Archived Notebook from August 22, 2002 to November 4, 2002
Hello Everyone.

Way to go Howard. I like your style.

HEATHER: Hahahaha. Green.

My husband and I have a television in our bedroom and for some unfathomable reason, hubby likes to watch the news in bed before we go to sleep. I call it his 'Nightmare Inducer' channel. I try to miss this nightly ritual, but sometimes I just have to have my spot, news or not. A girl gets sleepy you know.

SHORTIE TOPIC FOR THIS WEEK: Extra-Sensory Perception

Mary 11-4-2002 23:53

Howard -- BRAVO!!!!!

Carol 11-4-2002 23:10

Jerry - here's an idea! Take walks through town and use all the people you meet in stories!

I detest watching the news. I have it on many channels - we have 24 hour local news stations, CNN, all of them. I just don't watch them unless absolutely necessary. EVER.
I will fall into a pit of despair if I do, even if it's just the regular shootings and stabbings and thievery in the news, and not the terrorist campaigns, or global crapola. Even the weather channel depresses me, with the 'allergen and toxic smog warnings' running all the time.
I did happen to catch a bit of the latest news about the National Park with putrid black crud contaminating the virgin ice of glaciers. LOVELY. GEE. I SHOULD WATCH MORE OFTEN. I COULD FALL INTO A COMA EASILY, NEVER TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH REALITY AGAIN. FANCY THAT, FROM A REALITY SHOW.

Heather 11-4-2002 21:42

Rhoda - Oh of we only had Fox news, or any other news service, but alas, the only news service we get here is CNN and MSNBC which is all finance till 7:30 PM or so. I usually just have it running in the background as I do other things. What made this so particular is that I had the dang tv turned off then I got this email from CNN breaking news about the car being destroyed in Yemen, so I flipped on the tube to see what happened, as the news flash was so so skimpy on facts. I had to wait over an hour for the idiots on CNN to break from their banter on the upcoming election, then good old Wolf Blitzer came on with the story. Pissed me off so bad that I sent them an email but I'm sure their email interceptor software killed mine before it ever go to them.

At any rate your right, I should simply turn off the cable, but then what would I do when I got bored with the computer, reading and the computer?

Jerry 11-4-2002 20:49

I had an interesting experience today. I was headed into town to stop at the lumber yard, and came up behind a pickup truck carrying a huge campaign sign in the back, and sporting a megaphone blasting march music and campaign slogans for a candidate in our town council race.
No problem, except that it also had a large American flag flying from the back of the truck.
Again, no problem except that the flag was faded, torn, frayed, and ripped clear down the middle -- just a rag flying in the breeze.
It made me mad!
I caught up to the bozo, blew my horn, flashed my lights, and motioned for him to pull over.
He did.
I got out of my truck, walked up to his window, and proceded to ask just who in blazes he thought he was, desecrating the flag that way. He muttered and mumbled something about the flag had been there for a long time, and nobody had questioned him, and who was I to stop him anyway?
I told him that I was a vote that he had just lost, and I was going to start making phone calls to everyone I knew to let them know just what kind of unpatriotic louse we had running for council. Then I went back to my truck, and he drove away.
I stopped at the lumber yard, still seething, and picked up the stuff I wanted, and left, deciding to drive up through town on my way home.
There he was again, but this time he was parked in front of our local dollar store, tying a brand new American flag in place of the old one!
I turned in to the lot, and stopped behind him, and just said "Thank you!"
He came over and apologised, saying that he didn't realize just how bad the flag was, and that his dad had been wounded twice in WW2, so he would be the last one to mistreat the flag.
I guess it maybe does pay to make your feelings known sometimes...

howard 11-4-2002 19:28


So what is new? CNN has been like that for a long time, and they get away with it because even die-hard conservatives like you watch their network. Why don't you watch FOXnews or CSNBC or something else? Better yet, do what I did and cancel your cable. OK, that might be a bit radical, but I have found the less news the better especially around election time. The only time I have to see the news is when I am in the midst of PMS and I want to get mad.

Rhoda 11-4-2002 18:24

I gotta STOP watching CNN! I can't believe what they reported just minutes ago, a correspondent reported from Yemen that the U.S. Missile attack on a car carrying two EL Quida members put the U.S. In the same category as El Quida!

HE actually said that the U.S. are acting as terrorists!!!

This from what appeared in all aspects to be a citizen of the U.S. reporting from foreign shores.

Guess it goes to show how far CNN will go to make a point.

Jerry 11-4-2002 17:08

Hey - I like the green, easy to read and is the color of one of my favorite things MONEY!

Jerry 11-4-2002 13:11

HEATHER -- Nice touch! I like it! Not to worry -- it's still readable and sometimes a change stimulates creativity.
The notebook is about due for archive, no? It goes all the way back to August, and must be hellacious to load on a slow connection.

howard 11-4-2002 12:42

Heather: DON'T RUN AWAY! the sea green is very pretty, I like it! back from a long weekend in (you would never guess) my room. I don't have much to say right now. I finished another poem, it's kind of goofy, but i was in a goofy mood when I wrote it, I guess.
If you had a Pencil...
If you had a pencil
What would you do with it?
Would you twirl it in between your fingers
or twine it between your toes?
Would you do some Algebra
For the teacher who you didn't like
Or for spelling because of teachers strict?
Would you start a fire with it
(With parent supervision of course)
Or let it sit there idly?
(Idle pencils are the devil's tools)
Would you jot a bit of a story
Or a composition you forgot to write?
Would you write a poem
Or the math for your taxes?
Would you reguard it with high honor
And not chew on its eraser?
And be gentle with it in the sharpener
And not have it be eaten much?
I think the world
Would be a better place
If pencils ruled the world
Hey, it could happen, right?
I didn't think so, but it's a nice thought...
Copyright Elaine 10-30-02 @8:17 pm
Hope you all enjoy, it was fun to write.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 11-4-2002 12:20

Uh.....*shuffle slouch shuffle* Sorry Jack! I turned the entire Notebook seagreen. *run and run and..... running away!!!*


I'm going to take a break and go upstairs to finish some Hemlocks! :oD

Heather 11-4-2002 11:53

Uh.....*shuffle slouch shuffle* Sorry Jack! I turned the entire Notebook seagreen. *running away!!!*

Heather 11-4-2002 11:51

Uh.....*shuffle slouch shuffle* Sorry Jack! I turned the entire Notebook seagreen. *run away!!!*

Heather 11-4-2002 11:51


Hello, beautifuls! (Sorry, Grammar is huddling under the kitchen chair, and I'm not about to try scaring him out with a utensil... "Bad Grammar! Bad!")

Sanity is simmering in the pot of plentiful edits. Will stir rapidly with final slashes of red pen in the next few days, thicken with revision until ready to stand on, and with a whoop and a dash of salt, it shall be.....ahem....quite EDIBLE! MUNCH MUNCH.... *cough* Well, if it weren't for the chemicals, I'm sure paper would have been part of my diet a few years back... *grinny grins*

Do not fear.....sanity is an ingredient I still have enough of to spare. I hope. Maybe... :oP

Heather Hemlock Bags 11-4-2002 11:49

JERRY: "Sometimes it seems the world gangs up on me to keep me from what I truely enjoy." Ditto, my life, Jerry!!

Mel 11-4-2002 9:51

It's warmed up a bit here got up to 40 today and the snow is dissapearing, so good to see it go, now maybe the rest of the leaves will have a chance to fall, most are still clinging to their branches in total shock at the early arrivial of winter. It would be nice if it drys up enough so I can pick them up before winter gets here in earnest.

I think the virus infection has been torn from my network now, at least I hope so, the good side is that all computers run so much better when they have a fresh version of windows installed.

Smokey is getting used to being a bit lighter in the rear now, he has finally forgiven us for the trip to the vet and the horror he had to undergo there. I think the worst for him was the fact that he was placed in the very top cage next to the cealing, he has this fear of hights that the wife forgot to tell the vet clinic. The vet said he cried all while he was in the cage and they couldn't figure out why.

Renn has decided to fend for himself now, tonight he came into the living room, shortly after the wife was off to bed, he climbed up in her new recliner, and began to dig at the afgan that she keeps over the back. Once he had pulled it all down to the seat, he made his nest, then jumped down and came over to inform me it was time to go outside. I let him out, and when he came back in, he ran to the chair, ordered the cat out, and settled into his nest to warm up.

Heather - I haven't had a chance to get back to rewrite my last story, but I have the intention of getting back to it very soon. I'll let you know if and when I get back to it. Sometimes it seems the world gangs up on me to keep me from what I truely enjoy.

Write on.

Jerry 11-4-2002 0:36

OK, I'll try again. Cotton pickin' internet must be wet too. dumped me right in the middle of a post.

I always remember my favorite notebookers. If I had the time, energy, and money, I'd zip over there and join the party. Only a couple of beautiful states over from here. It's that first five hundred miles trying to get out of Texas that takes a toll.

By the way, where is Hallee these days. Darn--everytime one of my friends gets married, she disappears.

I think I have just bid all my profits on more yarn on EBay. Got to go see if, hopefully some idiot has outbid me.


Rosemary 11-3-2002 19:34


Hello fellow bravehearts! As of late I have realized that writing can be quite the harrowing and risky business emotionally. But doesn't that make the victory all the sweeter? I wouldn't know, but I'll let you know when that happens. For now the sweetest thing is the writing itself and I have a feeling that no matter what it will continue to be its own reward, as disgustingly claptrap as that sounds. What's the matter with me right now? I think I'm in love with writing! Sick. Just sick. :)

Tina! Just got your email. I would indeed LOVE to see you! I live in Tucson, about two hours from Phoenix, but I'd drive up there like a mad hare to get the chance of meeting you. Hubby said he would be happy to watch our son for the day, so if you are able to grab the time I can too. Let me know!

Hey Rosemary, Good memory!

Hey Litter, Carol, Sunny, Randall, Howard, Americo and all you's guys. Too bad we missed Halloween. I thought (too late of course) that we could have an oldfashioned weenie roast here and tell some tall tales and ghosties around the campfire. Anyone want to take me up on it?

See you all on the next go around,

Christi 11-3-2002 18:22


Carol, I can't resist giving you a little nudge in the right direction! It's so important to give yourself time and space for what you need. It's not selfish at all, and should hardly wait for time left over when everything else has been done. It's like what they tell you on an airline -- what do you do when the air pressure drops, and the oxygen mask comes down, and you're traveling with someone who needs assistance? Whose face do you put the mask on first - yours or the person you're traveling with? You put it on yours, of course, or you won't have enough air to help anyone else! It's the same way with caring for yourself. If you can't breathe -- and that includes creaatively -- you're no good in terms of being there fully for others. So make/take the time, and do yourself, and everyone else, a huge favor. :-)

Sunny 11-3-2002 17:23

Hi All :)

Litter - I have a hard time keeping up with the notebook too, so you're not alone. I keep having good intentions, but they always seem to fall by the wayside. Course half the time, I get a nice long message written and then my server bumps me off, erasing everything and raising my temper. (me? temper? oh no!)

This week has been stressful. Hubby has been in a "working" mode, wanting to get everything done at once and of course, needing my help. Hasn't left much time for writing at all. Maybe I should be proud of myself for actually getting in even one paragraph. Today, I'm trying very hard to put my foot down and get some time for myself. Not always an easy thing to do. I may have to resort to really revving up my temper and letting it fly!!! Its ....... Aarrrggghhh!!!

Carol 11-3-2002 16:11

Rosemary, thanks! I'll e-mail Christi.

Gotta love street fairs. We have one here every year in June, and I make a point of going. It's so much fun. I like the idea of a story-tellers booth for local authors.

Blue skies! (Especially for Rosemary ;-)

Tina 11-3-2002 13:49

Hello all,

YES, it's still wet here. Yesterday was the day for the 'George West Storyfest'. They have booths, animals, large tents for entertainment, face painting and who knows what all else. They block off the streets in the middle of town around the courthouse. Most of the entertainment is the storytelling. Some really tall tales of the old west. A lot of Country music too. The rain was more on than off all day. I shared a large booth with three authors, one of which didn't show up. More room for us, she's suposed to pay her share anyway. Even with the bad weather, there were a lot of people browsing. Most of them were wet and cold and I sold over $100 worth of crocheted hats. At $5 and $10 each. That really depleted my stock. I was thrilled.

When I got home, I had to put everything in the dryer to make sure nothing molded or mildewed.

ALSo TINA,--- CHRISTI--- lives in Arizona. Either Tuscon or Pheonix. (The last one I think.) I bet she would love to see you.

Gotta go feed everybody.

Rosemary 11-3-2002 12:14

Tina - Renn is wearing his coat now when he goes outside, when I let him in, he's always under his bush, it blocks the wind and offers some protection from the cold, we don't leave him out very long. Smokey isn't allowed out of doors but occasionally he will try to make a break for it. When it's cold like yesterday though, he stays back away from the door, seems he knows better.

It's almost over now, the election that is, I can hardly wait. Last presidential election I was going to stay up till we had a winner, who'd have known. I won't hold my breath on this one, I've heard that some parties have already hired lawyers to stand by the polls so they file suite if they don't win (I'll let you guess which party, sufice to say thier leader is the great pretender).

Seems all I do around here of late is format hard drives, a friend of my daughters dropped her tower off today, said she kept getting these strange bouncing emails that she didn't even remember sending. Klez.32.H or some such virus. I ran several Klez removal programs on the machine and when they were done there wasn't enough data left for the poor old machine to even boot. Formated it and re built the hard drive, it is ready to go home again when she comes by on Monday morning.

Tried to get XP back on my main machine, but it isn't in the cards I guess, since they had some form of duel boot for the recovery partition that was lost when I fdisked it to change from NTFS to FAT32. There is a note on the HP site saying that if needed they will send recovery CD's for the cost of shipping, guess I'll get them in case I ever decide put XP back on.

Something went wrong with the first ME installation, it was crashing all night last night, that was what made me try to restore XP, but after trying several methods it was necessary to reformat this one and put ME back on. This installation is working great so getting XP back is just a matter of cost now of need.

I mentioned that the wife is going to the health club daily now to strengthen her knee, the club here doesn't charge much, jut thirty bucks a month, with the first and last month free if you sign up for six months, then she had another coupon that gave her another free month that she got from her TOPS club so it's nearly free. The place isn't the kind of health club you see on TV, it's a small gym attached to a physical therapy clinic. The folks who run it are all physical therapists, and opened the gym up so folks who had gone through therapy had a place to continue to exercise so they don't depend to much on the money they make from the Gym since they do a lot of medical physical therapy for hospital and clinic here in town.

Back when I last had therapy there, I ran into our resident well known author, she has like seventeen books published already, and has three in the works now. She writes of life here in Lemmon her youth and growing up in the shadow of her well known grandfather who brought many of the good folks here abouts into the world. I've read a bit of her stuff, not my kind of writing, but the wife enjoys her stuff. It's more spirital than adventure, lots of poetry and such too in some of her collections.

I'd drop her name but it escapes me right now, must be the pills or something, I was just talking to here a couple of months ago.

Oh well part growing old I guess.

Jerry 11-3-2002 0:17

Old work lying around that you don’t know what to do with? Try sending it to Wordsmiths; you’ve got nothing to lose.
Wordsmiths is a new site just opened, for the use of authors. Wordsmiths is a site for authors to air their works and publishers to view writers work. The site covers fact, fiction, poetry, screenplays, lyrics, aphorisms, jokes . . . . . if you can write it you can find it here.
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14. Work must be supplied with a word count

Pride Wordsmiths 11-2-2002 22:37

Hey Allein, I guess I was confused. For some reason I thought you'd gone back again. %-) And no, you're never too old to enjoy Halloween!

Did the Haunted House again this year. I was Little Red Riding Hood, but the wolf had got me. We scared many little and big humans, and raised almost $2000 towards microscopes for the Science Centre. Much fun, except today is clean-up. :-p

Blue skies!

Tina 11-2-2002 10:52

LITTER -- That error message says that it may be a temporary block against a rash of spam attacks. Try sending again.

howard 11-2-2002 8:35

HOWARD -- Just tried to email you but ny message was refused an I got this message:

For <>, the destination server said: 5.7.1 Mail Refused - 217.32.175 - See (from

Any suggestions?

I sent from the email address on this posting.

Litter 11-2-2002 8:06

Greeting and felicitations,

HOWARD – this is way late but you have my prayers that the shadow will prove to be nothing sinister.

It seems that I can never keep up to date with the notebook. Gonna have to do something about that, starting today! (Do I hear the sound of giggles and guffaws from the gallery?)

The acceleration towards the Christmas season normally inspires me, and it does seem to be accelerating faster that normal this year. (Wonder if it has anything to do with global warming…)

Now then, does anyone know anyone that would like to buy back a bit of American history from a Scots pillager? The impending commercial cost of the forthcoming season means that I have to sell one of my prized possessions – an 1881 gold Half Eagle. (The year of the gunfight at the OK coral, people.) It’ll probably end up on eBay or something similar but I thought I’d give my buddies here the first option. The coin comes with a certificate of authenticity and I can arrange for a note from Wyatt Earp that states that this Half Eagle was his lucky gambling coin, and one he used before the gunfight. (That one may not be bona-fide :o) All reasonable offers considered.

(Sorry for taking liberties, Jack.)

Now I shall go back to aspiring to adequacy…

Litter 11-2-2002 7:56


Well had fun at halloween on Thursday night. A group of friends and I got dressed up in costumes... I went as Death, we had a devil, witch and wizard in our group.
No trick or treating.

Must have been funny to see a group of monsters dancing to "Lets do the timewarp again"
Had a few drinks as well... Lol of course.

Went out last night and found myself studying people as they went by since I didn't have ID to get into the pub... And trying to figure out how they arrived to that particular point... What's on their mind? and what caused them to go out at that night.
And all that jazz.

Taylor 11-2-2002 5:17

Hi all!!
Had fun last night - went trick or treating with some friends. Maybe we're a bit old but - FREE CANDY!!! :D Actually we left late because Mark had to work until 8:00 so we didn't get too much candy but that's good since I'm trying to lose weight.

I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done today too! ^.^ I dunno what got into me but at least I beat the rush.

Viv - I got the letter from Hana today, but I never did get the translations. If she still has them somewhere could she e-mail them to me. She probably did at my old address but I delete everything in there because 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999% of it is spam. The new addy is: Thanks. :)

Jack - They forgot to sign my check too, I just didn't bother contacting them over such a small amount.

Tina - I was in technical school for dental assisting over a a year ago. I'm now out in the working world. ^.^

Allein Peachick's Gallery 11-2-2002 1:58

Hi again. I guess waiting to 'see what would happen' was pointless. An unidentified nuclear submarine surfacing off the coast would have got a more cheerful response than my last post. Oh well.

Christi, it's good to see you here too!

Howard, prayers and (((HUGS))), although slightly delayed.

Mary, how is it going?

Heather, you are an editing machine! And by the way, I will think of a better title for 'Lily and Sandra'. Thanks again for all the work you are doing on P.

Randall, good to see you found your own strength about 'historical fiction'. Hard to do sometimes, I know. And thanks for more Red Britches stories!

Viv, do you ever stop going? Where do you get the energy? Can I have some of it please?

Rosemary, hi you! What's new? Still wet?

Sunny, thanks for the quote. One of the better ones I've heard recently.

Allein, do I remember correctly that you're in school again? What are you taking?

Rhoda, are you settling in nicely? Seems that moving to a new city stimulated your muse BIG time.

Jerry, how are the kids (4-legged ones) enjoying the cold?

Mel, could you send back 'Shadow' please. Someone here in town wants to read it, and there's no point in printing out another copy when I haven't made any changes lately.

Taylor and Elaine and Mark and Jack and Teekay and Litter and Eddie and Americo and Carol and Deb... hi!

I have no memory for such things, so I have to ask; does anyone live in Arizona? I'm planning a trip there in January, so I'll be in the neighbourhood of Phoenix/Eloy.

Okay, it took my over an hour to catch up on the posts, and now I need to clean. The house is listed with a realtor now, and we never know when people will come by. I don't live spotlessly, and this constant 'show home' appearance is really tiring.

Blue skies.

Tina 11-2-2002 0:26

Howard - glad the worst is over, well the most uncomfortable, I guess the worse is waiting for the results.

I assure you I will vote, and I'll vote for those who best represent my beliefs, but the whole political thing is just getting way out of hand, and the press isn't helping much.

You know way back in the dark ages when I was in high school, they taught us that the press (as it was then) would not print a story with at least two if not three independent sources confirming the truth. Now days they not only report news with one source, but at times with no sources, just with ideas of what they think may be the truth. Then the idiots sit around and pat each other on the back for the good work they did in reporting on the story.

And your right, it seems that they should well be suing each other for liable or slander if all they are saying isn't true, but it strains ones belief structure to think that it's all based on fact.

At any rate, it'll be over soon and we can get on with the next presidential election farce the is just two years away now, or is it three? It makes no difference. If the stores can have all their Christmas stuff out before Halloween then I guess we can start deciding on who will be our new fearless leader two or three years before it makes any difference.

Saw my VA Doc today, I had a new one. She seems very nice and from what I gathered talking to the folks on the phone before I went down and waiting to see her she is one of the best doctors that the VA has snagged of late. She is a throw back from 9-11, you see she is of middle eastern descent, well the way she talked I would bet she was born there and came to America. She didn't go into it much just said that she left her very profitable private practice in New York City a couple of months ago because life in New York City was very hard after the attack.

She said she likes the VA system very much, but the weather up here has been a shock to her system. Said that she nearly had a car accident on the ice, having never driven on icy roads before, she had no idea how to do it. Said she has stopped driving completely and since there is a taxi system in Sturgis she takes the cab to and from work now. She said that the day she nearly had the accident, she came home to her son and said "that's it, I'm moving back to New York City, but he told her NO! Seems this is the first place he has ever found real friends and it's safe for him to go to the friends home to play, and the friend can come over to his house, he said he never wanted to go back to the City. I think she will get used to the Dakota's at least I hope she does and she seems very good at what she does.

I came up with a thought, an idea really, the wife said she is going to start a new book that she picked up at Pamida, it's called "the brain". This got me to thinking, say that some day down the line, they discover a method to transplant a brain.

Ok so the guy getting the brain is "brain dead" and the donor's body has to be dead, when the transplant is done, who's dead and who's alive?

Is the estate of the brain that lives to go to it's descendants, or do the property rights stay with the brain, which is, after all where the mind resides, and resulting person would indeed not wish to give up his property if the mind still lives, yet what of the body, is the brain or the body the donor? If the fellow who's body gets the brain then does his estate remain with the body? After all the body's brain was "brain dead", but then the donor of the brain must have been dead first, or would it? What if the body is that of bill gates (millions would cheer at that death) and the brain is that of a skid-row bum, who get's Microsoft? Who get's the box in the alley where the bum slept?

Should make for a good medical/legal thriller!

Saw about fifty deer, all within spitting range of the highway, sure glad they stayed in the ditch.

Write ON!

Jerry 11-2-2002 0:00

Hello all. Been a bit busy. However, the one contract that was worrying me and holding me over the coals finally folded. So, I am hopefully back and can get some time to try to get the Workbook working. Not sure which server I will finally establish it on, probably either here on webwitch or sfnorthwest using PHP/MySQL. We will see.

However, one note on Shadows In A Dream. Publish America finally sent me a check and when I went to the bank to cash it I discovered that they had not signed the check. Oh, well. Will be contacting them, but it was a small enough check that it was more symbolic that anything else.

Jack Beslanwitch 11-1-2002 21:05


No, you do not need a driver's licence, but the department of motor vehicles is where you commonly go to register to vote, so I inadvertantly linked the two processes in my mind. Shame on me. I really do not have an excuse. I just did not have it on my mind until it was too late. Cannot blame Louisiana. Cannot blame anyone, but myself.

Rhoda 11-1-2002 15:11

Well, back from the scan -- and it wasn't too bad, except for the having to pee just about 5 minutes into an hour-long scan. Yes, I hit the loo right before the test, just as they directed, but it didn't help much.

After the scan I went for a light lunch as planned, at a new Mexican restaurant near here. It was very good! Chiles rellenos, black beans and rice, chips, hot salsa, and fresh guacamole! Muy bien! Now I'm waiting for the coffee to finish.

RHODA -- You need a LA driver's license to vote in that state?

howard 11-1-2002 14:56

A nice crisp morning to all,

There is a nice breeze and the temp is in the 50's. Absolutely beautiful. My sinuses hate it.

I was reading along, half paying attention when I noticed you said you had put off getting your LA drivers license. I had taken my first test in California so my mind immediately interperted LA as Los Angeles. I realize I had not been keeping up lately, but the fact that you had moved to California was a big thing to miss. Of course, after sitting, blinking at the screen for a minute I realized that I was an idiot and LA stands for Louisiana in most polite company. Maybe it was because you said you had been avoiding the renewal and I remembered the trauma of my first driving experience in Southern California.

As for those political adds that have swamped the TV world the last (it seems)few months, I don't understand how they can run them without being sued for slander. If half of those adds are correct, they're all a bunch of crooks and I don't want any of them in office.

Good old San Antonio is having it's share of stupid crooks lately. Two members of the city council are under inditement by both the feds and the local DA. Also one ex-councilman who is running for State Representative. And, a hand full of school administrators and assorted aids. My theory has always been that crooks are bad enough, but there is no excuse for stupid crooks. I guess if there weren't any stupid ones, none would be caught.
Enough babble from me for now. Going back to read the rest of the posts.


Rosemary 11-1-2002 12:42

Thanks Mel. I'd hope someone would, just trying to brighten the mood with should I put it...silly? I can't talk very long I have a report to finish up and then FREEDOM! Well, sort of. I still have to work tonight. Oh well. (sigh) Long night in front of me...Oops! I meant day. Long day ahead of me... MEL, tell your muse that I thought that the Lymrick she(?) made was very much like a lymrick should be. Well until I can get back on...
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 11-1-2002 12:08


My thoughts go with you today, as they will for some time to come.

Forgive my tirade on war. It was written about 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning and I had just been awakened by a sore hip. I am not sure what I did to set it off, but it was hard to sleep, so I took two ibuprophen and came to the computer while it took effect.

Politics are really horrible right now and not for the faint-hearted. Unlike JERRY, I do care who wins. I want the people who care the most about the country and its people to win. I want the people who will abide by the laws and who will tell the truth to win. I want the people whose word is their bond and who are not hypocrits and who do not cheat to win. I want the people who feel accountable to the folks they wish to serve to win.

As it works out people get so pissed with the political process they do not get out to vote. Well when things get mean and rough that is the time to go out and vote. And speaking of hypocrits, I am the very worst because in dragging my feet getting a LA driver's licence I missed the deadline to register, and I can spit nails just thinking about it, and I deserve every insult anyone can throw at me for doing just that.

So JERRY, and all the rest of you whatever your political persuasion, please vote. And vote with your conscience, not your emotions and not your pocket-book. And say a little prayer before you go asking God to help you decern what is true and what isn't because there is so much disinformation and down and out lying that goes on in so many campaigns.

I have come to a conclusion. Politics and PMS just don't mix.

Rhoda 11-1-2002 10:58

AMERICO -- It's good to see you here again! And thanks (to you and everyone else here) for the encouragement! I appreciate it.
The scan this morning doesn't bother me at all, except for the part about not being able to eat. :-) Nothing but water this morning. And I've been smelling coffee since 5 AM! And just to torture myself further I'm getting my flu shot this morning -- in the hospital cafeteria. O well. The test is supposed to finish at around 1 PM, after which I'll have a light lunch. Just something to tide me over until we can get up to "Doug's Fish Fry" for a scallop dinner. Or a shrimp dinner. Or maybe both. And a bowl of his yummy fish chowder. And maybe a dozen clams.

I have to go get a glass of water now.

howard 11-1-2002 6:58


It is good to see you back.


I hear you. I too hate politics! I think I am going to have to lay off of Internet news for awhile.

War is disgusting, but tyranny is even worse. There were those who thought they could avoid WWII by appeasing Hitler. When you have an enemy who is determined to destroy you and your way of life, what do you do? Sometimes the choice is kill or be killed. Militant Islam has been at war with the United States and the rest of the western world for several years now. The US just never faced that fact until after 9/11.

So what do we do? Wait? Perhaps wait long enough for those who wish to destroy the Western World to acquire the means and the technology to kill millions of people.

It is possible going to was with Iraq is not a good idea, but then again the US has engaged in sabre rattling and has thrown down the gauntlet. This started with the 1991 Gulf War, and really what we have now is only the question of whether or not to continue that war today. When you pull a tiger's tail, how do you back off? How do you let go without being fallen upon and eaten? Sometimes you don't.

