 11-13-2001 0:59

I just gotta say this, having watched the entire coverage of that plane crash in NYC. There was a point where the News Guy from the White house was holding his press conference. It sort of went like this:

Speaker - "There was no unusual communication from the pilot to the controllers."

News guy - "Did the pilot declare an emergency?"

Speaker - "There was no unusual communications from the pilot, if he had declared an emergency that would have been unusual."

News guy "In that communication, did he indicate any problem?"

Speaker - "There was no unusual communications from the pilot, had he said there was a problem that would have been unusual."

News Guy - "The airport reported it lost communications and radar contact with that flight, wouldn't that be unusual?"

Speaker - "Of course when the plane crashed they lost contact, but as I said, THERE WAS NO UNUSUAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE PILOT!"

And we wonder why the news coverage is the way it is.

Jerry 11-13-2001 0:22


HEATHER!!!! Consider yourself smacked!!!! A favor for the boss? (Grin) Perhaps you think I put that line in just for the shock effect? (Big Grin) And caught someone with a mind like mine! :-)

BTW...speaking of dogs and cats and fun in front of the fireplace on a cold winter evening.


Tale from "Wasatch Blue" by... You Know Who!
True story witnessed by the author.

Tomcat and Ol' Rip

Ol' Rip, the Eppler family's canine companion served multiple functions. Home defense, varmint control, early warning system and for fun assisted Charlie in chasing mountain lions through snowy mountain terrain. Taking long luxurious naps in front of the fireplace were just rewards for serving his family.

Allowed admittance to their mountain home Rip could usually be found stretched out next to the lava rock fireplace warming an ample belly. A large friendly hound dog he weighed around one hundred pounds or so, practically immovable if you desired his space. Although, I am not one to disturb sleeping dogs, especially one who chases mountain lions for fun and happens to be named Ol' Rip. An easy going manner belayed a ferocity in tracking and treeing numerous lions for Charlie. (Note: Lions were not killed. Had their picture taken and pushed out of the tree and chased again.)

Rip fit right in with our crew, moments of frenzied activity followed by laid back, under the front porch summertime reflections. After a cold day hunting in the snow, our usual crowd gathered around the fireplace where after supper, shoes off, cold drinks in hand, we planned our next mountain excursion. On this particular evening Marsha's cat lounged languidly in front of the fireplace, as Rip accompanied Charlie feeding the horses.

Rip and this rather large tom cat had a more or less armed truce Marsha related. Neither animal, particularly fond of the other seemingly took pains to taunt at every opportunity. Rip would leave a prime steak, cross the yard to eat cat food so Tom couldn't have any. Conversely Tom never passed up an opportunity to swat Rip's tail while he slept, disturbing his dreams of wide green meadows filled with plump tawny cougars.

This evening Tom, fast asleep on the carpet was deep in feline contemplations when Rip strolled over to claim his personal piece of carpet. Seeing the choice spot occupied, unaccountably he lay next to the feline, prepared for a long leisurely nap. Human conversation swirled around both animals as they pursued individual dreams. Rip, primed to chase lions fleeing through the trees began moving his feet as if in pursuit. I can't imagine what the tomcat was dreaming ... it must of been a kitty cat nightmare, that prompted his next reaction.

Tom awakened, stretched deep and long, arched his back and neck, opened his eyes ... to peer straight into Ol' Rip's toothy, scarred, canine visage only an eyelash away. What a way to awaken, feline whisker to blood stained muzzle with a brute of a dog who pursues your cousins for fun. Performing the most amazing physical feat I have ever seen any animal perform, Tom took off like the space shuttle on throttle up. A vertical leap of three feet initiated from the reclining position must be difficult to execute. Appearing to levitate briefly while turning in mid-air he fled. And ... this is the truth if I have ever told it, streaking horizontally across the white plastered wall for five feet, right over Marsha's head, before at last reaching the floor. This half-second of lightning like movement was accompanied by a loud unearthly moan.

And I thought I had been scared before! Like a flash Tom fled down the basement stairs to be found much later, still shaken, hiding under a bed.

Night all


Randall 11-12-2001 22:13

I've been gone so long, I don't even remember how I got back. Spent days-weeks it seems-critiquing manuscripts sent to me online. It was a long and boring process, and I barely survived through it. Or did I? I have a gut-feeling that when I click the X on this web page, I'll find my mailbox brimming with emails AGAIN. The stories aren't horrible, but critiquing it is. Do you know what I have to go through? Can't be biased. Can't shout out, " Christ, you're a horrible writer!" or " This stinks!"

Is reading " The Prodigal Spy." Joseph Kanon is an amazing author. Along with Scott Turow and Ridley Pearson. Anyone have any suggestions on books that are a must-read? I'm planning to run down to the nearest Barnes&Noble, stay at the coffee shop inside, and check out some books.

P.S. Who keeps calling me "Deju"??

Deja 11-12-2001 22:00

btw - I like the term "glanscap" -- never heard it before, but caught the meaning right quick.

howard 11-12-2001 21:37

GARIESS - No, they would retain all their senses, but would be unable to scream... except with their eyes.

howard 11-12-2001 21:35


You are entirely welcome. My warmest regards to your husband.


I know what you mean, your Captain, had he not been a glanscap, could have lost your papers and signed you back in, but that wouldn’t have been showing his authority.


Endearing little mixed metaphor:

"I'm ready to play hopscotch with Fate at this moment, but forgot that the deck was already loaded in Fate's favour."

I don’t want to needle you, I just want to let you know I’m watching. Turnabout is fair play, if you need reminding.


I don’t know what your relationship is with those haters. I just know that if the assholes called me the enemy that would be the last godamn peace they would ever see in that lounge.


I think I’ll skip the pork chops tonight. Delicious little fantasy though. Mine always seem to have something to do with skin. The Assyrians, bin ladens ancestors, were quite partial to flaying - peeling off small strips of skin until there was no more screaming. You had to hear the screaming; that was half the fun. Would your method of paralysis interfere, in any way, with this part of the ceremony.

I am told, at any rate, that for really good screaming, flaying can’t hold a candle (no pun) to a controlled attack by Fire Ants, the control being that the victim would be tied to a sharp pointed stake. He would then be carried to the nest and the sharp point of the stake would be stabbed into it. The reaction of the biters in such a case is instantaneous. In defense of their nest they swarm and bite in the hundreds. Within seconds there are thousands all over the victim. I have been told by Florida people that it feels just like fire, thus the name, Fire Ants. Of course these reporters were able to dance away quickly and escape with minor damage.

This treatment was applied to captured soldier's of Jackson's army by the Seminoles. It was done in the head first aspect at times, and at other times feet first. It worked for the Seminoles either way, although individuals had their separate preferences. They said you could hear the screams in Georgia.

Has the fact that I am totally insane escaped anyone’s notice up to this point?


gariess 11-12-2001 20:23

viv: that wasnt my writing there... that was a letter an excerpt in a newspaper from this young person

To all the people who went to war to protect us... I dont know who you all are... a couple ive even met on here.
Words can not express how truly proud I am of you all...And now we have a new generation of people to add, the ones who continue to do so
Sure we have set aside a day, or a couple of minutes for remembrance... But thats not even long enough to express my feelings of gratitude... I hope that with all thats going on you guys would continue to do so, some of you may have felt that we have fogotten, let me tell you thats not true
---tribute to the soldiers----

taylor 11-12-2001 19:28

Gariess -- my thanks to you in the original posts stands. {Gariess}

Carol 11-12-2001 16:32

Now that I've got that off my chest, here's something a bit more pleasant, from a friend of mine:

Check out your favorite 'oldie' .. ;-)

Internet Archive Wayback Machine
Do you long for the good old days? They're all there on the Web, naturally,
and thanks to the Wayback Machine, you can visit them. Do you want to see
what the MSN Web site looked like on Oct. 22, 1996? It looked nothing like
today's version, and you could access it with any browser. This incredible
site is a project of the Internet Archive, which has been collecting every
Web page it can for the last five years. The main database contains more than
10 billion pages and occupies over 100 TB of disk space. NSD sees and reviews
many superb sites, and the Wayback Machine easily falls into the top ten.
Searching is fast and reasonably precise, and pulling up results is quick. In
addition to the main, full database, smaller sections (still terabytes of
data) focus on Sept. 11, Election 2000, the United States government, and Web

The site is not yet able to handle all the traffic they're getting, but if you can get in during a quiet time it's really something to see!

howard wayback 11-12-2001 15:45

I see that bin laden has now admitted (in a video) that he was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and has tried to justify the killing of almost 5000 civilians by saying that they were working for the "American system."
I am not by nature a violent person, but I would like to get ahold of him and his taliban cronies, and send them to the hell that spawned them.
An interesting scenario just occurred to me: Take osama and friends and administer injections that would not kill them, but that would paralyse them and leave them fully conscious. Then feed them one at a time to a herd of starving pigs (yes, they'll eat anything, even live terrorists), with each being devoured in full view of the rest, and with bin ladin himself for dessert.
Tape this little porcine repast, and broadcast it to every one of those terrorist-supporting countries as a warning to any who would follow after them.
Sorry if this offends anyone, but I am feeling somewhat less than forgiving right now.

howard 11-12-2001 15:15

OOOPS one last post. Sorry!
Tina...that was bitchin'!
Good one!

Viv 11-12-2001 11:28

Heather: I sympathize.
I've had a ton of days like that! Painful and you don't get thanked for what you do...just frowned on for what you busted. Congratulations for your honesty! I'd have looked at that pen and just thought, hummmmm, must have rolled there by itself.

I have a weird little nipper device that I use for pulling the things out that fall behind my dryer. I'm going to ask my husband where he got it. That way you can get one. It's thin and tiny and will overcome Murphy's law anytime.
Thanks for the edit job. The story still has a lousy ending. I can't seem to find the solution but I know it's there. I have time to write tomorrow!

Allein: That store IS keeping you busy. Oh but I kind of hope it's a couple new friends as well! Two more translations to go and a trip to send them off. I haven't forgotten. I'm on Hana every step of the way!

Too tired to think.

Viv 11-12-2001 11:26

Taylor: It doesn't matter if they know your names. I have a group of American haters in our teacher's lounge at the University. They hate because they like to hate. They know my name and they prefer to call me the enemy.

Viv 11-12-2001 10:56

rememberance day: took 3 mins silence yesterday... its what seemed like an eternity, longer than 3... however it just didnt feel long enough

may i share a letter i heard President Bush relay on his home security speech...skip if youre dont wish to hear
it was a girl from yr 4 at school
"I dont know how to feel about this... to feel sad, mad or angry... I know that NY is scared, what with the World Trade Centre and all... but if were scared doesnt it give power to the terrorist"
and one more from another young american
"How could a whole group of people hate a whole nation of people that they dont even know.... why dont we just go and tell them all our names"

it just seems something i wanted to share

taylor 11-12-2001 6:05

Warning: Next post is very whiny and full of 'I'm feeling sorry for myself' pinache.

And tomorrow I will still be coated in a light batter of bandaids!

Heather 11-12-2001 4:00

It wouldn't have been my night even if I was handed a winning lottery ticket; in fact, that would likely have made it far worse. I had a vicious attack of 'Griswaldese' again tonight, the most vicious, I think, since last year when the Christmas tree tackled me and took a few fleshy souveniers. To those of you who have no idea what Griswaldese might be, I'll tell you. It's the kind of klutziness that isn't all me - it's practically Divine Intervention.

The Griswald attack began sometime around 9 pm, when I nearly took out the cement pole by the drive-through window at Tim Horton's. Believe me, I am a good driver - being a visual artist I have above-average eye-hand coordination, which makes for excellence in a number of things besides the obvious painting and drawing. Anyhow, after that close call with concrete and whatever my front end is made of, I was pulling the crazy lid back to open my coffee. It didn't seem to enjoy being torn, and snarled at me with a yap full of hot coffee.
As I'm whipping the car into position in the parking lot at work, I notice a particularly loud sqealing in the brakes. Great.
On the way into work I take the garbage from the car, spilling old, likely mouldy coffee down my pantleg. Yahoo.
I bend my thumbnail backwards trying to open the fifty-pound steel entry door. Terrific.
I punch in the code, which recently has been changed (against my will) to 6666. Thanks a lot. I suppose I'm lucky the code's not a three digit number. Thrilling.
When I get in there's a huge mess left by the staff in the office kitchen. The coffee machine is snargling its last, and decided it would throw up behind itself. It has about three decades' worth of sludge keeping it in place, so I finally made use of my little Swiss Army chisel; yipee.
Most of the office work goes smoothly, but of course, being colder outside, there are mounds of dust settling on everything from the heat vents, and it hangs about taunting me. I found some strange pleasure in squirting all dust-rhinos with Windex before smearing their carcasses all over the lovely black desks.
I broke a few 'fronds' from the boss' horizontal blinds running my duster over the windowsill. My first note of apology went up on his monitor, the strands of the broken blind went over a chair, but they had an argument with me and were almost broken again.
As I was changing a shredder bin, something odd happened and it flew out of my hand just before emptying it into the bag, and I was in the centre of a streamer parade. Hooray.
Well, that's what vacuums are for, I shrugged, and went on my way.
One of the office girls is pregnant, and has been eating at her desk. I carefully clean spaghetti out of her keyboard, and polish the grease still on my handtowel into the creases of her mouse. Shhh.
I made it out of the office without anything else going awry. My sense of fun at work, however, has left on the Express Train and will likely not be seen until next May.
On my way to clean the plant bathrooms, the little bucket handle broke, spilling a whole slew of bleach and citrus cleaner and water all over the place, and of course, it had to splash my coat, as it hung on the doorknob nearby. I'm ready to play hopscotch with Fate at this moment, but forgot that the deck was already loaded in Fate's favour.
I hurt my back yanking the stupid mop bucket over to the mess as I cleaned up the spill. The wheels on it are worse than shopping carts from Hell's Half Acre Grocery. They left nice rust marks on the floor, which of course, I couldn't scrub off.
I soak my jacket in the laundry tub, hoping it won't have bleach marks on it by the time I get home to wash it. It's my favourite coat.
There are really gorgeous-looking stains in the men's bathroom, I won't describe them for you, since I know how much you probably value your breakfast.
I dropped someone's pen behind their desk partition, and no one save Wile E Coyote after being flattened paper-thin will be able to reach it. It's probably the guy's favourite pen. Wonderful. I'm thinking about signing up for Ballet at this point. Second not goes up on a monitor. My apology notes are nearing masterpiece quality. I should probably draft up a generic note with a blank line at the top: Dear__________,
It appears that you have been visited by the Klutz Fairy...

Ten minutes later, I broke the second-in-command guy's mug. Third note goes up. My signature is looking a little indecipherable. Maybe he won't know it was me. Sure.

By the end of the night I'd damaged my shin, dropped a hundred items, sank the corner of a desk into my thigh and bent my nail backwards one more time.
Wow, I'm good.
The place looked marvellously clean, except for the drops of blood all the way to the car... (kidding)

Earlier tonight, after reading the warning post to Oyster concerning disappearing posts, I posted, and when I pressed refresh, it didn't come up. When I went online and the page popped up just now, there it was. Any bets that this one will be lost forever? Well, maybe it'll turn up on a day when I need to laugh at myself more than usual.

All together now: Ta da.

I know, how anti-climatic. I'm not minding that one bit. I could use a little respite on my way to bed. Let's just pray that the Griswalds have gone back to their Vacation, and there aren't any low beams in my ceiling. There weren't any last time I checked.

Goodnight, and happy hot water bottles,

Heather 11-12-2001 3:51

Thanks Heather and Carol, and Jerry and Guriess(is that right?)for the stories. And for mentioning things I didn't know about on this site. I'm sure I'll find my way around the site soon. But it'll be a while before the name 'Tina' doesnt' conjure of imaginary images of a rotweiller! Sorry, Tina, I'll really try to erase Jerry's hooked-me-in-story from my memory, but given I remember the oddest things ... I'll just have to put it out of my mind.

I remember Vietnam, even though living in Canada it didn't touch me as nearly as deeply as it did my American friends.

Admittedly I was one of those 'peaceniks' who protested everything that looked faintly like it was going to involve guns, but had my share of arguments with the radical, rabid 'soliders suck' crowd, too!

I once got myself tossed out of a 'peace consortium' for not signing a petition to 'ban Armistice Day'. Then, because I could, I told everyone in the room that they were just as militant as the military. Armistice was about celebrating peace, not glorifying war. Some of my friends still haven't forgiven me for that statement.

One of my friends, a young man who had a wonderful talent for writing and was planning a career in journalism died in Vietnam. Somehow he got drafted just before the War ended. One day his sister was sending my letters to him at the APO, the next his parents were calling to say 'he's gone'. I went a little nuts. We'd been writing back and forth discussing how 'he' could best use his writing talent. I think back to those days and realize he saw a bit of his own talent in me. I never did.

Since I'm the survivor, every year on this day I think of him and wonder what he'd be writing right now. How he'd see this world, what he'd write about.

I 'tagged', went out to a shopping mall seeking donations of spare change with a can in my hand, for Vietnamese Orphans and Refugees after the war. Grind my teeth, if I didn't get rewarded with caustic comments like 'let them take care of their own' and worse. I was ashamed to be Canadian that day. What was wrong with these people? A quarter wouldn't kill them! The friend I was with was even more disappointed. The particular area we 'tagged' was full of people whose families had survived much tragedy during WWII.

Since I have a few 'career military' friends who actually LIKE being in the Canadian Armed Forces, I enjoyed your last bit, Jerry. Right now one is overseas and I'm a little worried. Although he did survive Somalia and Bosnia, and he's been around the block a couple of times, I still would like him to come home soon. And tell me I talk way too much.

So I guess now that today is over, and November 12 is here (in my time zone anyway) I'm a little relieved. My thoughts can stray to ... *smile* creating a few freshwater pearls for a while.

J. Oyster 11-12-2001 2:12

Gariess - you know when I think back on those days, I lie to myself, and say that I supported the war. I was there, I did what I was ordered to do, but when I go back and read all those letters I sent home to the wife, I find that I opposed the war just about as much as the hippies and yippies who carried flowers and loved Ho. Not that I love Ho, or the NVA or the VC, it was just that I thought the war was wrong. Not exactly the war, but the way it was run. The way that helicopters had to call in for permission to shoot VC when they had them in their spot light, and while they awaited the permission have the VC turn their rifle up and shoot the spotlight out, then run like hell. The way that anyone could see, we owned the cities, and most of the country side, yet lost the war because the politico's ran the war against the advice of their generals. I stayed in the Army for nearly 8 years, and to tell the truth, I loved the Army, the excitement, the cities, the people and all. I guess it was Recruiting that turned me, seeing the back stabbing that went on in Recruiting command, the focus on numbers, much like Washington focused on body counts, in fact we even called it body counts in Recruiting, it was bodies down range, and so forth. At the end of my tour, I reported in at Fort Reliey Kansas, and nearly re-upped then and there, they offered me a job as the Retention NCO for the 18th Engineer Bde., my old Unit from Vietnam. I was ready to hold up my hand and take the oath when some ass hole Captain stepped up and said that since I had already signed the request for separation papers, I would have to get out, take a cut in pay grade then re-enlist. I got pissed, and told him where to put his papers. Fifteen minutes later I was a civilian again.

To tell the truth, I have missed the Army ever since, more then I ever have missed the PD. I think it was the fact that I was young then, and in fairly good shape. The travel and excitement of new units, new missions and the thought always in the back of your mind that at any time you may be ordered off to some war, someplace where your nation needed you.

But I ramble on, and it is nearly my bedtime.

God Bless the Veterans. God Bless those who are now laying their lives on the line to protect our great nation.

Jerry 11-12-2001 0:23


Do you mean to tell me that you got me all sniffled up because of a minor memory lapse? I wasn't even supposed to be mentioned in that post? You are absolutely out of my will.

Am I supposed to be the one to keep up with everybody elses posts in order to protect my emotional state? I suppose I'll just have to get over it, but girl, you have to learn that it's not nice to make an old man cry. Carry on.


gariess 11-11-2001 23:24

A message on the day.

I was home and married when the Nam lit up. I came, after a long time, to oppose our policy in that war. I have sworn to myself that I would never betray that fact. It was the worst period of my life. I was more torn up in those days than any time before or since. I lived in Cambridge Mass. I couldn't have been deeper into the enemy camp than if I had lived in Haight Ashbury. I saw young assholes marching in formation while carrying the Cong flag. They shouted enemy slogans, and I got sick. It hurt my marriage; it hurt my life. "It made me hate the land I was living in.

I don't hate them any more, I don't really think I hated them then, I just felt so betrayed. Thank God it's long over with. Maybe we can come out of this one with some sense of balance. Maybe we can finally learn that there is such a thing as evil in this world, and that there are evil people - here and everywhere.

There are people who commit terrible crimes and they are just plain evil. They have to be removed from the rest of us. There are people abroad and among us who want to destroy us, because we represent to their world, the threat of freedom.

Jerry, thats why you and I were there, not to fight, not to kill or be killed, not to conquer nor to subjugate, but to stand on that wall. There will always have to be someone on that wall. Always.


gariess 11-11-2001 23:12

Unfortunately, I am the battery for my mower. (Think arm pulling cord) The Mower has a full tank of gas and I will mow until I run out of gas. Then, I'm going to put that lousy machine away for the winter.....!

Got to go now to critique an article for a friend. It seems that I am pretty good at cutting out the excess.


Rosemary (Last time, I Promise 11-11-2001 23:07

Gariess -- Oh, shoot. I goofed -- it was Randall who mentioned the CIB -- Combat Infantryman's Badge. Randall -- are you also a veteran? If so, my thanks to you as well. The signature I thank you all for is the one on your enlistment papers.

Jerry - thank you for the link. Great work. I haven't yet been to the Wall in Washington. I did, however, see the traveling wall at a veteran's reunion. Considering how moved I was to see that small version, I am almost afraid of the intense emotion I will feel when I do see it in Washington. Hubby saw it many years ago with a group of vets.

J. Oyster - Truth to tell, I do prefer freshwater pearls. :)

Carol 11-11-2001 23:06


You got me all misty, God bless you. Just one thing, though, What is a CIB? I'm sure I must have signed it, but we signed so many things in those days, and I was distracted a lot of the time.


Gariess 11-11-2001 22:35

Tina, B.I.T.C.H. = Babe In Total Control of Herself.
I love it. CMU


gariess 11-11-2001 22:27

Rosemary - you got that right, about mowing the lawn again. Even here in the great northern snow covered freezing cold state of South Dakota the weather has been super. Trees who have shed their leaves are now budding out again, the grass is still green and growing a bit, and me with the battery out of my mower and snow blower sitting at the ready. Maybe next week, well in reality, I would like to see it stay this way, oh until about December 24th at which time it can snow say eight inches. Then if it would just warm up on, oh say January 2nd to about 70 or so and stay that way until maybe mid may at which time it can warm up to about 75 and stay that way till the next snow...

Jerry 11-11-2001 20:23

Thanks to all the War Veterans, living and deceased!

J. Oyster - I always write directly into the text box, unless I'm posting a short story into the Workbook, which, up until recently, was a password protected area. It isn't working at the moment, but Jack's doing all he can to get it back up with the pass protect on it. I do post short short stories for 'shortie night'into the notebook, and almost 100% of the time I compose them right into the text box. I've found the spontaneous nature inpsiring, though I'm glad I have a large number of hours free on the internet each month! :o)

And I have enjoyed the pearls you have put out for our viewing. Guess I've got a few freshwaters, and quite a few of the mottled, unsightly type, squirreled away in the shells. I've got to pry more of those nasty razor-edged barnacles away these days to get at the shell itself, but find the work is well worth the efforts!

Teek, Mary, Christi, where are you?

Rosemary, great to see you!

Tina, I knew Randall wasn't talking about you, but when he started going on about 'Tina being underneath the desk', I had to reign in my mind at first! I wasn't thinking 'oh, 'Tina' must be a dog', no --- I was thinking that Tina was doing a few 'favours' for the boss! *smack me*

More than 2 minutes of silence spent thinking of Veterans today - especially when there are many more in the making at this very moment.

Heather 11-11-2001 19:16

**Rosemary (again)**

Hi Oyster,
Just read your story about the witches. Excellent characterization and a start on what seems to be an excellent plot. Good luck and really looking forward to reading more.

When Jack gets the Workbook going, posting real work (as opposed to short shorties) will be safer for all of us. Although I haven't noticed a lot of story snatchers lined up at my front door. Don't think I'm in any real danger.

Sometimes I wonder how writers that worry about their work being stolen can submit it for publication. Talk about unsafe! It sits in a crowded office on the edge of someone's desk. Then the minimum-wage reader takes it home to see if it's good enough for someone who matters to look at it. That reader probably leaves it laying around in an apartment with five want-a-be-a-writer roommates. It may be safer here on the Notebook. Who knows???

Loved your story about Tina. Who in the world would name a monster like that a delicate name like Tina?

I swear I've got to mow my lawn again this year. Doesn't it know it's November?

Rosemary (again) 11-11-2001 18:58

Carol - thanks, I wrote a little essay back in my college days about my first visit to the Vietnam Memorial, if you would like to read it, I put the link below.

I also have a newer site, which has some of my newer stuff posted, should you want to look at some of that, it is at:

As far as I know Officers cannot get the CIB unless they served first as enlisted, but I could be wrong, it has been a long time. It is an award that I never won, and I guess I am glad I didn't have to considering the hell that those who received that badge went through. I think that officers can receive the EIB which is the Expert Infantryman badge, but again I could be wrong. The only Infantry unit I was ever assigned to was the 3rd U.S. Infantry Bn. (The Old Guard) at Fort Meyer VA. and that was all spit and polish ceremonial stuff. Much like the National Guard, we played war two weeks a year at Fort A.P. Hill. That was a lot of fun for me, since I was a NCO with Communications, I had the duty of carrying the back pack radio for the observer's, I was with a Captain and we simply ran along with the Infantry Company. Every time the Observer decided to pop some CS Gas he would tell me in advance so I could isolate myself and put on my mask. Anyhow it was a neat assignment and would have been so much better if Washington DC wasn't so crime ridden, that put a kink in the assignment, and I eventually volunteered for Recruiting duty when my son became school age so I didn't have to send him to those schools in Arlington where he could be killed for his lunch money. Or so the story went I didn't want to take a chance. We moved to Minnesota where I served my last year as an Army Recruiter.

Oh someone mentioned the lack of a spell checker for this box, there is a program out there called Hot Lingo, it will spell check any input box on the internet, and works great. You can download it for free, and as shareware it does remind you that you should eventually pay for it, but never expires and always has worked great for me.

Jerry My Old Page 11-11-2001 18:31


Coming from a military family background, your post about your husband and the shameful treatment the Vietnam Vets received when they came home,---Well it hit a special place in my heart. The men in my family, (Father and Husband) both served in WWII and I grew up with war stories which continued with my marriage. It was a long night when my father and husband first met.
Those men (Vietnam Vets) and all others that serve this country deserved then and now deserve every bit of the respect and good wishes we can give them.

Your post was amazing.

Just had to say that, now, I'm going to go read the rest of the Notebook.

Rosemary 11-11-2001 18:22

Jerry & Gariess -- Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm going to go out on the limb a little here since you two have been so forthcoming with your background. I too have met many veterans such as you mention. I've been lucky to meet many with combat experience, with the thousand yard stare. I see that stare every day as hubby tries to live a life. He served in the 1st Infantry, Black Lions, 2/66 - 11/67, Iron Triangle area. He is, like Gariess, most proud of his CIB. His comments about officers on t.v. with a chest full of medals without the CIB are not polite to mention here. Today he hides in the bedroom, for once no radio playing. The station he prefers plays songs in tribute to veterans all day long, but all he can remember is the day he came home -- the day hideous words, rocks and rotten fruit were more damaging than any bullet that flew his way. The only way I have learned the horror stories of his experience has been through the living reenactments of flashbacks. And through nights of holding him tight as he cried from reliving another death in his sleep.

So - to my dearest love, to Gariess, to Jerry and every man and woman who signed that piece of paper -- my deepest thanks.

Carol 11-11-2001 15:41

Thanks to all for the 'feedback' on Lila and Donny.

Lately, since I've been practising, I'm getting pretty good at the 'spontaneous, interactive' writing by a friend recommended to counter-act my inherent perfectionism.

For a while I should have worn that t-shirt that says:

"Does Anal Retentive have a Hyphen?"

And I've lived through, *G*, the red-line method of editing from school-teaching friends who just have to 'correct' my almost-rough drafts. I don't use teachers as readers anymore. They read with pencils or pens in their hands and tend to be a little more 'traditional' in their editing than people who read for the sheer joy of it!

Today my thoughts are a bit askew since it is Rememberance Day here, and I'm not sure if my ever vocal family even observed the 2 minutes of silence. We are wearing poppies and I've spent a bit of time writing in various forums about honouring Veterans. Years ago I actually wrote (roll eyes here) a few free lance pieces for a newspaper on the fate of a Veteran's hospital in Vancouver, BC (do I really need to add 'Canada'???).

And, after my steak sandwich at one of the local Legions with a friend whom I did a bit of ghost-writing and editing for (have keyboard, will write spontaneously) as a favour, I remembered. A lot. Some funny stories, some not-so-funny.

My parents were surrounded by Vets, and so was I. Vets that had seen service in all kinds of way. My community Band Master was a wonderful, funny, and gifted musician who served in Bombay ... playing in a military band.

Tina, note taken on the Munching Text Box. I've been on disucssion forums where my posts were deleted or 'eaten' and I have no clue why. This forum can't be any worse than my computer which ate 1/3 of a novel I was working on. I cursed and fumed when I realized the 'files' I'd carefully constructed were gone.

Prosaically I left that work alone for a bit. And I've come to recognize that 'there's more where that came from'.

Carol, I love alliteration! Pretty pearls? Mmm, wait until you get a look at the 'freshwater kind'. Only in the last few years have I learned to appreciatet the oddly shaped freshwater pearls.

