Archived Messages from January 24, 2002 to February 27, 2002

New Rachel - there are those out there who can not, or will not understand the complex issue, therefore writers must use a simple example to illustrate the meaning of a complex issue. This is not new, it dates back to the first writers, and has continued through to today.

Also, there are times when an issue needs addressing, however the writer doesn't want to "go there" so to speak, so explains how he or she feels about the issue by simple illustration.

Does that make any sense?

Jerry 2-27-2002 0:16


Hi all - I just wanted to post a note to say that the most recent post with my name on it was not posted by me. I think we must have a new Rachel on the block.

Rachel - Stand up and introduce yourself :o) You are not alone as a Rachel here ;o)

2-26-2002 23:16

Hello everyone: Am somewhat winded at the moment, just having got off the treadmill after doing about 300 calories worth of power walking. Just to keep everyone posted, yes I will be archiving later tonight. The Notebook is up to 586k. At any rate, just to let everyone know, my diet (1000 - 1200 calories plus exercise) is bearing fruit (pun intended - given I am also eating two fruits plus three vegetable servings per day). Have lost about fifteen pounds in about two weeks. Hoping to keep up at least two pounds to four per week through the fourteen until I have lost the sixty pounds I hope to accomplish. My dry suit should fit a lot more comfortably after that and the scuba diving should be going better.

Also, I am taking a creativity class based on the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. She also wrote The Vein of Gold. At the very least, it is dynamiting me out of my procrastination and getting me to do three pages of morning pages that are beginning to spring board me in to something bordering on the hopes of being a writer again. I am still thinking about Clarion West if I can get my writing together enough to generate a story or two and get something off to them. It would be a bit of a tight feat in terms of our budget, but we will have to wait and see. Take care everyone and know I have not forgotten everyone. Just somewhat busy between the diet, a paying contract, looking for work, starting the Creativity class and trying to fit in some diving here and there and everywhere. I did get to actually use my underwater video housing and hope to get something filmed that is worth compressing and showing to everyone.

Good writing and wish me luck on the short stories, I have one definitely in mind that I hope to get done with the next two weeks and ready to go out to Clarion. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 2-26-2002 22:04

Looking for Freelance writers:
Write news and feature stories, research story assignments, and edit incoming stories.

Please submit a sample of your writings

Available Channels: Entertainment, Finance, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, News & Issues, Diversity Interests, Small Business and Career.

Linda 2-26-2002 21:59

Why do writers often use simple stories to highlight complex issues?

Any thoughts?

Rachel 2-26-2002 21:26

Hi everyone - busy day, busy weeks...sigh. I'd rather be writing!

HOWARD: (((Prayers and HUGS))) for little Joel and all the family.


TINA: Does this mean you'll be mailing me MORE stuff? :-) Can't wait to read your whole story! The second package might even weigh/cost a little less to mail if you bumped someone off, heh heh!

JOY: Overdue WELCOME to you! :-) I've been lurking more than posting lately...but am always glad to know yet one more writer who's out there! It's not so lonely anymore with all the friends here. :-)

Searching for my poetry muse...hope to find her by Thursday...

Happy writing to all! And to all a good night! (Or is that knight? I'm halfway to fantasyland already...)

Mel 2-26-2002 21:24

mea culpa - mea maxima culpa - apologies to John Milton!

To verify your statements ere you write
is best, when making ref''rence to a work,
or stand the chance of looking like a jerk
professing wisdom, sounding none too bright;
and bring confusion where you should bring light.
John Milton's work was sonnet, not quatrain
to frame it otherwise was quite inane
how now to make correction, set it right?
I humbly ask. But answer hath no voice,
and searching for a way I grope along
afraid to try, afraid to fail again.
iambic pentameter, foolish choice
for previous line because it sounds so wrong,
unless you fudge the accent it don't scan.

howard 2-26-2002 21:14

Howard, thanks for the great link!

Joy, glad to hear that you've started!

Mary, congrats!

Heather, Git to sleep, eh!


Tina 2-26-2002 20:59

Cheers, Joy! :o) Lots of archives to surf if you're lookin' for some NB history. I'm sure there are more than enough brilliant passages in the last what, 6 years of NB existence? I think it'll be 6 years soon!

Heather 2-26-2002 18:46


Back later, when my brain doesn't feel swollen...
Eyes sunken,
mouth drooping
All I'd like
Is to...

be sleeping!

Heather 2-26-2002 18:43

Sorry, Howard, I knew that! Chalk that one up to tiredness and stress! Egads, I'm topped up!
No more, please...
Oh, and just read about the latest bomb threat. How about leaving a bomb threat note on the women's mirror addressed to the 'bomber'? Heh heh. Touche...

Mary - having a dill of a time sending pdf, gif or any other 'big' image file your way!
The smallest file is the gif, I think.

Tuesday eve and I'm feeling really burnt. This is my first official week of getting up at 2 am to go into work, once my husband gets home from his evening shift. I stayed up right through from when I got home at 5:30 am. Got in there at 2:15 and left at 5:15 - not bad for a night's work!
If I keep cleaning the offices that quickly, I make more per hour. If I can whittle it to just under 2 hours a night, I'll make about $20 an hour. Yahhhhoooooey! Better than short order cooking for $5.75 an hour...


Okay, back to reading the latest posts.

With flourish and caffeine,

Heather 2-26-2002 18:11

HOWARD: Hi Hon. I am glad to hear that your grandson's condition isn't as serious as first thought. My son suffered from that as well and the surgery isn't as dramatic as one might think. I don't know how good of a reference I would be since it was over 12 years ago that we went through that, but my thoughts are with your family and the little guy. Big hugs...please keep us posted.

HEATHER: I was excepted into that juried art gallery we were talking about this morning. YES!


Mary 2-26-2002 17:20

Heather: Thanks for your inputs about research and I really liked that part of "TWIST" on things… made me pause and really think about it for my story. I was also mulling about contemporary romance :-)

Rhoda: Also thanks to you for sharing your ideas on historical research. It does mean that I really have to do a more exhaustive research to get my story going. I had to copy your message, as well as Heather's and save it to a disk to work as my guide. I suppose I would be busy as a bee over the weekend…Good luck to you and Frank on your move to Louisiana!

PS. May I compliment everyone here in the notebook because the whole forum is really very much alive with all your inputs and I sense a feeling of closeness that everyone here shares… It is really wonderful! It's been five days since I have posted my first message and I got a very heart-warming response from the group… and it had helped me jump start on my writing! I am taking down notes as I scroll down the notebook. CHEERS!


Joy 2-26-2002 17:07

Feeling guilty that I have to do this while at work... you see I can't access the notebook since yesterday; it did seem like I've already missed a lot of messages!!

Howard: I am sure everything would turn out fine for your grandson. Just put your trust in HIM!...
"… and He said, 'Cast your burdens upon me, those who are heavily laden. Come to me and I will give you rest…"
My prayers go out to your grandson…

Carol, Viv, Howard & Litter: Thanks for welcoming me to the notebook. I am really pleased to meet you!

Viv: I think you must have mistaken me for Rhoda & Frank who would be moving to Louisiana... although I do live in a warmer - or should I say "HOT"- part of the world for the past nine years now because of my work - that is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Tina: … since reading your post I had sat and wrote down the middle part of my story. Well, it took awhile for the process to end up on the page, but after a few days of note taking I am so amazed at how much my one page had progressed … thanks. Also, all the best on your finished story… hope I'll get the chance to read it.

Jerry: Hope all is well now with you…


Joy 2-26-2002 17:05

Did I say $500.00? Oh my no, we paid just a bit over three hundred for our half, then picked up a dozen or so packages of the extra lean hamburger. Both of our freezers are now full, we have this side by side in addition to our chest freezer. Mom picked up a half of a half, but hasn't got the bill as of yet, I would guess it to be between 150 and two hundred for that. It all depends on the size of the steer to begin with of course. You sure can't beat the taste though.

My computer is now behaving itself nicely again, I even put the other 128 meg of ram back in so it can have a bit of breathing room again. If it had a face I think it would be smiling.

Been listening to the news, a habit I think I will give up soon, as it's just to damn depressing to hear all thats happening now. They were just reporting a recent poll taken across the middle east showing that most of the folks there think the US has invaded Afaganastan not because of the towers, but because we want their Uranium????

Now I am surely no expert about Uranium, but I do know that Kerr MacGee closed down their Uranium processing plant in Rhame ND where my brother in law used to work back in 1968 because of a glutt in the Uranium market. What does it take under a pound of the stuff to make a ten megaton bomb, and less then that to run a nucular reactor for a year.

It appears to me that most of those in the middle east haven't a clue what this country is all about, or what we are like as a people.

What to you think they would do if someone here seized a Pakastani newsman and held him hostage demanding that Pakastan give up Osama Bin Laudin? Oh and since they don't know where he is, we cut off his head and sent a VCR tape to them to play on Packastani television?

The whole world would be up in arms, there would be threats of invasion, sanctions by the UN and more.

Somehow nothing makes sense anymore after 9-11.

Jerry 2-26-2002 16:17

TINA -- and anyone else interested in night-sky stuff - take a look at
for some great pictures of the Leonid storm!

howard` 2-26-2002 12:16

me real website.

Rimbard 2-26-2002 11:36

i dont know what to say now. how about something like this;
are we just protozoan corpses in gotama`s abatis, or at home on the polymaths hill. and what about all this string theory, complex twelve dimension stuff, we can all do the math but how come i can put my hand through it. circummambulate in atmosphear not `P` brains or `M` brains, even hawkin don`t know what the `M` stands for. i do, magic.
aldous saw inbetween the rolls of material and called it heaven and hell, so this is where our aboreal existence dwelleth.

Rimbard clouds on stilts and love just off caracus 2-26-2002 11:33

Nuts! Dorie just called and said they've got another bomb threat on campus, and have just closed it again. They shut it down on Friday, and now again today. This is at least four times in two weeks. People are really getting ticked at this bozo, and if they ever do catch him (or her) there will be hell to pay!

howard 2-26-2002 11:04

Almost forgot - VIV - last year we paid $362.50 for a nice side of beef. Some of it is a bit tough, but very flavorful. It nearly filled the small freezer we have in our barn. Prices do vary across the country.

howard 2-26-2002 11:00

Viv, I don't know about the US, but here it's not hard to find privately raised organic beef. Or venison. Or ostrich. Or chicken, turkey, mutton, pork, you name it. On a nice drive beyond the city proper will find dozens of small farms, just start asking people, or watch for newspaper ads. Someone will know someone who runs a hobby farm. The $ varies widely. Beef is usually less expensive than in the grocery store, but chicken is about twice the price. It just depends.

{whine}It's snowing, I'm sick, and 'Freeborn' is going so well that I want to play hooky from work today. Unfortunately, I'm the only employee, so there's no one to call.{/whine} Oh well, the snow means it'll be a quiet day, so I can write at work!

Blue skies! (currently white...)

Tina 2-26-2002 10:58

Thanks to all for prayer and good thoughts! We just got word that it may not be as serious as was first thought. Not to belittle it, as it's likely that he still may require surgery, but the procedure is a common one, and the recovery time is short. The doc thinks Joel has Pyloric Stenosis - a problem with a valve in the stomach - better description is at

We may still make a quick trip there, if he does have the surgery.

Not Texas, HEATHER -- we live in upstate New York, only a couple of hundred miles southeast of Guelph, in fact. Been through there several times on our way to Michigan.
That quatrain came out just the way I felt last night. It's one of my favorite poetic forms. Another example is John Milton's "On My Blindness" It's the one that starts

"When I consider how my life is spent"
and ends with

"They also serve, who only stand and wait."

Had a math test this morning -- blew it big time! Me and numbers just don't associate well together!

Gotta go work on my homework.

howard 2-26-2002 10:56

Jerry: $500.00 huh! Wow! Well, a freezer full would go a long way. How do you find a place to buy it? Is it in the want ads? Also, I'm not sure if I could pick a good cow. Hopefully the person would be honest.

Litter: Heroic Quatrain. Cool! I will sleep on this and maybe run around a couple of days with those specifications in mind. Glad this site allows you to post late.

Howard: Know just how you feel. My daughter had her first eye surgery at 5 months. It was scary. My prayers join the others! Let us know the outcome asap.

Viv 2-26-2002 9:55

10 email virus attacks, and rising..

Litter 2-26-2002 9:41

Heads up people,

Over the past 3 or 4 days I have received 9 attacks by the same virus -- Win32.Klez. worm. They have arrived at two different email addresses, neither of which I use to send stuff, only to receive. I believe it first came from an ecclesiastic source as the first 2 mails purportedly came from a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church. Strangely, the first one came with ‘details’ of a Spice Girls concert. Considering that the Spice Girls haven’t performed together for some time and they’re not exactly Orthodox icons, this was somewhat of a surprise.

Fortunately, my anti-virus program continues to catch them but I find myself looking for updates every day. The email changes every time it is sent and disguises itself as, special offers, program patches, photographs, replies to emails, failed deliveries of emails (that is a sneaky one!) etc., etc. Keep you wits about you, especially if. Like me, you get lots of email.

HOWARD – Still praying. If there is such a thing as a ‘good thing’ about the situation with Joel, it is that he will not remember the operation, and children heal really quickly. (My wife is a paediatric nurse and Midwife but is still amazed at the recuperative powers of young children.)

Litter 2-26-2002 9:36

Howard, my prayers are with your grandson, with you, and with your daughter and her husband, and with Dorie...

--how big is the state you live in? Oh, gee, Texas. Prayers all 'round.

Let me tell you, too, Howard, that procedures of this type on very young babies usually go extremely well, and babies heal amazingly fast. A lot faster than we old farts.

Speaking of old farts...

I'm leaving the room!

Sorry, stressed out for Howard and dealing with it means stupid humour.

Your Heroic Quatrain, Howard, struck me. I'm not trying to be funny here... but it was a pretty hard blow.

Up and down the rollercoaster glides, but beware of curves - you may get thrown about.

Litter - great to read you again. My chosen demise is more along the lines of the climax? Ooh, count me in. And, put me on the rack bum side-up for good measure.

Heather 2-26-2002 6:23

Howard, add my prayers to those of the Notebooks, hope everything turns out allright.

Jerry 2-26-2002 0:49

Seems this stupid infection is spreading. I think my computer is ill, maybe infected. First I thought it was bad RAM, so I pulled all the ram out and replaced it with a known good 128 meg. No help.

Ok I figure run Norton anti-virus - No help.

Well it has been all of a week since I last formated, so I reformatted the HD, and installed Windows ME (wanted ME because Winlinux 2001 runs great under ME). The stupid machine was still very slow, taking forever to load screens and the lot. Then I rebooted, and the stupid thing just started to boot, then flashed the famous You May Now Shut Down!

Ok so this time instead of a quick format, I go all the way, beginning with the horrible Fdisk, remove all partitions, repartition the HD to one huge 20 gig partition, then a FORMAT /U. Took nearly an hour, then reinstalled ME.

It worked!!!! Don't know what exactly was wrong, but it's up and running fine again. I am happy, well sort of, now I have to reinstall all that crap I reinstalled last week!

Oh and the planned upgrade is out the window, had to use that extra cash I got for Valentines day to pay for my antibiotic's boy have they gotten expensive, if I didn't need them right away, I would have sent them down to the VA, but it takes around a week to get them and the Dr. said get on the pills right away.

Oh well I do have a dealer interested in some of my guns, the ones that hang on the wall and gather dust. Somehow I've become kind of attached to those stupid guns, I know I'll miss them, but I guess we can use the money a lot more then I use the guns. Think all I'll keep are my old service .45 and dad's old .22 Remington Target rifle. He took more deer with that little .22 then most of the deer rifles used today by the great white hunters with their 24 power binoculars, 4 X 12 rifle scopes, 48 power spotting scopes, glass bedded, accurized, ported, target crowned, bipod equipped guns that today's hunter lugs into the field. Dad used to just take that little .22 rifle with it's peep site, and track down the deer or antelope, one shot and it was all over for the animal, and food for our table.

See guns do have sentimental attachments.

I won't go into the times when I had to talk dad out of using that .22 against mom, or shooting himself with it when he was drunk and depressed.

Jerry 2-26-2002 0:48


Prayers for your grandson here as well howard.

Good luck... And God Bless

Taylor 2-26-2002 0:38

Howard - I'm praying for your grandson, you and your family. Hope everything turns out okay.

What's the shortie theme this week?

Allein Peachick's Gallery 2-26-2002 0:24

Debra, it's getting past the climax that has my hyped up, not the written act of killing my villian.
I've written murders and deaths and killings. They are hard to avoid since my main characters are, among other things, assassins. Sometimes I worry about how much violence I've written about and what that says about me, but only for short bursts. Now I've stopped making apologies for my characters, especially to myself.

I used to treat those scenes kind of frivilously, but that has evolved with my research and my maturity. Now I really reach for the honest reactions in my characters, and have discovered that they each deal with it in their own way. The violence in my characters gives them a dark side, one that they work to stay above, and that inner conflict is always the most interesting part of the tale.

Howard, here's another set of (((Prayers))) for your grandson.

Tina 2-26-2002 0:02


I'll say a prayer for him and his family too.

Debra 2-25-2002 23:07


I've never had to do a murder yet, although some of my plots in the future require them, but I'm really scared at this time to be that hopped up.

It's one of those things that scare me to no end. The times I was feeling like that it was violence but not murder.

Part of me wants to stay in the dark or light if you will on how it might feel.

Let me know what the side effects are if any.

I'm hanging on to the edge of my seat!

Debra 2-25-2002 23:06


My prayers are also with you and your grandchild.

Rhoda 2-25-2002 23:00


I understand your frustration with the sinus infection. I have had one of those long ones myself, and they are not fun. It might not hurt to consult a different doctor if your current one is at the end of his ropes. They can give you an X-ray and look up there if worse comes to worse. There is much they can do for sinus infections besides antibiotics.

Rhoda 2-25-2002 22:59

In yonder cradle lies my daughter's son,
With angels guarding at his foot and head.
If one be sent to take him from his home,
I pray dear God, spare him, take me instead.

howard 2-25-2002 22:02


Did I see you on eyewitness news today? Are you a Sgt.?

Debra 2-25-2002 21:58

HOWARD – Prayers going up as we speak!

Now then, I seem to have missed ‘IMA’ being put up as victim. It shall be thus, and I will find some particularly heinous death for her!

Now to sleep, to sleep perhaps to dream...

Litter 2-25-2002 21:52

Just got word that our new (month-old) grandson - Joel - may have to have surgery in the morning to correct a problem (possible blockage) with his stomach.
Prayers are appreciated.

howard 2-25-2002 21:44

Early ‘morning to you all!

Okay, chaps and chapesses (or Chapettes as Howard would have it!) the poetry form for this coming shortie-night will be another pretty easy one – The Heroic Quatrain – It’s easier than it sounds.

As the Stanzas Website explains, “The heroic quatrain in English consists of four lines of iambic pentameter rhyming abab.”

‘Iambic Pentameter’, in turn, is a poetry form of 5 metrical ‘feet,’ each ‘foot’ consisting of two syllables with the first syllable being short or ‘unstressed’ and the second syllable long or ‘stressed’ (a bit like me at the moment!) The syllable count for each line, therefore, will be 10 and the heroic quatrain will have 4 lines (no sneaking of extra syllables please – but I wouldn’t worry too much about the ‘stressing’’ – far too much stress in the world as it is…)

The verse below is a pretty standard example of the form –

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness, and to me.
Thomas Gray

‘Stanzas’ Website is at --

If it doesn’t work from the link below.

HEATHER – If you wish the full ‘hanging, drawing, and quartering’ death then, alas, you cannot be my next victim, but you could be the last victim – the culmination of a rampage of increasingly grizzly deaths… I do have a nice ‘burning at the stake’, possibly an impaling, and lots of sword, axe, pike, and flail carnage going begging :o)

Looks like I missed a rather racey *****conversation, hmmm?

New people,

Joy, joy, happy, happy!

Old people,

Have you nothing better to do?

Fizzle, fizzle, cough, cough…

Litter STANZAS 2-25-2002 21:43

And the first thing I thought of when the woman from called was the scam!

I really have to remember to follow my intuition.

I really have to remember to follow my intuition.

I really have to get a better memory, too.


Heather 2-25-2002 20:56

Hello, there, friends!
Jerry - I really hope that number four does its job! Remember: Sinutab. Also, cotton balls shoved up your nose might let your wife have a good night's sleep too! *chuckle*

Rosemary - will check out your 'The Best Neighbors' in a minute...

Got a phone call today from a representative of They want to display my art on their site, and if a piece is sold, they pay the shipping, and their commission is 10%. That's actually a small commission, compared to the 25% at art-in-guelph, but it's local, and I don't pay anything to have my art shown on that site.
The art-exchange charges $100 US for 10 or fewer listings, each listing being one work of art.
The art-exchange rep sent me some forms and references and some other stuff, but I'm still leary of doing this.
I could easily have my art for sale on the art-in-guelph site, for about 75 dollars Canadian per year. Every time I want to add a new piece to the exchange site over and above the first ten, I'd have to pay $20 US. On the art-in-guelph site, if I enter the yearly art show, I can add a new piece or two onto my page for free. I usually do enter the art show, and it is quite widely acclaimed around town. There are also some pretty decent prizes, though I've never won in the two years I've entered. Last year the theme was 'Toys' and I just couldn't think of anything in time for the show. I did have a few ideas, but not enough time to finish them.
Anyhow, I don't know whether I should bother with this art-exchange, and I'm thinking I'll just pay them to advertize art that will never sell!
I'm already advertizing it on my city's own art site.
I guess I've answered my own question.

When the woman called, she was talking about the art-excange site, and when I went to say, "I can sell my artwork from the art-in-guelph site," she cut me off!
Okay, I already had the feeling that I'd be scammed out of cash, but that reminded me for certain.
The woman had my webpage up, or had at least seen it, and were probably browsing the whole art site as well, calling everyone who had a listed phone number.
That's like headhunters.

Sorry for the babbbbbble,

Heather 2-25-2002 20:53

The forcast down here is 24f. for Wed. morning. Of course, I have an eight A.M. appointment at the hospital on that morning. I hate scraping fog and ice off windshields. We have to do that at least twice a year. (mean snicker ;.>)

Don't forget the new Survivor starts this Thursday. Those of us who will admit we watch it.

Yah for Canada at the Olympics. Seems every time I watched, you guys won another medal.

Gone now for sure.

Rosemary--again 2-25-2002 19:24

Hi Writers All,

I'm taking a chance here. Every time I do a big post, Jack arcives the NB. The fact that I know it' time for him to do it, and he said he was going to do it, makes no difference to my subconcious idiot.

The thing is, on the week we were suposed to do a story on 'neighbors', I started one. Then stuff happened, don't remember what, and I just finished it today. It's too long for one post. 900 wds. So....I'm going to give you half of it today, and the second half Thurs. or Fri. Kind of like Gariess did that time with the five part triliogy. Which, by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed and wish he would do again.

Well, here goes. It is aimed at the young Adult market.

-------------THE BEST NEIGHBORS----------------

"Hi Cindy. How's tricks?" Molly trotted across the yard to meet her best friend.

"Tricks are doing fine." The blond girl grinned at her neighbor. They had lived next door to each other for their whole life. Now in the last week of the fifth grade at Jefferson's Advanced School for Young Girls, the friends were preparing for Summer Vacation.

Molly linked arms with the shorter girl and they walked toward the park. "Mom said for us not to make any plans for the summer because there's a big surprise coming." She shook her head, and bright red pigtails danced on her shoulders. "I told her we already had three plans we were trying to decide between, but she just said not to do anything yet."

Cindy nodded. "My mom is going around looking mysterious too. They must be up to something."

The girls stopped to pet a large bumbling puppy that had escaped its owner. Cindy scratched the long floppy ears. "I guess we better find your owner before cindy gets too attached." She grinned at her friend who stuck her tongue out in response.

On the way home, exhausted from hunting for the dog's owner and making long detailed plans for this coming summer, the girls chatted about school activities. At the sidewalk that led to her house, Cindy waved and turned toward home. Molly walked the last fifty-feet alone, and entered her home to the mouth watering fragrance supper's lasagna.

"Mom, I'm home," Molly yelled as she pulled her sweater off and hung it on the coat tree by the front door. She started up the stars to wash up when she heard the deep rumble that was her father's voice. "Daddy!" she squealed. "You're finally home."

Brad Youngman entered the hall and his daughter flew into his arms. "Great to see you too, Youngster." He caught her under the arms and whirled her around. Setting her on her feet, he said, "Go get washed up, I have a big surprise."

"Now, now." She pulled at his sleeve.

"Not now. Go!" He waved her up the stairs to get cleaned up for dinner.

A crackle of suppressed nerves hovered over the dinner table that night, as they all politely waited for the meal to be finished before breaking the big news.

Molly gathered up the dishes and almost snatched the desert bowl out from under her mother's spoon. "Sorry, I thought sure you would be finished by now." She ignored her mother's frown and carried the dirty dishes to the kitchen. She brought out clean cups and a new pot full of coffee, then settled down with a cup of hot chocolate to wait impatiently for the news.

Her father cleared his throat and spoke, "We know there have been a lot of changes at my job and they've been sending me all over the country. I've been away from home and my family a lot more than I liked." He took a sip of his coffee, cleared his throat again and continued, "Things have finally settled down and I've been promoted."


Well, it's a little low on action, but the second half kind of picks up. And there is an insight. I think.

Should have made it Si/Fi. At least the location would have been more interesting.

Nothing like writing a story that even bores yourself.

Going to go sulk. But will inflict part two later in the week anyway.

Rosemary 2-25-2002 19:17

Well I am now on my fourth anti-biotic, and the sinus infection laughs off all attempts at removal and continues to worsen. It all began before Christmas. My Dr. tells me that he is at the end of the drug treatments, he hasn't told me what is next, and to tell the truth, I don't really want to know.

The wife is about ready to throw me out of our bed due to the horriable snorting and snoooooring that has come with the bug.

Oh well, I'm hoping that this stuff will do the trick.

Even the weather is against me, a cold front moved through this weekend dumping a couple of inches of snow on the brown ground, now the temps have dropped to just above 0 with wind chills to forty below F. It appears that the cold front is moving all the way to Texas, so look out, here it comes. The weatherman indicated that it is also moving to the east at a good rate of speed, so we are not alone in our great chill anyhow.

Hard to think with such a stuffed head.

Hope everyone else is well.

Write on.


Jerry 2-25-2002 19:01

And where's Litter when there's a little 'bumping off' to be done? *snurgle, gasp -- thump!*

I agree with you, Carol, Rhoda's post on research was stellar!

Joy - if it seems awfully daunting, you could always write a modern-day romance...


Heather 2-25-2002 16:12

Hi All :)

Rhoda - you did a beautiful job explaining the importance and ways of research. That is about the most complete and consise account I've read. I agree with you on the hint about children's books -- websites for children are also handy resources.

Tina -- only a writer can get away with killing without being put in jail. hehehe

Speaking of which, I think I need to bump someone off too .....

Carol 2-25-2002 15:44


The world is indeed growing smaller. I am now getting much of my SPAM in Spanish.

Rhoda 2-25-2002 14:07


Debra, funny that the topic of research comes at the same time as your question. I spend a lot of time wondering how people feel after committing different types of violence, and I read a lot of oddly titled books like, 'On Killing'. Mostly they are psychological studies about soldiers and criminals.

The thing about writing science fiction is that those anachronisms Rhoda is talking about are easier to avoid. anything can exist in the world I've created, because I've chosen everything that exists there. Of course, the flip side is in rounding out the world so that it feels just as real as our world, past or present. Everything still needs to make sense. What fun!

So last night I finished with the big climax. Now it's just a matter of wrapping things up and fixing a few spots I'm not happy with, and draft #1 is done! The next challenge... my query letter.

Blue Skies!

Tina 2-25-2002 11:35


In general the farther back in time you go, the easier it is. I am finding that out the hard way writing a story in the 19th century. As time has progressed, people have taken better records, and much more is known about the small details of everyday life. The more that is known, the more careful a writer has to be. Back in the dark ages, people didn't live much differently in a technological sense than they did in the late Roman era. Also those people lived much the same type of life as their forefathers did generations before them. Because people's lives were so much simpler, there isn't so much to learn about day to day living.

Historical research performs two basic functions:

1.) To accurately portray the time and place and historical events you are dealing with. It is all too easy to introduce anachronisms into your story. When you do that and the mistake is caught (and be assured there is always some reader who will catch it), then the illusion of the story you are creating is shattered. Anachronisms happen a lot, and they are surprisingly easy mistakes to make. Most of the time an editor will find them out, but sometimes they do slip through the editor right into the published version, and then you receive mail from your readers about it. Hint: Beware of waltzing, roses, zippers, and photographs. Those are some anachronisms I have personally encountered in my reading.

2.) In order to make the novel seem genuine, you must hear in your mind how the characters speak. This is best done by reading literature, first hand accounts and letters from the period. You also must get a feel about their values and those things closest to their hearts. If the character comes from a country involved in a desperate war, such as WWII or the Napoleonic Wars, then the war is always in the back of their mind and everyone elses. Same thing with the Great Depression or even 9-11.

I agree with HEATHER that it is best to do more research than actually needed. By doing that you get a feel for the times and that does affect your writing. You only need add enough details in your writing to present the story and to provide atmosphere and setting. But knowing much about the period helps you to know what is important to include and what is not. Deep down in your heart, you must understand the historical period in order to make your story believable.

On your first draft, write the story even if you do not know all the facts. In this step concern yourself more with characters, motivation, and movement of the plot. While reading over the finished product write a list of facts and things you have to check or learn and then go back on the second draft and incorporate them into your story.

If there are gaps in your research--things that you can't find specific information about--do the best you can to portray them accurately and then intelligently fill in those gaps yourself from your imagination and your own logic.

I don't know if you ever can do enough research. I have put my two dark age novels aside, but whenever I see a new book or article pertaining to this period, I read it. That is partly because I love that period of history itself.

Hint: Children's books make some of the best research material because they include more day to day facts and lots of pictures, and pictures teach and inspire more than most people appreciate.

I hope that all helps.

Rhoda 2-25-2002 10:45



Are you wondering if that's how real killers feel? I know what you mean hopped up. I wrote something that ended up making me feel that way.

debra 2-25-2002 8:16

Yahoo! I just killed off my major bad guy! I'm so hyped up I can't imagine going to sleep now. :oD

Feels so good, I just had to share this thrill! What a high.

Blue skies.

Tina 2-25-2002 3:26

With her back to him, she took tentative steps up the slope, the darkness like a cloth over her face. "I can't, I'll never find a foothold," she whimpered. His gun poked her in the small of her back. The same place he had caressed only minutes ago.

"I know who you are, so don't keep lying to me," he snarled his anger at the deception she'd played on him. "I won't play the fool again."

Erica took a shaky breath, painfully aware of her predicament, and pressed forward. She took a small amount of pleasure in knowing if she fell she would take him with her.

Mary 2-25-2002 0:53

With her back to him, she took tentative steps up the slope, the darkness like a cloth over her face. "I can't, I'll never find a foothold," she whimpered. His gun poked her in the small of her back. The same place he had caressed only minutes ago.

"I know who you are, so don't keep lying to me," he snarled his anger at the deception she'd played on him. "I won't play the fool again."

Yahoo! Go Canada!

Sorry, had to get let that out.
Blue Skies!

Tina 2-25-2002 0:24

Hi All :)

Viv - a half cow will cost just over $500 and will fill a normal full-sized freezer. You might have enough room to fit in a few chickens too. I do miss living on the farm and picking out my own cow to butcher. I always picked out a pure-bred steer with plenty (but not too much) of muscle. I had the added benefit of knowing what to look for after raising and showing steers during my teen-age years for 4-H. I swear, that week at the fair was always more exciting than Christmas! While I never got a grand champion, I did get a blue ribbon and a couple of trophies.

With her back to him, she took tentative steps up the slope, the darkness like a cloth over her face. "I can't, I'll never find a foothold," she whimpered. His gun poked her in the small of her back. The same place he had caressed only minutes ago.

Carol 2-24-2002 23:32


Heather: Was thinking of changing the name Pearl because of "Danny Pearl" Actually.
Having the guy killed after delivering a message on it, well it wasnt going to be beheading like that. But after mulling it over in my head, have realised my alternate version would serve the characters better.

Taylor 2-24-2002 23:28

HEATHER -- Yes, Visual and perceptual intensity is one of the manifestations of autism. There are many recorded instances of autistic individuals having "special" abilities, such as remembering numbers, statistics, etc. And artistic abilities are a fascinating part of that picture as well. I know a young man who is autistic, and profoundly deaf. He cannot speak, but can communicate in sign language and with the written word. I remember him as a small boy in our church. He would sit in the services and look at the back of the pew ahead of him. Later he would take a piece of paper and a pencil, and would draw from memory an exact likeness of the wood grain in the pew back. I have such a picture from about 20 years ago, and can show you the pew it matches. I watched him draw it a few hours after he "memorized" it. It is uncanny. He is now an art student at the same school I attend. He wants to be a teacher. I think he will be one day.
Other autistic individuals excel in math, or at least in the ability to remember numbers. There have been some amazing studies done on the abilities (and disabilities) of autistic children. You should find plenty of research on the subject.

howard 2-24-2002 22:19

Heather: Thanks :-) I'm looking forward to your next e-mail.

Joy: A late welcome. I've been speed reading the notebook lately and missed you. But welcome! 32 is not to old for's the right age because you now have the maturity not to get hurt and the physical strength to do it all. (Try scuba diving as well!) Lucky you, a JOB OFFER! In a warm climate! I hope the move goes smoothly and you find a great place to live.

Jerry: How do you find people selling meat to buy? Question for if I ever end up back in the USA again. I want to get a freezer and fill it up with meat...but it can't be too expensive. If we end up in Colorado we'll just find a way to drive where we have to and pick it up. (I guess I'll have to estimate how many ice chests it takes to keep about 1/2 cow cold!) Also would love to get some chickens. Maybe we need to get a car first but it helps to day dream that we are driving up to get meat to fill up a freezer. My husband said to find out from you because this is one of the details in our latest American daydream.
Anyway, you driving to pick up the meat really got us started. Funny, how something kind of mundane in one person's life is something another person would love to experience. Bet you never figured that trip for a dream vacation! We get pretty strange day dreams because we sit in traffic jams a lot breathing exhaust fumes.

Richard, Nice to see you back. Good luck with those exams. You are right to put your all into that for now, because you know you have the talent to write anytime.

Viv 2-24-2002 22:09


-please remember to paste the present shortie into the text box before adding your 1-2 sentences.
-additions are limited to 2 sentences maximum.


With her back to him, she took tentative steps up the slope, the darkness like a cloth over her face. "I can't, I'll never find a foothold," she whimpered.

Heather 2-24-2002 22:06

YEAH, CANADA!!!!!!!!

Just had to say that. :oD

Teekay, if you're really just on vacation, and not even lurking, big frownie face for you :o(
But if something bad has happened, I hope all is okay with you and your family. :o}

Heather 2-24-2002 21:05

Thanks, Howard! I've done a bit of reading about Autism over the years, but what you mentioned I've not heard about. More research for me!!!!
My main character isn't Autistic, however, but that should certainly be explored. Autism is often hard to diagnose because of the way it appears - it can have many different 'faces'.

Taylor - Last name Pearl - do you mean you want to change it because of Pearl Harbour?
Also, if an event you were planning to write has happened in reality, how similar is your version? If it's exact, tweak it and change details a bit. Remember the effect the event is to have on your characters - the effect can stay the same even if you alter the event enough so that it's not exactly like the real event.
Things being videotaped is a common occurance. Killings being videotaped is probably not too smart for the murderer.

Heather 2-24-2002 21:03


Hi all, sorry I haven't been on here. Been busy with writing and stuff.
Anyhow just dropped in for a couple of questions.

1: If you were writing something or about to pust a certain scene in, and something like it happened. Would you change the scene? I was going to have someone killed on videotape in a story.

2: Is would you change a name of a character if it had the same last name as someone that something happened to on a National scale? One of my characters last name is Pearl

The two things are not used in the same scene... Was just wandering what were people's thoughts.

Taylor 2-24-2002 19:31

What a hockey game!! The two best teams on paper, as much as they were on ice. (Thank God the good guys won too.)

ben 2-24-2002 19:20

And HEATHER - have you also looked into the many facets of Autism? Visual and perceptual intensity, along with the ability to remember and recreate detail, are among the differences that distinguish autistic children.

howard 2-24-2002 7:31

Welcome, JOY!
And welcome back RICHARD!
You too MARK! Another fine Canadian band is "Off Kilter." It's a bunch of crazy guys in kilts, with a bagpipe lead. Really pretty good!
Maybe Teekay is on holiday? It's getting along towards the end of summer where she is.

howard 2-24-2002 7:27

Speaking of research - I've been browsing psychology sites for ages and am looking specifically for studies on human vision and perception. (Rorscharch tests will do, but I'm looking for EVERYTHING I can find). If anyone happens to stumble across any interesting psychology sites that delve anywhere near this aspect of the field, let me know, please?
I have only found a few with actual examples of visual tests.

Back to the books,

Heather 2-24-2002 5:48

Joy - also wanted to add that the type of information you're gathering makes a difference. If you're hoarding info on what the countryside of France looked like in the 1600's, and not worrying about what sort of clothing people wore (and what the purpose/name of the items were)
then you have to look at striking a balance.

Some things you will find more readily available than others - I've got loads of psychology books but little in the way of information on how hypnosis works, why it works on some people and not others, etc.
If you are writing fiction, remember that. You may be making up more than just the individual characters and their lives. You may have to 'make up' some things. The more you know about that culture or whathaveyou, the easier it should be to improvise and have your 'invented passages' come out sounding realistic.

Always that little TWIST on things... Fiction being realistic. Biographies with fictional additives...

Where are the borders, and when did they slip away?

Heather 2-24-2002 5:39

Joy - I think that if you feel the story is well-drawn enough with the amount of research you've done, you've done the right amount; then again, more always helps to create a believable world/era/character/setting, even if not every scrap of information you dig up is utilized. The point is for you to understand the events and behaviours of people at that specific time and place, and the impact of what went on among and around them.
Gathering more research than really necessary in my opinion, is a good approach; much easier to trim a little than to have to go in and 'plump'. ALSO: The better you know the background and history, the better able you will be to write a convincing historical piece.

There be my pence!

Heather 2-24-2002 5:31

Thanks for welcoming me here at WN... will definitely catch Rhoda on that.

I want to try my hand on doing historicals but I fear the 'daunting' research involved. With the research that you have to do... how do you know that you've got enough material? Do you start writing with a synopsis? I was thinking of doing a short story first (to make it easier for me, I guess) then move onto a lenghty piece... one day...

Cheers to everyone!

Joy 2-24-2002 2:56

Heather! That is a true pleasure of winter! I haven't done that in years, but what a great feeling.

Dang, I have a sore throat. I will not get sick! I refuse! No viruses or bacteria will compromise my immune system! I will not comply! (cough cough shiver)

Where's the Halls(tm)?
Hot lemon tea anyone?

Tina 2-24-2002 2:46

Just for good measure:


Heather 2-24-2002 2:32

Richard! Great to see you back... :oD

Tina - I have only one response for you! I think there might be something to this stretching of my days into 18 or more hours... Other than that, it's a *shrug*
Thanks, Tina. When I know I've procrastinated on so many things and it appears I've a fast 'down' escalator to battle, I am asked how I can possibly do what I do. It makes me feel that just cleaning out a closet entitles me to Wonderwoman's head sash.
Sprinkle in a bit of Flashdance, and I'm prepped. :oD

Now I'm in a strange mood!

Mark - When I was a kid, we had a cottage on Lake Superior. Right at the edge, the last cottage of maybe fifteen in total, a slope of giant rounded rocks for a beachfront. There were Pine trees as far as the eye could see; especially awe-inspiring when they faded into a cold morning mist, bending back and forth, following the shoreline and up the hills.
In the fall there were dots of rust, burdundy, yellow and fire orange mixed in with the dark green of the pines.
My dad built a sauna on one side of the cottage, framing in the left half of the front porch. In the middle of winter, when you had to take the snowmobile to reach your pile of seasoned firewood, or to see a far-off neighbour, there was snow so deep and white it put clouds to shame. I'd hunt for hours tracking moles and mice by their footprints, by the spill of cracked seeds.
Once in a while, we'd forgo the trip out over the ice and sit in the sauna, in bathingsuits; our double-layer terry robes lined up for later. We'd pour a good few layers of water over the black rocks, and sit on the highest bench. You have to sit a while until the sweat oozes out of your pores, and you feel like your nostrils are permanently pinched. Then, in your crowning moment, run outside, your arms out to either side, and jump, slide, fall into the tufts of unadulterated snow.
Sometimes the ritual was done nude.

No imagination necessary.

Whoa, what sort of rant inducer was in that aspirin?
Vignette on that salad?

Heather 2-24-2002 2:30

Dare I post after Mark's suggestion? ;-)

Welcome back Richard! So long away, but I'm glad you popped back in.

Heather, you go girl! How do you find enough time in a day to do all you do?

Yay! I just heard that Canada's Mark Gagnon won his 5th Olympic medal! Go Mark go!
Who's watching the hockey game tomorrow? fess up...

Joy, if it's the middle part that is in your head, write the middle part! There is no rule that says you have to start at the beginning.

Rhoda, that sounds great... and like a lot of work. Do you keep your boxes between moves? ;-D

Mel, I finally mailed my ms off to you. I just sent it ground mail, so it should be there in a week or two.

Mary, Christi and Rhoda, I'm on MSN too. Send my your ID and we might meet up there. My MSN ID is, but my actually e-mail is

Okay I'm off to do dishes. Yuck.
Blue Skies!

Tina 2-24-2002 0:07

OK. "Guess Who" (properly spelled) was a Canadian band in the 70s. Today's Canadian band is "Barenaked Ladies."
So, I could be led to believe the mystery poster is a Canadian lady, but the spelling indicates a ruse. Besides the only one here who could pull off the barenaked part would be Teekay because she's in such a different time zone, all the Canadian ladies would be barenaked while the rest of us are wide awake.

Sounds good already. I like that better, in fact.

Teekay is the writer, and the Canadian ladies have their assignments.

Mark 2-23-2002 22:53

When I said close I meant she had the right group!

Hi everybody! Good to see so many of you still here!!

Well, to be honest I've hardly had any time to write (hence not showing up here much) because of school. Preparing for our GCSE exams and all. Maybe I'll be able to put in the occassional yarn though!

Write on!

RICHARD 2-23-2002 18:27

I've always wanted to act in a horror film, because I have a really lovely scream, but I don't do those wimpy arm-flails, like so many a horror-flick bimbo. I'd wear my army boots, and sharpen up my skills with the sai. Heh heh.

Heather 2-23-2002 15:32

Okay, mystery poster, 'fess up!

Viv - got your attachment and everything...
I think you have edited it TOO much! And changed it too much. Best bet would be to go back to the original. I'll email you in a few minutes. :o)

Okay, everyone - I am going to resume editing P* and sending the edits back to each author. Anyone who has received an edited story, try to get the changes done and the story polished in two weeks and send it back to me, okay?
If you feel you need more time, that's perfectly alright, but do email me if it will be a LOT longer!

(Got your email on that matter, Christi! No sweat)

Mark - I'm still going to send you a few to edit - we co-editors haven't worked as a team yet, and with 40 stories I'm going to need a bit of a hand.
I've also taken over the cleaning contract as of this past Monday, so every other week I'll be out there in the middle of the night, and getting only about 5 hours of sleep a night. I will likely get home around 5:30 or 6 am on those weeks, which will be perfect timing to fire up the computer and start writing!
I may get a lot more done even with working more hours.
I tend to keep on top of my housecleaning when it's my cleaning week (and I have always worked one day each weekend) so with every week being my cleaning week, my house should be presentable at any hour.

I really detest having fluff on my carpet or dishes in the sink when people drop by, which always seems to happen when the carpet coughs up a furball, or the dishes have dirtied themselves. The latest set of dishes has set up a Dance Hall in the cupboard.

Suzie homemaker, off with your head!

Litter - I would be so honoured if I was the second femme fatale to bite the dust. Burned in effigy first, and then drawn and quartered? No sedation, thank you.

Heather 2-23-2002 15:29

Welcome back, RICHARD! Tina was RIGHT, not close!!! I had to scroll through the archives a bit but finally found two of your pieces, CHRISTMAS CARDS and FORCE OF GREED. So what have you been writing recently? :-) And why so long away??? Pull up a chair and stay awhile!

I should talk...been "away" (i.e. not posting) for several days myself - SO busy at work, at home....yikes! I surrender to Suzy HM today...but tomorrow, I'm WRITING, if it's the only thing I do!!!

Ah, sigh. The MIL is bringing donuts for the crew, any minute now. Thus begins another distracting Saturday...!!!

I hope you're all well, writing furiously and deliriously, and keeping your muses extremely happy! :-)

Mel 2-23-2002 10:02

Hello All :)

Just had to pop in for a few minutes. Not much to report, though I did get some writing done today. Mainly it was going into what has been written and adding some details to liven things up a little.

Welcome Joy! I don't think that any age is too old to start. I knew of one woman who started when she was about 69, knowing she was dying and got at least 6 short stories published before her death at the age of 72.

Heather -- I stopped at your web site. Oh wow! Your paintings are beautiful! I could easily get lost in the worlds you have created. And another congrats to you for being up to 50,000 and for organizing your scenes.

Gotta run now.

Carol 2-23-2002 0:24

WEll it could be Gariess

but then he posted under his name a short time ago too, who knows but I does likes a mystery

Jerry 2-22-2002 22:51

Teekay also has letters in common with those four...

And she loves those letter games!

Heather 2-22-2002 19:48

Ruth does have letters in common with all of those four MIA notebookers... good guess!

Heather 2-22-2002 19:47

Let me see...

The e and u were reversed in 'Guess', so I'll wager it's not EDGAR... heh heh

Is it Teekay? Tell me it's not IMA!
Hmmm. I guessed Hayden already, and Ben's been back since the summer. Goodweed of the North?

There are some notebookers that came before I did, that's for sure, so I probably don't know 'Guess Who' very well -

Kitty? That you?
Bear? I remember you are Canadian... but you might be hibernating right now!

It's not Americo. He would just post and sign one of three names. Where have you been, lately, anyhow? Busy, I'm certain. Thought of any new awards to give us hardworking notebookers?

I finished jotting down every scene in the order I've written them, and I think this will be a great tool for me.
I'm just under 50,000 words, too!

Light me a wee candle.

Eve for now, and may your wits be as sharp as your pencils.

Heather 2-22-2002 19:45


Could you be KRU? Could you be RRRRRAMON? Or could you just possibly be---Rumplestiltskin? Just kidding.

I was hoping you might be THOMAS, but that would be too much to hope for.

If TINA was close than what do ARIK, T.O.M., RICHARD and TRUDY all have in common with you?

I remember a RUTH from somewhere in England who wrote very enjoyable posts. She went away to Italy and was never seen again--a shame.

Rhoda 2-22-2002 19:02

Tina was close...

One more geuss because I'm impatient...

Geuss Who? 2-22-2002 15:45

Yes, it's a very earthy, anglo saxon type limerick....I hope. It's not mine anyway, but it's one I learned as a teenager.

Eddie 2-22-2002 15:42

I thought C**** was some sort of British slang for hemorroids. It does change the meaning of the limerick somewhat.

Rhoda 2-22-2002 15:30

Sorry Viv, it was me. You should have guessed really. Itchen is a very Englishy? sounding word.
And yes...the C**** is crabs. Your daughter seems very grown up. :¬)

Eddie 2-22-2002 14:57

It looks as if I am moving again. Frank got offered a position around Houma, Louisiana, and there is a 98.9999% probability Frank will accept. So I get to be a Southerner after all. We will be moving this summer. I lived in Monroe, Louisiana as a child and have some fond memories of the place, but the Southern part of the state is quite different.

I could dwell on the trouble, trauma and hazards of moving, or I could look ahead and see this change as what it is--another great adventure. The culture down there is very French and very Cajun. The Cajuns I have known all had a wicked sense of humor and were very kind individuals.

Do I win a prize here? I think I might deserve one. Not am I only the longest poster here other than JACK, but could we agree I am perhaps the most travelled? Since I had begun posting sometime back in 1996, I have lived in two towns in New Mexico, One town in Texas, one town in Oklahoma, and soon a place in Louisiana. In all I have inhabited five different houses.

And to think all this happens when I finally find a writer's group in Tulsa.


I too have a MSN Messenger. I'd love to join in sometime on a chat.


I have completed two novels in my adult life. I tried very hard to sell both of them, but did not succeed. Both take place in 6th century Britain. I am now writing a historical romance that takes place about 1820 somewhere in the Scottish highlands. I am hoping I can write this one faster than the other two, and make it more sellable.

Rhoda 2-22-2002 14:06

Heather: No you may not buy a vowel. You are much too young to buy that vowel!

No actually, I looked over that Limerick again and I can't for the life of me think what my daughter said or I agreed with. It was a pretty knarly conversation. I'll have to ask her again tomorrow morning bright and early. She's got a great memory for words.

Viv 2-22-2002 10:10

Okay, Viv - if the original C****
was NOT supposed to be 'crabs', what was it?

Can I buy a vowel?

Heather 2-22-2002 8:06

Oh, that dangly bit at the bottom of my last post was...

... on purpose. Really.

*What a bullshitter!*

Heather 2-22-2002 8:05

Welcome to the Notebook, Joy!

You might want to talk to Rhoda about writing romances! :O)

Hallee is also a romance writer, but she hasn't posted here in quite a while. She MAY be lurking... ((Hi, Hallee!))

Mary, Christi; I d-loaded MSN messenger again, so I'll be rarin' to chat this weekend if either of you are around!

I'm terrible at limericks - especially off the top of my head. Is there a rule that spontaneous writing should come from that section of my brain? I think I like the bottom half better. Especially the section near the base of my skull, since that's the automatic pilot cockpit.

I wonder if I can finish off my novel with automatic writing...?

For the last hour and then some, I've been going through my latest copy of Symphony, writing down each scene, and a brief description of the events in the scene. I'm finding it really hard to keep things chronologically smooth, now that I'm up there in scenes and chapters; plus I'm skipping days in there, between the scenes. I'm hopeful that jotting down the scenes will help me keep track, and then I can also decide if I need to juggle scene placement in the (somewhat likely) event I've completely mangled the order.

Also, by doing this I can achieve what otherwise might take hours - get re-oriented in my book. Being ill for a month does real wonders for organization - I just realized yesterday that I'd forgotten to pay a few bills~! My doctor might have something to cure that feeling...

You know the one! The heart-hitting-your-epiglottis-oh-SHIT feeling.

Forgive me, friends, if this post makes little sense.
Hey, I can claim that I'm doing research on sleep deprivation. And just a day and a half ago I was 'doing research' on FRUSTRATION.

Therapy, therapy, not far away


I detest having to add things like 'one week later' in the body of the work. I've also run out of ways to casually have this info come up in the scene, so have had to resort to that once. I'd rather not have to do that; it seems ultra-cheesy.
[That's the extra order of cheese I had so hoped to save for a future comic book. Anyone have any extra heroines, just aimlessly lurking about? I've got some drawings she might like to be featured in.]

Heather 2-22-2002 8:02

Rhoda, Tina & Jerry - thanks for welcoming me to WN. It's great to find out how you all started and to assure me that it is not really late for me to pursue my interest in writing. I was thinking of writing romance... anyone of you tried your hand on this?

I'm such a hopeless romantic and I've read tons of books about love - unrequitted kind, grand passion, tragic etc. I am doing some research on line as to how I should go about starting my story which, keeps on playing in my head- unfortunately I got the middle part going. I'd be very happy to hear your inputs.

PS. I am still twisting and turning in bed... and most probably until I get to see this whole story through the end I would remain restless at nights... Gosh, I feel so pregnant!

Cheers to everyone!

Joy 2-22-2002 5:07

*lurk, lurk, lurk*

Well, um, what can I say except that my job keeps me busy. I recently found a story I think I wrote for the notebook a year ago, and may or not have posted. I laughed when I read it - I didn't even remember I had written it.

Other than that, I'm just popping in to say that I'm here and I'll try and visit every day even if I don't post, but there will probably be something to post about. My friends are visiting this weekend - one of them is from Utah, she leaves on Sunday.


Allein Peachick's Gallery 2-22-2002 0:38

Joy - by the way I'm a bit over 50 now, and still enjoy the hell out of writing, my main problem is that there are other things I enjoy just about as much, and I must spread my time across all those things. In other words, I have a lot of excuses for not writing.

There is a web site (listed below) that I go to once in awhile when I am in need of a "lost" serial number for my software. At any rate, they list serial numbers for almost any software, as their advertised purpose is so that the software companies can see where the holes are in their protection, and thus plug those holes. In reality the purpose is, of course to distribute serial numbers so folks who don't want to pay for shareware can have the full versions without paying the shareware fee.