I am glad that these moral choices are so easy for some. I just wonder what Barbara Strisend, Sean Penn and all these other wise and wonderful Hollywood people would have us do if Saddam has the bomb or whatever and proceeds to use it on us. If the US retaliates and kills a few million Iraqis, does anyone think Saddam will care? If he really cared about his people he would have cooporated fully with UN arms inspectors. Actually if he really cared, he would have stepped down and given his people an actual choice in the way they would be governed.

These problems of the world are troublesome and baffling to me. I am so glad there are the Hollywood elites, the European community, and the millions of peace demonstrators in the United States who are so clear in how we proceed to protect America's and Europe's shores.

And where were all these peaceful, wise people during the 1998 resolution to go in and take care of Iraq? Of course they trusted Bill Clintin and go in there and do it right. Saddam Hussein proceeded to do what Saddam has always done, and though everyone threatened, no one did anything.

Rhoda 11-1-2002 4:12

Ah the best laid plans. OH well, I didn't get my ghost story done in time for tonight, been to busy computing.

Americo - great to hear from you again. I guess I don't understand your lament, who it's aimed at. Guess it doesn't make a difference. I hate to see a war, but on the other hand we here in the U.S. can't just sit here and take an attack like 9/11 and blow it all off to fundamentalists. Not real sure that it's necessary to bomb Iraq again but then I don't see all that our President sees, and he is a trustworthy man, I don't doubt his word when he says it's necessary. He visited our state today, in Tom Dashal's home town of Aberdeen, a good time was had by all (except Tom Dashal!)

Boy this politics is getting rough now as the election nears, I will be so glad to see it over, don't even care who wins anymore, I just want it over. I'm sick of the attack ads, mud slinging, fear mongering and all that trash. It's time for two new parties here in the U.S. Maybe the new ones can be the "haves" and the "have nots" something like that, the two parties we have now both make me sick with their rantings I guess I, like many others simply go with the party that makes me the least sick in their plans for our future.

Like the guy on TV said, this is the most important election in history, since the last one.

Poor little Smokey our cat, he had the horror of neutering, and on Halloween too. Then that nasty Vet took him off his favorite cat food and put him on a bland diet of special food from the vet clinic as he has an allergy to red food coloring, which happens to be in half the food he likes. He's been running all over the house crying since he got home at 4:00 PM, finally gave up and fell asleep atop my computer monitor, I think the heat from the monitor must feel good on his missing parts.

Warmed up to 23 degrees today, but was only 8 when the trick or treaters finally arrived. We only had six, very slow but I don't blame them, of the six all were dressed as Eskimo's. Well they had on parkas over their customs.

It is truly colder then a witches tit tonight. Have the long drive to the VA again tomorrow, I sure wish I lived closer to the clinic, or it lived closer to me. Finally settled the argument about which outfit to take, the wife wanted me to take her car, so she can take off shopping while I'm seeing my Dr. I wanted to take my pickup, since it's much more comfortable for me to ride, her car is one of those little compact outfits where your ass sits about six inches over the tar and you nearly lay down to drive it, or at least I do, at any rate she decided it would be ok to take the pickup since it's an hour and a half between my appointments so she can get her shopping done in that break if I drive her into town. She can't drive my pickup as it's a standard floor shift, and she's never used a clutch before. I should teach her, but it's a comfort to me to know that I'm still of some use when it comes to hauling out the grass clippings, leaves and such, at least I can drive.

The wife has joined a health club type deal where she can go use their treadmill and such daily, I'm thinking of joining her, I know I could use the exercise. It's sure helping her loose weight and taking the pressure off her bad knee.

Howard hang in there, I had a deal sort of like that they shot me up with die and checked my head for tumors once, didn't hurt a bit, but I was very aware of my claustrophobia when they shoved my head in the MRI machine, my nose nearly touched the top of the case. In fact that was when I learned I was claustrophobic. Took five valium tabs before they got me back in to finish the test. After taking the pills I was still claustrophobic, but I just didn't care.

Jerry 11-1-2002 0:46


Ditto as to Heather's remark. Nice to hear from you, Americo!

I agree Americo. The world is not pretty. Not that it is ugly, it's just a lot more complicated and confused by a few individuals whose inability to coexist and understand that there are different religions of equal value. It seems religious intolerance has resurfaced, if it ever went away, and violence to an end is state-sponsored terrorism.

The American and British and Canadian troopers (and other brave men and women) fighting the war on terror would probably be a lot happier doing other things, making babies for instance. Unfortunately, "...exploitation, injustice, misery of all kinds and ignorance of all types..." are initiated by misdirected religious fanatics who justify forward movement with the excuse "God told me too" and "If I die in the service of God I automatically go to Paradise and be in the company of dozens of virgins." A great premise, if one is so starved for sex and unable to establish a loving relationship with a woman on earth and must kill in order to hang out in the afterlife with a harem of virgins. Idiocy of the highest order!

Sadly this inability to coexist with fellow humans in a peaceful society, involved innocent men, women and children who choose one September day to fly for business or pleasure. Killing as on 9/11 to make a statement on the poor and undereducated and ignorant in the Middle East is not a high order of logical reasoning processes. But then we're dealing with human sewer trash who clog the world with outdated and confounding religious fervor. Most, if not all of the scum bags who hijacked the airliners were quite well off, indeed belonged to wealthy Saudi Arabia families. Their energy would be better served for God, at least my Anglo-Saxon God, if they had used their fortunes in other areas of the Middle East instead of plotting mass murder. An evolutionary misdirected and faulty reasoning process.

However, I suppose, when one is dirt shack poor, woefully undereducated, born into a world of blowing dirt and arid desert and hard rock, acute starvation and ubiquitous famine ... the promise of paradise (food, tree, water) and virgins, (sex with virgins) understandably could have appeal for many. I mean, what else do they have to look forward too? If this is valid reasoning then their religious leaders have failed miserably and may themselves find paradise barren and only a few shop worn, ex-virgins in residence. (Pardon my levity.)

Peace is an elusive butterfly Americo. It is honorable and just to strive for peace. But until some new "prophet" steps forward and say enough, religious fanatics in the Middle East will flourish. Diamond cut diamond. When religious fanatics kill to control, to dictate human behavior, to enslave women, keep them and their girl children ignorant and for no other purposes except to breed ... then war and terror and arrogance will continue.

Which begs the question...why are some Arab men so afraid of women? It is said that one of the 9/11 scum bags went to a federal agency in Florida to arrange a loan to buy a crop duster. He was ushered into an office, face to face with a woman. Somewhat put off by a "woman" saying ... NO! ... He supposedly said, "Then what will stop me from cutting your throat?" She said, "Try it and I will throw you out of this office myself." One wonders what that did to his overinflated macho ego? Hmmm?

Why the tone Randall?

My son is now in the Armed Forces of America, fighting terrorism and I am very proud of him. My solution to the mess in the Middle East in general and religious fanatics in particular would involve a fleet of track mounted backhoe's and commercial lime hauling belly dumps. And is too horrific for consideration by gentle persons.


Randall 11-1-2002 0:07

Howard! Hang in there, sweetie! ((((HUGS))))

Americo! SO good to read you!

Heather 10-31-2002 21:19

Hi, Howard. Positive thoughts. The injection is painless and completely inocuous. Everything will turn up fine.

I had a good laugh with your joke. Another good joke is the one of the bully who entered a saloon shooting in all directions and then asked, in a kind sweet way, "a glass of milk, please"...

The world has not been pretty lately. The campaign against terrorism is misdirected and ill-conducted because the causes of terror - exploitation, injustice, misery of all kinds and ignorance of all types — have been left untouched, and there are still men who think that you can solve problems with war and arrogance. We are all tired of that and hoping for peace so that we can concentrate on discovering new medicines for old (and new) diseases, how to contact extraterrestrials and how to write better poems. Also how to win the next European Soccer Cup without sweating too much.

Americo 10-31-2002 21:00


Hey! Good evening gang!

Great Howard! Sounds like my kind of a cowboy!

This is a repeat from last year, 2001 think. Okay, so it's a retread! :-) Still ... The post is posted intact .....

"I mentioned this tale last year and Halloween is soon to be here. Soooooooooooo... BTW Jerry was writing his tale of a phantom battle about the same time I was working on mine. Uh huh, freaky ain't it!!!!!!!! But I decided to wait a few days to post mine. Nice story Jerry. Thank you Mel and Teekay for the nice comments on the RV story. If I forgot to mention any others my sincere apologies. (Once you get past 50 the mind goes, then the body....)

As best as I can recollect a Halloween tale from my grandmother...........

"When I was a young girl we used to go up to the Jim Ned creek on Sunday afternoons to picnic. After church was out, Dad and several other men would hitch up the horse carriages and take the families to the creek bottoms where we could play and picnic in the summer. It was cool there and there were great big cottonwood trees for shade. There were several girls about my age and we played hide and seek while our mothers cooked. Our fathers and brothers played baseball and fished in the creek.

"Near where we picnicked the old Abilene stagecoach road crossed the Jim Ned creek and went on up toward Cross Plains then on to Abilene. I had heard Dad talk of the Indian raids hereabouts, but they were gone by the time we came along. He said the Indians raided the remote homesteads, killing people and stealing horses. Dad said they were of the Comanche tribe and mean.

"Well one Sunday afternoon our fathers got together and decided to spend the night in the bottoms. Someone said the ‘yellar' catfish were biting and the harvest was still a few weeks away. So it was a good time to go. Our fathers always prepared to stay overnight, carrying bedrolls, groundsheets and lanterns just in case a storm came up. We kids were excited as this was a big deal. Home was 15 miles away and spending Sunday night meant no school for us on Monday.

"Along about sundown one of the girls found a piece of old leather half-buried in the ground. We struggled to pull it out, but it was in there good. One of the boys brought a shovel and we dug it up. It was part of an old saddle. Dad and several men came over and decided to dig a little more. They lit up some coal oil lanterns as it was turning dark and began to dig.

"That was when we first heard the sound of a horse running. It seemed close to us, then and faded away. Everyone looked around but all our horses were on a picket, most sleeping. Someone went and checked but all our horses were tied up. Two men started digging again, and found more of the saddle and some horse bones. By now everyone was gathered around the hole. I could sense that something was wrong though. There was a damp fog forming along the creek bed, and I went to my mother who was standing next to my dad. They both looked scared.

"We heard a loud yell beyond the creek, then the sound of many horses running. But there was nothing around us. It was pitch dark. All the people were here. One man jumped out of the hole where he and his friend had been digging. The other man started digging again and pulled something out of the ground. I couldn't see what it was but mother told me many years later it as an old time calvary belt buckle. The kind the calvary troopers wore.

"Then I heard guns shooting, followed by men yelling, and the sound of a horse in pain. The same noise I had heard last summer when Dad's horse broke a leg as he chased a steer and he was forced to kill it. It was a high pitched screaming sound, like a woman dying with great pain. The noise was all around us, like we were in the center of a battle. There were men shouting and screaming like they were being torn apart. There were guns shooting, men yelling and running horses and barking dogs. The noise came in waves, very loud then fade away as if the battle moved away. But it always came back over us. Mother hid me in her skirts. The menfolk pushed us into the center and stood facing outward holding the coal oil lanterns high. But there was nothing to see beyond the lantern light. Nothing but the horrible sound of a phantom battle. Someone had us move to the wagons and lifted the children inside. I lay in the bottom of the wagon under a tarp and shook cause I knew we would never be allowed to leave this cursed place.The men quickly hitched the horses, and funny thing is, the horses acted like nothing was going on. They couldn't hear what we could.

"We left everything that terrible night, food, blankets, lanterns. Several men had brought their Winchesters and they rode beside the wagons as we moved away from the Jim Ned bottoms. Dad always carried an old double barrel shotgun, for birds he said, and he had it in hand as Mom drove the carriage. Slowly the noise faded and it was very late when we arrived back at the church. We stayed the rest of the night there, then everyone went home at dawn.

"I never went back there. Mom said that Dad and a bunch of the men did many days later and gathered up all our bedding and such. The old saddle, belt buckle and horse bones were reburied in the same hole. Much later I understand somebody piled up a bunch of rocks over it, but like I said, I never went back. I asked Mom a couple of weeks later what was going on and she told me to never mention the night again. Well, you know I went to Dad and asked him the next day. He said the same thing.

"I was a married woman 20 years later going through the depression when a fellar from the government came by the house. He said Washington was paying him for to write down old time stories. I told him several, then the one about that night on the Jim Ned creek. He pulled out a bunch of papers and told me he had heard the story before and had done some research on it. He said a Negro calvary patrol (Buffalo Soldiers) out of Fort Wingate had caught a bunch of Comanche Indians camping in the creek bottoms one night. There was a great battle and many men were killed. I told him of the hole we dug and what happened. He said a museum might like to have some artifacts from the battlefield. Well, he borrowed a shovel from me, though I cautioned him against it. I told him some things should be left alone and remain buried. It was late in the day when this fellar left out, said he was going to spend the night at the old Jim Ned crossing. I never heard of him again, though he said he would be around for a while. Guess he left the country."

I heard this tale somewhere in the area of 44 years ago. The old Abilene/Jim Ned trail crossing is now a hundred feet under Lake Brownwood. And I sure as hell would not like to be scuba diving there and find the remains of an old saddle on the bottom."


Randall 10-31-2002 20:46

ELAINE: Sorry about that. My muse is most unpredictable and tries to make up for long dry spells with tiny bouts of musely meanderings... I did enjoy your epic limerick while eating my lunch! :-]

Mel 10-31-2002 13:32

Here now lives a girl named Elaine
Who thinks writing lim'ricks insane!
She's put pen to paper,
Creating a caper,
Till Niag'ra Falls through the drain--

(tee hee hee!--uh oh. MEL's through with her lunch and staring at me, glaring at me, RARing at me--i better run!!!)

Mel's Muse 10-31-2002 13:29

Well here it is folks! The thing you've been waiting for! The Lymrick II! I hope you guys are ready for this....

The Lymrick is a neat thing
It has a sort of ring
As I told you before
When you walked through the door
It makes most everything sing
Don't look at me with such surprise
I see the doubt in your eyes
And I'll tell you what
They found, (just last month)
Those walking, hilarious ties
Now what do you want me to say?
The Lymrick loves to Play
Getting the principal mad
At the poor boy Tad
Who was grounded every day
The Lymrick plays around
With people in air or on ground
I just want to say
That in every way
The Lymrick won't allow to be found
This example isn't sweet as Vermouth
About a rich man and his tooth
At the fair he took a bite
The Lymrick thought, "he can't be bright"
And now his tooth's caught in a booth
This story's about a bee
That lived in Tennessee
It's funny how he stung
The royal, 'wonderful' bun
Of the secretary of state to be
The Lymrick found a zoo
He had so much to do!
He found a fat gaiter
And gave him a waiter
Who wound up in his stew
The Lymrick turned sour
He fixed a field of flowers
So that everyone sneezed
And those who didn't say 'cheese!'
Landed on a water tower
To warn you; stay away
From a Lymrick at play
He has a lot to do
When he's baiting you
You could find yourself at Chile Bay
Before I decide to set sail
And begin to end my tale
If you have a strong mind
And not unduly unkind
The Lymrick's kindness won't fail.

End ......?
Copyright: Elaine 10-30-02
Hope you like, it was so much fun to do, it's not even funny! Okay, well maybe just a little...
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-31-2002 12:13

HOWARD: Strength and best wishes to you!! Chard? I haven't had that in two years...yum is right!!

Beth, I do too!!

Mary 10-31-2002 10:20

hi..... i love to read

beth davis 10-31-2002 9:45


Good Morning, everyone, and a Happy, SAFE, Halloween to all who are being someone else today. 8-]

CAROL: I know you didn't mean it, but you followed a sentence that had two nouns (deer and truck) with a sentence referring only to "it" - my mischievous muse immediately flashed me a snapshot of a damaged deer in your garage--being painted! Hah!! :-> THAT might make an interesting story...! Keep up the great work on your real story! :-)

HOWARD: Hair behind the toilet too? What was he thinking??? A great challenge for a story...! :-)

RANDALL: Your stories are hoots! :-) This last one really makes a person think; just what you intended, eh? What would I say? I think, if I got up my courage, I'd humbly ask Him, "Is it too late for me to follow you?" Of course, then He'd beckon me closer, and who could ignore that? How much we take for granted our daily life, so far removed (?) from the time He dragged His cross through the streets of Jerusalem... Your story has made me stop and look around (at least for the moment!) - am I missing Him somewhere? :-) Thanks for the inspiration!

HEATHER: I'm so glad you banned singing fat ladies! Now there's hope to finish a few more things, heh heh heh! ;-]

To EVERYONE who is someone else today: enjoy, but don't forget where home is.

To EVERYONE ELSE (that would be everyone who is not anyone but him/herself today, e.g.everyone who's normal today, unless, of course, you're normally not normal or a little bit offkey or offbalance or offcolor or just simply off...): enjoy the day, and write a little something that makes you happy (or something that's not happy but makes you happy in the writing of it, if you know what I mean...)

I think I'm going now...(maybe I've already left! Did anyone see me go by?...Hmm, where did I leave that funny-smelling brain??!!)


Mel 10-31-2002 8:05

JERRY -- Yeah, hair in the bathroom is rather mundane in itself, but this was a public restroom, and the whole scenario just cried out "Something's wrong with this picture!"

RANDALL -- I just found this -- I think you'll like it:

A cowboy rode into town and stopped at the saloon for a drink.
Unfortunately, the locals always had a habit of picking on newcomers.
When he finished, he found his horse had been stolen.
He comes back into the bar, handily flips his gun into the air, catches
it above his head without even looking and fires a shot into the
ceiling. "Who stole my horse?" he yelled with surprising forcefulness.
No one answered.
"I'm gonna have another beer and if my horse ain't back outside by the
time I'm finished, I'm gonna do what I dun back in Texas and I don't
WANT to have to do what I dun back in Texas!"
Some of the locals shifted restlessly.
He had another beer, walked outside, and his horse was back! He saddled
up and started to ride out of town.
The bartender wandered out of the bar and asked, "Say partner, what
happened back in Texas?"
The cowboy turned back and said, "I had to walk home!"

howard 10-31-2002 8:01

Howard - hair in the bathroom, now there's a start to a mystery.

Ever played electronic ping-pong? That's about what the last few days have become. That damn virus that I caught from a stupid holloween screen saver infected three machines on my network. All the anti-virus software I could find couldn't seem to rid them of it, so at long last I did the ultimate virus clensing, low leval formating. That consists of software that writes 0's to every sector of the hard drive, thus eliminating everything that ever was on the computer. Did this to three machines and all are now virus free. My main machine now sports a brand spanking new install of Windows ME! Down with XP - Long live ME!

The machine seems to run twice as fast as it ever did under XP despite Microsoft's claims that XP is faster and it plays my favorite games now too!

Ok so I'm just a big kid at heart, so shoot me.

No new snow, but the cold is deffenetly here, it got below zero last night, and is headed there as I type, the weather bug says 3 right now.

Were you aware that when the temps drop below 38 degrees below zero F you can take a pan full of hot water outdoors and throw the water up in the air only to have it crystalize before your eyes and fall as snow?

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tried it myself a few years back when we had a long sub zero freeze that lasted over two months. Some guy on TV said it would work, and I figured what the heck, I gotta try that, it worked.

Neat stuff in the cold.

Ghosts and Goblins will be about tomorow, bet most of them will be in eskimo customes around here.

Jerry 10-31-2002 0:47

Well, Howard........if those hairs had been curly........ YIKES!!!!!!!!

Heather 10-30-2002 23:42

And I'd say you've got yourself one helluva story there.

Christi 10-30-2002 23:22

I don't know quite what to say other than that I'll be thinking of you. I'm sending out the most positive vibes right at this moment. Stay heartened!

Christi 10-30-2002 23:17

And RANDALL -- Thanks for that! I always enjoy your Red Britches stories!

howard 10-30-2002 22:34

Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes -- you guys (and gals) are a real encouragement! There was a message on my answering machine this afternoon from the hospital. They want me to call them to go over the PET scan -- sounds like a doozy of a test! I know it involves an injection with some sort of radioactive glucose solution, and it takes an hour or so. Special diet tomorrow, then fasting on Friday until the test.

MARK -- No, I wasn't drafted. I enlisted for three years as serial RA12680411. That was before they started using the SS number as the id. But I know about that letter. A lot of the guys I served with were draftees. Their service numbers started with US. Then there were NG and ER for National Guard and Enlisted Reserve.

We were at the hospital the other night (before my mom came home) and I had to make a pit stop. How's this for story elements?
1) The rest room was a small one-holer, just a sink, mirror, towel dispenser, and a john.
2) There were paper towels all over the floor. In fact, I stepped on one when I entered.
3) There was a red SHARPIE(TM) fine point marker on the floor next to the toilet, almost behind it.
4) There were clumps of hair all over the floor, on the back of the toilet, and in the wastebin, and there was hair scattered evenly (not clumped) in the sink. The sink was dry, and it appeared that the hair had been cut with a scissors, not shaved with a razor, unless it had been done without shaving cream or water.
5) The hair was black/grey and straight, and appeared to be all the same length (less than a half inch), and was concentrated behind the toilet, and in and under the sink.
6) The towel dispenser was nearly empty, and the wastebin (attached to the wall under the towel dispenser) was overflowing.
At first I thought someone had given himself a haircut in there, but the consistent length of the hairs suggested that he had cut off a beard instead.

Enough for a story?

howard 10-30-2002 22:23



Howard, my thoughts will be of you and your family. Hang in there pard!

Was going to wait till Friday to post this but my backlog is stacking up!

Had an interesting experience not long ago. FYI ...

Red Britches and I were down in the Bayou Park sipping on a bottle of wine as a long summer day simmered to an end. I had taken off work early to take care of some business. At least that is what I told my wife and my boss. I REALLY was ... but came across Red and things went slightly astray. Per usual.

We were sitting on top of a picnic table bayou watching the duck fleet patrol the muddy waters of the bayou for blind minnows.

"... course I told George that winter was coming on and just where did he suggest I sleep." Red was saying.

"Seems a bit narrow minded of his live-in," I added. "Hell, just cause you wanted to build your winter shanty in her backyard is no reason for her to get her tail in a knot."

Red nodded, "Seems the least she could do would be show a little Christian fellowship, I know..."

There was a noise behind us about then. Red turned to look and since he was already looking I stared at the ducks paddling across the muddy bayou. Red nudged me with an elbow ... "Ah, Randy boy ..."

Red didn't finish the statement. I glanced over and was surprised that he was suddenly very pale. "What is it Red?"

"Turn and see if you see what I though I just saw."

I gave him the wine and swiveled on the bench ... took a gander and ... Oh boy!

"What did YOU see?" Red whispered as I turned back around.

"What do you think I saw?"

"Some long haired, bearded guy walking behind us."

"Yeah. But Red the man I saw was dragging a cross."

Red eased his head around. "That's the one! It's resting on the shoulder, looks heavy. He's stopped now. Randy, that's a mighty big cross. Wonder what ... oh, no ... no he's walking on. Thought he might be coming over here."

We sat stunned, then both turned as one, then quickly back. The man carrying the cross was striding quickly away, passing in the shade of hundred year old pecan trees, then into the bright Texas sun. Obviously heavy, the cross left a deep furrow in the grass. The silence stretched out ... we again turned, the cross bearer was out of sight.

Red took a long drink from the Wild Irish Rose wine bottle. He handed it to me. "Ah, well could it have been Him, Randy?"


"Yeah, you know HIM!"

I took the bottle from Red. "Nah."

"How do you know?"

"Well, Red it don't make no sense. I mean, if it was Him, then ... well, it don't make any sense. Heck, here sits two sinners for sure and he didn't say anything to us. Wouldn't He?"

"I suspects He would. Wouldn't He?"

I turned and scanned the park. Nothing.

"Kinda gets ya to thinking don't it Randy boy. Would it better for Him to address two sinners or ignore two sinners? Which one would be good news, the other bad? I mean if He was sure we were going to Heaven, He didn't need to say anything. Would He?"

I pondered the inexplicable. "Maybe we should have said something? Isn't there something about acknowledging Him? I mean if it was, you know, Him? Perhaps, ‘How are your folks doing?' "

"Uh, no. What could you say ... I mean," Red shook his head, " ‘Hey, how's it going? or Nice day for a walk in the park.' "

"Maybe a small joke," I suggested. "Hemingway once said he might attempt a joke with Him. How about ‘Sure a hot day to be dragging that cross around, eh?' "

"NO! NO! NO! I would definitely stay away from any cross jokes! Xnay on that for sure! If it was Him he probably ain't fond of that, all things considered."

"You think, if it was Him," I said, "You reckon He saw we was drinking wine?"

Red turned and glared at me. "No shit Sherlock! If it was him? Then how the hel... oops, how the heck could he miss it?"

We sat in silence for a while, the sun was now below the horizon. I noticed Red had capped the bottle and stashed in his voluminous coat. Both of us stood and scanned the park again. It was heavy in shadow. No one. I needed to go, what was once a lark had turned into a possible religious experience.

"Where you sleeping tonight Red?"

"Guess I'll stay right here. The park sitter locks the traffic barrier at 10:00. He usually leaves me alone if I give him a couple shots."

"You can go home with me if you like. The wife won't care."

Red ambled over and sat on the ground against an old pecan tree. "No thanks on the invite. You know, He turned water into wine for a wedding party once upon a time. Maybe He'll come back this way and if it was Him we saw, I just might ask him to fill up my bottle."

"Really, Red, what would you ask Him?"

Red sighed, straightening his long legs in the grass. "Without being presumptuous, I might ask the why of it all? See what He says and take it from there."

"Night Red."

And a goodnight my friends


Okay, what would you say?

Randall 10-30-2002 20:28

HOWARD -- Thoughts and prayers.

I don't remember, did the Army get you by draft? If so then you got the famous letter that started with "Greetings."
Sounds like you just got another similar notice.
Take it with a plum.

Mark 10-30-2002 19:59

Hi All :)

Howard - tons of prayers (good thing they don't weigh much!) and well wishes your way.

Been having a couple of busy weeks around here. A blasted deer decided to end his life by smashing into the side of our truck. Nice amount of damage and its still in the garage. I believe they said they were painting it tomorrow so it shouldn't be too much longer. Trouble is, they gave me a mini van as a loaner, now I'm buying it! I had forgotten how much I liked vans. Good thing the truck is (just) paid for.

On an up side, I have completed the second chapter of my story. Didn't think I'd ever get to it, but I'm liking everything about it and I do look forward to each day and what's going to happen next. Now to make sure an editor will feel the same! (Well, when there's a few more chapters at least.)

Viv - hey lady! Good job on the argument. For feeling uneasy about it, you sure rang a lot of familar chords in my mind! LOL

Heather - let me know about Grandma Rose on the P project. :)

Jerry - think you could keep that cold and snow more your way? It's getting a little too close to me. Sure am glad I spent a couple of weeks in TX soaking up some heat not too long ago.

Hugs to everyone else!

Carol 10-30-2002 19:31

All fat ladies are now banned from singing.

Heather 10-30-2002 16:42

HOWARD - Don't get up, this hug's for YOU. (((HUG)))
You're already on our prayer list, and now you're at the top of it! :o)

Heather 10-30-2002 16:41


I am praying for you. Hugs to you and your family. Hang in there, and don't let those doctors scare you. You have someone more knowledgable and caring than they looking out for you.

Rhoda 10-30-2002 15:26

Howard - Prayers and good thoughts coming your way! :D

Allein Peachick's Gallery 10-30-2002 15:13

Good Luck.
It's not over TTFLS

Eddie French 10-30-2002 14:38

Howard -- I made pasta with white clam sauce last night, too. Great writing minds thinking alike, huh? I'll be sending light and lots of positive energy your way. :-)

Sunny 10-30-2002 13:12

HOWARD: Prayers and [[[[[BEAR HUGS]]]]] coming your way, for you, your mom, and all the family... When you get to feeling scared, take the LORD's hand and lean in His direction; He'll guide you through it. (You know that!!!) We'll all be here for you (You know that too!!!). BTW, Isn't there a song, "Comin' Through the Rye?" And as for "Som Ting Wong," all I can say is I'm still laughing! heeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeHA!

JERRY: We're getting the COLD in the Northeast too. DO keep that white stuff out there, will you? :-) Thanks! What a pal! I'll send you some ACME Snow Dissolver but be warned, it may not make it through the Snail Mail until April or May... (some help I am, eh?) 8-}

EVERYONE: Have a great writing day!!! Time to catch my bus to work...

Mel 10-30-2002 6:04

Howard, I'll be pulling for you on the upcomming tests. I do think there should be a law that when the Dr. uses the C word, he should be damn sure it's there, not thinking it 'might' be there. I've had a couple of them now use that blasted word when talking of my tests, but they all come back negative thank God.