GS, when it comes to writing on any forum, the only way I can get it out is to do 'quick and dirty'. It's hard for me to share some of the 'downstairs stuff' because I'm a bit cautious around public forums. Look how easy I found you folks, and joined in.

I suspect Lurkers and Smirkers pop in from time to time too. And having had experience with 'story theives' I'm a bit protective of work I'm planning to sell.

So, it the HMTL bold work on everyone's names? I've been playing with HMTL a bit in various forums and find that it helps a bit to catch the eye. Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?

J. Oyster 11-11-2001 14:11

Hey Randall, no worries. Friends :-D
And being called a bitch isn't all bad, it can actually be a compliment.
B.I.T.C.H. = Babe In Total Control of Herself
Of course, women tend to get tagged with that when they stand up for themselves, assert their values and rights, speak openly, and refuse to be pushed around. You know, man-ly qualities ;-)

I seem to have exhausted my muse. She's sound asleep, snoring away. Later on I'll shake her awake and feed her coffee. Later, though. I have chores that really must get done.

Tina 11-11-2001 12:15


Tina, I'm sorry. I should have not held back on the doggie ID till the end of the story. If I offended you, please forgive me. Calling a female dog a bitch is acceptable in most circles. Calling a woman a bitch is not acceptable in mine. For many years I have fought a tendancy foot, insert mouth..... :-) Perhaps I need some Female Oriented Response...Special High Intensity Training, huh?

Still friends? :-)

On the Vietnam service issue. I know a lot of Vietnam combat veterans and NOT ONE will expand on his service over there unless prompted. About the only one I can recall dealt with my best friend. He told me one night about his last day in-country. Their base was under mortar and rocket fire when he was released. He scrambled into the back of a truck that was leaving for the airport, pulled empty ammo cases on top of him as he lay in the floor. He said he cried like a baby all the way to the airport because he knew on his last day there, he would be killed. Now this guy is 6'2" tall and 240 pounds and if he was so afraid he was crying......

There are sites where individual military service may be verified. I have visited one on Seal Team ID, but they were down till the War on Terror is over. (Checking someone out) Military service is an open records aspect. If you know of someone bragging in a bar about being in the war, and doubt their story casually mention this to them.

"Yeah, you know old Joe Blow told me he really saw a lot of shit in Nam. But I found his military record last night on the net and he was never in the service. Now, what unit were you with?"

I am a Vietnam vet but never set foot in-country. Our ship operated out of PI, brought fuel oil, ammo, and mail and movies to other ships. The closest I ever got to "Indian Country" was a quarter mile or so. Close enough to see flares, tracers and exploding ordanance at night. And brother, that was close enough for me!

A lady I worked with one time happened upon my DD-214, which lists a lot of service information. She read it, then exclaimed wide-eyed. "Randall, you have a lot of medals!" Yes, I told her, but mine are the everyday, little guy ones that everyone receives. Many are for just signing up and being in the theater. The important medal (to me) is the CIB, Combat Infantryman Badge, this is not available to officers (right Jerry?) and means one has seen combat.

So having a chestfull of medals may not mean all it should. I wonder about this when I see big shot officers standing in front of the camera. Not all of the medals reflect bravery, but the CID does.

Gotta go


Randall 11-11-2001 11:07

Hi Tina: My eyes popped when I saw the post about the other Tina. Hey guys! Careful!
Gotta' go, our doorbell just got stuck on. It's doing the double double double dingdong. I think it's going to be a noisy night.

Viv 11-11-2001 8:19

Never mind...

Jerry 11-11-2001 1:44

Tina - yes we have the poppy thing. They are sold by the Legion Auxilery, and the VFW Auxilery, the money all going to the disabled vets. Everyone wears the poppy all day, should you be caught without one, there will be a aux member around somewhere to sell you another. Over the years, they each developed a certain variety of poppy, all made of paper of course, but you almost have to have both versions on if you chance to venture up town for the celebrations, or the one you are missing will surely be sold to you.

Many have taken to staying at home to avoid the sales ladies, so these past few years they have begun to go door to door selling their little red flowers. There is no price on them, of course as it is a free will donation. The suggested amount though is a buck, and who can't spare a buck for a vet. I hope that the day never comes when I don't have a buck or two for such a good cause. We must care for our veterans, after all they are the reason we are free. Or so I have been told, and it makes me feel a bit better about the whole deal anyhow.

Jerry 11-11-2001 1:35

Garies - you know I think I saw Full Metal Jacket, in fact I am sure I saw it on Showtime I think, or maybe HBO, back when I thought I needed those extra channels. But to tell the truth, I don't remember that line.

I have never heard anyone use that term, but I suppose there are those who did I just didn't run into them.

You are right about the VFW, and Legion for that matter. I used to be a regular at the Legion in Bowman when I lived there, wouldn't miss a meeting if my life depended on it. Then when we moved to New Rockford, I joined the post there, and made most of the meetings. When we moved down here, I attended one meeting, and found this post to be lacking in spirit, and almost everything else that drew me to the meetings. I mentioned some of the ideas we used to get our club in New Rockford going, and was totally shot down by the "powers that be" so I figured Fuck them, and left the legion hall never to darken their door again. I still pay my dues, and get my membership card but that's it. I don't even go to the Veterans day activities, except to go to the cemetery for their salute, as I wouldn't let those ass holes stop me from that.

I served with The Old Guard in DC for a couple of years, one of which was 1976, and I guess I picked up some true traditions about Veterans Day, waking at three AM and reporting to Arlington National Cemetery, where we placed a small flag at the base of EVERY tombstone, then staying after the President's address to clean up the mess, and again spending half that night collecting those very same flags. The Old Guard also had the honor to guard the tomb of the Unknowns, but I never had anything to do with that, that was for the youngsters full of piss and vinegar, as was the U.S. Army Drill team that was also part of our unit. We also were charged with the care of the last quartermaster horse in the army, Black Jack, that black horse seen by every American then alive at JFK's funeral, the horse with the backward boots. I had the privilege of attending his last birthday party, and taking part in his funeral.

There are hundreds of men who say they were in Nam, and weren't. There are hundreds of thousands of men who were in Nam and never say a word about it. There are those of us who were there, and saw limited combat, and others who were there and saw none.

I have run into all those different men. Seems those who brag about their exploits are usually those who may have been in the Army, but never served in country. They fail to recall the name of their unit, of if they do, couldn't tell you where that unit was based.

Those who were "in the shit" as you put it, rarely if ever tell war stories, as they hurt way too much to talk about. You could tell them when they spoke of Nam by their "thousand yard stare" or "thousand meter stare" if you will.

Any how, as I say I never have heard that phrase used, maybe in that movie, but I don't recall it.

Jerry 11-11-2001 1:29


I'm about 99% certain that we do the poppy thing here, too. And on the same day. Charge the other 1% to a hinky memory.

More exercises, people. What do we call that hinky word I just used? Is it a colloquialism? Is it slang? Why can't I say, a slang, yet I can say, a colloquialism? Both are nouns. Come on, you lot. I gotta know this shit. The Geezers are going be quizzing me any day, now.

gariess 11-11-2001 1:23

That last was to Oyster; I don't know how it got cut off at the top.

11-11-2001 1:09

Don't let these guys bulldog you with this quick and dirty routine, It's all an act. Between you and me, I spend a month putting my posts in WORD and then I paste them all in here over a three day period. These other clowns think I make a lot of trips to Florida.


Gariess 11-11-2001 1:04

I was borrowing a little theatricalism, there, from Stanley Kramer. In Full Metal Jacket his main character decided he wanted to "get in the shit," meaning that he wanted to get into combat. I have heard other guys use the same expression, but I never knew if they were referencing their own experience (did we really say that?,) or was that just invented by Kramer. I know I don't remember ever hearing it, there, but I wasn't there that often, and our involvement at the time was minimal. You might recall something about a seargent who won a case to be legally included as a Nam Vet because he was wounded there in '55.

I think, but don't quote me, that his case made them close the gap all the way back to Korea, meaning that all those who served from the end of Korea to the start of Nam are now officially veterans of one or the other. Again, don't quote me, but I think the reason they decided this way was that they didn't want to risk any more controversy over when Nam actually began. Closing the gap, so to speak, was a way to effectively render the issue moot. I probably should try that out on a veterans posting board so somebody can open fire on me, and tell me how screwed up my interpretation is.

They might have shut down the controversy at large, but they will never extinguish the question in the VFW. There are too many guys who fought in one or the other that get hot over the matter. Amazing how some guys can be so resentful over somebody else being let into their "club," but then if I had gotten into the "real shit," maybe I would understand a little better. Even so, I remember beering up in the EM club at Clark in the fifties when you heard these boozers yelling at each other. Stuff like "You assholes think Bastogne was rough? You don't know shit. I'll tell you rough. The Munda trail made Bastogne look like a f*%^&#&g fifth grade recess." Later on somebody puts you wise that this big mouth was in the 23rd Shoe Repair Brigade when he was in the Solomons.

later, Jer

gariess 11-11-2001 0:57

For a moment there, life became very very surreal. I thought, Randall? Is this a past life regression thing? I didn't know Texans were into that.
Now, I've never been called a dog before, although I've heard one or two people utter the word 'bitch'. And I usually don't attack the delivery guy... so I deduced that I was NOT living in an alternate reality, just this sometimes bizarre version.

Oyster, yes, things move along pretty fast in here sometimes.
Are you saying that you just blithely typed that passage into the text box? Bravo, just for the guts to do so! (be warned, sometimes the text box eats your post before you can hit enter, or even AS you hit enter. You are Warned.)

Viv, tomorrow (Nov 11) is Rememberance Day in Canada. Cenotaph ceremonies, Veteran parades, prayers and trumpets playing Taps, poppies and wreaths, O Canada and God Save the Queen. Almost every tiny little town in Canada has a cenotaph park to commemorate our vetrans and their role in history. Tomorrow will be more solemn than usual.
Here's a question: do USian's wear poppies in respect and rememberance, or is it a Canadian-only tradition?

Carol, I like your idea. One day, I might try that too.
Right now, I'm trying to assemble stories and memories about my father, to send to my extended family in February (one year after his death). It's something I really want to do, but I get very sombre whenever I begin organising it.

Do you realise that Christmas is only 6 WEEKS away? (Tina shrieks in dismay) I've got to get on the ball. I really hate doing things last minute. I have to make Christmas pudding NOW! Oh my oh my oh my. I'd better make a list and get on it!
(bark bark growwwwwl, ruff, whimper, pant pant pant)

Tina (not the german shepherd) 11-11-2001 0:34

LOL -- Randall -- it's territory man -- territory! This Tina sounds like my kinda gal. Sic 'm. Grrr... (short refresher -- there's four GSD's in my house now - that's the lowest number in over 15 yrs.)

Oyster -- keep opening them shells, what pretty pearls they hide.

Carol 11-11-2001 0:16

Holy Tornado! I am thankful I put this site in my favourites box! I see keeping up with you folks is going to be a daily exercise. I don't know what I expected from a forum of writers, but it took me about 10 minutes to read just a day's worth! Uh, I would guess prolific and quick would be a good words to describe this Writer's Notebook.

Okay, the oyster shell is opening ... but just a crack, here folks. Accustomed as I am to public forums (I belong to a couple of cyber-cliques these days) I am not accustomed to cut n' paste or tranferring data from the 'old' PC (mine, mine, all mine) to the Internet one, which would be this one. I share this one with three other people, two of whom complain visciously when I hog it!

So I guess spontaneous writing (with no spellcheck, whimper) into the little white 'text' box it is.


My wife is a witch. Like her grandmother and her mother. The former by religion, and the latter by disposition.

Lila, which means 'Cosmic Dance' in Sanskrit, is not Lila's birth name. She won't tell me what it was at birth ... her name change became legal when she moved from Croatia in the late 80's.

Not that Lila is a secretive person by nature, she just hated her given name. So she gave herself a new one.

When the guy died down in our basement, Lila and a tea-leaf reading cop she befriended began to spend a few hours together a week. I know other guys would be jealous, since the cop is single and good looking in a clean cut kind of way. I'm not. Not really. Lila is worth sharing, and her first husband didn't figure that out, or trust her much, either.

Still, Lila surprised me by calling me from her mother's one day.

"Donny, Mom's not doing so well."

I watched the screen saver on my office PC come up, it's an aquarium scene. It's in all the cubicles at work. The fish don't move.

"What's up?" I ask, dreading the answer.

"Well, you know ... I don't know." Lila sounds confused, which is odd. Lila rarely sounds confused. "But I don't think it's serious. She doesn't want to go to the doctor, she's just really tired."

My mind conjures up a picture of Anna Wolman in my mind. Lila and her sister Dianne changed the family name to make it more Canadian some years ago. Anna and Eli changed their last name to match their daughters.

Anna is a thin woman, who looks half-starved and is always busy. I try to imagine her lying in bed resting, but I can't. Anna moves like a short, skinny whirlwind, her dark circled, deep socketed eyes always watching something or other, or snapping with impatience.

Anna's critical, acid tongue has kept Lila from visiting too often. Although I don't speak Croatian, it's not hard to see from Lila's face that her mother is giving her grief. Nor is it hard to mistake the critical tone of Anna's voice.

"Want me to meet you there after work?" I ask.

"No, no. I've got clients tonight. I'll be home. Would you like me to make dinner?"

I almost say yes, then remember that Lila's idea of dinner is usually out of a can or package.

"That's okay, I'll do it."

Driving home I wonder about Anna. The Wolmans lived in Croatia under Soviet Rule. We'd never been to Croatia together, Lila and I, so I had no clue what the country looks like, I have to rely on the small snippets I get from Lila. I'm thinking on this as I pull up to our home, a newly build two story in a not yet landscaped district.

And notice cop-boy's car is in our driveway.


Okay folks, that would be it. I'm usually a little more polished. But the noise moved upstairs and two dogs are nudging my legs.

Thanks for the space, folks!


J. Oyster 11-10-2001 23:27


I must be a member of Jack's me Fulla Schitt tonight!


randall 11-10-2001 23:08


Sorry for the confusion!!!!! About Tina!

Jerry, I noticed a recent flurry of posts relating to the word "shit." Perhaps our fellow writers should know the rest of the story. And leave the poor Schitt family alone! :-)

"You say you don't know Jack Schitt?

Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt and Oh Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate married Oh Schitt, the owner of Kneedeep Schitt Inn. Jack Schitt married No Schitt and produced six children.

Holy Schitt, their first passed on shortly after childbirth. Next came twin sons, Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt; two daughters, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt; and another son, Bull Schitt. Deep Schitt is married to Dumb Schitt, a high school drop out. Dip Schitt married to Lotta Schitt and they have a son, Chicken Schitt. Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt married the Happens brothers. The Schitt Happens children are Dawg Schitt Happens, Byrd Schitt Happens and Horace Schitt Happens.

Bull Schitt just married a spicy number, Pisa Schitt and they are awaiting the arrival of Baby Schitt.

Now you know Jack Schitt!"

Author unknown.


Special High Intensity Training (S.H.I.T.) Program

In order to assure the highest level of quality work and productivity from employees, it will be our policy to keep all employees well trained, through our program of Special High Intensity Training (S.H.I.T.) We are trying to give our employees more S.H.I.T. than anyone else.

If you feel that you do not receive your share of S.H.I.T on the job, please see your manager. You will be immediately placed at the top of the S.H.I.T. list, and our managers are especially skilled at seeing that you will get all the S.H.I.T. you can handle. Employees who do not take their S.H.I.T. will be placed in Departmental Employee Evaluation Programs (D.E.E.P. S.H.I.T) Those who fail to take D.E.E.P. S.H.I.T. seriously will have to go to Employee Attitude Training (E.A.T. S.H.I.T.) Since your managers took S.H.I.T. before they were promoted, they do not have to take S.H.I.T. anymore, because they are full of S.H.I.T already.

If you are full of S.H.I.T, you may be interested in a job training others. We can add your name to our Basic Understanding Lecture List. (B.U.L.L. S.H.I.T.) Those who are full of B.U.L.L. S.H.I.T. will get S.H.I.T. jobs, and can apply for promotion to Director of Intensity Programming (D.I.P. S.H.I.T.) If you have any questions, please direct them to our Head Of Training Special High Intensity Training (H.O.T. SH.I.T)

Author unknown,,,,,,


randall 11-10-2001 23:02

Dang Randall, I first thought you were talking about our notebook Tina, then I got to figuring did Tina live in Texas, that's where Randall lives, if they both live in Texas, then how is it that they both live in the same City, and could they even find eachother if they did? I mean Texas is big, I used to live there, and I know. Anyhow sure glad you cleared that up in the end.

PS Loved the story.

Jerry 11-10-2001 22:09


Hi gang!

Been working on editing the new novel. Trying to put together selections from four novels. It's proceeding. And I'm being optimistic......

BTW :-> Had a terrific run-in with Tina last week. She's a mean vicious bitch! Single minded to a fault! You might say we have a love/hate relationship. I hate Tina...she would love to put her teeth in my person. Sadly, some encounters in life start off wrong. We've all been through tormented relationships like this, the male/female thing. I leaned over Tina last year as she was reclining in a chair. Trying to say something clever. The look in her large brown eyes should have told me to back off.


Tina came out of the chair like an attack dog, backed me against the wall real quick. Never seen such dogmatic anger come out so fast. Obviously she suffers from some form of a male hate thing. The mechanics in the shop thought it was hilarious. Randall scrambling backward scattering parts across the shop floor. I tried to placate Tina, was on the verge of offering to buy her a steak dinner when her life partner came in. He glared at her, "Tina, shut up and sit down!"

Last week the shop ordered a set of shocks from us. The other delivery guy saw my hesitation as I looked at the ticket. He patted my shoulder, aware of the dilemma, the tension between Tina and my body.

"Want me to take it Randall?"

"No," I answered, but really wanted to say yes. Tina leaves the other guy alone you see. It's just me she hates. Perhaps it's the way I talk, or walk, something about my face. My wife has hinted that some of her female friends say I look mean. Maybe it's the beard? The green eyes? Maybe I should change my cologne? Bring Tina flowers? Candy? Should I tell my wife about Tina? Make a statement?

Upon arrival at the shop, I peered into the office to see if she was around. In the chair behind the desk. No Tina. The shop owner, a big bellied man with a fondness for red suspenders, was sitting at his desk. At least I think it's a desk, as I've never seen it. Radiators are leaning against the sides, the top is covered in invoices, billing statements, carburetors, valve cover gaskets, grease stained tools, the usual bric-a-brac of the profession.

He laughed at my perplexed expression. "Hey don't worry about Tina. I've got her right where she belongs...under the desk."

"I, uh, have a delivery Tom..." I began, searching the office rapidly for Tina. She can hide in the least likely places. But under the desk?

Which was not entirely correct. Tina was not exactly under the desk that is. Upon hearing my voice she was doing her best to scramble from under the desk to sample the fleshly delights of my leg. Her lease caught around the owners chair and he tumbled over backwards, sending girlie calendars twenty years old yards high. Tina was half out from the desk, indeed raised it several inches in seconds. He eyes focused on mine, I though I detected a gleam of humor within the red eyeballs. It might have been funny, except for fangs an inch and a half long covered in foam. Her enormous paws were shredding the worn and stained carpet. It was apparent she was coming out...COMING OUT FOR ME! Intent was all over her muzzled face. I dropped an arm load of filters, executed a 180 and retreated.

"I'll get the signature later," I shout, fleeing for the pickup.

As I ran outside several mechanics were racing into the crashing tumult of the shop office. One grinned at me briefly. "Someone needs to kill that German Shepard," he shouted in passing.

Behind me Tina was frantically barking loudly and growling furiously, frustrated at my escape no doubt. Her owner was shouting. "No Tina! Down Tina! Gol durn it Tina! THAT'S MY LEG! Get me up boys! Watch out for the lease, it's around my....ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Tina I'm gonna kill you one of these days!"

Delivering parts, nothing like it


randall 11-10-2001 21:57

Hey Gariess: That's great. Like Carol I have you pinpointed.

Heather: Pink Flamingos???? You planning on stealing a few? Can I help? I haven't been on a Flamingo raid for a long time. They don't sell them here. I like garden kitsch, you can steal it, place it in interesting places and bring it back to the owner virtually unharmed. If it does get damaged, you can replace it pretty cheaply.

ALLEIN: Where are you and where is that next Chapter??? I know I'm slow but I'm ready for the next one. I have Hana working on those translations you sent years ago and she's through all but two. I'm sorry but the J-test in Oct. held us up on everything. She's doing double time until Dec 2, and hopefully she doesn't have to do these tests again. The last one was a do-over since she flunked the D-levels. Hopefully, she got it this time or it's going to be another month of cramming.

Are you sewing now that you work in a fabric shop. Oh also, I need some fabric descriptions and names for the fabric. I don't know much about fabrics but I need it for the dragon. What I need is something that would be very servicable and make a good ugly colored, very apt to wrinkle school uniform. It should itch and be extremely uncomfortable.

Heather: Wrong holiday. Monday is Vetran's Day. Sorry. I couldn't find a calandar with the right holidays. I need to get one and print on all the holidays. Does Canada have the equivalent?

viv 11-10-2001 19:02

Afternoon All :)

Oh, Thank you Viv! I have been trying to figure out Gariess's gender my own self. LOL I've been having fun lately trying to figure out details of the various members of this board in order to keep everyone straight in my own head. And thanks to Gariess's and Jerry's most recent "shit" posts, I have a decent enough handle on them. Don't worry boys, nothing bad. :)

Gariess - the intimadation has waned. So interesting, I received my copy of FUTURES magazine yesterday and began reading it. There were three stories contained within its pages (everytime I write its/it's, I pause - ok, which one are you?) that reminded me of your own story. One began with a traditional setting paragraph, then (pause, yep that's right) cut to the "Main Character" speaking to the Author, then the Adorable Heroine putting in her two cents. LOL The entire story waggled back and forth in this fashion -- I laughed all the way through!

I've begun work on putting together a collection of my poetry and shorts for the family. I plan on the book containing 20 of each (just a nice round number - no particular reason). I delved into the poetry stash last night thinking I'd find about half of what I needed that would be acceptable. Surprise! Found 19! It has been so long since I've thought about the poetry that I had no idea just how many were there, how many half-formed thoughts were waiting for completion. Now -- to begin whittling away on the number of stories yet needed. Only 17 to go... .

Carol 11-10-2001 15:30

Too charming, Gariess!
sentence fragments. Beware, or we'll all be fragged! I suppose it's too late, in these modern times of hacking and nullifying the rules of grammar. I have heard it said that one must learn all of the rules before knowing how to properly break them; that is, to break them and get away with it. It seems somewhat obvious that now it's perfectly all right never to have known them. (Get a load of my snobbish voice, will you? It's not that I never have need to brush up on my grammar!)

About analogy vs. allegory, I can see why analogy has been mistaken for allegory, and perhaps 'analogy' will replace the usage of the term allegory, the way 'Kwik' has replaced 'Quick' in advertised society. (I realize that someone had to invent another spelling of 'quick' because one cannot use the same spelling on a different brand product unless willing to be saddled with uproarious litigation fees, not to mention the payment of more fees to the casewinner.)

Traditionally, the analogy was for comparing two things similar to one another, objects bearing a resemblance by appearance or function, etc. This seems to cover just about anything,
however: And allegory is basically the description of one thing under the image of another, or a meaning that is metaphorically implied, but not stated as such. It can also be used to describe a series of actions that are symbolic of another set of actions, such as was the case in Gariess' example; the act of becoming more involved in the story, metaphorically comparable to being on a train gathering considerable momentum. (Excuse me while I air my tongue a bit)

*waggle waggle*

Whenever I have consulted my grey matter and backed it up with perusing my 1935 dictionary, I tend to pick up on the more traditional usages, and something of the style rubs off -- or on, as it were.
This might be why I've chosen to write my latest ghost story as a MAN (yes, a man) living sometime between the late 1900's or early 20th century. The flourish of words -- well, I find it interesting and challenging.

signing off before my tongue is rightly bitten off,

Heather 11-10-2001 14:39

Garies - I guess that depends on what kind of "shit" you are speaking of. Were your refering to "deep shit" or maybe "Wow man, that's good shit" or maybe, "Hey GI, go burn that shit"?

Jerry 11-10-2001 13:40

I know where you got the notion, even if you don't. It's because of the feminine suffix in my sign-in name. That's actually all Hayden's fault, but that's an old story around here. Well, he paid for it, and mightily I might add. I do miss him so, none-the-less.

When a guy is lucky enough to find a good freind, he wants to honor that memory even when the freind goes away, so I will wear the name proudly that, in his unparalelled style, he fashioned for me.

Anyway, it is good to know that my feminine side is eloquent enough to have established a rapport with you, here, in the NB. The only problem with that is that I will have trouble if I try talking to Jerry right now, so I guess I'll give it a day.



gariess 11-10-2001 9:54

I should begin in the straightforward fashion of introducing you to Geezers sequentially, but you ought, at least, to have an idea just how many Geezers you are in for, so that if you believe there are too many you can choose to run away, now. I won’t be offended. If I were to find, right now, that there were ten or more of us, I would be at the head of the exodus, myself.

There are six regular members: Parker, Tom, Brian, Gary, Frank and Irene. Starting at the top there is, of course, The Chairman—you must not get the idea that we have any notion of emulating the renowned Rat Pack because we have a Chairman. There is in fact unresolved controversy over whether there is a board, or for that matter even such a thing as Geezers, but no one disputes the fact that if there were a board, and if there were Geezers, Parker is the Chairman. Now, I know that sounds ungrammatical, because I should have, for the sake of tense consistency, written: …Parker would be the Chairman, but I can’t, because Parker is, indeed the Chairman. I hate to bring you so abruptly into the confusion that surrounds our eccentric little klatch, but like cold water, it is better that you jump right in and get it over with. Perhaps, now that you are beyond the initial shock and you are warming (we fervently pray) to the ambiance, a little exposition on the Chairman will be a way to start putting it all together.

Parker, oh, my. This will not be easy because it has been said, and often I assure you, that with Parker, or Gorham Parker Homer to be unnecessarily precise, you had to be there. And this is in the literal sense; you had to be around at the time of his birth. In the early part of the last century, Parker was born into a prolific family of aboriginal Cape Codders. Yes, I am having you on a bit, but not entirely. Parker’s great great great Grandmother was a Wampanoag Princess. Not of the Pocahontas days, certainly, but perhaps around the time of Sakageweea and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The baseload of Parker’s gene pool is surely of European origin, but around the time of his great great great grandmother’s birth, the pool was getting dangerously low and in desperate need of diversity. The Old Comers, as they were called on Cape Cod at the time, did not wholeheartedly support miscegenation, and so this marriage was not a highly celebrated event. After all, they were in no way apprised of the dangers their survival as a subspecies was facing, even if they did notice that an inordinate number of them were walking funny, and had drooling problems and sub-standard bladder control. At any rate, there hadn’t been time enough to re-establish a solid genetic diversity at the time of Parker’s birth, something we, as Geezers, never mention, nor do we ever stoop to holding the Chairman accountable for it.

Not long after his birth, Parker’s Mom and Dad had to admit that both his eyes didn’t focus on the same object at the same time. He wasn’t forming sentences till he was around six or seven, and never did get the shoe lace thing down before it was time for high school. High School? And well you might ask, but you must remember that in the time of the Great Depression, we were a very small community and standards weren’t strictly kept. It may otherwise pique your interest to know that through all of his schooling, Parker was hardly at the bottom of his class.

Things were not utterly desperate, and we did have a thing called the medical establishment, such as it was. Parker’s case was presented to the medical establishment, such as it was, and their eventual ruling in his case was that he had a condition which would not allow him to live beyond an age of thirty-five. I might tell you that I’ll be having coffee with Parker later today, and the math in this situation is not difficult; even if I haven’t provided you with precise dates, you can guess that Parker is around seventy.

More about Geezers later. Trust me, Geezers are best taken in small doses, as you may already have guessed.



gariess 11-10-2001 9:43

Gariess: This is a very odd question but since I've come to the notebook, I've thought of you as FEMALE. Are you? What is throwing me is the mention of Vietnam. I'm not sure if I'm right or wrong because women do serve in the military, but you never see much mention of the WOMEN who served in Vietnam. I've also never heard a woman talk about being in Vietnam. Interesting.

If you aren't a woman, well, I have no idea where I got the entire wacky idea anyway. Sorry. I didn't pay much attention to much other than some great writing anyway. I'm one of those who reads the book, knows the book, then turns the book over and learns the author's name. Not the other way around.

Heather: Lost a letter to you when Hotmail blinked off. I agree with you! Couldn't have been that! Still, write that thing you wanted to write and let me help with the editing! I definitely owe you big time!

viv 11-10-2001 4:32

Garies - Not too deep I guess, the closest I ever got was a three week support operation during Lam Sahn 719. We supported the ARVAN entrance into Laos. They stationed us at Kah Sahn and our Rome Plows reopened a roadway into Laos for the Arvan. It did get a bit on the hairy side there for awhile but nothing too serious. I was stationed with the Engineers the Unit built roads and cleared land, stuff like that. I was in Communications, so worked with the radios, telephones and such. On our stay at Kah Sahn, I ran a radio teletype van and kept the reports going back to Headquarters at Danang.

Jerry 11-10-2001 0:42

Good one.

I've wondered for a while; did you get in the shit when you were in country? I never did because I was there too early. The hairiest shit we did was a few covert deliveries.

gariess 11-10-2001 0:29


No, I would not chuck a good story of my own rather than fix a flaw, but my editor - if I had one - certainly would.


gariess 11-10-2001 0:23

Greetings all. Seems I missed shorty night, happens when you must be away on shorty day. I didn't find this weeks topic, but have decided to post a bit of text that I wrote a few minutes ago. It is sort of an experement. As they used to say "And now for something completely different:"

One can be surrounded by people, even family, and yet be alone. So very alone. So very lonely.