Anyhow that's a long way around to get to what happened, I was at that site searching for a serial number for a solitaire game that my wife loves but can't seem to find the SN anywhere, when the SN provider did the unthinkable. They changed my home page to a dang porn site. Then they installed software in my system to provide a MP3 search, and several porn search engines.

The wonderful thing about Windows XP and ME is that you can "revert" to an earlier setup, so to rid myself of those "added attractions" I rolled back to yesterday, and made a mental note not to return to that particular serial number provider.

There are bunches of them, the site is simply a search engine to find the SN at one of the many sites who subscribe to their service.

Ok, so I know it's illegal to use pirated software, just as it's illegal to download MP3's and burn your own CD's, the trouble is that there simply aren't enough software cops out there enforcing those laws.

(Ok so I did download 50 Waylon Jennings songs, but he just died so he can't complain about my pirating his music. Burned two CD's and played them on our stereo in remembrance.)

Jerry Security Site 2-21-2002 23:53

Joy - I was in my 40's when I first picked up a pen. Since that time I've written a lot, but not much of it has been read except by those who frequent this site.

I did have a couple of essay's published in my college magazine, and a bunch on the old ThemeStream site before they died for lack of funding.

The main thing is if you enjoy writing, if it makes you feel whole, satisfied in some way.

They say that only about 10 percent of writers make any money at it, the rest of us write because we are writers and could do no other.

Jerry 2-21-2002 23:20


Hello Joy! Welcome. What do you like to write?
32 isn't 'too old to start'. No one is ever too old to write. Just go for it!

I'm bad at guessing games, Who Am I. Richard, T.O.M., Arik, Trudy... am I even close?

A nice thing happened today. I was talking with a gal whom I've known for a couple of years now, and she asked me about my novel. We've never discussed it before, and she wanted to know what it's about. I gave her the basics, and she seemed excited about it. Afterward, she said it impressed her that someone she knows is actually 'doing their thing', putting effort into something they love despite time and money restrictions. Her comments made me think of everyone here, because although we each have our motivations that ebb and rise, we put time into satisfying the urge to create and record. I mean, some of you even write on your legs in lieu of paper! (Not me, but many paper napkins have offered themselves in sacrifice ;-D )
Anyways, I just wanted to say how impressed I am by the talent and resilience and determination of every notebooker. We all deserve a pat on the back!

A young girl who wants to be cool
May decide to go swim in a pool
But if her best friend should say
'You'll get your hair wet that way!'
She will stay dry and be a hot fool.

Blue Skies!

Tina 2-21-2002 22:20



Still around (and round too!) Been on the Del/Rey site a lot. Reviewing other sf submissions and reworking my own. Have received some heady reviews.....and some scathing ones as well.

It's a good site, replete with all kinds of writing. Some, well, some not so good. It's as if a few writers do not know how to use spell or grammer check. Well, that's okay, there are plenty of other writers quick to point out their mistakes! :-)

Must go, wife is handing me a towel and bar of soap, so off to the shower I go.



Randall 2-21-2002 22:18

A History Lesson:

There once was man from Iraq
Who thought it was fun to attack
He sent in his tanks
Then sent the high ranks
But the Cav showed the stripe down his back

Jerry 2-21-2002 21:14

Teekay, if it wasn't you I apologize, it's just the twinkle of humor right after the other poem written by someone who has been in the notebook a long time....sure sounds like you. Hope so.

Howard....oh shoot. Well thanks because it was really bugging me not to know the line length.

Nice words I found today: dipody & hetroclite. Don't ask me how I got the latter. I love just saying dipody.

Heather: I'm glad you found a scrap of paper. If nothing else is available sometimes I hike up my skirt and write from the knees up. Why the knees. It won't get washed off accidentally. If you wear pants it doesn't work because it tends to rub off. That's why I like wearing long skirts. Figured that one out in gradeschool.

Viv again 2-21-2002 18:29

Beautiful Teekay! It's good to see you back. My daughter suggested a change in that poem. Instead of C**** she said that the use of the word crabs might be better. There's nothing as good as a high school aged kid to make a quick suggestion while reading what they shouldn't over your shoulder.

Bet that one gets memorialized at Juku today. They are really into that stuff. The kids there learn English from Hana and she exchanges for Japanese. You can bet that both sides are just as raunchy.

Viv 2-21-2002 18:10

There was a young lady from Itchen
Was scratching her **** in the Kitchen
Her mother said 'Rose, a dose I suppose
She said 'No Mum, the C**** are just itchin'

2-21-2002 17:37

SKS, is that you?

Eddie 2-21-2002 17:30


Come back, please.

Rhoda 2-21-2002 17:05


I thought that the poster was Teekay. Teekay - Why so shy? Whatcha dooin girlie?

Uh, if it isn't Teekay, then who could it be? Perhaps Pnokio? I know he loves his poetry.

I remember other people who used to visit the NB, who write to me from time to time. They mention the WB. I guess it could be any one of them.

Hum, maybe it is Americo! Naw, not him.

Yikes, I had better go. Sebastian has decided that the CD player is a toy. I will need to let him know it is not. He still can't quite accept that CD's are not for eating :o)

Take care all.

2-21-2002 16:03

Who am I?

well, one line from your poem:

>Then surprised by the light<

Reminds me of the book "Embraced By The Light" that Teekay was recently talking about.

When you flush does the water turn clockwise, or counterclockwise? (Or is that anticlockwise?

howard 2-21-2002 15:23


Missed you too. Glad you are back.


I love a riddle, and I love people who return. I will give this some thought and try to think who you might be. Meanwhile, welcome back and I hope you will stay awhile.

I must try this limerick thing. You all make it seem so fun.

Hello, JOY

Glad you decided to join in on the conversation. Welcome to the Notebook.


Good to hear from you again.

RHODA 2-21-2002 15:01

Hi everyone, I am new here in the forum and hope to introduc e myself to all you and get to meet everyone here at WN. For nine years, I have kept this desire to write in pursuit of a different career and an interest in music-I really love to sing and is really good at it! (even made lots of extra cash out of it)

But lately, here I am feeling restless and just couldn't stop the ideas playing in my head for a good plot, how a scene is to be played, etc. and I just knew that I need to put it down somewhere! It occured to me that perhaps the time is ripe for me to do something about my interest in writing... or rather the time is NOW! I hope at 32 it would not be too late to start this. Funny two years back I enrolled myself in a writing course but unfortunately, my progess was so slow for lack of people to share my ideas with and I had been too busy with work & the band. But hopefully with you guys around I can get my motivation and more of my 'creative juices' flowing.... Cheers!

Joy 2-21-2002 14:51

Hayden? That you?

The workbook's been down for 6 months or more. Jack's still working on it!

Heather 2-21-2002 14:47

Came to this place in years past,
Feeling alone and defeated,
And held by the black,

Wrote of my troubles,
And too spun some tales,
Of token and thought

Then surprised by the light,
And rushed off away,
Leaving this place not just for a day

Returning every so while,
To see once again these fine people,
Sharing both life and life-fiction

Who am I?

Pieces ::

Past Youth
Christmas Cards
Force of Greed
Best Day Ever

Ahhh - what happened to the workbook?

Who am I? 2-21-2002 14:27

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I've written four books(sold over 500,000 copies)and just sold a new book to John Wiley & Sons for large advance. That all came after being turned down by over 100 publishers.

This course will include the actual proposal I used to get the contract, a direct mail piece used to land an agent, and several key creative ideas to market your book once it's published.

The teleseminar would last about an hour and would include receiving the above materials via email attachement.

If enough people would be interested the cost would be around $49. Please let me know.

TO check out my background, please visit my site at

I recently did this program live at a convention of authors in Honolulu.

John Author John Fuhrman's Home Page 2-21-2002 14:00

Hi, I'm finally back! I have never been as frustrated with this machine as I was yesterday... and Sunday night, when I was supposed to be HERE, starting another round robin shortie.

Sorry everyone - Wayne decided he'd reformat the computer Saturday night, and I'm just getting back online now.
I really, really detest trying to set up the ethernet driver, protocol and all of that crap. We had a problem with finding the right drivers for the devices for a few days.

The intense frustration did however, end up being a reward in one manner - I was trying to get to sleep last night, after nearly kicking the computer where it counts, and suddenly knew how to intensify a scene in Symphony where Piper is extremely frustrated. How's that for useful?
So I have another scene to dabble with, but I've got the bones jotted down already.
I've been writing quite a bit just with pen in hand since the computer clunked out. There is something to be said for inspiration when there's no paper (or computer) handy.
At one point, I was sitting outside at work on a short break, and had an idea - ran to my car seeking that one tiny slip of paper I knew I had... found a deposit envelope in the glove compartment and proceeded to write on both sides in tiny script. When the ideas kept on coming, I carefully tore the envelope along its fold and kept on writing on the inside!
I'll have to put a few sheets of paper in the car now, though. All I've got is the car manual left, and something tells me I shouldn't be writing in the margins.

Mary - haven't had time to read many posts yet, but I thought I glimpsed a 'home at last!' post from you - looks like we're both arriving back to our computers close to the same time. I might be off by a day!
Hope to catch up tonight, and get back in the swing of writing buddy chat, etc.!
I can't get my email to work just yet - there's a cafuffle over my password. I've got three to try, and none so far have worked. Perhaps a fist through the monitor would gain me access?


I missed everyone something awful!
And now, I also have quite a few pages to type in on Symphony as well.
And, as I suggested to you, Mel, I've got to start saving my chapters separately, too!

Always a trillion things to do,

...or leave undone, so it can sit there and taunt you.

And I wonder why I have trouble sleeping.

Heather 2-21-2002 13:16

There was a young sailor from Leigh,
Had a mishap along side the quay,
‘Twas pier pressure that got him –
‘cause it fell of on him mid-swim
And then carried him under the sea.

Let’s just call my spelling of ‘peer’, poetic licence :o)

A prize, I think, for creative spelling...

Litter 2-21-2002 12:56

Nantucket just happens to be an island off the coast from where I live, but I wonder how many people would ever have heard of it, if it were not for all those nasty little things it rhymes with.

gariess 2-21-2002 12:26

This little shorty came to me last night as I lay in the dark awaiting the arrival of the sandman.

Peer Pressure
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

“Go ahead, take one.” Nola said.

I almost did, but in the back of my mind, I could hear the teacher telling us not to use them, “I can smell it on your breath, and I’ll know if you do!” she said so many time.

But Nola was a seventh grader, and in my third grade eyes one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. I reached for it, then pulled my hand back, what would mom and dad think if I took one.

“There good!” Russell said; I could see one hanging out the corner of his fifth grade mouth.

I reached out my hand to Nola once again, but pulled it back as I heard in my mind the voice of my sister. “Stay away from them, they taste horrible and make your breath stink!” she said, and she was in High School, she should know.

“Take one!” Donald said, pushing one of his in my face.

The smell was inviting, but I pushed it back.

Suddenly Paul grabbed me from behind and put me in a full nelson, while Donald took the on from Nola’s hand and pushed it in my mouth.

The taste was wonderful; I could feel it ooze throughout my mouth until all I could taste was that wonderful wild onion.

Jerry 2-21-2002 10:33

VIV - From
here's a description.
The limerick is a poem that nearly always aims at the comic, the satirical, or the nonsensical. It is written in anapests, with three feet in the first, second, and fifth line, and two in the third and fourth.

howard 2-21-2002 9:33

Uhm Carol,
I may be a bit late on my writing tomorrow morning but I'll get it to you by 4:00 PM my time which should be sometime your Friday. Sorry but I need to get my sneak out time and early morning no one goes to the rink. I'll have an Olympic sized rink to myself and what's really nice is it will give me a break from the pollen. I'll come back with no sniffles or gooey eyes.

Viv yet again 2-21-2002 8:19

Hi everybody...especially Howard and Mark:
How many feet are supposed to be in a line in Limerick form. I couldn't find anything on that in the sources I looked. I saw that the rhyme scheme was first two and last line rhyming or the same, but nothing on the rhyme scheme.

Howard: Great job I'm still giggling.
Debra: You are absolutely right. I'm going to print yours and stick it on my pack of cigarettes. Blast it, I'm back to the same old habit.
Tina: Yours is perfect for right now. How many of you have the urge to go skiing or skating right now after watching the Olympics. I'm going to sneak off to the skating rink early tomorrow morning and skate around and around forward while my mind does all the tricks.

Viv again 2-21-2002 8:17

Hi Carol: Boy, I'll bet you are exhausted! Still, what a nice way to enjoy a snow day. I wasn't exactly 'on' for writing last week either. I had a real writer's block...which is now letting up. I got my book today! Writing Down To the Bare Bones. I've waited and waited for it to arrive and it finally made it. Now I have to wait for the next payday and I can order the next book on my huge list of wants. That one I want to arrive right before I start back teaching...if I start back teaching. I'm getting so I enjoy the routine of staying home...after the funk of last week. What pulled me out of my funk, I dumped all my chores and went out and bought a bunch of plastic flowers at the hundred yen shop. I was so sick of the deep purples, silvers and browns of winter. I figured since my eyes were burning from the cedar pollen it was springtime. That and a crocus I encountered while picking up dog dirt, convinced me that I had to do something to celebrate the season. Now my front door is sporting an Easter egg colored wreath. Thank Goodness spring is on its way!

Peer Pressure
(conversation overheard in the Freshman class)
"I just pierced my navel myself."
"Did it hurt when you did it? Do tell"
"Well it stung going in
and coming out once again
You really should try it yourself."

Viv 2-21-2002 8:09

Hi All :)

Just going to get a quick post in so you all don't think I disappeared off the face of the earth. I have no idea where the past week has gone. It's gone, several family members visited. Cooking, cleaning, visiting. Then there was the snow. Eleven inches overnight and a few more to come tonight. We had to travel out in it this morning. Hubby snowblowed a path for the truck to get through the driveway but then we got stuck at the end of the road where a little hill leads up to the highway. Hubby forgot to get a running start on that hill. Luckily the town truck came through and was kind enough to help us out.

Viv -- I'm sorry about last Friday. I have no valid excuse. Last night I did find the next action to take place in the story however, so I hope to spend at least an hour writing tomorrow. Providing the snow doesn't weigh down my power lines.

I'll try to catch up more tomorrow.

Carol 2-21-2002 2:03

Here's a limmerick

I don't want to be one who smokes
It's not that I'm afraid of my folks

Although my friends do look really cool
So is the morgue as a general rule.

They say it in English right on the back
that their lungs will turn eventually black

What could make them keep puffing
It's the poison in them they keep stuffing.

It's keeps them running to the store.
They run and run while paying more and more.

Until they die from this addictive sin
that's when they hook their next of kin

Debra 2-21-2002 0:50


Jerry 2-20-2002 22:30

Nearly everything I write has some truth beneath the surface. It makes my writing sound plausible. I don't think there is anything at all wrong with using your emotions in writing, after all you are telling a story, and your characters must have emotions to be rounded characters.

Still no limerick, although I have enjoyed the hell out of those posted, sure wish I had that kind of talent.

Jerry 2-20-2002 22:29

Hmmm.... Muse duct taped to chair, check; blank screen, check; blank mind, check; another birthday gone, check; oh well figured I'd check in. Of course, it being my birthday I think I'll do more drinking than writing. Till tommorrow.

Ken 2-20-2002 22:04

Oh oh, limericks. I'll be thinking in rhyme for days now. :oD

Farah, it's normal to bring your own experiences directly into a story. If you are writing about friends fighting, it's only natural that you will be influenced by an event that really happened. The trick is in making sure that the events are consistent with your characters. If the characters are very much like the real people involved, then the scene will play out realistically. But if the characters are different, then be careful.
For instance, if the real event was between two very outspoken people, but in your story one of the characters is outspoken while the other is shy or manipulative, they will not say the same things as the real people. You will have to alter it to fit the characters. Age, sex, character traits and personal history will alter the scene, but your memory of what happened is still a great template to build on.

A canny young man from BC
Went up the mountain to ski
It seemed easy to learn
But on his very first turn
He landed a date with a tree!

Tina 2-20-2002 21:23


Nice one on the peer pressure. That could be your shortie right there. You're done. I'm still laughing.


While I have you in my sight, could you tell me if Scottish hillbillies are the same as American ones and if not, how so. Are they from the Lowlands if not where?

I have a small spot on hillbillies in my book and it is brought up by the Scottish character to the American one and I want them on the same wave length, page or what have you.

You don't have to get right on it. You can take your time, I have plenty on that one.

Debra 2-20-2002 20:45

Actuarily, I screwed up the cadence of that last line!

It should read:
"It maketh my thingies quite sore"


And that reminds me of another - not a limerick - that I dearly widh I could take credit for -- I've posted it here before, but I do like it:

The Thunder God went riding forth
Upon his fav'rite filly.
"I'm THOR!" he cried,
His horse replied,
"You forgot your thaddle, thilly!"

howard 2-20-2002 19:46

MARY -- I must confess - that one is not entirely mine. I remembered the concept and last line from an oldie, and built the rest to fit.

This one, however, is entirely mine --

A comely young damsel of yore
Loved to roll with the knights on the floor
Quoth the tender young charmer
"Kind sirs, doff your armor,
It doth make my poor thingies quite sore!"

howard 2-20-2002 19:38

HOWARD: Hahahahahahaha!

LITTER: ;-) right back atcha!

Mary 2-20-2002 18:58

A careless old Scot from the heath
Once sat down upon his false teeth
He jumped up with a start,
Cried out "Lord bless my heart!
For I've bitten meself underneath!"

howard 2-20-2002 18:50

Hi Mary ;o)

Litter 2-20-2002 18:26

Greetings all and sundry!

Rosemary, that’s not the ‘Nantucket’ limerick I know…

There was a young woman from Norway,
Who… Nope that’s not the one.

There was a young man from Neasden
Who… Nope, not this one either.

An adolescent who came from Dundee
.. Nope!!!

Seems most of the Limericks I know and think up are a tad rude -- Guess you’ll have to wait until Thursday night :o)

DEBRA – I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules about doing both things – merely exercises to sharpen dulled brains.


Litter 2-20-2002 18:22


Nobody knows more about peer pressure than a urologist.

gariess 2-20-2002 18:21

One more blonde joke:

A blonde Norwegian woman books a flight from New York to Montreal in the economy section of a jet. After take-off the woman takes her belongings, moves to the first class section and sits down. The flight attendant explains to her that she must move since only persons who purchased first class seats can sit in first class.

The blonde Norwegian replies, "I am not going to move, for I am blonde, I am beautiful and I am going to Montreal."

The flight attendant goes to the cock-pit and explains the situation to the crew. The co-pilot then goes to the blonde Norwegian woman and explains to her that she must move back to the economy section or else she will be arrested when they arrive in Montreal.

She replies, "I am not going to move, for I am blonde, I am beautiful and I am going to Montreal."

Exasperated, the co-pilot returns to the cock-pit and explains the situation to the pilot. The pilot nods his head with understanding and says, "I know how you feel. I happen to be married to a blonde Norwegian myself. Do not worry. I will take care of the situation, for I know their language."

After the pilot talks to the blonde Norwegian, she gets up, moves her belongings and takes her correct seat in the economy class.

The co-pilot looks at the pilot with admiration and asks, "What did you say to her to make her comply?"

The pilot answers, "I merely told her that the economy class section of the plane was going to Montreal, and the first class section wasn't.

Rhoda 2-20-2002 14:58

Hey guys!!!! Missed you all!
My parents ordered me to restrict the time I spend on the net, so I barely had time to read what you were posting, but couldn't post anything!
I've been working lately on a story, of a young girl who had to leave to Canada to undergo some therapy since she had cancer.
I have this little ..or maybe serious...problem ,I need the advice of some more experienced writers: I unconsciouslly
find myself writing about my own feelings in the story and my own life. For exemple, there was a part in which the girl's boyfriend calls her, they weren't supposed to fight but since I had a fight with a very dear friend to me I found myself writing about the girl fighting with her boyfriend, very mad at him, and very disappointed !!! Should I or Shouldn't I carry on this way? Should I try to be more objectif? If yes HOW?

Farah ( Blue Tear ) 2-20-2002 13:05



This is the governor, I have issued a reprieve.

Thank GOD!

Well not exactly, but my daughter felt a bit sorry for her dear old dad and offered to take over the trip for the meat, so I could be in good shape for the trip to RC on Friday.

Jerry 2-20-2002 13:04

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Two fingers slip between blades of venetian blind.
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Things look normal on Writer Street.

Mark 2-20-2002 11:16

Honey, I'm home!

Hi guys. I have finally caught up on all of the posts, it wasn't that hard, you have been relatively quiet since I left.

I was gone to a funeral in New Jersey and even though I didn't know the deceased Uncle Leon, and was there simply to assist my neighbor and his disabled wife pay their last respects, I cried my eyes out. It is amazing how contagious emotion is. "Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone", does NOT describe the sentiment there.

Uncle Leon was a father, husband, grandfather, retired military man and Irish Roman Catholic. Every time I thought I was getting a grip, something even more heart-wrenching was brought out. Not to mention the fact that I had never been in a Catholic church before and of course Uncle Leon died on Ash Wednesday. Incense, mass, the beautiful sound of the choir singing his favorite hymns. There was the flag folding over his coffin, the trumpet playing taps, the twenty-one gun salute, the bagpiper...

The only funeral I have ever been to that was sadder than this one was a young police officer's who had been killed in the line of duty. At least at Leon's funeral there was the undercurrent that he had lived a full and happy life and left quite a legacy behind him. OK, enough sadness.

LITTER: I am glad that I had saved that link that Howard gave us and that it is the one you needed. Great idea for the writing structure, and I love to write limericks so I will be sure to participate this week. (And I vote for anything that gets you here more frequently.) I just ordered Henderson's collection of poetry for children("...Chipshop"). Should be here by next week and I can't wait to read it to my kids.

HOWARD: HI! Great limericks and love your sense of humor.

TEEKAY: I miss you too!!!

Hello and big cheesy smiles to everyone else! I will be back later with my limerick. Right now I have to go find some sheet music online for my hubby's birthday.


Mary 2-20-2002 10:51

I am a writer residing in CO. A friend of mine is looking for a beginning writing class in the Seattle area -- North would be best. I think she'll pass if it's too inconvenient. Any suggestions? Thanks! -Patti (

Patti 2-20-2002 9:34

Nope, it's 60 miles there and 60 back, but we didn't go. Seems they had a rain storm, followed by a snow storm, and the roads were like glass. We are going tomorrow instead, which is great as today was the day of rest that my old back needed. It is feeling much better now with an good nights sleep, followed by a day of relaxation.

Yes, I too know the weather well in advance of the change. The wife has been that way for years, mine just started a few years ago. We can both tell you when a change is afoot well before the weatherman issues his warnings. Some call it a blessing, I call it a pain in the back.

No, mom doesn't drink anymore. Now there was a time, back many years ago when she still enjoyed a drink now and then, the most talked about drunk that we ever went on was back in the mid 70's. I came home for mom's birthday, which is next week, but that's beside the point. I was living in El Paso Tx at the time, and drove home in my little Opel Manta. We got to visiting (this was pre-pinochle) and decided that a Tom Collins would be good, this was about noon. I went up town and bought a fifth of Gin, and a couple quarts of Tom Collins mix, and we began enjoying the warmth of the gentle flow of liqueur. Long about two PM we got to talking about my sister who lived near Rochester Minnesota at the time, the more we talked, the more we drank until at long last we decided it would be nice to drop in on them. That trip was over four hundred miles, but in our condition that didn't sound to far, so we were off. First we had to stop and pick up my niece who lived with mom at the time from school, then we were off, all six of us in my little Opel. I think I sobered up long about Sleepy Eye Minnesota, and decided that we were absolutely lost. We stopped at a gas station and asked for directions, but the fellow behind the till had no idea where the small town we were heading to was. We drove on, and at long last found their house, boy were they surprised. We stayed a day then decided to go back home, but it was snowing. Drove all the way home on snow packed roads and snow so thick at times we couldn't even tell where the road was due to a condition known here a bouts as "white out".

That was about the time mom decided to become a tea toteler, it took me another year or so but I too came around.

Now half of a half of beef, that's a whole different story.

Jerry 2-20-2002 0:26

Rosemary - I often get migrains when the weather changes, mostly seems that storms set me off. It also can make my arthrits flare up. Then again there are times when sleeping seems to make my arthritis flare up (laughter). What I'm saying is yeah I hurt when the weather changes (winks). Oh and please don't feel bad for me about the migrains. I do not have the kind that hurt. At least I don't have that kind very often. Also, no need to feel badly for me about the arthritis. It used to be a lot worse. I am a lucky little duck. I really am :o) I hope that you are pain free and happy as a clam.

Hugs to you.


2-19-2002 22:10

Hi Viv. Yup, the weather on the island was wonderful. Five entire days without rain, almost unheard of this time of year. Not much spring growth quite yet, but it is always green down there. The good weather made up for the drive down - we have to cross the Coquihala highway, which goes over the mountains, and the roads were in terrible shape. We passed three jack-knifed rigs and several tow-trucks.
We went to see an IMAX show, 'Amazing Caves'. I love IMAX. We will have to head down to Vancouver in the spring, to see 'Space Station', which was recorded from the ISS. That will be amazing.

The only successful block-breaker I have is to put down my pen and pick up my favourite book. Usually a day or two of inspired reading is enough to fire me up again.

Rosemary, my mom reacts to the weather like that. One of the reasons she lives on Vancouver Island is the mild weather. Cold temperatures makes her arthritis miserable.

My best friend just got engaged, so I'm a thrilled person right now! I'm so happy for her. Her fiance took her to Paris and proposed on one knee in front of Notre Dame, at night while it was all lit up. No I'm not exagerating, and I didn't steal that scene from a Harlequin romance. I can only imagine what the wedding will be like.

Doing taxes tonight. Yuck. Mine are easy, but my hubby's are not so. My muse stuck out her tongue and went into hiding the moment I said 'taxes'.

Blue Skies!

Tina 2-19-2002 21:59

ROSEMARY -- Almost forgot - yes, the change in the weather hurts! I've been told it's a function of age, combined with the change in atmospheric pressure. Whatever, it hurts!

howard 2-19-2002 21:43

VIV -- Writers block the size of Montezuma? Would the opposite be "keyboard's revenge?"

Going bonkers doing intermediate algebra! Into functions and graphs now, and not enjoying it a little bit. Even.

Only spot of sanity right now is the mp3 player, which just switched into "Steal Away" by Chanticleer. They are awesome! Got some Gregorian Chant coming up as well. Great music to mellow out by.

SASQUATCH -- where did you learn the fine art of the limerick? And where have you been hiding? And have you seen our Teekay? We loves her and she ain't been back in so long.

RANDALL -- you never did say if you saw (and what you thought of) "The Fellowship of the Ring." Or did you, and I just missed it?

The bomb threat last week at school was a bit more ugly than we first thought. The note said that the person also had a gun, and there would be bloodshed. Weird stuff.

Gotta put it away for the evening...algebra quiz at 8AM.


Howard 2-19-2002 21:35


2-19-2002 21:14


2-19-2002 20:46

Evening all,

Is there anything to be read into the fact that you mistook 'beef' for 'beer?' I think you just ruined JERRY'S poor mother's reputation. :-P hehehe.

It's just my envy for Jerry's Mom's great load of good beef that we can't get down here without paying premium prices.

Jeepers, Did you mean thirty miles there and thirty back? You ought to live in texas. We go that far to save fifty-cents on a bag of horse feed. (We usually buy twenty bags at a time. It adds up.) Of course, I only have a back ache on days that it's threatening rain. It doesn't do that really often.

BY THE WAY, does the changing of weather hurt anyone else? I've always wondered if it was the moisture in the air or the barometric pressure.

Enough rambling from me for tonight.

Rosemary 2-19-2002 20:46

Hi Tina, Welcome back. Sounds like a pretty trip. Did you get to see a little spring time weather on your vacation? I saw a crocus the other day. That means rainy season is just around the corner.

Jerry: Groan! That sounds awful. There is nothing worse than driving with a back ache. Hope your driving is done on mostly straight highways so you can relax as much as possible. Nice of you to take Mom out for her trip on the wild side. (She drinks half a half a beer does she!)
Your wild descriptions of your family and their actions are always fun to read. I'm still giggling about how you step on your dog's food. It's a kind description of a nice close family. Somehow the way you say it sticks in my mind. I can see you out there driving 400 miles for a half a half a glass of beer, and hear her happy voice...somewhere behind that fog of pain and boredrum.

I have a writer's block the size of Montezuma! I feel terrible. Nothing I write is working. I'm so frustrated. I have a winter fog covering my senses and it refuses to budge. Even the nice things aren't lifting my spirits and my pen to the page. What a funk!

Thanks....I feel better already. Just admitting I'm down at square one is a help. Enough of this cheerful stuff. That crocus I saw....I was lifting a small shovel load of dog poop off it. I'm "volunteered" to walk a dog. Not exciting because it's not a very well trained dog and basically I'm sliding down a very busy street on two braced feet. It's very good practice if I ever decide to take up water skiing.

Actually the situation is different than I'm painting it in my gloom. The dog is beautiful and the owner needy. Everyone would volunteer to walk this dog. The park is in full early spring glory with white showers of plum blossoms, bright pansies, and crocus' hidden like colorful Easter eggs. Unfortunately, cedar pollen allergies are clouding my judgement.

Thanks for putting up with these rambles. I'm trying to get fingers and mind warmed up before I look again at that ghostie. Heather, I'm not getting that ending right. I want a protector ghost dog left wandering those streets.

Viv 2-19-2002 17:38

Hi all!

I've scanned the last few days, but there's no way to catch up on 9 days of posts. Had a decent trip, all things considered. Spent a day in Victoria acting like a tourist, and another on Granville Island in Vancouver. Mostly I just hung out with my mom. No writing whatsoever - uh.

Hop, sorry to see that you're leaving. Drop by now and then, just to say hi.

Sasquatch, I love your sense of humour :-) Good to see ya.

Busy busy busy with work right now, and a million projects or so, but I absolutely refuse to give up my writing time. Now the trick is to arrange my life so I can get everything done. Sleeping is highly overrated... perhaps I'll give it up? ;-)

Time to go. Blue skies!

Tina 2-19-2002 11:41

Been a long one for me too. The kids were down, so yesterday was an extra-looooong pinochle day. Today was the same, it's a reminder to me that I ain't as young as I once was. I'm played out, and my back is killing me. Tomorrow we have to drive mom up to a neighboring town so she can pick up her half a half of beef. Probably be another looong day. I would stay home if I could but the wife won't drive mom's car, mom won't let our niece drive, and god knows at 76 years old, she can't drive that far, it's over sixty miles there and back. So another long day approaches. This week will be one of those weeks what with the trip on Friday, the cards, then the trip tomorrow, followed by another 400 mile round trip on Friday.

By the time were done, I'm going to be ready for a vacation at home in my recliner.

Take care, I tried with the limerick, but just didn't turn out. Guess one should never try to mix politics with poetry, somehow it just doesn't sound right in the end.

Jerry 2-19-2002 0:30

OY! Long day at school!
SASQUATCH! -- Nice to see you - nice limerick too!

HARPO - Honkahonkhonk?

I'm tired - G'night!

howard 2-18-2002 22:32


The poetry sounds like a good idea. What if the poem was on peer pressure and the story was too, but they were both different?

Is that okay?

I have an idea for both, I'll be lucky to work on one.

Debra 2-18-2002 20:43

honk! honk honk!! hoooonk!!!!

Harpo 2-18-2002 15:06

Hello there,

I have the poem on my wordprocessor. If you would like, I'll send it to you e-mail. I'm sure the group wouldn't care to be exposed to it again.

I was having trouble getting to sleep last night and worked up two limeriks. I'm not sure about the rules of number of syllables or which line has to rhyme with which line.

There was a young lad in Nantucket,
who owned a shiny red bucket.
When the town pub caught fire,
he yelled, "bucket for hire."
but everyone hollared, "Just suckit."

Well, I messed up and read the rules. I was going to use 'conspire' to rhyme with fire and hire, but the rules said the last line should rhyme with the first two.
See if anyone can come up with a better last line.

Gotta go to town,

Rosemary 2-18-2002 14:59


I am plurking (winks). I am post lurking. I am a poster who lurks and a lurker who posts. Thus I am a plurker.

Nice to see you Yetti :o)

2-18-2002 14:08

i also lurk

i sasquatch a curious Yeti
became overly fond of spaghetti
so i visited Rome
but they sent me back home
said i had way too much appetetti

i must go

sasquatch 2-18-2002 14:06


gariess 2-18-2002 13:10

Hop - so sorry to hear your thinking of leaving us. We will miss you, there is no doubt.

Many have left our home on the web, but feel the urge to check back in from time to time. I hope you at least do the same, check back in, let us know how your doing, stay awhile if you like.

My kids are down for a visit this weekend, so must cut this short. Hope all are well.

Write on.

Jerry 2-18-2002 12:01



I would gladly play a game
With which the challenge came
To make a rhyme
from time to time
T'would cause my return to this main

Main - [Fr. main, L. manus, hand.] A hand at dice.

For me the trick of it is,
Tis this poetry or is,
this just sweet prose?
This writer just don't knows. (winks).

I am only half kidding when I say that. It has recently come to my knowing that much of what I thought to be poetry is likely just short prose. Hum, interesting world we live in.

Litter, I will look and see what it is that I am to write. I am not given to a wide knowing of the structure of poetry.

In my classes we have just begun to study the sonnets of William Shakespeare. I am loving it. I am also trying my hand that these delightful little ditties. It's fun. Not nearly as easy as I might have though. My admiration for the writers of the past grows with each word by them that I read. I have been to casual in my treatment and consideration of them.

What I am saying is, if you would be so kind as to give the structure of the rhyme that you would like to see, that I'll be glad to play this game of poetry ;o)

Take care you.

2-18-2002 10:47

A budding young scribe on the net
said, "I have a really great bet."
His friends said, "Write mystery!"
He said "Bah That's now history"
"I'd rather do ..........instead

2-18-2002 9:42

ROSEMARY: looking for the guinea (sp?) poem... help!!!

Mel again 2-18-2002 8:54

A budding young scribe on the net
said, "I have a really great bet."
His friends said, "Write mystery!"

Neat idea, LITTER, HOWARD! Uh, if my line is too long, someone write a different one...

HOP, don't say goodbye!!!

Y'all have a good day - a writing day, I hope!!!

Mel 2-18-2002 8:26


I just thought I'd let everyone know about a new resource for writers.

I’m a member of a website called and 2 or 3 of us badgered the webmaster into setting up an area on site for budding and established writers to display their wares.

Yesterday he finished the system and gave us the go ahead to start posting.

The site is primarily aimed at people of varying physical abilities, but open to everyone. It receives several thousand visitors per week

Posted articles are linked to a topic in the message board (forum) allowing members to make comments

You don’t have to be a member of the site to post an article, although as a none member you do have to add your name and email address to the article

Only members can make comments on the article in the message board

The rules about what’s acceptable are relatively straightforward as is the text formatting.

All articles are reviewed before they go live

Check out the articles section at

Keith Article Section 2-18-2002 5:58

ROSEMARY -- nope - looks great from here! Who's got the next line? Of course, to keep in the spirit of Litter's challenge we should probably all do individual limericks as well.
Like this one?

A wheezy old geezer named Fred
Now complains from his hospital bed
They said "Hey, have a cig,
It'll make you look big"
But it didn't - it's making me dead.

best I could do on the spur, ya know....

howard 2-17-2002 22:18

If I did that wrong or you weren't ready yet, just ignore my line.

A Toady book sounds great. We might work my poem about the ginney (I've forgot how to spell it again.) into it also, if we need more pages.

Happy writing all

Rosemary again 2-17-2002 21:28

Evening all,

A budding young scribe on the net
said, "I have a really great bet."

Rosemary 2-17-2002 21:16

Litter, I'm in on the Limerick but as it gets tougher I may fall out. I'm not sure I'm ready for sonnet form, Keats or Shakespeare. Still, I've always wanted to try this. (Sound of knuckles cracking), let's do it.

Also would be nice to have you around for a couple of weeks.

Viv 2-17-2002 18:37

Hi LITTER! -- Great idea!
Lets combine that with the RR too -- here goes:

A budding young scribe on the net.

howard 2-17-2002 15:33


Just a quickie –

OK you ports and budding poets out there, I have an idea. (Fanfare of trumpets) How do you fancy instilling a little discipline in your writing life? Taking one poetry form per week from the ‘Stanzas’ website, we write that weeks style of poem for shortie night, but using Mary’s theme for the week – good for writing discipline.

So, this weeks shortie night project, taking an easy one to start with, would, for instance, be, ‘PEER PRESSURE’, in the style of a LIMERICK? (how easy is that?) No prize for spotting the split infinitive…

Anyone want to rise to the challenge? It also means that I will HAVE to post regularly from now on. Whether that would be good or bad, you’ll have to decide yourselves :o)

Litter 2-17-2002 14:26

Hi Howard, Hope you're feeling better. Sounded awful!

For everyone...a website I ran across while trying to write a essay question on word origins.
After you read these please remember that all us gaigins are over here adding to the pile of linguistic mistakes. I have walked into a 7-11 and ordered a steamed cat bun instead of a steamed meat bun (I asked for a Neckoman instead of a Nikuman)
I also told an entire class that they were very hot to trot instead of very active and intelligent. (Nigiyaka,instead of ???? I never could hear the difference. I just stopped using the word entirely after I found out why the entire class got very quiet, turned red, then started laughing hysterically.)

Anyway, I enjoyed this site because it made it a lot easier to take my own gaffes and goofs!

Viv 2-17-2002 10:12

HOP - Sorry to see you go for good -- just remember, ain't no lock on the door.

MELISSA -- First write - then sell. For basics, read mags like "Writers Digest." For markets, check your library for the latest "Writer's Market." For inspiration and cameraderie, hang out with writer's groups - like here.

TEEKAY -- We I miss you!

howard 2-17-2002 9:00


Barnabos: Sorry that you would be going... But I guess you got to do what you got to do... Good luck in your endeavours(Is that spelt write) Doesn't quite matter that much. Goodluck

Taylor 2-17-2002 6:19

Sorry that should be 'reach me via e-mail.'

Barnabas 2-17-2002 6:11

Well everyone, I guess it's time to say good bye. Life's been hectic and from my irregular attendance at the message board even during the holidays (I'm not too sure why I just don't feel like visiting) you won't be seeing me around.

Don't worry, I haven't given up writing and I'm still working on Psiforce which is over 60 000 words at present.

So this is it. The final good bye. You can still reach by by e-mail.


Barnabas "Hop" 2-17-2002 6:10


Hi all... This upcoming couple of weeks... Feb 19th to be exact is going to mark the 60th anniversary of the air raid of Darwin by the Japanese. 243 recorded deaths, but just heard reports that hundreds more could have been buried in unmarked graves.
Just wanted to share something.

I disappointed myself yesterday... I was not able to reach the amount of words I wanted to reach by Saturday... I fell way short:-( probably set the bar too high.

Teekay, oh Teekay: Where for art thou Teekay?

Jerry: I really like the words 'Write On'

Interesting shortie theme for Thursday night. I really should try and do a shortie one of these days.

Taylor 2-17-2002 6:06

Gee, never thought of starting a business of writing. What would one call it? Write here. Or maybe All Write.

What would the business produce? Why stories of course. But would one hire other writers to work for or with them?

From what I've read about writing, the first thing, the most important thing is that writers write.

There are those writers who write wonderful stories and are well paid for them, then there are the other 90% of writers who may, if their very very lucky make enough money from their talent to pay for, oh say maybe if their very very lucky, a new pen and maybe a tablet to write on.

Write on - did someone say WRITE ON? Why of course I said that, and I've been saying that now in this wonderful talent developing place called the NOTEBOOK.

Time for rest, sleep, dreams, the other half our or lives, the free part, the part where we can be what we wish, where a snake may bite you, and you never get sick, never die of the bite. The magical part of our lives, the part that is responsible for more then a few best sellers.

Nite all, oh and WRITE ON!!!

Jerry 2-17-2002 0:51

I am looking for any advice someone could give me about starting up a business in writing. I don't know where to begin and who to sell my writing to.

Melissa 2-16-2002 23:55

We have these two fellows who live here in town. They aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack but they try. Both are heavy drinkers, and neither have a drivers license anymore, as they have been arrested for drunk driving several times each.

Now that poses a problem for them, as they have to get around right? Well they do, can’t have them sitting around at home all the time.

One of them has an Indian lady friend who lives with him. She is a very pleseant lady when she’s sober, a bitch on wheels when she’s drunk.

To solve the transportation problem, last year they bought this old garden tractor, the kind with a lawn mower beneath it, then dropped the mower deck, and got a trailer for it. Then they painted it pink, and now drive it all over town. When the gal wants to go along, she sits in the trailer. You can see them all over town, as they troll the alleys looking for “good stuff” in everyone’s garbage.

Everyone calls them “Darrell and his brother Darrell.”

Now one time last summer our old microwave oven went bonkers. It still worked a bit, but must have had a short on the circuit board or something as it was always burning everything. When we found a sale on microwaves up town, we bought a new one, and threw the old one out. It was very old, in fact it still said “Radar Range” on the top. Being heavy, the wife couldn’t get it all the way out, so she just grabbed the cord and pulled it out the door, and sat it behind the house. It wasn’t a week before it disappeared in that trailer, then a few days later the guys were on the radio trade program saying they had a microwave for sale.

Lots of folks made fun of them, oh there was this fixit guy who hired them when he needed some muscle, but otherwise they lived on welfare. They were harmless, or so we thought.

Last month one of them was up visiting the old folks at the home, and again everyone said “how nice for the old folks to have visitors.”

One of the nurses happened to walk into the room of one elderly lady who was really out of it, and caught Darrell, (or was it his brother Darrell) sexually assaulting the poor old gal with his fingers.

He is now in jail, and his brother misses him. The rest of us are disgusted, and a little sad that such things have to happen to those nice old folks in the home. I think if there were a poll taken, nearly everyone would vote to lock that fellow up for life, but the judge only gave him five years.

Jerry 2-16-2002 21:10

Hi Peeps!

MARY – The link you thought it was, was indeed, I think, the link that I think I want. Way to go! The other links are work keeping too, so thank you ALL for your efforts. I’ve decided to go for at least one poem per recognised style or form. It may take me some time but it will be a very rewarding exercise! This time I’ll have to back up my favourites…


The one thing that Stewart said that could stand alone as a ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ is, ‘listen to the voices’. He means, of course, the voices that everyone has in their heads – the discussions, the interviews, the monologues… you get the idea. I hadn’t really considered it before but I regularly run conversations of my characters in my head, and not always the dialogue that reaches the page. Stewart reckons that everybody does this, but writers don’t always listen to the voices of their characters, imposing situations on them instead.

The actual process for the weekend was approaching writing methodically, firstly by deconstructing the work of others to find what works and the reasons why it works (not plagiarism, I hasten to add!!!) then, through the stages from inspiration to perspiration and on to the page in its final form. It’s what most of us do anyway without really considering what we are doing. Actually considering the writing process, whatever it means to people individually, can structure and improve the ‘technical craft’ of writing and, therefore, the saleability. It sounds a bit lame but it is not easy to translate from the hands-on situation – 8 practical sessions over a weekend – without pages and pages of writing. I tend to believe his advice since he has made a good living for a lot of years from tv & radio projects and a prodigious output of good poetry. His hands-on advice, face-to-face, was by far the most valuable part of the course.

He is also a proponent of ‘killing your darlings’ to tighten up a piece of writing. He tends to advise paring back the writing and then paring it back again until you are left with what *needs* to be there to move the writing along.

Litter 2-16-2002 19:13

Hi guys!

I am leaving for New Jersey tomorrow morning and won't be back until Wednesday, so I am going to leave the shortie theme a few days early.


Mary 2-16-2002 17:08

I don't know about all cd burners, but mine will overwrite a file if you use the same filename. While it doesn't really overwrite it, it does delete that file from the FAT so the reader can't find it again, and save it to a new place on the CD, then writes that entry to the FAT (File Allocation Table) Thus, one can use a regular CDR to save multi versions of the same tale. It would probably be much safer to use a new filename each time, like adding the date or some such change so you can go back and retrieve a portion should you feel that an old version was better then what you are now editing. A CDR can hold over 600 MEG of data, so space shouldn't be a problem using the same one all the time, if you use the software that allows such things.

It feels like summer has arrived, but I guess we know better. Today the temp is all ready well over the 50 degree mark on it's way to 60. If this keeps up I can go fishing sooner then I expected. I am looking forward to fishing this year, but we do have to get out early before the lakes "green up". Never used to be that way till the farmers went overboard with Anhydrous and other chemical fertilizers, which give all the different mosses in the water a boost to grow more and healthier. Wish there was some way to turn back the clock, heck when I was a kid, you could fish the lakes all summer and well into the fall until the winter freeze. Now days if you haven't got your shoreline fishing done by mid-June forget it.

I don't have a boat, so that's out of the question, I couldn't launch one anyhow, I know this from trying to help my brother-in-law when we lived up in New Rockford. WE used to go to Devils Lake and fish all the time, until I hurt my back, then he had to find a new fishing partner, and I virtually gave up on fishing till last year. I only went a couple of times last year, but this year looks promising especially if the wife isn't back to work yet. She too loves fishing, so we could have a great time this year, if my back and her knee hold up. Last year I found that if I took along a lawn chair, I could shore fish, if there weren't a lot of rocks on the shoreline and I could get near enough to the water.

Oh well enough dreaming.


Jerry 2-16-2002 15:21

Cough, congestion, sinus headaches, eyes ache -- I feel like a large lump in the litterbox of life...

howard 2-16-2002 13:00

Hi all.... Hope everyones Valentines day was nice.. full of love...mine was ok ... had a blind date. Blind dates are just destined to fail, why I go on them is a mystery to me. But hey it was a free meal :O) Did I write that? lol.

Heather... I totally agree with your posting on the movie. Alot of people would say that it was dumb or meaningless. Personally I related somewhat to the movie myself. Me being a "Josie Grossie" back in the day, can say that high school is very difficult. It was very difficult for me leaving my one high school that I went to and was well established with friends, to go to another school were you were "the new girl". That wasn't a good title to have, espcially when you start a new school at your junior year where everyone pretty much didn't "need" or "want" to be your friend because you had no status. But it's ok because I see people that never gave me the time of day then and now it's like they want my attention and want to be around me constantly and let's just say PAYBACKS!

Have a good weekend all!

Marianne 2-16-2002 12:59

HEATHER: Oh no! Is that the hamster that Santa brought? Poor kids.

Mary 2-16-2002 12:48


Good morning, early birds! Enjoy those worms, heh heh! I am. :-)

JERRY, HEATHER: Thanks for the advice on CD-RWs. It seems a good course of action not to use them as my main editing edition! I will have to get myself some CD-Rs for the "final" versions of my mss., if I ever get there!

I like the idea of saving each chapter on the floppy's -- better than blocking two HALVES of an entire novel from the CD-RW to re-save on two floppy's! I do miss my zip-drive on our last computer (now my son's, in hands-off territory). A zip-disk held everything I needed in one file, all nicely page-numbered, etc., and barely made a dent on the memory of that disk!

I'm now impatiently waiting for technology to produce a wrist-watch-sized pc that I can wear everywhere (work on the mss. in the most boring places, you know) and save my entire mss. in one chunk on a piece of lint which I can then place in anyone's printer paper tray and transform it into 8-1/2 x 11 inch hard copy for any publisher, hee! I know, I watch too much sci-fi! 8-]

JERRY, MARY: Those are all AWESOME poetry sites! Litter should find what he needs...

CHRISTI: A new keyboard is only $20 or so, I think... or you can remain...a SPACE(bar) cadet (Just kidding!) Any more time-romances in the works? I LOVE those! :-) Yesterday, I heard the theme song from SOMEWHERE IN TIME and fell in love with that movie all over again! I'll have to find our video and watch it soon!!!

HEATHER: R.I.P for the hamster...

LITTER: So, WHAT did you learn in the writing course? Share nice with us poor peeps, will ya? :-)

JACK: So glad you're able to dive at this time of year! To enjoy what you love on a year-round basis...wonderful! :-) I hope you use descriptions of your underwater vistas in your fiction as well as any nonfiction... Armchair divers like me appreciate it!

Hi, GS!

ROSEMARY: I've been thinking about TOADY...maybe he needs to be in a children's picture book soon... :-) Still wanna help? I need to fix the rhyme and then find out in what form to submit the text and then decide on a publisher to query...

Time to go write! :-)

Hi to everyone else - keep a-writin'!

Mel 2-16-2002 7:55

Uh, heh heh...
Sorry, posted that twice!!

Heather 2-16-2002 0:08

Mel - forgot that I wanted to add to the discussion on blank CD's as well. My novel is just about to burst the capacity of my disks as well, and I've pondered the problem of having it spread over more than one, and the difficulty of saving the piece as a whole, etc.
I have several copies of my novel in progress on different CDRs. I have never bought CD rewritables - I thought I had last time I picked up a slew of them, but it turned out that I'd bought regular CDRs. Whoops! Must have been the scramble between myself and a mountain of people also perusing the CDs at Office Depot, and had to rush to grab the best-priced package before they were all gone. One never knows the lengths others will go to, to beat out competitors in the shopping aisle; I'd worn my best pair of sunglasses and my best leather in order to fool any fellow shoppers into thinking I was too cool to grab what they wanted and make a dash to the check-out. ;o)

I think the best way to go about this is to keep our drafts on disk, and save each chapter separately. Then, if say, chapter 10 doesn't fit onto disk 1, save it on disk 2. When the novel is finished, and you've got what you feel is close to or final draft, save it on a CD. Since Jerry has mentioned that CDRWables are not near as reliable (nor have near the length of a life as a CDR) it is probably the best not to save it to a CDRW. CDs are pretty cheap, so if it turns out there are some changes you'd like to make to the work after saving it to the CD, after said changes, save it again in whole to a new CDR, being careful to label each so that you know which is the latest version.
If you save it chapter by chapter to disk, I gather that it must be saved the same way to CDR, but this shouldn't matter.
It is a simple matter of saving only the first 3 chaps to a CD, if this is the means by which you are submitting a sample to an editor. If they request the whole ms, they'd be keeping the CDR to begin with, so it really isn't saving any money on rewritables in that case.
It would be a whole lot easier to save it as you go on a CDRW, so that you can resave it with each change to the ms. I would update your disks (easily done if you are simply updating one chap) and periodically save the whole thing to a CD that isn't rewritable - it also means no one can erase what's on that CD, so in regards to copyright, it's safer that way as well.
I'm not sure how many publishers would look upon receiving a sample of your writing on CD, in comparison to the standard printed copy. I myself would state that both are available in my query, and if I was sending a sample along WITH that query, I would likely send it in both formats.

Does that help?

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll think up something for Sunday - of course, I'm not leaking the topic ahead of time; that might spoil the spontaneity of it!

Cheers, beers, but no tears.

Heather 2-16-2002 0:07

Well, had a relatively nice day of diving. When we first got into the water, got started only to discover that Fran had her weighting wrong. So, had to start over. That and the fact that I got the underwater camera misfocused and could not do anything about it underwater, were the down sides. The up side is that after we got the weighting issue taken care of, we were off and away and had a great dive, seeing ling cods, sunstars and the occasional junked toilet with nudibranches sprouting all over it.

Wanted to also say that I will be archiving the Notebook sometime this weekend since we are up to 450k. Will try to get to some of the other things I mentioned in my previous post as well. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch Northwest Science Fiction Resources 2-16-2002 0:00

Mel - forgot that I wanted to add to the discussion on blank CD's as well. My novel is just about to burst the capacity of my disks as well, and I've pondered the problem of having it spread over more than one, and the difficulty of saving the piece as a whole, etc.
I have several copies of my novel in progress on different CDRs. I have never bought CD rewritables - I thought I had last time I picked up a slew of them, but it turned out that I'd bought regular CDRs. Whoops! Must have been the scramble between myself and a mountain of people also perusing the CDs at Office Depot, and had to rush to grab the best-priced package before they were all gone. One never knows the lengths others will go to, to beat out competitors in the shopping aisle; I'd worn my best pair of sunglasses and my best leather in order to fool any fellow shoppers into thinking I was too cool to grab what they wanted and make a dash to the check-out. ;o)

I think the best way to go about this is to keep our drafts on disk, and save each chapter separately. Then, if say, chapter 10 doesn't fit onto disk 1, save it on disk 2. When the novel is finished, and you've got what you feel is close to or final draft, save it on a CD. Since Jerry has mentioned that CDRWables are not near as reliable (nor have near the length of a life as a CDR) it is probably the best not to save it to a CDRW. CDs are pretty cheap, so if it turns out there are some changes you'd like to make to the work after saving it to the CD, after said changes, save it again in whole to a new CDR, being careful to label each so that you know which is the latest version.
If you save it chapter by chapter to disk, I gather that it must be saved the same way to CDR, but this shouldn't matter.
It is a simple matter of saving only the first 3 chaps to a CD, if this is the means by which you are submitting a sample to an editor. If they request the whole ms, they'd be keeping the CDR to begin with, so it really isn't saving any money on rewritables in that case.
It would be a whole lot easier to save it as you go on a CDRW, so that you can resave it with each change to the ms. I would update your disks (easily done if you are simply updating one chap) and periodically save the whole thing to a CD that isn't rewritable - it also means no one can erase what's on that CD, so in regards to copyright, it's safer that way as well.
I'm not sure how many publishers would look upon receiving a sample of your writing on CD, in comparison to the standard printed copy. I myself would state that both are available in my query, and if I was sending a sample along WITH that query, I would likely send it in both formats.