Weatherman says it will get down to 1 (that lonely number) tonight, and then whispered under his breath "I'm trying to be positive here".

It's COLD! Damn it not supposed to get COLD till after holloween, not supposed to snow till Thanksgiving, and the streets are heavy with the white crap already, atop the freezing rain from yesterday. The streets are like skating rinks where the tires have worn the now down to ice.

Sure glad I don't have to go anywhere.

Jerry 10-30-2002 0:11

I wasn't going to post this, but you're my friends, and I can't think of a better bunch to be on my side...

I went to the pulmonologist today, and he had the results of my latest CT chest scan. I knew I had emphysema, but he says it's not the worst kind. If I'm careful it won't worsen, and may actually improve. He said that the years we spent heating our house with wood, then coal, did more damage to my lungs than the smoking (which I quit in 1982), and the beryllium exposure I had did not damage the lungs as we had thought previously.
Then he told me that he sees a "density" at the top of my left lung that could be surgical scars, or it might be cancer. I wanted a third choice, but he didn't offer. He won't know for sure until he gets the results of a special PET scan, which I'm scheduled for this Friday. Then I have another appointment a week from Friday to discuss the results, and any necessary further treatment. We're not too concerned, because it seems to be early in the process, and shouldn't be hard to beat. So we're looking at the light side of things for now (it was still my turn to fix supper tonight -- pasta with white clam sauce). But I'm planning to start getting scared sometime next week. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday. Approximately. If it doesn't snow.

On the brighter side, my mom was released from the hospital this afternoon! Still in pain from the surgery, but feeling much better.

And I found a whole row of fresh radishes in the garden this afternoon that I had planted a few weeks ago, and thought they hadn't done anything, so I sowed a thick crop of winter rye grass all over that area. But there they were, coming up right through the rye (which had protected them from the frost) nice and red and crisp and tasty! I love 'em! Found some good chard too! Thank you Lord!

howard 10-29-2002 23:05

I think Yang maybe shoulda been named Som Ting Wong...

howard 10-29-2002 21:53


10-29-2002 16:34

RANDALL -- I like it! I saw some of it on the USS Geiger (a troop ship) on the way from New York to Bremerhaven in 1964. I think that was one of the last -- if not the last run for a troop ship. After that everyone got to ride on a 7x7.

howard 10-29-2002 11:52

GFO is a small fresh writing magazine looking for unpublished writers to contribute to our cause.
We are trying to promote the freedom of writing and give the chance for new and old writers to be read. Please send your short stories, music or book review, articles and poems to

Thanks and keep writing

Patrick Westwood 10-29-2002 11:30

Good morning, all! :-]

RANDALL: My, my; life must be VERY interesting at your house, heh heh heh! (Enjoyed the sailors-at-home scenario!) :-)


Happy writing, everyone!!!

Mel 10-29-2002 9:24

Heather - that's ok, take your time. I re read it again tonight, and there's a bunch of changes I want to do to it, if I have the time. It didn't read as good today as I thought it did last night.

Blasted weather man is threatening us with more snow this week, sure hope he's wrong, but it's been raining like hell since four pm, and now the temps are falling. If it snows on top of this frozen rain it could well paralyze the town for a time till the City get's out with their sand trucks.

Funny thing about that, they refuse to use salt on the streets here. Never have and I guess that's the reason you still see old beaters running around with no body cancer. There's this old guy who bought a 1959 rambler brand new, it was the last new car he ever bought, in fact it was the last car he ever bought. He still drives it around town up to coffee back home again, it smokes so badly that I have suggested to the City that they pay him to drive on the streets as it does a great job at keeping mosquitoes down. But having lived where they use lots of snow, I am torn between the clean cancer free cars, or the nice black tar to drive on. Here when they put down sand, it just works it's way into the ice and gives a bit of traction. Not like the eastern part of the state, or Minnesota (you can tell a Minnesota car by the body cancer) where there is so much salt on the streets that it kills the grass on the boulevards.

Jerry 10-28-2002 23:46

MARK -- Great story! Thanks for the pointer.

howard 10-28-2002 23:16

Short story in NewYorker. I couldn't break from it.

Mark ShortStory 10-28-2002 20:45



Thought you might like this ... for all you ex-sailors, or spouses!


Buy a steel dumpster, paint it gray inside and out and live in it for six months.

Run all the pipes and wires in your house exposed on the walls.

Repaint your entire house every month.

Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of the bathtub and move the shower head to chest level.

When you take showers, make sure you turn off the water while you soap down.

Put lube oil in your humidifier and set it on high.

Once a week, blow compressed air up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbor's house. Ignore his complaints.

Once a month, take all major appliances apart and then reassemble them.

Raise the thresholds and lower the headers of your front and back doors, so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through them.

Disassemble and inspect your lawnmower every week.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, turn your water heater temperature up to 200 degrees. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, turn the water heater off. On Saturdays and Sundays tell your family they use too much water during the week, so no bathing will be allowed.

Raise your bed to within 6 inches of the ceiling, so you can't turn over without getting out and then getting back in.

Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your spouse whip open the curtain about 3 hours after you go to sleep, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and say, "Sorry, wrong rack."

Make your family qualify to operate each appliance in your house - dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc.

Have your neighbor come over each day at 5 am, blow a whistle so loud Helen Keller could hear it, and shout, "Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and triceup".

Have your mother-in-law write down everything she's going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in your back yard at 6 a.m. while she reads it to you.

Submit a request chit to your father-in-law requesting permission to leave your house before 3 pm.

Empty all the garbage bins in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day, whether it needs it or not. (Now sweepers, sweepers, man your brooms, give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft, empty all shit cans over the fantail.)

Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines, and randomly lose every 5th item before delivering it to you.

Watch no TV except for movies played in the middle of the night.

Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.

When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting that your home is under attack and ordering them to their battle stations. (Now general quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations!)

Make your family menu a week ahead of time without consulting the pantry or refrigerator.

Post a menu on the kitchen door informing your family that they are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for an hour. When they finally get to the kitchen, tell them you are out of steak, but they can have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they ignore the menu and just ask for hot dogs.

Bake a cake. Prop up one side of the pan so the cake bakes unevenly. Spread icing real thick to level it off.

Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. (midrats) ((midnight rations))

Set your alarm clock to go off a random during the night. At the alarm, jump up and dress as fast as you can, making sure to button your top shirt button and tuck your pants into your socks. Run out into the back yard and uncoil the garden hose.

Every week or so, throw your cat or dog in the pool and shout "Man overboard port side!" Rate your family members on how fast they respond.

Put the headphones from your stereo on your head, but don't plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove and speak into the paper cup, "Stove manned and ready." After an hour or so, speak into the cup again "Stove secured." Roll up the head phones and paper cup and stow them in a shoe box.

Place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have your family stand watches at the podium, rotating at 4 hour intervals. This is best done when the weather is worst. January is a good time.

When there is a thunderstorm in your area, get a wobbly rocking chair, sit in it and rock as hard as you can until you become nauseous. Make sure to have a supply of stale crackers in your shirt pocket.

For former engineers: bring your lawn mower into the living room, and run it all day long.

Make coffee using eighteen scoops of budget priced coffee grounds per pot, and allow the pot to simmer for 5 hours before drinking.

Have someone under the age of ten give you a haircut with sheep shears.

Sew the back pockets of your jeans on the front.

Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go to the scummiest part of town. Find the most rundown, trashiest bar, and drink beer until you are hammered. Then walk all the way home.

Take a two week vacation visiting the red light districts of Europe or the Far East, and call it "world travel."

Lock yourself and your family in the house for six weeks. Tell them that at the end of the 6th week you are going to take them to Disney World for "liberty". At the end of the 6th week, inform them the trip to Disney World has been canceled because they need to get ready for an inspection, and it will be another week before they can leave the house.

Ain't it the truth!!


Randall 10-28-2002 20:41

Awww! No whiters to be found. Must be duck season.

10-28-2002 16:36

Shhh... Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting whiters... EHHHHHH!

10-28-2002 16:29

BTW - the email link in a post from the other day contained a typo, so if you joined Litter in the 'bouncing emails' jig, please accept my apologies!

The link below will work.

*saluting now, from the Tim Horton's nearest me*

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-28-2002 14:47

The 'No rest for the Editor' chant:
"Caffeine, caffeine, crafeine, choclatel, dfaj[igm;;;//////// *grab head by hair, remove from keyboard* AHEM!
Sorry, we'll begin again: "CAFFEINE, caffeine, and choco-late! So sweet, so wild, you bundle yourself as a mild brown lump, or sloshy brown funk, yet you S-I-I-I-I-NG to my neuuuuuurons; oh, sing sing sing to my synapses! Sing to me til I go plunk...."

(Sing to the 'tune' of monotone) :oD

Heather 10-28-2002 14:45

Elaine! Repeat this as often as necessary: "Caffeine. Caffeine. Caffeine. CHOCOLATE! Caffeine, caffeine, caff..."

Make that a caffeine-au-lait, please! LOL

Heather 10-28-2002 14:40

Hi everyone! Still working away.... taking a break just now as my eyeballs feel a little strained. 8-)
What was that about a nap? Aw, forget it. No rest for the editor! (No parallel between EVIL and EDITOR intended.. haw haw haw)

Christi! GOTCHER MESSAGE, and I think I did send a reply, but marbles for brain is not good supper. OOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGGG............. I know I MEANT to send it! I did get the two revised versions of 'STF' and 'Death Is A Redhead', so thanks girlie! I needed those!

Jerry - got your latest story, but haven't schlupped these eyeballs back into my head long enough to read it yet. I'll do that, and if it makes the cut it'll come up in the updated list I'll post in the coming week. THANKS!

Howard - got your latest shortie for P* too, THANK YOU!

Ok...signing off......

Have a splendid afternoon!

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-28-2002 14:37

Well, the weekends over and school's starting back up today. Yechh! I'm so tired I could fall asleep right now! Unfortunatley I have to get those projects done pretty quick so I don't have to do everything the night it's due. Working on finishing up The Lymrick II, hopefully will have it done before this week. Well on with the research! Hope your weeks are wonderfull and your Mondays the best of them all!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-28-2002 12:11

Jerry, That was the perfect amount of !!!s. Thanks, you! Your kind offer makes me wish I hadn't quite read that book yet, but I have. :) I haven't read the second one in that series yet though, Shadow of the Hedgemon (I hope I spelled it right). Maybe whoever gets that one first can send it to the other one?
PS Your wife sounds like a hoot!

Thanks, Viv, nice to see you too!

Litter, Seems like there should be a better way doesn't there? I'll tell you what, more and more these days I realize that to be a writer you really have to WANT to be a writer. :)

I'm waiting to hear from "Deep Outside Science Fiction" on my twisted holiday story. I probably didn't get it to them in time for their Christmas issue. Why is it that you only come up with good seasonal stories when it's too late?

Going now. Good day, all!

Christi 10-28-2002 10:25

Heather - shot you off my short story tonight, I did a complete rewrite on it, as I didn't like the way it was going in my original. Too much dialog and not enough action the first way I had it, this reads much better to me at least.

Let me know and if you don't like it this way, I can revive the other.

Howard - That lock on the wrong side rings in to a movie I once saw on the boob tube, can't recall the name of it, as I was very young at the time, but the situation rings a bell. I know years ago lots of folks used to do things like that when the institutions wouldn't take their problem children. From what I've read about that many of the poor children weren't even retarded but simply had learning disabilities and were pigeon holed by some old doctor who probably couldn't find his ass with both hands in the first place.

I think we've grown as a people since those times, or at least I'd like to think so. It used to worry me thinking that my generation would one day take the helm of the nation, and I see that my worry was based on fact. We seem to have righted the wrongs of our fathers times, then righted wrongs that weren't wrong in the first place. Well what I guess I'm trying to say is that our society has gone way to far the other (liberal?) way.

It was kind of funny tonight, got one of those political calls from the democratic party, in fact that was what showed on the caller ID. I answered anyhow, and the fellow immediately asked for my wife. I gave him a hard time about being her secret lover, accused him of lots of bad deeds, he couldn't seem to find words, just stammered on the other end, as I browbeat him, but I couldn't keep it up and burst out laughing. I could hear his sigh of relief when I said I'd put the wife on.

He didn't' talk very long with her either when she told him that while she was a registered democrat, she just couldn't hold with voting for the democratic candidates this year and was going to vote with me for the Republican's. You could have knocked me over with a feather, as she loves the fact that she usually cancels out my vote every election. She must have been listening to my computer while I was listening to Rush these last few months. We can't get him very well on radio so I'd sort of given up on his show till one day I did a google search and found his website where his show is broadcast daily.

Jerry Rush! 10-28-2002 0:28

Viv - Thanks for the link and tell Hana thanks for the translations. :)

Are we still doing Short Stories every week? That was something I missed about here. :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 10-27-2002 17:07

Oops! I suppose you'll need my email. D'oh!

Litter Again 10-27-2002 9:31

HEATHER -- I've just tried to email you with one of the links you left on this page but the email was bounced. Do you have another email addy?

Litter Again 10-27-2002 9:29

Hi all.

How much do you trust email?

A cautionary tale –

Some 18 months ago I submitted the manuscript of my novel to a publisher by email. (After sending the required synopsis and stuff.) Within the day, the publisher acknowledged receipt of the manuscript and the wait started.

I emailed them after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months (or there abouts) but received no reply to any of the emails, so I gave up on them.

I posted an open question about the publisher to an email writing/publishing that I joined recently and purely by chance a representative of the publisher (A senior representative as it happened) picked up the message and emailed me saying that the matter would be looked into.

The following day, I received another email from the rep, telling me that my novel had been accepted in June 2001, but after a month, having failed to get a response from me (???????) they had destroyed the manuscript.

I was asked to resubmit, which I did, but I’m now back where I was 18 months ago with no guarantee of re-acceptance of the manuscript, (sigh!) and no guarantee that even if it is accepted, that I will ever get the email advising me of such.

Willing publisher – willing author – unwilling ISP and/or email client.

Words fail me.

Litter Again 10-27-2002 9:24

Christi - Welcome back! Enjoyed your message.

Carol - Will upload ch.8. Can't get to 9...had to do a bunch of exercises in present progressive tense. Yuck. A week without computer, disgusting, but I'll take a notebook and pen and see if I can still operate a pen.

Viv 10-27-2002 4:59

Howard: In one house we lived in there was a lock on the outside of a bedroom door and a very bad feeling. We figured out the solution to the lock...we moved it to the inside of OUR (the parents) bedroom door. We figured all unhappy vibes would be exorcised by our good times when the door was locked. It worked beautifully! Try moving your lock and enjoy the privacy!

Viv 10-27-2002 4:57

CHRISTI!!!!!!! Welcome home!

Enough ! for you?

I have been thinking of you of late, you see I recently finnished a very good book by Mr. Card, it's a parallell book to Ender's game, called Ender's shadow. At any rate, I thought I should send it to you, but you haven't been around. You know like we did Ender's game?


Just got back from my aunt's 90th birthday party, the old gal is still gowing strong, and I swear she hasn't aged a day in the last fifteen years. It was so good to get together with all my cousin's, many of whom I haven't seen in six or seven years. We all grew up together, as our dad's had farms just a few miles apart, in fact the first school I attended consisted of me, my sisters, and my cousins. Oh there was this one outsider girl but she fit right in anyhow as she lived with my uncle and the aunt who's birthday party was tonight.

Laughed too hard, ate too much came home too late but it ended way too soon.

Jerry 10-26-2002 23:25


There's nothing like a collaboration project to bring oldsters out of the woodwork. :) HI EVERYBODY!!!!!! Gosh, I suddenly feel like I'm at home again after being on vacation for oh so very long. It's nice to sit on your own toilet seat again, so to speak! HA HA HA! Not that the Notebook resembles a toilet in any way. Well sometimes it does when I've got a potty mouth. Goodness gracious, didn't you guys miss that kind of non-humor while I was gone? Har har.

Hi Heather the Faithful and Miraculous Mary, the new mother (well almost!). I got your messages, did you get mine? Hi Howard and Jerry, you are as timeless as ever. Hi Randall the Rambunctious, Hi Rosemary of Sunnybrook Farm, and hi Rhoda, Writing Warrior (that last session was a looloo!). Hi Teekay, my bosom buddy; you're looking rather ghostly at the moment! Hi friends over the sea, Litter and Eddie, warriors in life. Hi Mel, our expressive Madame Librarian, Taylor the sweet, and Allein, Anime Queen. Hello to Americo the Great (and all your incarnations), Tina the Brave, and Jack the Creator. Hi Mark, you impressive professor! and Viv in Japan, representing the U.S. in grand form. Sunny, you're fun, welcome, and all that rot! And if your name on this list I have missed, know that I am a blonde and we tend to distract easily ... hey, isn't that Mel Gibson over there?

Have a lovely day wherever you are,

Christi 10-26-2002 19:21



Well ... it's done. And as these things go, errors missed during of a great deal of literary hand wringing and knashing of teeth, are now blatant. But it is just a draft. In that regard I fought hard to keep the posted segment at 2,000 words ... and failed. Sorry Jack. :-) I have the opposite of writers block ... writer happy fingers. Powered by an over active brain, fingers type words and scenarios, miscellaneous and obscure thoughts that tumble from a 55 year old noggin. This rush in a literature frenzy of fingers chasing thoughts often lead to a slap dash approach, annnnnd demand rewrites and double checking ... and this sometimes fails.

When I get everything worked out in my head, (Good luck there, huh!!) and start the actual writing this segment will be greatly expanded, doubled more than likely and possibly the format changed. I'm not fond of the transcript style ... though it sometimes works.

There is some truth in my tale, though Mokia is fiction. There is in town a house where poltergeist activity was rampant in a bedroom many, many years ago. A priest blessed the bedroom hoping to settle the disturbance. It worked for a few days, then one night a couple were roused from sleep by a racket at the bedroom door. It was their teenage son trying to enter their bedroom. He couldn't, no matter how hard he tried. He simply could not pass through the doorway and enter his parent's bedroom. Conclusions? Beats the heck out of me! There is a family history of suicide and mental depression. Who knows? Maybe it was a "Vitality" like Mokia passing through the ‘hood?

Happy weekend


Randall 10-26-2002 18:16


Good evening!

Friends, I've been developing a book in my head for several years. This is the first attempt (DRAFT!) at putting anything on paper. (You're blessed or cursed!) So,accept this Halloween yarn cultivated between the ears of Randall. As usual in my musings the tale went a direction I didn't expect. Somehow, I seem to lose control and events develop a life of their own.

Word Count 2654

By Randall L. Henderson

Office of Dr. Andrea Mills B.S. M.D. P.H.D.
Case 141 Ms. Hewa Colorado

Transcript from surveillance camera, office recording, and private resources...

November 3, 1997

Dr. Mills ... "Good morning Ms. Colorado."

Ms. Colorado ... "Good morning Dr. Mills. I see you have a new receptionists."

Dr. Mills ... "Yes. Abagail Divanti, a medical intern from the American University in Rome. Abigail wanted to see America and spend the summer meeting real life cowboys. We are fortunate she chose Texas. Abagail was an intern last year at the Vatican. Would you like to proceed now?"

Ms. Colorado ... "Yes. I feel I must. Dan and I had a bad night."

Dr. Mills ... "We may have to use the sedative again. Do you remember I have your written permission?"

Ms. Colorado ... "Yes."

At this time Dr. Mills induces Hewa Colorado into a hypnotic state. Ms. Colorado is on a couch near Dr. Mills desk. A scream erupts from Ms. Colorado. She struggles from the couch falling to the floor. Ms. Abigail Divanti, enters the room and assists Dr. Mills in placing Ms. Colorado back on the couch.

Dr. Mills ... "Hewa, do you hear me?"


"Hewa, what frightened you?"


"Is this the one you call Mokia? The intruder?"

"Yes Dr. Mills. The one who wants to go home."

"Hewa. We have discussed Mokia several times. I will ask you again. What is he?"

Ms. Colorado moans. Her features contorted. She tries to stand but Dr. Mills and Intern Divanti compel her to lie down. Dr. Mills establishes an IV transfusion, inducing a mild sedative into her arm.

"Hewa, can you understand me? Nothing will harm you here. No fear. Do not be afraid."

"I am not afraid Dr. Mills. I know you are my friend."

"Yes I am. Now, can you tell me of Mokia?"

Ms. Hewa Colorado struggles to rise. "Oh! He is here! He tries to come into our room. Dan stands at the foot of the bed with a baseball bat. Mokia wants to come into our bedroom! I am afraid for my husband!"

"Hewa. Do not be afraid. Nothing will harm you here. Dan stands between you and Mokia. Abagail and I stand between you and Mokia. Please tell me of Mokia."

"Oh, he is so terrible! A dreadful sight! Mokia wants to go home! He scares me so! A devil!"

"A devil? How do you know?"

Hewa Colorado screams and in struggling from the couch falls to the floor. She crawls under the couch. Dr. Mills and Abigail Divanti sit on the floor beside her. Hewa Colorado is sobbing.

"A demon! Mokia comes in our bedroom! I have awakened at night to see him standing at the foot of our bed! A large creature with glowing eyes! A beast! He hates us because he wants to go home and cannot!"

"Hewa. Do not be afraid. We are here to protect you. You have nothing to fear. You say Mokia wishes to go home? What has this to do with you?"

"Mokia hates us now because we ask the priest to bless our bedroom. To keep him away from us at night. Dan works in the wrecking yard and cannot sleep because Mokia wants to go home. Now he cannot come into our bedroom. He is very angry."

"I don't understand Hewa. Where is Mokia's home? If he wants to go home, why doesn't he just go home?"

Recording terminated. Transcription note ... Ms. Colorado collapses. The session ends at this point.

November 10, 1997 ... Confidential recording of Dr. Andrea Mills ... Conversation between Dr. Mills, Catholic priest, Father Andrew Aye and Father Samuel O'Donnell in Saint Mary's Hospital chapel. Ms. Colorado and her husband were admitted hours before for second degree burns and smoke inhalation.

Tape II/ Insertion...4755

"... Dr. Mills, this is Father Aye. Regarding your conversation with me earlier this week I consulted with our church historian. Following your instructions Father Aye is aware of your interaction with Hewa Colorado."

"Then we should proceed."

"Yes. Father Aye has flown from Montreal to visit with you. He is an expert in unknown activities relating to paranormal incidents."

"Good afternoon Dr. Mills. I am so glad to meet with you. Father O'Donnell spoke well of you. How may I assist?"

"Father Aye. You have been briefed by Father O'Donnell about Dan and Hewa Colorado. So I assume you know about their experience with someone or something named Mokia? Would this be reason enough for a church historian to travel so far?"

"I admire your candid observation Dr. Mills. Father O'Donnell, will you excuse us now? Ah, your assessment is accurate doctor. What do you wish to know?"

"Well, let's jump right in Father Aye. Who is Mokia? Is there a connection with a fire at the Colorado's home last night?"

"You are direct. Let us walk outside Dr. Mills."

In the hospital garden.

"As a Catholic priest, my position in the paranormal experiences of Hewa and Dan Colorado with the entity known as Mokia must be circumspect. For obvious reasons. Do you accept that conversation between two professionals in the spiritual confessor-medical profession would be strictly confidential?"

"Of course Father Aye."

"Mokia is whatever you make of him. Hewa thought Mokia was a demon. He is all that and more. But never forget, only, and I stress this, only in the eye of the beholder which is relevant to his desire. Mokia is a willful and malevolent entity. Also, called a Vitality. In our present dilemma and most important to our considerations, a wandering, elemental Vitality who has ventured from his rightful place in our Lord's house."

"Who wants to go home?"

"Exactly. Dr. Mills, where Mokia wishes to go ... is blocked by the physical presence of the Colorado home. In point of fact, their bedroom. Mokia cannot pass through the living physical vibrations of a human abode. He needed the Colorados out of a preordained and mandatory pathway. Mokia could not go around, or through, and is at an impasse. An unfortunate incident, a matter of bad luck for all parties involved."

"Father Aye, you seem to know a lot about this Mokia creature."

"Indeed. Not a lot though, just enough to get me in trouble. The Catholic Church is a ponderous bureaucratic organization dedicated to the glorification of our Lord. But there is so much more work that goes on unseen. We have made significant advances in elemental Vitality investigations in the last 1100 years. And a correction, Mokia is not a creature. Mokia is an intelligent, elemental Vitality, generated by obscure facets of God's universe. In that regard, the so named Big Bang hypothesis is a relevant consideration of God's creative and positive creation processes. So, infinite sources of matter were converted by Him into physical celestial objects, inanimate and animate. Celestial assemblies and highly intelligent life as well, but, in this instance, negatives developed. Malicious energy forms were created by random molecular interaction. We call one of many, Mokia. Not a known demon but sinister nevertheless. Like so many others we know of, he is childlike, petulant and very dangerous to humanity."

"Father Aye. Where would something like Mokia call home?"

"I have no idea Dr. Mills."

"A parallel universe?"

"As good a guess as any. You must understand Dr. Mills, Mokia has been around millions of years. We don't know his exact age. How old is God? We do know however, that when the electro/physical force generated by the human imperative obstructs his will, he reverts to something he perceives within us all. Fear of the unknown and in a concentrated form, demon tormentors of humanity. Simply put, humans are obstacles, nothing more, and he will represent anything to clear passage and pursue his activities. To that end, Mokia sought to clear the Colorados from his way."

"By scaring them? As a demon?"

"Yes. Although the threat of physical assault is possible. Call it possession and it is one instance where Vitality's like Mokia seek their way."

"Father Aye. The Vitality is a spirit? Not a physical presence?"

"Yes and no. Mokia will enter our physical world only as a last resort. He will be as real as you or I. Very dangerous. Greatly annoyed, to put it mildly."

"Hmmm. Hewa said a priest blessed their home. Was that you?"

"No, Father O'Donnell. But only the bedroom. There are reasons for this. We have limited contact with Vitality's such as Mokia, maybe once in a human lifetime and ..."

"I understand Father Aye. You blessed the Colorado's bedroom because the pathway of Mokia passed through on a different plane of existence. Despite the apparent nonreligious aspect of Mokia, it was diverted by an ancient spiritual incantation. The Colorado home, the bedroom intersected his path homeward, wherever that is. A problem. He could not go through or around. You know Mokia exists, hope to study him and intentionally obstructed his way. Is that not correct?"

"In a very broad sense you are correct doctor. We desperately seek to understand God's universe and certainly, studying all concerns relating to His creation would be relevant. God is the creator of all Dr. Mills, animal, plant, star, human or Mokia. By definition, His power commands us into intelligent inquiry.

"The last confirmed occurrence of Mokia was in 1963. We are aware of Mokia's mandatory pathway through this part of the world. If that is confusing Dr. Mills, consider comets who travel through the universe on preordained circuits. In 1963 we sought to intersect Mokia. Unfortunately, the encounter turned deadly and there was loss of life. Consequently, a secret Vatican commission ordered us to monitor this area, investigating all rumors of a supernatural aspect. To that end, we have followed your practice for many years as well. We were not surprised to hear rumors of a problem with the Colorado household. Consequently, when it was learned of your sessions with Hewa Colorado, I was commanded to communicate with Mokia."


"For all of his malicious propensities to evil Mokia is the least offensive of known Vitality's. Consequently, we might gain insight to the root of evil in our world."

"Root of evil in our world, Father?"

"Doctor, it means exactly that."

"Very frightening. Did you communicate with Mokia, Father Aye?"

"Dr. Mills ... I cannot answer that."

"I believe I understand what you just said Father Aye. Were you at Dan and Hewa Colorado's home the night it burned?"


"In the bedroom?"

"Yes Dr. Mills."

"I find this hard to understand Father Aye. First, you tell me certain things that are highly irregular. Secret Vatican commissions, wandering evil beings ... A Vitality? Also, you attempt communication with something totally unknown to science, something that has terrified the Colorados for months. Despite the obvious implications, you're telling me about it? Openly and without hesitation? Why is that Father Aye? Is this not something the church would wish secret?"

"Well, you have an oath of confidentially Dr. Mills. In addition, we are always searching for open-minded lay persons to assist us in our research. We have been aware of your professional brilliance for some time. I am telling you more than necessary hoping to tweak your professional interest."

"I'm not sure I understand. You want me to work with you?"

"You're choice Dr. Mills."

"I'm flattered Father Aye. But first I want to know what caused the fire at the Colorado home? Was it Mokia?"

"My team, consisting of two bishops, a church security force and a medical doctor arrived at the Colorado home at 11:00 P.M...."

"Guards? With guns?"

"No. Our security teams carry edged weapons only..."

"Swords ...?"