Such loneliness can be so through that one cannot think of anything else but the loneliness. There can be no food, no water no air in such a loneliness.

All around you have no idea of your situation, yet you are stifled by it, you cannot function, cannot speak, cannot write. All you can do is search for someone to relieve the loneliness. Someone who will listen to your thoughts, who will respond to your views, interact with you on any level.

You begin to look for that person, yet those around you still ignore your very existence as they are wrapped up in their own lives exclusive of yours.

You go from place to place, store to store, bar to bar, club to club in search of that someone who will end the torture, end the loneliness. Yet you find no body who will due, nobody who will speak with you in more then passing.

Your loneliness leads you many places in search of relief until at long last you come upon an abandoned house that too appears lonely. As you enter through that old broken down door, you find yourself entering the portal that will at long last end your loneliness.

As you walk from room to room, down hallway and up stairs, you suddenly feel a presence, yet you cannot understand where it comes from. Who could it be, what could it be? Could it be the very house itself, or perhaps some other wander has come upon this house before you and will soon relieve your situation.

“Hello?” you say, your voice echo’s throughout the house, but goes unanswered.

A chill goes down your spine, but you must go on, must find this person, this thing that will end your quest, will end your loneliness for ever. At long last you enter the master bedroom that lies at the head of the stairs, and there it is. You look upon it yet do not understand, it is a spirit, a ghost, the part that is left of a person after death and it beckons you to follow, it holds its arms open to you, waiting to embrace you.

You look behind you but there is no one there. You begin to go forward. Forward toward the spirit, toward the end of loneliness, the end of your quest. As the ghost’s arms pull you into its embrace you realize the truth, the very core of the reason for your loneliness. You realize that you are in fact dead.

Jerry 11-10-2001 0:15

Thanks, but the train thingy, I believe, was an allegory rather than an analogy. I’m not sure if even that’s technically true. Maybe someone can tell us.

I see that it is not my overwhelming proficiency at the craft that intimidates you, but rather my allusions to unprofessionalism and sloppy work. Don’t let me fool you in either case. I referred, in the piece, to the than/then confusion that plagues so many people, and may I simply say that you won’t have to travel far to find one, harrumph.

I’m not trying to be superior. I have the equivalent confusion with who/whom, hyphenation and a host of other things. I am easily spotted as an impostor when I fail to cover these flaws.

A writer can actually play it safe. I have heard of published writers who write around these deficiencies. They simply don’t include sentences they are unsure of. Just as I am sure that in the former sentence, I was not supposed to end with a preposition, but I know it is acceptable today. Fiction, especially, allows great latitude in interpreting the rules. Something to do with the evolution of languages. Incomplete sentences are acceptable if the cause is just, such as in dialogue. One may omit the comma from the "if clause." The preceding sentences were illustrated in sequence by the ones preceding them, in case you missed that. (I am unsure of the comma in the last)

What I wrote in the story has plenty of reference in real life. It was largely drawn on the experiences of Richard Curtis. You may recognize his name; he is a prolific author, and heads one of the biggest literary agencies in the country. He remarked once about how infuriating it was to paw through so many submissions (and these having been filtered already through professional readers in the agency,) and find out the writer led him into the story only to reveal himself as a bush-league chump on the second page.

This happens to him as an editor, because readers typically rule on a manuscript in the first couple of paragraphs. They don’t get to page two where it all turns to shit. This tells us something about the competition out there, if we have aspirations, as it were. Agencies and publishers rarely waste resources on a writer who simply hasn’t matriculated to professionalism. I’m talking about the high school stars who are not even invited to spring training. Let alone the dismal few of those that will go to summer camp... and to triple A clubs and so on. Of course one must always remember that the first rule is: there are no rules.

That, I believe, is an analogy.


I would agree that a fresh fart sounds like an oxymoron, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration. Besides, I was enlisting the buoyancy of a heated gas into the equation. As for Schwimmer, what can one say. It’s all tied in with TV and marketing. The guy is a product in the end. As these things go, in five years his earnings in the business will absolutely nose dive, but by then he’ll be quite rich, won’t he? Still, it is a curiosity that all of the actors in that sitcom are quite competent (Schwimmer included,) all have done movies, and none has floated to the… shall we say superstar level. I refer to that higher stratosphere above celebrity.

Later, guys.

gariess 11-10-2001 0:09

Leonardo - should you desire some information on English Grammar, the link below is a good one. I think you need to have Microsoft Power point installed to view it, but there are also text-only versions if you don't have access to that software.

Jerry Grammar page 11-9-2001 23:50

sorry - can't help it --

Ethel and Mabel, two elderly widows, were watching the folks go by from
their park bench.

Ethel said, "You know, Mabel, I've been reading this 'Sex and Marriage'
book and all they talk about is mutual orgasm here and mutual orgasm there!

That's all they talk about! Tell me, Mabel, when your husband was alive,
did you two ever have mutual orgasm?"

Mabel thought for a long while. Finally, she shook her head and said,
"No, I think we had State Farm."

howard 11-9-2001 21:47

Oh, no! Now I've got a nasty idea for those stupid pink plastic flamingos...
Have flamingo, and camera, will go night-clubbing! (Or is that flamingo-clubbing?)

It's sleepover party at our house tonight. I don't know if I'll be able to write until 2 am when the giggles settle down!

Watching Karate Kid.
By the way, that's why I signed off the other day with
"Waxing Off", however I didn't realize until after I'd posted that I had just gone into a bit of a litany about pubic-hair wigs, and then signed 'waxing off' underneath!
I just about fell off my chair!
Of course, you all probably thought I wrote that on purpose... :o>

Heather 11-9-2001 20:56

Hi all! Hello Leonardo and Yvonne!

Yvonne, good luck and thanks for the warning. I don't do articles, but I've added that magazine to my 'don't do business with these guys' list.

Leonardo, I can't add much to what Viv and Jerry and Heather have said. Read good books. Write a little bit - or a lot - every day. And don't be afraid of the words, don't worry about the 'first creation'. That is what editing is for, to take your fresh, sometimes jumbled ideas and shape them into fresh, clear, well written ideas.

Viv, I like your technique! I'll have to try that one day when my muse tires of 'Freeborn'.

Which she hasn't done yet. I've spent all day at the computer today, with only a short yardwork break. I've reached a BIG CLIMAX and just can't stop typing. It's absolutely thrilling, because it means I'm finally getting close to the END!

Those little garden gnomes (I like to call them garden geeks) are definately world travelers. My hubby was on a caving trip in the Rocky Mountains and came across three guys who toted a little gnome up the mountain with them. The story they told was...
One night, they were driving around Lethbridge (Alberta) looking for some fun, when they spotted this poor, lonely little gnome sitting in a front yard. It looked so forlorn that they decided then and there to put some excitement in it's stagnant life. They rescued the poor little soul, and from then on took it everywhere they traveled. They had been taking pictures of the much happier creature at every place they went, so that when they next passed through Lethbridge - to take the gnome home - they could leave a packet of pictures to remind it of its travels.
Personally, I'd just like to see the expression on the face of the owner who's gnome was stolen, when it suddenly reappears with a bundle of photos from all over western Canada and the USA.

Okay, enough chit-chat. My muse - bless her - won't let me rest!

Tina 11-9-2001 20:27

Ok, now I am all for this stopping terrorism thing, but the lattest action by the justice department has my head spinning.

Now, should you be in jail, or prison, the Fed's have the right to listen in to you as you consult with your attorney!

This is too much in response to 9/11. It is the begining of the end of our civil rights. I am a conservative and all that, but this cannot stand, yet it is. It has been approved by the Justice Department.

Jerry 11-9-2001 20:07

Mel: I'm sorry! I was so muzzy minded yesterday I attributed your time elves to the wrong person! I really like them. I keep seeing them as Garten know the little plastic elves that they sell as kitsch for the gardens in Germany. They're here in Japan now too. They're a fun thing to steal and send on trips around the world. You just plop it in a box and send it to one person after another. Each person adds a small thing that is characteristic and can only be found in his/her country. A coin or a postage stamp or a post card or ...nothing huge but definitely interesting. I have two but one is missing. I'm sure I'll hear from him soon. If not, I need to check the storm drain.

Heather: Hope I didn't upset you with my strange dream analysis. I'm sure bits and pieces might fit, but having never done one before, I created the entire story. Hope you had a nice quiet night the next night. It was something riveting and I liked the way you wrote about your experience.

Mary: I borrowed your line about being chased around the dining room table and removing leaves as you got older. It's gone into my Reality Bites. Is that ok by you? It fit precisely like a puzzle piece.

Leonardo: Welcome to the group! A solution to your problem. It's PLAYTIME! You need to play with your writing so you will feel very comfortable when you sit down at the comupter. You didn't get enough playtime. Now you are sitting there cringing. You think..Gotta' do something important NOW! That's enough to constipate anyone.

Don't feel bad about what happened to you in college. It happens to a lot of people. It even happens to the teachers. There's a lot that goes on in the place and the pressure is very high. It means nothing. All you are doing in a college is buying classes and they should be good. If they weren't good for you, you shouldn't buy them.

What you need to do is say...what do I WANTTA' do today. Then leave your stupid chair, get a little notebook that you can stick in your pocket, leave the RULES behind. Just make sure you carry a pen.

Walk out of your house. Take enough money to buy a coke or a cup of coffee in a small inexpensive shop. Sit down and write about the people, the way the shop looks, the way your coke tastes, how you feel at just this moment.

Then SNEAK UP ON YOUR IDEA. CATCH IT! Just write one line from that story you know is lurking there. Grab it!
Then write it more clearly on another page when you have it right.

After you get a pretty good bunch of sentences, decide what language you should use. You can always translate or get it translated. You can also mix languages but be sure to explain the words to the readers. If your character thinks, "Ich feul mir whole." (excuse the spelling folks) then show that he feels the wholeness or the comfort in that place.

After you find your first paragraph, write the next. When you get six paragraphs re-read then create an outline of where you think you could go next. I do this by making lots of idea bubbles on a piece of paper. I start with my strongest idea. Then I say, what comes next. I draw a circle and I write in exactly what I think would come next. Then I say, what comes after that. I draw another line and another "idea bubble".

Sometimes I have to go back and fix my bubbles a lot. Sometimes they stay where I first put them. Just think over and over...CAUSE....EFFECT....RESULT!

I'll try to make you a picture of this, and put it on the screen. I'm not sure if I can do that on the computer yet.

Anyway, welcome to the group and HAVE FUN! You can't do anything well if you don't like it.

viv 11-9-2001 19:28

Still alive.

Just heard a wonderful quote on ‘Frasier’

Lilith: My husband was looking for someone more feminine, and he found him.

Back soon. (Mm hmn)

Litter 11-9-2001 17:51

Still alive.

Just heard a wonderful quote on ‘Frasier’

Lilith: My husband was looking for someone more feminine, and he found him.

Back soon. (Mm hmn)

Litter 11-9-2001 17:48

Leonardo - Welcome I am so glad you found us. We always welcome new writers, new ideas, new stories, new techniques. Each of us have our own. You will find that almost everyone here loves to read, and that is where we learn the art. The easiest way to learn anything is by watching someone else, in the case of writing, it is reading everyone else. As far as the writing itself, there are as many ways to start writing as there are writers, many wonder where to start. Well you, as the writer can decide that for yourself, you can start almost anywhere in the story, the beginning middle, or end and almost anywhere in-between. Most start at the beginning and work in a liner motion to the middle then the end, but there are those who begin almost anywhere else, and write quite successfully. My advice would be, in addition to reading everything you can get your hands on, start writing a short story or two in your chosen topic, many times you will find that short story that begs to go on and on to become that great novel you dream of.

I guess what I am trying to say is simply that writers write.

I don't know if any of that made any sense to you, maybe they are just the ramblings of an old man (well not that old).

Jerry Ericsson 11-9-2001 17:23

Leonardo - remember too, that a story must have a number of elements in it:
The main characters must be faced with a conflict or a difficulty that must be solved or dealt with
characters must grow or change in some way through the story
There must be plot of some sort, (or main story line) part of which is the sequencing of events with relevance to the characters and the problem(s)
There are usually lessons woven into the story as well - for the characters to learn
If the character does not have the required knowledge, wisdom or power to solve the problem for themselves, how do they acquire it? Does this solve the problem, or create more?

I can't think of any more at the moment; can anyone else
add to the list of basic story requirements?

I mean, other than beginning, middle and end?

By the way, you're welcome, Leonardo. By expanding on what you read and watch, you will give yourself more to work from. Most important is the reading!
I believe that great writers are also great readers.

Heather 11-9-2001 16:51

Many thx, Heather, I will follow your advise. My Book will be mostly about Elves and where the mystery of their magical powers comefrom, ect, ect..

I have been a Japanese Animation Lover since I was 12 I'd like to think this will help me loosening up my imagination.

thx again, sinceryly, leo

leonardo91681 11-9-2001 16:20

Look at that. I have done so much editing lately, I've gotten lazy with editing my posts! Please excu-u-u-u-u-use me. (Read with a Steve Martin sarcasm!!!)

Heather 11-9-2001 15:45

Yvonne, I'm not quite certain how I'd handle that. Since, in the latest (?) 'snotty' emails, the editor said that you were free to send your article elsewhere, I would. I wouldn't deal with that particular magazine again. Not only are they disorganized, they're condescending. They sent you an 'accidental email'? Interesting. I wonder if they don't get their writers mixed up too. Hang in there, and if they haven't used you article, feel free to send them a letter or email telling them that you are withdrawing your article (and state the title, date and your name, even if it's on the email already, since they are disorganized) and that you will be taking it elsewhere. I would, myself, likely add that you are (I am) the professional, expecting prompt payment, and it is their loss, not yours (ie: mine). Although I'd write it with a diplomatic slant.

I'd refrain from making any rude remarks in return, and when your article sells to another magazine, send them a clipping. :o)

You deserve payment for your article, so don't feel badly about this. It may be difficult to deal with payments however, since you're Canadian (so am I) and the mag was American. Cheques might not be a problem, but I'd check with your bank to be sure about all of that. I've never heard of 'paypal'. I expect it's like Western Union, only doesn't extend past the U.S. borders.

Let us know how things transpire, will you? This is important to know - even if not all of us here write for mags at this time.
Take care, Yvonne! Best of luck.

Hey there Mel! Gee, maybe I should be eating Halloween candy before bed then. I think I'd been enjoying the 'adult' taste of tea with cream, no sugar...
I like your gnome - he reminds me of grumpy - perhaps he's 'Super Grumpy', like a 'small folk hero', and 'Grumpy' is his nephew!

Carol! Thanks for the faith! Need all we can get, us we page sages. I'm puzzled about the four squares as well,
but the needle in the case seems to me a symbol of creativity. That's what the 'creativity' badge looked like from Girl Guides or Brownies; a needle and thread. Though there didn't seem to be any thread, I'm sure I could have found some - perhaps I need to be industrious, and invent some. Or, perhaps I already had thread? A needle to me also symbolizes 'repair', or the ability to fix things by hand. Perhaps it's just a symbol that I made this with my own hands? With the transparent plastic, since I've seen business cards at work like that, perhaps I'll have my own out of this material? And the other paper. Hmmm. It was almost like a miniature book, pressed between the needle case and the mylar-type stuff. I was given the tools to write. Maybe that's all I need to know.

Leonardo - Best bet is your local library for books on writing, languages, and creativity, plus fantasy style books to read for fun; but you will fare far better by learning to LOVE reading. It will expand your horizons and teach you a lot about writing, and about finding your own style and voice.
Read one book that has given you the writing bug? - I'd keep reading. Your story may end up being too similar to Tolkein's work. The point is to be original.
The words might not be flowing yet because you've only got a small source to work from, especially since you are learning to write in English at the same time. Perhaps writing it first in Spanish, and then translating it yourself? You'd have the mechanics of the English language down for sure!
The reason I advise that is because the 'rules' for writing grammatically correct Spanish are different than the rules for writing the same in English.

Gariess! You mean you'd chuck a perfectly good story instead of editing the mistake? Harumph! :o) Nice shortie - and it's SO great to have you back.

Heather 11-9-2001 15:41

Dating Life Magazine sent an extremely rude reply saying I must be inexperienced because I was desperate for money and furthermore there were thousands of writers just like me out there. (They promised to pay me back in early September, voluntarily, so of course with it being November I'm going "Where's the money?")

After trying phone, fax and email to get in touch with them for ten days, this was their response followed by my original queries:

No where in the original contract did it state that payment could only be
made via paypal, and furthermore it was actually the editor who had promised
immediate payment, which two months ago I just considered to be a nice
bonus. I can't accept paypayl payments, as I found out in August and told
her because I do not have a US bank account, I live in Canada. Here is the
correspondence, below:

-----Original Message-----
From: Mary Spio []
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2001 6:28 AM
To: Yvonne Cseppento

Apparently you have not worked with any major printed magazines, payment for
articles are usually made upon publication. I decided to have you paid
sooner because of your desperation, which I found quite disturbing. We have
not used any of your articles yet if you choose to use it elsewhere you may
go ahead. We have more articles than we can possibly use for the coming
year, so it takes a while to get through most of these. If we are to work
with you in the future I'd expect more professionalism. We do not use
western union to pay anyone, as I mentioned before we started working
together, we use pay pal. Register with Pay Pal and the funds will be
deposited. For tracking purposes do not use western union.

Back in July she mentions wanting me to be a regular in their magazine:

>From: "Mary Spio"
>To: "Yvonne Cseppento, Freelance Writer"
>Subject: Your Clothes
>Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 11:44:53 -0700
>Dear Yvonne,
>We have received submissions on this, but we are not entirely excited about
>those, you are welcome to submit yours as well. We are hoping that you
>be a regular in our magazine. Are there any other areas that piqued your

In August she tells me that she really respects my work and will pay me. . .

>From: "Mary Spio"
>To: "Yvonne Cseppento, Freelance Writer"
>Subject: RE: My Article Proposals
>Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 22:09:27 -0700
>Hi Yvonne,
>We are paying $100 for column and $200 for articles 2000 or longer,
>depending on the writer. But honestly we've had a lot of authors looking to
>do trades to market themselves. We really respect your work an hope to work
>with you. I can envision starting out at this rate and going to $300 for
>features once they are accepted and $150 for the column. We will need
>articles on a weekly basis as well, for the website. Those are usually $100
>or more. I think it all adds up in the end.

(Also in August I got some confusing form-emails from her saying that they
had too many writers, and could not use my work at this time, followed by an
apology because she was 'swamped' with e-mail and had sent it by accident)

This is where I am supposedly desperate for money that I had been told was
mailed in September after I informed her that I don't have paypal:

-----Original Message-----
From: Yvonne Cseppento []
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2001 6:21 AM
Subject: Invoice For Articles and Payment

Hello Mary,

Could you let me know if you received my invoices, and also what date you
sent the cheque for Celibacy Unnatural? Thanks!

Yvonne Cseppento

-----Original Message-----
From: Dating Life Magazine []
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2001 8:48 AM
To: Yvonne Cseppento
Subject: RE: Invoice For Articles and Payment

Hi Yvonne,
I just checked on the checks, I may have misinformed you. The checks haven't
been sent yet, because Payment is usually made right before the articles are
published. They have been queued for publication so I expect that payment
will follow shortly. Since your work was an assignment they should have paid
you right away. I'll keep you posted. Thanks

Flash ahead to November 9 where I have spent every day of the month
attempting to contact her, and the snotty e-mail you first read regarding


Yvonne Cseppento My Home Site 11-9-2001 13:06

Hi, I dont know if im allowed to post here or not so forgive me if I'm not.

My name is Leonardo Portillo, I'm 20 years old and live in Puerto Rico. For the past couple of weeks I've had this urge of writting a book about a fantasy story, the urge is so strong sometimes I can't sleep at night 'till 3-4 am at the night. But every morning when I go to my pc and try to beggin I can't seem to gets the words out of my mind and into the paper.

I've never written anything before, to tell you the truth I hated Reading and didnt know how much fun a good book can be until a couple of months ago, as I read "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, I felt this sence of adventure and turn of emotions I had never felt on a movie or anything else.

I guess I will never write something as popular as one of Tolkien's books, but then again a good writter was once a begginer that didn't give up.

I want to write in english but the native language here in Puerto Rico is Spanish, so I ask help if anyone who reads this messege can lead me to a good site where I can learn more about how to write in english and the rules to writting, like what a book needs, ect.

I'm practicaly 24/7 in front of a Computer or a Book, due to the fact that I was suspended from college for cutting classes, dont get me wrong, I had Social anxiety attacks and didnt know what they were until it was too late. In short I was kinda afraid of people. Strange isn't it?

anyways, thx for any help in advanced.

leonardo91681 11-9-2001 12:40

Morning all :)

Oyster -- Welcome!

Viv -- thanks for the comment. I was hoping for that type of connection between reader and the characters. This story is going to be hard to share with any of my family or close friends -- I'm the "Rosie" type. I forget to send out thank you cards, even birthday cards sometimes. It was my guilt on that issue that promoted this story. (I have all my goodies from "special" people right here in my office -- another parellel.)

Jerry - {hug} - you've captured walking the VA hallways very well. The sensory aspect AND emotional.

gariess - nope, we haven't spoken directly here yet. After reading your shorty, I'm a touch intimadated ... . Where's that copy of "Elements of Style," I know it's around here somewhere ... . :)

Heather -- I've heard that our first instincts on a dream's meaning is ususally the most accurate. The four squares of material in your hand puzzle me. Maybe they are the high quality sections you have to cut that are worth holding onto? You'll know. I've got faith in you.

Well, I guess it's time to find out what this day will hold. Happy writing everyone!

Carol 11-9-2001 12:39

VIV: "IF" he brushes his teeth with mud... my brain is mud today.

Mel 11-9-2001 8:59


A bleary-eyed good morning to you-all. !-] Husband keeps me up too late. I may have to resort to bed-bundling him, heh heh! Oh, I look forward to my nap on the bus home...

J.OYSTER: Hiya! So, open your shell and let us have a peek, won't you? At least, show us your pearl collection. We can all compare gems. :-)

VIV: Sorry, I'm not giving my time-caretaking gnomes to Mary unless she can teach them how to SLOW the passage of time! I'm not sure what kind of gnomes they are; still getting acquainted with them myself. I don't think Gnarly could be a yellow pearl if he tried, maybe chartreuse, is he brushes his teeth with mud before his annual smile. :-D

GS: Nice train analogy. Bring on the geezers. :-]

HEATHER: You've got to stop gorging on Halloween candy before you go to bed. :-) Actually, your dream was very intriguing; there's a good story in there somewhere -- MAKE it mean something! BTW, I can't watch Nazi atrocities either. *Shudder!*

Early Thanksgiving with my side of the family tomorrow in Syracuse...Then, have to start Christmas shopping...Soon, it will be a new year and I'll wonder where this year went... May 2002 bring all of us more opportunities to write, to write well, and to share more smiles and laughter.

Have a great day, everyone! :-]

Mel 11-9-2001 8:57

Okay, shortie night. Here we go, quick and dirty.

It was late, and my mind was buzzing. I didn't think I could look at another script and give it a fair reading. My brain was fried from hours of scrolling through the entries, but I knew things would only be worse tomorrow, if I didn't do more work tonight.
I went to the hopper and splashed water on my face, not even caring that I soaked half my shirt in my haste and clumsiness. I poured a cup of cold coffee and carried it back to the desk.
Reluctantly I pulled the cursor down to the NEXT button and clicked. I blinked as I read the first line. I repeated it several times in my head to force myself to actually hear what it was saying. Okay, I said, now the next sentence, and then the train began to creep.
As I continued to read, I began to notice a certain fluency in the first paragraph. Not bad, I thought. What have we, here? I read on. Not bad? I said, beginning to brighten up. What am I saying? This is looking good. I didn't dare to hope, quite yet, that I finally had found something after all that mind numbing searching. I continued into the second paragraph and began to pick up a certain, what shall I say...Stephen King quality? A smooth surreality in the other-wordly feeling and that what... that sense of apprehensive anticipation. Yes, fluency and expectation, those wonderful qualities of first rate fiction
The train was noticeably rolling when I was somewhere in the third paragraph and steam was building. I was engaged and the words were rolling by. Communication was confirmed. That wonderful feeling of connection between writer and reader. Come on, Daddy. You're telling me a story, now. Keep it rolling. Those wheels were clickety-clicking away. We are on board together now, baby. I eased back against the seat and let the words carry me along.
We were just getting up a full head of steam and grooving when, somewhere around the fifth or sixth paragraph, up ahead in the tracks, a faint shape was taking form.
My hand moved instinctively to the brake handle as the shape grew larger and clearer in my view. The instant I was certain that a huge phrase was lying in the track ahead, a phrase that was big, ugly and heavy enough to derail and wreck us, I pulled mightily on the handle and felt the grinding of the heavy wheels. I heard the sound of screeching steel, and felt a hideous shudder roll through the mighty engine. The phrase grew larger in the distance as the train began to slow. I began to see the vague shapes of the words and then the letters as the massive obstruction suddenly loomed up in the windshield before me.
When the train finally stopped, when the ear splitting screeching instantly died away to a meek whimper, and all the noise and motion had faded from my head like the crescendo in some wild and neurotic Scriabin composition, there was nothing there. No train. No tracks. No giant phrase, only me and a few haplessly connected words listlessly flapping in the dark ethereal gloom. Communication gone, just like that, as if some violent wretched malignancy had wrenched the signals from the very air. I mouthed the words slowly to myself as if by doing so, I could put them right, but I knew there was no hope. Not this time anyway, maybe next time. It was there for all the world to see. That ancient nemesis of the editor, the Flawed Phrase. But why here? Why, in this otherwise brilliant gem, must there exist that little black speck. But wait. Look there, just ahead in the next sentence, another. And don't tell me this. Just beyond these is the classic then/than confusion. "...he was older then me." Oh, dear. This guy just got lazy all of a sudden. Or perhaps simply reckless. Either way the work is doomed. Pity. Six excellent paragraphs and then this. One would think if a guy could put six together he could stay on the roll.

For reasons I don't fully understand, I selected the words on the screen and clicked on the button to enlarge. I may have just wanted to see them unmistakably in my view so I would know I was not wrong, and I was not. They were there. HE WAS OLDER THEN ME. OLDER THEN ME. THEN. Not "than," but "then."
Gloomily, I scrolled to the bottom of the screen. At the end of the story, at the bottom of the page was the confirmation of my suspicion. In the bold and brightly colored font was the signature of the writer. I had seen this guy's work before. Yes, I remember, now. A hard worker and talented, a fine fellow as well. In fact, I think we even spoke once about fatal flaws. Well, this is, after all, a tough business. For all of us.

the end

gariess 11-9-2001 5:11

Refreshed the notebook to find imagery like no one else can give,


A fresh fart. One could argue about how truly fresh a fart is! But I won't.

I saw a bit of the mini-series, where some of the people (including Lili Sobiesky) were escaping by route of the sewers, and just as the Nazi soldiers were flooding the pipes, I had to turn it. And I thought my nightmare was horrible. Anything graphically exploring any of the countless heinous acts by the Nazi party in WWII bothers me to no end, to the point of resorting to loud 50's music and Nyquil, or the very least a rubber mallot.
I saw perhaps two minutes with Schwimmer in it, before the 'flooding bit' and wondered why someone known for schtik comedy might be cast in such a serious role. NOt wise.

Let's say it will be a GOOD night,

and PLEASANT dreams.

Heather 11-9-2001 2:43

*bloooiiip!* Wow, just woke up. Went to bed at the same time the kids did. I must have been more exhausted than I realized. Woke up, felt like wandering around the house. Not sure why, exactly. Noticed I'd left the computer on. Sat down.

Perhaps this is a little bit twisted (considering the theme)
but I had a nightmare a few nights ago. I woke up horrified, ran downstairs, and my husband was having breakfast (he's up very early). He comforted me, and when I told him about the dream, it seemed much more symbolic than anything.

I'm walking down a road, there's a person walking about fifteen metres(about 10 yards) in front of me. I don't know what kind of road, I'm just on it. Out of nowhere come a pack of black dogs, THe dogs fall on the woman in front - I think it's a woman, and they tear her to pieces. I don't see any gore, just the wildly thrashing backs of all the dogs. I'm horrified, yes, but afraid to do anything.
All of a sudden, the dogs are gone, and the woman is dead -still I don't see any gore, but now people are coming toward me to gasp and stare, accusing me of murder. "You murdered her! Oh my God, how could you?" and things like that. I'm at a loss for words.
Now I'm walking toward 'my' house, in the middle of a large field, and the house has one or two rooms. (It's no house I've ever seen) I walk into it, and there is 'my husband' and 'daughter', though no son. (I put these in quotes because they were NOT my husband and daughter, though they looked like them, they did not act like them, and were not the same size.) I didn't look into my husband's face.
The girl was hostile, or perhaps she was merely unfeeling.
The 'husband' proceeded to tell me that everything would be alright, and that no one would be able to find any evidence against me. "What?" I was aghast.
"I've taken care of it. I cut the body up and hid the pieces. Nobody will find it now." He took a double-baded knife from his pocket (it was huge) and placed it on top of a dresser. He had even put body parts into a slit on the underside of the mattress, and other parts in the field.
I was horrified - my first thoughts were 'Now no one will believe me that I didn't do it,' and 'I can never sleep here again.' I also thought about the people who saw me with the dead woman's remains on the road, even though all I saw were the people standing over the woman, and no gore.
(I'm just appalled even writing this)
Then I'm in custody, and I'm bring brought before a judge. I'm wearing a monk's type hooded garment, but I think it's only a top that is brown and hooded, and I'm wearing pants or something. I'm taken down the centre aisle of the room, and it's crowded to capacity with 'everyday' people. I am pulled up to a platform, where the judge sits, but she's not behind a bench, and has no gavel or proper judge's gown. She's a very large, tall woman, but she's sitting down, so I 'm at eye level with her. She's wearing a black draping fabric all right, but with a white garment partly hidden under it. I can see the edges of the blouse and collar. She looks at me, and she's not harsh or pleasant, and is very calm. She says something like 'Are you ready?'
To which I have no time to reply. In my mind I'm not worried about whether she'll find me guilty, I'm worried that the masses of everyday people will not believe me.
I worry they will not know the truth.
I am yanked my the hood of my shirt, and am taken back down the aisle, to be put in a cell. While walking, someone presses something into the palm of my hand.
It is four squares of different materials, each the same size - about 1.5 inches square. I could conceal them neatly in my hand, but I openly inspect them. THe top is a square of thin, transparent plastic, like one of those new funky business cards, but there's no printing on it. The next is a very thick white paper, almost recycled paper in texture, but snow white. (Or specialty paper). Third is another piece of paper, thick, like 40 lb. paper, and pure white. The last square is a needle case. It has a clear plastic top, and the bottom of the thin case is either white or off-white. In it is one needle, but apparently no thread.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ that's it. I woke up.