Does that help?

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll think up something for Sunday - of course, I'm not leaking the topic ahead of time; that might spoil the spontaneity of it!

Cheers, beers, but no tears.

Heather 2-15-2002 23:53

That last link I put up includes forms for the following and others:

heroic quatrains
longer quatrains rhymed abab quatrains rhymed aabb nonce quatrains
mad song stanza Venus and Adonis stanza rime royal
ottava rima Monk's Tale stanza Spenserian stanza
Keats ode stanza canzone form nonce five-line stanza
nonce six-line stanza nonce seven-line stanza nonce eight-line stanza
Petrarchan (Italian) sonnet Shakespearean (English) sonnet Spenserian sonnet
Miltonic sonnet nonce 14-line sonnet 16- or 18-line sonnet
ballade sestina villanelle
rondeau, roundel triolet cinquain
haiku tanka pantoum
Horatian ode Pindaric ode homostrophic ode
irregular ode literary madrigal literary cantatas and hymns
clerihew limerick double dactyl

Mary 2-15-2002 23:40

LITTER: This one is for you too. Pretty sure it is the one you want.

Mary pretty sure this is the one 2-15-2002 23:39


Mary interlocking poetic forms 2-15-2002 23:37

Liter - give this one a try too, think it's closer to what you want

Jerry Another poetry page 2-15-2002 21:17

Litter this may not be the right ones, but it offers links to other simular sites.

Jerry some poetry samples 2-15-2002 20:57

From my experience with CD RW's I wouldn't trust them any farther then I can roll them down a gravel road. I've used three of them, and all three developed unrecoverable errors. I use plain CD-R's they seem to last much longer, especially if you put a label on the back side to protect the silver backing.

WE had a good trip to Rapid City. The Doctor had a new super drug he injected into the wife's knee supposed to work in 91 percent of cases, hope it works this time, needs a series of three shots, so we will make this trip two more times in the next three weeks.

The weather was good, animals were quick enough to miss the car as they fled across the highway, and nice enough to pose on the other side so we could enjoy the sight.

Traffic was the least I have ever seen in the City, practically none. Don't know if it's the result of 9-11 or just a slow day, but it sure made the trip much more enjoyable.

Stopped at a book store, and I discovered a hard cover copy of Ender's Shadow by Card, picked it up for 6 bucks. It is next on my list of reading material.

Jerry 2-15-2002 20:52

Just wanted to post my link to the art-in-guelph website once again, for those of you wondering what sort of things I do in between caring for my kids, cooking dinners, making lunches, cleaning a factory and my home (ugh), writing, and lingering around these parts.

This past Sunday's Shortie Round Robin seems to have taken off so well, I'll start another this Sunday.

That doesn't mean that shortie nights on Thursdays are now defunct! Not by any means. I think that perhaps the change of pace is a good thing, since I haven't even participated in a short shortie night in two weeks. But I certainly don't want shortie night to disappear. This week's was understandably forgone, since it landed on the same day as Valentine's.

Well, love is a many-splendored thing, as it has been said. At the moment, my true love is grumpily confining himself to our room upstairs. SIGH!

Heather Link 2-15-2002 18:04

Litter - that was Howrad's link as far as I remember - it might have been when we were discussing meter, and other aspects of poetry, if I do recall. Wiggle, wiggle; wink, wink! That was for both you and Mark, though I don't know why I am compelled to flaunt.

The website is a vanity ripoff publisher; buyer beware!

Make sure to check out that link on agent and publisher ripoff artists - I posted that link just two days ago, so it should still be on this page.

Good luck, Jack - we've got our fingers, toes, and any other appendages crossed for you!

Mel - I was writing up a storm not more than 24 hours ago - and plan to recapture that spirit shortly.
Had to take time out for a miniature funeral - my son's hamster died. Poor wee thing, he died in my hands. *sniff sniff*

Sonny seems to be the better off of the two of us in that matter.

Heather 2-15-2002 17:55


I don't know if this is THE one, but it is one!

Debra 2-15-2002 17:09

Last weekend’s writing course was amazing. Stewart Henderson is very good at what he does

HOWRAD – Aren’t chappettes those thing that Stop your thighs getting chafed whilst on horseback? Much as I like your suggestion better, it has been a long time since I last wore chappettes next to my thighs… :o{

HEATHER – Wink for Mark, wiggle for me ;o)

EVERYONE ELSE – Hiya! Catch-up time again…

Can anyone save me from a long look through the archives – A number of months back someone provided a link to a poetry site that has examples of lots of different poetry styles and forms, some of them pretty obscure. Please, please, pretty please, could you send me the link or put it up on the notebook again?

Back to the toil, the hubble, the bubble, and the trouble…

All good things,

Litter 2-15-2002 15:21


gariess 2-15-2002 14:57





christi 2-15-2002 14:23


Hey, you-uns! Everybody must be off writing today (ha!).
I hope to do some of that myself this weekend - before everyone gets up tomorrow morning!!!

Question: Do any of you save your writing stuff on CD-rewritables? If so, how often do you re-save?

I have my ms. on a CD-RW now, but thought to use it as a backup copy, as the save-time on a cd takes longer. But then I have to do my editing off floppy's, and one floppy can't hold my entire ms. so I have to save that way on two floppy's instead of one and then save both of those to the CD-RW>>>???!!!

I think I'm confusing myself and making a short job much longer or a long job more tedious!!! What do you all do?

Happy writing!

Mel 2-15-2002 13:47

Sorry I have not been back lately. Have been a bit sidetracked. Over the weekend I will look into the difficulty or error message that seems to be cropping up for some. Just to keep people posted, I have started a medically supervised diet that gives me a little over a thousand calories per day. A combination of powder along with 2 fruits and 3 vegetable servings per day. That and either walking on a treadmill, scuba diving or some other exercise. Leaves me a bit light headed at times, but will be on this for fourteen weeks or so until I lose 60 pounds. Mainly, I got tired of throwing my back out and in addition to physical therapy and the exercises to improve that, I have decided to deal with the weight. Also, I have not had a cholesterol test in probably five years, because I did not want to do anything about it. So, now I am getting retested and seeing if this is another way to get healthier.

On other notes, I just got a light for my underwater video housing and I did some underwater filming without the light. It pointed out that I need to swim a lot more slowly and keep the camera steady and in front of me. This will take some practice.

As for the Workbook, if I am not too light headed, I will try getting either a password protected ASP version I have waiting in the wings up and see if I can get it to work finally. Or, worst comes to worst, I will create a separate guestbook and get it up un-password protected until I can get something put together. Either way there will be something up.

I also have a contract that I have to get finished with first. Can we say invoices and money. However, I should be able to get this handled pretty quickly, so I should be able to get back to the Notebook and make repairs and more. I also hope to sit down and try to dredge through an obsolutely huge backlog of link requests for . We will see if I can get this out of the way. Take care all and hope others are enjoying the Olympics. I am really delighted that they are showing so much of it in HDTV. Ciao.

Jack Beslanwitch 2-14-2002 23:21

Taylor: If you are guilty of twice, so am I. I'm double guilty because not only did I post twice I cheated twice. I can't write just two sentences.

Sorry folks...just call me verbose Vivian.

Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place. Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.

Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancée closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.

"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.

But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.

A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"

Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Face flaming, Audrey sprang to her feet and slammed her book on the coffee table. "All right, Thomas, it's time for the truth, from both of us."

Audrey cocked her head away from his direction. She had to think fast and couldn't do that looking into his eyes that usually were so warm they could melt dry ice now only filled with biting venom.

Thomas grinned that sardonic grin reserved for those beneath him. "Okay, Audrey, let's hear your version of the truth."

Guilt gave way to rage. Audrey suddenly realized she’d had enough. “I’ve done nothing to be ashamed of, although I can’t exactly say that about your dealings. Did you deliberately set Steven up? You and the rest of your Holier than Thou gang…you make me sick!”

Her words bounced off Thomas, having no apparent effect, "The setup was done in the best interest of our Neighborhood, me and especially you Audrey. They say love is the most sacred thing there is, but it isn't."

“I don’t believe Steven and his wife belong in the re-education center.” Audrey retorted. “The only thing we gained was this house and their money.”

“Which we’re using quite properly to raise their children in the right-think way.”

Viv 2-14-2002 23:18

Happy valentines day to all.

Must be off to bed early, as we leave at 6:00AM for the wife's 10:30 appointment with her Dr. in Rapid City.

Oh I didn't mention an interesting thing happened this weekend, we experienced the Chinook winds. Those are warm, high winds that "eat snow" and they ate nearly all of it, the temps got up over 50 degrees F., and the winds were steady at 50 MPH with gusts over 70 MPH. Not only did it eat snow, but it cleaned any loose shingles and anything else not tied down on the roofs of the buildings here about. Even blew down a stop sign up town.

At any rate it left us with nice clean roads, so I have only to worry about falling asleep at the wheel, and with two ladies in the car, (the daughter has the day off so is joining us, there is this Chinese restaurant down there that serves the BEST Chinese I have ever had, and she wouldn't miss a trip there just for the great eating.)

It is a looooong drive with only one town between the beginning and the outskirts of Rapid City, but we usually see tons of wildlife, so that makes the drive a bit more exciting, especially when they are standing in the middle of the highway.

We didn't do anything special for VT day, not really anyhow, the wife fixed a good steak supper and baked a cake for desert. I gave her the traditional heart shaped box of chocolate's, and as I said, she gave me two fifty dollar bills to upgrade my system. Somehow I think she got the short end of that deal.

Hope all are doing great.


Jerry 2-14-2002 22:52


Got some phenominal writing done last night that I'm really happy with!

Bonzais and butterscotch,

Heather 2-14-2002 17:19


Heather :o) Hi you. I saw a mention of Dreads in your post. My son wants dreads in his hair. We are going to let him do them. I have no clue how to create these things. I plan to take him to the chop shop and see what they can do for him. Right now he has some major big hair (grins and laughter).

All: Happy V-Day :o) Love, love, love! Oh, Love, love, love! Just sending out some love to all of you ;o)

2-14-2002 11:24


Sorry about the spelling mistake... Know should be no

Taylor 2-14-2002 1:04


May I enter another into the Shorty RR? If I cant, dont use my line.

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Face flaming, Audrey sprang to her feet and slammed her book on the coffee table. "All right, Thomas, it's time for the truth, from both of us."
Audrey cocked her head away from his direction. She had to think fast and couldn't do that looking into his eyes that usually were so warm they could melt dry ice now only filled with biting venom.
Thomas grinned that sardonic grin reserved for those beneath him. "Okay, Audrey, let's hear your version of the truth."

Guilt gave way to rage. Audrey suddenly realized she’d had enough. “I’ve done nothing to be ashamed of, although I can’t exactly say that about your dealings. Did you deliberately set Steven up? You and the rest of your Holier than Thou gang…you make me sick!”
Her words bounced off Thomas having know apparent effect, "The setup was done in the best interest of our Neighbourhood, me and especially you Audrey. They say love is the most sacred thing there is, but it isn't."

Taylor 2-14-2002 1:02

I bit the bullet and reinstalled XP. Everything is working great again, except my DVD player, and like I have said more times then I can recall, I only have one DVD movie, and I've seen it twice.

I had Fix-It 4.0 on before, it worked much better then Norton, but I didn't like the way it handled viruses. I have Norton back on now, and with XP it works just fine. Heck EVERYTHING works just fine except games, XP sucks for games. Maybe XP home would be better but I have the Professional version, and it HATES games.

For Valentines day the wife gave me a hundred bucks cash. Said I should upgrade my system.

See my niece just got a new Compaq computer, it's a Celeron 1.3 GHZ machine, moves right along compared to my old AMD K6-2 400 MHZ machine. For a hundred bucks, I can buy a new motherboard and a 1.2 GHZ AMD Duron Processor, and throw in an old ATX case I have in the back room. Add my 20 gig hard drive and my 256 meg PC-133 ram and I'll have a nice rather fast machine. Now I won't have that 19 inch monitor she got, or that 12 X 10 X 40 burner that came in hers, I'll have to settle for my DVD and my old 2 X 2 X 6 burner for awhile, but at least I'll have a bit of speed to play around with, and with that fast a processor, I might even be able to play games under XP.

Makes me feel like a heal though, all I got for the wife was a heart shaped box of candy, something I've given her every Valentines day since I got back from overseas.

Oh, and the notebook loads just fine now under XP, must have been something messed up in my windows. I swear this machine simply hates Windows 98. It worked great under Windows 2000 and even better with XP, heck it even liked my old version of Linux for Windows 2000, and BE when I had that set up. Must be something in 98 Second edition.

Went to print out some of my stuff today and ran out of black ink, printed it in green so I have a hard copy anyhow, will have to pick up some ink cartridges in Rapid City this Friday when I take the wife down to see her Surgeon again. I sure wish they would fix her knee it tears me up to see her in such pain all the time.

My good neighbor Jon and his good wife were in a traffic accident a couple weeks ago, his wife was just released from hospital after the Dr.'s took one of her disks and fused her spine at that joint. He is doing good, but his daughter and her son who were in the car aren't so lucky, the grandson has lost the use of his right hand from the accident, and his mother is still in hospital in Colorado where the accident happened. I really feel sorry for that poor couple, it hasn't been over a year since their son, age 28 died in his bed next door from the third stroke in three months, now this.

I'd like to get involved in the RR but my head isn't working that great tonight, maybe latter if it keeps going.

Nite all.

Jerry 2-13-2002 23:39

Marianne - I loved the movie! My daughter did, too. She now wants to save up her allowance and order the movie from 'Video 1' so she can own it.
I think the reason I like the movie so much is the way the scenes are plotted out.
For instance, there's a scene where Josie is really having a hard time trying to overcome her LOSER status at school. She's upset, and running through the hall (nice try, Josie) and hits smack into a door. Her brother Rob pulls her up, and tells her that he's registered for highschool as well... and it comes up in conversation that "You can't just walk in here and be popular in ONE DAY!"
The next scene is her brother, charfin' back a whole tub of coleslaw with the popular kids at lunch that very day, and all the popular kids are yelling, "Rob! Rob! Rob!"

There's no lengthy lead-in, no necessary build up. Succinct, and successful.

I'm trying to make Symphony seamless, but I suppose too seamless would be surreal. Dali in Dreads on one hand, Sid and Nancy on the other. Oh, boy.

Heather 2-13-2002 22:52

Hi Heather.. Randall.. Everyone

Heather - how did you and your daughter like "Never been kissed?" I enjoyed it when I watched it!

I definetly think my dreams are my creative side. Like most, they thrive on my insecurities. I rarely show people my insecurities. (really who does?).. but it seems as though when I am in a new relationship.. one that I question often or am not sure where it is going is when I get those dreams of the man leaving me hanging on.. the man not noticing I am there and I am clinching on to him as though I am all alone in the world. I once had a dream that my now ex (who has a very good female friend) left me for her and I yelled and him not to leave me but yet it was like I wasn't there. I woke up feeling even more insecure because I never knew the girl. Well,I decided to get to know her and now she is one of my best friends, since that happened I never had that dream again! Not to long ago I had this very disturbing dream.. it felt like it was so real it scared me when I woke up... I am very close to my family.. Mom and Dad still in love and together and all that crap... I pretty much get along with them but once in a while my mother can work the nerve.. I live with them still and hardly have any space for my stuff so I store alot of my things in the garage.

In my dream (nightmare) I am in my garage and I am looking for something but I didn't what and my mom came in and she said "J**** CH**** WHAT THE HELL..... YOU ARE MESSING EVERYTHING UP!" (She is a clean freak) and I snapped because when she was yelling at me she pushed me aside and I flipped out and started beating her up! I beat my mother up! I was crying while hitting her because I knew what I was doing but I wasn't stopping. Then I look over to my dads workbench and I see a gun.. I pick it up and my mom looks at me and starts yelling no and I cry saying " I am sooo sorry mom.. I didn't mean it.. I didn't mean to hurt you." I lift the gun to my head and I pull the trigger. I wake up.. Needless to say I woke up crying and cried for hours thinking how could I have a dream that I beat up my mom and then felt so bad about it I kill myself. Thank God I never saw me dead or actually shoot my head. I heard that wasn't good. But that day I woke up and my mom was in the kitchen.. I started balling.. hysterical.. I told her about the dream, then cleaned her house and took her shopping.

She told me I needed to have more dreams like that. So vivid.. my dreams. I am just glad they do not come true! Ok I think I bored you enough I am going to go to bed and try not to think that it is Vday! Gnite all!

Marianne 2-13-2002 22:29

Hi, Viv - sounds like my 'relaxing weeks' too.
What? Relax? I don't have time!

Heather 2-13-2002 21:35

Gee, Howard, is this 'bomber blows your week' week? How awful! I hope everyone is okay again.

Heather 2-13-2002 21:34

Here's an important link for all those who want to be sure you're not getting scammed by agents or publishers!
The site is a Science Fiction writer's site, but hey, some of us write SF and F, and the information is certainly applicable to all of us.

Buyer beware! What is that in Greek again? Hmmm.

Heather Link 2-13-2002 21:33

JACK - (and JERRY) -- The page loads, but I've got IE set to show all errors (it's a debug tool in IE) . This one is a non-critical error, and I only see it as informational. It's a handy thing to use when building a webpage.

Had another bomb threat at school today, and classes were cancelled in two of the buildings. Some wacko getting her kicks (I heard both notes were found in the ladies room).

howard 2-13-2002 19:11

Hi Heather: Actually, I am not getting a lot of free or quiet time. It's amazing how the shoulds and oughta's come racing out to meet any free time you get. Yesterday went bezerk from the git-go. Thank goodness today will be better!
Hope no one has changed the round robin before I post this.

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Face flaming, Audrey sprang to her feet and slammed her book on the coffee table. "All right, Thomas, it's time for the truth, from both of us."
Audrey cocked her head away from his direction. She had to think fast and couldn't do that looking into his eyes that usually were so warm they could melt dry ice now only filled with biting venom.
Thomas grinned that sardonic grin reserved for those beneath him. "Okay, Audrey, let's hear your version of the truth."

Guilt gave way to rage. Audrey suddenly realized she’d had enough. “I’ve done nothing to be ashamed of, although I can’t exactly say that about your dealings. Did you deliberately set Steven up? You and the rest of your Holier than Thou gang…you make me sick!”

Viv 2-13-2002 18:50


Heather 2-13-2002 17:36

Marianne - you never know where your creativity might show up - keep searching! Perhaps you could write about your dreams...

Jerry - Norton seemed to screw up my system too - we now have Fix-it Utilities, and I'm very happy with it. It is just as thorough as Norton, and I get regular virus definition updates, and the program will automatically fix as many viruses as are found. It has a few extra features that we didn't have with Norton, but the Norton program we had was software included in our computer package when we bought it, so the updates were only free for the first few months; and it may not have been the latest Norton. I believe it was 2000 edition.

The Fix-it Utilities was about $90 - well worth the cash!
We will have access to the updates forever. Just about every day there's an updated virus definition file, which takes about 10 seconds to download and implement.
I haven't downloaded the Morpheus program since buying the Fix-it Utilities, but plan to do that after we reformat this thing one (hopefully) last time. Still haven't reformatted after Wayne went in and fooled around with the drivers, and something went awry! For some reason he finds it a requirement to meddle with the computer on regular occasions - lately the sound is non-existant, though we've got the card, and the driver, and all that's needed for it. The reformat should unwind all the natty bunches of useless crud we've got in the system, which is likely what's screwing everything up. I think it's Wayne's obsession with finding better drivers that started the problem! The system WAS fine...

Lucky for me we have been buying blank disks and roms to store all the stuff we don't want to lose. We used to have some of it, but not all.

Now I'm fully prepared for the reformat.

Girl scouts, anyone?

Mary - hope you're doing okay today, after chatting with me so late! Hang in there, girlie.

Teek - I'll start singing if you don't show up soon - believe me, that's a threat!! :-D

Heather 2-13-2002 17:34


Hi Marianne :o)

2-13-2002 11:23

Jack - tried the site with Opera, it loaded right up, must be something messed up with IE or Windows again. Not unusuall with my systems anymore, seems they have taken on a life of their own what with crashes and all. I am considering going back to XP just to keep things working right, as all was great with XP except I couldn't use my DVD to play movies and my little Intel Monitor top color camera wasn't supported.

Heather - I use Morphius too, had Kazaa first, it is exactly like Morphius, think they are both written by the same fellow, but Kazaa has more advertising built in.

The virus thing seems to be kept in check by Norton 2002. Norton intercepts the viruses before they get loose on your system, and either isolates them or deletes them at your discresion. I too have hundreds of songs. My 56K modem isn't lightning fast but it does the job. You can also find lots of software using Morphius, but as you said, many contain viruses so care is indicated. Norton does a good job on those too. My system doesn't like Norton all that much, and a few weeks ago I took it off and put on Trend's version. Trend let viruses through just told me they were there and brought up the virus scanner. Their software isn't as good as Norton's but my system hangs up less. I quickly tired of the Trend version and reverted back to NOrton, despite the hangs, I feel more comfortable with the extra security.

Randall - I used to go to Author Author before the site died, it was the same way, you had to critique others and they had to critique yours. This forced critique system didn't go over all that well with me, and as you say some folks were just plain mean with their input, I wasn't all that sad to see the site go under.

I did enjoy Theme Stream, too bad they went under that was a fun place to write for, I had lots of articles there, and could blow off steam about all that I think is wrong politically. I would have written for them even if they didn't pay, I think lots of folks would have. I wish they would have asked the writers before closing down, I think the site would have thrived even with out the payout.

Jerry 2-13-2002 11:04

Jack - for the first time in a couple of years I had a very hard time loading the notebook this AM. Kept coming up with a blank page and saying Done.

Took three times clearing my temporary internet files to get in, then took what seemed forever to load the page.

Could be my browser I guess but other pages seem to load allright.

Jerry 2-13-2002 10:43

JACK -- that error Heather mentioned is an undetermined string constant in line 527 character 26.

howard 2-13-2002 10:24

RANDALL -- >"the younger guys think Pearl Harbour is a new rap group"
A fellow student in my web page design course has elected to do a page on guitars and guitarists, because that's his passion. I asked what style he liked best and he gave me a blank stare. I named a few guitarists - Wes Montgomery, Leo Kottke, Mason Williams, Brooks Williams, Django Reinhardt, Phil Keaggy, Jerry Garcia, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and he only recognized the last two -- and Bob Dylan. Made me feel old, indeed!

howard 2-13-2002 10:22



Bunnicula? Dracs nephew? Might this be his password to the Bunny Club?

Jerry...I agree Pal. I'm sorry I didn't read your post on neighbors. I have been so darn occupied with the Del Rey site trying to get someone important to look at my work its taken me away. I feel this is a Ted Kennedy effort for "Flowers" :-) Sink or swim. Most persons in our generation might say the world is going to hell in a hand basket. The younger bunch ... "Hey dude, chill out. Ain't no thing!"

The curse of maturity is one has so much more history to reflect upon, while the younger guys think Pearl Harbour is a new rap group.

Hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go


Randall 2-13-2002 8:16


I decided to test a few ways to get creativity going... In one crazy attempt Im going to do some roleplaying of one of my characters. LOL... ought to be good for a laugh.

Marianne: Welcome here... Dreams make more sense than life? I wish that were true in my case... My dreams rarely make sense. Hope you get the creative flow you are striving for.

Taylor 2-13-2002 0:03

Thanks Heather and all for the welcome. I am not a writer by all means so I probably will not be posting much. I guess you can say I am one of those people who rarely has anything interesting to say. And when I feel as though I need to spew a little creativity or opinion, I will chime in. (God knows I am opinated; how do I know that, besides people telling me, I am a woman, I am Italian, and I am a Leo. So don't hold that against me :O)

I am trying to find my creative side. I know I have one...somewhere. I just can't find it. I am going to bed now. I need to travel into my other world. Where oddly enough, my dreams make more sense than my life. Thanks again for the warm welcome!! Have a good night!

Marianne 2-12-2002 23:33

Since nobody commented on my last weeks shorty, I think I best explain that the tale was completely imaginary. My neighbors are not racists, neither am I. Just thought that needed to be said since on rereading it this week it does look a bit on the racist side.

Not that I want to be politically correct, in fact this new political correctness with the Federal Government that says we are not targeting those who look middle eastern at airports is STUPID!

It wasn't a bunch of 83 year old ladies, or a bunch of black gangsters, or even a bunch of knife welding punks from the 50's in black leather jackets. The people who attacked us, those who plan to destroy our nation, those who would murder all of us here in the good old U.S. Of A. were from the middle east, primarily from Saudi Arabia.

You DAMN RIGHT we should be watching the airports, and any place else we gather as a people for people from the Middle East, WE SHOULD be paying particular attention to those who match the description of the ones who would kill us.

That isn't racial profiling as the protectors of the constitution would have us believe, it's simply using good common sense. It is idiotic that we have to explain that we are watching everyone, not just those from the middle east, as well we should, but we should pay particular attention to those we KNOW want to hurt our people and our nation.

Ok I've had my rant for today. Not having access to the internet was not all that bad, I got most of King's Dream catcher read, it is a very good book. Had time to do lots of maintenance on my machines, they needed it. Played a few games of Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, even got a game of Quake II in.

Howard, I wouldn't have any idea what a bottle of that wine would cost, but I do remember that there was nothing better to clean up that glass where we rolled the fingerprint ink on to book folks then Muskatel wine. Dissolves that ink in no time flat, and if you wash off their fingers after printing, not only do they go to jail with clean hands, but they can suck their fingers and dream of being free.

Jerry 2-12-2002 22:44


It does seem to work.

I like this round robin. I've never done it before.

Liking it very much!

Debra 2-12-2002 22:09

Very cool dream, Randall!

Well, I might have to take into consideration what dear Bram has said...

Did he happen to mention Bunnicula?

Heather 2-12-2002 20:12

My parents sent a little knock knock Valentine's virtual card to the kids...

Knock knock

Who's there?


Howard who?

Howard you like to be my Valentine!

I thought it was cute. :oD

Heather 2-12-2002 20:08


Hey! Wow! Talk abour dreams heather! Did I have a dilly last night. At least I thing it was a dream.


When he stirred in the chair across the bedroom I awoke.

"Who the hell are you?" I managed to ask, heart pounding. It was on the down side of midnight. My wife was doing laundry and except for Bubba I thought I was alone in the bedroom.

"Got you on the run don't they?" His voice had an English accent.

I fumbled for the night light...

"Please don't." He asked, holding a hand upward. "I have come to ask you a question Randall. This won't take long as I have another to meet. Are you afraid of me?"

"I have no idea who you are, or how you got in my bedroom. Are you a ghost?"

"Call me Bram. I must ask why you are bothered by critical remarks about your novel? You know Randall, you're not very good at arguing are you?"

"I beg your pardon."

He smiled in the dim light. "It relates to your work. The book. The one you call Flowers, I believe?"

"Are you some kind of a nut?"

"Of course!" he smiled widely, stroking a mustache. "I am a writer!" he paused. "Or I once was. Now I am only an observer. I like to keep an eye on writers. They are such a fragile breed."

I swung from the bed and moved to sit in a chain next to the bed. Bubba wakened and snapped at me.

"Watch out Randall, he'll get a fang in you!"

In the darkness I saw him lean forward. "Listen to me Randall. Fact and fiction go hand in hand. I know all about it Lad. I once took a man, a historical figure, a culture, arranged everything at my discretion, mixed it with fiction and wrote a splendid book."

I shook my head. "I've been told otherwise. They don't mix well."

"Rubbish," he snorted. "I'll stake my heart on it. My villain was a hero to his culture, then and now. A prince who defended his homeland against foreign invaders. He defended his religion and is now revered in modern times. I made him a first class villain decades ago. Many novels have followed since then, all about my creation. But I blended fact and fiction and penned a great novel of horror once upon a time."

He paused. "For many years after he died his countrymen honored him as a great warrior. Perhaps he might have been guilty of an occasional excess...but great men are only a reflection of their times. Now in his homeland my fiction hand in hand with historical fact, have created a new enterprise. Visitors from your own country flock to see, not the true man, but one I created with fiction. Why his home is open daily to tours and there are great exchanges of money."

"In your own culture Randall, my creation has been the subject of countless movie shows. Wonderful things they are too. Thousands of books and stories and movies, all based on my creation. An historical person, who has risen to such a great height, all because I used a little imagination and literary discretion."

"I know who you are...Mr. Stoker. You wrote Dracula."

He slapped his knee and laughed. "Of course Lad. Good show! Now you will return to sleep, but remember our conversation. Later on please inform your friends that I may visit them as well. They should heed my words. If not," the man stood and stretched. "Well, if not, I may seek Vlad and ask him to come along with me."

"Now I'm off to visit with Ms. Anne Rice. She seems to be having difficulty with a chapter in her latest work."

Dreams and visions, eh? Had any nighttime visitors my friends?



Randall 2-12-2002 19:48

Howard - might have been a student's idea of how to get out of a test that day, putting that note on the mirror. That's a pretty drastic measure, but upcoming exams feel rather overwhelming at times.

Heather 2-12-2002 18:10

Jack - In the bottom field of my browser,(just underneath the surfing window) I'm getting the message, 'Done, but with errors on the page'. Don't know if that will affect anything, but thought I'd mention it.
How's the search to re-open the workbook going?

Americo - Have you given any more thought to Saints and Sinners, should the workbook be available in the near future? My guess is that you're entirely too busy right now to worry about it. But do ponder it, won't you?
Kisses to those felines of yours!

Time to watch 'Never Been Kissed' with my daughter! She's going to love it.

Heather 2-12-2002 18:09

The top line of my last post was intended for Mel and Debra - sorry I didn't make that distinction.

Viv - how goes the 'week of quiet'? Has it been relaxing so far?

Americo, where art thou?
Teekay, have you buried your head completely in pages of handwriting? Hope you surface soon. :oD

Back on my head...

Heather 2-12-2002 18:04

That works out just fine!
Howard, I hope everything's okay with Dorie. That was really disturbing news. There was a bomb threat at my husband's workplace once, years ago. He just happened to show up to work that day wearing fatigues - oh, my!
If anyone at the plant looked the part that day, it was him! Good thing there ended up being no bomb after all. In both that incident, and the one today at the college.
What is it with bomb threats? I remember there being two at my highschool as well, and of course, my friends were searched first - and their lockers. Hmmmm....

Heather 2-12-2002 18:02

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Face flaming, Audrey sprang to her feet and slammed her book on the coffee table. "All right, Thomas, it's time for the truth, from both of us."
Audrey cocked her head away from his direction. She had to think fast and couldn't do that looking into his eyes that usually were so warm they could melt dry ice now only filled with biting venom.
Thomas grinned that sardonic grin reserved for those beneath him. "Okay, Audrey, let's hear your version of the truth."

howard 2-12-2002 17:28

MEL -- not high school -- Broome Community College. They did stop classes in the affected buildings from 11 to 1, and brought in dogs to sniff for whatever. Didn't find anything. The note was found taped to a mirror in a ladies' rest room.

howard 2-12-2002 17:25

erpsonalities? hmmm, need some chocolate...or a rubber mallet to my head, not sure which! 8-]

Mel 2-12-2002 14:18

HOWARD: That bomb scare is frightening! To keep the kids at school???!!!

DEBRA, HEATHER: Okay, here it is. Does it fit? Or does it give Audrey two erpsonalities?

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Face flaming, Audrey sprang to her feet and slammed her book on the coffee table. "All right, Thomas, it's time for the truth, from both of us."
Audrey cocked her head away from his direction. She had to think fast and couldn't do that looking into his eyes that usually were so warm they could melt dry ice now only filled with biting venom.

Mel 2-12-2002 14:16

Just came across an interesting quote:

"Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of
their timelessness." -Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

howard 2-12-2002 13:26

I didn't realize about the cut and paste. But I think mine would fit nicely just after that last one.

Don't you think?

Or you could not use it, it's up to you.

I won't be mad. I've never done this before.

Debra 2-12-2002 13:16

Oboy - Dorie just called to say they've got a bomb threat at school, but they're not sending anyone home. It's not in her building, but one of the buildings indicated is right next door. Some are nervous, but my son-in-law (who's a student there as well) was having lunch in her office when they got the announcement, and he said "Maybe we'll get to heaven before Dad!" and went on eating his sandwich. I told her (just in case) that I love her, and to wave when she goes by overhead...

howard 2-12-2002 13:07

I had a feeling that simultaneous RR additions would happen!

Heather 2-12-2002 13:05

And Debra didn't play by the rules!!

A...HA! Have to cut and paste it, girlie!

Heather 2-12-2002 13:04

Wel, Mel, you haven't added to the shortie RR yet, so it's your go first. Fair?

Heather 2-12-2002 13:02

Uh-oh... Shorty fork in the road...Sorry, Debra! Heather, now what do we do????

Mel 2-12-2002 12:50


Hi all, not much new - just too busy everywhere I go!

Um, this shorty RR is very intriguing...

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Face flaming, Audrey sprang to her feet and slammed her book on the coffee table. "All right, Thomas, it's time for the truth, from both of us."

heh heh...returning to, that is, to work!

Mel 2-12-2002 12:49

Here are my two more sentences if it is not too soon for me.

Audrey cocked her head away from his direction. She had to think fast and couldn't do that looking into his eyes that usually were so warm they could melt dry ice now only filled with biting venom.

Debra 2-12-2002 12:43


I was curious just heard that Kenneth Lay pleaded the 5th, the same as many other Enron employees.
Just curious, is it wrongful if the government tries to buy a testimony?

Just burning the late shift again

Taylor 2-12-2002 12:37

I'm, Baaaaack.

Seems some idiot broke into our internet server here in town and somehow deleted most of our internet servers software. It went down at 5:30 PM on Saturday, and just got back up at 11:20 PM last night. I saw the poor fellow who programs our ISP, and he looked about half dead yesterday. Suffice to say he was not a happy camper and had been working on it since 4:30 AM Sunday Morning when he returned from a trip out of town and played his answering machine. Seems half the town had called to complain.

I have already heard several folks who subscribe to his service are dropping him because he didn't get it back up sooner. I don't know what they expect, if they had ever played around just a little with a Linux system they would understand that reinstalling and re-entering all the necessary information takes time. Especially when he isn't that familiar with Linux and needs the help of the books and a tech on the other end of the phone line.

At any rate, I just finished catching up on my e-mail and checked here. Lots to read, lots to catch up on.

Heather, got your email, will get to the changes shortly.

Must go and catch up.

Write on.

Jerry 2-12-2002 12:00


The shortie RR is getting rather interesting...

Not much to report here

Taylor 2-12-2002 8:52


Hi, Mary! This shortie round robin is getting REALLY INTERESTING! :oD

Heather 2-12-2002 3:16

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

"Yeah right, a client! What, the kind that leave a few bills on the dresser on their way out?"

Mary 2-12-2002 3:01

CHRISTIE: Hiya!! I just wanted to pop a little something in about the comments you made about Del's critiquing policy. I have previously been involved in several writing workshop type sites and not all of them had a policy about a minimum number of critiques per submissions. I do have to say, that when implemented correctly, it really weeds out the amount of people who constantly submit, submit, submit but never have anything to offer anyone else. I won't be submitting anything to Del either, but that is mainly because I don't do Sci-fi.

I guess that opinion comes from belonging to one group in particular where I watched the 'clique' of old-timers constantly critique each other and leave out the new blood. After the change, their system was different than Del's and seemed to work fairly well. That happened a few months before I found you guys and I haven't been back there since I got involved here, except to spy. Their's was called The 3-3-3. You had to do three different critiques of three different authors each week for three weeks before you could submit anything. After that 3-3-3 was completed, there were no concrete guidelines or qualifications you had to meet to submit, but if you were blatantly submitting new work and never critiquing anyone else's, you would be politely asked to contribute in a more balanced manner. The general rule of thumb was, "The best way to get a crit, is to give one." It was very productive and I don't ever remember posting anything there that didn't get at least four really well put together critiques within a week of posting it.

In a non-moderated workshop(except the good ones, like here), you could post something and be lucky if anyone even notices it is there. I am just trying to say that there are definitely good points to the critiquing guidelines, but thank goodness not ALL sites require them because we all need something different.

Mary 2-12-2002 2:47

JERRY - tried to send you your story from P*, but the message was undeliverable. Hope all is well, and that it's just a temporary loss of internet connection!
I'll try sending it again tomorrow. At any rate, your one story is now polished! ('What Goes Around')

Heather 2-12-2002 0:59

Uh, devil made me do it. I think.

Heather 2-12-2002 0:41

All that from a wink? I'd better not give anything a jiggle while I'm winkin'...



Heather 2-12-2002 0:40

Hi, Marianne. Nice thing about a place like this is the surety that we are not alone. Reading is a solitary activity. Writing, fortunately, requires companionship, i.e., readers, editors, reviewers, smart-mouthed galoots with egos big enough to



Yes. Lonliness. It's a difficult transition, moving from reader to writer, partly because we are so unaccustomed to literature as a cooperative effort. It takes practice. You've been lurking since Feb 2000 ? ! ? ! I'd say you have the reading part of the effort quite well in hand. and, uh, speaking of something in hand, I've got something here you can . . . uh


Got my wink from HEATHER and my forehead is sweaty.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Something in hand. Cooperation. Here's my ROUND ROBIN.

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"
Audrey took a deep breath, let it out slowly, breathed in, and the words came out like words ought to. "He's a client."

Mark 2-11-2002 23:23

Howard - LOVE the 'flourishing his cell phone' bit! Flourish is right - I've seen THOSE people! (Twilight Zone theme) They're everywhere!

Heather 2-11-2002 23:23

Whoops, I meant that 'someone in the crowd placed four squares of material into my palm when I was being lead away from the judge's podium. I got the feeling that this person was not the only one on my side in the crowd, even though there were, by a landslide, a lot of opposition. The opposition behaved as if they knew I was a murderer for certain, before I was anywhere near a trial. Gee, if I'm writing out a character (and not hacking her up), wouldn't that be like I ignored someone? Didn't let them into the party? Refused them at the door, or made like a bouncer and shoved them out the door?


There will always be party poopers, I suppose. :oD


Heather 2-11-2002 23:21

Marianne - neat to hear that you've been reading along all this time! Feel free to join in at any time, or just read if that's what you find most comfortable. Oh, and a very warm WELCOME! Didn't know you were there!

Gee, does anyone else feel awfully honoured to have had their words read all this time, by a devotee? I sure do!

Wow, the shortie round robin has taken on an interesting course! From something lost, to murderous glances! Very cool. Keep adding, this is getting interesting. :oD

Randall - the discussion didn't detract from the shortie RR, so no apologies needed! I have never heard anything about the dream that spawned 'Flowers' before, and I'm really interested! Is it still possible for you to invent a tribe, even with the geological references in the dream?

I too had a dream that was like a novel from start to finish, and it was as if I had been handed an entire trilogy in that dream - HERE, HEATHER, TAKE IT, IT'S YOURS TO WRITE! But not every detail is still hanging in my memory, and I'm going to take every artistic license I can possibly garner, though the characters are very fresh in my mind, as well as most of the major scenes/plot points. Since it's my dream, I'm going to name the characters what I want, and the city as well, and of course, there are numerous details to fill in. Of course, the dream took place in my own head, so I figure it's also my very own inspiration and I can change it if needed.
You may not feel the same way about your dream, Randall - I get the impression that you want to have every detail as it was in your dream. That's certainly up to you!
I don't usually laugh off dreams. I tend to interpret them on the less concrete side, however. Usually there are numerous situations, and even objects or people that symbolize certain things; things that are often times intangible. It is very difficult for the mind, or for that matter, Universal Mind, to show the sleeping brain intangible concepts without using concrete visuals. Just imagine trying! Of course, words do help, but not all dreams will provide 'narrative'!

There was a dream that I had not too long ago, where (in the dream) I was tried for murder, when in fact I came upon the body already dead. Later on, when in court, I faced an unusual judge, and someone in the crowd placed four squares of material. One was like mylar plastic, the second a very pulpy, fibrous paper (like recycled paper, but bleached white) and then a regular piece of 20 pound bond white paper, and lastly, a small flat box with a sewing needle inside. The thing with this dream is that in my novel, I have to figuratively kill off a character - I have to write her out. So, in essence I was about to 'murder'. I am the writer of this book, and so if a character is to disappear, it's my doing! But also, from the dream I realized that I have the knowhow, the ability to do it - seamlessly! *giggle* As there was no thread with the needle.
What more could I ask for? Certainly the dream was confirmation that this was a necessary step coming up in writing Symphony. I suppose, since I wasn't made to feel guilty (though I did privately feel a bit awful in the dreamstate), that is also a sign that it is the right step?
I will have to think on that further.

time to send you your story, Jerry!
Sorry it's taken me an extra two days.

Live well, be wonderful;

Heather 2-11-2002 23:15

Hi all... I have been following your posts for quite sometime now... Feb of 2000 to be exact. Just wanted to say I enjoy the reading. Its almost like I am reading and it brings me out of a my screwed up world and into yours :O).. not saying that your world in screwed up.. quite interesting though..Take care!!

Marianne 2-11-2002 21:35

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.
A quick glance at the machine seemed to confirm his suspicions. "That won't do you any good, doll," he muttered, flourishing his cell phone, "I checked the messages on my way home!"

howard 2-11-2002 21:30



First I'm sorry the discussion on my problem took away from the round robin. I'm sorry. Perhaps I am too sensitive about "Flowers." But like the Lisa Robertson flap I had to defend her as I have to defend "Flowers." And I will go under, trampled by iron shod hoofs of fire breathing horses before I change it away from the original format. My style of writing mixes fact with fiction, factual information and bald faced lies. Fiction. I see nothing wrong with stirring the pot of literary discretion. Publication? Probably not. I always though it was toooooooo weird myself. :-)

Honestly guys, I don't care what the reviewers say. I am trying to catch the eye of an editor at Del Rey. And that is, simply, the bottom line. If the novel needs editing or tweaking ok. No problem there. Heather the dream/vision location was Northern Arizona. I am aware of the country and the Grand Canyon was (in the dream) nearby. The Navajo Nation is an immense area and is bordered on the west by GC... There are other NA reservations in the area Hopi and Paiute for example. I will detail the incident if anyone chooses. The second dream/vision came several weeks later when a splendidly dressed woman in white, long dark hair came to me in a dream. She nodded and smiled and spoke. (I hate to write this next part, but honesty is it's own reward!) She said. "Randall, I will get you more money but you have to work for it." She appeared a year or to later...said nothing, but only smiled at me.

I know. Any person may dream of anything at any time for any reason. Dreams are stress relief for the brain. I understand.

My friends who post on this site are head and tails above some of the people on the Del Rey site. It's kind of like a zoo there. The best submission I've read was titled THEY CAME AT NIGHT, OF COURSE. It is a simply written story of a Wyoming ranch woman who finds a miniature space ship with tiny aliens inside. I loved it and I would recommend you look at it. The small aliens communicate that since they were unable to commit suicide to avoid human detection...and extermination team would be along soon to finish them off...and everyone else who knew of their existence. Much to the alarm of the Wyoming ranch family. (Men in black indeed!) I can't wait to get back on the site and read more!

Yes Heather I want it to be ‘gone' as well. But Navajo sorceress Star Tiki has me trapped inside the dream. And Mary, I was not being critical for the "common as dirt" remark. :-) Emelio as I created him is a darn good president who cares for the American people. In a scene before the one I submitted Emelio was made aware that a US Navy air wing had come under the influence of a bunch of "bad guys." He has that on his mind as well as being faced with a catastrophic encounter with a celestial object. Emelio is Hispanic, a Marine Corps war veteran, a "common man" versus an elitists with access to "old money."

Well I'm off to do battle at Del Rey. Wish me luck! :-)


BTW...Howard I figured you and Jerry would be aware of the finest wines! :-)))))

Randall 2-11-2002 19:50


Sponsor: Windy City RWA
Fee: $20.00
Receipt deadline: March 1, 2002

Enter: Prologue/first chapter (25 pages max)
Judges: experienced critiquers, published authors
Top prize: commemorative plaque
Categories and final judges: Contemporary, author Jennifer Greene, and Silhouette editor Mary Theresa Hussey; Historical, author Susan Wiggs, and Harlequin Historical editor Melissa Endlich; Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal, author Anne Stuart, and Berkley/Jove editor Cindy Hwang.

Open to RWA members unpublished in novel length fiction.
FMI, entry form and rules, send #10 SASE to Jerilyn Willin, 133 Chambord Ct., Bloomingdale, IL 60108; or e-mail <>; or visit our website

Barb Deane Windy City RWA 2-11-2002 19:31

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.
"Hi, babe!" she called out, rushing to the sofa, as she quickly flipped her book open to any page, erasing any expression (she hoped) of guilt from her face.
But when Thomas rounded the corner she knew he knew something; there was murder in his eyes.

Christi 2-11-2002 16:34

Hey, what's goin on? No comment on the discussions at hand, just wanted to say a big HELLO!!!!!!

I don't think I'll post anything at that Del Rey site. I think that people who are forced to critique are already a bit miffed against you and will tend to be more derogatory in their remarks. I also didn't like their rating system at all. I mean, who are they to rate you one way or the other? Comments are fine, but rating? I give that a -1 out of 10! HAW HAW HAW.
Guess I did have a comment or two after all. :D HEE!

Missing Teekay, where are you Teekay! I'm having witty banter withdrawls, though I AM enjoying my time with Heather and Mary very much! Thanks guys!

Viv, Sorry to take so long to comment on what you said so long ago. I didn't mean to infer that you thought I was being prejudiced! I only meant that by our conversation I noticed a weakness of mine and needed to think about it. :D One of those self-improvement moments, you know?

Love to all,


Christi 2-11-2002 16:22

Don't know how I did that....

Anyhow, Randall, as I was saying:

The sci fi stories on the site that have dragons and wizards and so forth are stories that stick with ALL FICTION. They don't go back and forth between real events or creatures and fictionalized ones. They create a world, and all the characters in it. It's consistent.
I DO think it is possible to create fictional characters (that aren't people) such as White Coyote so long as it is obvious that other aspects are fiction. Basically, the complaint was that you are trying to pass off everything in your story as reality/truth, when half of it is fiction.

What Mary said is accurate - if you have written this for your own pleasure and never plan to have it published, then leave it as it stands. But, because you do wish to have a go at publishing it, you will have to stop being so attached to your work that you can't sacrifice a few words, or take a well-thought out critique. I've been too attached to stories in the past and didn't want to change it, when in fact, the changes would have done a heap of good. In the end, I was far more pleased with my work after the changes. If I'd kept it the way it was, it really wasn't as readable as I'd believed it to be.

With my suggestion, all you need to do is create a new name for the tribe of Native people, and the rest can all stand as it is. You also won't be pissing off the Navajo people.
In your (dream)vision, Randall, did it specifically show/mention that it had to be the Navajo people?
Could it have been that they were just people who were Native American in appearance and speech?
I'm not trying to hurt your feelings or make you change what you don't want to change - I am just making some suggestions that might help a large issue to shrink to the size of 'gone'.
Consider the suggestions bit by bit. This isn't something that has to be injected all at once.
And smile, Randall, we're all your friends here, and we understand what it's like to get critiques - by strangers and by friends. Chin up!

Good round robin additions so far, everyone!

Only one thing - when making an addition to the round robin, can each person please rewrite the preceeding lines before adding, so everyone can follow along easily?

"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.
Memories flooded every one of Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her. "Okay process, process the information," she whispered to herself.
Audrey heard the footsteps of her fiancee closing in from the kitchen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.

just cut and paste the whole shebang into your post before you add - that'll keep things from getting confusing!

Thank you! Keep adding, everyone!

Heather 2-11-2002 14:04

Randall - I am sure I haven't commented on there being 'too much information' in your novel; the only thing I've noticed is that the information tends to get repeated.

I think that having a white coyote in your novel is not a problem. What has surfaced as a problem is that you want to include a lot of truth and mix it with fiction; that's hard to do. It is also going to be a sore point with Native Americans. That's why I suggested to create a tribe instead of having it be Navajo. The Navajo don't have a White Coyote legend, and obviously take offense to the creation of fiction gods, and associating them with the Navajo culture in the novel. This is where the fiction and truth don't mix well.
The person at the Delray site who criticised your use of a fictional coyote had very valid points in the rest of his critique. The point, I think, was that if you want the novel to have a 'feeling of truth' to it, you'll have to stick with truth. If you want to fictionalize some of it, fictionalize ALL of it. The wiz

Heather 2-11-2002 13:47

HOWARD: You are absolutely right! I knew that even as I was typing it, but hit 'enter' anyway. I just didn't know how else to get my point across. Thank you! :-)

Mary 2-11-2002 11:10

MARY -- "Common as dirt" might describe a "hick," but the two expressions are definitely not synonymous. From Randall's brief description of the prez, I got more the picture of simplicity or humility -- a person with no bias or prejudices, and with no illusions as to the superiority afforded by one's station in life. Those are qualities not uniquely bound to hick-dom, although it may be notable when a sophisticated, erudite person displays them, as is evidently the case with Randall's character.

howard 2-11-2002 11:00


A mini goal I have just hit 10,000 words on the WP at the moment... not all in one day.

Mary: Thanks for that... Found just limiting myself to two sentences was not easy.

Hope y'all having a good time.

Taylor 2-11-2002 10:50

RANDALL: I didn't say Emilio was a hick. I said that having the President of the United States say, "Shit-fire, what was that thing called again?" makes him sound like a hick. ( I know I don't have that line just right, but I can't remember it exactly, my apologies.) I know Emilio isn't a hick, that is why you should't write his dialogue as such. And, no offense, but I would think that someone you could describe as 'common as dirt' is the precise definition of a hick. However, I didn't perceive Emilio as such, I perceived him as a savvy politician. That is why the hick-speak stuck out to me. Randall, you can write any story you want any way you want, but when you ask people for critiques, and you keep getting the same opinions over and over again, you need to start evaluating how attached you are to your story that you are not willing to make the small changes that would not only improve it, but make it downright market-worthy. You have a great idea, and just like anything any of us here has ever written, it just needs some tweaking. Either you are willing to tweak it, or you aren't. If you are writing these stories solely for your own enjoyment, then don't take any of the advice you get(don't even need to ask for it actually), but if you are looking to sell your stories, you need to separate from them long enough to read them as a stranger would.

I have been unwilling to change things I have written just to please the general concensus and there is a fair amount of liberation in that. Don't sacrifice your beliefs over it. It isn't worth it. If you believe in your stories 'as-is' then keep them as-is.

Mary 2-11-2002 10:31

RANDALL: I said this before, there is no problem with you having a white coyote in your story as long as you aren't trying to pass him off as a well-known NA legend when there actually isn't a well-known white coyote legend. If you want him to be one small tribe's reaction to their medicine man's vision, then go all out! But you can't say the white coyote is a legend if he is not, and then expect Native Americans to be pleased.

TAYLOR: You did great with the round robin entry. And it isn't exactly true that you don't know where the story is going because where it goes was YOUR decision. You aren't writing somebody else's story here, you are putting in YOUR two cents and directing the story to go where you want it to go. That is the fun part. From the first lines that Heather wrote, I would have added something about what the girl 'saw', but you put in what the girl 'heard'. This is a great twist and takes the story in a new direction that might not have been followed if it hadn't been for you. As a matter of fact, you have set the tone for the rest of the tale. Good for you. You moved the story way forward in two short sentences.

Mary 2-11-2002 10:09


Well Ive been rattling my brain thinking of an entry to the RR short story... So here goes, its probably way off base to what you guys want.

'Audrey heard the footsteps of he fiancee closing in from the kitcen. She did the only thing that she could think of, and that was to erase the message from the answering machine.'

Its hard to think, when you dont have any idea on where the story is heading

Taylor 2-10-2002 23:29


Carol - If I could post a camera on my wall I would direct my tapes to you for viewing (smiles). I doubt it would be as good as you think (merry laughter).

Okay, the looks and expressions on my kids faces are worth millions !

Take care you.


2-10-2002 23:08

Can I play the Round Robin?

If I can this is my two sentences.

Memories flooded every one Audrey's cells as her eyes told her what was before her.