"Dr. Mills, please let me continue. We set up various recording instruments, automatic cameras, laser microphones. We waited for Mokia. Shortly after midnight the electrical power failed. Not unexpected. We found ourselves in a pitch black room. There was a brilliant blue flash of light in the bedroom doorway and the noise of something scrambling at the bedroom doorway. A series of scratching noises, talons on splintering wood, labored straining sounds as if great effort was concentrated. Loud groaning noises ... murmur of unknown dialect, something in great pain. It was, to say the least, astonishingly unsettling in a dark room. Fortunately, all priests and security force members have, as a light source backup, carbide powder/water powered lamps. We have learned that elemental Vitality's such as Mokia drain flashlight batteries as a matter of course."

"Father Aye, what was happening in the bedroom and how many persons were there?"

"Security force officers Abigail Divanti and Laura Pierce had recently forged Japanese swords unsheathed, in a defensive posture and were closest to Mokia's entry portal..."

"Abagail Divanti!"

"I'll explain later ... Bishop Andrew Zanella from Rome and Bishop Jon Abernathy from England were behind them, reciting from a controversial manuscript attributed to Pope Leo III, dated 814, The Enchiridion. It attempts to halt Vitality progression. I might add that the Colorados, the doctor and myself were against the farthest wall from the doorway. In the dim light of the carbide lamps we noted a person struggling to pass through the bedroom door."

"A human...?"

"Yes. In the carbide lamp light and highlighted by a flickering blue light from behind ... it was the Colorado's oldest son Ramon. Struggling as if a mighty force was preventing him from entering the bedroom."

"That's impossible Father Aye. Ramon died in a traffic accident a year ago."

"Mokia used the dead boy's personality frequency vibrations to affect an entrance through the church's ritual blessing ceremony."

"Did he come through?"

"Oh yes! Yes, he did! Mokia, using Ramon's, albeit weak, but still surviving life force passed right through. A horrific sight as Mokia emerged into our world, discarding the boy's personality and affecting his own chosen demonic form. Imagine an erect lizard seven feet tall, immense yellow eyes, streaming blood and matter down a massive scaly torso. He was staggered by the transmigration, disoriented, howling in pain as Earth's corrosive atmosphere reacted against him ..."

"My God!"

"My thoughts as well."

"Mokia saw us and moved forward. For a few seconds no one reacted. The guards were obedient to Pope John-Paul's defensive mandate, retreated, but could not respond until threatened. No one did anything but Hewa Colorado. She grabbed a carbide lamp from Bishop Zanella and threw it at Mokia. The lamp struck Mokia, fragmented and exploded. Powdered carbide and water ignite when mixed. Hewa was screaming ‘Leave my son alone!' or something like that. We didn't have time to review the video tapes before they were removed. But the end effect was just what Mokia wanted. The bedroom and most of the house burned and the physical vibrations of two humans ceased as their home went up in smoke. So you see Mokia won and surely found a way home that night."

(Long silence) "You do this for a living Father Aye?"

(Laughter) "More of a holy summons Dr. Mills. A family legacy. My great-grandfather died as a Vatican officer in 1897. His legion of Vatican warriors also died as they attempted, unsuccessfully, to halt passage of Dia Forsallus into the Sistine Chapel. In that respect I would not like to follow in his footsteps. Dia Forsallus is still the worst of a very bad lot."

"What did Mokia say?"

"Again Dr. Mills, I may not admit communication with Mokia. I would surmise he was pleased that an obstacle was breached and went home."

That's all for now friends, thanks for reading and goodnight.


Randall 10-26-2002 17:24

Thanks, guys. :oD

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-26-2002 16:35

JERRY -- Yes, that hidden room sounds intriguing!
When my folks bought the house we now live in we found one of the upstairs bedrooms had a lock on the outside of the door. And on the inside were grooves and gouges made by fingernails, and the window --which was nailed shut -- also had nail marks as well as teeth marks on the sill. The house had been empty for several years before my folks bought it, and we found that several years before that, the people who lived in it had a retarded daughter that they used to keep locked away in that room. Some folks said they actually kept her in chains for the last years of her life. Some of the old timers around here think the house is haunted, and we've got several stories that'll raise the hackles on your neck! They say the woman who lived here killed her husband here when she found him molesting the daughter.
I know when my folks lived here they'd wake up in the middle of the night smelling fresh coffee and cigarette smoke, and once they found a tic-tac-toe game drawn on the inside of the door, in orange chalk, right beside the hook where dad hung his robe the night before. It wasn't there then. We still hear strange noises occasionally, and the cat gets awfully nervous sometimes as she goes up the stairs. And every once in a while we can hear a deep humming sound that we've been unable to account for. I've actually turned off the main power to the house to make sure it's not something running in the house that's causing it. Still can't figure out what's causing it.

howard 10-26-2002 13:06

Allein: This one is for you. It's a translation site for Japanese to English. You paste in the text and
ping-pong it goes to English. Hana mailed off the letter today with your song lyrics. She really appreciated your website. Anyway, hope this works. If not I'll keep at it until I get it right.

Jerry: Thanks your helpful site was really great. I'm going to try Japanese on it too. I also want to check out the writer's website and about a million other things.

Viv 10-26-2002 10:54

Check out the site below, lots of helpfull stuff.

Jerry Writers Tools 10-26-2002 10:29


Good morning, everyone! :-)

I often write in snatches of time in whatever semi-quiet place I can find and haven't access to background music. When I get the opportunity, though, I am inspired by instrumental music - classical or Celtic or movie soundtracks (Conan the Barbarian is great for moving scenes that are heavy with purpose).

I'm so attuned to music that I have to be careful what I use for inspiration; if I'm working on adventure treks in fantasy worlds, I need LOTR-style music, music that explores the vast nooks and crannies of my imagination. If I'm working on romance, I need a softer strain in the background - Mozart's Clarinet Quintet is one of my favorites!

As helpful and comforting as the music is, however, my muse hears a symphony of her own, best heard in the quiet of the night and house, when everyone is asleep, or just before dawn. I burnt a lot of post-midnight candles while writing in the wee hours as a teen! I miss that, sometimes.
Having a family and working full-time days have their own rewards but strangle late-night inspirations!

JERRY: My parents had a ton of Tennessee Ernie Ford albums - I used to love listening to his deep booming voice, smooth as glass. I'd sing along with him -- "You load 16 tons...What do you get? A back that's weary and deeper in debt...St. Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go--I owe my soul to the Company store..." :-)

Lawrence Welk was on every Saturday night in our house too. There was something reassuring about his music, comforting, peaceful, light-hearted. :-)

Now, about that house where the sheet rock was removed to reveal a hidden room...WOW! What great story fodder!! :-) Why DID the people cover that room??? Maybe a horrendous event occurred there... spooky! I love hidden stairways and secret rooms...A sealed room soudns very curious indeed!!! JERRY, I bet you could write a fascinating tale about that hidden room... (Yes, that's a challenge!!!)

A busy Saturday here with the usual - laundry, groceries, housecleaning--although I really have to agree with a poem sent to HOWARD:

"Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter...
[With] music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead..."

Celebrate today and let your muses go wild on the page! :-]

Mel 10-26-2002 8:42

Never heard of Wellstone before I came home about 3 am in the morning... and had a Fox News Alert about a plane crash.

My heart still gets a little jittery each time I hear there's a plane crash

Taylor 10-26-2002 4:43

On Music: Sometimes if I'm stuck... I'll put on The Beethoven cd.

Feel like I must apolagise for my previous post... Recently started to read "Let's Roll" By Lisa Beamer... and it has kind of opened my eyes up a little.
Sorry for what I said.

Taylor 10-26-2002 4:37

Music - My favorite groups - Creedance Clearwater Revival - Blood Sweat and Tears - Three Dog Night - Erik Burton and The Animals - Favorite singers - Tex Ritter - Marty Robbins - Johnny Cash - Niel Diamond - Tom T. Hall - Kenny Rogers.

I also enjoy classic music from time to time, as well as some jazz. Old rock and roll, country and a bit of blue grass.

Ok so I like most old music, heck I even have a bunch of Tennesee Ernie Ford's stuff. Oh and I don't miss a Sunday of Lawrence Welk on PBS, brings back memories of our first TV and how the folks always had to see the Champaign Music, anda one anda two anda three. Lawrence was from North Dakota, sort of a home state boy, I guess I never made clear that our farm was in North Dakota, so I grew up most of my life there. Even when we moved to town, we only lived in South Dakota one year before dad found a cheap house in North Lemmon, which is north of the tracks, and the tracks separate North and South Dakota in Lemmon. If my memory serves me, that was in 1963, and dad paid a whopping $2,500.00 for that big old two story house located on over an acre of land. Three bedrooms upstairs and one on the main floor. Strange, there was this big archway in the living room that the previous owners put sheet rock over. We lived there for nearly two years before dad took the sheet rock down, and there was a big room with new carpet and new wall paper on the walls. The previous owners must have not wanted to heat that extra room or something. It was a grand old house though in addition to the three bedrooms upstairs there was a drop down door that covered the stairs when dropped, it led into a huge attic filled with old clothing from the previous owners, furniture, even some old navy ribbons from their son's uniform. I used to spend hours digging around in that attic, found some old MPC military payment certificates from WWII and such. Too bad I never kept that stuff, heck it would probably bring good money on Ebay. Now there is but bare prairie where that old house stood, but last time I drove by there, they were leveling out a part of the acre to put a new house on. Looks like things are improving north of the tracks, a good thing too, as they went way down hill after we left. A lot of the area is now horse pastures, blended among the few homes that still stand occupied up there. I couldn't live like that, the flies and stink in the summer and all.

Life goes on....

Jerry (again) 10-26-2002 0:51

It was no great loss to get rid of the guns, hell I haven't pulled a trigger on any of them since 94 anyhow, just parting with part of my past. The computers were not the main ones anyhow, heck I have way too many of these blasted things anyhow, I just hooked up one of the old P166's up for an internet server, all it has to do is keep the dsl modem busy and assign numbers to the other machines in the house.

The wife was glad to be rid of them, they were just in the way all the time anyhow (the guns that is) now she can hang pictures on the walls where they hung, but my gun cabinet sure looks empty, think I'll let that go on the next yard sale.

It got up to 40 degrees today, and much of our snow melted, sure glad to see it go. I went out and took the tire off my lawn mower and took it up to be fixed, just in case all the snow goes and I can start it up and pick up the leaves that are still falling from the shocked trees, who normally loose all their leaves long before the white crap comes.

Sure glad to see those idiots with guns in the DC area under wraps. I was listening to KOA in Denver today, the talk guy there is getting a bit radical, he keeps saying that these guys shouldn't get to use their rights, after all they are against what he US stands for. I think he has it all wrong, they are what the US is all about, everyone has rights here, everyone has the right to a fair trial before we kill them. Well before they are put in prison, or on death row or whatever.

It seems these times they are a changing, and way too fast and way to wrong. I guess we've had it too good for too long here in the US. I sure hate to see it all change though, but I fear it must so we can be safe in our homes, in our lives and in our day to day activities.

I wish they would quit calling these idiots snipers. I guess it sort of describes what they did, but they are just killers, calling them sniper is too good for these guys. At least in the current meaning of the word. A sniper is a well trained marksman who enters only when all other methods have failed to bring an end to a bad situation either in war or in law enforcement. What these guys were could better be described in the words of the old west, "dry gulchers!"

Sad to see Paul Wellstone meet his maker today. Sort of makes one scratch his head when something like this happens so close to the election. This could very well put the Senate back in the hands of the Republican party (YAY!) but I hate to see it happen this way. I've watched this guy on TV a lot, he was a radical democrat but at least you knew where he stood all the time, and he didn't sway with what he thought the public wanted to hear, or by polls, he just acted in the way he believed right.

Write on!

Jerry 10-26-2002 0:03

Yeah, HEATHER's doing a monster job (get it? get it?). Jokes aside, she is much to be appreciated.

I'm out of town right now, but on the internet that doesn't matter, does it?

More later . . .

Mark 10-25-2002 23:53

RHODA -- everything from Dylan to Mahler, with some Andean flute, Aboriginal didgeriedoo, Derek Bell (he just passed away), Gregorian chant, and down-home blues. Also love Chanticleer, the Cathedrals Quartet(southern gospel), Brooks Williams on guitar, Nat King Cole, Maria Muldaur, some Sting, and Meatloaf. Go figure.
Also everything else (except polkas and heavy metal) mostly.
Most of it sounds muffled now, though, so I guess it really doesn't matter.

howard 10-25-2002 21:09

Rhoda -- Music is a great topic. My tastes are wildly eclectic, but I have my CD player currently loaded with John Mayer, Cajun All-Stars, Phillip Lester's "Dreamsong", David London's "To My Love", James Taylor, James Galway, and Mozart for working. It definitely depends on what writing I'm doing, but my brain is trained to get serious when I hit "Dreamsong". I can't imagine not having music to complement or set my moods, although I do need quiet at certain times. I especially like listening to sounds of nature and bird songs with music, during the winter months.

Sunny 10-25-2002 20:17

Heather: Sounds like you are working hard for all of us. Thanks! What you are doing is amazing and appreciated.

Carol: Glad it helped. Followed your cue and did some research today. Glad I did. I figured out the bus system, where the bus terminal is located (it's not at all like the place I described.) Poo! Back to the drawing board. I also found out the number of the bus the older woman is riding and the route. It's a 4 hour trip! Maybe I don't need the station at all. I think I may have another method of getting her off the bus. During the teacher's meeting I sat and rewrote the idea in my head. Unfortunately, we didn't get out until 8:00 PM so I just got home.

Jerry: Sorry to hear about your house. After a summer of dealing with exteme estimates for stuff so dull it pains me to write about it, I now know the ugly secret of home ownership. When you fix up a home, it's not the fun stuff you pay's electrical wiring, toilets that won't flush, bathtub drains that won't, and dryers that don't, chimney cleaning... ceiling fans... Well, you get the picture. The worst part, I discovered is that like cars, houses wait for the worst moment your wallet could ever encounter then have heart attacks. I'm glad you finally got someone to do the job for a decent price. Sorry you had to sell your computers and guns to do it though. Hope soon all is repaired and you can either replace or buy them back again.

One thing to cheer us all up. The Sniper is in custody. I saw a picture of him with his son. What is frightening is how nice they look. I imagined someone with two heads, horns, and a tail.

Viv 10-25-2002 11:44

The problem with being such an old timer is that at one time or another I have engaged in almost any type of discussion one can think of on the Notebook. There is one topic I would like to revisit, and that is music.

Do any of you use music to write by, and what do you listen to? I know we have discussed this topic at least once before, but it has been a long time.

I put in another long day yesterday. I now have almost 300 pages finished of the first draft. Music has been so important to this endeavor. I have been listening to a lot of Celtic music, mainly Dougie MacLean. Enya has also been a good way to keep me in the mood to write. I have also played soundtracks such as BRAVEHEART and THE FELLOWSHIP of THE RING.

I cannot wait to finish this first draft, for these characters are becoming all to real to me. I would rather sit down at the computer and visit with them than pay my bills, clean the house, and mow the lawn (Yes, Jerry, we are still mowing our lawns around here).

For those of you who are experiencing writer's block, I might have an answer. Write, write, and write some more. If you have a good story going, the characters are going to draw you in and then take over from there, but in order for that to happen, you must emmerse yourself.

I just hope I can keep this pace going until the duration of this rough draft.

I have had a lot of pressure of late. My middle ADDhD son has been struggling in school, and we are having him see a child psycologist. I am also looking for a job, and it could just be this writing spree is a last ditch attempt to justify all these years of writing and an attempt to prove to myself that I don't need an outside job. I can make whatever money we need by my writing. At this point that idea is a stretch whether I manage to publish this current project or not.

But I am afraid that a job might interfere with my ability to write. But then again there were months on end when I stayed at home being a homemaker and I did no writing what so ever.

I rented A BEAUTIFUL MIND this last week-end. What an awesome movie! That is a story that should be an inspiration to anyone enduring any sort of ongoing trial. I can see why it got so many awards.

We also rented CHARLIE'S ANGELS. If you haven't seen that one yet, don't. It was horrible. My fourteen year old daughter thought it was really stupid, and I must agree. It was tongue and cheek that went flat. I think I have given up on 70's remakes. I think it is time for Hollywood to give those old shows a break and in the meantime hire some better screenwriters.

My daughter introduced me to the fanfiction sight. She has been submitting to it and is really excited about writing her Sailor Moon stories and getting feed-back. Perhaps she has caught the writing bug. I looked the site over and was sorely tempted to try my hand at Star Trek and Zorro. But where is the time? I am trying to write "real books." and then I do need to update my web-site.

I have run on much too long. I won't finish the rough draft doing too much of this type of posting.


OK, no more snipping. I promise.

Rhoda 10-25-2002 10:49


I am so glad to hear that Anita is progressing well, though I realize life must be frustrating for her right now. I will continue praying for you all. Hugs for you both.

Rhoda 10-25-2002 10:26

Thanks, Jerry!

Heather 10-25-2002 4:16

22. Mummy's story by A.G. de Sousa
23. Sandra and Lily by Tina Chambers
24. I Love You Forever by Jerry Ericsson
25. No Going Back by T.K. Mancia
26. Love and Protection by Rachel Olsen
27. Waiting Room by Heather Myles

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-25-2002 4:14

Heather - I should have one more for the book in a week or so, things have been in upheaval here of late, you see our eleven thousand dollar house is quickly becoming our eleven thousand dollar basement house, the dirt walls of the basement are caving in more every day, the floors are becoming roller coasters, paneling is warping away from the walls and overlapping their joints.

The basement guy has been here five times in the last five days, first estimates were in the twenty thousand dollar range, then as I explained to him that we don't want an livable basement, just keep the house above ground it began coming down first to eight thousand, then six thousand then at last an almost affordable sixteen hundred to simply put a single block wall down the center of the house to hold up solid wood beams that will keep us afloat on this wondrous world of ours.

I gave him eight hundred to begins asap, then sold the rest of my guns, and three of our computers (two old ones and one good one) to raise the other eight so we can pay him when he's done.

Now if he'd just begging, soon I hope!...

Hasn't left me much time to do anything but work on that, in fact I even skipped my toe appointment (the swelling is down and I go to the VA next week anyhow).

HOWEVER - I do have a half written shorty that is forming up nicely to fit the parameters of the collection.

Jerry 10-24-2002 22:58

Look what happens when I hit 'enter' before proofing!
27. No Going Back by T.K. Mancia
28. should be Rachel's and
29. is mine

...grumble grumble....

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-24-2002 19:13

27. Love and Protection by Rachel Olson
28. Waiting Room by Heather Myles

......could I possibly be done for the day?

More than done!

Heather 10-24-2002 19:11

Ok....have added a few more stories to the list:

24. Grandma by Rosemary Croom
25. Sandra and Lily by Tina Chambers
26. I Love You Forever by Jerry Ericsson
27. No Going Back by T.K. Mancia
28. Waiting Room by Heather Myles

Heather 10-24-2002 19:09

Ah, yes, today is my day for over-posting!

Rosemary - hadn't planned on Random House at all - that's an agented only submission house.... for lack of a better term. I know the market quite well and will continue to research it for the following month or two until I am certain which are our top five best bets. I'm going to Canadian publishers first, even though many of us hail from the US and other places on the globe.
If anyone runs across a publisher that is accepting submissions (unagented) of short story collections, drop me a line as soon as you can. I will also need every one of our credentials/past publications in case I feel the need to soup up the resume, so to speak.
If everyone who has published a poem, short story, flash fiction, article, etc... (and some of your work is in Phantasium, of course) anything - please email me with the details and dates, source, etc. if it would appear in your credentials for a submission of your own, we want to have it available for an editor's perusal with Phantasium. I may not need to send this at all, but it's good to have it in case.

Litter - please email me, you silly man. I need your REAL name for the short story in Phantasium!! Unless you want me to use your alias?

Heather 10-24-2002 18:59

Actually, I'm hoping that with my editing and Mark's help as well, we'll have a collection that a publisher will not feel the urge to decrease in size if they do wish to publish it. I'm also hoping that because we are an online group, that will add an unexpected angle to our collection as a whole. Can't hurt, at the very least!

Heather 10-24-2002 18:51

Hi again - no problem, Rosemary!
I think we'll put 'Shadows' into slot 12 for Phantasium.

Heather 10-24-2002 18:47

My mistake, I thought you would be using the same publisher Rachel used. PublishAmerica expects you to do the editing. They provide the cover art and set up the type. For this, they do not charge you an up front fee. They make their money on the books you sell or buy from them. If you planned for Random house to buy this book, good luck. Maybe you have an in with someone else. Great!

What I am saying is, maybe a little research on getting this thing published might be a good thing.

Good luck anyway,

Rosemary 10-24-2002 17:30

Ahhhh.....wait. I knew there would be a post script.

Rosemary - A publisher may also weed out more stories than I have, so please keep that in mind.
I'm definitely not the last person with a red pen to hold this collection.

Heather 10-24-2002 16:25

lurkity-lurk. I don't want to leave yet, but it's getting close to time to go to work. That's all,
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-24-2002 16:23

It's going to start raining where I am too. We had our first few snow scatteries, they didn't stay on the ground to well, but it's turning frightfully cold now. Not the no-snow, dry winter this year! I got to see the most incredible thing last night. Has anyone seen The Georgian State Dancers? They were awesome. I'm going to try to capture it all on paper when my mind isn't so crowded. I have a long 4 day weekend ahead of me this week. (Teacher inservice) I'm going to spend the time working, watching my kid sister (one of them), keep house while the rest of the family is away for two days, go to a chiropractor (finally), and try to do two reports before next Monday. When does the shortie have to be done by? I actually have a real life experience about that theme that I haven't written down yet. That's all for now. Hopefully will be back tomorrow.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-24-2002 16:21

Rosemary, before you leap to the conclusion that only one of your stories is accepted into Phantasium, consider that of Teek's contribution, a whopping 12 tales, I am probably only accepting 6. Maybe 7.
I am not finished compiling the stories, but thought I would at least share what I do have on the list so far, in the order I'd like them to appear in the finished manuscript.
If anyone wishes to contend the order of story appearance, feel free to email me.

Heather 10-24-2002 16:21

Rosemary - no, I don't plan on printing this book myself!!!!!
The page count is not definitive - there are still another 10 stories or so to add before the page count is tallied.
And this is no ordinary book. Short story collections rarely have the heft of average length books.

Heather 10-24-2002 16:16

A soggy afternoon to all,
We've had about seven inches of rain in the last three days and a week or so before that we had received over six inches. The rain gauge ran over. This has to be one of the wettest years south Texas has had in a loooooong time.

Do you plan to print this book yourself? If not, 172 pages is not nearly enough. In book pages, that is barely over 125pages. Far too small for a good sized book.
If you are having trouble with my stories, leave them out. There is an anthology being compiled here and the editor asked me about one of them. I told him it was one of three that would be coming out in a POD anthology shortly. Looks like I was wrong. Again.

Good luck and wishes for all those problems. My sister has a good bit of hearing loss from having a gun go off near her ear at target practice. Unfortunitely she refuses to have it checked. She just argues with everyone that they must have said what she thought she heard.

Got to go see if the horses are swimming yet. Even the ducks aren't happy.

Rosemary 10-24-2002 15:33

Howard - please do send it on if it can be ready for the end of next week!

Heather 10-24-2002 15:07

RHODA: Right on!

HOWARD: Right on!



Mel 10-24-2002 13:17

And HEATHER -- thanks for all your hard work on Phantasium! I've got an idea for another short in that genre -- maybe I can get it to you in time.

howard 10-24-2002 12:17

TAYLOR -- Not intending to get into a public theological debate, I agree with Rhoda, mostly -- indeed, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, sayeth the LORD" and if I read it correctly, He has delegated authority to the state to punish miscreants for their crimes. Thoughts of torture to get back at them just lowers us to their level, and does no good. This is a hard lesson for a society who only calls out to God in times of dire need, and refuses to honor Him when times are "good."
I know it's hard to put down the thoughts of "getting even" -- that's human nature. But consider the fact that scripture says that all of human nature is flawed -- no righteousness at all -- so that anything we do on our own is tainted to begin with. He has total control of the eternal, so why not trust Him with things that are temporal as well?
The problem comes when we establish and administer laws based on human reasoning. When we leave Him out of our thoughts and actions we are bound to fall short.

And RHODA -- please don't be offended -- I can't pass this up -- It's not snipper (two P's) -- that was Lorena Bobbit. :-)

howard 10-24-2002 12:15

Ooooooooh! Great theme, MARY!

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-24-2002 11:10

Here is the current 'story order' of the Phantasium Collection. Keep in mind everyone, this is not the whole list, as there are still a number of stories in mid-edit. These will all be added onto the list shortly.
PLEASE NOTE: Some authors will have more stories in the collection than others (which I have mixed in randomly) simply because there were more stories written and/or accepted into the collection by those authors.

INTRODUCTION (2 or more parts)
1. One Red Shoe by T.K. Mancia
2. Aunt Aggie by Howard Tuckey
3. Stubborn by Jerry Ericsson
4. Urban Legends by Viv Masters
5. Skeleton Key by Heather Myles
6. Moving On by T.K. Mancia
7. Stranger Than Fiction by Christi Ritchotte
8. Annie-Down-The-Street by Howard Tuckey
9. No Way Back by Litterali
10. What Comes Around... by Jerry Ericsson
11. Dimensions by T.K. Mancia
12. ---------------(Haven't decided which of Rosemary's three stories will go here!) by Rosemary Croom
13. Magnolias by Hallee Poe
14. Vapor by Mark Lenihan
15. Daniel by Tina Chambers
16. Sweet Honesty by Mary Lockwood
17. Death Is A Redhead by Christi Ritchotte
18. Legendary 13 by Heather Myles
19. The Black Hole by Jerry Ericsson
20. Down Among the Ghost Gums by T.K. Mancia
21. Late For Supper by Howard Tuckey
22. Mummy's Story by A.G. de Sousa

There will be approximately ten more stories, give or take a few.
With just THESE stories on the list so far, we have approximately 174 pages (double spaced) !!!! ZOWIE!

Enjoy the day! Seize it 'round the middle!
(Please, don't squeeze it too close to the lower end... LOL)


Heather 10-24-2002 10:18

Tonight's shortie theme:

Unexpected Inner Strength...where you have surprised even yourself with what you could manage.

Mary 10-24-2002 10:08


You cannot take away their guns, not as long as there is a black market. And they could have just as easily poisoned people and they would have been just as dead. The weapon is not the issue, but the souls who used them for evil.

Rhoda 10-24-2002 9:03


No! No! No! Never, never think that! You do that kind of stuff to jerks such as bin Ladin and the snipper and then you become a monster also. I realize how you feel. I have thought much the same thing, but never do I want to ever see my country torture people for whatever reason.

The primary victim in torture is not the person being tortured. This person's body is destroyed, and he endures great pain. That is all. But the person doing the torture endangers his soul and his humanity. That is the main reason torture should never be done for any reason whatsoever.

I would rather be threatened and shot by 200 serial snippers than to ever have to resort to torture. And the good news is that good police work and a fair justice system takes care of people like the snipper. Our criminal-justice system is by no means perfect, but in most cases it does its job like it just did by finding the bastards in the Washington snipper case.

The United States Constitution has provisions protecting everyone from cruel and unusual punishment, and that includes torture. The Nazis got sick on torture and that also happens to any society that practices it and condones it.

Torture is never justified. And God has claimed that vengenence is his. Justice belongs to the state, and simple justice must suffice.

Rhoda 10-24-2002 9:02

Hey there, writing friends! :-)

CAROL: Thanks for the inspiration! Hmm, stone my story... might be just what it needs! :-)

TAYLOR, HOWARD: No, no, no. Just take away their guns; take away their power; lock them, each, in a little room by themselves, all alone, for the next hundred years or so, no contact with humans; and let the Supreme Power take and judge them when He will. I know, even that treatment is too good for them.

Happy writing today to everyone of you - may prolific prophets whisper in your ears and pour profuse verbiage through your blood vessels that bursts forth from your pens and keyboards. I has spokened! :-]

Mel 10-24-2002 7:57

Thank you, Jack! That will be terrific ~ :o>

Heather 10-24-2002 4:49

CHRISTI: Hi there, hope you are at least lurking around here because I have emailed you a couple of times about that thing you emailed me about, but I am afraid that they either didn't make it to you, or that your reply didn't make it to me! I have left a link here for an alternate email address in case there is a problem. Take care and I hope all is well for you.

Mary 10-24-2002 2:48

Heather: Absolutely swamped, but will try to put something together in way of an introduction to the Notebook, the Workbook and the Phantasium and get it to you in the next two days. Take care and good luck on the editing.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-24-2002 2:12

Hello, all!
I've been busy... sorry I missed all that's gone on in the last week.
The work on Phantasium is still going well, I will send out a batch of final copies for approval in the next week.