My friend Tanya asked if maybe the dream symbolized my writing, and that my husband Wayne wouldn't read it because he was afraid he'd have to cut it up.
I think it may have that mixed in there, but I also think it symbolized my desire to have truth be known, not just by one or two, but by the crowd. I was more worried about the truth not being believed than I was about spending the rest of my life in prison - in fact, I had a passing thought about the prospect - I'd have lots of time to write.

So it may have been both. At any rate, it's off-topic.

Teekay, any brilliant dream interpretations for me? Wait - funny parallel here - just thought of the obvious - (this jives with my friend's interpretation) I do have to 'kill off a character' in Symphony. Not that she'll die, but she'll basically be out of the rest of the story. And I don't have any real feeling about it, the character served her purpose. Hence, no gore. And there is something about the novel that I'm going to try my best to put across as truth, though many will take it as fiction - perhaps the 'judge character' was asking me if I was able to come to terms with the fact that most will only see it as fiction?

Okay, before I ruin it totally for you, Teekay, will you give it another shot? Or a few different possible angles?
Everyone welcome - the dream's open season.
I wondered if the dream was because I'm so concerned with what's going on in the world, but I'm not sure about that any more.

Help, if you can! Thanks everyone.

Heather 11-9-2001 2:25

Didn’t I tell you? In a way you disappointed me by blowing my premise out of the water, but your reply is refreshing to the point that it’s a wash.

Bundling bags? I remember bundling boards, they were used to protect the effectiveness of the gene pool as I recall. They really didn’t work as I remember it. We still had a lot of buck-toothed, drooling, beady-eyed, slack-jaws meandering the countryside. I would have opted for more affordable housing programs. The idea being to get those first cousins into separate apartments. Even if one could keep them apart at night, who would have time to mind the barn on those sultry afternoons. Don’t any of you remember Erskine Caldwell? Fine lot of writers.

I’m not sure that we’ve ever spoken. Charming little morality play, that last bit.

Has anyone been following that new mini-series? I’m onto the one in which David Schwimmer comes blasting across the screen with all the impact of a turkey feather floating on a fresh fart.

It’s bone chilling to see what can happen when a sit-com player is migrated from his element. However, to watch John Voight is almost worth the punishment, and for his pantomimic performance in that pantomimic script, I offer him my forgiveness. Something for which, I am sure, he has been fervently praying.

I’ve been considering posting a series of anecdotal vignettes here in our celebrated NB. Of course, I have been considering a great many things of late; most of which will surely never come to pass. They would be based on real life characters - one of whom is yours truly. These geezers meet every afternoon, nearly, for coffee. I expect I would spread them thinly enough so as not to have Jack archiving every other day. (As if I would ever be that industrious.) All of this reminds me that it is time to go.

later, good friends,


gariess 11-9-2001 2:15

The hallway seemed to go on forever. Although it was fairly wide, my claustrophobia kicked in, and sent chills up and down my spine. On the walls were combat photos from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. Cannons with balls of fire at their muzzles. Tanks firing on the move, infantry firing in the Vietnam Jungle, Engineers building roads, war ships in the act of firing.

We walked along, my good wife and I, having satisfied our hunger at the Canteen and stopped at the PX to look for bargains. I was on my way to be fitted for new supports to raise my fallen arches, when I first heard the voice. “Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful beautiful river!” The voice reminded me of two pieces of old rusty tin grinding together in the wind storm, yet somewhere deep down you could tell it once carried a fine tune.

We continued on our walk, slowly, my cane echoing the tap, my wife occasionally supporting herself on my arm when her bad knee gave out. The pictures went on, as did the hall, and the voice was still there, it was getting closer, at long last the owner turned a corner and was with us in the long hall. He was a veteran, of that there was no doubt, who else would be walking the halls of a veterans hospital but a vet? But of what war came to mind, my first thought was WWI, no he had to be WWII, but I bet he was older then average when he enlisted. His wheel chair came slowly toward us, propelled by his hands, and the heels of his feet as he push-pulled his way on. The song changed “ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS MARCHING OFF TO WAR” Again the grating voice nearly drove us up the wall, my wife chuckled a bit, having worked most of her working live in elderly care facilities she was used to such happenings.

Forward we walked, each step bringing us closer to the singer in the hall. Finally we met, and I nodded my head in greeting, he nodded back, and a sly smile crossed his face. We both continued on our way, and as we turned the corner and were off in a different hall, going a different direction, I could hear the singer in the hall “Silent night, holey night, all is calm…” Somehow I had a feeling I was looking at the past; and perhaps the future.

Jerry 11-8-2001 23:38

Oh Mary! I can't stop laughing about the dining room table! I like your short bit on the gnomes. What a neat bit of characterization. Are they Garten Zwerge type gnomes? I want to read more.

Heather: I loved your scholarly explaination of fur muffs. I read it to my husband as he was seriously working away at his computer next to me. He looked up, "Mmmurf, Uh What? I thought you said... What are you reading????" I re-read the description and he started to snigger. When he went back to work, it was obvious that the frustration was completely gone. Those little laugh lines were back in the corners of his eyes, and his work was finished much quicker. Nothing like an interesting fact to make the day better.

Carol: Your characterizations in that story were absolute and strong! I loved the part where she went off into describing the work she'd put into the food. Talk about putting a bit of poisen in the cookies!!!! Very nice. I think that was the part that really came out strongest and clearest. My jaw dropped because I know someone who sounds just like that. She's here, you're there. Now how could you know her! Uncomfortably, I guess there's a little of Joyce in us all.

Looks like we have a new writer on the site! I'm going to enjoy looking at those pearls! You describe them well. I like the ones with irregularities too. I also like the color changes that occur in pearls. There are black pearls and white pearls, pink and yellow. I'd definitely say Mary's gnomes were pink and yellow. The black one that was bent and wavy was the character in Carol's story.
Wow, I like the pearl idea. It describes characters as well as stories.
Thanks....hummmmmmmmm....good analogy.
Welcome and come back soon!

Viv 11-8-2001 19:06

J. Oyster, welcome!
Pull up a... well, pull up a tide pool. :o)

Heather 11-8-2001 16:11

Good shorties, Carol and Mel! Wow!

Mary - thank you! I hope you're feeling better. Don't rip your heart out yet - wait until you experience the incredible swell it takes on when seeing your daughter in her first Kindergarten play on stage! It's worth all the agony, worrying about them while they're at school and missing them during the day. ;o> Tears of joy.
Yes, I remember your ghost story, Mary! That's the one!
Laughed so hard at the 'taking leaves out of the table' line, Mary!

Back later for shortie night - have to check emails first and dinner and and and...

Great to see you back, Gariess!
My husband chases me up the stairs, and I'm glad he does! Sometimes he chases me around the whole house *wink wink* (Good thing the house is small!)

Heather 11-8-2001 16:10

I saw this forum and just had to put my thoughts into the Writer's Notebook.

As a writer, I am an oyster. I have a hard shell protecting my soft insides. And when a grit of sand gets under my shell, I slowly coat it with layers of mother-of-pearl until it no longer irritates me.

Since I'm heavily involved in writing for it's own sake as well as some publication, I have a lot of strange looking pearls in my collection. But I save them all, because even if their a little oddly shaped, they are still pearls!

Thanks for the opportunity to post my thoughts, I'll look foward to reading on.

J. Oyster N/A 11-8-2001 16:01

Hey Mel -- cute shorty! Gnarly reminds me of Grandpa. hehehe I never thought I'd miss that crotchy old foggy, but I do.

Carol 11-8-2001 15:29

CAROL: Good shorty.

Hi, Everyone! :-)

Mel 11-8-2001 14:27


HEY! HEY!! HEY, you oxygen-starved little gnome! You can't take away a week of days like that all at once!--What do you mean, 'Watch me' -??!! When I catch up to you, I'm gonna wring your mangy little--hey! Where'd he go? Sigh. On the best of days, there's no catching up with time passed...

Meanwhile, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CLOCK... (my shorty)

Maeve watched the weary approach of her dour-faced husband and flung the door wide as he dumped his wheelbarrowful of used calendar-days into the stormcellar. She knew he'd recycle them tomorrow.

"Oh, dear Gnarly, you're home!" She flung her pudgy arms round his squat neck and squeezed.

"Save it for the pigeons!" he wheezed, disengaging himself and entering their tiny hovel.

Maeve, still grinning, pulled the woolen cap from his head. "You've had a bad day?"

"What else is there?" The gnome stumped his way to a chair by the pot-bubbling fire. He plumped his body into the chair, wriggling side to side to make the old cushions mold to his body.

Maeve retrieved his pipe and tobacco from the mantel and handed them to him. "Such ingratitude! Things can't be too bad - you're still breathing."

"Hrmph," he filled the pipe with tobacco, jabbing his thumb into the soft mix. "Big folks always complainin' 'cuz I take time they haven't bothered to organize before they used it...Who needs a job anyway?"

Maeve stroked his perspiring brow. "At least you have a job, a good one at that. No one else gets to do what you do."

"Hrmph." Her husband struck a match and, puffing, set the pipe tobacco alight. "Anybody else can do it if'n they want it. I'd ruther just sit here and smoke." A nicely rounded smoke-ring floated toward the ceiling.

"We have a nice roof over our heads, thanks to your job."

"Ha! Ev'ry time it storms, we lose more shingles and I have to patch the holes to turn the rain."

Maeve sat on the arm of his chair. "We also have good clothes to wear because of your job."

He glared sideways at her before blowing another smoke-ring toward the fire. "Yeah. The best burlap to be had in these here parts."

She twirled a couple fingers through his curly hair. "And we have good food to eat because of your good job."

"Only 'cuz the rodents ain't as fast as my hammer, and the lice prefer my hair."

She removed her hand from his head and watched him lumber to his feet and shuffle to the door. "Of course, a day can't be all bad when you've got a loving wife like me."

He paused, hand on the doorknob. "Aw, Marvy--"

As he jerked the door wide and ambled toward the porch rocker, she smiled and clutched her hands to her chest. "You love me!"

He turned, grumbling, and raised an eyebrow at her. "What would give you a fool idea like that?"

Still grinning, she crossed to him, stood on tiptoe and dashed a kiss across his swarthy cheek. "You called me 'Marvy' like you did on our weddin' day, 'Marvelous Maeve' you called me. And then you smiled one of your rare golden beams at me."

"Oh, hogwash. A slip o' the tongue, it was then and was now. Go fix me supper, woman!"

"It's simmering on the fire, just waitin' till you're ready, no hogwash wasted."

Gnarly stole a glance to the right and then to the left, and then pulled her into his arms. "Got to protect my gruff reputation, y'know. And just for your ears," his whiskers brushed her cheek as he leaned close to whisper, "there's no face like my little marvy gnome." He kissed her swiftly, then set her free. "But I'll still trade my job."

Mel 11-8-2001 14:16

Hi All!

So far, the day is going well.

gariess -- I hope its a long time before your universe implodes. LOL First we have pubic wigs, then desk chasing. What's next?

Oh, that reminds me - I did run a search on bundling bags. It seems the experts have a problem getting reliable information. A lot of people didn't want to admit to practicing bundling since there were a lot of stories where the bundling didn't stop the sweethearts from doing their thing. hehehe But, in a nut shell -- its Dutch/Puritan in origins (to the best of their knowledge) and came into its highest popularity in the colonies due to the distance young men had to travel to pay calls on their sweethearts. Such distances often meaning an overnight stay was a necessity. I love learning!

Well - part of the reason I've had a good day is because I do have a shorty for this week. Feel free to comment. Since I helped badger Randall into working on a chapbook, I may include this story in my own little book.

Rosie’s Cabinet
By Carol Floy Geniesse

Rachael sniffed. She rummaged through her purse, pulled out a dusty tissue and blew her nose. "I’m going to miss Rosie. She was such a sweetheart."

"I’m not." Sandra stood looking down at Rosie McDonald. She looked like any other dead person, overly white face, too much red on her cheeks and lips. Nothing like the Rosie she had known in life.

"Sandra. How can you say such a thing? Rosie was always babysitting for you, bringing you chicken soup when you had a cold. Why I even remember you telling me about the time Rosie shoveled your roof for you when you broke your ankle." Rachael honked her nose again. "I swear. I didn’t know you were this ungrateful, Sandy Meyerson."

"I’m not Rachael, really I’m not. That’s just what I mean though. Every time Rosie did something for me, I sent her a thank you card. Everytime. Yet, did I ever get one from her? No. Not once. I sent her a present every year on her birthday and at Christmas. She never said thank you, never sent a card. I don’t understand her. She gave so much of herself, but she never could say thank you when someone did something for her. Don’t you find that strange?"

Another group of black garbed people moved closer to Rachael and Sandy. They left the viewing to the next group and proceeded through the receiving line, saying all the proper words.

Reverend Blackstone quieted the room when the last of the mourners had filed through and found seats. Rachael continued to blow white specks of dust on her black covered bosom. Sandy found herself thinking of the angel snowball she had given Rosie one year for Christmas. One of the grandkids would probably get it and break it before the week was out. Why had she bothered spending all that money on someone so ungrateful? Sandy shrugged. No one would notice. They were too wrapped up in their own grief. They were probably grieving that Rosie wouldn’t be there to do things for them anymore – hypocrites.

"Amen." Reverend Blackstone’s voice forced Sandy out of her thoughts. "There will be a pot luck lunch at Rosie’s home immediately following the service. Everyone is invited to share in fellowship and memories."

"Rachael, do we really have to go?" Sandy wiped her forehead with the blue, hand-tatted handkerchief she had gotten from Rosie during her last cold. "Turn the air on please."

"Yes. We have to go. I’m driving and I’m going. You want to go home – walk." Rachael swatted the air-conditioner level on high.

Sandy waited for the cold air to work its magic. "What did you bring for the lunch?"

"Seven layer."

Sandy nodded. "That’s always good."

No response.

"I made cream wafers. I forgot how time-consuming they were. That dough is so delicate to work with, you know?"


"Oh shit. Look at this. We’ve got to walk two blocks in this heat? Why couldn’t they have held this in the church basement?"

"Sandy. Shut up would ya?"

"What?" Sandy double-skipped to catch up to Rachael’s long stride. "Hey. What did I do?"

"This was Rosie’s request. People tend to honor the deceased by granting their requests. Now please…" Rachael grabbed Sandy’s elbow, "you’re my sister and I love you. But please, keep your mouth shut and be polite for a change."

"I’m always polite."

"Prove it."

"Sandy. Rachael. I’m so glad you could make it." Rosie’s oldest son, Fred, greeted them at the open door. "Mom was always so fond of you two girls. She was always trying to get me to marry you, Sandy."

"Yes, I remember."

"Sandy?" Fred’s dark hair fell over one eye. "You okay?"

"Huh? Oh. Yes. Yes, I’m fine." She tried to smile. "Must be the heat. I don’t remember that beautiful cabinet…."

Fred drew Sandy in, holding her right elbow gently, stopping when they got to the dark pine cabinet. It was filled with small figurines, each cubicle containing its own accent light. "Mom built this herself, several years ago. She never told me where she got all the goodies. Whenever I’d ask, she’d just smile – remember her smile? She had such deep dimples; you just had to smile back at her. Anyways, she’d smile and say they were all from one very special person. And as such, these things deserved a place of honor in her house. That was the only way she knew of to say thank you to this person. She spent hours sanding, staining and polishing all this. Wouldn’t let anyone help her. She dusted every figurine every day too. Neat huh? I’d love to know who this person was."

Rachael appeared on Sandy’s left. "Hey, Sandy, didn’t you give Rosie that angel snowball last year for Christmas?"


Carol 11-8-2001 13:55

GS: I have been chased around a desk. My ex-pursuer and I are now happily divorced. Now I only get chased around the dining room table. (I don't run very fast as I am just as hell-bent on getting caught as my husband is on catching me.) The older I get the more leaves I take out of the table.

Mary 11-8-2001 10:56

Hello, you lot,

I know I haven't been around for a long time, and I am prepared, also, to admit that I have not read a single post, since I have no hope of ever catching up on all that I have missed in my absence.

By way of apology, let me just say that lately I have come to believe that my life is an unmanageable, chaotic and expanding universe which, at any moment, will implode upon me and render me extinct. And yet, at other times I just think, ah, what the hell. I also wonder what makes me think any of you would really want to hear any of this.

What made me think of you guys was the fact that I, through some untraceable course of a random thought process, stumbled upon yet another old dramtic cliche, which beggars the question: has any guy in the history of real life ever actually chased an office girl around a desk? (Look at that, I am still the champion of the run-on sentence.) But, think about that for a moment. I mean how impetuous can a guy get? Does this hypothetical Lothario have any rational expectation that the girl he is, at this moment, chasing around a desk is going to be copulating excitedly and willingly with him on the office floor in a few more seconds simply because he was able to overtake her in a foot race? (Whew, score one more.) What kind of suspension of disbelief is required for a situation such as this?

I suppose there is none, in fact. This can only have a comic potential, I am sure. We are not really expected to believe this; we must simply be expected to find the notion amusing or be titillated by the image. (Did I spell that correctly? Are there too many l's or too few tits or something?)

I suppose the next thing I can expect is for one of you ladies to log in and declare that, yes, you were indeed once chased around a desk by some randy miscreant hell bent upon the rut, and that the two of you are now happily married with seven squalling brats and living in the suburbs. After all, the power of the animal within all of us has been a life-long source of amazement for me. Where did I ever get the notion that as a species, we are so dramatically separated from the rest of the biosphere? Certainly nothing in the history of my own behavior would suggest it. Still, I can truthfully testify that I never chased any living thing larger than a microbe around a desk. And not intentionally, at that.

Later, persons,


gariess 11-8-2001 3:47

Hi all.

HEATHER and CHRISTI: Enjoy your new jewelry! I loved making it. Thank you so much for ordering from me. My daughter just had her fourth birthday on 11/2 and it is really hitting home to me about her going to kindergarten next year. I am considering ripping my own heart out now to save the wait.

I am looking around for my phantasium story. I don't remember what I named it, but it was that one about the baby monitor whispers.

Hi Litter.


Mary 11-8-2001 2:16

Lurk, lurk, lurk...

Hi, been reading, not posting.

Anyway, hi to all of you's! I've been busy, I got a Christmas job at a fabric store so I haven't had much time to post.

What's the shortie theme this week?

Allein Anderson Peachick's Gallery 11-7-2001 23:51

Thank you, Carol, for your compliments! *red-faced*

Jerry - thank you for taking such pains to find all of your ghost stories - you really wrote a large number of them!

I have a few comments and questions surrounding (should I SAY that?) the pubic hair wigs...

1. How on earth would someone wear a pubic wig? Where the heck would it be attached - not on men, I mean, but on women??? I know wigs for the scalp (I'm trying to be tasteful) are held on partly by what, gravity? Wig tape? Oh, iiieeeee! Don't tell me they taped them on...
Or for a really natural look - glue? *passing out on desk*

2. How could having no pubic hair be embarrassing unless you ran about naked? And if you were with another person, and naked, wouldn't it be rather noticeably a wig? I mean, there's no way they wouldn't KNOW you were wearing a wig, right? And let's be honest - Could one o' those wigs actually stand up to rigorous (ahem) usage?

3. If it took three centuries to make hairpieces that look half-way real, don't tell me they have been making pubic wigs that look 100% natural since the late 1400's!
Let's pray they were made of SYNTHETIC fibers, and not real... uh, you get the picture.

4. How did they advertize these wigs? I can't picture a mannequin, but it's not as if I haven't TRIED.
Now could I even partly wrap my mind around catalogue ads - you know, the antiquated type, all hand-drawn. Any way you look at it, there's just no tactful way of saying 'pubic wig'. Neither can I imagine an ad for a special razor to shave those wig-wearing parts.

5. Wouldn't they ITCH?

Alright, sorry for the 'classy' conversation. Had to stick my... anything I say right now is going to come out wrong, in light of the above topic!

Waxing off,

Heather 11-7-2001 23:14

Evening all :)

Well, I've had a great day so far. Spent a couple of hours looking over Heather's chap. 2 -- what fun characters she has! Then a quick trip to town for groceries. Back home and finally got the dishes done that don't fit in the machine. Baked a Jewish Coffee Cake, made pudding ... and what else .. oh, yeah, got supper all set to cook as soon as hubby wakes up. Late last night got an idea for this week's shortie and hope to finish it up tonight.

Jerry - I know what you mean about those VA trips. Ours is a four hour trip -- one way. The only consolation we have is the nearby Fort McCoy commissary where we can get a little shopping done. Your story Flight 800 -- I know enough to make me wonder ... .

Litter -- I have always wondered why the pubic shaving got started so long ago. Now I know. LOL I love a curious mind. BTW -- does anyone know the history behind "bundling bags?" I saw it used in "The Patriot" (Mel Gibson version). It looks interesting -- guess I'll have to run a search on that. What fun! :)

Heather -- I'll be sending chap 2 back at ya tomorrow at the latest. Its such a strong chapter!

Carol 11-7-2001 19:59

Heather, I am not having much luck comming up with those last few stories, I did find that partially done one about the hunters, and I will try and finnish it, if I recall it needed a new finish anyhow, maybe this time will come out a bit better, or at least I hope so. I have notices out to my niece who reads most of my stuff, to see if she maybe made a hard copy, as well as the other Jerry Ericsson, as I sent him a few of my stories too. Maybe they will have them. I found my hard copies, but appartently I never printed those out for some reason or another, or maybe they didn't get in the right file.

I guess we can hope that Jack has them somewhere and will find them when he has time.

Jerry 11-7-2001 19:46

Oooops! Sorry about the double post -- twitchy finger.

Litter 11-7-2001 14:35

I should have explained, for the faint hearted, there are several photographs of a male (nominally) presbyterian Minister wearing a dress! Parental supervision is required.

Also, for those who wish to know what "The Cheapest Wink" is all about -- it is merely a parody on the quiz show "The Weakest Link" with Ann Robinson. The minister in question has assured me he wears the dress to pay homage to Miss Robinson... I didn't believe him either :o)

Litter 11-7-2001 14:31

I should have explained, for the faint hearted, there are several photographs of a male (nominally) presbyterian Minister wearing a dress! Parental supervision is required.

Also, for those who wish to know what "The Cheapest Wink" is all about -- it is merely a parody on the quiz show "The Weakest Link" with Ann Robinson. The minister in question has assured me he wears the dress to pay homage to Miss Robinson... I didn't believe him either :o)

Litter 11-7-2001 14:31

Hi All.

Back for another of my occasional visits. Still getting crapped on by my ISP so getting online is no fun anymore. Still, I am trying out another ISP that seems to be okay at the moment.

Big hi to those who are new to the Notebook – may your stay be a long, pleasant, and fruitful one.

A couple of months back I posted a ‘primer’ to a site I was working on. It features my all time favourite place to be and my all time favourite bunch of people to be with. Anyone who wants to take a look can connect from the URL at the bottom of this posting. Mostly it is for the people who attend the Carberry Festival and/or for those who want to find out more about my favourite 15th Century Castle.

I came across something rather intriguing a few days ago. As part of his comedy routine an American comedian (can’t remember his name) was talking about the southern, Elvis type accented, pronunciation of the word ‘merkin’ as opposed to the properly enunciated ‘American’, and the reasons why some Americans might want to change the way they pronounce it. Having looked up an ‘Oracle’ type website, this is what I found:

The question was put to the ‘Oracle: “What exactly is a "merkin"? Ever since the word was thrust into my consciousness it's been tormenting me. The OED "b" definition says a merkin is a "counterfeit hair for women's privy parts," and another dictionary calls it a "pubic hair wig." ”

To which the reply included the following:

 They used to shave off all the pubic hair as a cure for syphillis, so the well-to-do used wigs.
 Before penicillin was around to ease the lives of the promiscuous, these were used to cover up any sores prostitutes may have obtained in the line of duty.
 They used to treat the syphilitic with mercury, which caused baldness.
 The merkin is for women with no pubic hair. Some people just don't develop hair down there, and this can be embarrassing.
 In days of old a common problem was lice. One of the ways people dealt with this was to shave all the hair off their bodies, including arms, legs, and pubes. Wigs became very popular. Pubic wigs caught on slowly, starting among the kinkier set, but eventually became halfway respectable.
 A merkin is a crotch wig for both men and women and is usually worn on the outside. Have you ever seen a Scot in full regalia? That little fur "purse" in front is a merkin.

I shall treat the last answer with the contempt it deserves :o) Besides which the ‘little fur purse’ aint that little ;o)

Now then, how many good ol’ boy redneck ‘merkins do we have out there? :o}

Once more I shall try to catch up on what has been going on.

Ciao for now,

Litter Carberry Festival 11-7-2001 14:00

Jerry - glad to hear you found more stories - and good to hear you have hardcopies available! Also, we never know what Jack might find saved somewhere...
I really hope every single story from P* can be found. That goes for everyone who wrote one!

I have to finish 'Skeleton Key' for Phantasium; I started it late last week. I also have to retype 'Legendary Thirteen'.

I have saved everyone's stories that were sent to me...ON DISK (gracious of all of you, thank you!)

Mary, Teekay, Allein, Rachel, where have you been?
Rhoda, Ben, Litter, are you all well?
Mark, Eddie, and everyone who's gone AWOL from the Notebook of late. C'mon back! Miss every one of you.

Heather 11-7-2001 13:08

Thank you, Viv! *blush*
I don't know how I learned to edit; just sort of happened :oD
Might have been all the practice with 'Haven', had to be very stern about it. Not easy to do with myself when I really wanted so badly to hang onto every word I wrote. I'm also very particular about every single word, so that helps greatly in the editing process. Believe me, when you get to the point that you're okay with cutting precious paragraphs - or even pages - it becomes hardly painful at all to cut several words at a time, especially when the result is so pleasing. It's always a bit of a sacrifice, but the gains are clearly worth it.
I'm very glad to hear you like the results of the first edits (Wow, is that ever a pat on the back!)

CHRISTI! It's SO good to have you back! And Americo too!
I'm so glad you've got copies of the stories for P*! Send em on! :oD
Birthdays - I always ask my kids if they can stop growing for my birthday - and stay small. My daughter looks at me and says, "Mooooommmmmmm! You know I can't do that!"
"Well, can you slow down your growing? You're getting so big so fast!"
She gets this funny look on her face - that 'you're silly mom' look, combined with a look of thanks - for wanting her to stay just as she is for ever... So that we can all savour their childhoods just a little longer!

I know exactly what you mean by the '2' birthday, Christi. They're not babies any more.
I'm soon facing having both my children away at school - Christian will be in Kindergarten next September; but I just so want to hold on longer! It's been very difficult - sending my only child (before my son was born) to school - felt like ripping a piece of my heart out! And now, with 'the baby' soon old enough to be in school - there goes the rest of my heart! It'll be following them around the halls at school, watching and loving them - I worry so much that other kids might be mean to them, and I can't stand in the halls all day to rescue. I'm very reluctant to do that 'shove em out of the nest and see if they fly' thing.

I'm glad your party was so much fun! I guess the only thing to do about kids growing so fast is to buy three-packs of film instead of single rolls! And keep a scrapbook/cookbook like Viv does, or extensive journals, or calendars and baby books and school day treasuries! (SIGH)

Heather 11-7-2001 12:59

Christi - sounds like a blast.

I did find a CD where I backed up most of my stories, however a few are only half there. I think I must have finished them, then pasted them in the notebook without saving the final draft or something. Oh well it leaves room to improve them, as I still have the hard copies to look at should I need them. (If I can get the wife to find them for me, she has filed them away somewhere, I know not where)

THe ground is wet this morning, weather man is speaking of up to six inches of snow by tomorow morning. Figures, I have to drive down to the VA Dr. tomorow morning, bright and early. 175 miles there, and my first appointment is at 8:30 AM. I keep telling them that I have a long drive, but they say they don't want me to be to hungry and I have to have fasting blood drawn. Oh well such is live on the prairie.

Jerry 11-7-2001 10:44


Hey, guys!

I wish I had the time to read ALL the posts, but 'tis not to be. I've been so busy with my son turning two (HOORAY! ... and also :(, if you know what I mean) and other things that I haven't a moment to spare. The birthday party was a rip-roaring success, with six kids tearing through the house, having the time of their lives. It was a wonderful sight. Chocolate on the carpet, yes indeedy, but miraculously, no punch! Afterwards I could have sworn it was Christmas morning, what the insane amount of presents and the warm afterglowy feeling we all felt. Ahhhhh. It's great to be a mom.

Heather, I'd be happy to send you my stories, and oh yes, I have very certainly saved them several times over, thanks to your sage advice. :) I'll email you today. I'm working on another ghostie, which I hope turns out to be good.

I bought a bracelet from Mary's site and it's sooooooo beauuuuuuuutiful!