"okay process, process the information." She whispered to herself

Debra 2-10-2002 22:21

RANDALL -- There must be, as you said, white coyotes. Albinism occurs in every species, so why should coyotes be different? I think you're trying to stuff a mountain down a mole-hole, and taking this guy too serially! He's obviously jumping into the wrong tree, and as our Indian friends used to say, he's speaking with a fork in his tongue. And that can be painful, as anybody who ever took Mrs Schaffert's etiquette class can tell you! So you can't really take him at face volume. So as the white coyote lopes off into the sunset, be less concerned with the question of his existence, and worry more about stepping in the present he left behind. That stuff is mighty hard to get out of the stitching in your hiking boots!

howard 2-10-2002 21:28

Jerry - why is he asking us about the price of a gallon of Muscatel? I haven't had a taste of that since I was about 9 or 10! Carlo Rossi Paisano (at $9.99 a gallon) is my vino of choice, and only because of the good things I've read about the benefits of the occasional glass of red wine. I doctor it a bit, though. Peel an orange, and squeeze the juice and chop up the sections so you get lots of pulp, and put it into a 12 or 16 ounce glass. Fill it almost to the top with paisano wine, and top it off with ginger ale. It's really quite good - almost like a Sangria.

howard 2-10-2002 21:14

Thank you Carol....

I may need some serious head doctoring at some time. (Grin)

As I was writing my tirade you posted a note. The whole thing is so frustrating....

Jerry, Howard, how much does a quart, nay a gallon of Musketel Wine cost these days?

Again, thank you Carol for looking at "Flowers"


Randall 2-10-2002 20:38



Thanks Mary for the crit on Del Ray!

For other reviewers on Del Rey's site and FYI for you folks...

I'm sorry I somehow don't get the concept that just because there may not be a white coyote in existence that I cannot create one. There are no dragons that I know of. No trolls. No demons. No six-headed people walking around. Any Anglo or otherwise, writing Science Fiction/Fantasy can make anything up. It completely escapes me to be otherwise. If I set out to write a SF story of New York City could I not populate it with pink elephants instead of humans? If there are rules and regulations regarding science fiction, which by definition is making things up, please furnish me with a copy. Is science fiction contained by common sense, rules of normalcy, and the perception that just because someone objects...verboten! If certain cultures do not like what I write...not my problem Pal, and they are missing out on a heck of a tale...that benefits them!!!

FYI friends...this is the section and crit (not by Mary) about a white coyote.

From" Flowers"

Under a guard lamp at home Robert was sitting on the stone porch playing toss and fetch with Run Run. A shift in the soft desert breeze caused him to glance up. He gasped in fear and Run Run began to bark furiously. Standing only a few feet from him was a white coyote with red eyes. It began to whine and pace nervously, burning eyes aflame with anger.

Now the crit by a reviewer

Standing only a few feet from him was a white coyote with red eyes. "I'm having a hard time with a white coyote. Better research this and make sure there are such things."


As I mentioned earlier Del Rey writers workshop has dozens of submissions where dragons and zombies and miniature aliens and old west sheriffs who arrest magicians cause he erased (ERASED!) a woman's face and magic wells and time transports and ad infinitum.

But I cannot invent a white coyote? In fact, all species of animals have occasional albinos. Anyone heard of a White Buffalo? Deer? Salemanders? Humans?

And.....the canyon does run more or less north and south or the Arizona state map is in error. It may turn west further along, but not in the area of my story.

As a writer of fiction, that is science fiction/fantasy I am under no special obligation to make sure any event is factually true... That applies to elephants in New York and white coyotes on the Navajo Reservation. If a person wishes for accuracy in science fiction then dragons are sure as heck out the door. As it happens many items in "Flowers" are true. I have taken great pains to bring in many aspects of Navajo culture on a factual basis and just as much fictional. Science fiction authors literary discretion. Publishable or not is not applicable here.

Heather, my problem is the vision I had in 1997. I will stay true to it. I like information in my books. If that alone makes it hard to read for some... not my problem. I was taked to task by two reviewers that an object moving at 60,000 miles an hour seem too slow for a celestial object. It's taken right out of a science book. I may write fiction but I also include fact and what difference would it make if I wrote it moved 260,000 miles an hour. It's fiction and the interaction between fact and fiction should not matter in SF/fantasy...

I suspect that people who have trouble with what I write...pen sentences like..."Gothlar Xbnazd carried the heavy sword Xzcbdrew and departed to slay the Kkeyjdgd dragon held chained by Wstablur the Webler Ring Magican of King Poutyfaces court..." Sorry, not my style. (Might have some merit, huh?)

I have submitted 14,000 words out of 150,000 on Del Rey. Lord knows what will happen as I submit additional sections. :-)

And Emelio, even though President of the United States, is not a hick. A person who is just as common as dirt. :-)

Again thank you Mary for the crit. Let me know when you submit and I will review yours.

Goodnight friends


Randall 2-10-2002 20:30

Hi all :)

Randall -- with all the comments on your story, I just had to take a look. I'm glad I did. Interesting story idea. I didn't have the time today to do a concentrated read and critique but I did look at the reviews you've garnered to date. As with the others, I found it difficult to read. My hunch says its due to the telling vs. showing aspect. And the information overload as mentioned. I do agree with the one reviewer who liked the journal entry as the opening. That type of immediate touch sets the tone and engages my interest at least.

The easiest way to solve some of your dilemma would be to use Heather's suggestion and go to a different planet. However, I did notice that you mentioned that this tribe and its white coyote culture were very obscure to even other Native Americans. If you are set on keeping this story on Earth, you may want to repeat and emphasize this tidbit in a variety of ways.

I did do a search for white coyotes and albino coyotes -- no hits I'm afraid. Even one obscure hit would have been helpful.

Decide what is most important for you as a writer regarding this piece of work. Writing the story as you want, or getting your message across. I have the feeling from what I read that you are aiming for a message.

If you do go another planet route, you could try a Noah's Ark type thing. :)

Good luck and if I can help in any way, feel free to ask. You're in the genre, and on a topic, I enjoy.

Carol 2-10-2002 19:44

SHORTIE ROUND ROBIN - first edition!

(Okay, here we go...)


"Where in the name of all that is..." Audrey scratched her head. The word, 'holy' came out like a slow leak, and her fingers froze in place.

Feel free to interpret this as you will, add to it what you may, and enjoy yourselves immensely. Two sentences maximum!

Heather 2-10-2002 19:03

I do, Mary!

Randall - I was thinking about it, and was wondering if perhaps you are a bit too attached to having the people in your story be of Navajo descent. Could you not place these people on another planet, and make up a tribal history, and traditions that are what you imagine the aboriginal/indiginous peoples of Planet X would have? Or, if you really don't want to change the fictional powers and gods, and you don't want it to take place on another planet, could you not just make up a tribe? If all these other aspects of your novel are fiction, why not have a fictional tribe? It makes sense to me.
That way there's no insulting anyone.

Heather 2-10-2002 18:56';">

Mike Nikoitaj 2-10-2002 18:50

This is just a little something on the side, my personal opinion, about this culture clash/writing issue. I don't think that you should have to be of NA descent to write a story with a Native American theme. I do however, think that your writing should reflect an amount of respect for the people and their history. I write stories with doctors in them, but I am not a doctor. I have written stories about sexual deviants which I have been assured I am not. Why should stories about Druids, or Cherokees, or Pygmies be any different? Do your research, have a passion and write the best story you can. If anyone can find anything wrong with that, then they would find something wrong with anything. Especially if your heart is in the right place, telling a story that needs to be told, not just capitalizing on a culture's popularity to sell books. Does anyone else agree with me?

Mary 2-10-2002 18:45

HOWARD: Yes, I sure did try that site. Forgive me for not thanking you properly. They seem very thorough, but I kinda didn't wanna have to pay! I know, I know...something for nothing. Anyway, the girl emailed me back late last night in broken english, so apparently she found some help. Thank you for your concern. :-)

And I think that was Heather with the book referral. I think.


Mary 2-10-2002 18:34

And yes, RHODA -- thar's gold in them there stories about the Bible-thumping charlatans people love to hate. Consider Elmer Gantry or the Rainmaker. There's lots of others. It's one of Chris Carter's favorite X-files (and Millennium) plot elements. The liberal press has fun with it as well.

howard 2-10-2002 16:49

MARY -- Never thought of Pygmalion - that might indeed qualify! BTW - did you try that translation site?

RANDALL -- I got questioned once about writing a Native American theme - figured I was entitled because my great grandma was full Mohawk, and there's Onandaga on the other side as well.
I've actually written two shorts and a poem on the theme.
Haven't submitted them for pubs yet, though.

howard 2-10-2002 16:46


Yes, I do believe it. Navajoes can be pretty uptight about that sort of thing. If you like a good fight and don't mind occassional threats, just keep doing what you are doing. I wouldn't let those people intimidate you at all. The ultimate question is whether editors or publishers will be scared away, and I think if the subject of your book is the least bit controversial they might be. Your punishment for daring to do such an outrageous thing as to be an Anglo guy embracing NA culture in you writing could be perpetual obscurity for you novel--to me a fate worse than anything the politically correct facists might have in mind for you.

If you want to have a warmly received book, take up a subject that blasts Catholics, fundamentalists Bible-thumping Baptists from the South, so-called normal middle class people of Western Eurpean descent. Better yet take on a woman's pen name and do a bit of male-bashing and you will find friends you never dreamed you would have. Take on paternal Western society culture and history with all of its evils and flaws, and when you are done with those, make up additional ones.

Rhoda 2-10-2002 16:02


I just came from your stories over at Del and left you a crit on 'Flowers'. (Your latest submission version)

I didn't read the others you have there yet, but I will be back. I did, however, read the individual critiques of those two works left by others.

All in all, I think that your major style problem is that you give too much information all at once. It reads like a technical monologue and is hard to get into. You haven't brought your reader into the story to interact or make any judgements of their own. They are strictly being fed.

Also, you have one of the same problems I have, our dialogue doesn't read like a natural conversation. I write dialogue with perfect grammar and complete sentences. Hardly anybody talks with perfect grammar. Teekay has called me on that a couple times and she is absolutely right. Read your dialogue out loud and you will see what I mean.

Your story premise is interesting, and I would like to see how it develops, but as it stands right now, it needs some major editing before it is publishable. Quite a bit of the techie-info can be cut out, quite a bit of the dutch-door action between the President and his less-than-capable staff can be removed.

Simplify and move the story forward. The chapter segment of 'Flowers' that I read is a quagmire. Your story moves right along and all of a sudden, the reader falls into a frustrating manhole. It is very fixable, and I know you are qualified to do the job. Keep at it and write your heart into it.

Re: writing of a culture you don't belong to

I can only offer up what I know about fiction writing and cultures. It all boils down to credibility. If you want to write about NA culture, you have a little bit of creative license, but only where individual personalities and (fictional) events are concerned. You had better get everything else right! Setting needs to be absolutely perfect. If a river runs north/south, you had better not say it runs east/west in your story! If you do, anybody who knows that it is incorrect will think everything else you wrote is wrong too. Your plot can be freeform, but if it includes historical influences, they better be dead-on. You have to care enough to be accurate before anyone will care enough to give you kudos.

As far as the white coyote goes, are you depicting it as a legend? If there is no true white coyote legend, then that man was right in calling you on it, however if you were just saying it was someone's vision, then you were entitled to say there is indeed a white coyote. That is the difference.

Good luck!

Mary 2-10-2002 14:57

I suggested 'Pygmalion' by George Bernard Shaw to Mr. Palmer. Anyone else think of any books that might be anywhere near similar?

Heather 2-10-2002 14:40

Randall - I think that the Native peoples object to being fictionalized. I doubt that it's because they don't like to be written about in general, so long as it's accurate historically, but to fictionalize events and powers and gods, well, that is in essence why they'd be upset. I also think that they're right in thinking that only a Native person themselves can write about their own culture in an exacting manner - but that doesn't mean that others cannot write about them. I've written a short story myself, in first person, as if I were a Native person. I haven't sent it to any magazine because I feel that it's not accurate enough, or it might insult a bonafide Native person.
I'm not saying, Randall, that you should give up on your book. It's written. It's fiction. I think the reason it upsets a lot of Native people is that it's got truth mixed into it, or at least what readers might take for the truth.
And, I think, traditionally, they write their own stories.
The wounds of the Europeans are not too faded in their hearts - they are still suffering because of history. I think the best way to deal with this issue is to be as sensitive as possible.
Perhaps presenting your novel as science fiction would be a good angle? Just so no one is expecting it to be anything but fiction.

Take a minute Randall, and sit back, and take the critique sentence by sentence. Really think it over, and see if parts are right. I am not saying by any means to give up. I think that 'Where The Rocks Cover The Flowers' is a novel that could be published. I do, however, think that you still need an editor!
I think it's great that you submitted sections of it to the site. Feedback is always good, even if there are negative bits in it. Take what will help you, and leave the rest.

I felt really upset when Writer's Digest chose to print my excerpt in their Feb issue last year, and pick it apart - they only printed the first small section, and it was critiqued out of context. Of course, the beginning of Haven was a dream sequence, and it was a long time between me writing it and sending it in, and it showing up in the magazine. I'd revised it quite radically before it was even in print.
But there was some good advice in there - about toning down on adjectives. New writers have a habit of doing this to appear that they know what they're doing, and also to prove their ability as best they can. It doesn't always work!
The point is, I needed to relax with my beginnings. Don't try to swamp the reader all at once with imagery and adjectives that are madly flying about in each sentence.
Don't try to impress your readers. They won't be.

Anyhow, that was very important for me to learn. It's very hard not to think about the fact that an editor will know if he or she is interested in your novel by the end of the first page. I tried to bowl the editor over with the first paragraph. Okay, the first sentence. I'd heard a lot about making a lasting impression with that first line.
Now I don't try to bowl anyone over. I'm trying to tell a story that is captivating to me. If someone isn't interested after the first few pages, they aren't the editor for me. Simple? Simple.

It also helps that I'm happy with my opening of Symphony! (And no, it's not a 'grab you by the short and curlies' wham of an adjective-soaked sentence.)

Heather 2-10-2002 14:33

Are there any modern equivalents (or anything similar in general) to "College of One" by Sheilah Graham. This book outlined the Liberal Arts education that F.Scott Fitzgerald taught to Graham, his last lady friend. Besides the outline, Graham spoke of learning about life from Fitzgerald: Philosophy, Religion, Arts, Travel, Poetry, Literature, Music, How to order fine food in fine restaurants, behavioural ettiquette of the upper classes, etc.

If anybody has even the slightest idea of similar works please email me.


Woods Palmer

Woods Palmer 2-10-2002 13:04



Cool and windy today. My aunt passed away and the funeral is today. She was 84, raised 2 fine children and a husband. Good Christian woman...What more can I say.

I would like to urge everyone to check out the Random House/Del Rey writing workshop. You have to apply for a password, but it is furnished right away. I have submitted three sections of my book, and have been reviewed by other writers. That is the procedure. You have to review other writers submissions (up to 7500 words) in order to obtain points to submit your work.

I will include their site, but if it flubs, Del Rey or Random House search should work. Annnnnnnnnnnnd I'll tell you a little secret...some of the submissions are pretty weird! Thank goodness mine is normal....

I was taken to task pretty good by one man. I had written about a "white coyote" in the book. He said he had never heard of such an animal and suggested I should research further! WHAT! I e-mailed him that many submissions contain zombies, demons, trolls, dragons, magic swords...but I couldn't mention a white coyote? He also took me to task that I was formatting my novel using Native American culture...didn't I know that many character names were not Native American...and a lot of other incredible things. His review which you may read on the site was shrill, to say the least.

After exchanging e-mails I found out that he is married to a Navajo woman and lives on the Navajo reservation. Rhoda...Heather...they are still fighting me over using NA culture in an Anglo based novel. Can you believe it? The man was polite in his e-mail and even offered to help me...BUT HE SUGGESTED I FORGET THE WHOLE THING! He related he tried to write stories using NA culture and received threatening letters from a student at ASU. Which I did! He dropped his book ideas relating to NA culture..........

(SIGH) Good grief Charlie Brown, what have you stepped in?

Please drop by and review my work. It might help me get published. I will review yours as well when you submit it. (Down on my knees) :-)

The title is WHERE THE ROCKS COVER THE FLOWERS and I write under Randall Lynn. I submitted on 02/06/02...02/07/02...02/08/02. Although the submission on 02/08/02 is not there now. I e-mailed Del Rey asking why not? And haven't heard back as of now. With my luck an ancient Navajo medicine man has taken offense and jerked it off.

See ya!


Randall 2-10-2002 12:51

TINA - HAVE A GREAT WEEK with your Mom!
Happy skies! (((HUGS)))

And, ((((((HUGS)))))) to all.

Teek, what, didya fall off the underside of the planet?

Heather 2-9-2002 19:03

My hotmail account ( isn't working right now - I've been unable to access my email on the msn network for a week now. Just in case anyone has sent me anything to that email addy... and you're wondering why I haven't responded!

Once I reformat I should be able to access it. I'm sure it's just my stupid settings!!!!

Mark, here's your daily wink...


Heather 2-9-2002 19:02

Jerry - I'll get those suggestions and edits on your story out to you as soon as I can. My mother in law popped in again yesterday, and stayed the night again. It was good to see her - she's been in such high spirits lately. Seems that New Year's suicidal episode HAS changed her tune - I'm hoping it will stick!

We'll see, over the next few months how it goes with her.
Anyhow, a friend of my daughter's slept over last night as well as my mother in law, so the house is just getting back to normal now. Oh, except for the recorder trills I keep hearing ~ I bought my daughter a recorder (those plastic 'flutes' that screech on occasion) for school, since her class is going to be playing a recorder piece in the spring festival, and she just loves practicing at home. She had a good one that didn't screech very much (the higher the quality, the better the pitch) but we lost it at the cottage last summer. We looked for it this summer but to no avail. Must be long buried in sand!
Picture my daughter Hailey, wearing a long flowing skirt, a beaded gypsy vest and a billowy white blouse; her strawberry blonde hair down to the middle of her back, and flowers in her hair. And there she goes, dancing, playing her recorder... with a pack of fairies tight on her heels!
I guess she could also wear the Monarch butterfly wings I made her for Halloween one year. That'd make the picture complete! Tinkerbell for the new millennium.
And it was only today that she asked my husband and I what 'hippies' were!
That was a job to explain. I didn't mention gratuitous dope and sex. Just long hair, tie-dyes, the Grateful Dead, VW microbuses, and communes! Of course, I probably did a great job of stereotyping.

At least I'm typing!

Ben - I'm addicted to downloading songs too. I have over 600 of them so far since we had a cable modem installed in January, and I haven't even downloaded any songs in the last two weeks! The Morpheus program we had gave the computer a few viruses. Still have to get around to reformatting, though our system is virus free right now. A lot of our CDRoms won't work, and there are things that go bump in the network!
We brought the computer back from the brink of a crash, but it will have to be reformatted soon. I have everything I need to save on disk or Rom, so no unnecessary sweating or swearing will occur.
Fingers crossed.

Rebecca - seems all the good advice has already been given! Another source of great information is in the Children's Writer's Market. Check out the one in your local library - it may not be the most recent, but it's a good start until you can get your hands on the 2002. Don't send your manuscript before you make certain you have the most updated information, though. The CWMarket should have information in the front about format, and specifics will be listed with publishers' info.
I don't think sending clip art will be necessary. If an editor likes your story, they will be able to pick an illustrator who draws/paints in the style they think will go best with the manuscript. If you are illustrating it yourself, then you can send the illustrations, and the words that you want on each page as if it already were a book. You don't need to enlarge the font on a submission. That would be done before it's printed. Sending it in large type will give the impression that you think the editors need glasses! :oD

Heather 2-9-2002 18:55

Rebecca, try the site below (click the link). It has just about everything you need to know plus more. Even has an A to Z listing for publishers and lists submission guidelines.

Hope this helps you get off the ground, and great luck.

Write on.

Oh, by the way, we got the wind but the snow seems to have stayed north, we only got an inch or two, made some small drifts, but not that bad so far anyhow, the wind hasn't gone down yet.

Childrens book guidelines 2-9-2002 14:19

Hi all!

Wow, if we get many more beautiful days like this, I'll be back in the air in no time! Yahoo!

Rebecca, another thought is to check out your local college and see if there are any short courses offered that would help. I know here in Vernon there is a course called 'Writing and Publishing your first children's book' and it's taught by a woman who has several books published. You may have such a source handy.

Ben, go for it! Sounds like a perfect opportunity.

Viv, why would you want to eat sushi for breakfast? ;-) But the fish market sounds very cool.

Rachel, wow, you read such good stuff to your kids. They are so lucky. Have you done Midsummer Night's Dream? That's so fun.

Woohoo for Rhoda! That's awesome.

Howard, no it's chapess, like Duchess. :-D

Taylor, other than mood music and a lit candle, the only thing I do when writing is act out the peak scenes. This is partly to get the motions right - it's amazing how often my mind's eye doesn't understand where people are - and partly because being physically involved sometimes triggers great ideas that don't happen when I'm sitting down. It also help my dialogue.

I'm heading down to see my mom, so I'll be gone for a week. Be well and blue skies!

Tina 2-9-2002 11:45

REBECCA -- Submission guidelines vary so widely that you're not going to get any specific answer here. I would contact each publisher separately, asking for their guidelines. Then you can submit a query letter, explaining your project, and showing sample pages as requested in the guidelines.
Some will accept "over the transom" submissions, but again, you'll need a letter explaining just what your intentions are for the book.
Hope this helps...

howard 2-9-2002 11:00

Could you give me some advice? I've written a children's book, and I don't know what format to send the manuscript in. I'm not sending it with pictures, because I just used clip art (although i would like to send it with pictures). There are only a few words on each page. Should I use separate pages, big or regular font, etc.? If I don't send it on separate pages, how will the editor know where one page ends and the next page begins? I feel as though sending it this way will not show the book in its best light, because the pictures enhance the concept, but what should I do about the text? Please help.
Hoping to hear from you soon,

Rebecca 2-9-2002 9:58

Howard: I'll have to figure the email out later. I just got home from work and scrolled through and found your message. I can't work on it tonight as I have to get up at 7:30. I figure going to bed at 2:30 is pushing it since I haven't been sleeping as much as I should be. People phone when you least expect them too.

I've been down loading music to the computer, and getting carried away. Now I can sit here and listen to all sorts of different stuff. I listen to the kid's music and he listens to mine, which is great since I've things he's never even heard of...which is pretty well what he's got too. I'm thinking of running a line upstairs to the speakers so I don't have to keep changing cd's. Just plug in a play list of about a hundred different songs and forget about it. The wife's ecstatic because I made a cd for her with BeeGees hits, Elton, Mellencamp, and other faves. She wants T-Rex.

I've decided it's time to write a book. I've been sitting on the boat writing basic plot lines and characterizations. I know where the story's going basically. I figured since I have a novella of about forty thousand words, I'll just expand on it and see what happens.

I've traded shifts with the other guy on the boat. He offered me steady days for a couple of months because he's getting a new dog and wants to house break him properly. He'll be home in the day time, the wife'll be there in the evenings, and I'll get back into the routine of getting up at 4:00 a.m. and writing until 7:00. I just wanna get the first draft out so I can say it's done. So I have to stay away from here and just write. I'll pop in and say hi once in a while, but I really have to get down to it. This internet stuff if too much of a distraction for me. Great for researching things, but too much of a distraction. I've found one thing out: you can never download too much music.

ben 2-9-2002 4:54

Link to a better description of Tsukiji fish market so you can see what I'm babbling about. Well, if you can't sleep, get the whole family up at 3:00 and drive them down to eat sushi. Good thing they are tolerant.

Viv 2-9-2002 2:37

I just had the weirdest morning. I've always wanted to go watch the fish auction at Tsukiji and eat sushi for breakfast. So this morning I routed out the whole family at 3:00 AM. We went down and took pictures in the biggest fish market in the world. It looked like they were selling the entire contents of the ocean. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I was afraid to go sooner because I had small children and there is a great deal of motor, fork lift, bicycle, and cart traffic. I suddenly realized that the kids were now taller than I was and it was time to get there. I could finally go and see through the lense of my camera. I shot three rolls of film. If they did not come out I'll go again on Friday before my doctor's appointment. It's right down the street from it. I'll just be sure to take a pair of shoes and wear a pair of rubber boots before the appointment. Then I can stash the boots in a locker at the station and walk to the appointment and not stink.

Carol: Amazing writing today. You got it exactly. No wonder that was hard, you were describing something awfully hard to describe without becoming preachy. You did it with grace...using characterization and action to say it for you. I was fascinated. I love this story. It really needs to be told.

My husband's been needing to have a listener as well lately. It is hard to write. My daughter's needing a listener as well. I'm glad you are there or I think I might just turn into a little ear. I like to be a listener but I need the time out to "hear" myself think. Lately I've been staying up all night and sitting out in the backyard smoking cigarettes and just listening to the silence. Not healthy. Glad I have a writing buddy to keep me on track. Got to get to bed on time to get up early to write.

The trip to the fish auction could work into an article. I don't know. Anyway, where else can you find a restaurant to sell sushi open at 8:00 AM. Also got enough raw fish to snack on for a couple days by buying up the cutting scraps.
(I can also make soup if they don't get all nibbled up)
I got about 4 pounds of margaro. I wish I'd bought a squid too. I saw so many for sale. Maybe on Friday.

Viv 2-9-2002 2:28

Howard - you sent me scurrying over to Paypal to check my account, haven't looked at it lately, it's safe. For now anyhow, hope it stays that way, I am tempted to close it but I do use it once in awhile now that I have no credit cards. Paypal let's you use their outfit for a debit card business too, so when we travel, we transfer funds to Paypal, then we can use our debit card where credit cards are accepted, as even here in the Dakota's folks don't like taking out of town checks.

The weatherman keeps threatening us has for the last couple of days now, about this blizzard that is supposed to be developing. First it was to be here this morning, then this afternoon, then tonight, now, they say before morning.

So far the temps have stayed above 30 and it is dry, but the wind is picking up, they tell us we can have 5 to 8 inches of snow backed by 40 to 50 miles per hour.

As far as I'm concerned it can miss us, I don't like snow, and I really don't like blizzards, cause then there is tons of snow to move. Our old blower works, I don't know if I mentioned it, but last summer I tried to clean it up a bit, even painted it. I noticed this little scroll in the handle, and when I pulled it out, it was an inventory of all the animals on the Ark, signed by Noah himself. Now the guy that sold it to me told me it was old, but he didn't say HOW old.

Watched the opening ceremonies, very nice, and peaceful. I was glad to see that too.

Saw my Dr. today, he gave me a script for some antibiotics to clear up this stupid sinus infection, seems everything else is doing fine.

Well I'm off to bed, catch everyone in the AM.

Write ON!

Jerry 2-9-2002 0:04


He sounds like a real drip!

Debra 2-8-2002 20:55

Hi All :)

Viv -- you're right, I did enjoy the one on therapy dogs. Thanks buddy. Without you, I don't think I would have forced myself to write again today. It may have taken me over two hours to get in one full hour of writing, but I did it! And I'm in the best mood I have been since before Christmas.

Taylor -- wear a deep black suit? I wouldn't either! Sounds "deathly" to me. But I do like your rolodex idea. I've got yellow tablets with notes written at weird angles.

Rachel - the visual of your family reading Shakespeare is great. I'd love to be a little bird sitting on the sill watching you all. :)

Now, I better reward hubby in some way for leaving me alone to work. He's been sooo talkative lately -- and distracting! Course, that's better than moody and silent -- much better!

Carol 2-8-2002 18:09


Teekay - You are such a sweet thing! I've sent something off for you. You can watch for it in the mail. Please let me know when you get it :o)

Take care you.

2-8-2002 17:00

There is a new Romance Writers of America chapter in Tulsa!!! My prayers have been answered.

Rhoda 2-8-2002 14:10

Paypals beware! I just spoke with a friend who was using the paypal service and got V-mugged! Someone got into his account on PP, changed the id and password, and proceeded to rip him off for everything that was in his checking account. He's trying to fight it now, but not doing too well.

howard 2-8-2002 13:24


Allein - I'm around. I don't get the NB very often these days. I seem to have my hands full. I went from not having any children under the age of five, to having three children under that age of five. That makes for busy days.

Sebastian is doing great. He is walking now. He walks more than he crawls. I love to watch him walk. I am still amazed each time he does it. His first birthday will be soon. His birthday is on March 1st. We will have his party on March 2nd.

It does not seem that a year has passed since he was born. It feels as if he has always been with us.

I'm at school now and have lots of reading to do. My children all thrill to the reading of Chaucer and Shakespeare. They ask me at the end of each page to tell them what I read. I think they just like to watch me act out each character. Daniel and Jordan are fairly comfortable with Shakespeare. I've been reading him to them for years. They still like me to clarify things though. They really like it when my husband and I take different characters and read to them as a team.

So, that is what I've been up to. The same old, same old (smiles).

Hope all is well with you.

2-8-2002 13:23

DEBRA -- I once knew a tall man who had to get a new pair of shorts every time he bent over!

howard 2-8-2002 11:29

Characters and scenes? I do that a lot. Generally I come up with a character or a scene/vignette (or both)and haven't the foggiest where I'd use either. But once in a while they click together and I can wrap a whole story around them - like writing from the middle out. It's a weird way to go!

LITTER -- have a great laid-back weekend! But isn't it "chapettes?"


howard 2-8-2002 11:28

If I were a tall man living in Afganistan, I'd need a new pair of shorts everytime I heard a plane fly over.

Debra 2-8-2002 10:35

Hiya chaps and chapesses,

Just a quit in and out as I am off to a weekend course in writing with my all time favourite poet, Stewart Henderson. I don’t think he is known much in the US (?) but in the UK he is a regular tv presenter, scriptwriter, and poet, and he is so laid back he is almost horizontal.

Anyway, be back soon but in the meantime,

All good things to y’all (or should that be ‘all y’all?’)

Litter 2-8-2002 10:26

Taylor: Great idea. I like the idea of the Rolerdex full of characters. I'm going to get one. I've been having trouble with characters because personality begins to blend as I go from one to another unless it's clearly defined.

Carol: Great! They are on their way to you. I think you'll enjoy therapy dogs. After I get dinner I'll do the one on the bridge. After that I'm a bit out of ideas. I'll go on the net and keep looking. Maybe bicycles or fireworks. These are kind of boring to write but I learn a lot of interesting things and pay more attention to the world when I write them. I'm glad you were here because it was hard to get started today. I had to get the animals to the vet for bloodwork. They have their teeth cleaned this month....another vacation project.

Rosemary: You lost 30 pounds! Wow! That's something to brag about. Me, I keep loosing and gaining the same darned 10 pounds. I must have gained and lost a million pounds if you counted those darn 10 pounds over and over. It's almost a every two week deal. I pull on my jeans and think, "Oh no, not again!"

This vacation I've vowed to stop eating so much salt. I'm the kind of person who turns the food black with soy sauce then adds salt at the table. The more I eat the more I want and I go crazy when I don't get it. I've been trying to stop eating salt all week, then I sneaked out to 7-11 and bought a bunch of dried cuttlefish. I've been chewing dried cuttlefish all day. No will power at all here!

Mary: Habits and Neighbors are on hold but will be there in two weeks. Thank you for those topics. I have the stories on hold. One is in my left ear, and the other is in my right ear. I take them out and play with them when I'm cleaning the house or walking the dog.

Christie: Was it you who opened the interesting topic of what do you do to get in the mood to write. When all won't work I just leave the house. I carry my laptop or a notebook depending on my mood. Then I go to the nearest coffee shop, sit down and write for an hour. After that I'm usually off to a good start. If I don't have the money to do costs about $2.00-$5.00 here, I walk the dog in the big park near our house. As I walk I think of the first line I'll write. As soon as I get to a park bench I write that line on a scrap of paper. Then I think about the next line...look for the next line then start out walking for the third line.

Viv 2-8-2002 4:31


Carol: I wouldnt be caught dead wearing a deep black suit as does one of my main characters.
I have a little dance to music for some characters scenes. Guess it all dependes on whos scene is coming up

Oh yeah... got myself a rollerdex the other day, have character stats on them

Taylor 2-8-2002 3:09

Hi All :)

Heather -- no problem with me on the editing and formatting you've mentioned. Go for it!

Viv -- another no problem -- I'll look forward to seeing your essay questions. Hey! It sounds challenging and it pays! What more do you need to make it a good goal for our weekly exchange?

At the moment I feel all my ideas are just that. Ideas only that will go nowhere. I thought I'd be able to miss out on the winter blues this year because the winter has been so mild. But noooo. It doesn't work that way. I went a full month without writing in my journal even. I slapped my hand a good one for that! I will however, sit my butt in the chair tomorrow morning and work on the "Powers" story to the best of my ability.

Taylor -- I know what you are asking of. I don't really know if I do tricks on any regular basis. I do know of some writers who go to the extent of dressing up as their characters will in order to write in their "voice." I don't know. I'd go broke trying to do this. Or else I'd be at the thrift store every day buying and returning things. I do know some music can get me in the mood to write. Putting on the music I prefer and lighting an incense are about the only "tricks" I use. Coffee isn't a trick is it?? I consider that a necessity!

Allein -- yep -- Aunt Flo always visits at the wrong time! The only way to survive is to eat a lot of chocolate.

Mary -- Congrats on your sale!

And another Congrats to Rosemary on losing those 32 pounds. Just tell me you didn't send them up north where they could find me. Please.....

Tina - my favorite books as a kid? All the Lousia May Alcott books. The Boxcar Children. And a book titled "Follow My Leader" which was my introduction to German Shepherds and the dilemma of blind children. That one book was read by all three of us kids more than any other in the house.

Have a great night everyone!

Carol 2-7-2002 23:29

Christi, sent you another story back for P*!
I'm on a real roll here, folks.
Hope it doesn't get bunged up!

Heather 2-7-2002 19:35

Thanks, Jerry. I actually have thought of a new development for one of your stories that would tie the beginning and the end in a bit more smoothly. I'll email you the story with my suggestions in it between tonight and tomorrow and see what you think.
If you like the 'new development', it only involves the addition of about 3-5 sentences.

Don't worry about the spacing thing - I'll take care of that in my final sweep-through.

:oD Bright bulbs,

Oh, yeah, that was a cheap swipe at you, Gary!

Heh heh

Heather 2-7-2002 19:26

Christi, sent you the first story from P* back as well!

Edit-ing, oh, edit-ing
Off, oh, off I go...

oh, yeah. Work. Shit.

Heather 2-7-2002 19:22

Heather - Feel free to edit away, Word keeps changing my writing, the way you said is the right way, or at least that's the way the teacher in English taught me. Word though comes along and wants to change my two spaces after a period to one, and I figure, who am I to argue with software, so I let it change it.

Also, if there are a few extra ,s from me, you can throw them away. My old English professor told me to take the , key off my computer and throw it away. Said I had commaitis or something like that.

Jerry 2-7-2002 19:19

Yes, me again.

I just realized that I should number the pages this way:

Phantasium; Dimensions, Mancia, pg.2

Or perhaps: Phantasium Collection, 'Dimensions'/Mancia, pg. 2

The page numbering is going to take up a lot of space at the top of each page, but there's no way I want a few pages of the ms to get misplaced, and the editor have to figure out where they go.

On the query letter, I will have myself as the contact, if that's okay with everyone. That's all I can think of for the moment. Time to get back to editing at least one more story before work!


Heather (as expected) 2-7-2002 18:53

Also wanted to ask if I have everyone's permission to format their work according to my standard submission format. I can't do this perfectly with sending things back and forth in wordpad, but once all of you have sent me your polished works, I will format them all so that they're uniformly... um, this is harder to explain than I thought!

Basically, to begin each paragraph, I always indent five spaces. I always add two spaces between a period and the beginning of the next sentence, two spaces after a colon or semi-colon, one space after a comma, etc.
Two double-spaced lines between breaks in the work - and if you have ***************'s dividing between sections in a story, I will leave those in, but make sure there are the same amount of spaces. I will of course, have all the work double-spaced as per submission format, and I will number each page of each particular story accordingly.

For example: Dimensions, Mancia, pg. 2;

I will likely have to forego numbering the collection sequentially since I doubt I can page number each story and also the whole ms.
For example, Dimensions, Mancia, pg. 2; Phantasium, pg. 23
I don't think the page numbering system can handle doing that!

Anyhow, those are the finishing details that I want to take care of, making certain that each separate story is formatted in exactly the same way. When we're ready for an introduction to the collection, I will see about writing a new one, a longer one to introduce us, the works, and then follow up with the original introduction that I wrote for the project. Does that sound all right?
And then, friends, comes the query letter. I've never written one, so I'll either post it here or pass it around via email to ask everyone for input/suggestions. Mark, you may be instrumental for that process as well!

Here's another wink for you, Mark. *wink!*
Yes, yes, I'm kissing up for pointers.
As they say, one can never have enough of those. Depending, of course, on what you think pointers means. Hee hee.

Fare thee well, friends. Another night of fighting the buffer awaits.

Heather 2-7-2002 18:47

Sure, thing, Howard, though, it's, sometimes, hard, to, give, them, away..., I'm, sure, there, will, be, some, takers,!

Heather 2-7-2002 18:29

HEATHER -- no problem. You can use the extra commas from my stories wherever you need them, and if you still have some left over just put them out for the good,will...

howrad 2-7-2002 18:20

Thanks, Howard! :oD

Heather 2-7-2002 16:45

Viv - I'll have to be getting up in the middle of the night, 4 nights in a row every other week. Right now, I work every other week in the evenings. My husband works one week day shift, the next week he works evening shift (3:30 pm until 2 am) - and the pattern continues!
We're seeing about him switching to either straight nights, so that I can go into work and get home before he goes to work for the night, or straight days.
I'll be making more money, because my boss is leaving the contract to me. If I can't work those weeks when my husband is on evening shift, I can't keep the contract. Well, I could, by paying someone to come in for me on those weeks, but the pay isn't enough for the month to really afford it. My boss has a lot of contracts and she also cleans houses, so was able to afford to pay me.
I could afford to pay someone to come in on the weekends to do the detail cleaning, at least, every other weekend. I wouldn't want to chintz on their hourly wage since it's quite a job. Anyhow, I'm going to give it a shot and see if I can manage it.
The best part of the arrangement is that my boss, Doreen, would still step in for me in case I get sick. That is a relief.

:oD It may seem that with more work I'll get less writing done. BUT, if I'm up every morning of that 'every second week' to clean, I can come home for 5 or 5:30 am, and just start writing for the day. I'll be up no matter what.
These days I'm having a hard time getting up early again, since I haven't been able to sleep well. This cough is really taking it out of me.
I'm usually fine sitting up, but I try to lie down and...
hack hack hack!

Mary - I'm sorry I missed you this morning! :o(
See above explanation. I still haven't written much, so instead I got a bit of editing done.

I think my inspiration is feeling a little 'viclempt'.
Coffee Talk, you know.

Heather 2-7-2002 16:43

HEATER - Is okay with me - no problem!

BEN -- I tried to reply to your email, but it keeps failing and sending it back. Tried to tell you:
Hi - No idea where to go from here, except that you might try to reinstall
the driver. Go to
follow the path from there. May need your WINDOWS CD
Dunno if this will help, but it's all I know.

howrad 2-7-2002 16:30

Allo, everyone!

Americo - great to see you dropping in! Kisses to those pairs of paws.

Teekay - sent you two of your stories for P back!

I have finished editing the first 7 stories, and now am beginning the process of transferring my edits from printed page to the documents on WP. I will send everyone their story in wordpad format since we all have such a wide variety of word pro programs, it will be a lot easier this way. Everyone has Wordpad if they've got windows!

I would like permission, however, to correct punctuation in the stories where it is a simple fix. I think it is awfully tedious to highlight a comma here, a quote there, etc., and suggest fixes instead of fixing it myself. I would, of course, highlight anything larger than a mere comma mistake, and send that as an edited bit. Does this sound okay with everyone? Please let me know (on the NB's fine). Of course, your stories will in all cases be sent back for approval; there will likely be a few other edits that I'll highlight and send to you before we've got them all polished.
This would really make it a lot easier for all of us, all 'round.
Whaddya say?

Relieved to have really gotten started at these long-awaited edits... :oD

Heather 2-7-2002 15:35

Howard, your right, of course. I know there are thousands of bootleg copies of software out there, in fact I have to admit that I do have some myself.

However, as writers, we should be better then that. We should support the rights of writers, creators of software above nearly everything else. After all, wouldn't we be mad as hell if we saw some of our writing in a magazine with someone elses name in the BY line?

The same is true with music I guess, although I have to admit that I have tons of bootleg music too, but when one stops and thinks about it, even though the stuff is as old as dirt, the creator of the music, the singers, the musicians are all being cheated out of their due when we play bootleg music or run that bootleg software.

The excuse that you couldn't afford it any other way is a cop-out, if you couldn't afford it any other way, then you probably don't need it in the first place. I do know that most of the software out there have limited editions that are released to students to learn on, and as you say they do sell it at a reduce rate for students too.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to distroy my music CD's, because in truth (here comes my justification) I have 90 percent of it on 8 track, cassette, or records but it is so much easier to just bring up real jukbox and press play. My hearing is so far gone that I can hardly tell the difference between my sterio playing CD's and my computer playing MP3's. I have added an amplifier and sterio speakers to my computer system several years ago, so it does produce the rich base and crisp trebel, at least good enough for me. My daughter complains of the sound quality, but then she has her own sterio and computer at home to listen to her music as she desires.

Jerry 2-7-2002 12:50

Ok now this is on the topic for shorty night, I am trying something just a bit different for my writing. I am attempting to get a bit better with dialog, so this story is nearly all dialog.

I call it the Good Neighbors.

The Good Neighbors
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

“Would you look at that, their couch is black. Everyone knows that black couches went out with the lava lamp!”

“Now dear, you know the lava lamp is back in style, remember we saw them at Target.”

“Ok, so I misspoke, black couches went out with the Bicentennial!”

“Maybe they just like black, ever thought of that?”

“Look, their chairs are both black too!”

“Well they have to match don’t they?”

“Matching couches and chairs went out with Reagan!”

“Well maybe these folks don’t have your decorating experience.”

“Don’t get smart with me, Mr. Smarty Pants.”

“Hope their as friendly as Jon and His wife were, too bad they had to sell their house, I’ll miss them.”

”Me too, I miss Vadeny!”

“Well I guess there were just too many memories what with their son dieing in their bedroom and all.”

“Look; their bedroom furniture, it’s all black for God’s sake!”

“Hey, I think it looks nice, maybe we should…”

“Don’t start on me with new furniture, our antiques are so lovely, I would never replace them!”

“We could paint them black.”

“Don’t you dare put any paint on my dressers!”

“Your dressers?”

“Ok, our dressers!”

“Oh look, they are carrying in the stove and fridge! Oh no, they’re black too!”
“Well now, maybe they are going a bit overboard.”

“A little overboard?”

“Ok, maybe they are strange, is that better?”

“A little.”

“Now come away from that window, before they spot you snooping on them.”

“Hush, I’ll watch as long as I want, what do I care if they see me.”

“Oh no! Honey, come here, you’ve got to see this!”

“Ok, I’m here, now what do I HAVE to see?”

“Look at their children, my God, their BLACK!”

“Well what would expect from black parents?”

“That’s it, I am not going to live neighbors to a house full of BLACK people!”

“I’m calling the realtor right now dear, please set down and I’ll get you a martini when I get off the phone. We’ve got to get out of this place!”

Ben Washington stood with his wife Beth, watching as the movers carried their life into their new home. “Sure hope we have nice neighbors.”

“Me too, the realtor said they were fine people; good neighbors.”

“Maybe I should go over and introduce myself.”

“Not today honey, let’s wait and see if they make the first move.”

Jerry 2-7-2002 12:38

AMERICO - It's always good to see you posting! Thanks for the info re the doctor.

School is (as usual) hectic and expensive! Textbooks are outrageous, and supplies/food, etc (if you buy them on campus) are doubly so. One exception is computer software. The retail cost for Adobe Photoshop 6.0 is around $650. I was able to purchase it at the campus store (needed student id) for $299. Of course that led to some ridicule in class -- I was asked (not only by fellow students) why I didn't just rip a copy and use a serial generator to install it. When I replied that that was stealing, most laughed at, or couldn't relate to, my old-fashioned ideas. It seems that "everybody does it," and "if it gets you what you want/need, what's the problem?"
That, I think, is both cause and effect of the problems we have with basic morality these days.

But that Photoshop is awesome!

Howard 2-7-2002 11:19

Hey Americo - great to see you again! :D

Allein Peachick's Gallery 2-7-2002 10:44

MARY -- Try
for that translation - I found them via askjeeves.

Howard 2-7-2002 10:16


Ok Im going to kick myself if I dont ask this question. I watched this crazy, sick movie, "Freddy Got Fingered" And the guy on there was telling the Tom Green character that he had to "Get into his character"
I was curious if anyone here had quirks for writing parts of stories, such as from a characters perspective or to get you kinda in the mood for a stint at the screen?

Taylor 2-7-2002 8:12

Very late; very tired; hi - bye.

Americo - great to see you among us again.


Write ON!

Jerry 2-7-2002 1:05

...and hope.

Mary 2-6-2002 23:06

AMERICO: I know you are out there somewhere. Do you happen to speak or at least be able to translate Bahasa Indonesia? I can't communicate with my customer and she wants something! She has absolutely NO English. Don't ask me why I asked you, I have no idea and have no reason whatsoever to believe that you would know Bahasa. Gut instinct.

Mary 2-6-2002 23:06


That episode (known as "the condom crisis") has been retold in different languages. It happens that the Russians sent back the packet to the States with a telegram from Gorbatchev.The telegram has been translated with gross treasons to the original. Here are some of the funniest:

Ongan tha fleogan maeg sceolde, hwile handum sendan lysan lihte garraes ofre holdost freode se frean. (Old English)

Amata wo aka katazikenaki ni nari naho ha ahare te ni ahare nari e ni no. (Japanese)

Muser voit muset et gai guiler gai joie honiz, qu'il a me gastelet garnier, cuer mon matinet li faintise li garnier bon. (Old French)

Apantan poleos tourriptasmenon, eph' kardian g' phaulou tas kai anezetemenon, ne kateklinen andrasin tachu phile hos suntetaraxai hemon. (Ancient Greek)

A friend of mine tried his hand in hobbit language, but also failed: "Yassen tier ve axor fanyar man tiruva man sure hiruva omaryo auresse tintilar" is obviously far from accurate.

But the most hilarious interpretation I read is in Swahli:

Abuna, bampele te Lokolele lokana te bobele te bo, mwebi Lotoba bomoi mpe koi tajala bangai.

The telegram simply read:

"Too smal for us indeed. Hope you can use them as jeans in those prairies."

This shows how History is made...


The doctor who used lobotomy to calm down mental patients was Prof. Egas Moniz. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for that. The practice is now completely obsolete and even condemned.

The most updated books on the way the brain works are "The Error of Descartes" and "The Feeling of What Happens" by Antonio Damasio, presently a Professor in the University of Iowa.

Happy Mardi Grass!

Americo 2-6-2002 21:37

Don't worry Heather! The threat of getting up on a freezing winter morning at 2:00AM and driving to work is enough to make anyone forgetful! You get to do this four days a week????? For how long?????

If they pay you well, and the stars are out, the roads not crowded, it will be worth it! But ooooooh, that sounds hard.

Viv 2-6-2002 17:46

Just sticking my nose in to say hello. I have nothing to report.

gariess 2-6-2002 17:46

Sorry about last Sunday everyone. I had an idea for the Sunday Shortie round robin, and then "Oh, Crud!" I forgot completely that my boss was going to teach me how to use the buffer machine at work. I'm taking over the contract from her in a few weeks, which means on the weeks my husband works evening shifts, I have to get up at 2 am to go into work for those four nights in a row. I'll make more money, but I'm not looking forward to how this is going to affect my sleep! Now I'll have no choice but to get to bed those weeks at 9 pm!
So, we went out to work and spent five hours cleaning and another hour with me waxing/buffing the floors. When I got home, I forgot entirely to come back online and start the shortie round robin!

Forgive me!

I will make a better attempt this coming Sunday.

I may, however, need to remind myself with a mallot.

I think I need a calendar. I still haven't made my way to the giga-mall to sift through the calendars at one of those little 'middle of the hall' kiosks. So, I've been without a 2002 calendar for a month and a half. Good thing I've got a calendar on the computer!

Ducking out now, feeling rather sheepish!


Heather 2-6-2002 14:24

Ok so that should have been an avalanche.

An old story about the way of the world before the fall of the "evil empire"

It seems that there was a shortage of condoms in the old USSR, and with the proliferation of AIDS, something had to be done.

The US. is known world wide as the largest producer of quality condoms, so a deal was made between the ministry of health of the USSR, and the White House to sell the USSR twenty million condoms.

Being boastful as the Communists were, they stipulated that the condoms must all be at least six inches in breadth and nine inches in length.

Not to be out done, the White House ordered that the condoms be made that size, then continued the order that the packages should all be stamped "SMALL"

Jerry 2-6-2002 11:09


I got this site off somewhere, and just wanted to share it.

got to see if link works

Taylor tribute to America 2-6-2002 5:27

Still roaming about, but not having any luck finding the muse..(hides chocolate bar under chair)....

ken 2-6-2002 1:51

It's a sudden post-a-thon!

Allein (((HUGS)))
Just one word... St. John's Wort

Okay, three words...
All this talk about chocolate... hmmm I think there are some old Christmas chocolates around here somewhere...

Tina 2-6-2002 0:52

Make that 'hear it'!


2-6-2002 0:50

Mary! Congrats! Crow all you want, we're glad to here it!

Tina 2-6-2002 0:50

Way to go Mary, may that be just the first of an avalance of orders generated by that fine website you have.

Jerry 2-6-2002 0:49

Oooh, a story about neighbors! I've got an idea in my head. Not sure that I'll actually get it on the computer (not just knowing how I am, but it's tax season and so my parents have been spending lots of time doing taxes on the computer).

My day was uneventful and later on this afternoon and evening I was in kind of a crabby mood (is it just me or does Aunt Flo make her monthy visit at the worst possible time - uninvited of course!).

Rachel - Haven't heard from you in a while! How're things? How's the family? Sebastian?

Everyone - Here's a smile :) and a (((HUG))) for each of you. Hope that brought some cheer to your day.

As for me, I'm going to eat that chocolate bar stashed in my room :D and then go to bed. I'm tired, but feeling happier. Coming here = happy feelings. Gotta remember that.
Night all!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 2-6-2002 0:47

It was the constellation one.

Mary 2-6-2002 0:33

Sorry, gotta crow somewhere and at 12:30 AM there isn't anyone else around! I just got an order for one of my amulet bags. It is the first one I have sold that wasn't an in-person sale. I gotta get it in the mail tomorrow, it has to go clear to Indonesia. And just when I was worried about how to afford a birthday present for my hubby. Woohoo. Feels good.

You guys seem pretty excited about the shortie theme this week, that is great!!!

Mary 2-6-2002 0:32

Well growing up in a house full of women, it should surprise no one that I learned to read out of True Stories magazines. When I got that reading thing down pat, and we moved to town, I was known to frequent the city library, where I checked out and read every Hardy Boy's book on the shelves. Next I tackled the Zane Gray books (He was a North Dakotan you know). I also read the Little House books but that was a school thing, mandatory reading. I did enjoy them though, in fact that big pedophile teacher we had that got fired for his acts against the students read two of the Little House books aloud to the classes as part of his reading program. In truth he was a very talented teacher, too bad he had that flaw in his brain.

Speaking of brain, I can still see Hannibal clip that piece of brain from that guy in the movie, fry it and feed it to the guy as he stood there.

The human brain is a wonder, I have seen it so often when someone has a stroke and can't talk, or walk, only to learn it all again using a different part of the brain. I think that's why we only use part of it, the rest is reserve in case of an accident.

Speaking of punishment, I read a story somewhere her on the WWW. It was a sci-fi where the fellow was convicted of rape on some planet, the guy was like a space sailor. At any rate, his punishment consisted of having his eyelids surgically removed, then somehow, they gave him eternal life, on a planet all by himself. The thing was that Death would come to gamble with the guy, and if death won, he would let the fellow live, however if the guy won, he could die. It was a very good story.

In another comic book type thing (I loved those comics when I was a kid, you could get them at the Drug store after the store tore the covers off, they would roll them up three for a nickel) where they found a way of processing the retina of murder victims, you could develop it and make a photo of the last thing the fellow saw.

Like the man said, there are no new stories, just new ways to tell the same old ones.

Gotta add that to my reading, comic books, Mad, Cracked, Nuts, also Tales from the Crypt, Fate was a favorite.

Then there was Playboy, Oui, Penthouse and in my latter youth, Hustler (just read friends copies in the Army.)

When my old best friend from California came to visit last year, we got to talking about those magazines. Seems I had a good supply of them, and I would show them to him for free, but charged a dime a magazine just to let other kids look at them. Guess I was a business man in my youth. I had forgotten all about that till he brought it up.