Christi - got the latest versions now! Thanks, girlie! :oD

Well, besides one last polish on my own short story for Phantasium, I've been painting miniatures and listing them on ebay under my user id of 'Orchestrina'. Mary and I also have two Hemlocks listed under 'hemlock_bags' in case anyone's interested in having a peek at them! :o)

Should anyone have another short story to add to Phantasium, the time is now! Two weeks from now I plan to be printing them out on 20lb. blank and fidgeting around with pagenumbers. I have noodled around with another introduction, but I think the first one for the project will also need to be in there.
Anyone wishing to write part of the intro to either the collection or to the Writer's Notebook group, please do so and send me the results! Jack - this could mean YOU!

Have a great it Wednesday?

See... that's what happens when you disappear into your private space for so long.

Heather Hemlock Bags 10-24-2002 0:17

Howard: If you asked me that a couple of weeks after 9-11-01 (sorry about that but its in my answer) I would have said yes I would have happily shot Bin Laden Suddam Hussein and the sniper.
But I now believe that death for these people would be too good for them.

Perhaps we could learn one thing about Nazis/Gestapo and that is how to inflict pain on people

Taylor 10-23-2002 20:20

Hi All :)

Viv - I'm glad you had fun with the reading. And thanks for the idea for the next few paragraphs! I think it will fit in perfectly and round out the end of this chapter. Writing with the sole intent of having fun for me is definately helping.

Howard - good question and one I'm not really sure I could answer until the moment was actually at hand. And as far as prayers are concerned -- here's some for your family and all those on the east coast! How the imagination does run when trying to figure out the personality of someone like this sniper.

Eddie - I'm so glad Anita is progressing - give her an extra hug from me for all the hard work she is doing, and one for yourself. {{Hug}}

Mel - tell that muse of yours that the stones are now perfect for sitting on and its time to help you build your story. She can just sit on her pretty wall of stones and sprinkle stone dust in your mind.

Now, I've got ten minutes left to add to my own story. Oh, where did the day go????

Carol 10-23-2002 18:44

Hi all,
Anita is doing ok right now. Her pace of recovery seems to have reached a levelling out phase, this was expected. From now it will be a long haul. We're up for it though!

Yang probably doesn't know where his posts are going. He probably has a program running which posts to all of the forums within certain pre0set parameters so it's no use shouting at him.


Eddie French 10-23-2002 17:44

Well, I got another four hours of work done. Much of it though was moving and reformatting. I'm working from two different documents, but I've almost reached the 100 page document, though I'm waiting on some documentation that one of my friends was borrowing. I guess I'll have to nag her until she gives it back.

Laura 10-23-2002 15:49

Question --

If you were somehow able to get this sniper (or Hussein, or bin Laden) in the sights of a high powered rifle, would you be able to pull the trigger?

Might be story fodder there...

howard 10-23-2002 14:44

I for one have had talc up the yingyang! :-)

For those so inclined, prayer and good thoughts would be appreciated for our family. My mom just had emergency surgery to relieve an intestinal blockage, and is in the ICU recovering fairly well. Also, our granddaughter (10) was mis-diagnosed in the ER at a local hospital, and the idiot doctor gave her the wrong medication. She's ok now, but we've been told to keep observing her for symptoms. The "idiot" part was another doctor's assessment, not mine. I think mine would have been a much more physical reaction, (and I probably wouldn't be typing this right now) so it's probably a Good Thing I wasn't there at the time.
On top of all that, I've been told I have a 35+% hearing loss from a loud noise trauma a month ago, and will "have to get used to it." On top of that I've got some nerve damage in my arms, a re-torn rotator cuff, and they don't like the results of the breathing tests I had yesterday.
Life is certainly interesting! :-)
Oh, and my #3 daughter and s-i-l Both got laid off their jobs, and my oldest daughter is awaiting the same fate at a local industry.
I'm glad I'm not in charge! :-)
(But I'm glad I know who is!)

Also glad we don't live in the Capital District -- those folks must be terrified! That sniper s-o-b is now threatening children. On second thought - send your prayers their way -- we're not as bad off as I thought!

Every time I hear about someone like a bin Laden, Hussein, or the DC sniper I think about the "Mule" character in Asimov's Foundation trilogy (actually five books now). He was a sort of "wild card" that disrupted everyone's plans and expectations. Turned out to be basically a poor, lonely human doing what poor, lonely (extremely gifted psychic) humans do when society offers them the chance. And now I wonder if we'll ever know who this sniper is -- perhaps another "Zodiac" killer. He was never found, and they think he's dead now.

howard 10-23-2002 14:40

Hey guys, maybe Yang doesn't speak English.

Carol, that was fun reading your work. Sorry about mine, I hope Friday gives me a chance to write. This week is double time and I am not feeling all that well. I don't know if it's jet lag or what. I'm having a little trouble keeping up with the pace.

Viv 10-23-2002 9:13

JERRY: It seems YANG was also writing last night, stacking his stones in his mine. What's mine, though, is mine; what's his. Good luck with the snowblower! And you can keep all that white stuff out there, thank you very much! :-)

YANG: We don't want or need any. Thanks anyway. Go advertise somewhere else.

Hi, LURKERS! :-) Happy stone-stacking today - build great towers of words! If RHODA can do it, we can do it! :-D

Mel 10-23-2002 6:01

I see Yang has paid us another visit. MEL Be careful what you wish for, see what your wish brought upon us, more and more yang.

We only got four inches total, but that's enough for my taste, had to get the snow blower out and limbered up to clear the drive, as the weatherman says it won't warm up over 32 till next week some time. I surely hope it does as I have another of my VA appointments and driving 175 miles to the Dr. on ice doesn't sound like any fun at all.

The virus war continues, tomorrow I reformat my server AGAIN, just did it last week before the virus hit, but now with every reboot, Norton tells me it has censed my machine of the virus and it is safe to use, then on the next reboot, it says so again, and again and again.

People who write computer viruses should be hung by their toes in the nude and fed Xlax daily for two weeks.

Haven't written a thing today either except what you see here. I must get back to my Halloween story before the holiday is upon us.

Jerry 10-23-2002 0:14


Come along, Muse. No one's home tonight.
Everyone's writing; no souls in sight.
People's got stones to stack and no lack.
Maybe tomorrow someone will be back.

sleepy muse...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Mel 10-22-2002 21:13



10-22-2002 21:05

another hour ticks by...

stones continue to stack themselves...

10-22-2002 20:03

Where'z evrbody???

A stray title came into my mind today as I was driving through Autumn to one of our rural libraries... or maybe the inspiration was a line for a story... anyway, if you're missing one, maybe this is it:

No Matter How You Stack The Stones...
...Something will come of it

(perhaps a bit of shade,
or a place to sit and rest;
perhaps a tumble-down calamity...
...whatever stones think best.)

Hmm, that last line just came to me...perhaps my muse is stacking stones somewhere...???!!!

A good evening of writing to you all!

Mel 10-22-2002 18:57

Rhoda: That was one heck of a feat... 40 pages... WOW!

Jerry: I wish it was Winter already... The temps getting pretty high lately.
I don't blame you for what you said to your mate... I probably would have said the same thing. But I'm sure now he knows what you meant by that statement.

Allein: After I got back from a holiday last year, I suffered Writer's Block... Someone on this site, I can't remember who, told me to write a little story about what you think your muse did or where he/she/it has gone.

FanFiction... I've taken the time to do a couple of little pieces for FanFiction. Just to keep the creativity flowing... It does help and plus it's fun.

Well sorry I haven't been on lately... I gave blood last week and boy I still hate needles with a vengeance.
Another bad day yesterday news wise.
Think we had our first "School Shooting" yesterday... Over eastern States.
And Suspicious people around power plants in Queensland I think. So there's something.

Been writing alot lately. But Have not been to do major sitdowns like 40 pages though. Got a new roommate Sunday before last. And we share the computer time.

Taylor 10-22-2002 2:01

Winter has arrived here in the buffalo commons. Already we have over an inch of snow, another nine are expected by day break. It struck north first, in Bismarck, the state of ND capitol they had over eighty accidents between seven and seven thirty AM. Boy am I happy I don't have to work up there, rushing from scene to scene on treacherous roads.

Still sniffling, and the toe is still sore but I see the foot doctor on Wednesday, hopefully he'll just chop off the offending part of the toenail and toe and be done with it, the toe's better half on the other foot is nearly to that point too, wonder if he'll do both in one wack??

You know I visit the dark side of the web on a regular basis, haunting sites that offer viruses in the raw for downloading, sites that have more porn pop-ups then the Hustler site (well so I've heard) and have never had a virus infection that I could trace back to them. Last week, I downloaded a Halloween screen saver from, one of the most trusted sites on the web for downloads, the damn thing was infected with a network virus. Infected my entire network, I've been working all damn day trying to get the viruses removed, every time I killed one it arrived from another computer, till got smart and shut all down but the machine I was working on, then clean it and shut it down, then move to the next.

At any rate, I think I have them all cleaned now, and the main machine that got it first is the one I just put a new hard drive in, it only had the OS and Office on it, guess I should have just reformatted that one, but I took the long hard route of ferreting out the damn infected files one at a time.

So as you can see, I've been busy and haven't written a word yet today.

A friend of mine who was recently ordained a minister wrote me an email expressing his wish that the U.S. get it's tail kicked for going after all these bad guys at once!!

I had to write back, and I did hold my temper back, explaining in non-four-letter-words my disapproval of his wish, after all if we get our tail's kicked doesn't that mean a lot of our boys in green die?

One should never wish for the death of his countrymen, especially those who are sworn to defend us against all enemies both foreign and domestic.

Jerry 10-22-2002 0:17

40 PAGES!! O.O I'm envious! I have writer's block soooooo bad right now...I've written some fanfiction and I can't even continue that! My muse needs to get back from vacation. It's that kind of writer's block where I know where I want to go with the story but I dunno how to get there from where I am!

Worst of all, I have artist's block on top of it, so I can't even draw right now! URG!! Luckily my internet friends keep me entertained. :D


Allein Peachick's Gallery 10-21-2002 23:59

Carol: Yay! Heading over to the mailbox now. Mumbling along the way, "maybe this will get me inspired..."

Viv 10-21-2002 22:00

Hi All :)

I think some of Rhoda's enthusiasm rubbed off on me. Got a idea today for the next action in my scene and I love it. Actually, I did some research the other day that sent me on another path and I think it will work into my story very nicely. So, Viv - a few more pages are resting in your mailbox. I hope you enjoy them as much as all the rest. Maybe cleaning the house cleaned some of the cobwebs from my mind as well. :)

Carol 10-21-2002 18:25

Got your message Carol. I'm glad he's feeling better. 40 pages! WOW! I got up to ten once, or was it fifteen? With school, I have to write whenever I don't have to pay attention, so that can be from anytime from 1 minute or 44 minutes, so I usually don't get to write in bulk. Ususally it's a couple of sentences to a couple of paragraphs, though occasionally I'll get a couple of pages in before school ends. Then, if I'm lucky, i get to write after school. SOmetimes it's on the bus or waiting for the bus or sometime like that. I like to write in my room when I have no homework. Oh, no! homework! I forgot about it all weekend! I hate to leave this short post for y'all, but I have important homework to do so:
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-21-2002 12:17


two and a half hours???????????????? I think I would have hair like Don King after that amount of time. YOu must still go there from time to time. Thank goodness it stopped after that.

Debra 10-21-2002 7:34

Unlimited memory! WOW, that would be super, hope they come up with it soon.

Missed last night, I was so played out I went to be very early, seemed to help the cold, but when awoke this morning, my big toe was sore, tonight it's swelled a bunch, and bright red, guess I have an ingrown toe nail, have to see the doc soon.

Jerry 10-21-2002 0:05

Well, everyone I'm back and I'm working on the novel of mine again...long haul....

Laura 10-20-2002 23:02


It wasn't quite at one sitting. I started out at 8:30 am and finished up at 3:15 am the next morning. During the day I took a trip to Wal-mart and another one to the bank. I also fixed supper. I was so in tune with the story I could go transfer a load of clothes or take a shower and then come right back to the computer and continue exactly from where I left off. This is a very rare occurance. I hope it happens again, but I cannot go on like this every day. Saturday I was like a zombie because I was emotionally drained and sleep deprived. I could not write at all. I do not write on Sundays because that is my way of honoring the Sabbath. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment and a dentist appointment for two of my kids, so I don't think I will be repeating my performance anytime soon. There just has to be a balance. I would trade one day of 40 pages to a regimen of 5 pages every single day, or 10 pages five times a week, etc. Consistency is really the key.

Rhoda 10-20-2002 21:44


Afternoon all...

I remember Red Balloon. A foxy German chick named Nena sang it. Great anti-war song from West Germany of the 1980's... Catchy beat ... ultra hip ... in line with the times.

"You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
Til one by one, they were gone

Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message, something's out there
Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else

The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
Where 99 red balloons go by

99 Decision street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry

This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by

99 knights of the air
Ride super high tech jet fighters
Everyone's a super hero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk

With orders to identify
To clarify, and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In this dust that was a city

If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you, and let it go"



Randall 10-20-2002 18:07

Hi, All! Wishing each of you a peace-filled Sunday... and writing quotas like Rhoda's!!! :-)

RHODA: 40 pages??? In one sitting???? Oh, how I envy you your opportunity to have done that!!! :-) Keep up the great work, even if the pace slows.

SUNNY: You are aptly named. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words. :-)

JERRY: Chicken soup coming your way... feed a cold... maybe DEBRA can give you some pointers, heh heh!! Feel better soon! :-)

HOWARD: Condolences on your rejected poem...and then you go right into more great jokes, what a guy! :-)

Time to shop for kids' winter coats - maybe I can sneak in a few moments of writing after that... Now, where did I leave my muse?...

Mel 10-20-2002 13:20

I remember The Red Balloon! It was (still is) excellent by any standards! Thanks for reminding me of it.

howard 10-19-2002 22:57

hi all! i put out a weekly newsletter/essay, and you've inspired me to share this week's. hope you like it.

The Red Balloon…

I think many of you would agree that the world seems scarier lately. A lot scarier. But we always tend to think that "now" is worse than "then". It's human nature to scale down the pain of the past, in comparison, so we can manage the memories.

But those times were scary, too. I have three books on my shelf that serve as reminders from the late 1950's and early 1960's of what it was like to live under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation by the Soviet Union: On the Beach, Alas Babylon, and Fail-Safe. For those of you too young to remember, it was a time of air raid sirens, bomb shelters, and school safety drills where we pretended we could be saved from attack by hiding under our desks.

But I also have another book on that same shelf: The Red Balloon. This book contains the story from the short movie of the same name, which you may recall from repeated elementary school showings. It's the magical tale of an amazingly vibrant red balloon that befriends a boy on the back streets of Paris. The balloon lifts him out of his loneliness, figuratively and literally, and the story becomes an allegory about friendship and goodness. The movie, directed by Albert Lamorisse, was released in 1956 and won the Academy Award that year for best original screenplay, as well as the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and the American Film Festival's Best Film of the Decade.

What I remember most about watching "The Red Balloon" was being transported by the music, and the fantasy of flight and ultimate freedom. Yes, it was a movie about childhood, but it tapped into the larger desire for rescue from the bullies of life, and the hope that one day we all can be loved and treasured just for being ourselves.

When life gets scarier it's usually because we feel so incredibly powerless. It seems that there's little we can do on our own and we long for rescue. Yet it's important to do the little we can, even if that only consists of finding ways to make ourselves feel a bit better. "The Red Balloon" does it for me. It reminds me of the flip side of the fear and helplessness, and the power that comes from grabbing hold and allowing yourself to rise up and see the world from a higher perspective. You're the only one that can do that for yourself, so why not go there?

Think for a minute: What can you do to pull yourself out of a fruitless downward spiral? The first order of business is to recognize that you're in one. Too much TV news can be the cause of repetitive negative thinking, for example. If you watch TV, you should balance out the negative with something uplifting or humorous. Or turn it off and put in a fun video/DVD.

Music is a good choice, if you know what selections are uplifting for you. And there is a difference between uplifting/inspiring and relaxing/mellowing. Both categories are positive, but here you're looking for something to grab you and pull you out of your slide. That might range from the spiritual classic, "I Believe", to the Beatles "Good Day, Sunshine" or Disney's "Zippidee Do Dah"; The Beach Boys' "Friends" or "Wake the World"; "You Gotta Have Heart" from Damn Yankees, "Cockeyed Optimist" from South Pacific, "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel, "The Rainbow Connection" from the Muppets Movie; James Taylor's "Shower the People", James Brown's "I Feel Good".

And books, of course. Everyone has a different favorite inspirational book - know what yours are so you can reach for one the minute you sense that your thoughts are bringing you down. Know what books and music are uplifting to your children, also. They should be reminded that it can be within their power to change their own moods.

I'm certainly not advocating a denial of today's realities. But there are times when we can be our own worst enemies, and it's important to remember that. When we permit our days to be overshadowed long-term by the bad and the ugly; when we don't pick ourselves up and see what "can" be done -- what positive actions we are capable of taking; when we allow ourselves to be sucked into a maelstrom of our own creation, we are abdicating responsibility for ourselves and in fact, contributing to the very climate that's pushing us downward.

Do what you can to look up, and reach up. Allow yourself to be lifted by the positive things in life and in prayer. Someone, somewhere will ultimately be helped by your efforts. Let that first someone be you.



"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

-- Marcus Aurelius


Wishing you all good things!


Sunny 10-19-2002 17:00

Oooops! Have to copy/paste the whole line to get to it.

howard 10-19-2002 16:09

Age gauge -- check it out!

howard 10-19-2002 16:08


Good to see you again.

What a week! Yesterday I wrote 40 pages of my novel, a record, and today I am mentally burnt. I do have this problem: I have almost 250 pages and I am not even half-way through the story. That means this first draft is going to be long. That is always the pattern through all three of my books. I will have to go back and cut. But at least it is getting written.

It is really strange writing like this. It is like being in a trance or existing in some different reality. It is exhilerating. These times do not happen nearly as much as they should, because I usually do not have the time to sit down and write like that. It is so different writing the middle of a book because at this point, it seems to write itself. I sit down at the computer and know exactly what to type, so much so it is scary. This is opposed to the first one hundred or so pages where it is always fits and stops.

I am afraid to go back and look at anything I wrote yesterday in the fear that I won't love it in the morning like I did late at night when I was in the midst of my frenzy.


I've always known you were quite a rocker. It seems your daughter and her friends keeps you on your toes.

I too have a horrible "child lost in the mall" story. Russell was always getting lost in stores when he was three and four. He was four years old when he wondered off in the big mall in Alburquerque, New Mexico the day after Thanksgiving. We searched for him two and a half hours. I was wandering through the stores praying out loud--I must have sounded like a lunatic--but I did not care. I really thought that I would end up seeing Russell's photo on a milk carton soon.

We alerted security and they eventually found him. Nothing horrible happened to him, but it scared him half to death, and I never had that problem losing him in a store after that experience. He learned the hard way, but it was tough on all the rest of us.

Rhoda 10-19-2002 15:05

Carol: I just got what you were saying! Flight or fight response. Mad enough to shake. What else happens physically when a person is mad. Field of vision narrows because eyes become slits. Heart pounds, temperature rises, cheeks get warm…..gotcha! Thanks. Sorry for earlier response.

Uh, I’m addicted to your story and waiting for the latest edits. I want to see if the village will burn or be there for when she returns as a wise woman. I also want to see if that male figure returns to lead her to his village. Also climate…cold or warm?

If this were a book I’d be reading it tonight and it would probably slip out of my hands and land on the floor as I fell asleep. You know it’s a page turner when someone gets that response just editing and giving reaction. Hope your house is soon clean and in order so your muse will strike.

Viv yet again 10-19-2002 12:41

Hey Allein: Just visited your site and loved it. Your artwork is amazing. Anyone who hasn't checked it out...should. We sure have a lot of talent in this Notebook. It's a little amazing to think what all this creativity could produce. I'm not into Anime, but you're actually getting me to enjoy it. Hana too seems to like it more and more. I showed her your site.

Viv 10-19-2002 10:44

Debra: You've got all the time in the world. Actually, you've got at least three to four weeks or more. I've got a rough week ahead. I have to teach nights once a month at a juku for kids from fifth to eighth grade. Each age group has a different class. Also need to finish off my daughter's semester, then a short family vacation and I won't be taking my computer there. It's going to feel like I broke my arm, but I will try to do without my computer for more than a day.)

Thanks for looking at it. I have a feeling you'll be able to give me the scoop on how exactly to describe that scene.

Carol: Yah, I hate it when I get the shakes. I've only done it once, with that horrid neighbor. These are the kind of kill joys who like to tear up a garden you create for fun. They also like to hurt things smaller than they are. Didn't know that people like that actually existed before they moved in next door. A pile of salt will be placed out when they finally leave this year. I will probably have to use at least three boxes to make sure their spirits are completely gone from the area. I wonder how many other people will be pouring salt out on the doorstep for them. With my husband I don't get the shakes, I yell LONG before it reaches that point.

Viv 10-19-2002 10:40

Thanks Litter:

When I finally got her back, my first instinct was to get DEEP GULPS, of alcohol that is!

I didn't but I really wanted to. I was with mother, other twin daugther and eleven year old son. So we went for a strong coffee. I had a large. I usually get a medium. Sounds tame, but it was the only outlet at the time. Of course then the eating started. So in retrospect, I think the stiff drink might have been a good idea.

I have the eating under control now. I'm back to normal. After all I did get her back. I can't imagine those poor souls in this world who don't. I can't go there in my mind.

It's always nice to see you Litter.

Debra 10-19-2002 10:03

Oops! Incomplete line in my posting. Should have been --

Otherwise, I‘m slowly wrestling my marauding alligators.

Litter Again 10-19-2002 7:12

Grrrrreetings and felicitations!

I speak to you now as one who has been officially branded as ‘cool’ and nicknamed ‘Pappa M’ by two up-and-coming rock bands that stayed with us for a couple of days midweek. (My 17-year-old daughter promoted 4 gigs in Central Scotland this past week, and likes keeping costs to a minimum…)

So, there were seven rockers, my daughter, and my wife and I, in a three bedroom house. (Sheik!) Expecting our house to be trashed, followed by the subsequent ceremonial hanging of my daughter by her nostrils, it came as a somewhat of an epiphany when they all behaved impeccably and kept me up talking rock and philosophy ‘til 4.30 am.

I’ve now learned not to judge a bands general behaviour by their on-stage behaviour. Not only did these two bands have talent in abundance, they were all genuinely ‘nice-guys’. I had a great time!

Now, it seems, I’m regarded as a father figure, patron, and guru. (I know a little about the rock music scene, from the time that these guys were all eyes in their daddies’ twinkles.) Got to go get some t-shirts printed up. :o)

Otherwise, ‘m slowly wrestling my marauding

HOWARD – thanks for all the funnies. Your jokes are, well, almost like real jokes ;o)

ALLEIN – long time no see. Nice to see you back.

DEBRA – Deep Breaths

JACK – See above. Add me to the list of patrons. Can’t afford much but you provide an excellent forum for us all – well worth making the effort for. (Doncha just hate sloppy grammar?)

GERRY – Been reading recently of an entirely different kind of RAM that would make Ram memory almost unlimited and negate the need for add-on modules. The ‘construction’ philosophy is entirely different to conventional Ram construction. I cannot remember how this was to be achieved and I can’t find the original reference in the several thousand mags I have hoarded. Anyone else heard about this?

NEWBIES – Welcome! This is a good place to be.

Alligator wresting time again.

All good things,

Litter 10-19-2002 7:09

Just popping in - got a book and CD from Japan. :) I'm ordering two other anime CDs but I think they ship from inside the US - I can't wait, anime has such great music. :)

Viv - I'll send my address tonight, Hotmail was down yesterday when I checked. :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 10-19-2002 1:25

Ah yes, the cold and flu season is upon us. To keep up with the definition, I caught a cold and the wife went to the clinic today to get her flu shot. Haven't had a cold in some time, and this one is kicking my rear. Got in some parts to put together another computer and haven't had the energy to even get started with them, well I did pull 256 meg of ram out of my machine and replace it with a single 512 megger that I got for a song from some poor soul who's machine wouldn't accept high density ram. Just had to upgrade the machine despite the running nose watery eyes and ache all over want to sleep all week feeling.

Jack take your time, we've waited this long, another month or two wouldn't kill us, I know if I had to write HTML to do the job it would take me forever, first I'd read all those dang books I bought on the topic, then begin experimenting and when I was totally lost, I'd probably find a script somewhere that would do a better job then anything I write myself anyhow.

I used to be fairly good at writing basic programs, in fact back in the days when the XT was fighting with Apple and Commodore for markets, I wrote several programs for businesses who wanted to use their Commodore 128's for billing and bookkeeping. The software worked great, but to transfer that knowledge to Visual Basic would be quite a leap. I went so far as to buy (Yes I PAID for) Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 and began a "Learn Visual Basic in 24 Hours" book, went most of the way through it, then picked up a book by Card and forgot all I knew about it while I was immersed in Endor's Game. Never have gotten back to programming. It seems that learning isn't as easy as it used to be, probably the result of the large quantities of medications that I take every day to keep mobile.

Well I'm off to see if eight or twelve hours of sleep will ease the misery of this cold.

Jerry 10-19-2002 0:19

Hi All :)

Elaine - I did indeed feed hubby with some good old soup and he is feeling much better. :)

Viv - quarrels? Oh, boy! I think we probably all face the dilemma of writing a marital fight and worry over people seeing something of our own life there -- the same for those sex scenes. ;) Just write it best you can. I'll be more than happy to read it and if I see anything that can add to the scene, I'll let you know. Don't forget those "shakes" that run through your entire body when the anger gets so strong you can't bear it. Ring any bells? hehehehe

Howard -- thanks for the laugh! I love it!

Hubby had his own experience recently in losing his son in the store. Three clerks came a running when he yelled out his loss. One asked, "How tall is he?" Hubby, "taller than me." Two of the clerks left right away, the third just had to see this one for herself. Sure enough, the thirty year old son turned the corner and father and son were reunited. Did I ever mention my hubby is --- hmmm, I haven't found quite the right word for him yet!

My writing has stalled this past week. First I had multiple calls to make regarding a deer committing suicide with our truck. Then I got a cleaning bug and I'm still cleaning. Snow covered the ground today.

Non-fiction, fiction. You need non-fiction to make fiction believable, but can't use fiction to color non-fiction. Does that make any sense?

Carol 10-18-2002 23:02


Got your email. Can I have a few days? I have lots of distractions here.

Debra 10-18-2002 21:51


Evening all ...

Reading past comments on WN I came across a discussion relating to the mixing of fact and fiction. The gist was not use fiction in non-fiction as this makes it fiction. The word unethical was used as well. I agree. Labels and boundaries count big time in our society and future readers might be puzzled, even disoriented to read how Paul Revere made his famous ride astride a Harley with a thong clad cutie behind him. Fun, but not accurate. (How about that mental image? Wes she really holding a lantern? Hmmmm?)

On the opposite end of the scale ... If you remember I was taken to task several months ago when I admitted I was using historical fact within a s/f novel. (Them Mark suggested that only editors could define book from novel and my ego slipped several notches.) I managed to weather the storm only after admitting that author Bram Stoker of Dracula fame paid me a visit in the night. A fine English writer who blended historical fact within a fictional framework. Bram called me a wimp that night and asked rather pointedly just how was I so sure his novel was fiction? Of course "Dracula" might NOT be a work of fiction at all ... and in that respect garlic sales should shoot through the roof and silver mines gain in investment popularity.

Howard wades in with some fine comments on creative non-fiction and reminds us all that guidelines are a part of writing. Speaking of Howard and the northeast ... Kenneth Roberts inserted fiction into historical fact and gave us a series of fine novels ... NORTHWEST PASSAGE comes to mind. Historical fiction ...

Sunny ... writers doubt? For your approval I submit Papa ... who dwelt with writers doubt each day of his life ... except when he was fishing for Marlin or smoking a cigar or chatting with Fidel.

"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day."

Ernest Hemingway

Oh Howard? Were the 2 hunters Texas Aggies?