Mary, the bracelet hasn't left my wrist since I recieved it (and very expediantly, I might add) in the mail. It's gorgeous! I plan on buying ALL of my jewelry from you from now on, so you stay in business, y'hear? Maaaaaan, I can't even tell you how impressed I am with the quality. Thank you, thank you.

Teekay, where art thou?

Americo, I look forward to contributing to Saints and Sinners. Maybe you could send out individual emails of the intro to interested parties until Jack gets the time to put it up. I know I'd love to start! Hiya!

Billy Dean, Nice poem. The workshop has been closed for a few months while Jack works on establishing a new ... something or other in computer talk. :) Just keep it on your list of favorites and it'll be there soon.

Viv, Smile, because at least you've got a good answer for "What I did on my Summer Vacation!" Glad to see you being so prolific.

Same goes for all of you lucky people working on projects. My creative side has been painting the house and and other crafty things, BUT NO STORIES!!! My fault entirely, but I'm beginning to feel the itching again.

Shortie night was great and I've thoroughly enjoyed all of your stories. :)
G'day one and all! Have a great one.

Christi 11-7-2001 8:33

Boy, I really hate to go back to work tomorrow. Here I have a hundred writing projects in the fire and I have to go off all day and teach. Ugh! I love teaching and I'll get into it when I get there, it's just that I'm having such a nice vacation. I've got an interesting revision from Heather, two more ghost stories I want to write, a revision on Toshi that I want to consider more, and so many other things I want to do. Rats. Oh well, if I stayed here I'd get stale and eventually mold.

viv 11-7-2001 6:05

Oh Thank YOU HEATHER! This is neat. I just read through it and really like it better. You are a good one for critique because I always learn a little bit more about what is clouding my stories. How'd you learn to do that?

Viv 11-7-2001 5:51

Viv - got the first one edited. Sending it your way now!
The second will be sailing your way tomorrow or Thursday.

Heather 11-7-2001 3:00

Don't worry, Viv! I solved the headache problem quite nicely.

Americo - I know the ghost story that you wrote and posted in the NB is in the archives - somewhere - but do you have a copy of it that you could send me, please? I'd be rummaging around in the archives for a month!
I'd be honoured to whip some butts into gear for SS***; should I use the cat-o'-nine-tails? Seems fitting to me! Other than that I have a riding crop... not as nice a 'thwok-sha' sound, when applied liberally to said 'nether regions'. *wink*
Kisses to you and your cats - by that way, don't let Jon get made into an afghan - the kind for your couch, if you know what I mean. Send him back a telegram that says:

Dear Jon (stop)
You will make cat skinning history if you do not take the bell from your collar and swallow it while roaming that arid countryside(stop) then again the swallowing of the bell may make for more interesting history (stop) either way you will make history but will not have a long future (stop) several of your lifes expired on the moon and under the sea (stop) please take all precautions necessary for the latter few lives (stop) we should not like to see a catacombs in your name (stop)
all in affection from your purrfect admirer and unabashed petter



Heather 11-7-2001 2:58

Heather! Get back to bed. Editing doesn't need to be done with a is a headache! My ss (short scary) just got shorter. I re-read and chopped it. Sending it so you can read it through when you are looking at stories for *P*.

Jerry, interesting story! Thanks for sharing it.

Viv 11-7-2001 1:44

Americo - damn man, good to see you again, you should come here more often, we miss you.

I have been searching for my ghost stories, came across a few and have sent them off, but I came across this one, not exactly a ghost story but I figured I would post it here anyhow, see what you all think.

The file name is FLIGHT 800
by Jerry Ericsson

I have kept this awful secret since March 14th, 1999 and I tell it now only because those who it would hurt the worst are all gone, the last crewmember having passed on last Monday.

It began much like any other ambulance call in a small town, the little pager on my belt beeped three times, followed by a message directing me to an address here in town. I dropped my pen on my desk and rushed to the ambulance bay. Somehow the address seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it until we arrived. It was the home of my old friend Darwin Albertson.

I rushed to the door, where his wife Myrna met me.

“He is in the bedroom, he says he won’t let anyone in but you, you have to hurry he is in real bad shape!”

I told the rest of the crew to wait in the living room and went to my old friend’s side.

“Jerry, is that you Jerry?” he gasped, fighting for each breath.

“Yes, it’s me Darwin, here let me get oxygen on you so you can breath easier.” I put a nasal cannula around his ears and put the tubes in his nostrils, his breathing came a bit easier as the oxygen reached his starving blood stream and brought a bit of strength to his failing body.

“I – I have to tell you something before I die!” he said, his voice now a bit stronger.

“Now Darwin, let us get you on the ambulance and to the hospital, we can talk on the way.”

”No! I am dieing, I can tell, this damn cancer has got the best of my old body, but I can’t die before I tell you about it.”

“Ok Darwin, go ahead, but hurry.”

“You remember I was in the Navy back in ’96, assigned to the presidential yacht escort vessel The Hope.”

“I remember, you were so proud of your assignment, gunners mate weren’t you?”

“Yes, “ he coughed up a bit of blood, I caught it in an emesis basin. “ gunners mate, but I never dreamed I would ever get in the situation we were in on the night of the 16th of July.”

I sponged his forehead with cool water, he was feverish, “Darwin we have to get you to hospital, they can save you, extend your life let me load you and get you on the road?”

“NO! Now listen, I know I don’t have more then a few hours left, and I want to spend them at home, with my friends and family, can’t you get that through your fucking head?”

“Ok Darwin.”

It all started, or at least for me it started that morning, Captain Estes called us to a formation on the main deck, as we stood there he informed the whole crew that we had received a very special assignment directly from President Clinton. It seems one Maria Sanchez was about to go to the press with information putting the President in a bad light. She was going to claim that the President raped her. The Secret Service was tailing her and found out she planed to go to the press once she was safe in France.”

“Oh my God, not on Flight 800?”

“Flight 800”

“Darwin, I want the Sheriff to hear this.”

”NO! Just you, I can trust you, I don’t trust the Sheriff.”

“Ok, go on.”

“Well the Captain told us that we were under orders to shoot down a commercial aircraft. I was shocked at the order but we were all sworn to secrecy as a part of accepting the assignment to this craft.”

“All day the 16th I worried, knowing that I would be the one to shoot down that aircraft, I would be responsible for the death of all aboard, just to cover up for a criminal, simply because that criminal happened to be the President of the United States. By that evening, I was sick, I reported to Sickbay, but the ships surgeon put me back on duty.”

“When the time came, I did as ordered.”

“Darwin, no, I don’t believe it, you couldn’t have.”

“Yes, I killed all those people, and I know I will burn in hell for it. Today is my day of reckoning; today it is all over for me. You have to promise me one thing.”

“Ok, but this is getting hard to believe Darwin.”

“Look, everyone on that ship is as guilty as I am, I have been in contact with most of the crew since I got out of the Navy. Strangely nearly every one of us has come down with cancer. Now I don’t know if the government is responsible for our illness but I don’t want you to release my confession until the last member of the crew of the Hope is gone. There are still three alive, I have their names and addresses on a pad in the night stand, get it now.”

“I rummaged through his nightstand drawer and came up with a small pad listing the survivors.

“Ok Darwin, I have the list.”

His breath became more labored, and he slipped into a coma. I had to get him to Hospital! Burt,” I called “Lets load him and go.”

Burt came in and we began to prepare him for transport when he died. Just quit breathing. Sometimes it happens that way, when a dieing person gets his conscience clear, he lets himself go, and I knew Darwin would be in a much better place, where he can personally apologize to those who died. I went away from that call with a deep hatred for a President who would kill over two hundred people just to remain in office and out of jail, it took everything in my power to hold off until the last of the crew passed on, but I did, after all a promise is a promise.

I have written all the information I have about this down in a letter, which I will post in the morning.

Sealing the letter, I lay it on the kitchen table, then I heard a knock at my door.

Jerry 11-6-2001 21:33

Yes, Heather, you can use that ghostie shortie of mine in your "Legendary Thirteen" if you wish.

And Jon, who is hidden somewhere in Afghanistan ( I always suspected he was a terrible terrorist...), has just appointed you "Whip" for "Saints and Sinners". Here is his telegram:

"Tell Heather she will be the whip of SS***. Her first task will be to whip Jack till he opens the project. Then she will whip all the Notebookers to participate in it. Then she will send flowers to my grave. Sayonara."

Sayonara? He probably thinks they speak Japanese in Afghanistan...

He also added in a PS that Mary can go on being the shorties night jockey for a while.

Americo 11-6-2001 20:33

Hi folks,

Stopped by to see if the Writer's Workshop was up and running, and see that it is not. Anyone know what happened to it? Sure would like to get involved at that level. Meet with other artists every Monday night, where we show and discuss our work. Mine is short stories and poetry. Here is one these other artists inspired me to write...

I dream of women who see
Shapes and colors in iron and steel and sweat,
Of men who don't see
Art as stupid, silly sissy stuff--

Extra ordinary people
Through which the ordinary, recycled stuff of life
Moves like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly;

Artists with hungry hearts and eagle eyes
Searching for truth and beauty
Among the nooks and crannies
Of rocky mountain skies

Sailors who trade familiar shores for stormy seas
In search of new horizons and once upon a time--
Who come back with new tales to tell
And foreign spices!

I dream painters, potters and poets
Sculptors whose eyes are the precise knives of a gentle surgeon
Who put the shape of their own hands on clay
And cut away stone
To reveal shapes hidden below the surface

Painters who know brushes both coarse and fine
Whose strokes reveal Job's pure, perfect patience
Whose hands in action
Surpass mere heads in thought

Poets who know the human ear can be an eye--
That sound can be a chariot
That carries soul across a crowded room
That speech can save a word from death upon a paper bed

I dream a language of life
A pure and perfect palette
That remembers forgotten wings

I dream every woman, man
Whose canvas has a scratch
Where words will stick...

Billy Dean Poetry & Kachinas? 11-6-2001 18:39

Sorry - forgot to include my email again! :o) Is this an off-night?
Is that sort of like off-broadway?

Think I'm in a kafuffle this evening. It's been hectic 'round here.

Time for Mommy to bungee cord the hot water bottle to her head... and hold on tight to that little red pencil. Here I go

oh, edit-ing
Here I go red pencil-ing
away, away,
I spend the day
I spend the day on
Edit jots and pencil bits
red shavings on the rug
printer spits a steady stream
I think it's on the fritz...

Heather 11-6-2001 18:15

Okay, Jerry - I've saved the story you sent on disk (and harddrive, as I always do anyway), and I also saved
three of yours, Teekay. Those three were the ones you just sent me not too long ago.

I have to see if I can scan in my own 'Legendary Thirteen' story so I don't have to retype it!

Please, everyone who has a copy of any of the stories you contributed to Phantasium, in case Jack doesn't have any copies either - please send them my way! No matter if you aren't going to edit them before sending - all that matters right now is that we have as many of the original collection intact!
Thank you, one and all. Boy, I thought I was backing things up so much it was bordering on paranoid. And then I discover that I had forgotten to commit P* to disk! Tsk tsk!
And here I've got at least 5 copies of 'Symphony' on separate disks, plus the copies on the harddrive, and in print, plus the same for 'Haven'. I've been taking so many pains with backups, and then not backing other things up enough.

Sigh. It's a good thing I've got printed copies of my short stories, since I don't have too many of them on disk either. I guess they're so short I've overlooked them.


Carol - what a compliment! Thanks!

Back to the red pencil.

Heather 11-6-2001 18:10

Afternoon All :)

Rachel - It appears I can't do without sleep either. I've just spent one night sleeping for 14 hrs. and another at 11 hrs. I feel better than I have in a long time. Now, if hubby can go a couple nights without flashbacks, I may be able to stay this way for a little while.

Jerry - re: journalling. On 9/11 I kept my journal open all day. My eyes glued to CNN, my hand jotting facts, and fears throughout the day and night. I filled more pages that one day than in any one week. My entries still reflect my emotions on the subject. I don't know what I would do without my journalling to put my thoughts and feelings into perspective.

Tim - It looks to me that Heather is providing you with some excellent advice - I just can't add to it. You also appear to be able to take that advice with a thick skin which is so important. I second Heather's request -- when you've done some of the rewrite, please do post it. I'm interested in this character of yours. {Tim}

Deju - your world is so far away from my own. (not only in miles) Around here a gunshot is someone aiming for a squirrel or deer or simply target shooting or letting off steam. Shoes on the line would just be some kids messing around being mean to another kid. Or an adult marking the trail to his hunting camp.

Tina -- Wahoo! A great day for you! {Tina}

Now I'm going to put the brain pan to work on Howard's idea for this week. My initial response was "oh no." I can only think of ways in which I appear to have no gratitude. :(

Carol 11-6-2001 17:25

Good topic, Howard!

Jerry - thank you - I did receive it. Sorry, I usually don't bother to post my email. But you've got the right address!

Heather 11-6-2001 16:37

MARY - I did see your request, and I probably shouldn't wait any longer for Sasky to post.
So, in accordance with your wishes, here's my proposed theme for this week's shorty night:

howard 11-6-2001 16:19

Heather - Found one of my stories, I sent it to an old email address I found in the Archives. Seems you never put yours on your posts, and as you may recall, I reformat my machines way to offten to keep track of email address. If you didn't get it, let me know the correct address and I will send it again.

Jerry 11-6-2001 15:22

Tina - congratulations on that inspiration! That's the best thing to do - not worry about how those story questions will be answered, and keep plugging away! You know, those ones that seem to 'answer themselves' always fit better than any that could have been planned! I'm thrilled for you!

Tim - I meant it - it was very interesting! I'm glad my crit helped. If/when you rewrite that piece, will you post it again? (And post a little more of what happens!!)

Jerry - thank you! I'm really glad that you saved your stories! I was worried that we'd lose yours since I remember you've had to reformat a few times since writing most of the P* stories. Whew! That makes you and Viv so far that have kept copies intact.

Teekay, Mary, Rachel, Tina, Christi, Howard, the list goes on! Does everyone have copies of their P* stories to send me? Please? I've got ten blank disks just waiting for some spine-chilling manuscripts!

I came up with an idea to go with 'The Legendary Thirteen'. Instead of merely 13 short stories, which would end up being too short for a manuscript, and would mean cutting too many great stories, how about this:

Thirteen short story AUTHORS. We can include however many ghost stories from each author we wish, and hopefully, those who have only written one will find a flash of inspiration to write another one or two for P*!

From what I can remember, of the stories I definitely thought should be in the collection, there were 11 or 12 authors... just need one or two more! Americo? Have you given any thought to contributing that short story you wrote about the river, and the young child?
That would be a cr-eee--eeeee--py one to add, and I'd be very happy!

I've also been writing a new story for P* myself! I finally had another idea that wasn't too similar to either something one of you wrote for P*, or some other ghostie I've read before. Challenging!

Mary - it's off in the mail to you! Coming your way... :o)

Happiest returns (that would have been even 'cuter', if we still used typewriters... but it'll still work!)

Heather 11-6-2001 12:06


Okay, have you ever been typing away, writing happily, but knowing in the back of your mind that very soon A Question must be answered? One of those questions that affect the plot, or character developement, and that you don't know how to resolve? You know where the story IS, you know where it's GOING, but you don't know quite how it's going to get there? Regardless, you write merrily along, trusting fate that an answer will present itself.
And it did! Unexpectedly, I made a connection that hadn't occured to me, and eureka! I knew exactly the What and Why and How that would lead me to the needed point.
After that (about 11:30pm) I simply had to keep writing. Sleep? Forget it. I was way too excited. Even now, I'm bubbling to get on with it and get it all down on paper. Except I have to go to work.

More trivia about that song from the new Star Trek, for those who care. It was written by Diane Warren, and originally sung by Rod Stewart for the movie 'Patch Adams'. I looked for it on the net, but had no luck. Guess I'll buy the soundtrack.
Or, um, Jerry? Your esteemable talents lay in that direction. Any chance you could take a boo and see if you can find it? I rarely surf for music, so I barely know where to start.

I'm going now. Should be able to squeeze in 15 minutes of writing. :-)

Tina 11-6-2001 10:53

HEATHER: Good constructive criticism, Heather. Here we have what I did not hang around English 101 to assimilate, when I very much should of. Am printing your comments now. Will study them. (Yes--Study.) And now...thanks to your help, I've tools that would--I'd guess--work as easy as a screwdriver and a wrench. Thanks again. And thanks too for couching your remarks with things said such as, "...a very interesting excerpt!" And I do not take that in any way other than how it reads...

Tim 11-6-2001 9:28

Heather - I have the hard copies of the stories I submitted, or at least I think I do. I also have them saved to a CD, I think. I have reformated all my machines since I wrote the last one, so if I didn't save it to a CD, I may have to type them back in from hard copies. Probably would be the best anyhow, as they need more work.

Jerry 11-6-2001 1:15

Randall - I guess I don't understand why your coffee pot isn't percolating, did you get the right grind? That stuff for drip makers is way to fine for a percolator, although we use it in a perc when we are camping, and it still perks, just takes longer as the water doesn't flow through the coffee as fast as it should. I have had the old boiled coffee, that mom and dad always made. With that you just take the guts out of the percolator and boil the water with a couple of scoops of coffee in the water. After it has boiled long enough (you just have to experiment for strength) let it sit for a short time for the grounds to settle, then pour yourself a cup. It does make a wonderful coffee, but some are bothered by the occasional coffee grounds on you lips. We had a young man from Brazil who stayed with us on a foreign exchange program many years ago. He brought Brazilian coffee as a gift. We had no idea how to make it, so one day he brewed us a batch. Now he did it different, he took about a half cup of the find ground coffee and put it in a large kettle, then filled it with water. To this he added about a quarter cup of sugar, then boiled it until it began to thicken. He poured us each a cup filling it about half way, then filled the cup with cream. Made a wonderful drink, but I wouldn't want to drink to many cups. Not only would it give you a buzz, but add unwanted inches to the body.

Jerry 11-6-2001 0:21

Hey, just a quick note of interest, for fellow treckers. I found a place to download the theme song of the new Star Trek Enterprise. This song is awesome!

Tina Faith of the Heart 11-5-2001 23:37

Now you can edit my edits, Tim! I fudged up a few of my own sentences trying to explain!


Randall: Grab a coffee filter. Take the filter holder out of your coffee pot. Sit it on top of a large tea pot (without the lid, of course) Dump the required amount of coffee grounds into the filter 'contraption'. Boil water in your kettle. Pour about a cup of the boiled water into the filter at a time. Voila. Coffee, sans machine. :o)

Heather 11-5-2001 22:12

Tim - You are SO welcome! I'm really glad you chose to brave it, posting an excerpt of your work for all the notebook. Thank you for your trust.

It is a very interesting excerpt! I want to know more. You reveal your characters very well. I'm aching to know what happened next - ahhhh!

I do find the wording to be heavy; a bit bogged down. As you have already mentioned, you have a lot of words per sentence. That's not essentially what makes the piece slow to wade through, though it does make things confusing. What really bogs the work down is that parts of your sentences battle against each other. I'll try to explain my impression:

"But wasn't it a better idea to just go and swing-out the front door now facing him at the bottom of the stairs, not believing anything happening was happening? Or no? The question weighed upon him heavily, until without so much as knowing it he found himself faced with the incomprehensible, and so therefore a magnet of unavoidable steps to take."

(I quoted from your excerpt directly, hope you don't mind!)

He hesitated on the landing. Wouldn't it be best to avoid the kitchen altogether?


OR, to include a bit more of the surrounding scene:
He hesitated on the landing. Should he just go out the front door and pretend he hadn't heard? One foot hung, poised above the floorboards, until finally he took a tentative step toward the kitchen.

The reason the sentences seem to fight themselves is that I find many statements within ONE sentence actually oppose each other. There is too much information packed into them. This creates the 'bog'. I got the feeling that you were trying to intensify the confusion and the indecision of the boy with the manner of your wording. Also, you may want to avoid conclusive statements with statements such as 'therefore'... we want the reader to conclude for themselves.

Here is the wide-angle impression I came away with: Rather than the boy appearing clouded, the writing appeared so instead.

Simply keep it down to one idea per sentence only. If you wish to conflict the previous sentence (meaning the idea in that sentence) do so in a separate sentence.

You can beef up the description in a few spots you feel are 'thin' later on. The less description in any action scene the better. Keep only what is essential to tell the story - the lace should be understated; what the characters are doing is the reason for the story.

It is wonderful to be able to describe the inner conflict of a character, and give such a great idea of who they are by the clothes they pull on (wonderful, by the way!) - the detractor is the superfluous wording when a few would suffice. It is a balancing act to learn when to keep it lean, and when you can safely pad on the exposition. It is worth the effort!

Don't feel you have to snip away all of those great adjectives! Just save some of them for later insights into your main character.

Well, speaking of keeping it simple and short, I've gone on too long!

Hooray, Tim! You have posted! Keep that as your badge! Keep anything you find helpful, and set the rest aside for 'comsumption' at a later time.
I applaud you for re-directing your life, and the effort it must have taken for you to do so. Congratulations! (((HUGS))))

Jack: Thanks for letting me know about Phantasium. I hope everyone has copies of the stories they submitted to the project - I saved them all, just before my computer went down the tubes. (Please, no one kill me)
If you have a copy of any or all of the short ghost stories you submitted to the P* project, please, please send them via email to me. I will commit them to disk this time, I promise. Or I'll eat my computer.

Fair's fair. It ate our work last time.

A non-chafing night to all,

Heather 11-5-2001 22:03


Hi gang!

And I thought writing was hard! Try editing! I've been going back over three novels I penned during the last five years, trying to select suitable stories for the new work.

Possible, but difficult. Trying to remove selected tales from these novels, compile them into a cohesive work...mind boggling! I sat down Sunday afternoon with pencil and pad, wrote out a brief outline of what was needed. After several hours of cross-checking, outlining, erasing, and swearing I ate the pencil, stomped up and down on the pad and in a total funk...tried to brew up a pot of coffee. Writing...WHO NEEDS IT!!!!!

BTW, screw the whining on editing...I have a real life problem. :-) My new pretty peculator coffee pot, believe it or not, won't percolate properly!? You might say it Pfails. :-) That is most of the time. Sometimes it spews forth like a broaching whale, then mysteriously stops. Inside the pot, water is boiling like a runaway nuclear reactor on full power, safety valves melted open, control room crew bugging out........but water is not coming up into the little glass bubble!!! I'm faced with the hysterical concept of brewing coffee grounds with steam from boiling water which is approaching the temperature of the earth's core!!! I mean how complicated can it be? This is the second pot (coffee pot, that is) I've purchased in a week. Wow, that's heavy man! I took the first one back...bought a larger pot. To no avail!

Great chagrin!!! Wonder if Hemingway had these problems?


You would think that making coffee would be a no-brainer. Am I doing something wrong? I'm using propane, have a good flame. The pot is optimistically half-full or pessimistically half-empty.... I mean, how technical can it be? This ain't rocket science!'ve probably been around the old style coffee pots in your lifetime.....



randall 11-5-2001 21:30

I'm a wreckless driver. All teens are wreckless drivers. If it was snowing I'd still be speeding in my Civic. What in the world is a Gremlin????

The last thing that I remember happening to me was a stray bullet crashing into the side of the black-iron gates surrounding our house. There was this crazy blue flash. Sparks. And it was so damn loud. I think my eyes popped out of their sockets for a while there until I realized that it didn't hit me, didn't burrow its way into my chest.

And after coming home from a friend's wedding we had a hard time getting to our front porch. Across the street was the remains of a recent shooting. We walked a couple blocks, passing the yellow tape all wide-eyed. Me, mom and dad in our fancy party clothes. There was blood everywhere. I could hear the choppers in the air and the police telling us not to touch anything. They were washing the blood from the building. I thought they were supposed to leave it alone until they collected all the evidence or what-not??? I don't know. But I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

And if you ever see two shoes dangling from the wires on a telephone pole..turn away. Somebody was killed and those beat-up sneakers came off their two feet. Trust me. Leaving in LA for the last 15 years has granted me the most gruesome truths...and the most frightening secrets. And there's a bunch of crazy people walking the streets. Who knows? I just hope my new Adidas aren't going to be the new Adidas hanging from the wires of a telephone pole near there.

Deja 11-5-2001 20:50

CAN'T WAIT so--post-rewrite--go ahead now with more self-commentary, criticism, whathaveyou. Now here we have a case of too many words per sentence, eh? And while I dabble with writing something akin to poetry to rid myself of this disease...oh!--not soon enough. Know my constructions to be too long. Rule Number One: never put the reader to sleep, eh? So whittled it down to something feasible, but will not throw it on you like the old coat of leather I've become. And no, no...not self-pity, just a dose of knowing, a medicine, which--though bitter to taste--can only be good for me. I dunno. Hope I've not discouraged others from writing (least of all myself...which I guess I have not). So--let the parade begin! Really. And--PS--you can't cut this thick skin, so never mind about what I said...

Tim 11-5-2001 16:58

HAVE THOUGHT about it, as said to Heather...and so go ahead--feeling not right about this every bit of the way--with posting an excerpt...

Squirming left to right at first merely to fall to sleep, and then nothing but nightmares, one after the other--the one waking to the other's fading continuance--Billy woke upstairs to yet another night of poor sleep. And so to forget the whole thing he thought to have a cup of coffee, as would be the case anyhow. Coffee, his panacea for flinging a troubled mind into mindless distracton, with sped-up thoughts leading the way toward fantasy, his much preferred state of being to that of reality.
Lacing up worn, red sneakers, pulling a faded T-shirt over his disheveled hair for a head, and, for good luck, counting backwards from ten with eyes closed as he did when facing days with bad beginnings, the man-child made his way beyond the bedroom door to the top of the stairs, only to hear what sounded like his father--weeping.
Alarmed now, as much about his Dad as his own terror, he sped down the stairs. And once to the bottom, once to where he now heard Donald not so much crying but wailing, he stepped toward the kitchen, filled with apprehension. But wasn't it a better idea to just go and swing-out the front door now facing him at the bottom of the stairs, not believing anything happening was happening? Or no? The question weighed upon him heavily, until without so much as knowing it he found himself faced with the incomprehensible, and so therefore a magnet of unavoidable steps to take. First, his father's reddened face came into view; then, the poor old man's entire head strewn across the dull-green table--along with his mother's, a countenance of bluish, dead-looking horror, of nightmare's never imagined, never dreamt.

Self-commentary. Needs work. (Or does it?) Find certain cliche-like expressions, such as "the question weighed upon him heavily," unavoidable. At this point anyhow. And yet is it sometimes okay to lean on them...? (But not heavily, a joke.) I don't know. a rookie to The Board of Writer's--is it too much to ask that you go easy on me? Or should I be shot down, my fingers cut off, never to be heard from again? Again, joking only. It's what gets me by...these days of bleak November skies, here in good old GOP (not my polital affiliation) NH.

Tim 11-5-2001 14:34

What a GLORIOUS Day! In fact these past four or five days have been like a breath of summer in the midst of what should be snow and cold. Today it is still 72 degrees outside, the sun shining brightly. The only problem is that those trees who gave up their leaves for the coming cold have been fooled and are beginning to bud out once again. This could mean trouble next spring. I fear for our trees.

We had a few fearful days this past week, the Dr. found a shadow on the wife's mamogram. Sent the film in for intrupurtation, thankfully we got a letter on Sat saying that it was OK. Whew.

I am totally amazed at the number of credit card applications now flying our way. Our Bankruptcy isn't yet final, and already those who wish to own you part or in whole are sending their invitations to engage in the selling or our soul.

If I had a credit card right now, I would consider purchasing a shredder, perhaps on Ebay to rid myself of these temptations. Even got a call last night SUNDAY night already, on the other end the nice young lady saying that the visa gold that I applied for on the internet was approved, and could they send it right out. Now I haven't applied for any credit cards on the internet or otherwise. I don't even want to think of credit cards for some time, at least until the dust of our credit collapse settles. I told the nice young lady that I haven't applied, she stuttered a bit, then said perhaps I didn't remember doing it. NO I told her, and at long last she understood that I was not interested in a Visa Gold with a fifteen hundred dollar credit limit.

Ah well life goes on.

Tim I am looking forward to seeing some of your work. You may wish to wait until Jack gets the workbook back up if it is something you wish to protect. If not, feel free to post part of it in the notebook, I am sure most of us would enjoy reading someone new.

Jerry 11-5-2001 13:58

SASQUATCH: Can you pick this week's shortie? If you don't get this message in time it's all right.

PLAN B: HOWARD: if Sas doesn't get that in time, could you pick this week's theme?

Mary 11-5-2001 12:14

HEATHER: This is amazing--that you'd write as extensively as you have for my sake alone. Wonderful encouragement, sage advice. And I had to laugh with what you say with, "Bleeding head wounds only make manuscripts unreadable." Now that's good...

And yes, my story has hurt because it's true; but more to the point, should we now involve pain--it hurt because the mechanics were not (note past tense) arranged in such a way as Not to have them break down--like a tractor--tractor symbolic of the way it's gotta be for me to pass my own test. So...yes, the hurting has taught me a thing or two. One--mere rearrangement; and two--get out the scissors. And with this done (on paper and not on the sometimes godforbidden computer)--why, it seems I've something plausible. Now with the days that ensue I hope to inch that up, little by little, toward the light--toward something Possible. Ya know?

And it's not so much that I'm hard on myself--though I am--as that I Hate to write badly. But what right do I have to pretend I'm some Ken Kesey, Thomas Wolfe, J.D. Salinger? And now while Salinger, like me, lives in New Hampshire, we've otherwise world's of distance between us. (You don't say...?) Lesson here: To find my Own standard; and not to be so absurd as to think I can write up to someone else's--and that of great writer's only, alone, absolute. So the whole thing's absurd when looked at that way. Ya know?

Which is also to say I very much took note of what Tina wrote about Beethoven destroying his own scores of--no doubt, nevertheless--brilliant music. And the same applies to what you say about "works of genius." Points, all of them, well taken.