Seems I forgot a lot of stuff, but it sure came back as we talked about it. Again strange things with the mind.

Then from what they tell me, how much of that was true memory, and what was just my mind filling in the blanks when part of the memory wasn't there?

When I was in college studying the Law, they taught us that eye-witness testimony is usually the WORST testimony, because of the memory thing, many times what the eye witness swears is true, is in fact something they picked up somewhere else, and without any knowledge of it, their brain added that to what they think they saw.

Eye witness testimony is the most damning testimony in every court, and from what they taught us, is some of the most unreliable in the eyes of those who know about such things.

There are lots of books out there about that very thing.

Jerry 2-6-2002 0:23

A late evening to all,

SSSSShhh, I'm not suposed to have chocolate. On a diet, remember. Besides, there was peanut butter in it, so it didn't count.

Been down with what I thought was stomach flu or food poisoning, but turned out to be an overdose of Pace Pecante Sauce. I had half a 16 ounce jar with a few low fat chips one afternoon, then had the other half of the jar the next morning over my eggs. Whooohe, won't do that again. By afternoon---burning stomach and other places. Imodien AD and Maalox (sp?) to the rescue. Hot things never bothered me before. It did break a platu for me, I'm now down 32 pounds and to keep it going, I went out and bought a new lawnmower. My old one was about ready for the junk heap anyway.

Thanks for the update. Bet you're doing a great job.

Going now, my spelling is so bad this evening, even I can't stand any more of it.

Rosemary 2-5-2002 23:55

Hi all!

Ken, good to see ya here! Work sure gets in the way of life sometimes. ;-)

Mary, were you inspired by all the talk about Stephen King? Sounds like the basis of a whole lot of his stories.

Howard, there's a Star Trek Voyager show about that very thing. A violent offender was sentenced was to live out their life with the memories of their victim, feeling their fear and pain forever. Low murder/crime rate in that society.

About brains...
In college I had to do a paper on perception. Just second year level, nothing deep, but so fascinating! The way our brains interpret and file things for us, just to keep us from being overwhelmed. The way our societal perceptions have changed. Now I'll have to go find that paper and read it. I just loved doing that research.

Mary, yeah I read 'Harriet the Spy'. She was awesome!
Hey everyone, what were your favourite books when you were a kid? Mine were:
The Narnia series (first read them in grade 2)
All the Pretty Horses
Any Bobbsey Twins Mysteries
Any Trixie Beldon Mysteries
Where the Wild Things Go
Little House on the Prairie, and any others by Laura Ingals Wilder
Anne of Green Gables
The Shannara series by Terry Brooks

Blue Skies!

Tina 2-5-2002 23:41

Howard, a long long time ago, I read a comic book where that was done with memory. They found they could extract some fluid from the brain of a murder victim, enject into the head of a live person, and that person had the full memories of the dead man, including memory of the murder. Only problem was that the pain that the murdered person felt was also felt by the receiver of the fluid, and killed them.

Neighbors huh? Well I think I may be able to come up with something, hell I had some neighbors up in New Rockford that would send chills up and down your spine if I told the whole deal.'

Jerry 2-5-2002 19:22

Hi all! I could lie and say my abscense was due to working on my book, but it was nothing as noble as that. Seems the toils of the paying job have kept me away from both the keyboard and the pencil. I hope to have more time now. Maybe I'll even get in a shortie this week. Untill then may the muse be always at your side.

Ken 2-5-2002 18:09

Carol: Hi writing buddy, glad you are back! I think your talents are up to the last project. You are talking about the young girl story right? Your experience level in writing might not be there yet but if you push at it you will get there. I have faith in you!

I'll be there but I'm not writing fiction this week. I have a little job I have to do. I split a contract with a Japanese friend to write examination questions. She wrote the one line questions, I had to write two essay questions. She then translated the entire test. After that she called the company and acted as the contact by going to Tokyo occasionally to go over changes with the editor.

Yoko did 90% of the work. Then last week she gave me half the money because we'd agreed before the work to split the contract.
Well, with me a split is 50%-50%. I do half the work, she does half the work. It was more like 80%-10%. I told her that I'd take 10% but she wouldn't listen.

So I told her I'd write her 4 more questions so she could get the test out for two more years. What I'd like to do is suprise her with about 8 well written exam questions. I'd also like to write a few one liners. These are fill in the blank questions. Sooooooo, anyway, you are stuck getting a 1 paragraph essay written on the 4th grade level. I know we're supposed to do creative fiction but it's what I can do if I'm going to get this project done before April. These are hard to write. I'm having a lot of trouble. I'll also send the two that were accepted so you know what is correct. It's easier if you have a template. Hey, I have to do this, I got 400 dollars from the woman! She wants to continue to work with the company and since we'll be moving in anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years, I want to have this little "on" (obligation) of mine in order.

Mary: Dang. I want to write about neighbors. Man oh MAN do I want to write about the neighbors! I have just the thing for her. And the last writing idea had me going as well. I have a outline made for habits.
Luckily my copy of "Writing Down To the Bare Bones" has not arrived! Mail is slow.

Heather: When I came on this site this morning I smelled chocolate. Ok, who is eating chocolate??? Christie, is that you eating it? Rosemary???? Well, we all took care of the first thing on the to do list today!

VIV 2-5-2002 18:00


You might want to get a hold of a Forbes issue that came out two or three weeks ago. There was an article about memory enhancing drugs and in that article they went into much detail about where and how memory is stored. There are more than one type of memories, and each type is stored in a different area of the brain. They talked about short term and long term memory and about a selection process whereby it is decided which short term memories get filed into the long term memory. You might find that article helpful.

Rhoda 2-5-2002 16:43

Re: the brain -- I remember a Nova or Discovery program quite a few years back that got into some of the areas/functions of the brain. They showed some actual surgery involving the area associated with vision. A young woman who had recently gone blind had volunteered for the surgery, which was done with only a local anaesthetic, and she was fully conscious. The surgeons removed the top of her scull, exposing the brain. They then stimulated various portions with electrodes, and she was able to tell them what she "saw" with each probe. They would hit one spot and she'd report seeing a color, or a flash of light. It was eerie, seeing her lying there speaking calmly with a doctor who was sticking pins in her exposed brain!

Also, there are well-documented reports of brain trauma resulting in physical loss of parts of the brain, but leaving the victim still able to function.

Then there's the frontal lobotomy. The most active proponent of that treatment (I forget his name) used to carry around an ice pick, saying that it was all he needed to perform the procedure on a violent felon, thus transforming him or her into a viable, functioning human being again. The pick was inserted into the brain through the temple, about halfway between the eye and ear, and twisted to stir things around, destroying the section of the brain that triggered the violent outbursts. Nice man.

I've been interested for quite some time in the memory/recall process. Where are memories stored? How do we remember? If they are actually imprinted in cells or neurons, could it be possible to physically extract a memory from one person and inject it into another person?
Think of the implications in that -- the last memory of a murder victim could be inserted into the brain of a living person, who could then remember the face of the assailant. It's a story idea that I've been toying with for several years.

howard 2-5-2002 16:08

Hi All

Heather -- thanks for the update on "P". I'm glad to know you're back working on it. I like all your questions about the brain. Now I wonder ... if we're only using 10%, what is the other 90% doing? Are all those brain cells just up there playing games with us? I have an acquaintance who has brain demilization (sp?) and his doctor's are throughly confused on his ability to not only walk by himself, but drive as well. Over half of his brain is completely dead. When the condition first set in, he couldn't put his shoes on the correct feet. He didn't know how. He didn't know how to work a finger nail clipper. All those little things we take for granted in everyday life, he had to relearn. And somehow he did. While it is obvious that he has to concentrate when he walks and he's slower when he talks, in most other ways, he is the same person I first met.

Viv -- will you be ready to get back at our buddy system this week? I have no idea what to write, but I'll work on it. My previous story is being set aside for now. I'm having a big problem getting it where I want it to go and keep the character sympathetic. My talents are not quite up to the challenge I'm facing with this story. So, I'll set it aside until they are. :)

Mary -- I think I'm going to have fun with this week's theme. LOL I know when I tell my neighbor, she'll be anxious to see what I come up with. I've only got one neighbor and our two families get along as good friends. We rely on each other in that old-fashioned sense. To the point where we share our garden space, chores and fruits (or would that be vegies?).

Carol 2-5-2002 14:05

I have never been politically correct - too many different political stances to choose from!

If we soften the history to appeal to some sense of 'political correctness' then there is no chance to learn from history. You can't learn from lies. A colour that's been tinted even just a little bit is no longer the same colour; no longer true. A little lie is going to change the shade. Perhaps that is why we as a human race have not learned terribly well or particularly fast that war is damaging and pointless, that dishonesty in any facet of life - especially that of a governmental force, will not gain anything postive in the long run.

We may not be able to avoid tinting history through personal bias, but attempts should be made to keep history as undiluted and as true-blue as possible. The whole point of learning and keeping history of events is to learn something; and hopefully whittle down the number of mistakes. I guess that hasn't been learned yet, either!

I am disgusted that they'd want to change the faces on the proposed statues of the rescuers with the flag. If the statue is bronze, what's to indicate race anyhow? Certainly not the colour of the 'skin'. So what would indicate racial differentiation? The set of the eyes, the hairstyle? Other facial features? Isn't that being biased to begin with, identifying particular shapes with particular races of people?
I'd say.

Oh, and they might want to round the rescuers out to four - make that two women and two men. One must be Latina, one African-American, one Asian, and oops. Not enough room for a Russian, an Englishman, a Scot, an Egyptian, an East Indian, an Inuit, a...

I say create the statue to honour those rescuers in particular. Give them the very faces of the real men who raised that flag. They deserve it. And create a huge plaque, similar to the one for the Vietnam Veterans, with everyone's name on it who died in the tragedy of 9-11. And, make a separate plaque for all of those who made efforts to help, if it's possible to compile all of their names.

There. I've decided!

Wonder if anyone else agrees.

Sorry, I haven't been around for a while, and I'm way too tired to make any more sense than I have. If it's not enough sense for anyone to read, happily skip this over and tell yourself that Heather needs more sleep.

Mil was over last night, and we stayed up a little late to chat. Strange things going on in my brother in law's life - needed discussion! I think my mother in law feels a bit better about the situation now. She also wanted to know what sort of questions she thought she should ask her son's lawyer when she went in to the appointment with him today. He is likely filing for a divorce, but because of his disability, wants to know how things might go.
And my mother in law wants to make sure that his (ex-)wife can't cut her off from seeing her grandchildren, which is a very likely possibility.
What a nasty thought.

Heather 2-5-2002 13:56

RE the changing of history to satisfy PC - I remember reading an article (I have it in my archives somewhere) a few years back about an incident where the Grolier files were hacked and changes were made to several encyclopedia articles. Fortunately these were caught and corrected, but imagine again a future generation being referred to an intentionally-altered reference source.
Dictionaries are constantly changing, based on the current political/social climate (or simply on editorial bias). Some words simply don't mean what they used to mean. It's good to be dynamic, and we must keep up with progress, but we risk losing whole bodies of information based on the changing definitions of words integral to that information.
It's something a writer needs to be aware of.

howard 2-5-2002 11:17



I have read that case study that HEATHER talked about. I think in it they only focused on one people group. That particular custom is not practiced by African people as whole. Remember that Africa is made up of many different nations and people groups, all with different traditions and beliefs.

I have read much about the African AIDS epidemic. Sexual promiscuity is rampant in many areas there today, but not because of their customs. Actually it is the exact opposite--pressures brought about by poverty and post-colonialism that have irradicated their traditional customs and have left the people impoverished and without direction. Most of the men cannot merely marry, and then settle-down and have children. They are required to go to the big cities and work and then send money home to their families. Since they are so long away from their wives, many men find comfort and companionship with prositutes. It is from the prostitutes that they catch AIDS. Sadly many of these men do get home before they realize that they have contracted AIDS and then have marital relations with their wives, giving them the disease as well. The result is that within a few years there are children who have no parents. Often the grandparents or relatives are forced to raise them, or they end up in orphanages, or they just have to make it on their own.

The instability of Africa's political climate, economic problems, wars and the abuse of their own leadership has gone a long way into dismantling any traditional family or support systems that Africans once enjoyed.

The people who have remained relatively unscathed by AIDS are the Muslim populations because they don't tend to stray outside the bonds of matrimony.

Though Africa is the poster child for AIDS, other societies as well are having a problem with it. Cambodia has a high incidence. Russia immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union has had problems (much of that drug use), and Latin America.

Take away certain institutions from people like family, faith, and justice, or corrupt these institutions and any society is vulernable to such life-style diseases as AIDS. Unfortunately Africa and much of the world has bought into the new Western philosophy that if it feels right, do it. Western movies and magazines betray sex as merely some urge that you give into, sort of like eating or going to the restroom. This very pervasive media trivilizes family, God, fair-play and puts down any sort of traditional morality that has always put a lid on people's darker side since the beginning of time. Many of us in Western countries have had enough education and enough emotional support from our families and churches that we can see these lies for what they are, but not so with Africa. Those of us in Western countries who have bought the lies of sex without responsibility can always fall back on our advanced medicine and the availibility of condoms. Not so with the people in Africa.


History is never an exact science. There is no way it can be recorded without the prejudices and perceptions of the people recording it. As long as enough records, accounts by participants, and enough first hand evidence remain for future and more removed people, then a more accurate account probably comes through.

Political correctness is nothing new. Just remember how the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany rewrote history. It is often the most corrupt and insecure regimes that get into the activity in a big way. The people who are writing the garbage know that it is all lies, and the people who are forced to read it tend to see it as what it is also. History that comes out of a desire to brain-wash or to facilitate a bad idea often comes across as borish, dull and ackward. I have accidently gotten hold of some medieval history written by feminists, and some of it is so bad to almost be funny. Nobody could believe it unless THEY WANT TO.

Is that not the key? If there is a personal stake involved, people will believe a lot of stupid stuff they normally wouldn't. People who are insecure in their beliefs deep down don't believe them and so have to shore up their lack of belief by reading the politically correct drivel.

I think there is a still small voice in all us that points out truth from false hood. There are so many things that just do not ring true, but often we wish to believe what we hear or read, or else many of us have so little confidence in our own ability to discern, so we accept what we are given. Then there are others, like politicians, too frightened to buck the system and demand the truth.

Rhoda 2-5-2002 10:45

Did you guys ever read "Harriet the Spy" as kids? I did and I sure loved it. I thought Harriet was cool. She knew everything. At least she thought she did.


("Hey Glenn, why do you think Jack is dragging that black bag out behind his garage?"

"How should I know, Alice? Mind your own business!")

Mary 2-5-2002 3:11


Jerry, those volumes are a treasure! I'd give an eyetooth to devour them.
Perhaps common history is written by the winners, but it is not the only history written. The winners read and learn the history they wrote, the losers read and learn what they wrote. Those two truths will not be the same; as Mark said, no single source will get it all. And then there is personal interpretation and beliefs. I once spoke to a woman who - though she seemed in touch with reality - was adamant that no one has ever been to the moon, or even outer space. It's all been a sham. Then she used her cell phone. Huh? In all noticable respects, she seemed quite with it. I also once spoke to a woman, a customer, who was curious about the fossils for sale where I work. After a very intelligent conversation, she turned to me and in a sincere way said, 'Of course, we all know that dinosaurs never really existed. They are just a test put in the way of our faith. I do wish the school system would stop trying to teach my kids that dinosaurs were really alive.'
So what would happen to history if she had her way?

What's this about trying to make that monument p/c? Change the faces? What absolute garbage! Taylor, you have the right of it. The men in that photo are just men. Hu-men. If they are intending on making it racially correct, don't forget that women were there too. Perhaps one should be a woman. What garbage! That photo is a moment in time, and the monument should reflect nothing else. I hope good sense reasserts itself.

Speaking of monuments, has anyone heard the song by Alan Jackson, 'Where Were You'. That is an excellent tribute song. Brings a mist to my eyes every time I hear it.

Mel, I've finished printing. I'll get it in the mail soon.
Blue Skies!

Tina 2-5-2002 2:37

It is true, however that history does indeed change as a matter of growth. I have some wonderful old books, a complete set, or at least I think it is complete, called the worlds best history. The latest copy write on any volume is 1908. Reading that history is a bit different then what we read in our history classes in the '60s. Not that they changed the meaning, but they did condense much of what happened. I believe that the reason is probably that there simply isn't time to discuss the things written in those volumes that was indeed recent history, or at least history that was fresh in the minds of those who lived through it then wrote about it, then it would appear to the author today researching the topic and selecting that part of what happened that interested today's historians.

This set of books were wonderful for my kids back when they were in grammar and high school and needed to do reports on history. They had most of the necessary research material on our bookshelves.

When the wife's aunt died recently, we inherited a book that she bought at the end of the first world war. The hardcover book deals with the recent events in the world, mostly the war to end all wars. It begins with the rise of the horrible Hun, and explainers in no uncertain terms the evil of the Germanic people. It is good reading too.

I have attempted to read at least on book of each set of that history series, but usually get off on a different tangent. It is very good reading, but most are written by the authors who live in the area that is described in the book, then translated to English. Some of the history looses some meaning in the translation. The books have volumes on Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Canada, and of course a whole series of ten books on the history of the U.S. Beginning at the first settlements and ending with today, that being the time of my fathers birth, or shortly before, he was born January 31st, 1910.

Jerry 2-4-2002 23:54

Ben: I tried to respond to your email several different ways and to both of the email addresses you left in your email and all got bounced. Actually, I tried sending an email to someone else in Canada and it got bounced as well, so I am wondering if it is just me, my computer, my service provider or what. At any rate, just bit the bullet and am getting some lights for my underwater video housing. Really cannot afford it, but really want the possibility of getting video of a six guill shark if I am lucky enough to see one around here in Seattle. That and everything else that is a little too dark what with all the rain and overcast skies (surprisesurprise) here in Seattle. Hope everyone is doing well. If I come up with something interesting I will at least drop off a still image here. Still working on plotting on a short story that I have in the works about scuba divers in space. Talk with everyone soon.

Oh, BTW, check out the latest graphic I came up with for my clubs page - . I rather like it actually.

Jack Beslanwitch Northwest Science Fiction Resources 2-4-2002 23:49

The sperm-and-egg discussions make me wonder which came first.

2-4-2002 22:58

Ex-tra marital sex. How about triple-X-tra marital sex. Had that. Remember it fondle-ly.

History IS written by the winners. The winners are usually the only ones with the time and resources to devote to such nonsense as getting stories recorded on paper. Some historians are fair and accurate and just want to know what happened. Others want to know motivation. I've read some historians who could spin a pretty good yarn and make the events of a past period really come to life. It goes without saying, however, that every historian is just human and that we need to read more than one source.

My freshman year in college, in a literature class, we read some stuff by Robert Burns. In the background discussion came a revelation that Burns had fathered many, many children by almost as many women. One girl in the class refused to believe that he was like that because, "People didn't do that kind of thing in those days." No matter what else, history is a record of human activity -- keyword: human.

TEEKAY -- A rose by any other name would swell as meat. Now, that'll get up yer nose.

Mark 2-4-2002 22:54



(Grin) I read through the sperm and egg discussions posted today. The post about African women and multiple sexual partners, husband and lover got me though. That could be, (and this is a long shot I know) the reason AIDS is killing so many people...over there. And over here as well, all over the world in fact.

I just don't understand why some people don't understand that sex, while essential for procreation, (indeed!) very well may kill you. Most especially in Africa! The United Nations has spent millions, if not billions in getting this message across...especially in third world countries. To no avail apparently. It seems that some persons are placed on earth merely to suffer and die...on the evening news...for others to watch.

This might lead an impartial observer to believe there simply is no accounting for human actions. Perhaps the genetic trait everyone has, some suppress, some don't, is self-destruction. Rampant drug use...unprotected and random sex...teenage pregnancy...never ending tribal and state sponsored warfare...terrorization, initiated by religious intolerance...casual murder for mere pennies...all wrapped up in seemingly epidemic strains of unreasonable stupidity.

It will never end, I know. But this does not make it any easier to understand. Maybe we're not supposed too? I just hope that when my life is over, God, or at least a qualified representative :-) takes me aside and explains the why of it all.

Sorry for the negative :-)


Randall 2-4-2002 21:52


That is what I'm talking about. Under the guise of political correctness you can create many wrongs or rights.

But to go back and rewrite things that happened hundreds of years ago based on standards and phrases of today is asking for trouble, big trouble.

Debra 2-4-2002 20:30

Oh forgot to say I DESPISE those who would rewrite history to satisfy political correctness.

There is an old saying, History is written by the winners. Problem is now the loosers have convinced the winners that it is wrong to tell it like we know it happened. If that makes any sense at all.

Jerry 2-4-2002 20:07

Ok, now that's more then I needed to know about extramarital sex.

I guess more fun makes the bun???

Weather here a bouts is nice again, the cold is gone, replaced with wonderful spring like warmth. There is still lots of snow a bouts, from the last blast, but if the teps keep up it will soon be gone again.

Wife has joined TOPS again, she used to belong in the old town before we moved, but there were no clubs here, so she dropped out. Now she has been instrumental in getting a club started here. It's nice to see her doing things again. She is at her weekly meeting tonight.

The great thing is that now I can watch all the Monday night shows I like instead of that stupid Weakest Link, God I am so tired of that show.

Bought a box of broken CD Drives on Ebay for fifteen bucks, just got them today, thus far I have revived three out of the six, and I think there are enough good parts to make one more work. All are forty speed or faster so I think I got my moneys worth out of that fifteen bucks.

Write On - Write On - Write On - Right On!

Jerry 2-4-2002 20:04


On rewriting history...(ARRRRGGGGHHHHH) had this guy, African-American on The Oreilly Factor not too long ago saying that some of the history should be taught to tell the full "truth". Starting way at the top, he started by saying George Washington was no kind of hero, no kind of great man, and shouldn't be classed as such because he had slaves.
TG Mr Oreilly turned around and said, "Look I know he had slaves but he was still a great man, he did end up releasing his slaves"
The guy replied, "Maybe to you, not me."

The verbal game of tennis went on for awhile... Just thought I would add that to rewriting history to be politically correct thing. I say, history happened the way it happened and you cant rewrite it to how you wanted it to be.

And yes I strongly disagreed with that bronze statue of the rescuers putting up the flag, about changing the faces so they cover a variety of nationalities.
"They" were saying that you know it just shows 3 white people there in that pic.
I dont know about them but each time I see that pic, I see three rescuers and thats all.

Taylor 2-4-2002 19:41

Don't attack me. I'm just saying we shouldn't rewrite history to satisfy a new way of thinking today.

I'm with you on all major issues.


Debra 2-4-2002 19:23

Three triplets Hah!
How many did you think?

Teekay 2-4-2002 17:56


I know, lo-o-o-o-o--ts of typos :-D

Teekay 2-4-2002 17:55


ROSEMARY: Thanks :-), so it can be done, just think of the potential for a mystery novel there.
So then, I'm assuming you could have three triplets as one of the foetus' might be reabsorbed into the system, hmmmm, so much scope.

DEBRA: If that theory had any substance, wouldn't it then stand to reason that there would be no rape pregnancies?
I'm slotting that one in with the marijuana and ecstacy research - a waste of resources.:-D

HEATHER: House of eostrogen - I love it!

HOAWRD: Like Shakespeare once said "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Isn't it bizarre?
There will probably come a time when the word conflict is deemed unfit to use in the passages of resenting a tame history.
Slowly, through the ages, the whole truth of the past will be changed as the 'enlightened' fight to me politically correct and inoffensive.
But then the media do that anyway. As it is you have to sift through all the personal opinions and sensationalism to get to the pure heart of the matter.
Unfortunately not everyone is inclined to do that and simply beleive what they are told and beleive what they read to be the truth.
Boy, sometimes the press really get up my nose.


Teekay 2-4-2002 17:53

I dont think any one knows what you mean Debra

2-4-2002 15:10


It sounds like political correctness will mutate to become a virus that turns on itself.

The words and terms relevant during those time cannot change retroactive.

Maybe we can just rewrite history all together, making it politically correct. Let's start with Uggh!

Yes, typos. YOu know what I mean.

Debra 2-4-2002 10:46


I think and hope you are right. In my opinion it means that no two souls are alike. No one could convince me otherwise.

Our souls I think can intertwine with the physical.

Interesting huh?

Debra 2-4-2002 10:41

DAGN! I'm getting downright dyslexic! That's supposed to be highest.

howrad 2-4-2002 10:36

I didn't see the Coke commercial, but the one that really grabbed me was the Budweiser team trotting down the snowy road, and stopping in a field. In the distance you could see the New York City skyline. The team stopped, facing the city, and the horses all went down on one knee and bowed their heads. I wonder how many eyes were wet after that one!
Brittany's Pepsi commercials didn't do all that well, and the 50's version scored the hightes of the series.
There's a ranking somewhere of all the commercials -- I'll post it if I can find it.
I thought the U2 number was pretty well done - usually don't enjoy all that, but it was pretty good. I was doing math homework all through the game, so didn't catch some of it.
For those interested in changing history, there's an article out on
that talks about the new New Jersey history standards -- they exclude Washington, Jefferson, Pilgrims, etc, and use the word 'conflict' instead of 'war'. All in the name of political correctness.

How does this relate to writers? Imagine a future generation unable to relate to the historical references we may use in our stories/poems/essays/etc.


howard 2-4-2002 10:34

DEBRA: If even one little gene is different in your kids, then they are not truly identical twins. It sounds to me like your twins are a case of people believing they are identical, when they really are fraternal. In appearance your daughters look identical, but there is something going on behind the scenes that makes them fraternal. That is just a guess on my part based on what the geneticist told me when I asked him about the paternity thing for Litter.

I do remember learning in school about how physically identical twins are so affected by their environment and upbringing that it is essentially what makes them different people(one is cuddly, one is rambunctious type of thing). That's why we can't go around cloning things and ending up with the same result as the original. You couldn't clone your favorite dog just to have him all over again, he wouldn't be the same, even though he looked precisely right. In essence, I am agreeing with Heather.

The enzyme thing: I have heard of something along those lines before, I just think it is science capitalizing on a coincidence to sell documentaries. I do believe that our bodies 'know things' that we don't even appreciate. I have also heard that in regards to human evolution, more and more often babies are resembling the father. It makes the father feel more of a bond with the child and more likely to stick around. Truth or hogwash? Who knows?

Mary 2-4-2002 10:33

Before you all go firing off, I know that there are unwanted babies in this world. I know.

I'm just saying that on some level there was some mechinisim that might not always work. Those little spermies swim fast.

Debra 2-4-2002 9:50

Mother's love is all powerful and also fundemental to the health and life of the baby.

If mother doesn't love baby, baby won't do well.

Could our bodies know this on a chemical level.

Debra 2-4-2002 9:48

Enzymenes would explain a lot when you see couples that claim their doctors have told them nothing is wrong and still no baby.

Wouldn't it!

If she didn't like her husband she couldn't have his baby, maybe. Thought provoking!

My twins are identical. They really are.

Only there is some specultion that they are mirror image. They have hair that parts on opposite sides and wink the opposite eye and have one right handed one and one left handed one, things like that. They checked the plasenta and found only enough chambers for one baby which means identical. On the other hand there were two bags of water and the doctor tells me that two bags of water still could mean identical. Then there's always, JUST LOOK AT UM!

Debra 2-4-2002 9:39

Rosemary - actually, I was going to see about having thirteen authors. Thirteen stories won't be nearly enough for a small book of short stories. I'm not going to narrow the collection down from 40 to 13 - there are many more good ones than that!

Everyone can relax now. :oD

Heather 2-4-2002 9:26

Then again, maybe not....

OH, yeah, that makes a great argument. Gee, I DUNNO.

2-4-2002 9:22

I'd be interested to know whether the enzymes began to destroy the sperm from both donors - perhaps the enzymes are really only active when unwanted sperm are present.
It's possible...

Heather 2-4-2002 9:21

Oh, and the enzymes will start destroying ANY sperm that enters - I wonder that they found any of the evidence conclusive.
The cameras are fibre-optic. The lens is on the end of a very fine cord that can be fed into pretty much any space. They use the same type of camera for colonoscopies, and other invasive procedures.

Love my typo on the last post... whoops! :o)

Heather 2-4-2002 9:18

If enzymes can regocnize the difference between millions of sperm from two donors, I'm sure it's possible for enzymes to differentiate between sperm from twins, since the enzymes seem to know who the owner likes best.

Heather 2-4-2002 9:15

Debra - I am thinking that if one of your twins has a birthmark, and the other doesn't, could it be that they aren't truly identical?
Babies will always differentiate after they're born, though, even if they are true identical twins. Two people, no matter how similar their days, will always have slightly different experiences, and therefore different learnings.
Personality isn't determined completely by genetic code, but a combination of innate and environmental factors. Identical twins or quads won't have the same personality because DNA doesn't decide that. It might have some role in it at first, but the rest is unraveled as the child grows.

Who knows if past lives or racial memories play a part as well.

Heather 2-4-2002 9:12

I do have to admit that is an interesting picture you painted in an Estrogen House.

Debra 2-4-2002 9:07


They were wondering if that is what was happening so they did the experiment and made all the women have some sort of camera on the scene, don't ask me how, but it appeared that even if the women were with the lover second that the enzymene were already destroying the sperm of the man she did not like.

Now the question remains would these enzymens recognize the differences if any in the sperm of identical twins.

That's the real question.

Debra 2-4-2002 9:06

Debra - sounds to me as if the woman was already impregnated by her lover, so couldn't get pregnant by her husband right after that. The enzymes would destroy those extra sperm since they'd just be swimming around with no egg 'up for grabs'. The enzymes have to be there at all times - sperm that make it to the egg are exposed to it as well. One (or more) just reach the egg before the enzymes destroy them. The ones that don't make it into the egg will then be killed off by those enzymes.
Wouldn't want a bunch of testosterone-bathed sperm running around in an Estrogen House!

Ahem. Anyway, there's our little sexuality talk for the day.

Why, Mark, aren't you sweet! *double wink* just for that.

Okay, before I get completely distracted, time to write.

Heather 2-4-2002 9:01


As the parent of identical tiwins I can tell you they are NOT the same baby twice, as I have always suspected.

Not only that one of my twins has a birthmark that the other one doesn't. She has a small coffee stain on her torso.

Also, one is braver than the other one and one is more cuddley and so on and so on.

There will be evidence that will reveal itself through time.

Debra 2-4-2002 8:53


On the twins, I have heard and seen video of the proof that there are enzymens in a women's body that kill off the sperm of the man she likes least. So in essence when she is intimate with two men near baby time she will usually carry the baby of the man she likes.

This experiment was done in Africa where having another lover as well as the man you are married too is common. The women sometimes leave her home for a short while maybe not even a whole day and everyone knows where she is going to be with her lover. When she goes home and her husband wants to be with her too she submits. They have been finding that the baby is usually the baby of the lover. So that's why they decided to do the experiment.

I don't know if that answers your question or not, but it's quite possible that she is carrying the baby of the twin she likes the most.

Debra 2-4-2002 8:38

Evening all,

I think most of the fuss about Enron is because the employees 401K retirement fund was mostly (completely?) in Enron stock. These people, some worked there for over 20 years, have lost their life savings while the big bosses dumped their stock ahead of time for millions and millions of dollars profit.

OKAY, I just read farther down and RANDALL gave the same explanation, with less typos and a lot clearer. But I'm not erasing it anyway.

KMart may have gone down the drain because of mismanagement of the stores. We have a SuperKMart nearby and we know that we always have to check the receipt before we leave because almost always there is one or more mispriced items. Never in our favor. It is also messy, dirty and usually the restroom smells terrible. That is pure managerial problems. This is NOT on the wrong side of town. I find that a poor excuse anyway.

In one of the small towns outside of SA, we have a (locally) famous set of identical QUADS. Last time I saw a picture of them they were beautiful blond women.

Does the 'Thirteen' in the new name for P** mean you are only going to pick out thirteen of the fourty stories? By the way, I know I have seen at least three short story collections with the word THIRTEEN in the name of the book. Dick Francis had one and I think Lillian Jackson Braun had another. Think the third was Si/Fi. I vote you use Phantasium. I always thought it was creative and arresting.

I'm going to post now even though I'm still reading the NB. If I miss anything, I'll be back.
Afraid I'll lose the whole thing.

Rosemary 2-3-2002 23:36

Game's over. Patriots won in the best Super Bowl Since 1990 when the Bills missed a last-second field goal.

Did you see that Coke commercial ? ?

Final thought on printers. A laser printer will cost more up front, but produce pages for (on average) a tenth the cost of inkjet. Using my old Canon for example, the 300-page document I wanted would cost $13.50 in ink while the NEC used $1.50 of toner. Since I got the laser, I only use the Canon for birthday cards and special-occasion stuff. has reviews of all things computer. If you are shopping, look there for reviews and then for links to shopping sites. I also like Yahoo shopping, they keep track of customer satisfaction. I buy from stores that have good customer service.

Mark 2-3-2002 22:53

MARK -- good to see you posting again - yeah, I know it's intercom - didn't correct the spelling on it, just posted it as I received it. I meant to add that I didn't write it to begin with, just thought it was a great story.

Been working on homework while watching the game. Tomorrow's my long day - only three classes, but math starts at 8AM, and my third class ends at 8:50PM. No writing classes this semester - I'll have to see if I can squeeze one in this fall, if I go back for more punishment. I'll be needing a fulltime job by then, though, unless P* hits the best-seller list, and we all get to split a huge check! :-) Any chance of that, Heather?

I hooked up my router this afternoon, and it seems to have speeded up my connection. Also looks like it keeps the bad guys out, because my firewall hasn't registered a hit since I started the router. Come to think of it, maybe the firewall was slowing down the whole system. Strange.


howard 2-3-2002 22:29

Thought I was being smart uploading all those photo's to Geocities. Ok so they are there now, and apparently my old buddy has looked at them, just got a note from Geocities that due to heavy traffic at my new web site they were shutting it down temporaraly. Now I don't know how there could have been that much traffic, I only gave the address out to three people.

Oh well who knows anything with this big internet thing.

Jerry 2-3-2002 20:15


Though I hope they fully investigate what went on, even though I hope there's no wrong doing by the Bush Administration.

Randall: Prayers and thoughts to your aunt... sorry to hear that.

This is funny, suppose to lose my job in early December, TG our head office in Perth can not communicate with our shop, so for the time being Im still working... Until things get sorted out Im still in a job.
TG for miscommunication. But its getting closer for sure.

Taylor 2-3-2002 19:57


Enron now that was one big F up wasn't it, and heard a Kmart over there is filing for bankruptcy as well.
And should the Administration bail out those who "chose" to invest into Enron?

Taylor 2-3-2002 19:42


RHODA & RANDALL: Come to think of it, I did see something about Enron on the news the other day. (Their logo would be a big shiny 'E' tilted slightly on it's corner?)
Didn't pay much attention, as was just doing a lounge room pass through, but will pay more attention from now on.
Thanks for the info.

Speaking of identical twins, does anybody know if it's possible to have identical triplets, or must an egg always divide by two.
And if only by two, can it then divide again into identical quadruplets?
I can't see why not, although the chances of this would be greatly minimal.
This is just off hand, don't bother looking it up. It's just something I've wondered about for ages and LITTER brought it to the fore again.


Teekay 2-3-2002 17:47

OK -- Ken Lay is in my basement. He's broke and asking for cash. If you guys send me money, I'll help him back on his feet.

HOWARD -- Two good ones. But it's an 'intercom' not an 'inner com' (though Kurt Warner is known for inner calm). AAAaaaand. If I ride the banister sidesaddle . . .

HEATHER -- made my day. How often does such a young beauty wink at me? First time this week. Whatever you say, goes.

TINA -- It's true that printheads make a difference in print quality, but making you replace the heads with each ink cartridge is excessive. At work I use an HP2000c, it has easy-change printheads and large cartridges made for lots of use. In 17 months I have not replaced the heads on that thing. When I shop printers I look for quality of output first and cartridge replacement issues second. Over its lifetime, the cost of an inkjet will be in cartridges. Because most of my work is in simple black and white, I bought a laser printer for home. I printed a 300-page technical manual for myself and saved money. The laser (NEC 870) cost $200 on special, the ink for my Canon would have cost more. I am considering upgrading my Canon to a 650 model, it's the most bang for the buck right now.

Interesting that you would talk of simplifying. I had a long talk with Mr Thoreau about that. His time at Walden Pond was instructive. I agree that simplifying is a good move. At this moment I am in process of trying to fill my life with more. Saw a quote from Ronnie Lott who said. "One life, fill it up." Drug store clerk shook her head at me yesterday and said, "You keep busy, don't you?" and I said "Yup, one life. Fill it up." People don't believe I can accomplish everything they see around me. Honestly, I'm lazy, and I've been loafing a lot lately. I think I can go on autopilot and get some stuff done because I learned where in my life to simplify. It is clearly an important personal step. Thoreau said, "Look at the farmer trudging along the road to town, pulling his 75 acres with him." I feel that way often. It's quite tiring. My acreage is less tiring (and only .97 acre) when my attitude and viewpoint get adjusted.

Time to make supper, then the Super Bowl. Sorry HOWARD. I'm pulling for the Patriots.

Mark 2-3-2002 17:46


The significance of Ken Lay to this discussion is that the Senate is investigating the White House and their dealings with Ken Lay because he gave a bunch of money to George W. Bush's campaign and met with some White House staff before the bankruptcy. As the Democrats who lead the Senate salivated with the hope of doing something to puncture the bubble of Bush's enormous popularity, disturbing facts about Ken Lay became known to the public. One thing was that he gave lots and lots of money to Bill Clinton's campaign and ended up with a great deal in an Indian power facility, that made possible by the Clinton administration. Also Ken Lay has met with and has given money to most individuals in the United States Senate and The House of Representatives regardless of party. Everybody has met with Ken Lay including Alan Greenspan of the federal reserve, leading Democrats, and now it turns out even Charles the prince of Wales. After a dinner with Prince Charles, Ken Lay forked out a check of one million pounds to Charles's favorite charity. The headline I saw was highly sensationalized, but really I don't see where association with Ken Lay, especially when it was one luncheon puts down Prince Charles in any way. But there is this guilt by association thing which the American media and political pundents just love.

The strange thing about Ken Lay is that no one knows anything about him until there is an investigation and then all sorts of facts about him giving money to all sorts of people come out. That is why I firmly believe we have all met Ken Lay at some time or another. And, TEEKAY, if this man can have influence across the pond in the United Kingdom then there is no doubt in my mind, he has worked this same magic in Austrailia as well.

Rhoda 2-3-2002 15:58

LITTER: Identical twins are clones and, as you know, have carbon-copy DNA. Therefore, with the genetic testing available today, there is no way for you to distinguish the paternity of a child between identical twin potential fathers. However, some twins, even though they appear identical, are really fraternal twins and in that case you could successfully test them. If you are looking for a workable twist, that is the one. The twins would have to be tested first to confirm that they truly are identical. Only 18% of all sets of twins born are identical, though many more believe they are. Hope that doesn't dash your storyline too much! Or better yet, perhaps it has helped it along or confirmed an idea you had. Write hard!

Mary 2-3-2002 13:19

Ok so that didn't work, guess I best read up on HTML stuff again.

Jerry 2-3-2002 12:38"

2-3-2002 12:37

Heather OJ's? I haven't heard of OJ's since '71 when I left Nam. Lots of guys simply loved OJ's but they looked horrid, all brown looked like they had been dipped in the mix they used to burn shit.

From what I understand, just from what my buddies said, you understand, they produced a very mellow high that lasted a loooong time.

Jerry 2-3-2002 12:22


Just returned from the hospital. My aunt is in real bad shape. Aunt Kitty is 83, worked hard all her life raising two kids and a husband. :-) She is on a breathing machine, with fluid in her lungs. Not good.

Teekay...Ken Lay was the boss at ENRON, an energy corporation in Houston, Texas that went bust, after the executives sold their shares for millions of bucks. The employees were blocked from selling their shares which were tied up in a 401K retirement plan. Bye, bye retirement...hello welfare! So what else is new. Greed is a detestable human trait and will always grow and prosper when billions of dollers are available.

Heather...glad to hear "P" is progressing.

Most Texans will smile when the name Ima is mentioned. One of the most beloved women in our states history, daughter of the governor many decades ago, truly a saint, patron of the arts, higher education, a true credit to the human race was named Ima........Ima Hogg.

Parental humor? on.

I have joined the Del Ray book web site. Its kinda neat. You may submit up to 7500 words, but only after you have read 4 other submissions and "review" them. Check it out.

Better go


Randall 2-3-2002 11:59

That's what I get for still being up at almost 5am!

Mary 2-3-2002 4:50

Make that TWO genetic experts. oy

2-3-2002 4:49

TEEKAY: Big hugs. You are adorable.

LITTER: I have to genetic experts working on your problem even as I type this message. They will be getting back to me by Monday. (my time)

Mary 2-3-2002 4:48


MARY: HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHA. Starting to feel really comfortable in my 'feeling like a dill dress', must be wearing it in.

LITTER: Good question. And I can only imagine there would be no way to tell. Wouldn't identical twins have excactly the same DNA coding, and to date DNA is the only way to really establish paternity.

Teekay 2-3-2002 4:36

Was IMA really armless? I don't remember that part. Hehe.

2-3-2002 4:33

TEEKAY: I think Litter meant if the Fathers were identical twins...not the kids.

Mary 2-3-2002 4:29

HOWARD: We had really high winds right before the snow hit and now all of the garbage from any house west of us is in my driveway. Of all the places to stop blowing!! My husband had to park the car in the street and pick up the bags of garbage before he could pull into the drive. Some of this garbage was exceptionally gross.

LITTER: Thanks, and I will work on an answer to your paternity question. Generally, if I dig deep enough I come up with something; for you, I dig!

TINA: My cartridges aren't supposed to be refillable either, but I refill them anyway. I buy one refill kit for $19.00 and it saves me over $200 in ink costs. I print major amounts of stuff and I can't often use economy settings because my husband's whole office gets their paperwork and forms off of my printer. I designed their forms and won't hand over the software! (aka job security)
Ideally, they should reimburse me for the ink, but it doesn't always happen that way, so I would rather just refill them. It is simple, and clean. I have never spilled any ink and included in the refill kit that I buy is a booklet with instructions on how to refill any cartridge. If I am ever money-rich I will always buy new cartridges, but for now, this works for me. There has been no difference in print quality, even photos, in my instance. Hope that helps.

JERRY: Sounds like you need to get yourself a pair of tap shoes to crunch up Renn's food! ;-)

I just know I am forgetting to say something!

Mary 2-3-2002 4:27

Please disregard that last foul pile of imagery. And this one, too. :oP

Heather 2-3-2002 4:00

All right, it wasn't opium, it was ecstacy. I misquoted.
I rather enjoy being ecstatic the real way. What fun would it be to have fake joy? Isn't that like having the key to all the world's mysteries, only to find it won't turn in the lock?

Haha. Brain has ceased to fart rudely. Time to turn it off.

It's been working overtime anyway, and seems to be frothing a bit.


Heather 2-3-2002 3:59

Teek - just refreshed the page and there you were!

I've heard the same thing about the 10 percent of the brain being used, the rest - duhhhh, we don't know.
I'm thinking - how does one measure the amount of brain being used? CAT scan... EEG's... (Electroencephalograms)
and um... yeah, those other tests...
deneurolizer tests - where they dislodge a bunch of your synapses and fray nerological pathways...

Oh, wait, that last one was the marijuana/opium mix.

I agree, though, Teek. I think there's got to be a large portion of the brain reserved for recording such data. I'm sure the map for a place such as that is really unnecessary. It would take all the fun out of guessing. :oD

Heather 2-3-2002 3:56

Hey - just an update on the Phantasium/Legendary Thirteen project:

There are more than 40 stories in total.
I have started my cutting and editing. The first five stories will be on their way back to the appropriate authors very soon - just have to type in my edits into a copy of the original manuscript. I have each saved separately, as well as in one batch, and have also saved the collection on several disks and CDroms.

When you receive an edited story in your email, take your time with it; read it through and take in the suggestions. Then, please revise carefully. This will hopefully save us all an extra round of edits and polishing. If you wish me to do the final polishing on a particular story, mention it at the top of a piece you have revised and returned to me, and I'll do what I can. I will send you the final version for your approval before the story goes onto CDrom in final condition to send to a publisher.

If you don't agree with some or all edits/suggestions on my part, feel free to discuss it with me, or send your story to Mark for a second opinion.
(Uh, Mark, warning... I just... oh, never mind!) *wink*

Hey, by the way, friends of the quill...
I am impressed with the sheer madness of paper covering my desk, all on your account! Congratulate yourselves for contributing to such a neat collection!

If there are any other stories you've been hogging, there is one more thing:

If you have a stellar ghost story that you've written AFTER Phantasium closed its doors, you can be sure

Just kidding.

Heather 2-3-2002 3:45


TINA: I think Fay weldon's a wonderful writer. I also picked up Praxis and Something about a fat woman, maybe diary of, from the same place - bargain!!
Like Maeve Binchy though, I think you have to read her books with fairly large gaps in between.

MEL: Only one!?!??!?! I'm thinking only one's pretty darn good right now :-D (especially considering I so far have written only none.)

HEATHER: Oh yeah, forgot he wore glasses.

ROSEMARY: Good idea re: the invalid husband with the female visitor, and that way the wife would have a good reason for popping him off, but then we'd be upset at the ending because we'd be hoping she got to live happily ever in the Bahamas or somewhere, but instead she gets to go to prison.

LITTER: DNA testing would easily tell the paternity of identical twins, and you'd only need to test one.
I'd like to forgo the honour of being the first victim (if you don't mind), but if there's a female loo cleaner who gets to remain intact and live happily ever after, I would be obliged if you would consider me for the role.

HEATHER: How about that image on Terminator 2? Outside the school yard !~shudder~
On the memory thing. I read somewhere once about memory being in your genes, that is, perhaps you are recalling a memory of your Grandmother or Great Grandfather. Could explain a few things like de jevu for instance.
Also read that man used only 10% of his brain. Thought: could the other 90% be for subconscious use, ie, storing all the data, sifting through the murk and mire of constant sensory input. Intuition etc??? storing one's entire life?
I also read that so far science doesn't really have a clue about the brain and a lot of it is collective guess work which matches certain patterns in certain individuals, and although things are moving along in leaps and bounds the brain will always be mainly, an intangible mystery.
Re:Thoughts-I think a lot of people can remember thoughts they had years ago. What it mostly depends upon was how much attention was being paid to these thoughts at the time. Other influences may also help those thoughts to stay in the memory and make it more tangible than if it were just a fleeting thought.
You said I could rant, spill and hyothesise:-D

RHODA: Aw gee, I was rather fond of Ima, she was a tough old broad, seems a shame she should come to such a tragic end. It's true, she was armless, but really!
My apologies :-D
She reminded me of me in about 40 - 50 years (okay, maybe 5) :-D Maybe she was evidence of projected memory.
Now there's a thought.
Hee hee.
Who's Ken Lay?

HEATHER: Those big spaces at the bottom of your posts could be either meditative silence, or perhaps one of those elusive thoughts.
On the internet the really good thoughts never go away, they stay for ever as a big vacant gap at the bottom of posts. One day Governments will fund scientists to spend billions of dollars to find a way to decipher the spaces into the brilliant thoughts they truly are.
Stranger things have happened,

Was reading in the paper today how scientist have concluded that if marijuana is taken with ecstacy one is less likely to suffer feelings of anxiety.
I can't believe they actually spent money on researching this stuff, though I hear some of the rats are pretty happy about it.
Results will be published in the 'Handbook for those who want the best from their drug addiction.' Latest edition to be released later this year.
And there I was wanting someone to invent a pill that would carbolise beds all by itself.
What was I thinking?

"What would ya do there?
We'll get hi-i-i-i-i-igh"

Ah Rats!

Teekay 2-3-2002 3:34

Come to think of it, I've been working on clutter since birth. That umbilical cord just had to go. Then there was that pacifier...

Heather 2-3-2002 3:34

Jerry - sounds like you could use a coffee grinder like the one Randall's been looking for. Grind up the dog food that way!
It'll save washing the crumbs from between your toes! :oD

Tina - major conundrum... Well, on the one hand simple living does involve getting rid of excess stuff - physical clutter; but simple living also involves getting rid of mental clutter and wastes of time. If working full time adds up to be a collosal addition of 'hectic' to your schedule, is the extra money going to be a waste if you don't have the time to enjoy it?

There are quite a few things to weigh there. Personally, if the new owner of the store expects you to sign a contract, I'd leave him the position, and the shelf dust!
But if you feel your time would be well invested there, then taking the job would be a good thing. Just remember - you can still remove a lot of clutter no matter what hours you work, or what you do in your free time.
I'm working on my clutter. I'll have to get back to you on that!
I'm still in the basement. :oD

Heather 2-3-2002 3:32

Now our little dog Renn is getting on in age, like the rest of us in this old house. Seems he is loosing his teeth. Now this causes a bit of a problem, since the only dog food he will eat is this dry chunk stuff. We've tried kibbles and bits, canned dog food, even gravy train, but he just turns his nose up at it.

He does have a good brain, even if it is old though, he has found that if he takes a piece of this dog food in his mouth, runs in-front of one of us, once in awhile we step on the dang stuff, then he swoops in and eats it.

He even gets a bit mad if you don't step on it now, kind of hard on the bare feet, but I guess anything to keep our little dog happy.

Jerry 2-3-2002 1:07

We have a copy of that scrabble game, our son gave it to us. The wife and daughter play it on the local network here at home, I have even joined in on my computer a couple of times, but I get angry too easy playing word games. We tried using it on the internet, and could only use our main computer against our son's up in Center, some problem with dynamic ip addresses. It works fine if you just use one machine at each end, and it wouldn't be a problem at all unless you want to play it over the network AND the internet.

Just can't have it both ways.

My old buddy from Nam and I are having a great time using the e-mail for catch up time. I hadn't heard from him since 1970 when he left to go home to Staten Island. I even posted a bunch of my old photo's of the base and such for him. I was going to e-mail them, but then I remembered when my cousin in California tried to e-mail me some pictures without shrinking them down, and they flooded our email server several times. Much quicker to upload them to Geocities anyhow.

Sounds like a real head scratcher Tina, guess you have to do what's RIGHT for you. If that means selling the stuff and enjoying the break, then go for it. If, however you think you can make good managing the store, what the heck, go for it for a few months and see how it goes.

This doesn't call for a long term obligation to the store owner does it? I guess if it does, then you best scratch the old nogging a bit more.

Jerry 2-2-2002 23:53

Try out Voices Network at Its for poets and writers and is pretty cool.


jj Voices Network 2-2-2002 23:46


Randall LOL! I always admire a good pun, but I think I mighta hit him too.
BTW yes I am reading, just typically slow!

Thanks all for the ink notes. Oddly enough, today I found the generic brand version of my cartridge. 8$ cheaper. Not lots, but better. Heather, my printer is a HP812C, and I always print on econo-mode. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that four ink cartridges cost the same as a whole new printer. It just annoys me.

Jerry! There is internet scrabble? Yay! What fun that would be, I'll have to scope it out. Heather, I haven't played Boggle in ages, but I used to love it. My favourite group-game now is Mad-Gab(tm) or Scattegories(tm). I love games, but most of my friends don't, so we rarely play them. Used to play a lot of Pictionary, but Troy and I were really, really good at it, and no one will play with us now.

Litter I also think that Ima is a suitable victim. :-D
Those kind of winds are great, or at least they are when I have a kite in hand! There is such a thing as too much wind, but not by much.

So I have a condundrum. My job has returned to full-time, and now I may have a chance to take over running the store. The new owner wants to be a 'silent' owner, just put in some $ and let those who know how to run it, run it. That ends up being me, because the current manager is moving away.
Now, the condundrum is this. I had basically decided to find new work, get out of retail, sell a bunch of stuff including our house. Get rid of clutter, stop feeding the consumer frenzy, and concentrate on writing, skydiving, and going back to school. Simplify my life! Troy is generally in agreement. Reduce our financial commitments and then redirect them to the important things. Now along comes this. I think I can handle it, and it does come with better pay, but it doesn't simplify anything! Now I'm confused. If I agree, it means committing to a decent time-span, which means staying in Vernon, which means why sell the house? I just don't know. How does a person make a decison like this? Heads/tails?

There's always those 1-900 fortune tellers... NOT!
Wonder what my horoscope says... NOT!

Ah well, I have two days to decide. Lots of time.

tick tock tick tock tick tock

Tina 2-2-2002 22:37

Rhoda - Please pass the Ken this way! :oD

Heather 2-2-2002 22:01

Teek - I get big spaces at the bottom of my posts without deleting anything! What am I doing wrong? :oD

Heather 2-2-2002 21:59

Randall, I thought repo guys always had bad days. It's not every day that you and I get shot at, chased, cursed at, confronted, or maimed; but for your average repo man, that's what I gathered to be an everyday occurance!