Outta here


Randall 10-18-2002 21:45

I remember hearing about two guys who got lost while deer hunting. They wandered around in circles for hours, before one of them remembered that he had been taught that the best thing to do in such a case was to shoot three times in the air, and wait for help to arrive. So he did. And they waited. After a while his friend tried the same thing -- shot three times in the air, and they waited. Still nothing. This went on for a couple of hours, and it started to get dark, and they were getting colder and colder. Finally one said to the other "Let's try it once more, then start walking again."
"Can't," said the second hunter.
"Why not?" asked the first.
"I'm out of arrows..."

howard 10-18-2002 12:23

I remember once when I got lost in a store. It was kind of cool. I was seven and my parents and I were in this huge, (huge to a 7-year kid) craft store. I was looking at an exhibit and Mom and Dad moved on. I wandered around trying to find them when I didn't see them. When I heard my name being called to the front of the store. I rushed around trying to find it. I just kind of lost myself again. Eventually me parents found me and we went home. I have to go a friend needs this computer.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-18-2002 12:10

Bummed again!
Just got a letter from Capper's -- "Thanks for submitting your poem. Unfortunately....."
Back to the grind.

howard 10-18-2002 11:55


I'm just now allowing myself to picture my daughter walking through this giant store alone and realizing she blew it. As a parent I take full blame. As a child she must have been remembering getting out of the little car attached to the grocery cart and running away from her pleading mother to come back. She finally found a woman she thought looked friendly with two daughters of her own in tow and told her "my name is Jillian. I'm lost. I want to go back to my mother" Of course this women knew which person was "her mother" already! It's starting to get funnier than it was. I am finally out of the eating phase. I have never expierence anything so powerful than the desire to stuff my mouth. I gained three pounds. It might sound like nothing, but that was in only 48 hours.


I'd love to. Send it on over. Just remember I'm not a published author except self published. I don't know anything really. I would like to help though.

Debra 10-18-2002 8:46


Good morning, all!

DEBRA: Thanks, but I've made up for the hero label many times - just ask me driving directions to anywhere and I'll get everyone lost real fast!! 8-] At 14, I really wasn't that scared (I wasn't alone), although my younger cousins were scared. I can only imagine that your little girl must have felt very alone and frightened while lost in the supermarket - lost in the store would have seemed like a pretty big forest to me. (Take note, VIV!!!) So glad it all turned out well. Now stop eating! ;-]

This morning at 6:25 as I left the house to go catch my bus to work, I inhaled crisp Autumn air and glanced at the sky -star-filled heavens!! Little pictures on a black cloth...Orion, my favorite, standing tall and proud, watching over my side of the Earth as he is wont to do. I think my muse blinked sleepily and just gazed in awe - perhaps she'll be brilliant herself a little later in the day (one can hope!!!).

Happy writing, everyone! Or make it dastardly, if you must!!! Just write!!! :-)

Mel 10-18-2002 7:43

Good luck on the test Jack! I like how you make it possible for folks to experience the pleasures in life. This site is an extension of the way you find a hobby and bring it to life for more people than just yourself. I'm sure you will be a great dive instructor.

Howard, the darned duct tape doesn't work for warts. I know, we've tried that. My older daughter used to wear duct tape on her fingers for days on end! It never accomplished anything, then she went to Colorado, and zip...warts went away. I guess she either outgrew them or the dry climate worked against them. Perhaps a combination of the two factors. I sure love duct tape however. I pretty much pack a roll with me where-ever I go because it always comes in handy.

Debra: I'm trying to write a story about a child getting lost in a store. Could you read it and add your thoughts. I also am trying to "start a fight" on paper. No, not really, what I want is a woman with small children having a stressful day then a fight with a husband. It's not seeming very real when I write it. I'm having trouble expressing the words and emotions.

Carol: HEEEEEEEeeeellllp! Writing a quarrel between married people scene is harder than writing a sex scene. (Uh, maybe....I've never done the latter either. ) I think I'd be blushing too hard! Also my life isn't all that private. Someone might come up behind me or worse yet, find it on my computer. Terrible! Talk about uptight! Good grief, the kids are grown up and quite frankly, I'm pretty sure my older daughter could write the sex scene for me. I'm going to have to try doing it someday . Anyway, this requires a quarrel between husband and wife, and I'm not getting it right. What exactly is happening that isn't working?

Viv 10-18-2002 2:50

Hello all: Life has been extremely busy, so it will be a little while until I can get things rolling on the Workbook, but will be intent on making it happen as soon as I can get two nanoseconds to rub together. Partly, it is trying to struggle through diving physics and the equations related to the testing for certification that have had me bottled up with a book and a calculator when I am not trying to finish up a contract.

Howard: Re the comment about fundamentalists. I perhaps should attach the extremist qualification to the generic term. In referring to fundamantalists in the vein I meant I was thinking more about those who have interpeted things down to a point where they are the minority and are willing to use violence as a means to expanding their opinion onto the public agenda. An example of this in the "Christian" realm would be individuals who justify in their head that it is appropriate to kill doctors that do abortions. Other examples spring to mind, but at least in terms of Islam, many scholars refute the notion of suicide bombers as being valid according to the Koran. At any rate, this is the vein in which I am referring and you are right to call me on the language. Fundamentalist carries a lot of baggage with it and I may have sprung to glibly to some of the negative connotations. Your comments about what you refer to as the core beliefs of a Christian are right on target. Love, compassion, forgiveness and inclusiveness are my own list. Still, though I subscribe to a Christian path I still am inclined to subscribe to the five blind men who had never touched or seen an elephant school of theology. Whatever the true answer is, we are all struggling to encompass something that is far greater and far more a mystery than can be enveloped in one way. Add to this an article that I hold on faith in numbers, i.e., that there are sufficient planets out there that there are other intelligent beings and I wonder what their understanding and approach to the divine is. We can only speculate. At any rate, these meandering thoughts are my own and not meant to impinge too harshly on anyone else. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-18-2002 0:09


That must have been so scary. I read between the lines and feel that you might think staying put wasn't the right choice this one time.

It was.

It might have seemed like close to everything like that episode of Golden Girls where they thought they were lost on an island but really just inches from the party, but you weren't. It would have been so easy to do anything different than your rescuers.

You are a true hero.

Debra 10-17-2002 21:31


DEBRA: I've been on the other side. When I was 14, my mother's relatives had a huge family reunion at Highland Forest in central NY State.

About 6 p.m., some folks were leaving, others were still yakking... so four younger cousins and I decided to kill time by hiking a nearby trail (we told our moms first, of course). We went our merry way.

The path was well-marked on the trees, there was lots of sunlight before sunset, and as a happy little group, we walked and walked. The path seemed to be a humungous circle, so I figured it would bring us about back to our starting point.

Problem was, it was getting dark and we weren't back yet.
One cousin (10) wore shoes that were now hurting her feet. The youngest (7?) was afraid of meeting up with a bear. Her sister (10) was pretty shy about mentioning anything that might be uncomfortable. Personally, I really didn't want to backtrack through a particular stand of trees that had been rather ghostly-looking in the daylight, and now in the dusky gray of evening...(shudder!!!)

The only boy (9?) among us was leading the pack. He seemed right at home in the woods, cavorting down the path and sometimes leaving the path. I had to yell to tell him to hold up; I was afraid he'd stray too far from the path.

And then the unimaginable happened. With the path barely visible in the twilight and its end nowhere in sight, the tree markers came to an abrupt end.

I was a sensible, down-to-earth --and naiive-- young teen. I knew we might get lost if we tried to keep going, so I rounded everyone into a little group and we sat down right there, near the last clear trail marker. I knew that when the sun arose in the morning we would be able to retrace our steps back to the beginning of the path. And I figured, as Dad had always told me to stay put rather than get lost somewhere, he knew that I would do that--our parents would all go home, get a good night's rest and come back for us in the morning, by which time we'd be back from our little excursion into the woods as well. No worries (except being too modest to pee in the woods, what with a male cousin present and all).

So we sat and talked and sang songs. After a long while, we thought we heard someone shouting. Don't know how much time passed--we heard an occasional shout. We finally got the idea that maybe SOMEONE was actually looking for us, and we started shouting back. The voices got nearer - we heard our names called...

At last, a very nice man and his equally nice wife broke through to us with flashlights. They led us an incredibly short distance through the woods, then briefly down a maintenance path to the nearby road (and their pickup truck), drove a few seconds and had us back to our starting point so fast, we were utterly astonished! If we had only known we were so close...!!!

And instead of our parents going home to get a good night's rest, what do you think our silly parents did? They must have been ranting and raving and screaming and crying their share, because the WHOLE TOWN OF FABIUS WAS THERE to celebrate our return! Even State Trooper bloodhounds had been sent for; the press was there and interviewed us (AFTER I used the bathroom!) and all in all, it was a memorable night.

As you might guess, that was the last humungous family reunion we ever had. :- The newspapers called me a "hero," but all I did was keep my cousins together - I really planned on walking us back in the morning. :-)

Mel 10-17-2002 14:30


Thanks for all your responses. I am feeling a little better.

I woke up this morning and didn't think I could eat the legs right off the table.

I feel like leaving the house too.

The real fear came when I was yelling for my daughter and told the people asking to help that she looked just like this one I still had, clothes and all. So any pedophile in the store had a description of their next victim, given to them by me, her mother.

Maybe we should all write a story about that topic.

Howard yours was great!


Thanks. That's the exact information I just gave my friend who told me that she can't stop eating. She has two boys and one is eighteen months and the other is four. I told her it's stress and to just eat. Well that was a while ago. I didn't ever experience stress eating, so I thought, until this happened. In fact I was eating for two days until I put it together. The other two days I just plain couldn't stop even though I finally put a face on it.


I wrote a greetings card like your post.

It goes,

I heard you have been feeling sick lately.

Here's some advice.



Here's another one

Well it's Spring again. I heard you had a green thumb.



Debra 10-17-2002 13:55

VIV -- I just heard another use for duct tape -- removing warts! It seems that if you wrap a piece of duct tape tightly over a wart, and leave it for several days, the wart will come off with the tape, and will not return.

DEBRA -- I know that feeling! When our oldest daughter Karin was 2, she wandered away from us at the county fair, and we went frantic trying to find her. I finally found her at the far end of the midway, watching the "Pop the balloon" game.
A few years ago we were at one of oour local Malls, and I was heading from one end to the other to find my wife. I remembered seeing a little black girl about 3 or 4 walking alone, but didn't think much about it, until I got to the end of the mall and heard an older black woman screaming "Where's Kiesha!" I told her to wait right there, and did an about face and ran back to where I had seen her, and found her with a white woman who was trying to talk to her. I walked up and said "Kiesha?" She came right to me, and started to cry. I told her that her gramma was looking for her, and I would take her to where she was. The woman was suspicious, so I told her to follow along to make sure I wasn't just taking the little girl. I asked her if she wanted to ride on my shoulders (I'm 6'2") so she could look for her gramma, and she laughed at that and said "Yeah!" So, off we went, and we got to the other end of the mall in time to see a bunch of security guys starting to search, and her gramma standing there with the rest of her family, crying and praying. I told Keisha to call to her gramma and she did, and everything went nutz! Kiesha yelled "He found me and brought me back!" Her gramma started hugging her, the security guys wanted to arrest me, and it was quite a time for a few minutes, until her gramma realized what was going on with me. I think she bent her umbrella over one of the security guys and told them to leave me alone! Then she came up and gave me the biggest hug and kiss I ever got, and prayed for God's blessing on me and my family before she let go. My wife came out of the hobby store about that time and couldn't imagine what was going on, until gramma hugged her too. It was quite an experience!

howard 10-17-2002 13:25

VIV: I don't know. I never quite understood how to do an umlaut on the computer. It's a combination of numbers (I think) as for German. I took it because my great grand parents on my dad's side came from Germany to Amerika and my grandmother is pure German, while my dad is half and I'm a little over a quarter. It made me feel just a little bit closer to my great-grandparents, (who I never met) who died before I was born. As for grammer, (hah, what's that?) I'm struggling with it, but I think I should have it before next year. I'm hoping to take German in college too. Then if I ever get to Germany, they couldn't say I couldn't speak it. (maybe not with an accent, but...) Well not much is going on here, writing whise. I'm finishing off a couple of poems and still writing my fantasy/science fiction one. Other than writing, work, and school, there's not much for me to talk about, so bis dann!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-17-2002 12:25

Howard - by the time I was in the Army,they'd changed to the auto-injecters, a spring loaded syringe, you simply pulled the protective cap off, slammed the injector against you leg and the injector did the rest, a spring loaded needle plunged into your leg then a spring loaded plunger injected the drug. Thankfully we never had to practice.

The link below will take you to a site where these things are discussed. I guess having served eight years in the Army I still feel the soldier deep within my spirit. I think I miss the military almost as much as law enforcement. Had it not been for the kids entering school, I would surely have stayed in for at least twenty but after looking at the school system in D.C. I felt it in the best interest of my kids to have the opportunity to attend school in the Dakota's where the student to teacher ratio is much better, where there are no drugs on the playgrounds, and where the only guns in school are those hanging in the back window of the pickups in the parking lot. (Incidentally the gun thing has changed here too, you can no longer have a firearm within five hundred yards of a school, except in your own home.)

Jerry Soldiers for the Truth 10-17-2002 10:15

Debra: Don't worry, it's going to stop of its own accord. You eat because you had a real fright. That takes energy and your body "ate" a lot of calories in that fright. Also it's the beginning of winter and your body has to get a little weight to keep you healthy though all the colds and flu. So relax and you'll find that urge to eat will stop when you've had enough. The more you worry about eating the worse it gets! I think it's hardest when you have young children...maybe it's because you see so many near miss accidents and tragedies. What a story that loosing a child in a store will be when you write it for us!

Maybe we all should write about that. I know I've lost both girls, and it's really something I remember vividly.

Allain: Going to your site to give you that address next. You know you are amazing with your languages. You really know a lot. super glad... you are back with us and writing again. Encourage me a bit. I'm battling my muse and have been all month. DUCT TAPE NEEDED.

Elaine: Good for you studying German. Third year too! I wish I had your grammar knowledge. Hey, where's the umlaut key on the computer. I can't find how to make one on my computer.

Howard: Scary experience giving yourself a shot like that. I've always wondered if I could. I have asthma and carry an epi-pen, but have been lucky enough to avoid ever having to use it. Yikes, talk about reality training. Personally, in some situations, maybe I'd rather die.

Everyone: Could this sniper in the DC area be a terrorist? No one says anything of the sort, but it sure seems strange. A sniper in America? It doesn't seem like an American idea. Maybe we need to bring back bad Westerns. The hero never shot anyone from a distance,only a coward behaved in that manner. No one wanted to be a coward.

Viv 10-17-2002 9:54

JERRY -- I hadn't heard of a shortage of atropine, but it wouldn't surprise me. When I was in the army we used to hear horror stories about guys getting hit with nerve gas and reaching for the atropine syrette only to find it missing. I forget what they used to say they got traded for, but we had to occasionally demonstrate that we had adequate supplies.
The syrette was an interesting/painful thing. It was a small one-time use syringe, kind of like a little toothpaste tube with a needle on the end. We had actual training with it, using syrettes filled with a saline solution. To use it, we took it out of its protective packaging, pulled the cap off the needle (a BIG needle!), pushed/twisted/pulled out a little wire that ran down the center of the needle (to break the seal), and squeezed the tube until we saw a drop of solution at the tip of the needle. Then in one quick motion we had to plunge the needle into the top of our leg, about halfway between our knee and hip (into the thigh muscle) and squeeze the stuff into our leg, then withdraw the needle, bend it off, and throw it away. I think there was a tag we had to keep so the medics would know how many injections we'd had.
We did this one day in the theatre in CBR training. We saw the movie of guys dying from gas, and saw what it would do to a soldier in combat. Then we lined up and one at a time we had to actually use the practice syrettes in front of the medics and training officers. They only let one of us at a time into the room so we wouldn't watch the guy ahead of us and freak out. Some passed out as soon as they came out the door. It wasn't too bad afterwards, but the anticipation was pretty hard on those waiting their turn, especially with the clowns outside who had already gone through it. Some of them would scream after they went out the back door, just to scare the rest of us. They also had stills from the movie, blown up so we could see the effects of the gas, just to remind us why we were doing this. Like I said, it wasn't too painful at the time, but it did hurt afterward for a while.

howard 10-17-2002 8:25

Debra STOP IT!

Is that better? I know the feeling, sometimes food is a powerful friend, other times a horrible enemy. Kind of reminds me of Americo's round robin, all about food.

Randall my daughter used to live in Fargo, our son once made a road trip there, it was on that trip that they discovered he has a rare form of epilepsy, he had a spell, and though the fog of brain spasms, he found the police station, where he passed out on a bench. When the desk officer woke him, he ran, and was subsequently caught and placed in a mental ward, where the diagnosis was made. That was a frightening week.

Don't think all of the Dakota's are like Fargo, Fargo is on the flat half of the state, we live in hill country, God how I love those hills.

Howard, the cousin's was a fast car, the speedometer would bury out at 120, then go on past the turn signal indicator, past the temp gage, then stop. After that we judged speed by the whip radio antenna that would flatten out beside the passenger window.

Often times I wonder how we survived such tests of speed and endurance.

Jack, I'm looking forward to the change of sites, then maybe we can get some round robins going again, I found them great fun, and a wonderful challenge to keep writing.

Oh, the reason that we had to work on his car, the 59 Chevy was that he kept tearing out the torque converter on the auto tranny, by spinning his tires. A side note - we put on duel well pipes straight off the headers, man that thing would roar down the highway, yet if you took it easy in town the cops didn't bother you about loud pipes.

I've been studying on this about to happen war. Could we be on the brink of another world war? It makes one wonder since the Chinese have just test fired their new ballistic missile, it's capable of flying over four thousand miles, that makes it now possible for them to land a nuke in Denver. Their friends in North Korea are said to be bargaining with them at this very minute to purchase some of those new ballistic missiles.

I wonder if Sadam is bargaining too?

From what I've been reading, our troops are being issued inadequate protection against the very reason for our war, Chemical Biological and Radiological warfare. The antidote for nerve gas is Atrophine (sp?) however there seems to be a shortage according to some sources, only enough for half those to be deployed, the military is now issuing syringes filled with valium to "supplement" the atrophine. The only effect valium will have is to relax the soldier as he dies from the nerve gas.

According to some sources the training in our military has fallen so far that our troops may well be unable to carry the mission forward in a military manner, these training changes reflect the "me" generation being in charge of the troops, now it's "ok" to refuse to charge that hill if you don't feel like it?

Maybe it's not that bad, I surely hope not, but I do worry, probably too much.

Americo WHERE ARE YOU?? Where's Jon and Pussy?

Jerry 10-17-2002 0:44

Ilost one of my four year old twin daughters in a supermarket the other day. I ranted and raved, screamed and yelled and after I died several deaths someone found her and brought her back.

I've been eating for four days.


Debra 10-16-2002 21:31


Good evening!

Been away my friends. But I thought of you guys a lot. Sadly, it was an involuntary absence. Anyway ... I'm back. Jerry, I flew over N. Dakota last weekend. Fargo, the pilot said. I was on a land buying trip with my cousin to Great Falls, Montana. She had an option to buy acreage on the Missouri River east of Great Falls. To her dismay and my chagrin the land deal fell through, but it was a nice weekend anyway. We flew to Minnesota then Montana. Cheaper that way than a direct flight. I don't like to fly. You can see a lot from 35,000 feet and cover a lot of ground at 500 MPH, but details are surely obscured.

My son graduated from AF boot camp in September. Nearly the entire "flight" was assigned to Security Force training, the AF's police and guard force. He expects to be sent overseas, somewhere in the Middle East. Oh joy...

I have a Halloween tale to post soon. Perhaps a few days before Halloween.



Randall 10-16-2002 21:15

Hi all!

Guess my head's been in the sky too much lately, haven't come around in awhile. I see Allein here, and Litter and Viv too! Hi y'all.

Not been writing much lately, kinda down on myself about it. Had plans on sending out querries about 'Shadow' but can't bring myself to do it.

Too many posts to catch up on, so I'll just say 'hi!' and see what happens... ;-)

Be well, and blue skies!

Tina 10-16-2002 21:09

JERRY -- I used to have a black and white 1959 Chevy station wagon -- a stick shift (three on the column) 283 V8 with positraction. Neat car!

JACK -- It's interesting to note that the term "fundamentalist" used to mean one who believed in the fundamental truths of the Bible, and who tried to live by them -- not one who tried to inflict his twisted beliefs on the world around him. I once heard a self-described fundamentalist claim that he didn't have to read the Bible - he knew what was in it, and by God, anyone who didn't believe the same as he did had better not cross his path.

Does "fundamentalist of any stripe" include people like me, who believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith -- love, joy, peace, patience, obedience to God's commands to practice those things..?

Be careful of generalizations -- they lead to misunderstanding and intolerance. Perhaps "religious fanatics" or just plain "fanatics" would be more appropriate.

howard 10-16-2002 11:05

Well if you mean an Inspiration 8000 then no, I can't fix that,well I maybe could but I've never worked on one of them, who knows. Drop it by and I'll take a look at it.

Howard - I guess what I want to do is to turn the world back to those days HERE, where all we really worried about was where we were going to get the gas to drag main, the beer to drink, and the girls to make out with. Oh and we did worry a bit about getting caught skipping school so we could work on my cousin's old '59 black and white Chevy. (We did get caught, I spent nearly the whole damn year in detention study hall!)

Maybe I need to read a bit more, maybe some Asminov, yes that's it, I'll dive back into his works, an alternate world in my mind. True escapism can be had between the covers of a good book.

Oh and I love that old song, your right, no matter how much things change, they remain the same.

It's snowing out side, not sticking, melting as it lands but snow none-the-less. Maybe that'll purify things. One can only hope.

Jerry 10-16-2002 9:59

Hi ! I have Inspiron 8000 - my fans have dead - can yous fix such a problem ? My mobile 086 192 8887 (anytime).

Dmitry 10-16-2002 9:19

From 1958, as sung by The Kingston Trio:

The Merry Minuet

They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain

The Whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like Anybody very much.

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man's been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we know for certain that some lucky day
Someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away

They're rioting in Africa
There's strife in Iran
What nature doesn't do to us
Will be done by our fellow Man

-- Sheldon Harnick (c)1958

So what's changed, Jerry?

howard 10-16-2002 8:49

The trouble is.... our minds tend to block out how painful and frightening 'those good old days' really were at the time. Now they seem romantic in a dusty, sun-bleached way. Compared to the most compelling, current fear; the new unknown. It's easy to look back and feel that things weren't that bad since we already know how the conflict concludes. We survived.

The cockroaches will be damned to spend all of their tomorrows with we humans, still hanging on to our dear tenacious lives. At least, that's my angle. Currently...


Heather 10-16-2002 6:33

Yang: Please note that you are banned from this forum. Post and your posts will be deleted.

Re the comment about crusade, please let me comment that having neighbors who are followers of Islam has given me a strong perspective about the distinction between terrorists and supposed religion they are adherents to. MacFey as an example was a supposed Christian. This did not make his actions Christian in nature. In somewhat the same manner, I do not believe the actions of Al Queida (sp?) makes their actions examples of Islam. The villains of the piece here are fundamentalists of any stripe, certain flavors of Christianity, Islam or even Judaism. All lend themselves at times to objectionable actions and do not reflect well on their respective religion, at least when their beliefs call for death and vengeance.

At any rate, had a good dive tonight and enjoyed one of my first night dives in a while. Take care everyone. Sorry about a bit of a babble.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-16-2002 3:41


Hi guys... I just wish could turn back the clock a couple of years... When all I had on my mind was where's my next idea coming from. Or what's going to be for dinner?

But things changed dramatically and yeah I'm angry as heck now about things. Well that's off my chest.

Managed to keep writing lately though... That takes my mind off things for a bit

Taylor 10-16-2002 2:10

So much happening so many places, all bad. It makes one yern for "the old days" when all we had to fear was going up in a cloud of radioactive dust.

On the lighter side, I heard this joke today on the radio, I thought it much better then the funniest joke in the world.

It seems this fellow was driving down the street one day, and happend to pass the nursing home. He was shocked and surprised to find four very old, very wrinkled ladies laying on the lawn in front of the home.

He went into the building and reported his find to the administrator, who began to laugh, he explained: "you see those old ladies are retired hookers, they got together and decided to hold a yard sale."

Ok, well it was funny when the radio guy told it.

Are we now facing another version of the crusades? It sure looks that way, but with today's weapons, the joke that was making the web that had the punch line "daddy, what's an arab?" may not be far from the truth, I believe that once we get started over there again, with this administration, and the mood of the world, we may not stop till we have aniahlated the entire race. Echo's of Nazi Germany echo in my head as I watch the preperation for war.

Oh to be able to roll back the clock some thrity years when everything was so plain, so tried and true. The enemy was the Soviet Union, their weapons were so horriable that nobody dared to use them, the war was with their friends in North Vietnam, and half the country was for it, half against it. It was one brave (at that time) news host named Walter Cronkite who brought it all to a head when he anounced that we could never win that war.

Ah but the music that it produced will live on forever, those times echo in my mind, as I yern for a much simpeler time.

They showed a map of the killings, that last one was near where the wife and I used to go for the best Pizza in the world, a mile or two down Arlington Blvd was the turn to our appartment, Arlington Blvd was the road I drove every day to go in to the Fort, and the last victim was in law enforcement. It does sound as though they may have enough information to at least find a suspect, I sure hope and pray that they do.

As far as the terrorists, I have no idea what we can do to stop them. It seems the only way to stop them is to kill them. I hope our military still have strong stomach's. I don't envy them for the missions they face.

Are we barking up the wrong tree going after Sadam, is this going to be just a "feel good" war? I don't know, I guess the administration must have some proof, and I know that should they tell us, they would be giving information to the enemy, and that we don't need.

I think trust in the government is a thing that was lost in the 60's, total distrust came in the 90's.

It hasn't taken the anti-gun folks long to politicize this shooting rampage and increase their call for a total ban on firearms ownership, for confiscation of "assault weapons" and other firearms chambered for their ammunition.

Phesant/duck season is now in full force in our neighbor to the north, over twenty thousand out of stater's have assaulted North Dakota, with such an assault, one can expect a few casualties, the first four died today in two seperate boating accidents, as they hunted duck's from boats. Guess nobody warned them that the wind blows up there. It's too bad but I guess happens.

But I ramble.

Write ON!

Jerry 10-16-2002 0:39

That's so sad what happened in Australia - my prayers and thoughts are with them.

Viv - I'll send my address again, but I'll need your e-mail first - I lost it >.< My new e-mail is The old one got much too much spam.

I'm tired and I didn't even work a full day...but I don't work tomorrow so I can sleep in! Yay! I did, however lot my keys out of my car. -_-' So I had to call my dad to bring the spare key. I think I'm gonna make an extra key tomorrow to keep in my purse at all times.

I get my new computer desk TOMORROW!!! I'm so happy! I don't get the computer until January, but the desk I get tomorrow which is good cause then I'll finally clean out the rec room and Mom will be happy. I have to move all my brother's old toys out of the area...I may also swipe his shelf cause I need a bigger bookshelf in my room. He'll never miss it!! >:) Mwah hah hah hah!!

German - Took three years in high school, I have a book of the German they won't teach you in school, know enough to know that they should have paid more attention to German grammar in Evangelion, but not enough to string a sensical sentence together. >.< I read, write and hear (understand) it better than I speak it. My mom's family is German, so my grandparents speak it, Mom doesn't. I also know Japanese from a combination of high school classes, books and hours infront of the TV watching anime! ^.^ Sugoi desu ne?

Sayonara and Auf Wiedersehen! :D

Allein Peachick's Gallery 10-16-2002 0:17


Quiet in here? You spoke too soon. Yang has livened things up with talk of sulfates and chemicals. It is like being in Chemistry class again, isn't it?

Rhoda 10-15-2002 23:12

A little quiet here. It perhaps is time to archive. However, wanted to give my condolences to all those visiting from Australia. The incidents of terrorism in Bali are maddening and continue the need to pursue the terrorists. Hope all are well.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-15-2002 17:05

Wow, watching the news, another murder in the DC area. This one is just blocks from where my best friend lived when we were stationed out there in 75-76.

You know a hundred fifty years ago, folks who tired of the danger fled this area and returned to the civilization of the East Cost. Today, those who fear being murdered in the East could well flee to this part of the country where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and murder is something you see on TV, snipers are the good guys in the Army who kill the enemy from afar. White still represents the good guys (white hats) and black is evil (black hats).

I am so very glad we moved back here, although I do miss the helter skelter of the city, the ease of shopping, and the crowds.

This is terrible, how can one or two idiots do this horrible thing to so many folks? What of the repercussions of this all, will it lead to more gun control? Probably, once the horror has worn off, once the smoke has settled and the guy who is doing this is either dead or in prison, the powers who be in Washington DC will again assault the legal gun owners with more and more restrictions until nobody but the criminals have guns.

Well maybe not.

But maybe....

Jerry 10-14-2002 23:46

Hello all: Just playing hooky (sp?) from a web design contract I have been having graphics block on (yes, there are more blocks than writers block). Anyway, Allein, glad to see here.