And fear of failure Is the problem. Nail on the head. Too many failures in this life as is. Forty-three...nothing But failure, but due mostly to Manic-depressive Illness and (a now hung-up) twenty year streak of alcoholism. And yet am learning new tricks. And if No Genius am I, I've a psychologist who is. His mission: to show me the way out of the woods. So far--something like a red rooftop comes into view. Thank god, whomever It is--if it is.

Great that your own work goes well. Rounding out your voice is like rounding third base--and onward home, toward home plate. (For's cracked, this voice; but not always.)

And as to home--thank you for your simple declaration, "You're home."

And you've not (at all, my god...) left me hanging. (What more could I ask for?) And as to others critiquing my work--am giving thought to posting an excerpt of this not so much troublesome now thing I've brought to your attention. Thinking about posting it later.

And how to thank you? but to simply do just that...

Tim 11-5-2001 10:36

Black ice is a beer in Canada.

And also a terrifying patch on almost every road come winter.
Done some 360's myself.

Be well!

Heather 11-5-2001 5:58

Hey everyone! Couldn't stay online yesteday for long enough to even post! Grrr. Of course, all the fantastically brilliant one-liners have been chucked down deep into a soon-to-be-dusty memory bank. And they would have had you all laughing until you blew pop out your noses. Ah, well.

How about a couple of two-liners?

Tim! Beating your head against the wall will only scramble the great stories in there! And bleeding head wounds only make manuscripts unreadable! Glad Tina's advice was what you needed, and here's another (few) sixpence:

Get feedback on what you HAVE written. Then you'll have something to compare the latest stories with, especially if they're critiqued by the same people/person. Just start anywhere, make as few apologies as possible (as writers tend to do with fellow writers!), and if a critique hurts where it's softest, don't ditch the crit immediately. Put it away and when you feel ready to, look at it again - LATER.
Figure out why it hurt so much - was it true? If it was, what can you learn from it? If it wasn't on the mark, you might be able to sift through and find gems anyway.
Always take what good can be found, even if at first it seems bad.
You'll never know until you stop torturing yourself with the 'what if's'. (Ha ha, then you can torture yourself with the 'he said this and she said that's'... kidding!)
Writers (artists) are notoriously hard on themselves. We expect the best from ourselves, even if numerous volumes of trash are published every year. There are also numerous works of sheer genius published each year. We may not be the sheerest genius of them all - but don't let that stop you from doing what you love!
We may think, too, that if our work is so much higher in quality/calibre than much of the stuff out there, why can't we get published? The simple answer is probably one of several things:

You haven't submitted enough work or to the right places.

You haven't sent a scrap of paper in the mail since the last personal letter, and that was a Christmas card five years ago.
You haven't even started

Or, you have started, but you haven't finished much

You haven't submitted the work of genius because you're being crazy-finicky over every minute detail.

Your work has been rejected once, maybe even several times and you need to rewrite it. (Or NOT)

You reject your own work

Okay. You may find you fall into more than one category because you've got different projects on the go.
That's okay. We can deal with it.
Stick around. 'Answers' to today's quiz arriving Monday afternoon, one-ish.
Well, not exactly answers, but some self-propelling questions, perhaps?

One of the biggest reasons we don't finish things is not lack of time, lack of effort, lack of equipment or talent.
It's fear. Fear of failure, and also, fear of success.
If you've got the double whammy, like somebody I know (me)
then there are a number of ways to deal with it. I'm employing several of these 'ways', so now you know they work - I've admitted it, and I'm still in the game. I've found a good flow with my writing, and my writer's voice is rounding out every chance I give it. Most times when I sit down to write, I pump out over a thousand words. SOmetimes I go for marathons, sometimes I get a few hundred, but on the whole, it's over the K. I'm not afraid to have my work critiqued any more, in fact I've found that this very group are excellent at giving feedback with a multitude of insights, technical help, stellar ideas, and honest opinions...

Tim, you're home.

Just coming here is like Grace from God direct. I know it's been that exactly for me.
I'd have been lost in the shuffle all alone!
Anyway, more on this tomorrow!
I'm running out of steam, so pardon me if some of my thoughts haven't been completed.
Don't mean to leave you hanging.


Heather 11-5-2001 5:55

Black Ice: I remember once when I had just gotten done visiting a former room mate of mine in Bozeman. It had been a good time and a fun time was had by all, but it was time to head down the road for Laurel, a town of some five thousand souls and at that time still a thriving railroad town rather than a bed room community for Billings it would ultimately become. And it was the place I then called home. And the place my father called home. It could have been I was thinking about my former room mate or my father or nothing at all, but I reached I-90 and accelerated to 40 to 45 to 50. I knew there was a potential for icy conditions, but I was an old hand at this. Early twenties and no fears of anything. Absently, as I headed up Bozeman pass I geared down and as soon as I did so I realized my mistake. The way the automatic transmission was set up on my Gremlin, it was like putting on brakes. And that was when I realized I was sitting on top of sheet ice. Black, mind you. But still ice. Around and around I went and when I stopped I was staring at head lights coming directly at me. I do not remember getting turned around, getting rolling on the incline and somehow and not ending up going slip sliding away. There was feathering of the brakes here and there, creeping along with an acute dread of speed, but mainly a dull sense of arrogance lost. Not quite the same as innocence lost, but kissing cousins nonetheless.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-5-2001 3:51

ignore last post... everthing just came up lol

taylor 11-5-2001 1:26

was just wandering if everyone was ok over there... been very quiet in here the last couple of days

is everyone ok?

taylor 11-5-2001 1:23

Just wrote all that in my post and completely forgot what I intended to say. Must be getting old.

I have been watching the History Channel's WWII in Color. A great series, yet some of it is so horrid that it is sure to cause some nightmares. At any rate, the high value of a journal was shown in the quotes from the series. They found journals, letters and other writings from all sides and added that as a background to the silent movies. You could just feel what it was like to be under siege in London, or to have the allies bomb your city in Germany. The letters from the front were simply amazing, and the stories of those poor Jews who survived the horror of the death camps brought tears.

With the horror we are living through now, even though it pales in comparison to the horror of WWII Germany must be written down. We must record our feelings about 9/11, the nervousness of receiving letters in the mail with the Anthrax scare, the worry in the back of our minds when we simply cough or sneeze, thinking that it might be an early sign of Anthrax, watching insect bites for the tell tale signs of skin Anthrax.

The fear for the safety of our friends who live in the City, the thought that the terrorists might just attack the nations heartland to show us that no where is safe from their religious zeal.

I would urge all who post here to write those feelings in their journals. If you don't keep a journal or diary, then start one. Who better to record these things then writers?

Maybe you are all doing this already, if that is so, then I should slap myself on the forehead for just now thinking of this.

Jerry 11-5-2001 0:46

Just reread what I posted, my short story. I think I can expand this, there is so much room. That will be my next project I think. Another Sunday at Mom's playing pinochle. Since we go to different churches, dinner was suspended today, as their church had a special dinner. We were invited but I despise lines. Eight years in the U.S. Army do that to a person, that and standing is no longer my strong suit. Speaking of church, we have decided to rejoin the Lutheran's after a nearly twenty year stint with the Catholic church. I guess it is a matter of what you learn in your youth, as both of us were brought up Lutheran, and switched at my request many years ago, you see I had this priest in Viet Nam who meant the world to me, I don't know that I would have made it home in one piece, (mentally that is) without him, and that sort of swayed me to switch. Now that the kids are gown and gone, I feel that urge to return to the religion of my youth, not that there is that great a difference anymore, religion is, I guess a very personal thing.

BLACK ICE - those words bring terror to the heart of anyone who has unwittingly driven into it. I recall a day when I was running very late for an appointment to speak at a high school in the little town of Lincoln Minnesota. I was driving my Army car, a two year old Dodge Dart with a slant six. We never drove under seventy five miles per hour in those cars, we had way to many miles to cover in way to little time. I also had a couple of seniors on line to go down range and enlist in the Army that day and had them on my mind. It never dawned on me that Minnesota could have Black Ice, much less that I would run into it. I was going down that highway with all this running through my mind when suddenly my car began to spin in circles down the middle of the highway at seventy five miles per hour. There was no stopping it, no controlling it, it just spun and spun. When it finally came to a stop, I was to my amazement still on the highway. My heart was in my throat, and I shan't mention the near condition of my army green trousers.

I gently guided the car to the side of the road and lit up a cigarette. I sat there trying to figure out what the hell was going on, then I noticed that the high lines seemed to glisten in the sunlight, a closer examination showed them to be covered with a thick coat of ice. Then it dawned on me that there must be ice on the highway. I opened the car door and looked at the blacktop, yes there was indeed about a half inch of clear ice.

Ever so slowly I guided my car back in the lane of traffic and drove into Lincoln, I doubt that I got the car going much over twenty miles per hour. I missed my speaking engagement, but did manage to get my fellows down range to Sioux Falls Sd to take their physicals, and enlist. My speaking engagement was rescheduled, much to my delight, and the drive home to Marshall was the slowest I have ever experienced before and since.

Jerry 11-5-2001 0:36

TINA: Thank you so for all you say. All of it. Now what you say is solid; and I know that because I've read it. Read it just recently from a book on the subject: How to write stories. And I don't know why I had to hear it (again) from you for it to sink-in, but maybe it has to do with writing something To someone in response to--though it's said in black and white--not what's merely written in a book, to what's unilateral about that. Ya know? I don't know. It's late, but I did want to thank you. For what you say not only gives me hope, it provides instruction, that which I (at this stage) have real need for. Now thanks again.

Tim 11-4-2001 22:19

Yup, you've got us confused, Deja. Viv is in Japan, I'm in Canada: she made the black ice comment, I'm the hottubbing jump in the snow person (although I totally agree with her about black ice! Bad stuff!)
And in regards to ice cream, I only need 4 flavours: cookies & cream, butterscoth ripple, rum & butter, or plain old french vanilla with fresh strawberries. So so so nummy!

Tim, there is, unfortunately, only one way to write anything - good or bad - and that is to write it down. The more you convince yourself that only the best will do, the harder it will be to recognise the quality of what you do commit to paper. Really, you only have two paths to follow. Write it down, or don't. If you don't, you'll never know what might have come out. If you do, you risk the same thing that every artist has always risked, that your creation may take a turn, a life of its own, and not follow your plan. It may be good, or even great; it may need to be reworked, and that may lead to something tremendous that you can't even imagine yet.
Every painter has destroyed a canvas he/she was disappointed in. It was Beethoven (I think) who destroyed his own compositions. Well known writers have been told 'no' by their editors/agents - When Anne McCaffery submitted her second Pern book, her agent replied with two words. Burn it. Her rewrite is classic.
Every act of creation has inherent risk and fear, but you can't create anything unless you face that fear. Or just fake courage, and write it down anyway. And try not to set yourself up ;-)

Jerry, that was some dream. I could wish mine make that much sense.

Rachel, good luck.

Okay, my muse still isn't letting me rest. So many ideas, so little time.

Tina 11-4-2001 22:01

Busy day. Fran and I became god parents for Owen David, the child of friends of ours who was baptized today. It was with great humility that we accepted being god parents and were surprised at the honor and responsibility.

On Tuesday we make our second and concluding dive for our Peak Performance Buoyancy. Wish us luck. This time we will be diving at Seacrest.

I was wondering if anybody here was going to Worldcon this year. By hook or by crook, Fran and I will make it there. But my main question is if you are is anyone interested in joining us in doing some diving. We are thinking of possibly slipping down to Monterrey before or after and perhaps do a boat dive or two. It would be nice to run in people who were on the Notebook in person. Oh, while I am saying that. Fran and I will be having a NWSFS Social at our house again this coming year. This time in April. Kabota Gardens is absolutely beautiful at that time of year. Keep both possibilities in mind and let me know.

Jack Beslanwitch Fen With Fins 11-4-2001 21:54

That should have been, 'really good at hugging.' Can't type as fast as I think.
Bye again,

Me again 11-4-2001 21:37

A great big HI to all of you,
Just got back today from the booksigning with Mary Lou. Had a blast!!

The place was about 90 miles south of SA in a small town called 'George West.' (Good old Texas, the perfect name every time.) Anyway, it was an event called a 'Story Fest.' They block off all the streets in the middle of town around the court house. They have tents with a stage and chairs for the audience. In these, there can be music or storytellers. Some awesome 'Texas Tall Tales' happen here. Also a parade wanders through the whole thing. They had clowns that would slap silly stickers on you if you hasseled them.

There are about three of the large tents and the rest of the area is taken up by booths. We have your crafts, plants, food, and one double booth with four writers and their books. (us among them)

We got there at about 9:00am and left at 7:30pm. I was hoping Mary Lou would sell at least three or four books to keep her hopes up. This book is larger than a pocketbook but is softcovered. The publisher printed $21.95 on the back and she has to sell it for $18.95 plus tax. That came to $20.50.

Her grand total of books sold for that day was-----TA DA--
12 books. I was so proud of her we both almost burst.

It might have helped that most of the book takes place in a town nearby that now is just a church and graveyard. It was amazing how many people had relatives in that graveyard.

On the side, the manager of the Storyfest was a good friend from my trailriding days that I hadn't seen in about 8 years.

Thanks. A person can always use a good hug. And, with all those kids, you've got be really at hugging. :-D

You're thinking yourself to death. All that will do is make you miserable. Just keep writing. This story will be great, but the next one will be even better. Don't drive yourself crazy. ;-)

My Poodle was so glad to see me he wasn't even mad or sulky. You just never know.
Bye for now.

Rosemary 11-4-2001 21:33

i think i'm getting tina mixed up with viv. dammit!!!

deja 11-4-2001 21:14

Viv-California?? Are you kidding me? I hate it here. I live 10 mins away from a beach littered with you-don't-wanna-know-what, having to blade there everyday afterschool to work for that one icecream parlor with 72 different flavors of icecream. Who needs 72 flavors?!! And you know what Viv? I read more than I've ever written before and if you wrote a story I'd be the first to want to read it. COME ON!! You have any manuscripts you can send me? You describing that black ice and the little trip from sauna to snow. Wow. I'd love to hop into the snow after a hotbath, feeling 100 needles poking through the soles of my feet, going "OUCH OUCH!! GODDAMMIT." LOL. Nice idea for a perfect day. ^_~

Jerry-MAN!! I envy you. Ideas through dreams don't come easily for me, or at least not comprehensible. My brain cells spit out dreams in wierd shapes. Ever dreamed in Picasso-form? I'm telling you. My mom looked like a beat-up milk carton. And my father? He just freaked me out.

WAIT!! I got an idea!!!

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

Every tick and tock from the kitchen clock robs me of time, of perfect and solid memories, delicious childhood memories that smells like hot cocoa and double-fudge brownies baking in the oven at 350 degrees. I steal glances at the oven door spewing out coarse smoke, dragon’s breath.

It is snowing outside. I imagine myself out there stuffed in a windbreaker with two cotton pants pasted to my legs. My head tilts back. My mouth opens to catch a single flake on the end of my hot tongue.

The timer goes off. I break away from all thoughts, feeling cold, even though the heat in the kitchen sends ripples of sweat crawling down my chest.

---I think My brownies are done. let's hope i survive the taste-test. i choked on my own lasagna. or was it lasagna?


Deja 11-4-2001 21:08


Tina - Things sound good for the dojo. Now I need to try it out again and see how things go. My Sensei is good. The things of it is that she isn't always there. That's when the bad stuff tends to happen.

Carol - I tried to cut back on my sleep. That didn't work out so well (grins). I needs my sleep ;o)

Rosemary - A hug to you.

Take care all.

11-4-2001 16:13

I'm sorry to bust in like this, and not the least upon your story Jerry--no. It's just that I've begun to write what seems to be my best short-story ever, yet now find myself gun-shy. That is, should it not continue to rank best short-story attempt ever--well I just don't know what to say. Such has even led to the blues. Am afraid that by continuing it I may break what is merely a spell, a misbegotten hope, and so become disillusioned--at which point I may not for some time pick up the bat again. No--it's gotta be great, somehow, or--nothin' doin'. I know, intellectually, this is know too I've some form of writer's block (long story). And I know not whether I ask for help or merely to be heard. Yes, That confused. And again, sorry; am without the patience (even) to have read what others say before going ahead with my babble.

Thanks for reading,


Tim 11-4-2001 13:28

Had a dream last night, it inspired this little tale:

The Raid
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

Ben Johnson had served as the Chief of the small Police Department in Philip South Dakota for over seventeen years. Philip was such a quiet little town that about all Ben had ever had to deal with was an occasional drunk driver or a fender bender when the roads got icy.

Little did Ben know that today would be different, so very different. As he usually did at 8:45 AM, Ben dropped in at the Bob and Marry Café for coffee. Having just insured that all the youngsters made it safely to school, he felt comfortable that all was well. Sure there was a war going on in Afghanistan, and there was the 9/11 attack against New York, but that far away, so very far away. Nothing like that could ever happen in Philip with it’s population of just over one thousand souls, it made for a very poor target, or at least that’s what Ben thought.

On the outskirts of Philip lay the Almost Home motel, a collection of mobile rooms that once served a construction crew, bought up by Willard Freeman many years ago and connected so they could share electrical, water and heating. Willard had made a good living off his investment, he loved his little business, and Marge insured that each room was spotless. The rooms were sparsely furnished with a three-quarter sized bed, a small bedside table and a chest of drawers, the kind you can buy at the now long gone unfinished furniture store. Willard was so proud of his paint job on the chests, why that paint had lasted now for nearly thirty years, with just minor chips.

On this particular day, Willard wore a huge smile as he stepped through the doorway to the Bob and Marry Café. He walked over to Ben’s table, slowly, each step showing the partial loss of the use of his right leg, the result of shrapnel he picked up in Vietnam.

“Looks like you’re having a good day Willard.” Ben said, as Willard slid into the booth.

“Plum full up, must be some kind of traveling show or something, sold out all fifteen rooms, two fellows in each room. Arab’s I think, though I have only seen pictures of them on TV. Dressed in blue jeans, not the robes you always see them wearing on CNN.”

“Arabs?” Ben said, with great interest. “Thirty of ‘em?”

“Thirty, I swear, hell they paid cash up front for the night, best day I’ve had since the Kennedy wedding!”

“What kind of outfit’s did they come in?”

“Looks to be ten or twelve mini vans, different makes and models.”

“What about luggage?”

“The usual, I guess, though several of them had those nylon rifle bags, the kind the hunters carry their rifles in, you know Ben, hell I think I saw you with one once.”

“Arab’s with rifles?” Ben was becoming concerned. “Ah, I think I better get going, got some paperwork to take care of up at the court house.”

“Catch ‘ya latter Chief.” Willard said he knew that Ben loved it when folks called him Chief, although very few ever did.

Ben made his way to the court house, and ran up the stairs to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Ben.” The Sheriff said, as Ben walked through the door, panting from his sprint.

“We might have some trouble brewing Matt.” Ben said, as he fell into the chair he usually sat in when he dropped in on the Sheriff.

“What happened?” asked the Sheriff.

“Thirty Arab’s out at the motel, some carrying gun cases.”

“Where’d you pick up on that?”

“Willard just told me at the coffee shop.”

“My god, don’t he watch TV or read the paper? Why the hell didn’t he call when they checked in?”

“Hell Matt, who’d expect anything here in Philip?”

“We can’t take any chances, you best get your men out, let’s all meet behind the court house at 9:00 AM Sharp.”

“Ok, see you then.” Ben said, as he sprinted down the hall to the elevator, he didn’t think he could do the steps again so soon.

At 9:00 the lawmen met behind the courthouse, the Sheriff took charge, as he was the chief law enforcement officer in the County, and ultimately responsible for the safety of his citizens.

“Ok fellows, I want one of you in his POV across from the Motel, keep an eye on these fellows, Hank, why don’t you take that one, that big 4 by 4 you drive should look inconspicuous parked at the Cenex station.

“Tom, you park your outfit across from the school, Rob, you take that place. Chief, jump in my unit with me, and Rich can patrol in the City Car.”

As the officers left to take up their position, things were happening at the Motel. Mohammad Alkalli, the leader of the group was holding a meeting in his room; all thirty of the Arab’s were there.

“At 12:00 Noon we move. I want ten of you to assault the school, don’t leave anyone alive. The rest of us will hit the main part of town, I want as many casualties as possible, don’t leave anyone standing, kill men, women and children, dogs and cats, anything that moves in the downtown area should be killed. I will go to the court house, and join Allah, by blowing myself and all who are in the building up.”

“31-2A this is 31-1A.” The radio cracked

2A Go ahead.” Replied the officer.

“Are you in position?”


2A, I have notified State Radio, they passed the info on to the BCI and FBI; both agencies have units enroute.”


“1A this is 2C, I have movement at the motel, it appears they are taking off, they all jumped in their vans. Do you want me to attempt to stop them?”

“Negative 2C, we don’t have any reasonable suspition as of yet, just follow the last outfit, and keep us informed on where they appear to be heading, hopefully it will be out of town.”

“10-4 1A.

“This is 2C again, they have all turned west on the highway, I am one car behind the last outfit. It appears three of the vans have turned into the school parking lot, the rest look like they are heading downtown.”

“Oh my God! Said the Sheriff, to the Chief who sat in the passenger seat of his car, “The KIDS!” The sheriff threw his car into drive, and punched the accelerator. The high performance engine roared and smoke rolled from the tires, as the Sheriff guided his unit up the hill toward the school. “You Read 2A?” He shouted into the microphone to be heard over the roar of his engine.

“10-4 1A.” Came the reply, in the background they could hear the pop-pop-pop burst of automatic fire, then the radio went dead.

“Shit – they got 2A” the sheriff said, as he turned into the school parking lot. To his surprise, there was a string of pickup trucks behind him, as he exited the patrol car, he saw at least twenty-five farmers, ranchers and town’s folks getting out of their outfits, each had a hunting rifle in their hand.

There was a burst of automatic fire from behind one of the vans, as the Arab’s took cover behind their vehicles. The Sheriff and Chief took cover behind the doors of the patrol unit; the local folks hit the ground and began to return fire. The next five minutes were filled with the roar of gunfire, it sounded every bit the war that it was.

Inside the school, the children were lead into the old fall-out shelter that occupied one corner of the basement. Once inside the fortified shelter, the vault like door was slammed shut, and heavy steel bars were put in place to prevent any incursion.

Down town, the gunfire began, first when an Arab poked his head into the Bottle and Vet supply store/liquor store and shot Travis Anderson. From across the street, twenty sets of eyes peered out from the café window. Then twenty farmers, ranchers and town-folk ran to their pickups and gathered up their shotguns, and rifles that always hung in the rear window. Then the assault began, as the men from town clashed with the Arabs. The sub-caliber machine guns and pistols carried by the terrorists were no match for the 30-‘06’s and 12 gauge slug’s of the locals, within minutes, fifteen terrorists joined Allah.

Back at the school, the Sheriff led the clean-up of the fifteen terrorist bodies that lay behind the mini-vans.

At the end of the assault, five of the town’s citizen lay dead and eight were wounded, five of them in critical condition. On the other side, the good men and women of Philip helped all thirty of the terrorists in their quest for Allah.

Jerry 11-4-2001 11:48

i meantioned karaoke... I have been thinking of doing it myself... i know its dehumanizing the issue

but maybe since im australian, it probably is easy for me to laugh at certain things

taylor 11-4-2001 4:57

I really cannot remember if I shared this or not. But this is a flash animation of the Dayo song that is really rather nice. When someone mentioned the Karaoke, I just thought of it.

Jack Flash Version of the Bin Laden Dayo 11-4-2001 2:54

last night was a saturday night in australia

Im sorry deja

I didnt mean to sound cold hearted about having a joke around...all I can say is im not cold... even though I feel like it sometimes

that story im working on... it doesnt feel tasteless... it kind of feels like theraputic actually

taylor 11-4-2001 1:40

Ok Heather, Do I get to take a crack at editing something of yours. You too other Heather (Allein!) I want to have another chapter of Mali and Azol. They are picking up steam nicely and I can't wait for Chapter III. Sorry to be slow on that last chapter. It hadn't anything to do with the chapter, just with a case of complete exhaustion coupled with bronchitus and flu.

Thanks Tina, but nope! Not a word of that shortie was true. I just played with pictures there like I was painting. Nice words for making pictures. It wrote itself.

Deja: On dancing in the snow barefoot. Well, you don't DANCE, you highstep. You hop, you cuss. The snow cuts your feet as you dash out for the Sunday paper across a pristine layer of snow lit by sunrise. You oooch ouch all the way back to the living room while your feet sting and tingle. When you jam your feet back in your slippers and sip that first slug of morning coffee, then slide the rubberband off the newspaper, it's worth it! I've done that many a cold Colorado morning just to get to read the comics.

I like snow. I love shoveling snow...right up until February. After that I toss it in the sun to melt and hope it melts soon. What I HATE is black ice. That layer of ice you can't see. It's the stuff that breaks the hips of old people, and flings the feet out from under small happy children. It slides cars into one another when all people want to do is get to work on time. Black Ice is the Worst Part of a cold climate.

California sounds nice...especially in February. Lucky! Do you live near a beach or inland?

Viv 11-4-2001 1:35

Spent the day trying to get my server to admit it had a D drive. I have all my emulators on that drive. Ended up re formating the C drive, still didn't admit it. Did everything I could think of, still didn't admit it. Finally after I gave up, as I was putting stuff back on the hard drive, suddenly the D drive was there. These dang machines, sometimes I wish I had a half pound of C-4 to strap on the stupid thing, what a wonderful boom that would be, satisfying to the very end. I know though that I would regret it in the end. Sure glad I don't have that C-4.

Jerry 11-4-2001 0:44

TINA: I have walked barefoot in the snow before. It didn't even feel all that cold, but then again I was running down the sidewalk trying to catch my dog as he chased some unsuspecting kids on their way to school. It did sting afterwards though, when my toes started to thaw.

Mary 11-4-2001 0:32

Deja, it's all in the preparation, mental and physical. Walking barefoot in the snow is awesome when you come at it right.
An awesome way is to do a sauna, a DRY sauna, (or a hot tub) for at least 20 minutes, then jump into the deepest, softest snowbank you can find. Wow! That's a wakeup call for the skin! But it feels wonderful.

I do however draw the line at polar bear swims. If we were meant to swim in frigid water, we'd grow a double pelt and have a layer of blubber. ;-)

Tina 11-3-2001 23:17

Hi ya!

Deju -- nope, a quick dance in the snow won't freeze your feet and give you frost bite. You just gotta dance real fast. Kinda the opposite of walking on coals. hehehe

Tina -- it's been a good day for you! I'm currently reading "This Years Best Science Fiction" and chapters of "Symphony" by our own Heather. After you're done with "Little Women" - don't forget "Little Men," "Jo's Boys," and "Eight Cousins." I still remember reading those books, and reading them and reading them. They are true classics in so many ways.

Time to give Hubby some attention -- have a great night all.

Carol 11-3-2001 23:07

Hi all!

taylor, I've heard two new versions, and they're both sick but satisfying. It's an old old old habit we have - dehumanizing the 'enemy' through ridicule and degredation and popular culture, to make the entire act of war somehow more acceptable. The 'other side' does it too, so we're not alone in our ingrained uncivilised habits. I hope it doesn't go too far, but it probably will.

First thing this morning, my muse hauled me by the ear into the computer room and sternly told me, 'Write!' And I have, and it feels so good! It's flowing nicely, and I'm finally past a sticky part that has given me no end of trouble and rewrites. Yay!

Here's a Question of the Week for everyone, one we've seen before but is always a good one. What are we currently reading? It's always cool to see what is catching our literary attention. I'm deeply into 'Little Women' right now. I've never read it before, and it is wonderful! Oddly enough, I'm not reading anything else at the same time. That doesn't happen often :-D Although, I'm waiting for Diana Gabaldon's newest novel and for a copy of 'Lord of the Rings' from the library. As soon as they show up, I'll be up to my ears in words! And 'Mali and Azol' just as soon as Allein sends me the next chapters (hint hint)

Okay okay! Yes I hear you!
sheesh, she just doesn't understand that I have to take the occasional break and come up for air. Muses!

Yes I'm coming.....!

Tina 11-3-2001 22:48

Taylor--Karaoke on a Friday night? No no. Karaoke on a Friday night with that crazy Dayo song? Dayo? DAYO?!! And I thought I had the time of my life. I sat on my bed on Friday night crying my eyes out. Look at me!! *cries* My eyes are all puffy and I can hardly see. Damn. I wish I was there. Even with the taliban song.

Carol--There is absolutely nothing wrong with dancing naked in the moonlight or dancing naked ANYWHERE. I'd be the one cheering you on. But walking barefoot in snow? That's odd. Won't your feet freeze? What happens if they get frost bite or whatever that is--i live in California where there isn't much snow--and all your toes fall out?

here's my froggy smile. ^_____________________________^

*goes off to find different methods of dancing naked in the moonlight."

Deja 11-3-2001 22:36

thought i would like to share this experience from karaoke last night...

this guy got up and sung that Dayo song...the taliban version...what a reaction from the crowd...

it was a blast

taylor 11-3-2001 22:20

Happy Saturday all!

Grabbing a few minutes here before I have to run to the dumps and do the weeks shopping.

Randall -- Yipee! You've given me something to really look forward to in the new year. I can just see myself curling up with your book, Mom's afghan wrapped around me as I read about your crazy world and people. What fun! Your mention of sharing work, or rather not being ready to share, does bring up a point many writers struggle with. I discovered that every time I let someone read a story of any length that I was working on, I lost complete interest. All of them said they liked it and wanted to see more -- and I just bog down! I don't understand it. One would think the encouragement would inspire me to keep going but it doesn't. So currently, I don't share. But -- this hasn't helped me too much yet either. I can get going real nice. I get excited, I'm happy and then boom -- nothing. That's my battle. The only thing I can say is that I do keep trying. I have to. I go too long without writing something and I get very, very crabby. hehehe

Viv - nice shortie!