Heather 2-2-2002 21:58


I am having the same problem. I did it too in my last post.

Rhoda 2-2-2002 21:48


I loved your story. The true ones beat anything we can make up.


I volunteer IMA for the name of the female victem in your story, but only if that is alright with TEEKAY.

I am making progress with the tin whistle. I can do Silent Night and Down by the Sally Gardens . Actually I can play more, but I still need a lot more work. The kids say it sounds nice though.


I have suggestion for the next shortie topic. How about, My Dinner With Ken Lay And What he Did For Me. After having read the article about Ken Lay's meeting with the Prince of Wales, I have figured out why Enron went bankrupt. They simply gave too much money away. I have also come to the conclusion that there is not a person on the face of the planet who has not met sometime with Ken Lay. I am convinced I have actually met Ken Lay and have discussed energy policy with him (and why not? My husband is in the energy business). I am a bit fuzzy on details though. As HEATHER has discussed earlier, memory is a strange thing, and there are so many things we experience. I am sure with some hypnosis I can remember Ken Lay and recall where I placed the one million dollar check he gave me.

Rhoda 2-2-2002 21:45

Tomorrow we will try our 'shortie round robin' for the first time!

I suppose since I suggested the idea, I will start tomorrow's shortie RR by writing the first sentence or two. Each of us can contribute a sentence or two, and we continue the short RR in a cohesive manner by pasting (or retyping) the previous sentences in the round robin (RR).

Sounds simple enough? And however many people want to contribute sentences are welcome to do so - the more the merrier. There's no 'sentence length' rule, or anything of that nature. Dialogue is fine, too. If it ends in a period, it will be considered one sentence!

No refunds, returns, or exchanges. :oD

Heather 2-2-2002 21:35


Having a terminal case of misplaced phrases these last few days.

Could be a system problem? Huh?


2-2-2002 20:56



Silly Saturday! Count me in!:-(0

Great story Howard!

How is the gang tonight? Had a little trouble within our crew lately. Trouble between George Grayson Matthews (GGM) and Red Britches. Came about this way. George has contracts within the used car industry in town. And if an individual fails to make payments on time, George has a contract to repo said same vehicle. Some of the vehicles George repos could be mistaken for escapees from the local scrap dealer, but wheels are wheels. Now it goes without saying that the owner will view any attempt to put him afoot with great alarm. If not outright homicidal tendencies. Texas usually loses a couple of repo men a year, and not that their wreckers were repoed either.

George came into the store this morning sporting the classic black eye. A real shiner. He was in a surly mood, not prone for jokes...just the candidate for a real ribbing. He bought a set of jumper cables, signed the invoice and turned to leave.

"Hey George, wife got the tax refund check, huh?"

"Say George, her husband catch you climbing out the bedroom window?"

"Wow George, guess when he said shut up, you thought he said stand up?"

George halted halfway to the door, turned, and returned to sit on a stool. "Red hit me last night."

This brought store business to a standstill cause Red and George are as thick as thieves.

"What happened George?" someone asked in the silence.

"Had a contract to repo a Chevy Suburban last night. Guy was two months behind and lot finance man told me to ‘Go get it George' Well, Billy Ray was out with a sick wife. Leastwise, said she was sick. I needed someone to help and ride the wrecker, so I asked Red to help."

"Ride the wrecker?" I asked.

"Yeah. My wrecker hooks to the rear bumper of the unit to be repoed. If I have someone standing on the back bumper of the wrecker, a hook up can be a lot quicker. Time is of the essence here. I've been shot at, cut with a knife and had a pack of hounds sicced on me. Quicker I can snag the car the least body damage I may avoid. The guy in back hooks the tow bar to the rear bumper, engages the winch and away we go. Whole process takes only a few seconds."

"So Red was riding the bumper as you went after the car?"

"Yeah," George answered. "The dude knew we were coming. Lot manager told me to be careful as the man was hiding the Chevy. Said he had a special alarm. Said nobody was taking his wheels."

"Red hit you why?"

"Everything went smooth at first. I picked Red up long after midnight. We found the Chevy parked in the guys barn yard. I got a pair of bootleg night vision glasses from the National Guard and scopes out the scene. I throwed a package of hamburger meat in the yard, but no dog came out. I opened the gate and with Red on the bumper I backed to the Chevy. Red leaned over to make the hookup and thats when things came apart...."

George frowned. "Next thing I know Red is screaming something is hold of his shirt sleeve. Haven't heard such screaming since Randall though an owl was after him last year. I jumped outta the truck to see Red struggling to stay on the bumper. ‘Bout then something dragged him off and he really starts hollering. "God damn, get that thing away from me."

"There weren't no barks or anything like that. Just a funny woofing, grunting sound. I could see Red kicking at something big and black. Red broke free and in a step is standing on top of the wrecker hollering his head off about some monster with big teeth. Well, lights are coming on all over the place and I still don't know whats been after Red. The front door slams open and a guy steps out with a shotgun. He fires it into the air! I get in the wrecker and nail it. We go a spinning out of there after covering the man holding the shotgun with mud."

"I stopped a mile or so away. I hadn't seen Red, thought he might have been throwed off. But he was on the back of the wrecker. Had his shirt torn off, and big bruises all the way up his arm."

" ‘Jesus Christ!‘ " Red shouted pointing at his arm. " ‘Did you see the size of that big bastard!? Damn near ate me alive!!' "

"What was it after you Red?" I asked.

" ‘A sow, a big God damn pig!‘ " Red shouted. " ‘Son of a bitch had a hog tied on the rear bumper of that Chevy with a chain! Big and black, musta weighed a good 500 pounds at least! Teeth six inches long! Little beady red eyes! Hair like a steel file! Came out from under the rear end like a hungry panther! Though I was a goner for sure!‘ "

George paused. "That's when he hit me. Popped me right in the eye."

"Cause of what happened with the pig?" I asked.

"No cause I felt sorry for the old bastard. I tried to make him feel better. You know, a joke? All I said was...Well Red, no use to hog all the fun."

"Did you make the repo?"

George left the counter and walked to the door. "Got a slightly bent bumper."

Even repo guys have a bad day.


George sighed

Randall 2-2-2002 20:51

This must be silly Saturday!

Why didn't the Mermaid wear sea shells?

Because she was a B-cup.

Viv 2-2-2002 18:28

Here's a silly joke...

What kind of bees make milk?

Boo bees.

That was for Litter! Great to see you posting!

Heather 2-2-2002 18:24


That's NOT the sound from a finger against a mouth, Howard!

From laughter to tears.

What a day.

Heather 2-2-2002 18:23

Me again - with a true story that demonstrates what real Christian love is all about :

In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice came over the inner com asking for a carry out at check register 4.
Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him and took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA.
He walked out only to see her start walking up the road.
Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She simply said it wasn't possible. He pressed and she explained she had two
children and she couldn't afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday.
That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The babysitter had called and canceled.
To which Kurtis simply said, "Well, lets take the kids with us."
She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair; he was born a paraplegic with Down's syndrome. Kurtis asked
Brenda, "I still don't understand why the kids can't come with us?"
Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities. Just like her first husband and father of her children did.
That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to us the rest room, he picked him up out of his chair, took him, brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with. A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children and since they have added two more kids.
So what happened to the stock boy and check out girl? Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in St. Louis, where he is employed by the St.Louis Rams and plays quarterback. Watch him play this Sunday in Super Bowl XXXVI. Kurt Warner is known all over the sports world as a radiant Christian.

howard 2-2-2002 17:29

Blubba-wubba-wubba (I am going quietly insane here)-- I think that's how you spell the sound made by moving your index finger up and down across your lips -- which brings to mind the old joke:
Q: Why is the crack in your butt vertical instead of horizontal?
A: So it doesn't go 'blubba-wubba-wubba' when you slide down the banister...

must be the meds

or the cranial stretch marks from MAT096 (I still can't get to like math)

RE: printers - we found a decent discount source for the Lexmark cartridges used in my wife's printer/scanner/copier, and I have an old IBM (pre-Lexmark) 4019 laser printer that I've used for over 10 years now. It's not the fastest by today's standards, and it's only black/white, but I really like it.

LITTER - we had very high winds yesterday -- I had a pile of vinyl siding (to finish the house this spring) piled on pallets out back, and now it's scattered across the yard. Lots of limbs down, our old Christmas tree is way up the road, and the lawn chairs are out by the dog house. No overturned lorries, but one of our chickens did lay the same egg twice...

howard 2-2-2002 17:09

My, God, Teek,
Do you think you could make me laugh more? If I had had abdominal surgery, I'd be a split pea right now. Guts to the gills!

Oooph, what imagery.

And now, for some tame imagery....

... there are chrysthanthemums sticking out of the sparkling snow, the flower bed dotted with withered flower heads, all pinched and brown. There are more footprints in the snow on our front lawn than there are on the sidewalk. The kids have been busy building a snow castle.

Heather 2-2-2002 16:30

Tina - on the ink: I have an HP Deskjet 830C. I don't refill my ink cartridges - I have never wanted to noodle with that, since these aren't refillable. I'm not into drilling holes in them, and trying to pour ink in. I'd get more on myself than in the cartridge, I'm sure.
I print out most things using the 'econo-fast' mode, so I don't use much black ink to print with. I've had this printer 2 years almost exactly, and I've only replaced the colour cartridge once, the black three times. It hasn't cost me that terribly much, either, and I do print out my chapters and revisions all the time, plus we use the printer quite often for other things.

If you want to get into refilling, you can try!

Heather 2-2-2002 15:48

Debra - if the plants in reality were nuclear plants, it wouldn't matter much if people were far away from the airshow. Ground zeros keep on getting bigger, the world doesn't have to get smaller. It might be less populated, however...

Gee, that's such an uplifting thought, she says, sinking into massive depression.
I've seen films years ago on nuclear destruction; documentaries - perhaps in a history course. I don't remember what course. But I remember those images.

I was doing some armchair research for my novel a few nights ago. I came across what scientists call 'Cryptonesia'. It translates literally into 'hidden memory'. The argument involved is thus: Some therapists believe it is possible to access past lives through hypnosis, while some argue that all the person could possibly be accessing while under hypnosis is hidden memory - memories that are very clear, but we cannot remember the source. The source could be television, books, dreams, photographs, hearsay, well, you get the idea. Our minds recall the images or audio memory, but can't place the source, so it is conceivable a person may think the incident in question happened to them personally. See above for my example - I can remember vividly that I saw nuclear explosions, but I can't remember what class I sat in, or the people in the class, nor can I remember how old I was, or who my teacher might have been. In fact, I have memories from childhood that I swear are real, and my parents don't recall them at all. Could this be that their memories are failing? Or that they weren't there, or that I imagined it? Could I be recalling a memory that isn't mine, but from television?

How reliable IS this brain?
Science tells us that the mind records every smell, taste, sight, sound, and touch sensation of our entire lives, storing it in the brain. Our senses also have this habit of 'tuning out' when the sensory input becomes predictable, repetitive, or for example, in a sensory deprivation tank, non-existant(or as non-existant as can be achieved). In essence, our whole lives are recorded - whether it's in order or not is another whole matter. And are our thoughts recorded somewhere, in our memory? Why do we not recall our thoughts when we recall childhood memories? Is it because our thought patterns were markedly different?
Is it because thoughts are not nearly as concrete as sounds, sights? Is our brain's capacity to record thought less specific, less trained than the capacity to record the five or more senses?
Can we train the brain to remember our thoughts better?
Are there people who do remember thoughts from long ago?

So, here's the big one: If a person undergoes hypnosis, and recalls memories that took place before that particular person was born, is it possible that they ARE remembering images, sights, events from a past life - or could they have cryptonesia, and these events are merely from a source in this present lifetime, unremembered?

BIG ????
I love big question marks. They make my mind fly about in all directions, seeking answers. Seeking possibilities.

I'd like opinions on this!
Feel free to rant, spill and hypothesize.
This is relevant to my novel, in case anyone's wondering!

Good day to all!
Tina - Love scrabble, and boggle too. Anyone heard or played boggle themselves? It's a game where you have a tray of die, each side of these have a letter. You shake the tray (with lid on) and the die settle into place. Take the lid off, and you have before you rows of letters, with which you try to find as many words as you can. Three letters words or higher...
I'm not sure if I've done a very good job of explaining any of what's in my post!

Take it or leave it. That's my motto today. :o)

Heather 2-2-2002 15:42

First off, there is a scrabble game playable over the network or the INTERNET, it is put out by Hasbro, and should be available in computer stores somewhere.

As far as I know most all printer cartridges are refillable in some way or another, some require that you break a plastic top off first, I saw a site somewhere that explained it all, I think it was a site selling the refill kits.

You can only refill the carts, or at least the Lexmark ones that I use three or four times, then the print head is gone. I used to have an old, one of the first ink jet printers made by Digital, it had a black cartridge that you could get refills for, with or without the print head, the thought was that you need only replace the head every three or four times. It worked fine, except it was a very small cartridge, and didn't last all that long. I had to quit using it when the cartridge supply dried up.

Now I use Lexmark printers, we have two in this house, as the wife wanted one for her own, the rest of the computers use mine that is networked. We chose compatible printers that take the same cartridge numbers, and our nephew does refill some of them for us. I have never got one of the refill kits, but have used some of the refurbished carts, and as I say my nephew will refill them cheap for us too. Lexmark says their carts aren't refillable either but all you have to do is break off the top plastic thing on the cart, or drill a hole in it to get to the rubber to inject the new ink.

Jerry 2-2-2002 15:40

My sympathies to all how are suffering, be it flue, pestilence, or dental problems. Normally at this time of year my wife is overwhelmed by requests for her to work overtime, (she’s a nurse) but our usual Festive Season flu epidemic is running late. It IS supposed to be on its way, but hasn’t struck yet.

Rhoda keep up the good work with your tin whistle. When you get good enough you can ask Jack to put up an mp3 or wav of your Celtic influenced music. :o)

MARY – Way to go on the jewellery thingy.

A Question: How do you prove paternity with identical twins, when both admit to having sex with the same woman at close to the same time???

Okay, in my murder mystery I have off’d the first of my all female collection of victims. She is headless and both arms are missing, (one above the elbow and one below the elbow) and someone has marked her with marker pen. So, which of you ladies wants to claim this demise for your namesake?

It is being a bit stormy here at the moment. A couple of days ago FIVE lorries were blown over at the same interchange and at the same time. Happily my dozen or so conifers survived intact – gonna have to crop some of them back for next years winter storms.

Got the house to myself tonight and I’m expecting visitors shortly so that’s all for now folks!

PS – Last joke was a good one Howard :o) (Virginians and not the other – I like it!)

Litter 2-2-2002 13:54


Thank you sweetie. I won't even play down that one. I did need courage to keep going.

I was rewarded with releasing the burden of knowing that with all the security it woundn't have been enough if no one knew that the pilot was hokey.

I hope he wasn't just being polite.

I don't think he was.

Still beware of airshows. I can't shake the feeling that came with the images.

This is a small country when people start crashing planes into nucular power stations carrying suitcase nucular bombs on them.

A small country indeed! A small world is more like it.

Debra 2-2-2002 13:10

Morning all,

I was thinking about JERRY killing off all the wives and realized that his story would work either way. The wife could have been taking care of the invalid husband and it would be even more interesting that the nice neighbor lady came over every morning to visit.

Was my pun about HEATHER'S cheesy story too dense, bad taste, just my imagination??? I thought it was great. Not swiss but gouda. (good'a) I know, you all got it, just didn't like it. :oP

Now I don't like to brag, but I've had this computer/printer setup for almost three years and Just this morning, I taught myself to address envelopes on it.

Stuff to do, places to go.

Rosemary 2-2-2002 13:07

Hi all!

Woke up this morning from some of the most vivid skydiving dreams I've had yet. Wonderful. In my dreams I'm a bit of a skygoddess, doing all the moves. sigh Just two more months and a bit of good luck, and I'll be back up there...

Haven't done much writing this week, just no time. Maybe tonight before Troy comes home.

Heather, you play scrabble? I love scrabble! Is there an internet scrabble? That would be cool. I'll have to look.

Mel, BTW, I still haven't made a trip to Staples to get ink, so no hard copy yet. Maybe after work today.

Rosemary, thanks for the link and warning. I'd heard about one of them, the others were new. When I hear about people like that, I can't help but wonder how they sleep at night. And then I usually file them away in my 'nasty character' file for future reference.

Hey, here's a computer/printer question. My HP has the kind of ink cartridge that I can't refill, and is rather expensive to replace. The sales guy said it's because every cartridge has a new print head on it. The theory is that regular printers with refillable cartridges may be cheaper to replace the ink, but the cost of replacing the print head equals the higher cost of my cartridges, and I get higher quality print.
What I'm wondering is, if you have a refillable ink cartridge, how often do you replace your print head, and does your print quality actually suffer?

Off to work now.
Blue skies!

Tina 2-2-2002 12:26

Teek - as far as I remember from the biography on SK, the blindness was degenerative; a condition he's had for a while. They showed him in his glasses at a neighbourhood baseball game - those glasses were really thick.

Ta ta, friends!

I'm not really up to typing a lot today. :)

Heather 2-2-2002 12:23

And a great big Hi/HUG to everyone I didn't mention: ROSEMARY, TAYLOR, TINA, RACHEL, VIV, DEBRA, BEN and all you lurkers who haven't posted recently!!! :-]

Mel again 2-2-2002 10:00


Good Morning, Pulitzer Prize Winners-To-Be! :-) Or whatever your writing dreams may be...

Thought I better start getting used to this new home pc...the keyboard keys feel kinda stiff, too-new smelling, nothing spilled on it yet, no dustbunnies between the rows of letters... doesn't feel quite comfy yet, if you know what I mean. Oh, but it relays typos perfectly!!! (I won't say how many times already within this paragraph I've had to backspace and re-type, heh heh!) Hmm, that must mean it's really my fingers - can't blame the machinery anymore, drat!

JERRY: That was a great shorty! You should write mystery shorts for magazines. :-) I too wondered about your writing frequency of wife-murders. Glad to hear all is well at home, hee hee! Keep those great minute-mysteries coming!

TEEKAY: Yep. Only one novel pressing the wrinkles into my closet shelf at the moment. After my luncheon interview with my "big baddie" character, I reeled senseless for awhile through a dark, windy tunnel of newly discovered possibilities, and came to realize there are carvings on that dark wall! So much more to my story I never knew was there, waiting for me to unlock in my mind! Can't get to the sub-chapters just yet - now working on yet another new beginning - another layer of shards for SHARDS (novels' working title).

HEATHER: Your shorty was "unsettling" in a good way - I just came from a doctor's office on Thursday re: my osteoarthritis in my hip and needing surgery probably by Summer. And you just having been sick and all, I'm not surprised you wrote a doctor's office shorty! Hope you're feeling much better by now, btw. :-) Write me (and everyone else with health concerns) a successful recovery sketch, will ya? :-D

So hard to adapt to some life changes - I hope Stephen King's onsetting blindness will not become 100%. If it's macular degeneration though...

Maybe sometime we should try writing the week's shorties from the perspective of someone who's lost one of the five senses...

no more sight...
no more sound...
no more smells...
nor touching ground...
no more taste,
no chocolate--
oh the waste...

:-) Enjoy it all while you can!!!
And write a few lines for me today, my friends, if not for you!

Mel 2-2-2002 9:54

That's funny. I've been dreaming of swimming, in a great big chlorinated, Olympic sized pool. The kind I used to swim in during the period I swam on the school team. Illuminated from beneath the water, so the sumptuous roll of the water would transfix you whenever you were submerged. The overhead lights would dazzle the bottom of the white tiled pool, flashing, dancing.
The high board was so high you got goosebumps climbing up, and your legs felt like rubber on the heavy platform. It seemed impossibly skinny to hold a person once you were up there - as if one smidgeon of an inch and you would fall sideways... the noise of voices in the long, mazelike changeroom halls coming to you way up, way up there. Perched, scared, and exhilarated. It was such a long swoop down, and then impact: Water as brick.
Later on, even dry, if you lay your cheek on your arm, the smell of the chlorine was ominous.

Heather 2-2-2002 1:35


Ok enough of the talk about those kinds of dreams, huh? found myself dreaming about Nuclear Smoke Stacks being attacked by 2 fighter jets, last night.
Those kind of things seem to be the only things I dream about now

Taylor 2-2-2002 1:01


MEL: Ummm, is this the novel that you've had finished for a while that we're talking about?
Which, of course doesn't detract from the accomplishment, but I feel like a bit of a dill getting all carried away. I was thinking about it (on my trek to the fridge) and I thought wait a minute.....MEL's already told me she's written a novel.
Thought I should come back and clear that up in case you thought I wasn't listening :-D
Right girly, time to get all those sub chapters worked out.

JERRY: heh heh, yep, better, just to throw of those tentacles of suspicion :-D

Really truly ruly for sure going.

Teekay 2-2-2002 0:47

Teekay - gee, never thought about that, no me and the wife are getting on fine, I think.

Maybe I'll have to kill off a husband next, or maybe a boss, yes I have known a few bosses that should have been, well fired at, or fired up or just plain fired.

Jerry 2-2-2002 0:32


MEL: I knew I saw a post from you there. So you've completed the novel. WELL DONE!!!!!!
I think I know what you mean about the chapters. I know I have to insert one or two into the main body, and I know when I get to putting it onto the computer that there will be longer tracts that I want to put in.
Yes, I forgot to mention that I so far only have up to chapter 10 or 11 on the computer. Add another 6 months to the finale of the first draft date wont you :-D

Really going.

Teekay 2-2-2002 0:20


TAYLOR: Yeah, that's it, psoodon...psueoodony.....psyuodany...secret name.

TINA: Thanks, but I wish now I'd never mentioned it. I think I have some type of psychosis about pressure.

DEBRA: Well done, Girly. I commend your courage.

HEATHER: Blind?!?!?!? Oh how awful! Is it a condition he's had for a while, or is it something brought on by the accident, do you know?
I think one of the worst senses you could lose would be that of sight.

JERRY: This is your second 'kill the wife story'. Not fighting with the wife are you? :-)

HEATHER: I thought your shorty was really well written, but I get the feeling I missed something.

RACHEL: Everytime I hear or see the word cookies, I get the cookie monster from sesame street in my head saying 'COOOOKIES', you know, like he does.
We call them biscuits over this way, though I've always liked the word cookies.
And here's another bit of mind numbing trivia, when I was a kid we used to have peanut paste, and I always thought it would be so much nicer if it were called peanut butter, like you guys have. well, somewhere along the line they changed it and I was surprised to find that it is now called peanut butter.
That was too boring, am wondering wether or not to delete it, but have decided not to because it will leave a great gaping hole at the bottom, and then everyone will wonder what I had deleted.
Hmmm, maybe I ought to delete it after all.
Nope, too bad :-D

Gotta go
things to do (eat)
places to go (fridge)

Teekay 2-2-2002 0:15

Well if Rush Limbaugh has shown us anything, it is how a person can overcome his disability, and continue on with his career. I am sure SK is strong enough to look at Rush, and say to him self, what does Rush have that I don't?

Jerry 2-2-2002 0:02

Hi, Rosemary! I was having an after dinner game of scrabble with my daughter, and my son, who's too young to play, was 'letter-boy'. He held the bag of letters and shook them up dutifully, holding the bag out whenever we needed new letters. He loves it, because in the interim, whilst we're trying to make words, he's pulling letters out of the bag. He's getting rather good at letter recognition that way, though he was pretty handy at it already. It's just a bonus way of making the job fun.

Well, the kids are in bed.
They stay up a little later on the weekends, or at least Friday and Saturday night.

Howard: Condolences from me as well on the loss of such a good friend. It's amazing just how well you can get to know someone without ever meeting them face to face. The NB is testament to that, certainly. So is the immense friendship you and he created. As is said many times, we have to cherish the time we have, and relish in those memories of the good. Okay, so I wrangled that one around a bit. You get the idea.
HUGS, Howard. Hope your little grandson is doing well!
Still haven't seen the pic yet. I'll have to go back and copy that link.

Guess I've got other things to do tonight... *canned laughter*

Anyone on msn chat later may find me, still online. Any time my computer is on, I appear online. I may not be paying attention, however. MSN hasn't figured out how to send a virtual slap. When they do, I'll be receiving a few WAKE UP CALLS!
Oops, pardon the emphasis.

Later, but not much later;

Heather 2-1-2002 22:50

Me Again,
It's been three hours and no one else has posted. Was it something I said???? :0)

I just ran across a site with information about sleezy publishers and the agents in cahoots with them. Very interesting and scary. It's at: Anyone considering an Agent or subsidy publishing should defenitely check it out. Many of these crooks are still out there, and they're all after us.

Hope everyone is okay and it's just that I'm the only one with no life, sitting home on Friday Night playing with the computer.


Rosemary Link 2-1-2002 22:36

A chilly afternoon to all,

Just got my hair cut yesterday. I only get it trimmed a couple of times a year, but this time she went a little overboard. Does anyone else hate it when your brush runs out of hair before it's supposed to? :-P

I swear, you're just getting better and better every time you come up with a new story. Super suprise ending.

I think it was Gouda. Pun intended.

Going to finish reading posts.

Rosemary 2-1-2002 19:05

I should give a little warning: My shortie is CHEESY!

There. Nothing like a little swiss now and again.

Heather 2-1-2002 18:12

Rachel - It's great to see you posting once in a while!
Glad to hear that you're really enjoying your courses, too. That makes it all the more rewarding.

I haven't written a shortie for this week! Yikes.

Habits, good or bad. Hmmm. So I'm thinking...


"Terrific news," he said, striding into the room with a sweeping gait, the papers in his one hand making a slight slap as he lay them on the counter. Little bottles made of glass lined the counter, in behind a spotless sink.
I squirmed, but felt my chest unwinding after some exceptionally tense moments, waiting. "So, what is it?" I ask, wondering why my lower lip wants to keep trembling.
"Well, the tests came back, and there were a few things unexpected, but for the most part, they're positive."
I could hardly feel my face. "Puh, puh..." Positive?
"No, wait, I'm sorry. I worded that wrong. You don't have it. Not a sign of cancer. But your cholesterol is a bit high."
I think that was the longest exhalation of my entire life.
"So," I said, after my breath had returned, "I'm okay. I'm going to live, a long, happy, productive..."
"I can't guarantee that, now, Melissa," he chuckled, waving a hand over his hair, though not a single strand had moved.
Why did they always seem so complete, so perfect?
I mentioned as much last time I visited, to my own chagrin.
He'd answered, simply: "I'm not perfect by any means, Ms. Longren. I have my habits, good and bad."
I'd held my tongue when it threatened to form the words, 'Like what?'. I stopped myself from laughing just in time, too.
"So, what are you going to change in your lifestyle?"
He was sitting now, across from me on an upholstered chair, but his head was still at equal level to my kneecaps, as I was perched on the rustling sheath of paper that covered the vinyl examining table. My feet dangled a good few inches above the stool.
I shrugged. "I have a few habits to get rid of," I smiled.
"One of them is not taking care of yourself. How many times have I seen you in the last few years, Melissa?"
"I don't know," I replied feebly, and truthfully, I didn't.
"Twice." He cleared his throat, not even glancing at the chart on the table next to him. "Once for a broken wrist, and only because the pain was so bad you couldn't sleep or work, and the other time was--"
"I know. For my long-put-off physical."
"Which was required, by your new firm."
I rolled my eyes, but with my lids shut.
"So I want to see you every six months, and in between for any little thing bothering you. I want to see you so often, I'll remember each hair cut, all right?"
He was kind, in an annoying, grandfatherly, overprotective way. "I've taken the liberty of setting up another appointment for you while you're here, just to start things off on the right foot," he grinned, handing me a white card.
"I want you to get at least 3 walks in per week, about a half an hour each. Lower your fat intake, and get enough rest. And, you can get dressed now."
"Oh, Dr. Newmeyer?"
"Next time I won't wait 5 months and three weeks to come in and get tested."
"Good. Make that your second new habit. Good habit, that is."
Yeah. Definitely.

Heather 2-1-2002 18:09


Viv - Hi you :o) It isn't just for fun. It is to help round out my writing. The fact that it is fun for me is a bonus (big smiles).

Now I must get back to my cookies.

Take care you.

2-1-2002 14:54

Actually, I was watching SK's biography, which included rare interviews with SK himself, and the reason he's retiring? He's going blind. I'm sure he'll burst back into writing in other forms. He might find voice recognition software his thing, once he can no longer see to type. I don't know, but that's my hope. It would be a big change to not be able to see what you wrote in the middle of composing more sentences, paragraphs. It would be exceedingly difficult to keep your writing tangent-free.
He would need to go back and 'play' the previous paragraphs frequently, and write in total silence... at least, that's the only way I could accomplish writing if I was blind.

Anyhow, not to depress anyone, but the King of the Quill has his share of troubles. And I think it's gracious of him to step down while he's still writing good stuff. But I do agree; I don't think you can ever truly set down the pen if you're a full-blooded writer. There will always be stories burning beneath the surface, aching to be set onto paper, to be set free.

Mary - I know, I know! I'm impatient.
Teek - see above. :oD

Heather 2-1-2002 14:27

make that dream! Damn I hate that!

2-1-2002 12:45

Ok, well I did drame up a little tale last night. I haven't the time to polish it up, so I am going to post it as is. I realize it could use a bit of work, but I am busy today preparing a computer for a fellow who needs one quick to replace his dead machine.

Anyhow, here it is, warts and all:

Just a Silly Habit
by Jerry Ericsson

Rick Anderson was a creature of habit. Every morning it was the same thing, first fix oatmeal for his wife, who was bedridden now these ten years. Then when the oatmeal was done, he fixed it in a bowl, carried it upstairs and set it on the parsons table just outside her bedroom door.

Next he went inside, kissed her good morning, then changed her bed linen, and diaper. Next he brought in her breakfast, turned on her television so she would watch “her shows” then left her for the day.

Then it was downstairs a quick stop in the bathroom, and on to work. He would pick up his brown brief case, put on his blue suit jacket and blue hat, then out the door. As he went down the walk, he tipped his hat to Mrs. Brown who lived next door, and was also a creature of habit, and was watering her tulips in the front flower garden.

He would leave the gate, turn right, and walk down the street to the corner where he got on the C bus that took him downtown to his job.

In the evening, he repeated this process in reverse, ending the day with a game of mahjongg with his dear wife.

Folks in the neighborhood claimed that they could set their watches by Rick’s actions, and in fact many did.

What the people didn’t see was the underlying hate for his wife, Rick despised her. She was the thing that held him back. She was the reason he couldn’t go down to the local pub and enjoy a beer with the fellows, like he did before the illness. It was she who demanded he play a game of mahjongg with her nightly, a game he despised. It was because of her that he couldn’t take that promotion the boss offered him because he would have been on the road two days a week, and who would take care of her.

One day it all came to a head. Oh it was nothing either of them did; Rick simply decided he had had enough. It was time for the tortuous life to come to an end, time for Rick Anderson to declare his independence, his freedom, time for Rick Anderson to get on with life without that anchor of a wife hanging around his neck.

He planned it for days, weeks. All must look normal; he must keep up the habit until his plan was complete. His last day at work went as usual, but when the day was but an hour from being over, he feigned illness, and left an hour early. Instead of taking the bus home, he walked down to his bank and closed out his savings account, taking the thirty thousand dollars he had horded in cash, packing it in his empty brief case.

Next he caught his regular bus home, and as he walked up the walk to his house, he tipped his hat at Mrs. Brown, who was raking up her front yard as usual. He fixed supper for his wife, then went to her room and again went through the process of changing her bed linen and diaper, then gave her the supper he prepared.

The mahjongg game however didn’t happen, because the arsenic that he laced her dinner with took hold, and within a matter of minutes, she was gone.

He slept so well that night, knowing that the horror of his life was about to change. The airline tickets to the Bahamas lay on his nightstand, his briefcase full of money was at the foot of his bed.

That morning, he made himself go through the pattern, he made the oatmeal, carried the mean upstairs, as usual, just in case someone saw him pass his window every day. He spent the necessary time in his wife’s bedroom, then went down stairs, put on his blue jacket, and blue hat, picked up his brown brief case, the one full of money, opened the front door, and at precisely the same time that he did every day walked down the sidewalk, tipped his hat at Mrs. Brown who was watering her flowerbed, turned right and walked down to the corner where he boarded the C bus, but instead of getting off the bus at his place of work, he rode it all the way to the Airport.

Oh he was so satisfied with his plan, everything went off without a hitch, he chuckled to himself as he waited to board this flight to freedom. As he let his mind wonder to the white beach that he saw on the travel brochure, he could see himself soaking up the rays, enjoying life.

Then he felt a tap on his shoulder, as he turned he saw the uniform of Officer Jacobson. The officer read him his rights, placed the handcuffs on his wrists, and escorted him out to the patrol car.

He was dumbfounded, what could have gone wrong. He learned of his mistake when he got down to the police station, when the questioning began, he learned that after he got on his bus, Mrs. Brown always took a cup of coffee up to her dear friend next door, and they played mahjongg every morning and passed the time. It was one of Mrs. Brown’s silly little habits.

Jerry 2-1-2002 12:44

Thanks guys!

I did keep trying. I found another spot on the FBI website that listed all the numbers for all the major cities. I found a nice person in Bufflo. I told him what his cronies did and he said very kindly that not every one is an angel like him.

Anyway, I told him about the dream and all the little details. He then said that they must have security at these airshows. That's when I mentioned that in my dream that one of the pilots was hokey. I told him that the airshow is within a hundred miles of smokestacks, now I'm thinking nucular power facilities. And even in my dream I felt it was nucular. I told him it was when four planes were flying in the direction of the smokestacks that the one plane in a formation of four all the way to the right made his move.

All the pilots should be checked and triple checked.

He's thinking that this would be the one way they could get passed security.


Who knows maybe I did something. There are so many airshows in this country. I did not know that. I found a list.

See how many there are on this webpage.

I think I'm going to double check them to see how far they are all within power stations.

Some of the dates of these shows are very close to the anniversary too.


Debra 2-1-2002 12:11


Just doing some late writing...
Hope he thinks up a better psuedonym than Richard Bachman

Taylor 2-1-2002 11:59

Hi all!

Stephen King stop writing? Yeah, when birds stop flying.
'Stephen is sitting at his computer, a month after selling his last novel, checking e-mail. A post sends him to an internet address where he reads about a double suicide with unusual circumstances. "Hmmm," he says, "what if it was the brother-in-law? It would make sense if he'd been the victim of government testing." He shakes his head, trying to get rid of the words that are beginning to circle in his head. Later he's watching TV and sees a newscast about the latest government scandal. "If that woman is under alien control, she'd have a motive to do testing on innocents, which would lead to the suicides," he muses to himself, but dismisses the urge to write it down. Later that night he can't sleep, and finally decides, "I'll just jot down the outline, so that I can at least get some sleep." Three hours later he returns to bed.'
And that will be that! He'll be back, no doubt, maybe under a new name like Teekay said.

Teekay, I read that book years ago and enjoyed it very much. And congrats! Almost done the first draft! Yay!

Glad everyone is feeling better, or at least on the mend. Be well and blue skies.

Tina 2-1-2002 11:10


I know I said that my previous post was my last one for today, I lied. :-)
Perhaps "Cujo" has gone back to where he belongs.
See monkey bones if you have not already, when I think about it it will be impossible for Stephen King to quit writing... maybe novels I can see that happening.

Taylor 2-1-2002 9:41


Good Morning, everybody! :-) Just a quick post here before I start work...

TEEKAY: Wow! Are you sure about only 4 chapters to go? I wrote my last few chapters in a blur too, just to get to the end, and it was a good thing to do, to get that frame for the whole story; but now I find my chapters subdividing themselves into more chapters, more characters, more out!!! :-)

TAYLOR: I think Stephen King only said he's going to retire because maybe for the first time in his life he's discovered WRITER'S BLOCK for himself and he doesn't realize it's just a passing thing, heh heh! His muse is hunting new inspirations even now and he doesn't know it yet. :-)

ALLEIN: Hang in there with the parental rules. They have their reasons, even if you don't agree. Meanwhile, on offline time, do write by hand! Then when you're on the computer, type it into your files. Not as convenient, but still progress! :-)

Gotta get to work. EVERYONE, have a GREAT day - and write to your heart's content (a GREAT habit I'd love to keep as daily routine!!!) :-)

Mel 2-1-2002 8:05


The (secret) name: That will be a psuedonym wouldnt it...

This is the last post from me I promise, for today anyway

Taylor 2-1-2002 2:19


You will enjoy it Teekay...

Just as long as we do not get another Running man from him... honestly thought that was not one of his good works

Taylor 2-1-2002 2:17


TAYLOR: Thanks heaps, going to the library tomorrow so I'll pick it up then.
I bet S.K. doesn't really retire, bet he just writes another genre under another (secret) name. Seems he's lost the feel for those scary stories, but might try something else. That way he gets to go out on a bang and take a go at another type of story without any risks.
Writing is in that man's blood, I don't think it's something he can just stop.

HEATHER: Pfffft, don't worry, Babe. Like I said, when you finish your novel, you'll be finished. This is my first draft, it's a bit of a hash. L-o-o-o-o-ts of fixing up to do. Lo-o-o-o-o-ot's of laying of the grout and scraping of the trowel to get my tiles looking nice and professional.
Besides, yours is heaps more complicated than mine, mine's a bedtime story.

DEBRA: Cripes, don't reckon I'm going to be too much help here. Not much point telling you to stop worrying about it, that's easier said than done. Just call the number the emergency people told you to call, don't worry about feeling like a crank.
I guess you have to weigh up what you feel is more important to you, people thinking you're a crank or telling people and getting this burden off your shoulders.
It must be really frustrating, I feel for you.

MARY: It was more like constant plodding without worrying too much about fixing up the changes. Decided that could wait till I knew just how the story was going to turn out in the end, rather than go back to make changes which I would probably have to make over and over again.
Don't reckon Stephen King will have to move up that bench to make room for me anytime soon :D

gowing :-)

Teekay 2-1-2002 1:47

Hi all,
Just popped in to say 'hi'. Work is going well.

Sorry I missed shorties this week - maybe I'll find time to do it this weekend, of course my parents have restricted my computer time - I have to get off by 10:00pm. And I do my best writing at night! I can't WAIT to move out! >:(

Too bad Steven King is retiring. I've heard he's really good, although I've never read any of his work. Anyone here watch Rose Red? I watched a few parts but it was a little too creepy for me!

Good night all!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 2-1-2002 0:52

Debra - you gotta imagine right now, the FBI, CIA, White House, and just about every agency having anything to do with terrorism, crime or law enforcement are getting calls from all corners of the US. They are getting cranks, well meaning folks, folks who think they have good ideas, folks who have real bad ideas, folks with stories about their neighbors, about their friends, their friends friends, and anything else they think of. I am sure after all that, they are getting a bit short tempered. There is a possibility that they will overlook some, maybe many good reports in the midst of all those that are bad, in-probable, even hateful. Goes with the territory I guess.

The problem is that if they don't listen to every report and something happens that was reported and they overlooked it, they look bad. But if they listen and act on all reports that may or may not happen, then they look bad. Guess it's heads I win, tails you loose.

Habits - good or bad?

Sounds like fun, gotta sleep on that one though, I am sure I will dream something up. I usually do.

Fixed up a couple more old computers today with parts I picked up on Ebay. Think that will be my last auction thing, buying anyhow. The back room is filled with excess junk parts that simply beg for inclusion in a lot to be sold to the highest bidder.

Jerry 1-31-2002 23:50


Me again, it wasnt Mary it was Debra sorry for that foul up

Taylor 1-31-2002 23:32


I suppose yous are right, one good thing, this seems silly I know, but at least I wont feel like I got to compare my work with his.
Dont think a writer could just stop anyway.

Mary was she the one with the dream? Ive been saying for years(not on here)that some dreams are more than dreams.

Though I have had one about someone attempting to assassinate the President, when he was walking down after getting off an airplane, and shaking hands with people on the side of the road, fortunately in the dream the attempt was thwarted without much happening, thankful to a bystander.

Seems odd dreams are on the agenda... haha

Taylor 1-31-2002 23:31

DEBRA: Sounds like you dialed 911 to report a cat up a tree. You should have tried the non-emergency number first. That probably isn't entirely your fault if you used the number that you found on the website. Sometimes those distinctions for different contact numbers can be fuzzy. It was kinda rude of them to laugh at you, but they are probably dealing with an abundance of crank calls right now and their patience is thinning. Take heart, hon. You tried.

Mary 1-31-2002 22:20

TAYLOR: Stephen King will always be a writer. It is not a profession, it is a nature. He will retire the way Michael Jordan retired. We will see more from him someday. That is what I believe anyway.

Mary 1-31-2002 22:17

TAYLOR -- Steven King is simply moving over to make room for one of us...

howard 1-31-2002 22:09

Guess what?

I did just call the FBI and tried to tell them what I told you a month ago, they just blew me off and didn't even let me finish what I was saying. I was treated like an ass and didn't even get to tell the what I wanted to say.

So if anything happens someone please know I did try.

I actually called this number 1 617-742-5533 and two men well the first guy transferred me to another guy I quess just for added yuks and then said well mam this is for actual emergencys call back when you have one.

I told him I was given that number by the main number on their website a minute ago, and before I could finish that sentence I was listening to dial tone.

So stay away from airshows near power plants. My hands are shaking they were so rude.

Debra 1-31-2002 21:19


Okay I've been gone for a while cause the kids and hubby have been sick, but enough of that.

Remember my dream about the terrorists?

Did anyone see the headlines on the front page of Yahoo? It read that alquadia informers said that a nucular power plant was on the list to be targeted soon to be hit by another plane. It said that there were plans to hit another building if a fighter plane was on its tail.

Well what if they decided to pick a plane in an airshow near a power plant instead so a fighter woudln't stop it.

It sounds like my dream. The smoke stacks in my dream could be the plant. There were three or four stacks. Do power plants have that many stacks?

All I did was put the dream on the dream page. Should I do something else? It sounds silly doesn't it.

I keep seeing babies suffering. It's all consuming.

Check the headlines on Yahoo.

Let me know how silly I sound and I'll feel better.


Debra 1-31-2002 21:08


On a sad note, I picked up the West Australian today:-(
"Author Stephen King is to retire from writing
The 54 yr old horror writer will put down his pen after he completes four novels and a television series.
'You get to a point where you get to the edge of a room and you can go back and go where you've been, and basically recycle stuff.
'Then you have a choice, you can either continue to go on, or say I left when I was still on top of my game'"

Stephen King was actually the author who first got me wanting to be an author... So I feel kind of sad that this day is here, even though I knew he was not going to be a writer forever

Taylor 1-31-2002 20:33

Rachael: You have me completely green with envy. To take classes just for fun would be nice! I hadn't thought of doing that.

Viv 1-31-2002 20:13


Teekay: Good to hear that your novel is doing well... The name of the book is "Executive Orders" by Tom Clancy you lazy bugger

May post later if I have anything to post about writing later

Taylor 1-31-2002 19:28

Now, now, Heather. We all work at our own pace! Faster isn't always better. It is just more fun!

Way to go, Teekay!

Mary 1-31-2002 19:27

Juuuust when I was feeling better, along comes Teekay to blow me out of the water! Four more chapters until you're novel is finished????????

Okay, just shoot me now. :oD

Heather 1-31-2002 18:59

just dropping in again to say hi. Did a quick scroll of the posts because I'm horrendously lazy today. Don't like to break free from the norm too much.

RANDALL & RHODA: I think you would find 'Embraced by the light' an interesting read. It doesn't counteract the bible, it's just one woman's experience. Second one actually. Try it and see what you think.

TAYLOR: I wrote down that book you suggested and then promptly misplaced it. Please, please repost because I don't want to have to do the scroll down thing. Lazy people shouldn't be expected to take such extreme measures.

JACK: Really sorry to hear about your dog, and other's who have lost beloved pets.

My eldest daughter has always been the one to find our dead pets - mouse, bird, dog. She's also the one who wins all the prizes.

I think you'd be a fantastic grand dad.

MARY: YAHOOOOO I was wondering about that invention. Hope your feeling your old self real soon.
BTW: I always thought you were cool - and I'm not just sucking up either.

Has anybody read 'Letter's to Alice' by Fay(e?) Weldon? It was a book I picked up for 20 cents from some store, I'm into chapter 2 and I think it's wonderful. It's about writing and literature - there's a difference, something to do with quality methinks.
Anyway, if you find it read it.

On the Ta daaaaa NOVEL?!?!?!?!? I have about 4 chapters to go before the first draft is complete. I'm totally gobsmacked. I can't believe that soon I will have written a novel length story. It's always been something I've wanted to do, but it was always one of those 'one day I'll....' things.
And I don't even care if this sells or not, though it would be very nice if it did, I'm am going to write another. I've decided it's really addictive.

Bye all,
happy thoughts to you all.

Teekay 1-31-2002 18:31

Mary - that's GREAT!!!!!!!!
Can't wait! :o)

Heather 1-31-2002 18:22

Shortie topic for tonight is HABITS--GOOD OR BAD

Next week is just great, HEATHER! I am looking forward to it.

Mary 1-31-2002 18:17

Hey, Howard!
Wow, it's been a while since I've posted and my post from the day before isn't far below this one!

I'm feeling quite a bit better today, thanks to everyone for their hugs and thoughts while I was way under the weather, and I certainly return all those wonderful vibes - heal, heal, heal! Hugs to all, and a little kiss of honey for all those sore throats. And here's an extra blanket for all those shivering. Hot water bottle, anyone? Mine's hung up to dry for the first time in a week.
Ben - trust me on this one - take a really hot bath, lie back and relax for at least half an hour. Preferrable to just plain bathwater - add a pile of green tea cleanser or anything with a Vic's type of menthol aroma. Bath salts work well too, so long as they aren't so perfumed that they make you feel dizzy!
The hot baths really helped with the aches from the flu.

Well, being this close to full health has me excited about getting back to writing full on again. Unfortunately, the computer has 2 viruses that have been detected, but my fix-it utility program hasn't been able to remove them. I'll have to go in and manually delete the files before we reformat. Maybe just reformatting will take care of them... I'll leave that up to Wayne, since he's so much more savvy than I am on these things.
I hope the kick to the PC didn't do anything irrepairable - tee hee.

Where is everyone? I hope those who haven't shown up today are going to check in later on... and that you aren't sick.
It's shortie night!
And the topic is....

What was it again, Mary? I'm going to have to go and check!
Sorry. My head's only returned to me today. It was on a Sinutab vacation, thank God it wasn't permanent.

I'm a little afraid to get all into writing with these two viruses in this machine. I don't want anything to happen to my disks! I'd freak out!
I think what I'll do is save my latest to CDROM, scan the ROM specifically just to be safe. Then I'll write longhand until Wayne reformats the harddrive tomorrow night. THere's the plan.
Mary, does next week sound like good timing to get back into our early morning chats, and our writing buddy exchange, or is it a little too soon for you?
Let me know!

Hugs and hot chocolate to all,

Heather 1-31-2002 17:58

HOWARD: Your new Grandson is precious! What a great picture of the two of you, thank you for posting it! He looks mighty comfy, I must say! Big hugs and congratulations for you and a mighty welcome for Young Master Krick!

Condolences on the loss of your friend, I hope his loved ones can find comfort in knowing he had such an impact on others during his lifetime.

Mary 1-31-2002 17:51

Nobody's here today?

howard 1-31-2002 16:32

Hi All :)

It took me a while, but I did get through reading all the posts I've missed lately. So many people need hugs --- {{{HUG}}}

Before step-son arrived for his visit, I had to put down one of our dogs. The year old female was getting far too aggressive. I've been trying for a long time to find her an appropriate home, but with her problems it was difficult to say the least. I just couldn't stand the thought that she might bite step-son during the visit and ended up doing the "responsible" thing as a breeder. But, man oh man, do I hate doing that!

The visit with step-son was great though. It had been a year and a half since we'd seen him. He works in Dallas at one of the airports as a mechanic and as such, he can fly stand-by for reduced rates. He's been with the company for a year now and finally qualified for vacation time.

He has grown a fantastic beard recently. It was kind of funny. Hubby has always had a beard, but started shaving a several months ago because of a rash. Now his son has taken over. hehehe But son is one up on him. He has a beautiful deep red color to his beard. Hubby's was always the carrot red.

Today we took him to the airport. Ohhhh, but that is a painful experience! The hugs are longer and tighter. The eyes get dry from trying so hard not to cry, to smile and give him a happy image to take home with him. The house now seems so empty. Normally I enjoy the quiet, but not today. Today I let myself feel sorrow. Tomorrow, I'll start writing again. And so life goes on ... .

Carol 1-31-2002 0:38

Winter, real live winter has arrived here. The temperature has dropped to seventeen below zero, and is expected to bottom out at minus 22 F. It got up to seventeen above today, and is supposed to warm up tomorrow to plus 25.

Sure glad I don't have to work out in that cold anymore, but even opening the door lets me get the feel of things. I recall the coldest day I ever spent here, I was living in Bowman ND at the time, with wind chill it dropped to minus ninety nine degrees F. I believe the real temp was minus forty some degrees. I stopped to see how the scale man was doing at the state scale, left my car running, and ran from it to the scale house, not more then a few yards. When I got inside, I reached up to feel my moustache, as it felt strange, and a large part of it had actually frozen and dropped to the floor. Now that's cold.

Still about nine inches of snow on the ground that helps the weather stay cold, they say.

Catch you all in the AM, time for sleep, time to escape this cruel world and retreat into that world where to imagine a place is to be there, where to imagine a person, is to be with them, where to long for youth makes one young.

I am off to sleep. Good night all.

Write on.

Jerry 1-30-2002 23:55

Nope, not working for me, and I'm too tired to troubleshoot it tonight.
Also kind of down. No, lots down. I found out this morning that a good friend passed on last night. I had never met him face to face, but had known and corresponded with him for the past 20 years or more over the intranet at work, and then over the internet. His name was Tom McSLoy, from Marietta Georgia, and he was the kind of guy that everyone should meet at least once in their lifetime. He was a gentleman. One of his passions was words, and I learned much from him. RIP, McGrumpo.

1-30-2002 22:56">

1-30-2002 22:49

Ok, try this again - here's gramps and the new kid on the block (his name is Joel Mark Krick)">

howard 1-30-2002 22:44

Christi! I missed you on msn! My daughter was playing boggle while I put my son to bed. Sorry I missed you! You were offline by the time I came back to comandeer the computer.
Speaking of msn, Tina... sounds as if you have msn too. My hotmail addy is in the link! There's a bunch of us using msn chat lately since the WB chat doesn't work.

Heather 1-30-2002 21:39

Thanks to you, too, Mary! I can certainly use some enthusiasm. I'm just as anxious to get back to writing, but my head's just not quite ready. Alright, make that my whole body not quite ready.
I love the new necklaces, Mary. Especially the Champagne pendant. I love silver as much as I love copper!
Both new pendants are beautiful, and I love the chain with the jasper beads that goes with the aventurine champagne tendril pendant... did I get the name right?
I still have to visit the bead store here and find you some goodies. Whenever I next plan on making my face visible in the world, that is. I've become a bit of a hermit lately.

And not only that, but my car was belching some nasty fumes from under the hood this afternoon, so I drove the few blocks home and 'parked her'. I looked under the hood, but to tell the truth, the source of the noxious fumes was rather difficult to discern. It wasn't the stinging tears in my eyes, but the fact that the whole left quadrant seemed to be steaming. I closed the hood feeling no better, but hoping instead that whatever's wrong this time, it had better be not too costly to fix. And if it is costly, I'm considering quite seriously trading the car in and buying another - I don't go for leasing cars. I'd rather own it outright even if it's not so new. If we fix this car up I still think it would be wise to trade it in and see about a newer model - anything but a Ford Taurus.
This car has been so reliable, I think I've managed six months in total without some repair or another. Gee, six months of no worries, out of the five years we've had the car? Not good. Plus 5 recalls in one year. Definitely not good.
Anyhow, I'm ranting.

Jerry, I really hope your new doctor will be able to solve all of you and your wife's health issues. I don't like doctors that are 'prescription happy' myself. I think it's best that you made the switch. And best of luck with all the other things that have been bothering you. Things just always seem to pile up, don't they? Here's to no more pile-ups. One thing at a time, please!

That goes for my life, too. One thing at a time. That would be tremendously wonderful. For a change.

Heather 1-30-2002 21:35

If my last post seems a bit short (for me at any rate) it was because the postman was at the door, and Renn was making so much racket I had to get there and pickup the package before he was frightened away. Guess I must have double clicked though.

The wife's new Dr. is doing things right, first off he sent her for some PT, followed by an appointment with her surgeon in Rapid City for another look-see in her knee. He wants to clear that up first, then replace that hip joint that she was born without. He makes grand plans at any rate.