Yes, I am careful. Part of the reason I am going for my divemaster certification and also the reason I feel very very naked if I do not have a pony bottle. At any rate, looks like I will get my video light back today. That means Fran and I will be heading down tomorrow night for a try at getting some video of a giant octopus that has been sitting on her eggs and slowly dying. Part of the life cycle of octopus, somewhat like Salmon. She is sitting at around 103 feet or a little less depending on the current.

Re, Deutch. My grosspapa had mastered English late in his life, but as he got older fell back onto German. Given the prejudices of the time during the early and middle twentieth century, my father and his siblings did not learn German and what they did know they did not pass onto my generation. Now, I wish they had. About all I learned were a variety of German cus words.

Talk with everyone soon. Back to the contract.

Oh, and when I do put up the paypal donation button it will not have a set figure, just whatever you feel you can afford $1, $5, $10 or none at all. I do not wish to put any pressure on folks and what to emphasize that the Notebook and are labors of love and not intended to be commercial enterprises in any way shape or form. Point of fact, the Notebook is more everyone here rather than me of late, so please, all of you pat yourself on the back for creating a fantastic internet community. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-14-2002 15:49

Deutsch! I saw the word German! It's been a while since I've talked in German in here, or did I ever? I don't remember exactly. German is fun. I know a lot more now, (which is probably good since this is my third year) Was bedeudet ihr? Sorry, sorry, i'll stop. Okay, that's all I had to say. I'm going now.
Oh hello to everyone new. I forgot to say hi in my last post. So hi to you all!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-14-2002 12:24

CAROL: I'm sorry. These web viruses now a days. I didn't mean for anyone to get sick. Tell your husband to drink all his soup and to get better-or else!
TAYLOR: It started about two years ago when the marching band I'm in went on a eastern coast tour during the summer. We got to stop in Niagara Falls, Canada , play a concert and tour the city. It was faboulous! When the season ended and my friends and I went back to school, we wrote notes to each other. One of my friends put 'Till Niagara Falls!' as her sign off. She stopped using it for a while, but then I picked up and have been using it ever since.
It's kind of funny how many little things make up a person or what kind of stories each person has. Funny and a little amazing. Everything has a story. One of my teacher's favorite colors is purple. Everything in her office is purple. Why does she like it so much? When did it all start? So many things to write about, which means a writer is always busy. There's a poster in my study hall room with a little girl sitting on a fence with her chin resting on her fist. She's holding a teddy bear and it looks kind of cold in the background. Who is she? Who gave her that teddy bear? Why is she sitting on a fence looking a little depressed? Why isn't she happy? I've already made a short story that actually explains the poster. It couldn't be true, but it's a story. Well that's enough deep thinking for now. It's only Monday and I can't frizzle all my brain power today. i need to conserve it. I think I was just taking up space so it wouldn't look funny when I put down my sign off right away. I'll be back tomorrow.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-14-2002 12:19

Viv - I know what you mean about German, my Grand dad was from "the old country" Germany, and had trouble with English, the one I recall the most was "throw the cows over the fence some hay."

He was a great old guy but he passed on when I was but eight years old, oh how he loved his grand kids though, I recall how he used to put me on his foot (crossed over the other leg) and give me horse back rides, saying bumpty lumpty all while moving his leg up and down. I sure did miss him when he was gone.

Jerry 10-14-2002 10:39

Taylor: Our prayers too for the victims of the Bali attack. We find it sad and strange that so many innocent were caught in that bombing. Bali is a real paradise and it was a shock to see that anything happened there.

Howard: I know how you feel about your friend being lost in a scuba accident. We lost a friend who had children the same age through a diving accident. This happened when our children were young. It was a shock and we gave up both diving and flying small airplanes at that time. We said we wouldn't chance ourselves until the children both were on their own. We have two more years to wait and we can get back to our favorite dangerous sports. (Yay!) It has been a long wait. Jack, be careful, but keep on diving! We'll be joining you soon! It's nice to sit here, read about your discoveries and know that I'll be back in there soon. (Boy have I got to get in shape, both physically and mentally)

Allein: YAY! YOU ARE BACK! While you are writing, send me your address! I have your songs still...sitting on the little hall table waiting for you. Arrrgh! Talk about slow and's been a long year. Like Litter, we've been fighting alligators. Almost have the last ones fought and we've knocked most of their teeth out. Good luck LITTER! Alligator wrestling is not exactly a sport of choice.

Carol: You sent me a wonderful read. Thank you! Could you understand the German in Pommes or did it get in the way??? Sometimes it's hard to write about Germany in English because it didn't happen in English, nor would it happen in English, but it's hard to understand what someone who doesn't read German sees or thinks. As an example when I first got to Germany, I read nur as not. All the parking places around the store said, "Nur fur Kunden....that meant ONLY for customers." I thought it meant "Not for customers" and got upset.

Viv 10-14-2002 9:15


Long time no see Allein... How you been?

Sorry to hear about your friend Howard.

I don't feel on edge now... I don't feel as if I'm in danger personally... But now I know for a fact that anywhere anytime is a fact.

Teekay: If you're sitting behind a tree..... Good day

Taylor 10-14-2002 0:49

and HI Allein! Welcome back!

howard 10-14-2002 0:31

I just got word that a man I knew a long time ago -- Jon Schreck -- recently died in a scuba diving accident in Mexico. He was from here, moved to Texas and built up a hugely successful orthodontics practice. Very bright and likeable guy. I hadn't seen him in years, but he'll be missed. Jack, be careful down there!

howard 10-14-2002 0:30

Dang, forgot to say Hi to Alien, HI ALIEN!! great to see you, take some time and get back to writing dang it, can't give that up, it's part of you!

Taylor, I will keep good thoughts for you and yours, those damn terrorists, maybe Bush has a good idea after all. I don't know though somehow this dang thing has me a bit on edge, probably just the idea that terror has struck here in the US, and now it's getting closer to you good folks down under too.

Jerry 10-14-2002 0:29

Litter, nice of you to drop by, I know how that goes too, I've been on the busy side myself of late.

Sold all our old computers to a business in a neighboring town, well not ALL our old computers, the three that were reasonably fast, one 500 and two 400 MHZ machines. We upgraded so I have a 1.2 the wife an 800 and our server is a 1 gig I built out of left over parts. I still have six old pentium 1 class machines in the back room looking for new homes. Don't know for sure what I'm going to do with them, maybe try and peddle them for fifty bucks each, don't have monitors or any of that nice stuff to put with them, just the towers.

Oh and I still have to build one more machine quickly, as after I sold those three, I recalled a fellow had called a week before and said he wanted one of them, but never came, guess I could take that as a reject, but I expect him next week, I have most of the parts to throw another machine together, picked up a MB and Processor (700 MHZ Athlon) for 75 bucks on Ebay and have a case, just need to get a video card and some RAM, oh and a Hard drive, the largest I have in the back room is 4 gig, and that isn't much drive anymore.

Oh well it keeps me busy, and we all need to be busy I guess.

Haven't worked much on my long short story, but I got the urge tonight and tossed out three quarters of a new ghost story for the upcoming Halloween celebration. It's called Cell 13 and is coming together nicely, if it goes as planned I should have it ready to post by the 31st. Probably earlier, but I'll hold it till then.

By the way, since some of the old timers are checking in, where's the rest?

Americo, where are you???





Everyone Else????

Jerry 10-13-2002 23:39


My prayers have been for the victems of that horrible bombing in Bali and for Austrailia in general. As long as these Islamist terrorists are around, no one is safe. It is not just Americans. You have always understood that. Having said all that, I will just continue to pray.


Speaking of Austrialia, you are MIA. I miss you. Hope you come back soon.

Rhoda 10-13-2002 23:23

LITTER -- I'm glad you could slow down for a visit. Verily it's hard to do that when you've an alligator chasing you! They have no time for pleasantries, for sure!
Four days homeless? Yike! Buying a house can be a scary thing. We just moved a woman in with us whose house has been sold, and closes this week, so she had to move out. Meanwhile, the people who were supposed to be moving out of the house she's buying have not, and will not, for several weeks. So she's here until things get straightened out. Life's interesting.

howard 10-13-2002 19:21

Greetings and felicitations!

Seems I don’t get here nearly as often as I’d like, and when I do I have been/am up to my ass in alligators. This most recent lot aren’t your bog standard reptiles but really big ass ol’ alligators. I’m developing an unhealthy aversion to letterboxes and phones.

Not least, was the pantomime of my daughters new house – many many many many many cock-ups culminating in her being homeless, as the paper work and keys for her new place were held up even although her bid was accepted 4 months ago…

Okay, she was only ‘officially’ homeless for 4 days, but what a four days that was. I won’t bore you with the rest but anyone waiting for replies to outstanding email – nil desperandum!

EDDIE – this is very late but my thoughts and prayers are also with you and Anita and I’m pleased that her recovery continues.

Alligator alert!

Litter 10-13-2002 12:02

Hello, all. I'm Danielle (Call me Danny...yes, I'm a girl)...and I'm new to this forum, so I just thought I'd say hi, so...hi!

Danielle Eternally Held Within 10-13-2002 11:11


Well today started off terribly... Woke up to the news that Bali Nightclub was bombed... It's just seems so close to home... 40% of Injured were Australians.
Just if it is possible can you spare a prayer for the victims of this act?
Thank you

Taylor 10-13-2002 5:07

*rubs eyes* O.O

I have been away soooooo long!!! >.< Gomen!

I haven't forgotten about you all, of course, just been busy. I've been doing some writing too, but none of it good enough to let people read. *puts papers through the shredder* Maybe I should have stayed around here more. ^.^

::hugs:: to everyone!! :)

I promise to be around more often.

Allein Peachick's Gallery 10-12-2002 22:26

Mark: Well, I'm amazed. You could have been reading the story I was writing because what you wrote fit in so well. I'm going to ask you some strange questions in the next few weeks because I can't believe my have the knowledge I need. Just as I was getting discouraged about writing this, along you come with exactly the piece of the puzzle that fits. Absolutely perfect. What I don't want to do is sugar coat the experience of working with Alzheimer's patients, and that's what is going on in my story. I keep pulling back from the whole thing, looking at it and saying, "Nope, this is too full of sweetness and light. Someone who is really in the situation shouldn't have to be mocked by it."

I've always hated movies and books in which kids skip around with clean faces while their mother makes mega-bucks on a high profile career...Yah, she's the president of the United States and cooks a hamburger on demand. Her sweet faced tot smiles up at her adoringly and says, "I support your career Mommy!"

I also hate the wise,kind, barmy little old lady story because people are people. Some of those little old ladies are not kindly and were always spoiled brats. Most are just normal people who have good days and bad days. So I need to inject some reality into this tale I'm spinning. I've had little experience working with the elderly, so I'm using my own swiss cheese style memory as a basis for a story on Alzheimers.

By the way, you have a story English professor gets an MBA, does computer consultation, writes books and manages an elder care home. Pretty amazing. I had pictured you up there in an ivory tower somewhere surrounded by books. Gee, how I envied that...surrounded by books. Somebody, find me an ivory tower PLEASE and fill it with books, quiet music, and a muse that stays put.

Carol: The noise level is ridiculous here and if they get any louder, I'm going to throw them all out on the street. Where can I go to get some peace and quiet so I can read your story? For heavens sake, I'm supposed to hurry up so I can get on my bike and lead an expedition. If this Columbus Day Holiday doesn't hurry up, so I can get some peace and quiet..... Anyway, once I get out on the bike it will be fun and I'll do the editing tonight.

What do you think of the coincidence I'd run into someone with experience on Alzheimers? I hope it makes my story a little better for you to edit. Well, better get moving so I can get the pack of teenagers downstairs organized. I think the refrigerator and the cupboards should be cleaned out by now. They'd go themselves, but I'm the only one who knows the sneaky way to get on that trail that cuts off about half the journey. We're riding to the beach today. Too far to go, but definitely cuts that teenaged energy in half and keeps the whole gang from getting themselves busted. Anyway, it's my turn. The other mothers pulled the load while I was gone.

Viv 10-12-2002 22:02

VIV -- I've had the privilege of knowing Mark for only a few years, and only as he said, at work. I have seen the house he describes, and it is indeed awesome, and Cate is indeed a saint! Dunno about him, though... :-)

My only connection with "university" is our local two year college. I attended the "college of hard knocks" for 53 years before getting smart enough to go for real, and I think I needed to do it that way. I think if I had been a student during the 60s I would have ended up dead by now, or as a liberal politician.... :-)

Our exposure to aging and its perils has been a personal one -- my "mil" and my dad, who both showed signs of dementia, and a few old timers we're working with now, all in nursing homes, but needing personal attention as well.

If I were to give one bit of advice to anyone who contemplates caring for an elderly person, (besides common sense) it would be to check your local agencies for education sessions, and learn how to deal with those agencies, and how to fill out all those Medicare and Medicaid forms that can be so devastating for a confused older person. I'm going with Evangeline this coming week for a meeting with the Medicaid folks, and it's not a pleasant process at all. She's scared of all the questions and "legal stuff."
I don't know what our Canadian or British friends face in this area, but it might be wise to check into it before it happens.

howard 10-12-2002 21:42

Truly, you people are amazing! Before I became a professional organizer, I worked with mentally ill patients transitioning from state care back into the community. It was challenging work, but made even more difficult by the ruling that patients did not have to take their meds in the community setting. After one of my favorite clients refused to take his medication, and as a result listened to the voices that told him to run out on the highway and kill himself, I had to resign. I love my work now, along with my writing, but I've often felt badly about my inability to stay with the agency. I have such admiration for those of you who continue to do such heart-rending work. Thanks. :-)

Sunny 10-12-2002 20:53

Hi all,
Went to a book fair today with my friend Mary Lou. I have come to the conclusion that a sale with fifty people all selling their books is not a good place to sell books. She only sold two books. At the craft shows and county fairs, she does much better.
I just went along as driver and company. I had sold five or six crocheted hats the weekend before and needed to build up my stock for the next craft show so I took along a partially finished hat and more yarn for the next project. We talked to other authors, wandered around looking at books and generally killed time. With interuptions it took me until after noon before I finished that hat. I left it laying on the table and started a new one when a very nice older (you got to be very old for me to consider you old) lady asked if she could try it on. I said sure and she liked it and bought it. Surprised me, I should have brought more with me. But I don't think the organizers would have appreciated it.

That sounds great. We're going to try again next spring. I think I still have your e-address in my book. Will let you know when we make plans. Hope they work out better next time. This year was a big disappointment.

Mary Lou has had her second book published by PublishAmerica. She has done really well with the first book Tarnished Honor, and just started selling the second. Texas Widow is more of a romance and should appeal to more women. She donated a book to the San Antonio Public Library system because they had helped her with her research and we just recently found out that the Library bought five more copies. A number of small libraries in the area have bought her book when she showed it to them. Her research included a lot about the 'Freedmen Bureau' and that subject is neglected in a lot of Historical Fiction.

Enough blabber from me,

Rosemary 10-12-2002 20:50

VIV -- That post was prompted by something from HOWARD about his wife's mother(MIL = MotherInLaw). Howard and I knew each other at IBM where we both worked for the same contractor. I was lecturer, instructor and adjunct at the university, the community college here and at a university in Texas. I shifted from English to Business, got an MBA instead of PhD and now work sometimes as computer support and computer consultant.

My wife and I have a big house (10 bedrooms, 7 baths [3 full, 4 half]). We do elder care. She does elder care, I support her. I could probably get a small petition filled with signatures of people who'll testify that my wife is a saint. In the last 12 years, I've had one full-time job and that was a strain on her.

But I need a job out. I can only take so much "Where's the bathroom?" We have one who needs the bathroom every 15 minutes every afternoon. From about 1:30 to 4:30 she's in motion. This just started 6 or 8 weeks ago. At first I'd say, "You just came from the bathroom." I don't say that anymore. She gets angry, red-faced, fist-clenched angry, and shouts back, "Dont you tell me I've been to the bathroom. I know when I've been, and I haven't been to a bathroom all day."

Have not read Dancing on Quicksand.I have irregular contact with the head of our local Alzheimer's Support Group and regular contact with social workers, placement specialists, doctors, nurses, and therapists.

Mark 10-12-2002 20:29

Mark that was an interesting and helpful post on Alzheimers and came just as I got stuck on something I was doing. I wondered what it was that prompted the writing, as I read through the other posts and couldn't come up with a connection. How do you work with Alzheimer's and senile dementia patients? I thought you worked with Howard at a University. Well, it's a God-send for me, because I'm dealing with a subject I don't know well, and I'm going to borrow that information and put it to good use. One of my characters has Alzheimers or Senile Dementia.

Have you read Dancing On Quicksand? It's a great book on the subject.

Viv 10-12-2002 15:12

Bathrooms and bananas. Funny how those two things become quirky in old people.

Go through the dresser drawers of your favorite alzheimer's victim and you'll find odd stuff stashed in there. Bananas are a favorite. One lady here takes about a yard of toilet paper every day from the nearest bathroom, tears off individual squares, folds them in quarters, and piles them neatly in the corner of her top dresser drawer. I don't yet know what she does with yesterday's cache when today's goes in. We check her about once a week.

Another lady here stashes fruit. We have to check her dresser (I resist saying I check the ladies' drawers) every couple of days. Our fruit-stasher was the first experience with this habit. When we found rotten apples (?) and bananas in her dresser, we knew greater vigilance was going to be necessary. Since then we've found that bananas are the number one stash item for ladies in senile dementia (not the same as, but comparable to Alzheimers).

Bathrooms are a big indicator of how people will do in a house like ours. The progression seems to run predictably from unable to remember where the bathroom is, to confusing other objects for bathroom fixtures, and unable to remember how to use a bathroom when in there.

I could tell some stories about some crazy old ladies (and since I already started, why stop?). But I want to say that it's easier for me deal with than it is for their family members. It's one thing for me to walk by an open bathroom door and see a woman sitting on the sink to pee, and another thing entirely for her children to see it. I can tell you the behaviour, but, honestly, I don't know if I have the craft to describe the heartbreak.

HOWARD's entry about his MIL and the mop bucket is familiar fare around the discussion tables of those in gerontology. I have not yet had to deal with failing parents, but with them at 85 and 80 and both in declining health and spirit, I know I'm only fooling myself when I think that Mom and Dad are still OK.

As writers, I'd say we need to be aware of how people are perceived and use those perceptions to firm up the tone of our works. Yes, old people fail. We can use the dropped glass in a restaurant as simply a mess for our busy waitress to clean or as another crack in the daughter's veil of perception that 'Dad' is just fine.

Mark 10-12-2002 14:34


That DC sniper with that "I AM GOD" thing actually reminds me a little of the "Son of Sam" Seriel Killer. Well I think if that's a motive, they have to look for some strong religious group or cult even.
And then change the profiling a bit

Taylor 10-12-2002 12:39

That got sent too soon!
Anyway, we heard a crash in the night, and ran down to find her crying in the middle of the kitchen floor, in a puddle. She had become disoriented and mistook the wash pail for the commode, and had fallen off it. She was scared to death, and we had an awful time quieting her down. I don't know how Dorie got through it all -- it was a terrible load on her.

howard 10-12-2002 11:41

JERRY -- All the news coverage on that sniper is bothering me too, especially with hunting season opening. We've had copycat killers before, and if some wacko gets the idea that this looks like fun, we're liable to have a rash of these things. Too bad we can't round them all up and send them over to the middle east with pictures of saddam and osama.

MEL -- been there, done that. When Dorie's mom lived with us just before we had to take her to the hospital, then the nursing home, we had a baby monitor in her room so we could hear her in the night.

howard 10-12-2002 11:36

This sniper in the DC area is scary. I hope they catch him soon. My doppelganger lives up there, and we lived there in the mid 70's. This guy has to be a monster, or are there two of them?

It looks like they could be neo-Nazis, but that note puts doubts on that idea too.

I recall many years ago, we had a serial phone sex caller, you know the kind heavy breathing and such, but he was a bit different, he studied his victims first, learned all he could about them so when he called he had ammunition. He would call from within eyesight of the victim then have her go to a window and do sex acts for him on themselves.
He used the information he gathered on these women to threaten them that if they didn't do what he ordered, he would hurt their child or husband, telling them where the relative was at that very minute. His tactic worked.

This had most of the south western part of North Dakota up in arms, we had special meetings of our crime conference, and compared notes, then put our heads together in a special task force and traced this idiot down, when we finally caught the caller we found he was a route deliveryman who took his coffee breaks to peruse his "hobby." The local press dubbed him the "broomstick caller" based on his favorite weapon of self assault. He delivered those carpet coated rubber walk mats you see in most convince stores and gas stations.

He got the longest sentence in the history of our area for phone terrorism, eighteen years in the State Pen, one year for each conviction, but they ran consecutively rather then the usual concurrency that the courts seem to love.

Jerry 10-12-2002 10:22


Hi, everyone -

I've been in Syracuse, NY, all week (am now home) for the annual statewide Eastern Star convention. It was very inspiring, in the realm of charity work currently being done across our state and visions of reaching out to more needful folks in the coming year. I look forward to being a helpful link in the chain next year when I head my local chapter.

JACK: So glad to see Yang's formulas removed. I was also leary of them and felt they were out of place here. I too am most willing to donate something toward your costs of keeping this place up and running - just let us know when and where and how much! :-)

ROSEMARY!!!! Hello and SO GOOD to see you here. :-] Sorry your trip fell apart, but next time you're heading for Buffalo, NY, let me know - I'm only 3 or 4 hours from there - maybe we can work out a meeting!! :-]

Welcome, ANGELE! :-) What do you like to write? I'm into sci-fi/fantasy and a bit of romance, with an occasional children's tale on the side. Lately though, my muse has been much too lazy - I think she must have her fingers trapped in a finger puzzle again, one made with duct tape! I'll have to go hunt for the DTD (duct tape dissolver) soon... 8-]

RHODA: Glad you're safe from the recent storms down there.

VIV: Family distractions are my main nemesis to writing time at home. I like your idea of headphones in the same room - think I'll have to buy myself a set. I do enjoy being with the family, especially after being away from them for a week, but the writing hunger is slowly building once again. I will have to find a way to feed it soon.

JERRY: Earth Browser looks interesting - thanks for sharing - I'll have to explore that site further...

EDDIE: So glad Anita is doing okay. I hope "Okay" soon becomes "Even Better!" :-) Continued prayers and (((hugs))) coming your way...

My husband and I were awakened at 4 this morning by a loud crash - thought maybe something in the attic fell off a precarious stack... A minute later, our just-turned 19 son came out of the bathroom and said "I think I just passed out..." We don't know what caused his blackout - will be taking him to the doctor soon. Meanwhile, if you ever hear a crash in the night that sounds like a treelimb crashing on the roof - check on all the bodies in the house - could be someone falling on the floor!

Have a good writing day, everyone, if you have opportunity - I hope to make opportunity...maybe tomorrow or Monday (Columbus Day holiday off work).

Peace and good health to all!

Mel 10-12-2002 8:48

Here's a little program I discovered today, gives you the world at your fingertips, shows weather, web cams and interesting facts of any place in the world, it's updated every three hours so you can check on how Teekay is doing down under, drop in on Americo in Portugal, Eddie in the UK, or even check me out in South Dakota.

Jerry Earth Browser 10-11-2002 23:10

Jerry: PayPal was actually what I had in mind. When I get a chance next week, I will establish a donation button both here and on forwriters. I will also be putting a donation button on .

However, glad to hear that others have a good experience with PayPal. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-11-2002 1:55

Oh, Jack - good for you, I've had a very bad feeling about this war thing myself. Now this is strange for me, I've always been a hawk but this just doesn't smell, look, or seem right for some strange reason.

Now the UN is deffenetly not on my most favorite list either, I think they should simply move it to Paris, or maybe Frankfort and the US withdraw completely from that orginization, but that's just me I guess.

Jerry 10-11-2002 0:01

Jack, open an account with Paypal, I use that for all my Ebay stuff, and it makes contributing a breeze, I'll send a few bucks when I have some to spare. By the way, if you set up with Paypal, they give you five bucks just for signing up, or at least they used to back when I started using it.

Did I mention I recently sold an old bronze key for the City Jail on Ebay, got $58 bucks for it. That was a great deal for me, as the Jail has been closed now for many a year and the key was totally useless to anyone but the guy who wanted it for his collection.

Sure glad you gave Yang the heave hoe. His kind of writing just didn't fit in with the whole idea of this wonderful site.

Welcome to the new writers just strating with us, you have found the right place, come on in the water's fine.

Jerry 10-10-2002 23:48


Angele: Welcome to the Notebook. We talk about writing anything to do with writing or just anything. We ask for advice, where possible we give it.

Carol: Sorry to hear your Hubby is sick... Something going around huh?

Elaine: I've been meaning to ask... What's the story behind "Till Niagra Falls"?

Rhoda: I tend to lean more towards you on that one... It seems gone are the days when the UN meant something like it did during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Jack: I will happily contribute with what I can. Seeing an anti war demonstration must have been an experience and a half. 5000 plus must have generated alot of energy.

Take care all

Taylor 10-10-2002 20:50

Hi all,
I'm a new writer, meaning unpublished one, and while trying to find a group of writers i could join, i found you guys. i don't know how this group work so please email me more info about it. thanks.

angele 10-10-2002 15:38

Hi All :)

Elaine - glad to see you're feeling better! But, did you really have to send this on to my hubby? The poor dear is coughing and sniffling up a storm of his own. Guess I better concoct a pot of chicken soup tonight.

Viv - The sounds of family in the background can be soothing and inspiring at times -- other times .... well. Headsets and nice music should do the trick. I think I found where I left off in my sendings to you. I actually managed my full quota yesterday of three pages. Oh, but that felt good!

Jack - welcome back and I'm glad you had such a rewarding time.

Rosemary -- good to see you back too!

Now, where's Oyster?? I'm really missing those reports about B'witch.

Carol 10-10-2002 13:22

Howard: Could have been. I don't rightly remember if my n's sounded stuffed or not. I just know that my m's and my v's were.
Rosemary: Hello again. Long time no write, glad you're back.
Ed: Hope that Anita is doing better and that soon you're life will go back to normal.
That's pretty much all I had to say, I don't remember if there was anything important that I needed to say. I'll be getting on the Internet almost every day now so I'll be on here more often. That's it, I guess.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-10-2002 12:16


Good to see you back. I would be glad to contribute something to the betterment of the Notebook.

I would not have been at such a march because I have very little faith in the United Nations, but I am glad you had a meaningful time there and that you and your friends were able to protest an action you do not believe in. I only think of so many other countries where you would not have been allowed to do that, and I am thankful for the freedom this country has and pray that it will always be so.

Rhoda 10-10-2002 11:22

Ok, so it was the buttons on the main forwriters page that need to be financed....... but hey. We can't read ALL the time..... ha ha ha.

Heather 10-10-2002 8:59

Hey Jack! I'm sure everyone would love to chip in for a pass protected area! If we'd known that, we mighta chipped in already....:o)
Donating sounds good too..... :oD

Heather 10-10-2002 8:54

Yang is selling the stuff you ingest when you take a barium X-ray. Lovely! I'm with you Jack, I think he's come to the wrong place.

Glad to hear you were out protesting the recent rise in militarism. Isn't it great that we can do that in America. I wish I'd been there with you!

I am worried too about retirement. We're going to be able to hang in until we retire but it looks so scary. There sure aren't many jobs out there right now, and we're unable to just quit working and live on a reduced salary. One in college, and the other on the way in two years. At work today I got a note in my mailbox saying all hours will be reduced next semester. Everyone looked a little shell shocked this morning, we'd all counted on our salaries remaining the same. At least we all still have jobs, but I heard the echo of many nails being bit at the same time.

Carol, I'm going to have to get up very early tomorrow. It's hard to write because the tv is in my office and every night the family sits in here and watches tv. It's a recent change that took place while I was back fixing up the house. I'm going to have to get things arranged better so I get some quiet time after dinner...or just learn to tune it out and keep on writing. Maybe I should just be glad the entire family is here and sitting comfortably in the same room. We're all together, content and well...really, what more could I ask for. (A little bit of quiet would really be nice, but I think maybe a set of earphones and some classical music on a cassette tape will take care of this "problem")

Viv 10-10-2002 8:50


BTW, I am moving forwriters off an NT server to a UNIX server and should be able to make some inroads, finally, on creating a password protected workbook. Partly this is due to having to try to economize. What with Fran retiring in January and me still being out of work, I have to figure out how to keep my various domains within the budget of social security, especially since I have not been really working in the last year. I may be setting up a pair of buttons for donation on the main forwriters site to help in paying for the domain name hosting. At any rate, I will be doing my level best and hoping that the economy finally picks up some steam here.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-10-2002 4:12

Hello all: Just got back from a 5000 plus anti-war march here in Seattle, and finally got to looking in on the Notebook. Yang definitely looks like a spammer and I have deleted his postings. When I get around to archiving I will eliminate his links and email as well. Administrative capability with tdforum prevents me from dumping that until I archive.