Teekay -- LOL I'm still new enough to not know what you consider interesting. Should I tease you and bring up chocolate again? Maybe the elaborate cake I saw on a cooking show and made for my parent's anniversary one year. Pound cake, raspberries, orange juice, chocolate .... .

Deju - me? crazy? Naw ... . It's not crazy to dance nude in the moonlight is it? Or walk in the snow barefoot?

Carol 11-3-2001 14:00

YES!! Deja as in Deja Vu. I was born with this crazy sixth sense I guess.

My friend told me that all writers are crazy. *laughs* You think that's true? I wonder if she's calling me crazy.

Yes!! I am accepted. *grins*

Must go to write short story now.

Later All

Deja 11-3-2001 12:53

Oh, one other thing. I did not quite give the correct assessment of Edmonds. It is a shallow dive initially or a very long swim at which point after you get past the jetty, you go to a deeper area of around 35 to 40 feet with lots of interesting features, including a tire reef and sucken ship and a lot more. Edmond's happens to be the first underwater park on the west coast.

Edmond's Underwater Park 11-3-2001 4:27

Let's try the links again. The last one did not work.

Fen With Fins 11-3-2001 4:21

Tina: Yes, the dive went extremely well. After multiple attempts at succeeding at Edmond's Underwater Park and ultimately having one snafu or another dog us, we finally succeeded. We are in the midst of doing our Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality and it seems to be doing the trick. The main issue was that this is very shallow diving 7 to 10 feet and I was not quite weighted correctly. So, now I am. Now Fran is. We spent a leisurely 40 minutes slowly going around a jetty at 7 to 10 feet looking at schools of pipe fish, sea stars of multiple colors, sizes and shapes, other larger fish that were plump and rolly polly and not quite identified and teeny tiny crabs that scuttled away from us. Oh, and hermit crabs and others that I am forgetting. We were planning on going out again with some of Fran's coworkers, but I started somewhat tired and then had a problem with my regulator that initially looked like a bad O-Ring and ultimately was just a mysterious snafu that righted itself after I had gotten out of my equipment. Enough to say I did not feel good about this dive and we plan to go out again tomorrow. This time to a spot called Seacrest that has a number of interesting features that I will get into at another time. Fran and I will be going out again to finish up our Peak Performance Buoyancy next Tuesday. And I will be doing a boat dive on the 10th. Beyond that, I plan to be with a bunch of others over at the same place I went before, Mike's Beach Resort, on Hoods Canal on New Year's Eve. We will be doing a night dive while the clock kicks over from 2001 to 2002. I think I mentioned this before, but sounds like a fun time. Take care everyone. I am off to bed. I will try to get to posting the archived messages from the last Notebook, but haven't had enought time at my computer to pull it off. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-3-2001 4:19


Ken, you are a complete tease! Give us a few paragraphs and think we'll be complacent... not likely! :-D

Viv, how much of that was truth? Nice shortie, I'd say you got the drift.

Jerry, be well. It's another example of why it's so hard to trust the medical community. I remember your doc assuring you it would be fine! sheesh.

Rosemary, I'm glad you edited that remark. I'd have to wonder about anyone who 'likes burlap underwear' ;-D

Rachel, I hope you can work things out at your dojo. You've been so dedicated, it'd be sad if it can't continue. But I sure understand why you're hesitant. I really need a different training partner, but I'm between a rock and a hard place, with no one else to choose from! Sounds like you have a good sensei, who'll listen and try to help. That should be half the battle.

Jaclyn and Allein, I sent you both e-mails. Hope you got 'em.

Okay, I sat down two hours ago, to do a quick check. I MUST get to the dishes!

Tina 11-3-2001 1:09


Hi All,

At the EDGE of the cemetery the CARETAKER stands OBEDIENTLY. UNDER the QUIET WHISPER of the MAHOGANY tree he places an IMAGINARY KEY into a phanatom GATE, his mind ABLAZE. He would follow the darkness to its very SOURCE.

I am having one of those days RACHEL mentioned, (actually the past few have been tihose types of days) and am having a hard time keeping up to date, so please don't talk about anything interesting till I get back okay?

Teekay 11-3-2001 1:01

There's more, I'm just teasin. Besides I don't want to spoil the end just yet. Maybe by the end of the year.

Ken 11-3-2001 0:12

O.K. here it goes...

Jovan watched as his crew secured the ship. Good lads, all of them.

"Leutinant!", he waited for Leeyay to come to his side. "Take the helm, the bridge is yours to command. See to the off-loading in the normal fashion. It seems I have other business to attend to."

Leeyay turned on his heel with a salute, and immediately began barking orders in every direction that would normaly have come from the captain's mouth. The crew responded with authority and began the long process of offloading the gallion. Javon headed to his quarters, and grabbed the log book before making his way to the gangplank. He prepared himself for the worst.

Ken 11-3-2001 0:10

Figured since I had time to think, I'd whup up a shortie. Sorry it's late. Used the words on the list, but didn't know what you all really had as requirements. Hope I got the drift of what you were doing.


On the Edge of a small seaside village in the Philappines, is a luxury cottage for guests who come to spend time by the week or the month. They are most often foreigners or rich men from Manilla. Imaginary stories spread quickly through the village each time the come and go pattern is repeated.

The caretaker equipped with his old M-16 patrols the grounds. He stands in front of the large Mahogany doorway, as the street urchins from the village gather around the gate. They call out in their seagull voices, "Cigarettes, Fresh Boiled Peanuts, Come buy from me!"

One young girl, Source of sexual Pleasure, supporter of her family, stands Separate from the group. Quiet and Obedient she waits patiently Under a tree, until the caretaker comes over. He says something to her in a low voice and dipping her head she Whispers a shy answer.

The sky is Ablaze with the fire of the sunset, when the caretaker escorts her into the Garden. He takes a Key from his pocket and turns it in the large lock. The young girl walks through for the night.

Viv 11-2-2001 22:26

RANDALL - Wonderful news, I look forward to opening my copy and ravinously reading it from cover to cover to welcome in the new year!

Saw my Dr. today, he tells me that they have recently discovered something I figured out for myself a year or so ago, Ultram, the new wonder pain killer is in fact very addictive. I am addicted, that spout of cold sweat and shivering was in fact withdrawal as I had neglected to take the damn pills for a day and a half. He is going to try and take me off them slowly, cutting one pill a week until I can get by without them, then replacing them with some other "wonder" pain killer.

Oh and I might mention the STAR TREK NEXT GEN MARATHON is on right now AGAIN, YAY as I watch intently from the corner of my eye, as I type.


Jerry 11-2-2001 22:02

Yay Howard,
And you know the best reason they did it? You deserve it! Enjoy! Isn't it nice that there are great people in this world! I think that's the way it is...99.9% of the people are great and the rest are completely misunderstood...except for Bin Laden. And Yup, I'd take his picture using a slow speed and a shaky arm. Then I'd smile and walk away. Less said the better on that guy. No publicity, even in the end. Just like Hitler.

Allein: I finally got my day. Your second chapter is back to you. I hope my corrections help. Send me number three because even when I'm slow it gives me something to look forward to.

Heather: Sorry, I sent you a bunch. If you decide it's a pain, just say, "forget it Viv".

Randall: Guess what, I did the same thing to Heather on my dragon. Just wasn't ready to share it because it was absolutely the first thing I broke the writing silence with in a long long period of silence. I wasn't ready to trust anyone yet because a muse is fragile. Wasn't sure I could sustain the muse at that point. The notebook seems to be keeping me going. Strange.
I know what you mean that we need comedy right now. I do too.

Viv 11-2-2001 21:58


Humble Randall that is....

Okay...I accept the guidance from my peers and will begin compiling a book on the tales I've posted here. What the heck, I've already done a lot of work that way anyway.

Also... I have not discussed this before, but if you'll read Heathers earlier post...she touches on thoughts I e-mailed her several months ago. Apart from the WN, Heather and I had a relationship. :-))))) Yes it's true...she edited my novel. Until I stopped her. I told her I was not ready to let go of "Flowers" the novel I have worked on for the last five years. Heather edited the first two chapters, was going to do the whole book...but I panicked. Withdrew from our deal, telling the no doubt confused lady I was afraid that if it was submitted for publication...and would no longer be mine. I wimped out. Basically I was terrified that others would judge it adversely and reject a creation, a major part of my life. Her suggestions were right on and I accepted 90% of them, so it was not her editing, but something deeper, a fear.

Weird huh?


I don't pretend to understand everything that goes on within me either. Writing "Flowers" a SF book that dealt with the Navajo and their Hole of Emergence legend became so intertwined with my psyche as to dominate my life for a very long time. Still does to a certain I work on it several times a week. But while "Flowers" is a drama of human catastrophe, I need comedy... indeed we all need comedy?

Perhaps I take my writings too seriously? Who knows!

WASATCH BLUE and THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE CALLING are books previously written. They contain a lot of stories with the same characters you've read about in my posts. So, dear friends, I'll switch gears, leave the Navajo and their Gods alone for a while and began compiling...

But there is a catch...When I finish...ask...and I'll send you one...but it's free. No, crying about the's free...take it or leave it!!! :-) You asked for here it comes! Say...January, 2002? Sound about right? :-)

But remember HARTLEY'S FIRST LAW: You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back, you've got something. (Murphy's Law by Arthur Bloch)

Very tired, hectic day at work. Deer season starts here tomorrow and every hunter within a 500-mile radius came through Bwd today.


randall 11-2-2001 21:24

Evening is finally here.

By that kind of stuff, I meant the type of story. I don't really enjoy the fantasy stories that pitch good against evil but there's not much else going on. Most stories are about good against evil, but it's hidden in a story about something else. I thoroughly enjoyed weaving prose around a set list of words. Will admit (hanging head) not all of that paragraph made a lot of sense.

I love the concept of burlap underwear. (My original sentence was 'I love burlap underwear.' Thought that might be misunderstood.)

That's got to be the best place to live. It even has great people.

Glad you got the receipe. The rest of us who showed interest and begged will just sit and drool. (No smiley face)

Going now, got to get up at 6:00am to go to the book signing. We will be there all day and even going to spend the night. My poodle's spending his first night alone and he will be madder than ******.

Rosemary 11-2-2001 20:20

welcome Deja...if a story is boring you, add a twist, or an event that would not be normally in there

taylor 11-2-2001 19:40

I’ve tried more times than I can count to post in here today – now I’m trying the W/P and cut and paste method. Maybe if I’m very lucky I’ll stay connected long enough to actually send my post. Cross your fingers …..

Heather – I didn’t find your shorty preachy at all. I hope you don’t mind, I’ve saved it into one of my "when you’re discouraged" files. Perfect words – they came in handy today given my mood. {{Heather}} Thank you.

Rachel – I know that feeling! If only I didn’t need sleep so much!

Welcome Deju! Age is no factor in writing. You mentioned a story you’re working on now that is boring you – try throwing an unexpected wrench into the mix and see what happens.

Randall – I join the ranks of those who would love to hold a book of your story telling in my hands. Many books have been published without the benefit of publishers. They’ve been published by the author simply so his/her family had something to hold in their hands. And – many of them have gone soaring throughout the world afterwards. I truly envy your story telling abilities.

Tina – I’m so glad your voice is back. J

Howard – What a wonderful, caring church you belong to. I bet you, and they, had warm fuzzy feelings all day long.

Now, let’s see if I can get this posted …..

Carol 11-2-2001 18:59

Hi all, the muse is securly bound and gagged in the corner. Although I do have to prod him every once and awhile with a red hot poker. Jovan is really concerned about this trumpted up mutiny charge, I'd better go and see if I can't bail him out.

Ken 11-2-2001 18:17

I am blessed!
Early this morning there was a knock at the door, and two of my friends from church, along with another man (whom I had met only once before) who heard I needed help, worked the whole day, and removed and replaced the roof on one section of my barn!
Thank you Lord! I already thanked them, but none would accept any payment whatever.
People still care!

howard 11-2-2001 15:24


Heather - I got the recipie. Thank you :o) It sounds delicious YUM!

Heather and Tina - I spoke to my Sensei and I am going to give my karate one last go. I talked to her about a few of the things that have been on my mind. I really do love my karate. I think it is addictive or something ;o) I have no desire to be Jet Li or Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee. I just want to be fit and think that karate is a great way to do it.

Heather - Ti chi is excellent for a work out. There is much more to that art than might meet the eye.

11-2-2001 14:01


Hi all! My voice is back, gruff but at least present and accounted for!

A great night of shorties! Jerry, I was really hoping that wasn't based on something real. Carol, the 'piecemeal' approach can work fine! Good stuff. Rosemary, you may not like that 'kind of stuff' but it's a great excercise to try it out! Ken, glad to see your muse showed up after all. Heather, clear and hopeful, as always!

Tim and Deja, what do you like to write? Can't wait for some meaty posts. Deja, I began writing when I was 14, and always wrote a bit up until 4 years ago when I got serious about it. So age is not a limiting factor! The important thing is the writing, the creativity, the expression of your self/thoughts/feelings on the page. Randall is totally right, it's the process which matters most.

Jack, hope the dive went well! It's so cool that you're going all the way with diving. Good on you both!


Tina 11-2-2001 12:09

Rachel! I'll surf the archives then! I just posted, reloaded and found your message.

Heather 11-2-2001 10:42

Jerry - sounds like a play my mom and brother went to once, about a husband in Texas that hacked up his wife and made chili out of her, and had the gall to enter his 'wife chili' in the chili-making contest - and won, of course. I think the play was called something obvious, like 'You Are What You Eat', but I might be thinking of the S. King short story about the guy on the deserted island with a bag of morphine. He was starving, so began removing pieces of his own foot to eat... And then he made the most irking of all statements: 'Well, if you are what you eat, then I haven't changed much!' (I paraphrase)
The play also reminds me of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, because I think they had something in that movie about chili containing human meat... ughhhh UGH UGHHGHGHGHGHGHGH!

And I'm the one being gruesome today!

The knitting joke - Last night after dinner, my husband and I were talking about the news, and he'd heard that joke yesterday at work. He started telling it, but he didn't tell me it was a joke at all! He's the Prince of the straight face!
Just thought I'd share it anyhow... though it's on the tasteless side - like all humour he hears at work!

Good one, Howard....!

Randall! There's no harm in TRYING to sell them! If I had such wonderful anecdotes to tell, I'd compile them a s a p and give it a whirl! Yes, some of your work may be meant for later, but you'll never know if some of it may also be meant for NOW, unless...
Hey, we wouldn't ALL be urging you to give your stories a go unless we saw the possibility!
Your more serious novel, which you wrote for your own enjoyment - by all means, if you'd like to keep it by your side and not send it out into the frighteningly large and seemingly heartless publishing world... but those stories about your life, and the funny things that happen to the people you know - family, friends, coworkers and neighbours - well! Think of it as even more timely now than ever. There's nothing like having a real peek into a GOOD life in America right now! Enough of this fear crap!

Mary - need your snail mail addy to send your m.o.!

Deja - you sound confused! Welcome. Perhaps you'll find your writing niche while hanging about these virtual halls?
Iko Iko,
Gotta go go

Heather 11-2-2001 10:37


All - Yah know I really wish that I could keep up with the NB a little better. I've got days when I can fit everything in and days when I just can't. It is sad to say but the NB is usually one of the first things that I have to let slide. Just wanted to let you know that I always appreciate and enjoy the things that people post to me.

Hugs for all of you :o)

11-2-2001 10:36


Heather - I guess you missed my e-mail before the archive. I really would like the soup recipie :o) Yum, my family love soup.

11-2-2001 10:34

Mel: I am going to USA in 5 a few places i want to visit...I am waiting 5 yrs, so I can save money not because I dont want to fly

well that story is flowing on...seems funny how easy it is to write it...thought it would be harder

taylor 11-2-2001 10:22

MEL - Thanks for the comment on The Tree. It is based on fact, there is a tree that sits about five miles east of town along the highway. While it is bright green in the summer, it has always been the same size as long as I can remember. My dad used to tell the tale of the murder that took place where that tree stands, it would have to be about fifty five years ago now when the butcher who lived in a house that used to stand by that tree killed his wife because she got pregnant by another man. He did cut her up and sell the meat in his shop. I don't know how many folks acutually bought any of it.

Jerry 11-2-2001 10:15


And a Good Morning from me, writers you-all! :-)

HEATHER: Nice shorty. :-) Deep and full of truth! But Gawrsh! *blush* Une compliment francaise...Merci! "Mercy Buttercup!" As my dear old dad likes to say. :-) I love George Carlin's humor--heee! Oh and hahahahahahhaa - "make an Afghan' - heeeeeeeee! :-]

RANDALL: What Heather said. Compile and sell. You sell, we buy. I'm in line after Howard. (budge over, buddy!) We'll all want autographed copies, of course! And in the face of all the evil-themed books selling out there, SO MANY folks could use some REAL HUMOR like yours! Your sense of "when to duck" has us all screeching for more of your stories! (Are ya feeling peer pressure yet? Huh?) You don't have to sell on a timeline or anything, just give it a shot - we'll all write great reviews for you! We'll hype your book to all our friends and neighbors - you have a built-in marketing team here. That's a rare gift! Think about it. :-)

HOWARD: hee hee! I've heard Max Lucado on the radio. He IS good! So are Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, and Ken Davis, all excellent Christian speakers and writers.

TIM: Yup. You're addicted to the NB, like the rest of us (and that includes all you LURKERS out there!). It's comforting as well as inspiring to have so many writer-friends this close on a daily basis. :-]

TINA: Nice shorty! :-) You had me right there with ya; it was a great breath of fresh air. And I thought speakers used lemon to kill the taste of the water - heh heh! I wonder how honey-lemon tea would be? Hmm, well I onlyu drink tea when I'm sick, so it'll have to wait, heh heh.

TAYLOR: hee hee hee -- Come visit the U.S.A. sometime!

JERRY: "Tree" was gruesome! Ughh! Nicely written but-oh! Yuckies! BTW, hope you're feeling better today. :-)

CAROL: I still like "Chrysalis!" :-) Good addition!

DEJA: Hiya! I was 16 once...and always a writer. Never mind whether your stories are short or long; write your characters' lives as you discover them, and enjoy the journey. :-) Lots of inspiration on this site. Pull up a chair!

ROSEMARY!! I LOVED your shorty! Don't stop there!! Tell Zuzzer to re-sand his burlap underwear and let that old guy lead us into that airy garden! :-) What's up there, anyway? Curioser and curioser...

KEN: Duct-tape that muse of yours to a chair! Need to hear more about Jovan and the Faerie's Dream! :-)

You've all inspired me - I've gotta take my muse to lunch today and arise early tomorrow (Saturday at home - yea!) and put in some early writing hours - yes!!!

Have a great day and evening, everybodeez!

Mel 11-2-2001 9:42


Morning!!! :-)))))

Great joke Howard, you're the greatest. My kind of a guy!!! Love the way you're mind works!!! may be that our labors are not for us. A line in DUNE spoken by the head Bene Gessert witch (not sure of the spelling) regarding Duke Leto, tells the Lady Jessica, "Nothing for the father..." It is possible that a writer may fail only in publication, then have their works published by a daughter or granddaughter. What's wrong with that? I am not a member of the immediate gratification club. All things in time and what may be, if it is supposed to be, will be. If my tales, indeed all of ours, find a spot on the shelf it is merely a matter of fate and luck. A fatalistic outlook to be sure...but only when we know who is dealing the cards will we be able to understand the game. I only write ideas as they are given to me. The card dealer deals, I play the game, never knowing the outcome... That we are playing is important, not the final outcome.

There are patterns in the life of humans that are perfectly clear if one knows what to look for. What may seem to be a requirement within the literary discipline, may not be of significance to the individual. At my age I accept a lot more now than I used too. Life has taught me that struggling within intellectual aspects of a simple existence, however valiant it may seem, only reflect a lack of comprehension relating to the larger promise of life. Life experiences have given me a sense of what's what ( catchy phrase that!) When to stand and when to bend, when to duck, when to learn the proper use of the word to/too!!

Those patterns of life I mentioned? Only become visible to the end of ones life...Faintly visible at best.

Oh Hell!! Time to go to work...

TGIF you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


randall 11-2-2001 8:01


Insert: Did you HEAR the latest news...

I guess I need my HEARing checked!

*snuffle guffaw*


Heather 11-2-2001 3:30

You are the caretakers of everything that has been given you, from the Source of All. Look around you! There is nothing imaginary about the places you find in your heart, nor the quiet whispers in your mind; they are but the scapes of the future, yours to make physical reality at any time.

Under the great Light, your dreams dance and run, ablaze in the splendour of your admiration, your reverence for youth and vitality. You need but release them into being, and this reverence is indeed a reverence for the Source Itself.

From this Source comes a key: The key is yours, not for locking away that which is precious, but to stand as a script, a gate plaque to the collective memorium for that which you cherish. And for thus to be handed with care to those who follow you.

There are few Laws that must be kept in order that Life, that dreams remain valuable! Know that obedience to these Laws is for your own well-being! For to deviate is a loss of reverence for Life, for the dream, and for tomorrow.
Do not stand at the edge and wail in defiance of Law! For the edge itself may be your downfall - let not your downfall be multiplied. Sorrow is not your natural state, beloved ones!

Sit in silence and spend your thoughts wisely on matters of Life and Heart. You will open your eyes to what is already yours, and be filled with more joy than is thought possible. All is possible, by and through the Source of All, for everything that is and can be, must first be a seed of the source. Follow the source and what do we find?

What do we find? To look is not to have travelled far.


So there's my shortie. Tina, you thought yours was preachy! Sheesh - I re-read mine and went - ooooops! I went all out!

Howard - I could just pinch your cheeks for that latest joke!

Did you the latest news? A woman was checking her bags at an airline, and they stopped her, confiscating her knitting needles!

----they were afraid she might make an Afghan.

Heather 11-2-2001 3:27

P.S. Welcome Deja...

Ken 11-2-2001 0:43

DEJA! Is that VU!?!?


Howard 11-2-2001 0:30

pardon me seems the muse is knocking.

Ken 11-2-2001 0:28

Dunno who wrote this but I like it...

What Would YOU Do?

Think carefully before you answer this question!!

I have a moral question for you. This is an imaginary situation, but
I think it is fascinating to decide what one would do.

The situation: You are in the Middle East, and there is a huge flood
in progress. Many homes have been lost, water supplies compromised and
structures destroyed. Let's say that you're a photographer and getting still
photos for a news service, traveling alone, looking for particularly
poignant scenes.

You come across Osama Bin Laden who has been swept away by the
He is barely hanging on to a tree limb and is about to go under. You
can either put down your camera and save him, or take a Pulitzer Prize
winning photograph of him as he loses his grip on the limb.

So, here's the question and think carefully before you answer the
question below:

Which lens and shutter speed would you use?

howard 11-2-2001 0:28

The fog lay in thick blanckets across the harbor as the Faerie's Dream made its way into her berth. Jovan stood at the helm, the stoic picture of an experienced captain. Yet, this was but his first voyage at the helm. He thought about what it meant to be field promoted. Who would have thought that the captain would have been swept overboard like that. It was a chance squall. These things don't actually happen to people, do they?

The harbor master directed her into her slip, and Jovan shouted his orders.

"Ready ropes and prepare for dockage!"

Immediatly he saw the mayor striding up the dock. Obviously the messenger birds had hit their mark. Although he didn't like the look of the militia-men behind him.

Ken 11-2-2001 0:27

You've gotta be kidding me, I saw photo's of the food packs and the bomblets, hell a blind idiot could tell the difference. Oh well blue is a much nicer color then yellow anyhow.

Welcome Deja - we have had many young folks in our midst, lots of us old foggys to. Nobody much pays any attention to age here, just writing. If you can write, or if you want to write you have come to the right place, these guys and gals are the best.

Had a bad night last night, woke up at 2:00 AM in a cold sweat, didn't get back to sleep, just lay there soaking in my own sweat and shivering. Finally got up at 5:00 AM and ate breakfast, then lay on the couch. Woke up at 9:45 when the phone rang, felt much better. Must have been some sort of bug or something, but I have my regular appointment with the doc tomorow anyhow, might have him check it out see what it is. I know I sure was one misrable SOB there for a few hours. Very tired now, think I will make it an early night, hit the hay.

Night all.

Jerry Ericsson 11-2-2001 0:23

Hey all, well the night was un eventfull as usual and the muse escaped me once more.... but there's always tomorrow..

Nice shorts people seems I'll be a regular.

Ken 11-2-2001 0:08

Hello Deja! Glad to meetcha!

Tina 11-2-2001 0:00

Shank of the Evening to all,

Just stopped by quickly to drop off a partial shorty for this week. It's probably cheating but I got all the words in the first paragraph so I quit there.


The sky was ABLAZE with streaks of red, yellow and orange. The world's oldest CARETAKER stood on the EDGE of the sacred cliff. He stared up at the GATE that led into the IMAGINARY garden. In his hands, a MAHOGANY box held the KEY to the SOURCE of all the world's hopes. A QUIET voice was heard to WHISPER, "You must be OBEDIENT and cower UNDER the hand of Zuzzer, or there will never be peace again in this land."

Well----That's the beginning of the type of story that I really don't like, so--that's the end of it.

Have a great evening and weekend.

Rosemary 11-1-2001 23:53

People, People. I'm a newbie. I guess I am. Well, I'm only 16 and already professing to be a genius and a writer. I have no clue what you people are talking about..but then again..I hardly know anything.

I'm trying to write short stories......

*snores* It bored me. I think I need help on this one.

Well..ta ta toodles..and what-not..

Deja 11-1-2001 23:25

Hello All:

Heather: I will try in the next week to get the components of Phantasm to you. Albeit the Workbook, it will be a blank slate without any archives. I have to check through, however, and make sure that Phantasm was one of the elements that survived the meltdown of my hard drive some while back. I believe so, but not sure.

Everyone else: wish Fran and I luck. We are up at 7:00 to be ready to head out and do our peak performance buoyancy in dry suits at Seacrest on Puget Sound. Then, after we are done with that at about one, we are off to join some of Fran's coworkers to dive Edmond's Underwater Park at 3 O'clock. Well, let's see how all of this goes. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-1-2001 22:44

Evening all :)

Its been a long, tiring day. Our nearest Fleet Farm is over an hour away through some beautiful, but bumpy back roads. S'ok though - got hubby his Christmas present early - a new belt/disc sander.

Every one has such wonderful work posted for the shortie night. I'm sorry I forgot my ususal way of reading, making note of who and what, so I could respond to everyone -- I sure enjoyed it all!!

Here's my little contribution -- very rough yet and uncomplete sounding. I managed all but one word and what I liked best was being able to add another portion to a story already started. I've never tried writing a story in such a piece-meal fashion before -- it'll be interesting to see if it comes to fruition.

Chrysalis (partial installment)

"Shila! Shila, where are you?"

Sheka’s voice penetrated the secluded rose arbor Shila sat under. With the sun at its zenith and the flowers ablaze with color, this had become her favorite place to sit, to be quiet.

"Here." She whispered, not wanting to break the peaceful serenity she had found.

"There you are." Sheka swished through the garden gate. "Far and wide I’ve been searching."

Shila patted the mahogany bench next to her, inviting her twin to sit, to share the warmth, the fragrance of the moment. They sat as one for several minutes, basking in the gift of their birthing.

Sheka broke the magic. "The caretaker wishes speech with us."



"Now?" Shila stiffened, moving to the edge of the bench, she stared into her sister’s eyes. "Must we be so obedient to the caretaker? At her beck and call we are. Our lives not our own. Oh sister, let us just stay here, forever and ever."

Sheka placed her hands on smooth, rosy cheeks, so like her own, yet these were streaked with hot tears. "Heart of my heart, why do you fight the destiny of our blessed birthing? The key of life we are and so we remain. The source of life for the entire planet, is our birthing, our rituals and, yes, our death. This peace," Sheka waved her hand at the roses swinging in the breeze, "you so enjoy, would die without us. Us, Shila – you and me. Would you deny our daughters, our planet, this beauty?"

Shila sniffed and sat up. "No. I only wish to enjoy the beauty too."

"And you may -- moments at a time. Moments past but not forgotten. Just remember, the source of the beauty are we. As source, we have obligations." Holding out her hands, Sheka stood. "Come sister."

"Yes. I know the right." She grinned wryly. "Besides, more wicked Marshula becomes as time grows short."

"No wish have I to face that alone."

I'm still learning how to cut and paste in here decently -- please forgive me if its not appearing properly yet. Each time, I learn something new. :)

Sweet dreams all!

Carol 11-1-2001 22:36

Randall - tsk tsk! If everyone from 'Podunk' thought that way, there wouldn't be published tales on many shelves. All there'd be are those sensationalist things written for the purpose of making money, not the love of people and words.
But, we're all entitled to NOT try and get our work published!

Off to work I waggle

Heather 11-1-2001 22:28


Thanks for the kudos on my stories. However, as you are aware...writing any novel is easy, when compared to selling it. Ah, at least for me. Reading Randall's tales may give some of you a major headache, who knows? :-) I mentioned this story some time ago...a friend in town "claims" to have written a best selling novel, indeed sold movie rights to Steve Spielberg. Even talked to SS on the phone! For 45 minutes!!! Good grief Charlie Brown! Whether he has or not is not my concern. I have my own Karma to work on. Still this guy says getting published may be compared to beating down a stone wall with a wet loaf of bread.

I cannot agree more. I have stopped submitting...anything. There is only so much rejection anyone can stand. Who needs it? For my modest tales posted on's like writing a column in a way. But with no deadlines or editors or pressure. :-) Simply I write for pleasure, makes me feel good!

My daughter jumped me last year when that New York DJ (the tall weird one) published a book. I can't recall his name, but on his TV show he usually has women show their... well, you know. Okay! Who is giggling out there? No I don't watch the show! Suprised you asked!!!