Speaking of Rapid City, the big news from there was a huge fire that is burning the Rushmore meat packing plant. This plant is located near downtown, and is right next door to the anhydrous ammonia storage facility. They were advising evacuation at one point for fear that the tanks would blow and release tons of ammonia into the air. They did, however get it under control, while not saving the plant, they did manage to keep the ammonia from blowing.

Am I getting a bit paranoid to think that this is more then a coincidence having first the train filled with ammonia derailing in Monot ND, now the plant next to the anhydrous ammonia in Rapid City. Could this be terror? Probably not, as I think they would be bragging if they had.

The bad thing is that over five hundred folks worked at that plant. The news is advising them where the emergency unemployment offices are being established to help them while the owners decide weather or not to rebuild.

Jerry 1-30-2002 21:16

Hi all,

Thanks Heather. I am looking forward to putting a lid on this thing once and for all. I am not good at waiting. Good or bad, just let me have it! I should be back into writing form soon, so we can drag ourselves up together! Never fear, Mary's here! (Mentally hum 'Underdog' theme song here.) Sometimes I feel more like 'Captain Caveman'!

New necklaces by the way, if you are bored and want something to look at! ;-)

Mary New necklaces 1-30-2002 21:01

CONGRATS, MARY! Good news about your invention!
Go to Tucson, go to Tucson... go to Tucson!
And while you're in Arizona, stop by Christi's place! You lucky dearheart, Christi! You'll get to meet Mary first!

And Mary? I've got a few pounds to lose, too! Okay, more than a few. So I didn't gain any over Christmas - I already have too many! So I'm green as anything about those 12 pounds. I've been on those dang shakes for two months now and sure, I didn't gain anything in December... but I haven't lost anything either. I'd be satisfied being a bit larger than I was after my daughter was born, but this size? Ugh.
I had a dream about swimming. I think that means it's time to squeeze into a suit (no matter how embarrassing it will be) and swim to my heart's content. That always kept me in really fine shape - all the way until age 26, in fact. Something went extremely awry with my second pregnancy, and my diabetes went haywire. Or rather, my bloodsugar went down the tubes. It always was low, but during my son's gestation, I had to eat every two hours or else faint. That didn't do my hips much good at all!
Ooops, I'm turning this into an Oprah board, rather than a remarkable writers' aching-soul-release page.
So, my soul happens to be wrapped in something, ironically, a little too close to the Pillsbury Doughboy. At least I'm cuddly! Don't like hot weather though. Go figure. And yes, I did read the latest post. Must be why that little chubby icon came to mind.

And in other news,
I still haven't written terribly much.
Mark - I have to get back to you about your dailies (wonderful by the way) and I do thank you for sending them. I'm having fun with my stupid LAN settings, or proxy mumbojumbo; I've reset and now things seem to be fine and I pray I can email successfully for more than one day. Every time I boot up, this machine tends to get amnesia, and forgets all my settings. I'll have to ask Wayne to give it another kick down the hill. Might jog its memory a bit.

Rhoda - good to see you posting! Sorry to hear about all the difficulties with homework. I can understand why you haven't much time or energy to write. If you don't find the success you're after with Romances, have you ever thought about writing something about your beliefs, your life? There's a big market out there for Christian fiction and non-fiction. Even Christian romances. You're so articulate, it would be a shame to the writing and reading world if only a few ever got to read your work! The romance market is clearly fraught with perils and stiff competition (yeah, that cheesy pun was intended)
I'd think that there must be a better way to reach published status. Don't give up!

That's word for everyone here trying to attain published status: Never give up. At least, don't give up unless you're no longer breathing.

On bitches. Well, I don't know what makes one, nor what package they tend to come in. If I find out, I'll be sure to warn all of you! Heh heh. I'm just in a dopey mood, don't mind me. I went to the drugstore and bought a whole shelf of goodies. This head cold better be in the outgoing pile soon!

Ben, I don't know what flu it is, but it sounds like we've got similar brands. :o) Get well yesterday, and check out a book on massage while you're on the town. And for Valentine's day, get an erotic massage book for you and your wife! ;oD Sorry, I can't lend anyone mine... hee hee
I'll be using it until I'm too old to turn the pages.

Time to buzz my son's hair! Nothing like a pair of clippers and a pair of handcuffs to get his hair looking nice. SIGH.

Heather 1-30-2002 19:44

" The Pillsbury Doughboy "

It is with a sad heart that we pass on the following news.

Please join us in remembering a great icon of the
entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin.

Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The gravesite was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in
show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very 'smart' cookie,
wasting much of his dough on half- baked schemes.

Despite being a little flaky at times, he still, as a crusty
old man, was considered a roll model for millions. Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough; two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.


1-30-2002 14:22

I can take a deep breath and wait now. I made my 'official' presentation of my invention this morning to a tool company that specializes in such things. This has been a long process.

Holy cow, as I was typing this message, an email came from the tool company. They want me to come to Tuscon in February. I have to think about this! That is twice now someone has wanted me to come to Tuscon in February! What is going on in Tuscon on February? Must be some sort of trade show I'd bet.

Gotta go.

Mary 1-30-2002 13:42


Christi - I am sort of posting (smiles). I try to come in and look at the NB every few days. It's just that I can't always make it. If you are away from this place for long you get lost, lost, lost. It's nice to know that I'm remembered though.

Viv - I do love the school thing. It is a riot. I think I'm the only person who thinks it is fun. I mean every time I walk in the door it is like a big ole play date for me. I don't find the questions difficult. I don't find the reading painful. I'm there for kicks. I don't have the pressures that the other students do. I have a kick ass job. I make a good wage. I all ready have been a part of publishing a book. I know I can write. I just don't have the same worries the rest of them do.

Yesterday I sat down and ploted out the courses I would like to take over the next few years. I am in for a heck of a good time. I decided that I would round out my studies with Anthropology and and Religious Studies.

That of course is what I would like to do. I'll need to wait to see how life unfolds and what is offered to me.

So that is what I'm up to with the school thing. I hope that you get to follow the desires of your heart.

I hope it was you that was asking me about school (grins and laughter). I think it was. I hope it was.

Take care all :o)

1-30-2002 12:37



I personally have mixed feelings about the global economy. I suppose it is one of those realities everyone has to face, but on a personal level, it grates. I feel bad about buying Chinese goods --and boy are those hard to avoid-- mainly because the Chinese army is involved in the manufacture of many goods, and the Chinese have hacked me off by threats to nuke Los Angeles, by their treatment of Christians and Tibetians, and because they bought military secrets that will someday endanger the children who wear their athletic shoes and play with their toys. On the other hand, buying Chinese goods might provide prosperity for the workers and as their fortunes improve, they will demand more say in the way their government behaves. Regardless of China's sins and any threats they make to our country, cutting them off economically and politically will do them no good and will do us no good. There are many good people in China, and hopefully in time, they will change things for the better.

It is sad to buy products from other countries when I remember how I used to buy them made in America. It is also frightening to consider that if we were ever cut off from the rest of the world, we could not make enough steel and other goods to sustain ourselves. But I think every other country is in the same fix.

As the world gets smaller, we are all more and more dependent on each other. That is reality. The Japanese cannot escape that reality any more than the Americans can. That means we have to behave ourselves and get on well with our neighbors. For the less fortunate, this might be a good thing, because it is in everyone's best interest to improve the conditions of the poorest among us.

You asked about the worst places to have to live. I have thought about that and I would have to conclude that one never really knows until one has spent time there. Off hand I would have to say the ugliest place I have ever seen is the Midland/Odessa area in western Texas. Green River Wyoming is pretty hideous also, as is Liberal, Kansas.

Then there are the pretty places like California. Wouldn't it be lovely to live in a place like San Franciso or the bay area? The only problem is you would have to endure a governer like Gray Davis and then my husband's income which buys us a nice standard of living in most places would put us in a tenement or a homeless shelter in the bay area. It was a few years ago that I read about an engineer in Silicon valley who got hired on for $85,000/year and really did have to live in a homeless shelter because he could not afford a house or an apartment. That was the height of the boom out there, and things might have changed some since. There was another story about Telleride, CO who hired a district attourney for $100,000/year. The man came out there and shopped around for a home for his family and could not find anything. He backed out of the deal. Earlier this year the same thing happened to a guy at my husband's company they hired. He was to work in Minniapolis and they bumped his salary to match the incredibly high standard of living there. The man shopped for house and found to his dismay that he would have to live in a much smaller house than the one he had before. He turned down the job.

I am not that hard to please. Give me a community with good people and good schools and I will gladly live in a smaller house. Tulsa is nice, but so far I haven't found any other writers here. Whenever I have admitted that I write books, I get incredibly blank looks from people. They are really big into sports, fishing and hunting here--very mocho pursuits. What the women do for fun and entertainment, I really do not know.

There are three or four writer's groups in this community, but no one from the libraries or book stores knows where they meet or how to contact anyone from them. These organizations once upon a time had web-sites but never updated them or kept them going. They don't post their information on bulletin boards or put themselves on the Chamber of Commerce list. If these organizations are still going, I must conclude they have all the members they need, because they are not going out of their way to bring attention to themselves and make themselves available.

My creativity has much improved lately, but I went almost a year between projects unable to do anything. It is still hard because of all the things going on in the family. I was up with my son Russell until 11:00 pm trying to get him through his homework. Short of doing it for him, I could not succeed, so he went to school today without it completed. As far as I am concerned; that was his choice. But it is trying. We get him evaluated in Feburary. He might have to repeat fifth grade. It is hard to write with all that going on.

Rhoda 1-30-2002 12:18

Wow, take a few days off sick, and look where it gets you. I've been sick in bed pretty well since Saturday--although I didn't get to bed until Sunday. The wife was just getting over her illness, and with mine over lapping, I was the one who was doing all the running around. She phoned into work on Monday for me, and when my super phoned back and hinted maybe it was because of the snow that I wasn't coming in, she let him have it with both barrels. He hasn't phoned back since. The wife is quick to give me all the pills I forced on her, laughing at me when I say I don't want anymore. She says it's kinda funny the way I say no to pills now, whereas in the eighties, I could never get enough. I said we all grow up some time.

Does anyone happen to know the name of this flu? I can't believe it's a flu because there's no nausea, or "runs", just aches, and pure exhaustion. I tried to slide the dead bolt on the door the other night, and couldn't. I didn't have the strength. I thought, great, how am I gonna get that fixed at ten o'clock on a Monday night? Thank god I never asked anyone if there was something wrong with it. Right now, my back feels like it's been through the ol' wringer washer my mom used to use. I just can't get comfortable. I haven't been able to write because I can't sit for prolonged periods of time. It's just too tiring. So maybe by next week I'll be feeling better...until then, I'm goin back to bed.

ben 1-30-2002 12:03

Feeling a bit better this morning. After my rant yesterday, I got one of those e-mail's from seems there were some new folks who joined from LHS. When I went there, I didn't know the new ones, but for the heck of it I jumped over to my military side, and checking the new additions, I found an old buddy from Nam. Sent him an e-mail last night, and this morning he replied. Great to hear from him, kind of lifted my mood a bit. I just sent him an email updating him on all I recall that happended after he left for home. I was surprised at all the detalis I recalled.

Jerry 1-30-2002 11:21

Feeling a bit better this morning. After my rant yesterday, I got one of those e-mail's from seems there were some new folks who joined from LHS. When I went there, I didn't know the new ones, but for the heck of it I jumped over to my military side, and checking the new additions, I found an old buddy from Nam. Sent him an e-mail last night, and this morning he replied. Great to hear from him, kind of lifted my mood a bit. I just sent him an email updating him on all I recall that happended after he left for home. I was surprised at all the detalis I recalled.

Jerry 1-30-2002 11:21

Mary: Glad to hear you're doing better. I'm the same way about pills. I'd rather just heal naturally. After all you've been though you ought to reward yourself by going shopping and enjoying that you've lost 12 pounds. You know what crazy thing I'd probably do? Buy a new pair of pants or a dress and then go eat something really fattening at the junk food shop right there in the mall!

They should have the food stores in one building and the clothing in another...but NOOOOOOO! They have all these wonderful clothing shops and a big junk food center right smack dab where you have to see it as you come and go out of shops.

Now that's silly, because no one puts that food in my mouth but I have a thing about Mall food emporiums. When I go to America, I always make a snotty comment as we pass the food court. I'm too good to think about going in there as we go into the clothing area. After three hours of shopping with teenagers, I stagger out and stand in line with the rest of the mothers my age. After I pay more than I expected, I saunter off with my bucket of coke and something oozing grease through the paper plate. I think maybe it's just part of the mall experience. Somehow I always plan on just having a coke, but after seeing the bucket sized cups, I always have to just splurge and add something salty.
Anyway, I wish you the best of luck getting past the food area and making a clean get away with the 12 pounds still lost and your new dress!

Japan is not so bad. In a lot of ways, it might be preferable to stay for two more years. It's a basically good country, but went through a real spate of anti-American feeling last year. This was due to the Ehime Maru, a rape done by an American sailor, and the election year. Ms. Tanaka was a very vocal politician who was outspoken against the Americans. She has been ousted this week, much to our glee. "Back to the kitchen with you Ms. Tanaka, and may I never see you at the PTA!"

Koizumi is doing some strange reforms with the budget. He wants to get the manufacturing base back in Japan so he's allowed the yen rate to climb to 130 to the dollar. That makes American products more expensive than Japanese products. Even when American products were cheaper, often my friends would say, "I don't want to buy American because it weakens our economy."

Does this make sense in a global economy? Or should we all affect an isolationist position? I'm not sure. I know that at 130 to the dollar I'm not converting my salary to dollars. I won't spend it much either. Right now I'm penny pinching in case of a move.

Jerry: Don't worry, anger and depression are normal emotions and everyone has them. What you are angry about would anger anyone. It's the stuff of real life because real life is painful. You're going through a dust storm right now. Keep on going, yell all you like. This is a good forum for it. We can use the strength of your emotions to round out the behavior of a character. No one is going to have a character declare bankruptcy and just go strolling around singing after reading a few of your posts. There is the wisdom that comes from being old, but there's also the tough sides to it. Your wife's insurance bill is a big one, a V.A. which should keep the promises they made.

These are issues we should hear about and not just for fiction writing. I'll be more aware when I look at my ballot before I vote. I'll watch what my Senator is saying and my Congressman. If I don't see what I want, I'll first write a letter and second vote for someone who cares about health care issues, V.A. benefits, and things that will affect us now.

Sometimes it's good for us all to walk in another pair of shoes. It gives us a new perspective.

Thanks for being there and writing. Just keep it up. The stories are interesting too. What's fun is I remember when you started the notebook. You wrote ok, but now you write like Hemmingway.

I'm having trouble with my creativity. It seems to be at low ebb. Anyone else having those problems? Thank God for the topic of the week or I'd be high and dry. I've got a fix on habits! I can't wait to start!

Unfortunately it's 12:59. Time for sleep!

Viv 1-30-2002 11:02

I had a dream last night about some sort of street fight. Every time one of the guys took a shot to the groin I heard breaking glass. I directly relate that to Gary's lightbulbs. Just had to share that! ;-)

Mary 1-30-2002 10:17

WHAT??? All night long and nobody has been here but me? What's up with that? G'mornin', everybody!

Mary 1-30-2002 10:14

Hello All

Just checking in here. I am at a point now where if I wait for an hour after taking the Tylenol, and sit very still, but don't close my eyes, I feel no pain. That hasn't happened in almost two years. Finally, a marked improvement. I have lost twelve pounds. Yet another improvement, even though it won't last long!

As soon as my jaw works right again, so will my appetite, and I say, "So what! I am thirty-one years old, Oyster says I am cool, my family loves me and I am __ pounds over-weight...take it or leave it!" Wow, felt good to type that. Makes me wanna go burn my bra or something.

Shortie theme for this week: HABITS...GOOD OR BAD

Mary 1-30-2002 0:44

Well your right, that ain't bad for insurance, but your also right, it's wrong from the word go. We have to pay nearly four hundred a month for my wife's insurance, but fear and common sense tells us that it is absolutely necessary, just as necessary as food, or meds.

I have been having an absolutely horrible month, not that everything is going wrong, but it has. It's just a mood thing, that has been holding on to me for so long, I almost forgot what it was like not to be pissed off about something. I'm not exactly sure what I'm mad at, just mad.

It may be the terrorists, but probably not. It could be the weather, but that has been so irregular that I doubt that that's it. Could be this damn cold thing that's been holding on to my sinuses for so long, but I don't think that's it either.

It's probably all of the above, and the stupid threatening letters I have been getting from Rural Housing, you may remember them as being the folks who sued me, and forced me into bankruptcy court. Seems they didn't get the bankruptcy letter from the court till last Friday when I called them and shouted at the poor guy who answered the phone for five minutes. He advised me that there would be one more letter saying they were through with me.

It could be that idiot in Bismarck who has called me three times in the last month wanting my son's phone number, when he flat don't have one. His last call will surely be the last, as I blasted him over the phone too. Guess I am not a good person to be around right now.

It could be those damn viruses that have me reformatting, running anti virus programs on all my stupid computers still, a month after first encountering it on my sister's computer.

Could be my car insurance company that LOST one of our payments, then cancelled our insurance. After I sent them a check for an additional month, at their request they reinstated our policy's, then FOUND the stupid lost payment, floating somewhere in cyber space of their company. Did they apologize? Not on your life, well our local agent did, after I gave him a piece of my mind. We have had that company for over twenty five years and still they treat us like crap.

Could be any of those, but I guess it's probably all of the above, and I feel much better now, just writing about it.

Jerry 1-30-2002 0:04

Hello all: Rosemary mentioned a problem with the Notebook and I am just here testing.

Jack Beslanwitch 1-29-2002 23:49

A very Late (for me) Evening to all,

I know what you mean by loss of benefits. I'm a Military Widow and in the last four years, we have had to start paying about $259 per year for those medical benefits that were promised to our husbands and fathers. I realize that is a very low price compared to most un-military persons, but THEY HAD PROMISED.

Sheesh, now I'm yelling.

Change of Subject,---Earlier today, when I tried to open the Notebook, it came up without the top menus and nothing after my last post from yesterday. I thought the notebook was broken. I tried three different times to access this web site. Then later, (now) I re-connected with the internet and tried again. Everything is working fine and you all have been very busy.

My Computer never did that before.

Went toward Lorado about thirty miles to meet the trail ride and have lunch with my sister. The weather has been overly warm, (about 80f) and humid. Those poor out of shape horses and people were soggy with sweat. Last year at this time, they were having freezing rain. You never know what Texas is going to do.

I was in time to see the merge of a group from Eagle Pass with the Lorado ride. Lots of flags, some great horses, a few waggons and some really neat mules. A dog had joined the Lorado group about 40 miles earlier and just jogged right along side. One of the riders will probably take him home afterwards if he stays all the way. I think they usually cover at least 30 miles per day. That's got to be hard on a short dog.

Fur and Feathers to all,

Rosemary 1-29-2002 23:45



Well said...but I would have expected no less from you.


Randall 1-29-2002 23:35



I appreciate your sincerity. Wouldn't it be nice if we could live life over and over again and better each time. Too bad that I can never believe that. I suppose I am just too bogged down with these Christian beliefs that have been my mainstay since I was eleven.

I didn't know the answers to life then, and I don't know most of them still, but I do trust in the One who created the universe and every creature in it--in that savior who placed his hand on my head in the dead of the night while I wept with despair. That is the same savior who has healed me physically at least three times, who has told me things in my heart which later came to pass. He is that same savior whose presence is so real that though I have never seen him with my eyes, I can feel his presence more keenly than any other human in the room.

I have encountered Christ, the lynchpen, the center the essense of all I am and all I could ever hoped to be. This same Christ has made it clear in the New Testament that people only die once and then face the judgement, or accountablity for everything we have ever said, done or thought while here on earth. When I die, it is his face I shall see and his presence I will encounter, and nothing, nothing will ever take that away for me. I will not come back and live this life again. I would not even if I had the choice. I will be with Christ--forever!

Call it narrowminded, dogmatic, or whatever, but I have read the Bible from Genesis to Maps, and it is very consistent and clear in the message that we only get this one chance. Of course not everyone believes in the Bible. I respect that, but you brought up the subject of faith, for only by faith can you accept reincarnation and accept as true every account of life after death experiences.

Rhoda 1-29-2002 22:49



Gariess...don't worry about my question. I was just fishing. :-) Sorry if it offended you.

Teekay and Heather...Oh, but I DO believe in life after death. I believe we have 10,000 lives to perfection. Ah, minimum I hope? (I should be on #5 about now!) I too, feel there is too much evidence, that some part of us remains after death. Aside from bills and pictures and relatives fighting over possession of my effects. :-) The lifetime of a human being is simply too short to fall "short" of the classical biblical dire prediction of an eternity of punishment. Or reward. How much reward should one soul suffer. There are purposes to Gods creations however.

And His greatest creation is the soul he has given us. (Rented out? Good heavens,what a thought!) Where we fall astray in Gods plan, I believe, is when we fail to nourish soul. The soul He (or she) created and placed in us is not ours. It is His. If we screw around with our time with soul, then that is where the problems arise. After all He has given us this most precious creation. I believe I wrote something about this a year or so ago?

By degrees God expects soul to advance to excellence. Continuous improvement by an interaction with humans. If we interrupt this process, then we have to do the whole thing all over. Whether we are given the same soul or not? Open to question. Why not create perfect soul and let the human animal grovel across the face of the planet? Energy is created by soul improvement. Perhaps this energy generation is what God expects? The reason for His existence? For instance a bank account, when left alone, generates more money. An energy is thus created. Overdraw and problems arise not conducive to productivity. How about the universe? Is that comparable to human and soul? Well, take your pick. The life of a star "could" be compared to humanity, if one accepts continuous improvement and....ready? Recycling. Stars grow from immense pockets of interstellar gas. Form, grow, mature, exist, spin through the cosmos, sometimes creating planets where life exists, age, grow old....die. Then the matter created by the star reforms, merging with other matter and the whole process begins again. Recycled.

To me the life after death mystery is simple, if one accepts the concept that God recycles humans, as He does everything else in the cosmos, giving souls a place to generate, grow and improve. Your soul is not yours. It belongs to God. He/she..."I am that I am" expects you to nourish it. Falling short or excelling in soul nourishment will determine the human animals next existence.

Weird, huh? Would you expect anything else from me? :-)

Well, ladies, the "despair" comes into play because we simply don't know what lies after our last breath. Everyone has an idea, perhaps more of a hope that they know, and even weirdos like Randall will comment.

BTW Having bad time with Publish America on my submission. They will not confirm or deny reception of my materials. If this changes I will post a note....if not beware. You simply have no idea where your labor is or who is looking at it or who is jotting down notes. It is a very disturbing event and my worst fear...


Randall 1-29-2002 21:28

Hey, everyone.
I'm still feeling cruddy.
And the computer has been acting up for a few days, and I just didn't have the energy to toss it about, bang it fervently, or shout obscenities at it.
My husband did, so I'm here, checking in!

Haven't written a stitch in a week and a half, but I did get some stellar jot notes/research done, and a slew of great ideas keep hitting me over the head. I haven't told my muse to stop, though. :oD

Mary - good to see you've gone down to Tylenol already. That means that the pain's bearable, I hope. Stay rested!

Nice to see everyone.
Sorry to hear about your dog, Jack.

Randall - I'm surprised that you don't believe that loved ones meet in the hereafter, with all the things I know you believe in. The Native Americans believe this also.
There is only sadness in death when it will be a long time until those on Earth can see them again. It's the separation. But it's not permanent.

Heather 1-29-2002 20:17


It always feels heartbreaking when a good pet of ours passes away... My family has lost a couple of really good pets due to getting too old.
One thing that always kept me going through the loss was the thought that one day we will be reunited.
(I am not religious)
But I do believe like there is the one heaven for all, and I am sure our pets are up there reunited with past loved ones, or past friends that they have made.
And will be there to greet you when it is your time.

Taylor 1-29-2002 20:05

RHODA: That has to be hard, being separated during the week like that, but I must least he has work for a period of time that you can depend on. I hope this all works out for you and your family soon and that you end up in the most wonderful locale you can think up.

VIV: I hope that you get moved back to the States soon. The more I hear about Japan, the less I like it. They have some awesome animation though! ;-)

Mary 1-29-2002 10:20

VIV: Thanks for the meds tips, but it is all under control. I switched over to the Tylenol cold-turkey. I only took the codeine for three days, so it really wasn't an issue. I just know how I am, and expected a problem.

Now I am off to find which post of Rhoda's I missed that I don't know where she is going. Back soon.

Mary 1-29-2002 10:16

Re: dogs

My mother had a cocker spaniel, Lady, who was the canine version of herself. They were perfect for each other. My mother sadly watched as after three years, Lady started to go blind. They adjusted to that, Lady acted like she didn't even notice. Mom got glasses. After seven years, my mother sadly watched as Lady's mobility got more and more limited from arthritis. Lady took it all in stride. Mom got arthritis too. Then, after over ten years together, Lady was diagnosed with cancer. This one wasn't as easily overlooked by Lady or my mother and every effort possible was made to keep her comfortable until she finally passed. My mother swore she would never get another dog. Less than a year later, she still missed Lady so much that she bought a new cocker spaniel puppy. Needless to say, this new little pup, Abbey, is nothing like Lady, and my mother feels like she made a big mistake.

Once in a lifetime you have a dog that is yours. A dog that is more than a dog to you. Mine was Sydney, an Australian shephard I found under my mother's porch after a terrible thunderstorm. I did everything I could to get out of keeping that dog. Then he kinda grew on me after nobody answered any of the 'Found' ads I had put in the paper. He was great. When he died it took me five years to even want another dog, and now I have Duke. The thing about Duke is that I think he feels that connection with me, but I don't feel it with him. He is never out of eyesight of me. Constantly under foot, under chair, under bed, under whatever. Watches me, follows name it. He is a good dog, and I love him, but he is no Sydney. I don't know if I have consciously kept him at arm's length or not, I just know there is a difference. I am not sorry I have him though, he really is a great family dog.

A person knows if and when it is the right time to find a new four-legged buddy and it is different for all of us.

I hope you post some pictures of Warlock soon, Jack. I would like to see him. I never even knew you had a dog. Big hugs to you and Fran.

Mary 1-29-2002 10:12

Jack: How awful. Even a fresh blanket of snow doesn't help when your dog dies. It just makes the trees look more barren and scratchy. What a lousy day, and just as you had hope. I'm glad it was painless and you did get to spend ten years with Warlock.

Rhoda: Thanks for knowing exactly how I feel. I've pretty much the same situation as you have. Let's keep writing. Not only is it fun, we might just get something going that could make money when we need it. I'll also send up a prayer for your family to find something permanent where you can be with your husband as much as possible. That is no way to live. I may have to do a bit of separation myself. I'm going to sign my teaching contract in April. I will do it if we don't move first because I could stand to loose a lot of money if I quit now and we don't move for two years. I'll be kicking myself for two years if I quit now. Also the extra will come in handy. Once I sign I have to stay until I might have to learn fast how to live alone in Tokyo. That's ok. This time my husband can take the dog and cat with him and I'll catch up with him in a couple of months. The last time I did that though he rented a place that had white carpets, white walls, on an unpaved street. I had a small child and a my husband. Armed with only a jar of carpet cleanser I spent two years in that place....emerging with only a small bill for repainting the white walls. (Should have bought wall cleaner as well!)

Maybe we could invent some characters to live the lives we've planned. My last one was definitely a suntanned woman on horseback in a desert. My next one might have to be in Washington D.C. Man, the research we've done on these places! Maybe we should find the worst place in the world and write one about that too.

What is the worst place in the world to you?
Absolute rock bottom worst place.

I have one in mind but I have to look up the spelling! It's a real sucker. I have to get an Atlas and it's 11:38 P.M. My feet are warm and I'm going to get to sleep. I'll pull out the Atlas tomorrow, get a good look at the spelling and the exact location. After that, I'll let you know the absolute worst place to live in the entire world.
Goodnight all. Take care. Rhoda, some day we may get rich on our almost travels! Let's spend the money visiting all the folks in this notebook and taking them out for ice cream sundays. Yes, Howard, you too. For you I might even order a Sundae!

Mary: Hang in there but also check with your Doctor. I don't think pain should go on too long after oral surgery. If it is supposed to be there, a little medication is ok. If it's kept to a week or so it shouldn't cause you to be an addict. Maybe you could whittle the pill and just take a little bit each time it gets to be too much. I almost always whittle on pills. If it's a capsule, buy some empty gelatine caps at your pharmacy and pour just a little amount into each cap. Another way is to open the pill, pour a small amount of the inside into a spoon. Add a good dose of sugar and swallow fast!

Viv 1-29-2002 9:46

Teekay, Glad you poked your nose in at any rate. :D Embraced by the light changed me as well. I think she's right.

{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}} to Jack and Howard and Jerry, and all those who have recently had to deal with the death of someone special in their household. Speedy journey to Valhalla, Warlock.

Christi 1-29-2002 8:35

Haven't read the post yet, but had to put in a guess, because I'm notoriously bad at guessing games and I think I know this one!
Are you a thesaurus? Do I win a prize?!!!!

Christi 1-29-2002 8:26

Language is my passion. It is my raison d’être. (Although it may not always seem so) I love to feel the texture and color of words and sometimes find myself laughing out loud, or enthusing, about the use of a single word, especially when the placing of the word is intentional.

I have spent, and will continue to spend, hours, wrestling over one word – its color, texture, and placement, sometimes taking deadlines to the limit to find the correct word.

Am I who I think I am?

Or is all this too easy?

1-29-2002 7:49


Good morning/evening, writers, authors, and friends all! :-)

Just popping in to see you-all; I've been busy at work during the days, busy (or comatose) at home in the evenings... sigh. I too need to get my head together. "Not writing" sucks too much!!!

Good news! We finally got a second home pc - yea! We put it in the diningroom (my writing room with a "view"). Well, this is good news when I am the one with computer-time! If someone else is on it and I want to write, I won't be in the diningroom...unless the computer user is QUIET!!!

JACK: (((((HUGS)))))

HOWARD: (((((HUGS)))))

Anyone else recently losing a pet: (((((HUGS)))))

I have only skimmed recent posts - don't mean to slight anyone. Hope everyone is feeling better, writing incessantly (at least mentally) and reading great stuff!
On to my workday...(and writing mentally!)

BTW, has anyone here ever written a novel in a gazillion sections like a kaleidoscope and then shifted the pieces so much you can't tell where the true beginning is? HELP!!!

Mel 1-29-2002 7:43


Actually it's 'Embraced by the light' by Betty J Eadie DUH! That's for those of you who are looking to dash out and buy a copy.

Too many posts
not enough inclination.


Teekay 1-29-2002 1:42


Sheesh, I just can't seem to get my act together.

RANDALL: I think perhaps you and I might have a different idea on what comes after the end of life. Since reading a book called 'embracing the light' by Betty Eddie, I'm an absolute convert. Not that I was ever afraid of dying to begin with, only like you, in leaving loved ones behind. But after reading this book I did a bit more research and I'm fully convinced that it doesn't end there for you or your loved ones.

Going to try to do some more catching up.

Am having a bit of a purge.

Might be back,
might be slack.
Only time and my mood will tell.

Teekay 1-29-2002 1:34

Howard - I've said that too, when we lost Lady, our blue heeler, I said never again. Then our daughter brought home another dog, and we had a pet again, when she found a new home for that dog, we were sad to see her go, but then our daughter came home with Renn, and we have had him ever since. Several times now our daughter has tried to take Renn to her house, but he just mopes around till he can come home.

Guess dog's get attached too.

Like the man said, never say never.

Jerry 1-28-2002 22:46

JACK -- Sorry to hear about your dog. I know the feeling - had to put my Maggie down a couple of weeks ago. Probably won't ever get another.

howard 1-28-2002 22:05

It didn't work - back to the drawring board///

howard 1-28-2002 22:03

Jack, I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm a firm believer that pets shouldn't age. (((HUGS)))

Taylor, seems you're on a reading binge! Or is this a normal pace to consume novels? I'm going to have to find that one, 'Ice Station'. I' re-reading Anne McCaffery's 'Pern' books, again. I'd love to buy a ticket to Pern, just for a visit! ;-) Which is, of course, exactly what the novels are.

Gariess, it's great to see you back!

Blue skies!

Tina 1-28-2002 20:29

Guess I could go get some OTC stuff, just that I know I have some of the prescription strength on it's way. Since I get it from the VA, I only pay $2.00 for the bottle.

We did get a letter from the VA today letting us know that the VA will now be charging a co-pay for what used to be free to vets. $15.00 for a regular appointment, $50.00 for any of the specialist clinics. I think Medicare will take care of it, but I hate to see the change, just more of our benefits going down the drain.

The news tonight said that the local VA clinic's have been frozen, meaning that those who have registered for them can keep using them, but they are not allowed to accept any new patients. So if you live in say, Bismarck, where they have a Vet clinic, but haven't used it, you now have to drive the extra 200 miles to Fargo to see a doctor.

More benefits down the tubes.

Jerry 1-28-2002 20:26


Jack: I am truly sorry about the loss of your dog.

Allein: Nice to see you back.

I think I have book quota for read for last week, now to getting started on this one: Hunt for Red Octobe, is the book I'm now reading.
And yeah my likes in reading has gone back to normal I guess

Good day to all... And Happy writing

Taylor 1-28-2002 20:15

Evening Writers all,

Sorry about your pal. Wait about three days, then go get a new puppy. Start the cycle all over again. I won't be without one of those buddys.

Thanks, I'm feeling much better. Not quite fit though.
I've only been to one Writer's Conference but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would be glad to pass on whatever info. needed. My e-address is below.

Shucks. I had great and many plans for us. Oh well, it's a small country these days. Good luck next time.

I'm not sure about small northern towns, but down here, you can buy Benedryl almost anywhere. I use the generic brands. Usually run 24 tabs for about $1.00. I can only use them at night because it makes me sleepy but just using them at night keeps the allergy caused infections at bay.
Hope your wife (you too) gets better soon.

Fur and Feathers to all,

Rosemary 1-28-2002 18:54

You are too kind. But I love it.

No, I did not post the fisherman comment. I don’t even know what it means. I wish people would not make anonymous posts; for some reason I always seem to be suspect.

Sorry to hear about Warlock.

Gariess 1-28-2002 18:46

JACK: I am so sorry that you lost your canine friend, but like you said, there is quite a bit of comfort in knowing her wasn't in pain. Take care.

Mary 1-28-2002 17:59

Ok, gotta try this ---

howard 1-28-2002 13:31

Jack - so sorry to hear of the loss, having lost many good pets in the past, I understand your grief.

It is snowing here too, so far the radio says we have just over five inches, with another six to eight expected today. I had to clean a spot for our dog to use, the snow is so light and fluffy, if we would just get a bit of wind, and it would blow it all away. Seems the wind always blows here except when it could do some good.

I am awaiting the sound of our good neighbor Jon's snow blower; hope it comes soon, if not I will have to try and start my old machine and do it myself. Not an easy task anymore. When I bought that blower from an old rancher, he told me it was well used, what he didn't tell me was that it was well used by Noah when he had to clear the snow away from the arc to let the animals out.

It sure is pretty what with everything white and all; I do love new fallen snow, with not a track anywhere to be seen. Luckily I fed my feathered friends last night before sunset, so they should have enough food for a couple of days. I usually put about ten quarts of seed out each feeding in the five feeders that I have hanging from the snowball tree that grows in front of our picture window in the living room. Great entertainment and it seems that the snow brings birds that are a bit shy, so there is always a surprise when the feeder fills. Couple of red birds this morning, boy did they add color to our white yard.

Our little dog has epilsy, and had a very bad spell last night, the wife held him till he came out of it. Think we may have to get some meds for him, but he hates taking pills, and is too smart to take it wrapped in hamburger, he eats the meat and spits out the pill.

Jerry 1-28-2002 13:09

Hello all: Well, we picked up Warlock from the emergency veterinary clinic and he was still weak, but they said he had stood and showed a bit of life during the night. However, on our ride taking him to our regular vet, we arrived to find that he had passed away somewhere along the way. Though I have a great deal of sadness at this loss, I also realized that he passed without a great deal of pain. At some point in the next day or so I will post a picture of him. But later. We were up at 6 so we could get him out of the clinic before 8. And it has been snowing here in Seattle. Will talk with all of you later. I thank all for your prayers, energies and best wishes for Warlock. He had 10 and a half full years with us from the time he was a puppy until this morning. We deeply appreciate that this dear soul was able to share his life with us. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 1-28-2002 12:33

Hi all!

Mary, a wish for strength.
Jack, a wish for your doggie's health.

Jerry, another for your wife. Have that doc get her off those drugs! Pill pushing doctors annoy me to no end. They usually don't understand the consequences of all the different drugs, and they don't check to see what else you're on, and besides they want their kick back from the pharmeceutical company. My grandma spent months living in a horrible confusion, where the doctor actually told the family that she might be getting alzheimers, because he had her on too many damn drugs. It took my cousin, a nurse, to come visit and see the list of 'medicine' she had to take, before a new doctor was consulted. After that, my grandma lived another 5 years in complete control of her faculties.
I tend to rant about this subject....

Off to work now. Blue Skies!

Tina 1-28-2002 10:49

JACK: Sorry to hear about your wishes.

Mary 1-28-2002 10:26

Woohoo...I know better than to take codeine. I am too addiction prone. Gotta love these swimming letters though!

Who is Lisa Robertson?

Just kidding. I am feeling much better today. I am attempting the switch-over to tylenol from the codeine, wish me strength!

Back later when everything is a little more clear.

Mary 1-28-2002 10:23



I hope this new doctor is what your wife needs. When I had some muscular-skeletal pains years ago, I benefitted from swimming and physical therapy. I hope you find a doctor who will prescribe physical therapy for your wife's arthritis. I might not completely take away the need for pills, but it help tremendously. My prayers are with your wife that they find the cause of these back-aches.


That is tough to have yourself geared up to move somewhere and then not go there. It has happened to me more times than I can tell. In my husband's career there have been so many wonderful places that never were meant to be such as Charlotte, WV; Enid, OK; Corpus Christi, TX and just recently Mobile, AL. I cried after losing out on all of them, especially the ones where we felt so sure we started looking at houses. Now Frank is working week days near New Orleans on a temporary assignment that might or might not lead to something more permanent. It is tough not having him home during the week, but he does have employment for the next six months at least and for that we are grateful. I know that right job and that right location will come to you soon. Just keep up the good fight and don't lose heart.


So sorry to hear about your dog. I hope and pray for the very best.


Wonderful to see you back.

I don't often recommend movie sights, but this official Lord of the Rings one is a beauty. I am hoping some of you will go over there, download a screen saver and then tell me how you got yours to work. There is lots of information about the filming and the cast.

Rhoda Lord of the Rings 1-28-2002 8:48

Jack, you have all my prayers and thoughts with you. What a terrible day for you. I hope that all goes quickly better and you write us tomorrow to tell the good news. There is nothing as important as a pet.

Jerry: N. Dakota sounds beautiful and within our price range. Friendly folks, and enough space to see the stars from your back yard. Best of all housing that is affordable! One nice thing, we still don't know where we'll be going so there is room to dream a bit!

Christie: Hey, I didn't mean that you had a thing about Southern Women! Nope! You weren't describing Southern women, you were discussing eye-rolling bitches!!! I was just agreeing with you. I have a thing against eye rolling that is so strong that my kids are really careful. They even warn friends not to eye roll in my house. If I see it with the kids it's an automatic trip to your room to think aobut ATTITUDE. In my classroom, you do it, you are told to leave until you can COMMUNICATE using your mouth. I don't care if someone argues. I mind that passive agressive silence! Words are something that can get ideas started. When my kids argue I listen. Usually they have a lot to say and it's right.

Tina: You're right. I'm keeping a positive attitude. What's neat is change might be coming. Again, it might not be! Either way I have either security or excitement for the next 18 months. I've decided not to dwell on it and just keep on rolling along.

Viv 1-28-2002 7:07

Hello all: Keep us in your thoughts. Our Australian Shephard mix who has been our dear partner for over ten years became ill suddenly. This included having to carry him to the SUV. He is a 70 pounds bouncy bouncy ball of energy usually. He is at the emergency veterinary clinic over night getting an IV and anti-biotics. We are waiting and seeing if this helps before making our next decision. We are very much hoping that it is something that looks promising and not something that leads us eventually to allowing him to pass on in comfort. So wish us luck and keep him in your prayers or healing energies or whatever is your pursuasion.

Jack Beslanwitch 1-28-2002 1:23

Christi - thanks, I am reading a King novel right now, the first of his works I have read, except for his King on Writing. I think that's why I decided to tackle one of his books, his writing book was so good.

Viv - sounds like you would love the Dakota's. Everyone here is so friendly, in fact I was always amazed that 90% of the people I gave tickets to thanked me when they got out of my squad car with their ticket in hand. Many of them gave me the strangest look after they said that, then laughed and got back in their car. North Dakota is famous for being the WORST state in the Union for teachers, as far as pay is concerned. What they don't tell you though, is that housing is very cheap when compared to almost anywhere else. Well in the small towns at any rate, when you get into the bigger towns the rent goes way up.

You can still get a nice three bedroom home for around two hundred a month, older homes go for eighty bucks to a hundred fifty. I paid eleven thousand for the house we live in now, it has three bedrooms, and is a single story. The house was built at ground level, which is the main selling point, as both the wife and I have trouble negotiating stairs now a days.

Many folks are amazed at North Dakota, as the population of the entire state is much less then a medium city in most states, last count the population up there was around six hundred thousand souls.

This leaves lots of room for lots of wild game, and they do take advantage of it, I am sure there are more deer in the state then people, likewise peasants, antipode, and yes even buffalo, but all of them are fenced in, being raised by farmers (read RICH farmers).

A few people are finding our fair states now, though. Many are buying land just for hunting purposes, so farm land that used to be a nusicense to the farmers, as you can't get anything but weeds to grow on it, now sells for better prices then the best bottom land where anything grows with half an effort. The cafe up-town recently underwent a change in ownership, when a fellow from California who was browsing the web ran onto the home page of our local realtor, who had it listed. It sold for twice what anyone here would have paid for it, and the folks who bought it, while considered a bit on the strange side, are happy with their new business. Folks are still going there, many just to get a look at the new owners, and the new owners were smart enough to keep the cook so the food quality has remained the same.

At any rate, I hope you can come home soon too. You shouldn't have to put up with those folks. They need reminding once in awhile that it was US that kicked their asses when they got too big for their island, it was US who used the only A-Bomb ever exploded in wartime, and we still have a good supply of them.

Christi - Believe it or not, that was the first time I ever watched that Bond movie. The only one I ever saw when it first came out was Goldfinger. I do remember going to the Rainbow Drive-In just west of town, in my old grey 1950 Ford Custom, the one that I put the Rambler seats in, the kind where you can lay them way back and make a full size bed out of the whole car, with my then "best girl" Donna. We did see most of the movie, as I recall, it was just too dang good to lay the seat back and get on with the program. Yep, the program had to wait till the movie was over.

Ah, those were the good old days, when the most you had to worry about was where you would get the next gallon of gas, the next can of beer, the next bottle of Old Log Cabin. When in the back of your mind was the thought, that you best get as drunk as you could, as often as you could, and get as much loving as you could because tomorrow they might drop the bomb on your ass, and that would be all she wrote.

I recall in grade school, the teacher showing us a map of "targets" of the Russians. The nearest one to us was Garrison Dam, north of Bismarck ND. If they would have blown that dam, they could have flooded something like seven states as the flood from that dam would take out all the other down river dams on the Missouri River, then on to the Mississippi river and to the gulf coast. That when I was in the fifth grade. That year for our YCL project (Young citizens league) we built a model of a fall-out shelter. We included everything from the piss-pot to the deer rifle that we would use to keep the neighbors from breaking into our shelter and eating half of the food and drinking half of our water. I wonder that any of us grew up sane. I guess some of us didn't. Funny thing, I long for those days when that's all we had to worry about.

There is some speculating locally that the derailment of that Canadian Pacific freight train in Minot may have been a terrorist act. It caused eight tank cars of Ammonia to burst, and had it happened at any time when folks were up and about could have caused countless deaths. As it was only one man died as a result of breathing the toxic fumes, three hundred seventy five were hospitalized, of them only a little over a hundred were in intensive care for nearly a week.

I do hope they find that it was something else, but now a days who knows. I am considering, again, applying for my carry license, and dropping a little hand gun in my pocket when I have to venture to the big cities. Not that I think I can do any good with it, just that I would feel a bit more comfortable being able to defend myself. I couldn't do much physically anymore. Oh I could beat them about their head and shoulders with my cane if I didn't fall over from not using it to hold myself up, and I could probably get one good kick in before I fell but that's about it. With a handgun, at least I could put a little hole in anyone who tried to hurt me or my family, and the report from these little buggers would make their ears ring a bit, even if I missed. I don't think I would miss though, I used to be a very good shoot. I say used to, as I haven't fired any weapon now for several years. Maybe that's what I should do next warm day, take a couple of my little guns out and plink at a pop can or two. I have three handguns that I have never fired. Two of them are still new in the box, as I picked ordered them for a gun show, that I never attended because I was in hospital with my stupid back. The other is a Hungarian Police Pistol, caliber .32 ACP. Looks just like that Walther PPK that Bond, James Bond was forced to carry after his Beretta jammed in an incident before his first movie.

Ok, well I have taken up WAY too much space rambling on and saying nothing of worth. Sorry Jack.

Write ON!

Jerry 1-28-2002 0:10

Well the running moved north again, to tell the truth, I was quite happy when my nose got all stuffed up. I didn't have to smell the other running.

Had a good day at mom's she was very pleased, a she won two of the games, she loves to win.

I am a bit concerned about the wife. She has been having some rather strange back aches, I recall when her departed aunt had those pains it turned out to be her heart. That's what she died of, but it took her several weeks of laying in hospital and suffering greatly, as they tried with little luck to thin her blood enough so her weak heart could push it around her body. I shall never forget all the bruises she had as a result of the blood thinners. She looked as though she had been thrown by a saddle horse and drug for miles.

I hope this is just a back strain, but she has been having a lot of trouble with her blood pressure. It keeps jumping, she can be perfectly normal one minute, then she will flush and her blood pressure spikes very high, then minutes latter it goes back down.

Her MD says it is the result of the arthritis drugs that she needs to be able to walk, without them she suffers.

She will see a new MD on Wednesday, a switch that we discussed at great length. Her present MD seems to think he can solve all her troubles with more pills, on top of more pills, much like he did with me. I was lucky enough to be able to see my doctor at the VA hospital, who took me off about half the pills this MD had me on. I felt much better, well more clear headed when some of the stupid pills were dropped from my list. Not that I am medication free, oh how I wish that were true, but I guess it comes with age. Ain't modern medicine great?

At any rate, my cold seems to be getting a bit better, but my sinus infection must be kicking back up, as my teeth are hurting again. I ran out of benadryl, and have been without it now for a few days, that's probably part of my trouble. I sent off my refill card to the VA, but it takes them a few days to get it up here by mail.

Jerry 1-27-2002 23:22

*Tina bambina?*
I'm doomed to have that tagged onto my name. You're not the first, Christi, or the last. My hubby's best friend calls me that, with a 'Cheech & Chong' kind of accent. In college there was a guy who called me that. I don't know why, either. Did it come from a movie? Or a song? I dunno.
BTW, do you MSN chat? What's your ID?

Viv, what a bummer. (((HUGS))) Keep you spirits up. Sometimes things come along when you're least expecting them, and WHAM everything goes fast forward.

Ben, my mom just e-mailed me about that snow. She's on the island, and it's a mess. Take it easy!

Randall, LOL! I'm gonna clip that one and pass it on!

Been writing up a storm. Feels wonderful. Except for my wrist, which is getting sore from writing and typing. I can't even complain, 'cause I love making it sore that way!

Blue skies!

Tina 1-27-2002 23:10


GARIESS (GARY S.), Aw shucks, thanks, mate! How I have missed you! We've all missed you!
Your post to Howard was gorgeous. I didn't supply my poor parents with a grandchild until I was thirty. They'd pretty much given up on it, even though they have six kids!
And by the way, I'm so glad you came back non-repentant. Makes you seem far more dashing this way. :D

Looked for Ice Station at our used bookstore but they didn't have it. Next stop, the library.

Good to see you, JACK, and the newly freshened notebook! Have fun at the convention. Maybe one day I could pick your brain on what conventions are like, as I have one in the book I'm working on. Never having been to one, I've read up a lot, but the truth is guesswork at this point. Maybe RHODA or ROSEMARY wouldn't mind ... eh guys??? :D

JERRY, Dr. No is my favorite Bond flick! I forgot it was on, curses!

HOWARD, Love to you and Dorie. My fingers are crossed extra tight for a good prognosis. Like my dear Mum used to say, "I hope it's just gaaas."
And congratulations on the new grandkid, Poppie!

MARY, How are your poor teeth? How is poor you?

Hey VIV, You're right, maybe I have a thing with southern women. The way they act seems dishonest to me! That's not nice at all. I'm going to have to go back in my memory and see where I formed this strange way of thinking and correct it!

RANDALL, I liked your story very much.

Hey ROSEMARY! You certainly sound fit and trim!

HI LITTER, HI EDDIE! Wow, this place is feeling full of warm familiar bodies. I'm liking this a lot.

JERRY, Your story was very Stephen Kinglike. YUK! Very nice visuals in there.

Hello, ALLEIN, RHODA, MEL, TINA BAMBINA (No, I don't know why I call you that. Please don't hate me!)!!! Anyone I missed is loved just as much, but slipped by my keen vision. (crosseyed at the moment)

TEEKAY and HEATHER, I keep hoping you guys will show up on chat. I miss you!!!!!

And how about that, I had nothin to say. Let's see ... can I come up with something really quick-like? Oh, okay, don't go see The Count of Montecristo unless you don't mind that they dumbed it down. If you go with lower expectations I'm sure you'll enjoy it. But I felt like I was still in Pampers or something. :D Perhaps I was in a particularly critical mood. I do that sometimes.

Blah blah blah,

Christi 1-27-2002 22:45



Looks like Mary and I stirred up a hot topic here. Good. A lot of posts (mine included) are not much more than e-mails of little substance, so maybe the tree should be shaken a little? Clear out the dead branches? I was telling my wife of the "Lisagate" flap. She asked several questions, determined that I had started it with a simple comment that QVC host Lisa Robertson was the model for a person in my book. I do that to all my writerely creations. (Writerely?) Perhaps it relates to visual observation...

Then my wife asked, "Did you defend her? You started it. Who is this Lisa person?"






"Lisa Robertson joined the QVC team in March 1995. But some might say she's been training to be a Show Host for some time. A talented violinist who knows her way around music, her country music spots always hit the right note -- her interview with Clint Black was right on target. A fascination with science fiction helps during Star Trek and Star Wars programs. During her tenure as spokesperson for the Cultured Pearl Association of America and Japan--she was the U.S. Pearl Princess--she perfected her public speaking talents. She cut her electronic retailing teeth at Shop At Home in Knoxville, Tennessee and VIA-TV Home Shopping. Let's not forget her life-long love of shopping.

Her real coming out took place in 1989, when she won the Miss Tennessee crown and competed in the Miss America Pageant, singing "God Bless America" with the Pride of the South Marching Band at the University of Tennessee's 98,000-seat stadium. That year, Lisa also received an Outstanding Service Award from the Governor for her school and business community lectures on behalf of the Governor's Drug Free Program.

Lisa graduated from Southern College in December 1988 with a B.S. in Long Term Health Care Administration. Her hobbies include reading science fiction, watching Star Trek, shopping, and dining out. Lisa was raised in Collegedale, Tennessee, which she said "once had a traffic light."

Lisa reads SF. Good enough for me!

Randall the fisherman? Come on guys. :-) Gariess, did you post that?


Randall 1-27-2002 20:57


I hope you find a way to get back in the states, soon. I would like to be wrong for your sake, but I get the feeling that you really need to be back here.


No comment on your post except you are not a jerk. Glad to see your name.

gariess 1-27-2002 19:13


Gadzooks! How far can one fall on the scale of human value. From concert violinist to pimping on QVC.

gariess 1-27-2002 18:59

Looks like Randall the fisherman snagged a couple of bites.

1-27-2002 17:57

Jerry: Hope you are feeling better. That bug swept through our house too. I think we all need a good spring tonic.

Rosemary: Very bad news. Job went to someone else. We were so happy to have been interviewed. It was a real hope because we got 2 interviews in about a 3 month time span. Usually there aren't any jobs. We really were excited about it so it was a blow. It's ok though now. We're just keeping on as usual.

I was looking forward to seeing you as well. It would have been fun to have a friend in the "area". Well, it's ok because this place has a lot of interesting things to write about. Photography is also fun because it is different.

We have 18 months to go until retirement so we're bound to end up somewhere. What that little burst of excitement did was tell us what we want. We want a small family farm. We think it would be fun to try to raise our own vegetables, and chickens etc. Maybe we're just day dreaming because we're here and that's so foreign to us in our urban surroundings. Every place has something! Here I can teach.