"Why can't you publish one of yours?" Sara asked one night.

Because publishing houses are in it for money daughter of mine. No matter what they's the money, art takes a back seat. Fame sells! Why gamble on unknowns? Why take a chance on an unknown gal, or guy from Podunk, USA. No I don't feel sorry for myself, self-pity is self-destruction and I'm not that way. Reality is my creed...

Let's play a game boys and girls? If Bin Laden offered an autobiography on his life in the next several years...would major publishing houses bite? A major tell all they did it, names, dates, the whole attack. Would any editor or publisher in the world tackle such a thing? Are you a turtle living in a swamp? Morality has nothing to do with publishing.

In the USA are laws about making money from a crime, but the USA is only one country in the world. Who would by such an evil thing you ask? Evil sells books, and makes millions on movies. Who would buy??? Probably a lot of Americans and the publishing houses know it. Money talks...

Still...karma, who knows?

Gotta go, sorry for the misspelled words. No cut and paste tonight. Tired.


randall 11-1-2001 21:39

Check out the site

The Storywriters 11-1-2001 20:58

Tina--- nice work on the shorty, no, it wasn't preachy

no, I'm not that morbid, just at times. I write from lifes littke ups and downs

Ken 11-1-2001 20:24

I just did a google search for my name, came upon a site that had my poem The Tree posted. I remember submitting it, but never heard back from them. Any how, here it is as I wrote it back in May of 2000, thought it appropriate seeing as yesterday was Holloween.

The Tree
by Jerry A.G. 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 bargain 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 11-1-2001 20:13

Mel: hoonestly im beginning to wander if im an american in disguise myself
Maybe I was just born in the wrong country....LOL

taylor 11-1-2001 19:37


Thanks everyone who reposted that list!

Howard, take it easy! I know, that's not easy, but it's easy to overdo it, so go easy on yourself. :-)

Mel, lemon tea is just the thing. Lemon is bonafidely good for your vocal chords, that's why professional speakers usually drink water with lemon, or lemonade, while speaking.

On to the shortie. Sorry, it got kind of preachy but I don't want to change it.

The trail continued to climb, uncaring that my thighs and calves and feet were ABLAZE with the effort to take each step. UNDER my feet, the dirt packed path had long ago given way to solid rock, and the trees and bushes had thinned out to almost nothing. Almost nothing grew here, not because I’d passed the treeline but because the EDGE of the glacier had reached this far only a few years ago. This place was still sterile rock except in a few cracks where dirt had accumulated, fertile soil being the KEY to life on this rocky mountainside.

Stopping to catch my breath, I looked back over the QUIET valley and tried to picture what it had been like 10,000 years ago. My IMAGINARY view filled with glacial ice a kilometre thick, sitting majestically over the mountains. From high above me, the brilliant white-blue ice spread from its SOURCE, carrying boulders the size of a house and crushing all in its path. The thought made me tremble, OBEDIENT to the raw wild power of our living planet.

Finally, after an hour of climbing rocks so gnarled and twisted that they resembled teak and cedar and MAHOGANY, I came face to face with the glacier itself. It stood as a GATE to another time, both the past and the future, testament to the never-ending cycle of death and renewal. Reverently I approached the ice, close enough to feel the cold wind, to sense its heartbeat, to hear it WHISPER. The rock, the ice and I learned that we are one another’s CARETAKER; the fate of one is the fate of all. The ice will melt, the rock will be ground away, I will return to dust, but our lives will never end.

Tina 11-1-2001 19:19

Well I've just gotten back from town and no sooner had I put the groceries away--than I found myself seated Here. (Am I becoming addicted?! Well now...there are Good addictions and bad; and so far as I can tell--this is a good one.) Now,

HEATHER: Thanks for the (much needed) assurance. This--I shall not forget--about coming here for techno-help, if needed. And thanks too for the word of caution. Lord knows I've enough viruses to avoid now that we inch toward yet another New England winter.

And JERRY, MEL: Thanks for the point by point ways out of my own myopia. Though on this thing called a computer--at least it comes with a name readily understood--for over a year now (as said), ah, there are those times (often)...when I've absolutely no idea what's going on or how to make It stop happening. And your expert advice only diminishes my mystification that much more... (Enough Boogey Men around here last night.) So thanks again.


Tim 11-1-2001 19:01

I don't have to go to work on Monday!!!! I'm on vacation. Today I am catching up. Allein, get ready it's on its way. No work at all, I just was slow sending it back but I want to give it a read through when my eyes are rested.

Mary, my daughter and I checked out your website and enjoyed it. It's beautiful.

Jerry/Mary, could you fill me in on those words on the list. I missed the shorty theme but maybe today I could play with it while I plant parsley.

Got to get up and get dressed. Sun is shining. Day is mine. I'm going out in the garden to plant, wash hands, write, plant/ (wash hands) write.


Viv 11-1-2001 18:33

I did a copy and paste when you posted, here are the ones I had down:


Jerry 11-1-2001 18:10

Thank You, Heather!

I have new jewelry up if you have an opinion, I would love to hear it. Especially check out the lasso to wear!

Mary new beads! 11-1-2001 17:25

I wrote down the list of words, Mary! And Mel included them in capital letters in her poem...

So, here they are!



Howard - will take the recommendation and seek out that book! Man, I'm getting a list longer than Santa's for books to read... well, that's the thing about books (unless they get banned!); they'll always be there waiting for you when you have time to sit back and open their doors, their worlds.

Oh, and I could do the roofing job for you, believe it or not, Howard, though I'm afraid of heights! A shed roof I could handle.... just not this roof, being three stories high at the back of the house!
I've roofed before and might be paid (highly) to do it again - but I'd be tempted to rent a pneumatic(?) nailing gun - the tennis elbow from hammering! BLEEEEEEEECH ooo oooo oooo can't bend arms! Also, tar paper really does flatter the figure! (heh heh)
Howard, I am shaking my head in wonder at what men think they can accomplish awfully soon after having rotator cuff surgery... You complete silly! Hope your shoulders 'rotate smoothly' soon.

Husband blasting 70's tunes. I think I'll clear out! :oD

Heather 11-1-2001 17:18

Well holy cow. I don't know the shortie night theme words because I made them up as I went along and I don't have them anywhere else. JERRY: Do you know what they are? Maybe I can remember enough to get you started anyway:

Let's see...


hmm...that's it, I am stumped.
Sorry guys, my fault.

Mary 11-1-2001 15:46

And I second Heather's advice to Randall! I'll be next in line to purchase a copy of that book!

howard 11-1-2001 15:06

Ooops! Scratch the extra 'n' from "Name" in that title.

howard 11-1-2001 15:04

I'm whipped! Beat! Sore! Don't ever try to repair/replace a roof (even a relatively small shed roof) unless you have full use of both arms (and your mental faculties!).The weather was beautiful so I tried. Now trying to find a younger, healthier guy (or gal) who needs a job, wants to make a few bucks, and can handle this one.

Meanwhile I have to get ready to go help my little friend with his homework and reading. This poor kid is starved for attention, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to help.

Excellent Author Alert!!! -- MAX LUCADO! I just finished another of his books and it was indeed excellent, and inspirational! This one is When God Whispers Your Namen and I highly recommend it!

howard 11-1-2001 15:03

Cool shorties, everybody!

Randall, take all of your life stories and compile them quickly! You have a potential best selling series on your hands!

Ken, are you morbid, or what? ;-}

Tim - there are techies among us, so don't worry; any questions you have, we'll probably be able to answer. It might not be in any recognizable language as such.... *hyuck!* but it'll be an answer!
Slowly, over time, as I need to know how to perform certain computer functions, I've either figured it out or had a friend here let me in on the 'secret'. Bill Gates isn't the only keeper, either.
Cartogra Photo Manager - be very afraid. Nothing but a virus could get all the way through that program!

Mel, I LOVED your shortie! Tres imaginitive! (Imagine the latter sentence pronounced with a very 'seductive' french accent!) Add one heaping tablespoon of ghoulish laughter.
Hey, Halloween hasn't let go yet.
Tell that gnome to wipe the dirty grin off his... mug!

Here's a cute little silly thing, compliments of George Carlin:

Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?


Jack - Thanks for working so hard on the workbook! Sorry that it's such a pain in the nickers. I wish I could be of some help with setting up that password protector - but I am in the dark about html et al.
I'd rather keep 'Phantasium' (and 'Rebecca'!) protected from unfettered public display. Is there any chance you might be able to send me all of the files from Phantasium (In Corel 9)??? Then we could delete the project from the workbook completely so we are still able to publish it without any problems ie: it would still be considered previously unpublished material.
Let me know if this is a viable option!
I'm sure fellow contributors of P* will agree...


Jerry - freaky shortie! All Hallow's Eve Sacrifices? *SHUDDER*

Taking up time here - still have to come up with a short shortie! I haven't participated in ss night in ages.

Sooner, rather than later,

Heather 11-1-2001 14:42

Tim - There are a couple of ways to make a quick trip here.
The first, the one that I use is to bookmark, or add to favorites if you are using IE. I place my favorite for this site in the LINK folder, then go to the top of IE and right click, place a check mark by the word LINKS and your links will be displayed on top below the address line. Should the notebook not be among those displayed, you can right click on those you don't use and select delete until it comes up.

The second is to make a desktop short cut to this site. The easiest way to do that is to be sure that the page isn't in the maximize mode (little double box in the top right) hold the cursor arrow over the border of the window until it turns into a double headed arrow and lower it a bit so the background is visible, then left click on the little icon just to the left of http:// and drag that icon to your desktop. You will have a nice shortcut there on your desktop that will open your browser and take you right here.

Should you ever loose this address, you can go to and click on the first icon at the top of the list, I forget what it says but it is first, anyhow another menu will pop up with this link on it, click on it and you will be here again. I guess I find it easier to remember the which is Jack's main site then the full address of the notebook.

Jerry 11-1-2001 14:35


November the One-st! :-) (*little gnome struggles valiantly to turn the mighty calendar page, clumsily flips himself in the process and somersaults into the next month, a sheepish smile on his usually smile-less face* KODAK MOMENT!*)

JERRY, RANDALL: :-) :-) Yoose guys tell the greatest stories! :-]

KEN: Your shorty gave me the shivers! 8-/ :-)

TAYLOR: You're really an American in disguise, right? :-)

TINA: Tea with honey in it.

TIM: I just type a "w" in the address box and the "history" brings up the URL for this page, from my past use (kinda like a bookmark). BTW, if you don't have a web page link you want to share whenever you post here, just tab over the empty boxes, then your entry won't record "none" as a link. And I beleive that "never mind" quote was dear old Roseanna Roseanna Danna, the newslady, who used to give a great long spiel and then for some reason realize her entire story was a moot issue and thus render her immortal phrase, "Never mind." :-) Loved that show, the original cast, that is.

Okay now, REAL POETS turn your heads the other way, unless you have a strong stomach! Dr. Seuss will roll in his grave for the following, but I had fun anyway (TINA, the words in CAPS are MARY's shorty-theme words you requested):

"Mysterious Moment"

At the EDGE of the hedge,
the crazy maze was ABLAZE!
CARETAKER lay dead,
ringed in smoky-black haze!

The GATE, left unlocked,
shed its MAHOGANY KEY--
Mahogany key---!!
Beckoning me...

Key in hand felt so grand:
The fabled SOURCE,
in due course,
to an IMAGINARY land.

Could the wood still be good?
Would the key work for me?

And then I heard it: the wind,
a QUIET WHISPER, it pinned
me UNDER the gate.

The magic, my fate...

Mel 11-1-2001 13:33

Not to disregard your writing Ken, but Tina...thanks for taking the time to write anyway. That is, any contact on this site is, for now, much appreciated. And as said--yes, am a newcomer. And what I'm finding out so far I very much like. I can't quite put it into words yet--but I like this "place," the people here, the way people respond and Do Not ignore (no matter what your writing talents may be). Yes, so do not feel your writing was in Vain, Tina; no, it's just more proof as to what's said above. So, thank you. Thank you very much.

And now KEN: this is very interesting...what you've begun to...or have written. The first lines draw you in: that which all good beginnings must do, so far as I know.


Tim 11-1-2001 13:19

The gate swung inward with a quiet groan, as Jacob made his way up the garden path. Under the light of the full moon his mind was ablaze with shadowy immages. It was only two years ago when he had found his sister's mutilated body laying across this same path.

Imaginary whispers ate at his mind. Could he be going insane? No, it was just the dark and the haunting memories playing with his senses. His pace quickened as he neared the caretaker's cottage.

Jacob's breath caught in his throat as he slid the key into the door of the abandoned shack. Cautiously he opened the door and stepped into the darkened room. Fumbling for a light, he tripped over something heavy, but soft. In a panic he searched for his lighter. His heart racing he turned to find a large bloodstained sheet, with a hand protruding from underneath. On the ring finger was his wifes wedding ring.

Ken 11-1-2001 13:01

Tim, I posted, and their was your second post. Oh well.


Tina 11-1-2001 12:01

Hi all, and welcome Tim!

It's not a techno-burb or anything; Jack (our mighty webmaster) has archived everything up until yesterday. He does this whenever the notebook gets Too Big to load up easily or quickly. The OLD conversations will be saved in the archives; just mouse up to the blue tab 'Writers Notebook' at the top of the page, choose 'Visit archives' and you can get to the old page. I just checked, and Jack hasn't updated it quite yet, but keep checking and it should show up soon.

As for using 'Writers Notebook' as a keyword to search by... um, Idon'tknow. I keep it bookmarked so I never have to search.

And about your question... it's probably best if you ask it again.

Mary, what are the words for tonight's shortie?

So, I have no voice today, just as I expected. 6 hours of bloodcurdling screaming does that. I so wish that I could just stay home today, but the after effects of the haunted house are that now we have to clean up. (sigh)

Tina 11-1-2001 11:58

OH STUPID ME: Yes--stupid me! Two seconds after posting last note read Jack's message at bottom about this site's "5 gig limit." Will look for the archive tomorrow. And yet still, am haunted by anything techno... Now if Still I've not got this thing right, please write; otherwise, know now it's not me losing my mind--just that part of me that does not (always) count his pennies when off to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, only to come up short once there.

And from now on...will read Jack's "chapters."

As someone on Saturday Night Live said: "Never mind..."


Tim none 11-1-2001 11:56

Sorry to interrupt with a technical question... First, am not "techno-smart." Second: Question: As a newcomer haven't any idea why yesterday was able to scroll so far as to view material written in September(?)I think; whereas today am no more able to scroll to (merely) the very end of 31 October as am able to remember what I'd written earlier that day (my reason for wanting to scoll further...that--but more so for wanting to Read what others might have said in response to what I wrote. Now maybe I've accessed the site wrongly (or something). I don't know...but I swear, just yesterday, was overwhelmed actually that I could scroll as far as I did. Any suggestions, advice, whatnot?

By the way, had at first tried to access the site by merely typing in "Writer's Notebook" as a keyword, which is just what I did yesterday (and with success, as noted)--and yet, though I tried this several times today, such led nowhere. So then thought to go with the address (, etc.). And here I am. Swear to god, it seems I've (many times over) fewer problems with my writing than I have with my computer (though I've been using it for over a year). And again...any help? or is this (myself included) just plain hopeless?


Tim none 11-1-2001 11:35


Oh we scared them! Oh Yes we did!

The haunted house, despite disorganisation and last minute chaos, was a HUGE success! The building I work in is an old old old brick schoolhouse, with a basement so creepy we did'nt even have to decorate to make it scary.
People started with the mad scientist, who wowed and disgusted them all. They stuck their hands in all manner of disgusting goo, they watched the local SCA group fight each other, and they visited the alien who landed upstairs. And then they came Downstairs, to the dungeon. The crazy lady in the corner and the dungeon master with his prisoner on the rack had them freaking out, and then I (the mummy) ran out screaming at them from a dark corner. Oh did we make them scream! Over 1000 people: children, adults and cynical teenagers, they all screamed, some cried, and we had so much fun!
Except that now I can't talk, my voice is so raw. A small price to pay. hehehehe

Very tired now. Happy Halloween!

(Help me! Don't leave me here! You have to help me! He'll come and take me, you can't leave me here! Let me out please! Aaaaaaagghhh!)

Tina 11-1-2001 2:05

Did I ever tell the tale of Gate Night? Well I will now. It seems that for forty years or so, the night before Halloween in the little town of Bowman ND was celebrated in a most unusual way. On that night, all the young folks ran rampant. They would form up in groups and move across the town taking anything not tied down, and some things that were and used them to block every street and alley in the city. For over forty years, the police and fire departments responded by chasing the kids both on foot and in their vehicles, catching one or two and prosecuting those who were caught in the juvenile court system, which normally placed the kids on some form of unsupervised probation and let them go.

Now this tradition went on for a couple of years after I was hired on the PD, and to tell the truth, we had a blast chasing them, probably as much fun as they did being chased. This could still be going on today, but as I looked around at all the things in the streets, gas grills from yards, cars and trucks from car lots, garbage cans from all over, gates from yard fences (hence the name gate night) and the lot. It dawned on me that all this stuff had to be cleaned up by the owners. Many items were destroyed in the process at a considerable cost to the owner, and to the city. All the police officers had to work that night, as well as all of the volunteer fire department who had to be paid for the scheduled time.

At the end of my second year there, the old Chief of Police quit (read was asked to resign), and I was promoted. The troops were all excited again come gate night, and before the event took place I held a meeting, inviting the fire chief, and the mayor. I put forth my idea, why not just let them run, all the fun is in the chase. If we don’t chase, maybe they will tire of the tom-foolery. Well it was a hard sell, but my plan won out. That night, I and one other officer manned the patrol cars, the firemen stayed home with their families, and the rest of the Department had the night off. It wasn’t ten minutes past eight o’clock, the witching hour on gate night, and all the streets were blocked. Once the blockage was done, they must have noticed that nobody was chasing them, and soon the streets were clear of the groups of kids. The other officer and I kept only two streets open for the night, the highway and the hospital street; we let the rest for the town’s people to clean up.

A year latter, only one or two streets were blocked, the next year was the end of Gate Night in Bowman ND, and to this very day, there has never been another. I know as my niece still lives there, having come to spend the summer one year, falling in love and marrying a fellow who works for the State Scale.

Jerry 11-1-2001 0:07

Did I mention, I used all the suggested words?

Jerry 10-31-2001 23:40

we dont celebrate halloween at all...but last night at spiritual group...since it was halloween that night...most of us dressed up in some sort of costume...

we had like a vampire, walking dead, fairie, witch, someone with just a scary mask, and The Crow(me) was funny, a group of us all dressed up in front of the store waiting, and waving at people walking by
All they did was laugh...and a group of people was saying like, "Happy Halloween"
It was all so cool
then we all went to coffee all dressed up, got a few funny looks there
It would probably be something we would never do again, since it would probably be forever before Halloween falls on a wednesday night again

Someone was mentioning a Halloween 1955...last time there was a full moon, either i am not looking in the right place, cause I cant find any reference to anything happening on that night

Well six pages of that story done so far...the only reason why I stopped writing because I had to goto work
But i feel as if im slowly getting back into the flow of writing...about time!

taylor 10-31-2001 23:15

Well we only had a dozen kids tonight. That's down by two thirds of last year. I guess folks are being much more carefull now. I think I would too, if I still had little ones to care for. It was a wonderful night for it too, the temp is still in the 40's when the kids were coming it was in the mid 60's and the full moon broke through the clouds putting an orange pale on the customed ghosts, gobblins witches and the three batman's that came.

Hope holloween was great everywhere.

Jerry 10-31-2001 23:11



Can't write too long...Want to thank Jerry for the offer of assistance....Nice tale too Jerry....Debra, wish you were here, need a good arm...Have the lap top on the roof....Very busy here...the cursed full moon has us pin pointed...salvos of balloons arching into the sky and down on our position..."DUCK!!!" Da Nang during TET..."YEA YEA LUCKY SHOT TURKEY!!! That delivery driver from Car Quest will pay tomorrow!!!



Little slow on that one son. We're having a heck of a good time here... My rivals snookered us by sneaking up on me and my son as we perched on the roof top. Came up the alley as the guys from Car Quest tried to advance hiding behind an unidentified mud splattered car that keeps driving up and down the street....

My wife and the dog clan and suitcase and food bowls left for her mothers an hour ago...I suppose that was my fault...didn't give her the password and she was bracketed by a flurry of balloons from my son and I. Stood in the front yard screaming curses up at us. Women, huh? How did I know she was taking out the trash? Never done it before! I thought it was the Auto Zone delivery guy sneaking up. Anyway, I told her...."YECH, ONE DOWN THE NECK!!!


Ain't that a bitch!!! Nailed by friendly fire. My own son!!!

Uh oh, where? What?! Oh boy, sirens approaching!!! Time to bug out... You know what they say. Better to pull in your balloons and live to throw another day...



randall 10-31-2001 23:06

Randall - I had the wife take out her IRA yesterday in anticipation of putting up your bail. I will give the good Deputy a call, after all us old pelters have to stick up for eachother.

Jerry 10-31-2001 21:27

I hope you all had a good Halloween. There was so much police presence here in the neighborhood you wouldn't believe it. There always is every year anyway, because we had some problems a few years back. If you can picture a group of about twenty or more streets filled with twenty five or more houses each and only two ways in on each end then you can imagine the problems we had. We had people coming from all over the area from a fifty mile radius. All they had to do was park their car and they could walk all night with a stop every couple of seconds. They had to post police at each end of the street asking people what house they lived in and what purpose they had being in the neighborhood. Also they had police riding on bikes and walking on foot amongst us. I can't complain. I do love a man in uniform. Every year we give out well over five hundred pieces of candy. I think it's more actually.

Imagine giant groups of kids 20 or thirty deep walking as a group. Most of them are nice kids. That's not counting their parents tagging along. We have other people come over to help give out the candy. Well that is just an average Halloween for us. People dressed their dogs and babies. It was wonderful. I saw one boxer dog, named Kelsey, who was only four months old dressed like a skeleton. She stopped to say hi to us and didn't want to leave my side. Her owner was walking in the other direction so he had to pull her away. He would have liked to let her stay longer but his kids wanted to keep moving. Every time I turned back I could see her head turned in my direction. Her little head piece was starting to slip because she keep turning.

Everyone always decorates their houses to the hilt and has skits to scare the kids on Halloween night. Some of them even invite people in to experience an actual haunted house, well just haunted for the one night. We have this tape we play every year really loud that's really scary. I'm glad we didn't let those horrible people mess up our fun.

My twins went as witches. One of my neighbors gave me the look and I admitted their costumes were probably redundant.

Debra 10-31-2001 21:25

Now ain't that a kick in the teeth. Posted my shorty early and it was sent immedietly to the archives. Well I just ain't gonna take it, not tonight, not on holloween. Nope, just a second, I will post it ONE MORE TIME!

Trick or Treat

It was the dark of night, the witching hour was approaching as I left the barn having completed my chores. Ever the obedient son, ever the good boy, I made my way from the barn to the house. I could see the glow of the windows through the fog, the glow from the log ablaze in the fireplace of the living room it cast it’s eerie glow across the blurry snow covered ground.

The moon perched on the horizon like a huge pumpkin sitting on the hills, it loomed ever bigger, the color of blood. I listened for the wind, for the breath of life that moved among the willows, their branches whisper to each other the coming of evil, the coming of terror. We were on the very edge of all hollows eve, that day of the year when lost souls are free to roam over the world. I strained to see through the fog that swallowed up our farm, through the gate to the old cemetery beyond the road that ran past our humble abode.

Slowly patiently I walked through the fog toward the glow, knowing the source of the glow was also a source of warmth, a place of comfort, safety. Then I heard it, a moan, or was it just an animal, perhaps just the wind through the trees and nothing more. It urged me on ever faster, I began to trot, then to run, but from out of no where came a cat, the largest cat I have ever in my life beheld, I tripped on the devilish animal, we went down together, me atop the cat, who frightened beyond terror began clawing and slashing at my face neck and arms, the blood flowed freely, burning my eyes, I could taste the salty fluid as it seeped into my mouth. I threw the devilish black evil monster as hard as I could, it screamed until it collided with the pole that held our yard light high above the ground. It rose again and ran in the direction of the gate.

On my feet again, I walked slowly the rest of the way to the house, and let myself in the front door.

“Wipe your feet before you come in!” Mother shouted.

“Yes Mother!” came my reply. “You worry about the dirt on my feet, but not the blood on my face.” I whispered under my breath, then made my way to the bathroom where I cleaned and bandaged my wounds.

“Quickly now, prepare for the hordes of demons and ghouls who will soon darken our doors!” commanded father.

I quietly walked to the Mahogany writing desk, pulled the key from my pocket and unlocked the drawer where the sacrifice was stored. Slowly, carefully, I removed the sacrifice and placed the contents in the sacred bowl. Then I carried the bowl to the small parson’s table that sat near the front door, all was ready.

There was a knock at the door, hesitantly; I made my way to the door, ready for the sacrifice.

“Trick or Treat!” came the call from the small ghosts, ghouls and Batman. I dropped the sacrifice into their pillow cases, then they turned and disappeared into the night quickly swallowed up by the fog, yet I could hear the muffled slamming of a car door, and the engine whine as they drove off to terrorize yet another home, to receive yet another sacrifice.

Jerry 10-31-2001 21:18


Happy Halloween gang!

It was with no small amount of apprehension that I noted Chief Deputy Sheriff Dewright standing next to my pickup this afternoon. In the late afternoon sun he had just finished cleaning the sunglasses, curtly acknowledged my presence and motioned me forward.

"Randall," he began, carefully adjusting the 'Nighthawk' sunglasses atop his nose. "I saw you shopping in the Dollar Store a minute or so ago. Judge Jailemall asked me this morning to ascertain if you were in town and to determine where you would be tonight and what your plans were?"

"Ah," I struggled to format a proper answer. "Well, Deputy Dewright, we're having a party at my house, pretty low key." I smiled my best everyday citizen smile.

He sighed, shaking his head. "A party. How nice. And I suppose you've been inside the store there for the last 30 minutes buying party supplies?"

"Yes sir." I felt the beginnings of terminal perspiration forming in my palms.

"Would you mind showing me the items you bought?" Dewright's voice has been compared to the creaking of a casket slowly being opened.

"I don't believe...." I began, then stopped as he tapped the six cell flashlight at his belt. "Yes sir, you can, but remember things are not always what they seem."

He removed one of the paper bags I had in my arms and rested it on the hood of a mud stained patrol cruiser. When he upended it, the contents spilled across the hood. Fifty packages of balloons, five per package.

"Party supplies Randall? Balloons? Nothing but balloons?"

He took the other bag and dumped it on the hood. More packages of balloons spilled out and I knew how Sigorney Weaver felt when the alien monster snarled at her. Deputy Dewright rested on the fender of his patrol car. He stared into the setting sun, face grim.

"All round balloons Randall? The favorite for throwing at cars in the night. Tube balloons are difficult to throw with any accuracy, right? Police cars in the night seem to attract water balloons most especially on Halloween night. How many times are we going to go through this? Every year since I've known you, you buy up every balloon in town, fill them with water and throw them at everything, and everybody on Halloween night. Aren't you a little long in the tooth for such behavior?"

"Well I..."

"How long have I known you anyway?" He smiled fatherly at me.

"Well," I began, trying desperately to minimize the damage. "I guess it was that night in 1964 when somebody threw an egg at you in the car." I forced a chuckle. "And you chased me on foot down the alley behind the Baptist Church thinking it was me."

He smiled briefly. "I would have caught you too if I hadn't slipped on the carton of eggs you dropped."

"And the clothesline," I began, smiling up at him.

"The clothesline, yeah..." he sighed shaking his head.

"And the trash can somebody rolled in front of you."

"Really laid me out." He laughed quietly.

I chuckled thinking I had slid one by, but the silence stretched out. I cautiously looked at the veteran of 40 years of Halloweens and kids and water balloon fights.

Chief Deputy Sheriff, James Wyatt Dewright wasn't smiling any more.

"I am going to be by your house tonight." His voice chilled me, a finger the size of a horse pistol tapped me on the chest. "I'm going to make it a point to patrol your neighborhood Randall. The sunglasses bored into my wide eyes. "If I hear of one balloon, just one, thrown from your yard I'm going to arrest you and throw you under the jail. Do you understand me?"

I gulped. "YES SIR!"

"And that includes eggs and cow patties and wennies with firecrackers stuck inside. Somebody hit the Judge's car last year with a wennie and he had to take his wife to the ER. She thought a finger had exploded on the hood. You don't know anything about that do you?"


I stuffed a small fortune in balloons back into the two sacks and stood by as he drove away. Contemplating my immediate future and life on the planet I noticed a nearby grocery store had pork wennies on for .49 cents a bag. Well four packages were just enough for the Black Cats I hoarded from last year. So about midnight tonight I'll be perched on the roof...well Deputy Dewright said the yard...and yard and roof are not the same thing. Right? Huh? Am I out of line here! Have to get my son to put ‘em in a bucket tied onto a rope. I mean, this is self-defense gang! I know a bunch of 50'sh type guys will be in my neighbor. On my turf, looking for a fight. Slowly patrolling, pickup beds filled with hundreds of round balloons, the best kind to throw. I know they will be looking for me...and I'll be ready for the annual battle.

Jerry, Howard go my bail if I call you?


Randall 10-31-2001 21:06

Hello everyone: Noticed that we were up to 770 k and the overall logs indicate close to 2 gig of downloads for webwitch. So, in deference to the 5 gig limit on my server, I am archiving the Notebook. The old one should be available in the archives sometime tomorrow.

So, you have a nice tabula rasa to discuss the writing life, do shorties and what not else. I will, as I said, attempt to have a workbook up next week, password protected or not, and if not then be aware of the potential problems with copyright issues. Hopefully, I can work out how best to handle this part of things.

Take care all and Happy Halloween.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-31-2001 20:30

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