The "Resussa Annie" class was um.....long, very long. I think maybe it's a three day thing they've squashed into one day to give us the idea we can teach it in one day. That's not going to fly too well. I can see we'll need a couple of days to get folks to really do that well. I'm rethinking priorities on that one.

Viv 1-27-2002 17:57

Winter has finally come around. Snow. And lots of it. It started yesterday, and continued for the whole night long, and is still snowing now. I measured it an hour ago...only nine inches then. The wife is feeling better. A little weak and exhausted from her bout with whatever it was, but now I'm under the weather. Fever, aches and pains, dizziness. She wants to give me pills and put me to bed. No work tomorrow, which suits me just fine. I'd just pass out and slip into the river unnoticed. So now it's off to bed...

ben 1-27-2002 17:17

My thoughts exactly on catty women. I don't think these are "Southern women" because I've met Southern ladies who don't fit that type. They are true ladies and the secret is they are tolerant of others. When I see a woman with an eye rolling habit I generally cross the room. It means she is a "hard on others" and has a generally low opinion of herself as well. Not a fun type of person to be around.

Viv 1-27-2002 17:17

Holy crap! You leave for a couple of days and what happens? :D
Well, I'm gonna try to catch up. I admit I was intrigued by MARY's and RANDALL's conversation on this Lisa person. Never having seen this person I can only go on what the two of you have said, and having said that, I'm going with Mary on this one.
I don't want to sound prejudiced here, but I've found in my own personal experience that many (not ALL, mind you) southern women are f-a-k-e, and will be sweeter than pie to your face, then laugh about you as soon as you're out of hearing range.

I would rather know what someone thinks of me. I prefer a blunt person to a fake-nice one any day! I don't think we have any of those fakie fakies here, which is one of the reasons why I've stuck around. I get the feeling that you all are for REAL. :D

And here I've gone on and on about someone I have never even seen. Talk about a jerk!

Catching up, catching up ...

Christi 1-27-2002 13:41


Hi! know this is the most conversation I have had with you! Feels good, we should discuss more often! :-) Old Randall's inner self is of self-deprecating humor and tongue firmly in cheek. Add a severe case of irascible terminal irony, a cockeyed jaundice view of the world......and you get intentionally misquoted phrases. I know you spotted that right off. A favorite goes this way...

Bank door slams open and a guy in a mask brandishing a pistol shouts...

"Okay, this is a screw up! Stick up your ass or I'll blow your hands off!!"

I love it! Sounds like something I would shout. :-)

To define irony, what better way than to reverse two words. As I did in "open foot, insert mouth."

One phrase I heard recently is along the same line. A mechanic strolls in the store and slams down a rubber fuel line on the counter. "I want my money back! No matter how many times I cut this hose, it's still too short!"


Add to the above that I am from Texas where terminal inextatitude is an art form....and no telling what will come forth. I have known many men and women who will look beyond a simple statement and turn it into something hilarious. Natural wits, quick thinkers whom I envy. All I can do is grab a pen and jot down what they said, as a writer should.

Gonna be a beautiful day here. Clear skies, temps in the 70's.

See ya


BTW...heard a cute joke yesterday.

Hog farmer Joe had five sows he needed bred. Joe talked to his neighbor Sam.

"Sure Joe, bring ‘em down in the morning. Got a good boar hog."

Next morning at daylight Joe loads the sows in his pickup and takes them to Sam. He picks them up in the evening. "Say Sam, how will I know if they are bred?"

"Well Joe, if they are standing in the morning, not bred. If laying down...bred."

Next morning all sows are standing. Joe loads them up and takes them to Sam's place.

Next morning all sows are again standing. Same routine, Joe loads the sows in his pickup and takes them to Sam.

This routine goes on all week. At sunrise on Friday Joe is sitting at the breakfast table head in hands. He looks at his wife. "Honey would you look outside and tell me if the sows are standing or laying down. This has worn me plumb out."

His wife looks out the window and comes back. "I'm not sure Joe. Four sows are in the back of your pickup and the other one is in the cab honking the horn!"

Randall 1-27-2002 13:06

Hey, I have a high forehead! ;-)

Mary 1-27-2002 10:55

RANDALL: Joan Rivers is exceptionally annoying at times, and I don't blame Lisa for rolling her eyes, but I don't think that the show's producers appreciated it very much. She should not have so openly shown her annoyance of a show's guest. (I probably would have rolled my eyes too, that is why I am not a TV host.) My eyes aren't set close together so you don't have to worry about opening your foot and inserting your mouth, even though most people do it the othe way around! Big hugs fella...don't take it so personally, to each his own. You can find out all kinds of stuff about her on QVC's website. Did you know she was a concert violinist? You got the elegant part right.

Mary 1-27-2002 10:55


Teekay: Ok I have finished Ice Station... Jeez I wish it was longer, it is such a superb written book.
Would not say its better than Executive Order, I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan.

How you all doing people? Sorry to hear some of you are not doing well... Healthy thoughts going your way

Taylor 1-27-2002 10:00

Wonderful weather here today, got up to 54 degrees at noon. Just let the dog out, he was only out a few seconds and was scratching at the door. Seems winter has arrived again, when I check the thermometer, it had dropped to seven below zero F. That's cold.

Seems my nose isn't running as fast as it was, but other parts of my system are now in revolt, and I am running to the bathroom. Damn germs. Hope I am well enough for mom's tomorrow. I think I may be finished for the night (at least I hope so!) I am off to bed.

Nite all.

Jerry 1-27-2002 1:04


"nearly fell off me chair?"

Well, my father-in-law is English! :-))))


Randall 1-27-2002 0:06



Mary...I admire elegance in a woman and I sense that in QVC host Lisa Robertson. Perhaps she is an accomplished actress? Don't know. Cary Grant said he wished he could be more like Cary Grant, the actor! Go figure. The awareness of beauty is (preaching to the choir here) based upon an individuals perception of beauty. I like ladies with eyes set wide apart. Girls with close set eyes, (oh boy, open foot insert mouth Randall!) Seem to me ... to be ... ah, perhaps narrow in outlook? A woman with a high forehead is attractive as well, to me this indicates intelligence .... to me anyway, annnnnnnnd as any midnight bar room male will tell you ALL women are intelligent, but some more so than others. Lisa's hair is exceptional I agree, but then, that is a given, as she is on a nationally syndicated show. Whatever Lisa has, style, elegance, beauty, brains she has had since day one... the rest of us have to struggle with what we were given! :-)

I like the way Lisa uses her eyes. Joan Rivers was on one day, selling jewelry or something. Joan was on a long winded rant as Lisa sat quietly, hands folded in her lap as any southern girl would. Lisa stared at the camera, the way a lot of talented comedians would ... Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy, Lou Costello, and Alan Hale, the skipper! After a long winded, one way dialogue Lisa rolled her eyes as if a low flying bird soared overhead. I nearly fell off me chair laughing. You could tell Lisa was put out with Joan Rovers. Hysterical!!

Age has taught me to observe, not look, but observe. Oh well.....we all have inner dreams. Lisa reminds me of my second wife...course, I've only been married once. :-)

Teekay! Thank you for the nice comment on my Star Tiki tale! Death is not despair...unless you do not wish to leave your loved ones. Both my mother and father struggled to live, as they were dying. Mom really struggled, as we stood next to her bed. Cancer and kidney failure. My brother and I both told was let go...a better world awaited. Even the nurses were amazed and came to pat her hand....

Personally? Teekay, I will, at some point, view death with despair. Because I will never see my children again. Will not hold my grand-children and understand I am Omega, they are Alpha. I will not enjoy laughing with friends or see the moon at night or a sunset over the mountains. Death is not despair, I agree, but the alternative, the great mystery is, the fear is worthy of exceptional despair. Despair is saying goodbye to a flesh and blood life in exchange for Lord knows what. "I know there ain't no heaven, but I pray there ain't no hell." (A Blood Sweat and Tears verse.) Despair for leaving what I know, but not despair in a sense of going to a better place.

Even more alarming! I will not be able to watch Lisa Robertson roll her beautiful Tennessee eyes at pompous guests who have more money than they need!!!

Outta here!!!!


Randall 1-27-2002 0:03

Rosemary - glad to hear your animals are being fruitful and multiplying. As far as shopping, I hate shopping. When we go (and that is a rare trip anymore) I always take advantage of my handicap parking thing, and park as near the store as possible. Then if I really need something and I don't think the wife will get the right one, I go with her to the store. Otherwise I simply sit in the truck and await her return with the bags of goodies.

Now that the daughter is here in town, she and the wife go shopping together, and I can stay at home and be comfortable.

There are some who accuse me of becoming a hermit. They may be right, I do love my recliner and my computers, with them at hand, why go anywhere else?

I do make the occasional trip to the drug store when my pain meds run low, and of course our Sunday dinner at mom's followed by several games of pinochle.

Maybe this summer we will try to do a bit more camping, then again maybe not, have to wait and see. Besides the fellow who was supposed to fix the camper after that dingbat ran into it last fall hasn’t yet given me the estimate on repairs. My insurance company is waiting patiently, they even suggested hauling it to Bismarck, where a professional camper repairman can look at it, changed their tune when I asked if they would pay mileage for the trip in addition to the repairs.

Well must get back to Bond, James Bond in Dr. No.

Write ON!

Jerry 1-26-2002 22:52

RANDALL: I watch QVC, but I don't really care much for Lisa Robertson as a host. I like David Venable best. He reminds me of my husband, only taller. I don't think I even have a real reason for not liking Lisa, just a feeling I guess. That and her eyes are set too far apart. And she always talks about how fat she is when she weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet. I think maybe I have said too much. ;-) She has good hair, though.

HOWARD: Where are the pictures you promised us? I came all the way in here just to get a glimpse of the little whipper-snapper!

Hi everyone else! Just checking in, I get dizzy if I am up for too long, but I had to see what was going on.

Mary 1-26-2002 22:50


The Alexander Patterson Cappon Fiction Award – $1,000 – for the best short story.

The New Letters Poetry Award – $1,000– for the best group of three to six poems

The Dorthy Churchill Cappon Creative Nonfiction Award – $1,000– for the best work of creative nonfiction

Winners will be announced the week of Sept. 15, 2002. One winner and one runner-up will be selected in each category. The work of winners will be published in the Spring 2003 issue of New Letters, and all finalists will be listed in a Roll of Honor in the same issue. First runners-up will recieve a year's subscription to New Letters and consideration for publication.

DEADLINE: Postmarked by May 17, 2002

For inqueries on guidelines e-mail us at newletters@umkc. edu or write to New Letters, University House, 5101 Rockhill Road, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

New Letters Link 1-26-2002 19:47


Hi All
haven't time to read all the posts.

RANDALL: Loved the story. Only death isn't despair. A wise woman, a supernatural woman, should know this.

Teekay 1-26-2002 19:33

Must say hi to Ben. Hi, Ben.

gariess 1-26-2002 17:32


So glad to hear that your health is disgusting, or that you are disgustingly healthy. Sorry about your wife, however. It must be very frustrating when a condition is hidden inside a person where it is hard to see. I was once hit in the head with a stone and since it came to rest in plain sight only one person thought it might be a kidney infection. He was shouted down very quickly by others who rightly recognized that kidney infections were rarely, if ever, small round and hard. It would be a blessing if the question could be so easily decided in the case of your wife.

gariess 1-26-2002 17:18

It must be catching! I had to take my wife to the ER last Saturday,where they diagnosed her with a kidney/bladder infection. Then Wednesday her doctor said no, it's a kidney stone, and sent her back for a CT scan which seemed to verify it. He referred her to a urologist, who said that he doesn't think that it is a stone, and scheduled her for an IVP today.
All I know is that she's hurting! Me? I've been disgustingly healthy!

howard 1-26-2002 15:58

It's been a rough and tiring week. The wife came down with whatever flu it is that's going around, and has been out cold in bed, since Tuesday. I've been starting work everyday since then, at 5:30 a.m., and am on my way to work in ten minutes. It's snowed twice, rained--a deluge that came down so hard the roads were lost in a mist of bouncing rain--and is snowing again. And now I can feel something wanting to drag me down. But I don't have an option when it comes to being sick. I'm supposed to work through it.

Sorry I missed the shorty nite, sorry I missed Howard's great news...congrats old man...nice to see Litter back...a man's a man for all of my favourite Robbie Burns poems. D'Oh! Now I have to go and sweep the snow off the car and drive to work. Have to give myself an extra ten minuites because it's all down hill.

ben 1-26-2002 9:20

Howard - great news, another reason to write, gotta create good tales for the grandkids you know.

Gary - Welcome home.

I think I will survive, the cold seems a bit better today, I can breath much better. Could be the warm weather, my God it hit 57 degrees above here today, this is unheard of for this time of the year, the weatherman has been talking of nothing else, oh except that it should be back below zero in a couple of days.

We were planning a trip to visit the son this weekend, but with my cold and all, I think we will stay home instead, hate to spread it around you know.

I dug out an old "natural" keyboard that I got on Ebay a long time ago. It has one of those built in mouses, but the first time I tried it out, the mouse didn't work. Today I tore into it, and found a bad wire in the mouse circuit, fixed that and now I have a nice natural keyboard with built in mouse to use here in my recliner, sure makes typing a lot easier, now if I could just get it to spell...

I had this super idea for a story the other day, but didn't write it down (Well it came to me in bed and I didn't want to wake the wife up). Had nearly the whole thing done by morning, but when I sat down to type it into the computer, it disappeared in to that netherworld that exists somewhere in some remote spot in my brain. Hope it comes back, it was a good story, I can remember that much.

Oh well, it is late, and I am very tired tonight, fell asleep twice sitting here earlier, the wife mentioned it when she retired, suggesting I join her. I wonder if sleep was all she had on her mind. Oh well to late anyhow, that was a couple of hours ago. I did doze off when Next Gen was on, woke up in the middle of a news story. Just as well, I had seen this episode before anyhow, it is rare that they play one I don't remember.

Well I am off to the land of nod, hope all have a super night, and may your muse deposit wonderful tales in your dreams; may you remember them well so you can write them down in the morning.

Write on!

Jerry 1-26-2002 1:08



Congratulations on your new grandchild!


I missed you. I'm glad to see you back.


Today I figured out how to play the penny whistle I bought in Edinburgh last spring. I had given up on it after I had lost the instruction manual. Today while I was cleaning, on a whim I just picked the instrument up and played it to some music on a cassette tape. In the process I just happened to stumble upon the correct notes, and from there I made the melody. I feel so accomplished and so Celtic after doing that. I don't think that I am ready to play with the Chieftains yet, but I did manage to save this nice, little instrument from the Garage Sale box.


I hope you and your family feel better soon.

Rhoda 1-26-2002 0:55

Howard! Congratulations on your new wee grandson!

Heather 1-25-2002 22:01



I'm late with the shortie!!! Forgive me?

I have never participated in the weekly shortie...but the subject of wrath is so hard to pass up.

This is from my novel. Star Tiki Wou is a Navajo woman, a sorceress, but more than that. She has directed construction of an underground Navajo sanctuary from the close passage of an immense earth sized celestial object. The object approaching Earth is "Oort Runner" but is also known to the Navajo as "The Whisper of Jehovah."

Navajo means ‘The People.' Andrea's Brigade is a group of Navajo children who work with Andrea.

Andrea Abbey is a friend of Tiki's son. She is upset that sanctuary was denied to many Americans, thus condemning them to death. There is simply not enough room in the "Hole of Emergence." Andrea and Tiki are having an argument as the end of the earth is only hours away.

And I apologize for the profanity ladies. It is not something I use in my posts, but ... profanity is a terrific indicator of stress. Sorry....

Excerpt from;

By Randall Henderson

"So what have you learned Andrea?" Tiki angrily asked, looking into the ever darkening desert. Black clouds, turbulent with high velocity winds were descending, it seemed the very sky was settling on the surface. A rumble of thunder echoed softly around them, the ground vibrated.

"I'm not sure what you mean?" Andrea hesitated, she could see Tiki was annoyed.

Tiki spoke forcefully. "When you have to be cruel to protect the innocent, you do it without thinking of consequences. Sometimes you have to kill so flowers may grow under the rocks. I have done terrible inhuman things to protect my people Andrea."

"Your people Tiki?"

A brilliant flash of lighting highlighted the desert floor below the mesa, followed immediately by a thunderous boom. Both women staggered at the sound. Tiki's steadied herself against a giant red boulder. Her mouth was a straight razor of anger, black eyebrows sharply arched against the paleness of her face. She stared at her son's lover.

"That's right, my people Andrea. I have killed, physically maimed and destroyed the minds of so many persons I've lost count. I did all of this so Andrea's Brigade could grow old, marry and have children. I've used people like a puppet on a string, all with this moment in mind. I've used you, Robert, your grandfather, my dead husband, everyone so we might have a chance as that bastard Oort Runner closes. I drove President Morrow insane so a weary grandmother may enjoy her last family of kittens or an old man enjoy a few more years with a faithful companion."

Andrea was suddenly afraid. Tiki's large black eyes were blazing with fury. She was talking and gesturing wildly. A sharp wind swirled the hair around her face. Her normally delicate face had become harsh, unyielding.

"I projected my image to President Morrow, caught him using the can." Tiki leaned forward, her eyes a torrent of fanatical rage. "The elitist bastard, wanted our home," she hissed. "After all the suffering and death the People have endured he wanted to move in the politicians, the lawyers, the rich, fat cat actors from Hollywood. We were to be servants for them ... the servants!"

Tiki tilted her head back and screamed into the darkening, storm tossed sky. "Servants!" Immense bolts of lightning streaked across black clouds seething with powerful gusts of wind. Andrea struggled to stand in the gale force winds. She wanting to flee from the Navajo desert wraith only a few feet away, but was too afraid.

Tiki stared hard at Andrea. "I turned him into a fucking vegetable and left him cringing on the bathroom floor in his own pee. Fuck him! What did he do for us? Nothing! None of them, yet they wanted our legend, our creation!"

A loud rumble of thunder rolled through the dark sky. A ground tremor caused both women to sway. Andrea, stricken with fear, stepped away from the small woman before her. Star Tiki, the most powerful supernatural person in the world was before her, infuriated and quite possibly insane.

Tiki followed, coming closer to Andrea, grasping her arm. She looked deep into her eyes. "I would do it again and again and again Andrea Abbey. The People will not suffer. I," she slapped her chest hard with one small fist. "I, Star Tiki Wou Ney will not permit it. My grandfather was a great Mongolian Shaman and inhumanly cruel to some. I have a lack of emotion inside me that would cause him to tremble. When I was a young girl, he came to me, made me understand. He told me the Anglo will take your world if you let them. They will destroy the land, dirty the water, foul the air and defile the very ground their children play on. I will wade neck deep through a river of shit and kill a million Anglos to save my people, a basket of kittens and an old dog from suffering."

Tiki ran into the dirt road, pointed a finger at the huge shimmering comet head barely visible through churning black clouds on the eastern horizon. She accessed the Web of Authority, increased the power and with a snap a shimmering aura of energy surrounded her. Earth power raced up through the highly charged planet, up through Tiki's body and emerged as a spinning vortex above her. Andrea stepped back, alarmed that the woman before her was capable of such an inhuman act. She is a witch Andrea thought!

"That evil abomination," Tiki shrieked, "will not have them! Star Tiki will not allow it! Do you hear me? You motherless bastard from Oort you cannot have them! They are mine!"

Tiki fell silent, head down, spent at the outburst of emotion. She slowly became conscious of the trembling woman behind her. Her power evaporated and she swayed, nearly falling.

Shaking at the loss of energy, Tiki stumbled back to Andrea. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take out my frustration on you. You have done nothing wrong. The problem is me, not you."

Andrea was aware of people walking, running from where they stood. Tiki was right she thought, they were afraid of her. She gathered herself, went to Tiki and held her close.

"Tiki," she whispered, stroking the gray streaked hair. "I love you. If you want to shout, scream or beat on somebody, here I am. I know what you are telling me. To kill another human is terrible, and you may pay a terrible price. But look around, this world is ending ... but your people, your people Tiki will prevail. What a glorious world it will be. All because of what you have done. Until then, somebody has to fight for the innocent. Someone has to kill so the elderly can go to the head of the line carrying kittens and old dogs. Sometimes babies and helpless people have to be protected by savagery. Tiki, I understand, it's okay. It's okay."

Tiki's eyes closed and she clung to Andrea to keep from collapsing. "I am so very tired," she whispered. "There is a great darkness of death within me. An Angel named Despair with no face watches. Despair covets me. She has followed me for months, death on swift wings is coming for me. I have seen death getting closer and closer. I don't want to be alone. Will you please walk with me?"

Sorry for the story length...Wrath has a down side, apparently.


BTW...ever watch the QVC channel? I don't, except......when Lisa is on. Lisa Robertson is a sales person for them. Lisa is my model for Andrea.

RANDALL 1-25-2002 20:49

Teek - you still there?
I left the computer online while the kids were bathing hamsters... and I didn't see you on MSN chat.
I'll be on for a while, if you happen to pop back in!


Heather 1-25-2002 19:33

Ahhh, yes, I must have been (insert: Sinutab in place of 'I') thinking of Dizzie Gilespie last night. I'm not sure if I spelled his name correctly, but since I'm all fuzzed out on another big dose of it, even harsh criticism, should I receive any, would slide right off.

The kids just let their hamsters have a swim in the bath. Oh, joy. Poor little rodents. Good thing they're natural swimmers. What a waste of expensive cages, otherwise! Okay, that was a joke in very bad taste.

Mary! So good to read you back here already. Yes, definitely get those pain meds a s a p!
Smooth recoveries!

Heather 1-25-2002 19:32


Just for the record, Charlie Parker played saxophone.

Gary S 1-25-2002 18:49


I enjoyed the verse, Thank you.

gary S 1-25-2002 18:34


Congratulations on your Grandparenthood. I am suppressing my begrudgment of your state of veneration, because no one has been considerate enough of my sensibilities to have conferred upon me the very honor, and I feel the time for any such likelihood is long past.

Often, I have wondered what dreadful thing I have done to be so shabbily ignored in the matter of Grandparenthood. Does it seem such a great deal to ask that someone bear a few miserable brats so I can play with them on a Sunday afternoon? Would it be an imposition for someone to take on the burden of rearing a few house-apes, a rug-rat or two, so I may find a modicum of joy in my declining years? I suppose it must be. Alas, I shall have to be content to brag about my Grandnieces, and only two at that. I tell you, it is an affront to society the way the needs of us old people are excluded from the plans of the young. Of course, Howard, in your case this sort of indignity has not occurred, and for that fact I again congratulate you, sir. Dirty rackenfracks.

Gary S 1-25-2002 18:24

A Beautiful sunny day to all,

The Animals are all busy having babies. I guess these warm spells are getting to them. Little fuzzy chicks and duckies all over. Got to be careful where you step.

My Sister is preparing to leave for a four day trailride. She packs up a horse and assorted tack and drives about 150 miles to Lorado. Then a whole group of riders from all over (mostly San Antonio) ride back to San Antonio in time for the opening of the Rodeo. She can't stay the whole trip, has to work, but three or four days is plenty. I was never interested in that much pain.

The knee is much better, thanks for asking. I have lost almost 30 pounds and am doing my exercises semi-regularly. Between the two, it's getting easier to get around. My main exercise is shopping. I park way out towards the edge of the parking lot. BUT, it's beginning to cost too much. I'm not good at shoping but not buying.

I loved the flamingo story. I bet that dentist did that on purpose just to wig out his patients.

Congrats., you lived. I lost my wisdom teeth about a quarter-of-a-century ago. Haven't missed them for one minute.

When the characters take over the story, it's almost like reading a book by another author. I write that way most of the time and when the story is no good,'s not my fault. I was just along for the ride.

I have a space opera that is either finished or two thirds finished, depending on how long you want it. It's broken up into adventures. Anyway, for the third section, I created an outline. (for a class) I got about 12 pages into it and haven't touched it since. I think the outline ruined it for me.

GET WELL all who are sick.
did you see my post right before the archiveing? Gave you conditions to show if you will live till your Dr. Appointment.

You haven't updated us on Hubby's job news. Am I too early or is the New Mexico news bad? I was already making plans for us.

Gotta go now.
Love TINA's blue skies, maybe I could use--
Fur and Feathers.

Rosemary 1-25-2002 18:13

Congratulations grandad!
I know just how that feels, 'they' also said that my daughter Claire would never have children. Just try telling that to baby Ellie!
Hope mum and baby are doing fine.
Look forward to the pics

Eddie 1-25-2002 17:19

HOWARD: Congratulations on the new arrival. I would have a cigar with you, but I am not allowed to smoke for 24 hours. Maybe I could get one of those chocolate ones. :-)

Well, I lived.

The whole procedure was very quick, efficient and expensive. $890.00 ouch.

The Novicaine has worn off. Again, ouch.

I have a prescription for some codeine and antibiotics which I haven't had filled yet. I was convinced I could get through this with some heavy doses of Tylenol. I am thinking I will send hubby up to the pharmacy shortly.

End-all: I had a huge new shipment of beads and sterling come in today and I don't even feel good enough to play with them. Pout pout. Maybe once I take the codeine I will feel funky enough to come up with some 'way out there' new innovative designs.

Thank you all so much for your support yet again. I loved the pink flamingo story and the 'don't hurt me, I won't hurt you'. All of you were very reassuring.

HEATHER: Thank you...big hugs.

MARK: :-)

I will try to check back in again soon, depends on how I feel in the morning. Bye for now!

Mary 1-25-2002 17:16

Hmmm, now I wonder where that slipped out from?

Eddie 1-25-2002 16:04

Talk about thingking the same thing at the same time.
Good to 'see' you Litter, and thanks.

Eddie 1-25-2002 16:02

Looks like my post to Litter got swallowed up in the archive process. It was just to wish LITTER :

***********HAPPY BURNS NIGHT**********

Eddie 1-25-2002 16:01

ROWHAD – Many congrats for the newborn, even though your part in the process ended a generation ago :o)

MARY – Sorry to hear about your pain but I’m sure everything will go well, but what you don’t need to hear is “Your teeth are fine but your gums will have to come out.”

Talking of anaesthetics, a good few years ago I had a minor operation with local anaesthesia. I worked as a medical photographer in the hospital in which I was now a patient. Anyway there was one doctor who never got feedback from his patients – the anaesthetist – so for several weeks after the op he regularly ambushed me in one of the main corridors and asked technical questions about the effects of the anaesthetic. The first time he did it, it gave me the fright of my life – a 6ft 4inch bearded anaesthetist running towards me shouting, “Stop! I need to know how you feel…”

Because I was staff, I had the privilege of choosing my surgeon, so I chose the best that Fife has ever seen. He was a real old-fashioned gentleman with an impressive pedigree and a reputation that was just as impressive. Before he started he asked if I had any questions or anything that I’d like to say, so I beckoned him over. When he was close I said to him, “If you don’t hurt me I won’t hurt you.” Most of the theatre staff didn’t yet know it was me at that point and gasps of disbelief echoed round the Op Theatre. No one had ever spoken to him that way before and most of the theatre staff were waiting to see what he’d do or say, obviously expecting some sort of retribution. Instead he just let out a roar of laughter (never heard before or since) and asked for a scalpel. Ahhh, happy days :o) Didn’t do my composure much good seeing his shoulders wobble as he was about to begin, but all was well in the end. He didn’t hurt me (much) and I, in turn, didn’t hurt him.

My sympathies for those with flu or other nasty ailments. We have been told to expect the seasonal flu epidemic soon.

EDDIE – here it is:

From the pen of The Bard, Scotland’s favourite son, womaniser, poet, and philosopher ahead of his time, Rabbie Burns, on this most special of nights for Scots all over the world – Burns Night – replete with wild haggis (plucked and gutted), neeps and tatties, with the odd dram or five of a good and aging malt. (Horse drawn plough optional.)

This is the last verse of ‘A man’s a man for a’ that’, the song that opened the Scottish Parliament. It says what most, if not all, of us now know but few dared say in the 18th Century.

Then let us pray that come it may –
As come it will for a’ that –
That sense and worth o’er a’ the earth
Shall bear the gree an’ a’ that;
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s comin yet for a’ that,
That man to man the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.
Rabbie Burns

* ‘Shall bear the gree’ – Shall achieve supremacy or pre-eminence or shall be victorious.

Litter 1-25-2002 15:57

JACK: Thanks for the clean slate
HOWARD: Congratulations
MARY: Had my wisdom teeth out, don't remember any fuss. That other stuff is harder to deal with than dentists, that stuff about friends, and support, and getting to know us, and letting us know you. Changes the color of my cheeks and forehead.
GARY S: Glad to see yer name
JERRY: I'll buy one
VIV: A well-told tale

Guess I'll have to go home and see the rest of the day's posts. Lunch is over.

Mark 1-25-2002 15:06


You're sounding a bit Australian today. "Good on Jane White." Actually, you might have sounded a bit Australian yesterday. I didn't check the date/time stamp on your missive.

I have played the prodigal yet one more time. Worse yet, I return, not repentent, hat in hand, sheepishly and reticently feeling my way into to the room, casting cautiously about with meek, feeling-out, insipid, annoying and obsequious little blurbs to test the temper of the air as it regards the fact of my return, but arrogantly charging ahead as though the thought of chastise for my errant and insensitive abandonments had never never entered my heedless heart.

But this, alas, is home. Home to the scribe within. Home, the place, where if you go back, they have to take you in. Wasn't it Twain who said that? Or was it Mortimer Snerd? Does anyone, here, remember Mortimer Snerd? A truly great philosopher of the early twentieth century. Does anyone remember Twain? Ah, so be it. So, what is everybody talking about? I haven't looked back past the single last post.

None-the-less, it is good to be back among friends. I must have a read down the line a bit. Hello, Jack, Rhoda, Jerry, Teekay, Heather, Rachel, Americo, et al.

gary S 1-25-2002 14:14

Howard - Congrats! He sounds cute! :D

What was the shortie theme this week?

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-25-2002 13:35

YEA, Gramps! Congrats, Howard! Cuddle that new grandson for me. :-)

Mel 1-25-2002 12:45


Got a new grandson this morning! 22", 7lb 7oz Joel Mark Krick was born this morning at 9:25! He's a miracle baby - they said Andria probably would never be able to have kids, but God knew better! Pix later.

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

howard 1-25-2002 12:30


Good on Jane White!
I used to have a personal insurance policy, and they liked to send a rep around every 6 months or so. Fine by me, as I usually did have a question to ask, or there were changes to see. But the rep used to just show up, ring the bell, and expect us to drop everything while he came in. I told him 'either call to make an appointment or waste your trip'. It took him four trips before he learned his lesson. Each time I'd say, 'actually I'm busy right now. Can you come by on say Friday at 3?' Some people just don't get it.

Heather, the joys of living in a college town, eh? I think my favourite is the Engineering class at UBC in Vancouver. They like to take a car, something little like a beetle, and place it in the most unlikely of places. And they do it overnight. A few years back they somehow got one to the top of a bridge. The very top, fully attached so that it wasn't dangerous. And no one saw them do it. I haven't heard about it recently. I hope they haven't stopped.

Viv, good luck!

Must go. blue skies, and pink flamingoes!

Tina 1-25-2002 11:30

Got this in my e-mail, thought it appropriate with today's shorty topic, and it involves a topic discussed here a few times before.

Neighbour returned Witnesses' cold call


A MOTHER of three children became so fed up with Jehovah’s
Witnesses calling at her home that she interrupted their Sunday
service by banging on their church door and offering them free
Jane White, 35, who has been visited by the religious group every
month for more than 12 years, spent 30 minutes on the steps of the
Kingdom Hall, in Peacehaven, East Sussex, until police moved her
on. Afterwards she said:

“I’ve never done anything like this before, but I had a visit from
the Jehovah’s Witnesses the day before and that was the straw
which broke the camel’s back.

“I’ve been having regular visits from them in the 12 years I’ve
lived in Peacehaven. It is not the religion I object to, it is
just the intrusion into my privacy which I find annoying.”

She added: “I timed my visit for 10am because I knew it would be
in the middle of a service. One member of the congregation thought
it was funny, others took it seriously.

“I tried to hand out free magazines to see if they would like a
copy, just like the copies of The Watchtower the Jehovah’s
Witnesses hand out. Nobody seemed to want them though.”

Paul Gillies, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Britain,
said: “If someone states they do not want our representatives to
call we make a note and avoid calling.”

Jerry 1-25-2002 11:10


G'Mornin' you-all! I hope everyone's feeling a bit better today... one day at a time, here's to returning health for everyone!!!

MARY: Hope they give you sodium pentathol - it's a breeze! I had five teeth removed for braces in high school days; I was out in less than two seconds-and awoke seemingly a few seconds after that with all this gauze in my mouth and just a dull ache...healed quickly too. (((((HUGS))))) for you! You'll do great! We look forward to your return to the NB and everything else you love to do! :-)

HEATHER: I loved the prank stories - we always had bubbles in our college town (Bear)fountain during the Spring sorority/fraternity drinking derby. A skeleton with pom-poms, a car wrapped around a flag pole, and painted cows were all too funny! (tee hee!!) I never engaged in such foo-fer-rah myself, but I can appreciate the humor of the situations! --Tigerlily Mel :-D

ROSEMARY: Hi! :-) What are your animals doing these days? How's your knee??

JACK: WELCOME BACK!!! :-) Take time to ENJOY everything you're doing!!!

JERRY: Loved the telemarketer's justice story- heh heh!! Even with an unlisted phone number, we still get random calls...arghhh! Where can I get me one of the those cute little red buttons? ;-) Also loved your list (in the archives now) of uses for burnt CD's - hee hee hee! :-)

TINA: YEA for your muse pouring out the inspiration!!! :-)
I look forward to reading it all. Bonehead Ed was too funny -- hee hee hee ha ha ha ha ha ha heh heh!!!! :-D

VIV: I liked your sleep poem. :-) Loved the flamingos story - hee!!! Have fun with Resussa Annie - wish I could drive around with you and watch reactions! Heee! When I was a kid, we had a plastic lady's hand - don't know where it came from but we used it frequently in the bathroom, hanging from a closed toilet seat...heh heh! Too funny...!

Y'all have a great day - get well if you're sick; stay healthy if you already are; and write those funnies to make others laugh!!! :-)

Mel 1-25-2002 8:17

Jack: You're going to want to kill me for writing again, just as you got the slate clean! Sorry but grading is boring. I peek into the notebook when I get done with a long class.

Heather: Neat school prank stories! I wish I could read more. That would be a fun theme, class pranks or just plain pranks. I'll bet Jerry could come up with a few good ones, and Randall too! You know, I teach writing this spring semester, that would be a good one for my class... I wonder if the Japanese kids ever pull pranks on towns or schools. The most I've ever seen Tokai students do is hit a restaurant and try to order everything on the menu and eat it. What you wouldn't believe is the amount of food a skinny Japanese kid can pack into his body. Once I had a class party and 2 kids sat down in front of the buffet table. They pulled up chairs and proceeded to enjoy themselves. It was fun to see how much they could consume!
(It was also fun to watch the expressions on their faces. They knew they were doing the ultimate in "badness" and enjoying getting away with their mischeif tremendously.)

Sorry to hear you have the flu. You probably caught it from my posts last week. In fact I might say I infected the entire notebook. I had the same flu. It started with a tummy bug and ended with a cold and the hack I call Kanto crud. So now you know the name of this disease, it's called Kanto crud.

Glad to hear you could get some Chicken soup down. Sending you a box of kleenex (virtual) and a cold mask to wear to keep the cold air out of your lungs. Kidding aside, take good care of yourself. This is a dangerous flu. I hope you can stay inside and rest.

Tina: I liked that skeleton story! I'm going to have some fun with the resussa-Annie doll the same way. I think I'll put her in the trunk, leave it semi-opened and tied shut with her leg hanging out, or maybe just a foot sticking out.
Wish me luck on that CPR exam tomorrow. I'm going to bed. I need to be rested. I don't remember very well when I'm not.

Viv yet again 1-25-2002 7:05

Oh, I'm sorry! Viv, I forgot to tell you that I enjoyed the pink flamingo story too. What an interesting way to create panic in a patient. Hmmmm. I'm thinking, 'no thanks!' At least, not right after surgery.
Maybe if it were Russell Crowe nude, hanging a nice moon in that window...

Heather 1-25-2002 4:01

Mary - Your presence in my life is a blessing. If you're checking into the NB tomorrow morning just to try and get a grip on your nerves, let me tell you something.
I have no idea if this will help, but...

My dental surgeon's name was Charles Parker. No lie. I had images of him taking out my wisdom teeth and playing a trumpet at the same time. Wayne said, "If he's talented enough to play the trumpet and take out three of your teeth at the same time, I want pictures." That had me laughing. Wayne always knows when to say something funny, and just what to say.
Well, my dental surgeon wasn't even a distant relative of THE Charlie Parker. It seems his parents had a sense of humour, and loved jazz. He had some playing in the waiting room before I went in. I was on the relaxed side of scared shitless, if you can call me relaxed anywhere near a dentist.
I was up out of my chair like a shot when the nurse came out and said my name. I had left my shoes in the entrance, and had donned those goofy hospital like slippers. I flip-flopped into the little room. Charlie Parker took my hand, and said, "Good morning, Heather." I gave him a tight smile. More of a grimace, really. He asked if I was nervous. Little nod. "Don't worry," he said warmly, "You won't feel a thing, and when you wake up, you'll be feeling a lot better. Even with stitches, your jaw won't feel near as painful with those teeth gone." He motioned to the Xrays that his nurse had taken the week before. The cavity in my left upper wisdom tooth was gigantic. I would have let the damn tooth rot out if it weren't for pain getting in the way of it. I hate dental work that much.
Another two nurses came in. They were so quiet, so efficient, and so gentle. I was only in the surgical chair for about a minute before they lowered the mask onto my face and I was out. Not much time to panic.
Their demeanor actually helped anyhow - once Dr. Parker started talking to me, my grip on the chair dissolved into mere sweaty prints. I wasn't going to rip the upholstery after all.
It felt like about ten seconds, and I was awake. And Dr. Parker was right. I wasn't feeling much pain at all.
I healed very quickly. I was eating regular food in three days or less, and able to yawn openly in a week.
It was so great, compared to the first time I had one wisdom removed, while awake with a local anaesthetic. That was horrendous. This was a dream in comparison.

And Mary, meet us back here tomorrow night, or as soon as you can to let us know how it went for you. You can't die! I haven't met you in person yet, to give you a real hug. ((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))

Tina - congratulations! I understand what you mean, though I'm not as close to finishing my novel as you are! That happens for me at the end of many short stories I write. Something just clicks, and it writes itself. Now you can write with confidence that your ending isn't going to suck! Of course it won't! You wrote it.

Teek? Are you okay? Hope you haven't caught this *()%*$%)(*$_^ virus too. It seems to be making its rounds.

Oh, Tina! I forgot - when I was reading your post with 'hot lemon tea and chicken soup' at the end... I was sipping hot lemon tea. And earlier tonight, for the first time in three days, I was able to eat. Chicken soup, of course!
I love the Ed the Skeleton story (sorry, not to make it sound like fiction...)
We had a skeleton that was the school mascot, which we sometimes heisted from the Science wing office. He looked great in a cheerleader skirt, just to let you know! We taped the pompoms onto his hands and everything. We were just short in the wig department, so we asked the Janitor for a mop head, and held it on with a baseball cap, cinched tight. I wish I could remember if the skeleton had a name!
At least once a year that Science skeleton was heisted.
Reminds me of highschool, and of the downtown fountain here, which is filled with soap bubbles by University students at least once a year, and takes the poor city workers a few days to get the last of the foam out of the pipes. I suggested instant mashed potatoes one year, but no one listened. I thought that at the very least, it could feed a few people, rather than the 'getting very old' soapcapade. Expecting bubbles again early May, when exams are over and the students are permanently drunken.

In highschool, every year the seniors also played a major prank near the end of the year. One year, the guys who were in shop class took an old 'beater' of a car, cut a slit in the roof and the floor of the car's body, and slid it in place around the flag pole out front of the school. Once the flag pole was coming clear out the middle of the roof, they slammed the car door and locked the keys inside. The principal was only marginally impressed, if you can imagine. He was stuck with the tow truck bill.

The previous year, some of the seniors heisted cows from a neighbouring field and herded them into the gym, via the double doors. They also painted them the school colours.
What a STINK that made! (Lousy pun intended)
Not the greatest prank either, because with all the students having a look, some of the cows got a little upset, and started shoving out into the halls, the whites of their eyes showing. What a time that was, trying to corral them in AND pacify a very upset farmer. Last time he looked, his cows had been out to pasture for the morning.

My head cold has travelled to my lungs, and I'm trying not to hack, because if I do, it feels like the lining of my throat is tearing! But I tried lying down, propped up with pillows et al., but alas, I'm haunting the NB.

Thanks for the clean slate, Jack! Hope everything goes well with the workbook, Westercon, diving and writing! If no one has ever mentioned it, did you know you're busy? Just thought I'd point it out. :oD

Heather 1-25-2002 3:49

Viv, I'm LOL at the pink flamingos! The least they coulda done was warn you. :-D
About Annie...
Where I work - a science store - we used to have a full-size plastic skeleton named Ed. (No relation to Eddie hehe) Now Ed was quite the skeleton. He was often found posing in our window displays, and spent the rest of the time just hanging around. Over the course of the years, Ed went scuba diving, played chess, flew a kite, worked on a puzzle, was stood up by his date, dressed up as a mummy, was buried, and learned to yoyo. Busy guy.

Now, the store I work at used to be a chain, with an outlet in the next town. Rather than have two skeletons, we shared Ed. He'd be in Kelowna for a few months, then come back to Vernon. Our manager, Trevor, worked at both stores, and so he usually transported Ed back and forth.
Trevor drives a little Suzuki sidekick. In the summer he takes off the roof and enjoys the Okanagan sun. He thought that Ed might enjoy a bit of sun, too.

Here's the visual. Trevor strapped Ed into the passenger seat, tied on a pair of sunglasses, put a bandana on his head, and draped his arm over the seat so that Ed could really enjoy the hour long drive back to Vernon.
The expressions on people's faces was worth the trouble. He bloody near caused a few accidents as people did double takes. But Ed, always relaxed and casual, just took it in stride.
As did the police, who happened that day to set up a road check on the highway near town, looking for cars in poor repair. When Trevor pulled up, the poor officer simply didn't know what to say. He looked at Ed. He looked at Trevor. Trevor didn't know what to say - an amazing feat, since Trevor always has a quick comeback. Before long, every officer on the job came over for a peek. They barely even looked at the Suzuki, just waved Trevor through before the laughter destroyed their attempts to be professional.

I wish I'd been there.

((HUGS)) hot lemon tea and chicken soup for all the ailing NB'rs.

Tina 1-25-2002 2:02

Tina: Congratulations! Wonderful when that happens isn't it. I can go on that glow for a couple of days. Me, I'm just feeling happy because I started journaling again. Got a little poem. Even that felt great. I had a dry week last week.

Hurry sleep,
shake open a gentle dream
warm shadow dark
presses gently down eye
lids too heavy to stay
open, closed, shut.

Viv again 1-25-2002 1:35

YAY JACK! You're coming back to do some writing. That always makes the notebook more interesting. When will you start the round robin on historicals. I'm about ready for you. I want to do the Bushi lifestyle. I've always been sort of an asthetic at heart, but unfortunately, my mouth and my tastebuds get in the way. So that's what my area's going to cover when you are ready.

Mary, I hope you read this before you go to the dentist because it will help you...maybe.

When I had to get my wisdom teeth out in Denver Colorado eons ago, I had to be anesthetized. I was scared. I gripped the soft arms of the dental chair, and looked out the big plate glass window into the garden. As I was on the edge of consciousness, I thought I saw a pink flamingo walk by. I slid under thinking, "Boy, I know that some people with strange tendencies see hallucinations, but I didn't know I'd be included among them."

When I felt myself coming back out from under, I didn't want to open my eyes. Unfortunately, the nurse was asking me to do so. I tried not to see the window, but there it was. Looking in, right at me, was not one, but two pink flamingos. I'm not talking about PLASTIC pink flamingos, I'm talking the big wing flapping very vibrant flamingos.

I knew this wasn't possible. I was in the middle of suburban Denver Colorado. Big streets, cold weather. Pink flamingos don't wander around the streets of Colorado.

I didn't want to say anything because I knew from the psychology class I was taking that people with schizoid tendencies have a greater tendency toward hallucinations when they are subjected to anesthesia. So, I sort of sat there trying to act normal, while thinking, "Gee, that's it. I knew it. I'm schizophrenic. That's what's wrong with me."

Finally the dentist said to me, "You keep looking at the window and rolling your eyes away. What are you seeing?"

I was really upset but I admitted in a tiny voice that I must have a real problem with the anethesia because I was seeing pink flamigos.

He bellowed with laughter enjoying his own favorite joke. He had bought two live flamigos and had them in an avarium right outside that window.

I hope that the worst part of today is you see a couple of big pink birds, have a good laugh. If you did see them and they weren't there, well, don't worry too much because it was psychology 101 and I could be wrong. I never took another psychology class again. It was too scary.

Have a gentle evening, and I hope the relief is much bigger than the bill!

Jerry: We don't get telemarketers but before we go home I'm going to figure out how to rig up an old computer to take all the calls. Wouldn't it be nice if we could figure out a way to get it to whistle when they called!

Carol: If you're out there and have only time to peek at the notebook but not write, miss you and looking forward to next Thursday.

Heather: Sorry about missing Wrath. I haven't missed it all the way. I just am having problems trying to do it. I also am feeling guilty because I haven't done my re-writes. I'm especially guilty because my dog story is so ready for revision and I know just what to do. Grades will be finished this afternoon. Tomorrow I have to take a CPR class, but maybe tomorrow night if I'm not out of breath.

Guess what! I volunteered to teach a CPR class. I get to have all the training for free if I do. What's more, I get to drive around with a dummy in my car. Just think of the things I can do with ressusa Annie!

Viv 1-25-2002 1:19

Mary, for you a set of ((((HUGS)))) All will be well.

Tina 1-25-2002 0:03

Hello hello hello!

Wow what a day! (If you are sick, you may not want to read this nastily cheerful post) On my lunch break today I was writing - what else! - and events suddenly shifted and the characters said some things I didn't anticipate and then WHAM they took it over and before I knew it things I'd never thought of began to happen. And when I sat back and re-read it, it was good. Good. I mean, I never had given any thought to the things that happened. I can hardly believe that my brain controlled the pen. This must be why mankind invented muses (yes yes yes I know you're real, not invented.) because the feeling is so unreal.
I'm at the end of 'Freeborn' and I so want it to be good. I've had nightmares of being told 'Well, the book is okay, but this ending! It sucks!' So for everything to just fall into place while I wasn't looking feels... surreal.

Whew. It's also great to be able to come here and say so to people who understand! It's as amazing a feeling as skydiving, that moment of complete surrender to a force beyond the norm.

So I'm busy with 'Freeborn'; no shortie tonight.
And Heather, I'm not Tigerlily.
Jack, thanks for archiving. Much nicer bite to chew.

So I won't linger, I have a book to write! Yahoo!
Blue Skies! (and for Jack, Blue Waters!)

Tina 1-25-2002 0:00

Mary - don't worry too much, these dentists do this sort of thing every day.

I recall many years ago, must have been 1979 when my wife went in to have ALL her teeth pulled because of some sort of gum disease. They put her out with a valum drip and some sort of gas, did their work, then brought her back with no trouble, and hey that was over twenty years ago, dentist have come a long way since then.

I underwent three surgeries in six months on my back, each one I was put under, each time I awoke in horrible, but I lived, and I am sure you'll come out ok too.

I wish you the best of luck, and may the work only hurt for a few minutes then be all better.

Jerry 1-24-2002 23:45

Look at this nice clean page. Wish my house were this clean.

Well, the moment of truth is quickly approaching. At 9:40 tomorrow morning I will be close to unconscious. I must say, I am scared. I have never been knocked-out for dental work before. Not even laughing gas. I have been anesthetized for surgeries, but you have confidence in that. Well, relative confidence.

If something bad were to happen while I am under at the dentist's office, who will save me? That gum-cracking receptionist that takes my money? I think I am getting a headache.

I have written letters to all of my family in case I die. I bawled (got it right this time Howard) all the way through that and wondered why I don't tell people this stuff every day. I don't really believe anything bad is going to happen, I mean heck, I just made six new pendants that I haven't gotten on my site yet! But freakier things have happened. I like to cover my bases.

With that said, I have a few things I need to tell you guys.

Thank you! Thank you for all the laughs, advice and support that have come from being with you. I only hope I have been of some import to you as well. Thank you for letting me get to know you and for making me feel comfortable enough to let you know me. You all have very special places in my heart. Big hugs all around!

And that stuff stands whether I croak or not! ;-)

Ok, I am off to bed. I am not allowed to ear or drink anything anyway!

Mary 1-24-2002 23:29

Wrath huh, well OK, here's my attempt at a wrathfull story:

I call it:

The Wrath of the Night Shift
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

Walter Simms worked the night shift at the Hebron power plant. He rarely had a chance to catch a nap during his shift because it was the night shift did the maintenance on the generators. The citizens of the small community were sleeping and used very little power so one of the huge generators could be shut down and maintained.

He got home from work at 8:00 AM, ate a quick supper then was off to bed, as his children left for school and his wife to the café up town where she waited tables all day.

At 8:45 the first call came, it was some salesman trying to interest him in encyclopedias.
“What the hell do I want with books? He shouted at the salesman before slamming the receiver down, I don’t have time to read.”

The call made him so angry that it was after ten before he again drifted off to a fitful sleep. At ten thirty-five, the phone rang. It was a telemarketer trying to interest him in a new low interest credit card.

“NO!” he screamed and slammed the receiver down. Now he was angrier still, and it was after noon before he again drifted off, the noise of his neighbor mowing the lawn barely disturbed him, and he was sleeping fine until the phone rang again.

“Hello sir, I am calling on behalf of Sprint, we would like to offer you free long distance for three months, just for trying Sprint.”

“Don’t make long distance calls! Please don’t call me again.” He managed to say, throttling his anger.”

He slept the rest of the day undisturbed by the phone, but his anger raged on, how could those idiots’s call him so often? It happened to him several times a week, many times several would call, in fact one day, he could swear the same idiot called him three times.

In his dreams, he saw the solution, in his dream, there was a red button on the phone that he could push, that would make the receiver on the other end of the line melt. When he woke up the next afternoon, he just couldn’t shake that dream, it was such a wonderful idea, in fact it seemed to him that it would be justice, to make them suffer the way the made him suffer.

When he got to work that night, things were slow, the day shift managed to get much of the maintenance done, so there was little for him to do. He began to dig around the shop area, finding parts, discarded pieces from the plant. He found a resistor here, a coil there, a transistor here, and even several integrated circuits.

He took the pieces to the workbench, plugged in the soldering iron, and then began to sketch out the wiring diagram while the iron heated up. All those months studying electrical engineering in college paid off, it all came back despite the years that passed since his college days. Soon he had the diagram done, and was putting pieces on a printed circuit board. By then end of his shift, the device was ready.
When he got home that morning, he grabbed a quick sandwich, kissed his wife and kids goodbye, then instead of the bedroom, he headed downstairs to his little shop in the south corner of the basement. He took the old black Western Electric 500 dial phone down from the shelf where it sat for so many years, dusted it off, and then disassembled it. When he had it apart, he drilled a hole in the side of the case and mounted the button; it was bright red, just like in his dream. The wires lead from the button to the pc board where his revenge circuit hooked to the output plug on the back of the phone. A few quick connections with his soldering iron and all was prepared.

He went to bed, a smile on his face, as he drifted off. Sure as clockwork, at nine forty-five, the phone rang, this time, the voice wanted to sell him accident insurance, he acted interested, and when the salesman got fully into his spiel, Walter pressed the red button.

A loud shrill blasted into the salesman’s ear, the salesman heard it only for a second, then his eardrum burst, a spike of voltage shot out over the phone line, melting not only the digital computer that did the dialing for the telemarketer, but also the earpiece which affixed itself to the now useless ear of the salesman who slumped over hit computer terminal, in a sort of sleep of his own.

Walter giggled, then hung up and again felt that falling sensation as he drifted off to sleep, a light sleep waiting in anticipation of the next phone call. He slept the sleep of the righteous; only God can save telemarketers from the wrath of the night shift.

Jerry 1-24-2002 22:16

OK, I finally got back to archive the Notebook. I have been somewhat swamped between contractual responsibilities and Westercon as well as diving. Hope to be back to try to get the ASP script up on forwriters so I the Workbook can resurrect itself. Also, hope to actually sit down and, gasp, do some writing. Oh, and yes, get back to updating on a slightly more consistent bases.

Jack Beslanwitch 1-24-2002 21:38

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