The march was interesting, with a lot of energy and a sense that there is a lot of doubt about the advisability of going it alone and make a pre-emptive attack. I will take Bush on his word that he will use that route as a last resort, but there is a lot of angst and anger at our illustrious leader here in Seattle. I do not go quite as far as some of anti-war people here, at least entertaining the notion that there are circumstances that we might need to engage in military action, but find it at least a moment for pause and reflection if we elect to strike first, especially in the middle east with some doubts about what the evential consequences might prove to be in terms of our real war with terrorism. Oh, well, enough of a soap box. Hope everyone is doing well and writing lots. Sorry for not catching Yang earlier. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 10-10-2002 4:06


Well Yang's brought some interesting ideas with him... Wander how coded a message can be.

Taylor 10-10-2002 1:42

I'm afraid Yang is just a Chinese entrepenure. His materials are for sale. The Chinese and Pakistanis often use web forums to list their products. They often do not know what the forum is about, just that they can post a message and HOPE someone is interested. The descriptions you see are a breakdown of the mined materials.

Sara Wright

Dr. Sara Wright Faucon International 10-9-2002 23:48

Maybe he's not a terrorist. He should explain why he's putting that formula on the notebook.

Don't you think!

Debra 10-9-2002 21:42

Sorry for the drive-by posting, but dinner interrupted, then the fellow who is going to save our basement came by to give me a quote, that was enough to take my breath away, while reasonable for most folks it was very high for us, after I explained that, he dropped it by two grand, then said he would go home and redo the whole thing to get it down to where we could afford it. Seems like a nice fellow at any rate.

The day was nice all around temps got up to 70 degrees, it was strange, had to have the heater on in the pickup on the way up, almost needed the air on the way home with the sun shining through the windows of my pickup.

The wife said I should stop at the gas station and pick up some lottery tickets tonight when we got home, but I declined, no sense in pushing a good thing.

Jerry 10-9-2002 20:27

Rosemary - I've had days like that, in fact I've had them so bad that I've returned to bed and stayed in bed for fear of what would go wrong next.

Today was not one of them however, I've been dreading today for a couple of weeks now, as I broke a tooth and today was the earliest I could get in to see my dentist. Now most folk dread the dentist, but you have to understand this dentist's husband was the attorney that screwed my wife out of her inheritance, the same attorney that I physically picked up and booted out of my police station when I was the Chief of Police in that town, the same attorney who I reffered to as "Monte Hall" in my letters to him following my move north.

At any rate, she was a very professional dentist, very friendly, and laughed off the past. She filled the tooth gentely, in fact it was the most painless dental appointment I've ever had.

Then while were in that town, we stopped in to visit an old friend who runs the furnatur store, and he happened to have the very recliner that my wife has been looking for for what seems like forever, but in fact has been over a year, and to top it off it was ON SALE!!!

Then we stopped off at the museum to look at their much talked about Vietnam Veteran's wall, and the two ladies who were manning the museum were very old, very good friends of my wife, they had a super visit.

Jerry 10-9-2002 20:14

If you click on Yang's bottom link, it takes you to a wolsonite mining company in China, explaining the many usages of wolinsite or what ever the heck it is that they make.

I doubt that it's evil, but in today's world, who knows.

Jerry 10-9-2002 20:00

I'm Back!
Thanks RHODA, you're a sweetie.

Well, we cancled the trip.
It started out with a sick horse. After two weeks we decided he was well enough for us to go. Yesterday, my sister had a flat that ruined a $70 tire on the van that we were going to drive to Buffalo. Last night we got about 10 inches of rain and it flooded the downstairs of her house.
We decided the fates were trying to tell us something, so we canceled the trip. We're thinking about trying again next spring.

Those wierd posts seem to me to be fodder for an interesting story. I agree that JACK should get rid of them as soon as posible. No telling what they are.

Good writing to all of you,

Rosemary 10-9-2002 18:11


Seriously I believe that our forum is being used. YANG does not fit my idea of a trickster or a hack; he is in some sort of business and he is passing on information, and not to us humble writers here on the board.

Whether JACK wishes to allow this to go on is his decision. Personally it gives me the creeps.


I have missed you. Good to read your posts again.

Rhoda 10-9-2002 14:32

All I know is I wouldn't want to be part of a place where terorists are picking up their instructions.

I think Jack should delete it.


Debra 10-9-2002 11:56


I am glad to hear Anita is improving. I'm still praying, though.

I think YANG might be using the Notebook to sell his products. Perhaps he is some chemical dealer from China whose business is not properly registered with his government,and so in order to do business on the Net and to hide it from authorities, he directs his customers here, to our humble Notebook. Who would ever suspect?

Or YANG might be a free-wheeler who deals with the Al Quada or terrorists organizations. Perhaps all these chemicals are actually codes for weapons grade plutonium or for black market hardware designed to deliver dirty bombs.

It is not that I am being negative about someone I do not know, but as a writer I see high drama where ever I find it. There is a mystery here, folks! I am certain about it. Someone should write a story about YANG and his mysterious chemical dealings.

Rhoda 10-9-2002 11:42

Yang - Thanks for the data of what ever the hell it's about, what are you implying that your coke is laced with some talc powder?

Now if you were my neighbor, I would happily give you a nose job (with my fist) for leaving such droppings on our lovely writers notebook.

Jerry 10-9-2002 11:02


Now back to writing!

Who the hell is Yang and why the hell is he posting this weird stuff here?

Found a little ebook, well not really little, but an ebook none the less that I downloaded for a bit of research for my getting much longer long short story, or is it a short long story, well no matter.

The book is filled with instructions on how to be a terrorist! It's a how-to for the neo-nazi front and anyone else who wants to commit mass murder, or even selected assignations. It's available to anyone who has access to one of the peer to peer programs like BearShare, or LimeWire.

The name is a give-away, it's called the White Resistance Manual, here's the first sentence in the Goal Chapter: To exacerbate existing racial tensions to the point where a situation of open conflict exists between Whites and non-Whites.

Then it goes on to give recipes for such things as C-4 military explosives, Claymore Mines and homemade firearms. There is an extensive chapter on how to design and use an accurate silenced weapon, even where to get the ingredients to make useful things such as mustard gas nerve gas, and pipe bombs, also where to get poisons, and how to "spike" a bottle of whiskey with Methyl Alcohol then leave it in a bag with recipes and re-seal the bottle so the finder thinks it new, in a location where it can be found by a non-white.

Scary stuff, but it is giving me lots of ideas for my (what do I call it a book? A story?)whatever it develops into.

I just hope some of those guys I locked up during my career don't hold a grudge, and find that stupid ebook.

Well I'm off to type, and Yang, perhaps you can find folks interested in your potions elsewhere?

Write on.

Jerry 10-9-2002 0:20

Hi everyone,
I've been around but not much writerly going on.
We've had a sick horse that delayed our vacation for a couple of weeks, but he seems to be okay now so we're leaving for Buffalo, NY tomorrow morning. 1600 miles there, and another 1600 back. We'll spend two days with my sister's son.

I've been keeping up with the notebook and am gald everyone is either well, or recovering. Haven't noticed anything from JACK in quite a while. Or Christi.

Oh well, you haven't heard from me either. Guess it's just been a slow summer.
Take it easy everyone and enjoy your writing

Rosemary 10-8-2002 12:41


Eddie: It's good to hear Anita is getting better. I'm sure she'll continue to do so.

Howard, Heather and Jerry: It's good that you look after some people or looked after... You two are nice people.

Heather: Unfortunately it sounds like those kind of people just don't have any respect for other people's beliefs. It doesn't matter if they don't believe in it, but that's no cause for them to act like that.

Sunny: Welcome... Grab a chair, kickback and enjoy the little universe known as the "Writers Notebook"

Well I thought I would drop in to say hi and let you's all know I'm still around. Unfortunately nothing much to report on my end... Except it just continues to be one of those kind of months. It's all quiet then things happen one incident after another.
Though it seems to be a field of inspiration to draw upon. So there is some kind of silver lining in the cloud.

Keep well all.

Taylor 10-8-2002 8:38

Eddie - happy to hear things are getting better, I'm sure the trend will continue.

Howard - We once took care of an old fellow, he lived next door, and when he lost his wife, he had no one to care for him. It was either the good neighbor policy, or he was headed for a nursing home. We fed him two meals a day, had him over for holidays, and such. When at last he became so poor of health that he needed constant care, we called his wife's daughter (from another marriage) and she came to pick him up and take him home to Montana with her.

He wanted us to buy his house, but I had no use for it, he was offering a very good deal on it, but I didn't want it, and I didn't want to take advantage of him. When at last he passed on, his will left everything to a small church that he had once stopped at when traveling, as he thought it the most beautiful church he had ever seen. Come to find out the old fellow was loaded, but you couldn't have told by the way he lived. He did leave the house to his step daughter for caring for him, and when she came back to claim her inheritance, it was very obvious that she had known his worth, she was so very angry that all she got was that old house!

She sold it for a song, just to be rid of it, and we never saw her again. I was surprised at her actions, as his wife was a wonderful person.

One day before we knew them, they stopped in a small diner, and had coffee and pie. The pie was bad, but they didn't get ill from it till they got home.

When they failed to show for church both Sunday, and the next Wednesday, their preacher stopped by to see what the trouble was, and found them both in bed, covered in their own filth completely out of their heads from the poisoning.

His poor wife never recovered from the bad food, and lingered for two years before leaving him alone. He was a child like man, I don't think he had ever worked and when his wife was gone, he was nearly helpless. A lawyer heard of their troubles, and talked them into suing the diner, which they did, the diner closed and their insurance company made the old duffer a rich man.

I guess it just goes to prove that bad things do happen to good folk.

It's been raining all day, a cold dreary day with water dripping from everything, even the sky looked wet with it's color that of slate. The sparrows (my sparrows) sat on our evergreen hedge below the picture window and gave me particular hell as their food was gone, I neglected them, but will fill them in the morning.

It's been a sleepy day, and I think I will retire early, in fact as soon as I hit the Enter button, no radio theatre tonight.

Nite all.


Jerry 10-7-2002 23:47

Well, Anita is home and is working hard on getting some mobility back.
We were very lucky in the sense that her speech was not affected at all as the problem was in the right brain. She is able to get around a little with the aid of a stick but she does get tired out quite quickly. I know she will fight this thing all the way, that's just who she is. I think we are going to be OK!
One little thing that happened today really got to me; When I informed the mobility department about her stay in hospital they immediately withdrew some of the financial aid which she had been recieving to help deal with her ongoing health problems. The logic in this was that since she was in hospital the state was seeing to her needs. Therefore the home did not require any assistance. Seems rather petty to me as they will be deducting about £30.00 from her entitlement for this month. I wonder how much it is going to cost to implement the adjustment. :¬)

'Till Viagra Fails'

Eddie French 10-7-2002 21:18

The beautiful marble statue of Mary that stand so regally out in front of the Church of Our Lady here has staining and so forth from people spilling things or throwing things at it. I think that's disgusting. Even though I'm not of the Catholic faith, I certainly respect the icon and image of Jesus' mother, and at the very least, it IS Church property. I take little comfort in the thought that at least there isn't any graffiti on her.

Heather 10-7-2002 16:17


I have lived primarily in the "Bible belt," and thankfully things are not quite that bad here yet. But there is always a constant hassle with sports practice and school events being scheduled for Wedensday night.

It is sad not only how secular our society has become, but how profane and disrespectful is, not only in regards to a higher power, but to the people who believe in and serve one.

The main area where I am reminded that "my kind ain't welcome here" is on television. I suppose that is why I no longer watch and I have been content to be without cable for over six years.

Rhoda 10-7-2002 15:27

Some off-the-wall thoughts that might trigger some writerly thoughts -- or a scene for a story. (All actual events)

"Signs of the times" department...

Yesterday we drove down to our church as usual for a Sunday morning. My wife and I always get there about an hour ahead of everyone else so we can do the bulletin (lots of copying and folding) and make sure the church is open and cooled off in the summer or warmed in the winter.
Well, yesterday we had to thread our way through the construction cones, and cross over a closed lane to get into the parking lot. They're paving the road, and didn't think it would bother anyone if they closed off all the driveways because "Hey, it's Sunday -- who goes out on Sunday?"
They had stacks of cones ready to close off both entrances to our parking lots, and it wasn't until I went over and asked what provision they'd made for access to our morning worship services that they stopped to think about it.
I had a nice chat with the flagman, and he promised that they would make sure our access was open, especially after I pointed out that one was a handicapped access. It's a state job, and they're extremely sensitive about that.
The point is that they didn't think it would matter if we couldn't get to our church on Sunday morning. Shows how far we've come down that "slippery slope..."
It's not the first time something like that has happened. We're right across from the county fairgrounds, and during fair week they're constantly scheduling tractor pulls, truck pulls, and demolition derbies right during our evening service times. Not only is it extremely noisy and dusty, people think they can just pull in and park anywhere they please, and if we ask them (nicely) to please not park there we get a ration of crap. One guy even dropped his britches and took a leak on someone's car. It was rather comical -- one of his buddies chewed him out, and hollered "Hey, a**h*le -- it's a f***in church!"
Then there was the guy who pulled in a few years ago with his bungee jump truck, and wanted to set up the jump right in the middle of our lot! He couldn't understand why we'd object, and started to cuss out the pastor and his wife when they asked him to leave. After all, it's just a church!

howard 10-7-2002 14:18

ELAINE -- Isn't that "'Til Diagara Falls?" :-)

howard 10-7-2002 13:57

I'b still alibe although by nose is plugged up and I cant talk all that well. I think ear infection is setting in, I can't seeb to be hearing anything, though by eyesight is just fine. By head is stuffed and by throat is trying to get back at be for whatever reason. I'b alibe and wish that all of you are better than be. How is everyone by the way? I'b haven't been able to get on for a couple of days. No febers or anything like that? I thought I saw duct tape sobewhere when I was reading. i habe the official Duct Tape Book that lists 206 uses for duct tape (plus sobe funny illustrations) Well, I don't want to contabinate anyone to long or you bay just get this cold/cough/ear ache thing that I habe.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-7-2002 12:08

And cable internet...;o)

Heather 10-7-2002 9:21

CAROL -- Thanks! but like Heather says, there's no special credit due here -- what we have to do is to make things like that so common that everyone is used to it. Don't anyone get me wrong, but wouldn't it be great if kindness and concern were so common that they could be taken for granted?

Four days? Easy! Duct tape! :-)

howard 10-7-2002 7:23

Upon re-reading what I posted, I cannot be totally sure I'm not sleepwalking.
Have a sensational day!

Heather 10-7-2002 3:47

CAROL, thank you. I do believe there are larger hearts not to be found elsewhere than here.
SUNNY, Glad you found us, too! See note to Carol. ;oD

Heather 10-7-2002 3:42

You should thank the cat, Jerry, for ending an exercise in futility! Hee hee

Heather 10-7-2002 3:40

I may well have the shortest length on that site, I started, and my stupid cat jumped on my lap, moving the mouse. I kept the button down but the cursor moved and the program called that lifting the finger.

Oh well much ado about nothing.

Jerry 10-6-2002 23:36

The guy who did FOUR DAYS must own an anvil to hold down the mouse button.

Heather 10-6-2002 22:52

HOWARD -- dunno. ? Bright people meet here ?

They guy who did four days must have a huge bladder. Wonder what his IQ is

Mark 10-6-2002 20:39

Carol - thanks for the welcome! and for your info. about your writing. i do non-fiction self-help, but i'm fascinated by the personal stories of people who write fiction. everything is grist for the mill, i guess! it's all very inspiring.
and i have to tell you all, again, that this is a very special site. i don't believe that there are any accidents, so there must be a reason that certain kinds of people come here. the vibes are wonderful and i'm glad i found you!

Sunny Link 10-6-2002 19:02

Hi All :)

Well, I'm finally back from TX. We had a great visit with the kids and the weather stayed nice the entire time. Now I'm back in the 40's with gray skies and rain. At least I haven't seen any snowflakes -- yet! hehehe

Between Heather and Howard, I'm not sure which has the biggest heart. You two are wonderful people and that's all there is to it! Thank you for reminding us of the truly important things in life.

Sunny - I don't believe I've had the honor of speaking with you yet, so first off - welcome. I believe you also asked for a brief bio of each of us in regards to what we write. I recently discovered I really like the fantasy genre and have been working on a story in that genre for the past few months. In the past, I managed some poetry and some flash fiction that found small markets. Small steps forward, but at least they were forward. :)

The trip benefitted my writing in one way -- I was struck by the landscape changes from hour to hour. Since my character will be doing a lot of walking from village to village, this will come in very handy. And yes, I did take a few pictures of scenery that really struck me.

Laura - if you'd like to send me your scifi, please do. I can't guarantee exactly when I'll get it back to you, but I should be able to manage within a week to respond.

Rhoda - I'm glad you made it through Lili with no problems. We missed most of it on our return home. We had rain on the last day through our own state only. Whew!

Eddie - I'll say a few more prayers for Anita for swift recovery. You two are very blessed to have each other. {{Hugs}}

Carol 10-6-2002 17:29

MARK -- I held on for four, before I stopped to think that between us there's a combined IQ of over 300 tied up staring at a stupid screen... What's that tell us? :-)
BTW -- I wonder what that thing is doing in the background while we've got our fingers on that button?

howard 10-6-2002 15:36

RL -- Welcome! What impact? Well, it seems people are hungry for that genre -- the "Chicken Soup" series is doing well, all things nostalgic seem to play well even in the urban areas, and the Bible continues to be a best-seller. I guess you have to just jump in and see! Your "Bits and Pieces" looks interesting!

howard 10-6-2002 15:31

What impact would a self-help/inspirational book for the new millennium have on an individual and a society as a whole?

R. Lance Sheridan R. Lance Sheridan's Bits and Pieces to Ponder... 10-6-2002 15:19

OK. I know ya got nothin' better to do. Go to the website in this link and follow the directions.

Oh, yeah, in case yer interested, 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

Mark Link 10-6-2002 11:24

Here's where you can download that little program, give it a try, everyone should have this little jewel on their machine, although there are those out there at this very second who are working on ways to defeat this program, and some have succeeded, it does keep the popups to a bare minimum.

Jerry popup stopper 10-6-2002 10:20

Howard - I use a program called "popup stopper companion" it works great with popups on webpages. I still use Weatherbug it only pops up one window when I close my browser so I can put up with that. I had been using Bearshare for music and such, but it started poping up windows when I first started my browser then it would give a file not found error with a try again as the only option, so I shut it down and uninstalled it. Now I use Gnuculus for music, it works great with no adds or any such madness.

Pop-up Stopper is a super program and there is a free version that works just about as well, give it a try. It also has a hotlinks button sort of an instant favorites deal that's where I keep the things I always go to, it's an easier access then favorites and if you keep it small, it's simple to find what you want.

I think you were the one who told me about weatherbug, I still love the little program even with it's advertising. I've tried several other weather programs, none were even close to weatherbug. Some had a lot more options, like weather 2000 that lets you look at all sorts of radar, satalite photo's and such, but the weatherbug is still the easiest and offers the best local radar around here.

Jerry 10-5-2002 23:15

Ok, I just finished (or at least I think I finished) a short story, and I need som volenteers to beta read it. Anyone interested in Science-fiction, please E-mail me.

Laura 10-5-2002 23:08

Those popups can be annoying. I was running the Weatherbug program until I found it was the cause of occasional uncontrolled popups. I'd try to open this notebook, for example, and it would hang for a few seconds, and I'd get the "unable to find page" message, then multiple new IE windows with the same message until it filled up memory and choked itself to death. Once I tried closing them all by clicking on the close button, and as soon as I clicked on the last one it started the whole thing over again! Had to hit reset. I don't run weatherbug any more. Too bad -- it was a neat program!

Did anyone else get a message from Melody Mehta about that "Instant Enlightenment" Ebook publishing site? I had asked for more info when she posted here about it, and she just sent it to me. It looks interesting! I can forward it if anyone is interested. Just send me your Edress...

howard 10-5-2002 17:00

A 'portal' window keeps popping up underneath other windows on my screen, with the words 'Stop those annoying popups right now!'.
The world is truly twisted.

Heather 10-5-2002 10:13

Rhoda, so glad to hear all was ok when you got home. I was thinking of you when the news was reporting on the storm but my old body kept me a bit to busy to get on the computer for very long. I think I'm over it now, lasted much longer then it has before.

Up here we are watching one of the ugliest election campaigns this part of the country has seen in many many years. Not here in South Dakota, but up north two candidates are duking it out on television. Since we get mostly North Dakota network television stations, so we must sit through the mud slinging along with our old neighbors up north. Both candidates are lying about each other, or it appears so at least, now the former governor has spoken out for the Republican challenger, backing his claims of evil doing by the incumbent. Now don't get me wrong, I don't much care for the little weasel that is the incumbent, and I do like the fellow who is opposing him, in fact his father was one of my treating physicians when I was in hospital for my back injuries. But the blasted advertising is getting on my nerves. I shall be so very happy when the election has ended, no matter the results. It could be that since the population of the Senate is so balanced right now that both parties fear the results and are pushing these guys buttons or something, but I think now is the time in North Dakota for a none of the above box on the ballots. In fact it's just to dang bad we don't have some unknown third party on the ballot, I think the good folks of ND would surely vote for anybody but the two idiots on the tube.

The weather man began his forecast by singing Christmas tunes, an alarming indication that snow is just around the corner, in fact he says by tomorrow night we could have up to three inches of the white crap. I hope he's wrong.

I do feel a bit sorry for these weather folks, they have lots of science to tell them what the weather might do, most of the time they come close but other times they are so far off, like Rhoda's experience with the two hurricanes. I recall talk of a syndrome where weatherman feel so guilty about not being right that they fear issuing warnings, such a fear was responsible for a huge death toll several years ago in Oklahoma.

I guess we have to believe them no matter what, because to do any other may very well put we and our families in grave danger.

Jerry 10-4-2002 23:42

So is yours, Heather. :-)

Sunny 10-4-2002 20:22

By the way, Howard, your heart's as big as your creative genius! :oD

Heather 10-4-2002 20:18

Howard - my mother in law will probably be moving in with us eventually, and my parents, when they retire, are moving back from the US to either this city, or one very nearby. My mother wants to be close to me in case she'll need me to care for her or dad as she gets older. She's afraid of getting cancer, as most of her relatives have died from it. The strange thing is, her mother's siblings and her father's siblings all seem to die of cancer, but her father didn't, and her mother is still healthy as a steer, walking a few miles per day, and going on 85.
My biological family does have a few male family members that have died in their 50's or 60's due to heart trouble, but for the most part, the Werners and Gasperellis live to be over 100. I'm not sure about my biological father's side, but his parents are still alive and kickin' in their early 80's.
With my nursing experience I'm going to be watching over and taking care of a number of people in my family, and certainly understand the resposibilities involved; but people are worth it. Family is worth it. And the little surprises that come from caring for others make it less work and more a joy then some may expect.

One such surprise came in the form of a stranger. I was working at a retirement home at the time, and was new on staff. I was sent to a few rooms to check for current phone numbers on the resident's private lines - hopefully the numbers had been written down somewhere, or right on the phone itself. Some of the numbers that the office had in their book didn't seem to be working, and so when there were events going on in the home or family members trying to call in, they weren't reachable unless you went up to the room and knocked in person. I had found a few numbers and had chatted briefly with the residents, and then I came to a room that was dark, the door partly open. Residents at this upscale retirement home did not usually leave the doors to their suites open. I knocked gently. Then a little louder.

I peeked in. A tiny, bird-like woman was curled up on her bed, seemingly asleep. There was a small night lamp on, and I could see her silver hair and her eyes were closed. I was about to leave and come back later when she spoke. Softly, so I almost didn't hear her. "Would you please...?" she said.
"Please dear, do cover me up with my coat there."
"Of course," I reply.
Her large fur coat lay sprawling like a sleeping bear on the end of the bed, several feet from her legs, and as I came into the room the woman tried to shift on the bed.
"I've got it, it's all right." I thought she was trying to sit up to reach for the coat.
She edged over onto her back. I pulled the fur up to her chin, and as I hovered over the bed, I could see her looking up at me.
"I can see your wings," she said, smiling.
"What was that?" I'm startled, but I keep my voice calm and dim, like the room.
"Your wings are sprouting, I can see them," she said.
Her eyes were clear as she snuggled under the fur.
"Thank you," I said. "Do you want your door open?"
"Yes, thank you. Heather."
"Any time. You are very welcome."
Her eyes were clear enough to read my name tag without glasses, in the near darkness. I forgot all about getting that phone number.

I feel very lucky to have had that one short meeting with that very sweet, special lady. I went to visit her the following week and she had passed away. I would have liked to tell her that what she said to me meant a lot, and that every time I'd had a hard day at work, I'd think about what she said, and my heart would melt even in the presence of the foulest-tempered ol' stubborn resident there was.

Heather 10-4-2002 20:13

I guess I found my calling after all these years. We've been caring for Bryce for over a year now, and he really needs the attention, as it's so lonely on the nusing home. Sometimes it gets to be a chore, but it's worth it all.

Now we've got Evangeline. She's 78, her husband abused her (until they put him in a home) and now she's in the hospital with severe back pain and depression. She keeps calling us, and we go and sit with her, or run errands, just to let her know that someone cares. She has nine (her first husband died a few years ago) but they're all living over 100 miles away, and she's lonely. Now she wants me to take her car do something with it, and she wants me to be her health care proxy and assume power of attorney.

And another lady at church wants to come and live with us because she's lonely, and has nowhere else to go. We initially told her yes, but she now has another place to go.

I'm not writing all this to claim any merit (it's not my strength, but God's loving them through me and Dorie) but more to just remind us all that there are hurting people out there (MARK has experience with that as well, aned knows what it's like) and we need to be sensitive to their needs.

And what a rich source of stories and ideas for a writer! We need to listen to our older folks more -- they have so many things to teach us that would otherwise be just plain lost.

Guess I'm just feeling like an old softie today...


howard 10-4-2002 15:39


Thank you for the kind wishes. I never did regret going. The main reason that we did was that I have been watching weather channel enough throughout my life to know how unpredictable hurricanes are. They really have a mind of their own, and just before they make landfall, they often do the most unexpected things. Also I had no intention of spending a horrible night or day boarded up in my house waiting for the walls or windows to spring a leak. Finally my husband and I felt compelled not to put our children's lives or our own in needless jeapordy. We were able to get out, and we did.

I really feel that the weather forecasters do people a disservice. Many here were lulled into a false sence of securtiy because it was said with great certainty that Lily would only build to a weak catagory 3. There was much question whether or not to evacuate New Orleans, because a direct hit on this big of a metropolitan area with a catagory 3 could be deadly. Everyone thought it would not be too bad because it was at first supposed to make landfall near the Houston, Galveston area or in the extreme western edge of Louisiana. During the day before the hurricane came in, it built in strength very rapidly. It also changed course a little. In the past hurricanes have changed course a great deal. Well, when this storm became a catagory 4, we reasoned it was much stronger than that high pressure trough that was keeping it toward the west. During this time if it taken into its mind to go to Grand Isle, the mouth of the Mississppi or even into Biloxi, it could have done it. Luckily it did not.

It is highly unusual for storms to lose so much power just before they make landfall. The experts are still trying to reason out why Lili went suddenly from level 4 to level 2. I believe I know the answer, and so does our governer and many of the people interviewed on the radio. God was very merciful.

So I agree with DEBRA. It is best to be safe. I hoped and prayed that we would learn while away that I would get that feeling of "look at all that silly preparation we did." Well, it was not silly at all because the worst could have happened, but it is nice to come home and find everything in tact, and to learn that none of my neighbors and fellow Louisianans lost their lives or were greatly injured.

Rhoda 10-4-2002 10:43


Don't ever feel stupid for taking precautions like getting out of dodge. Just feel relieved for your neighbors that couldn't do the same. Some people can't you know! Always get out if you can. You never know when a lone toothpick might blow into your house through the smallest opening and get someone through the heart. It does't take a catagory 4 to do that.

You're not stupid, your smart! I'm thankful you're safe. I was thinking about you the whole time. I'll tell you the same thing I tell the people I love when they are sick, I'M NOT THROUGH WITH YOU YET!

Debra 10-4-2002 8:52

RHODA -- hurricanes are scary! Thank God it wasn't as bad as it was first predicted to be.

JERRY -- yes, "100 Pounds of Clay." But stop and think of the implications of that song --

HE (male) (God) took 100 pounds of clay and made (creation) a whole lotta lovin (a woman) for a man...

How far do you think it would have gotten in today's politically correct society? :-)

howard 10-4-2002 8:15

It was a lovely time in Fairhope, not Gulfport, sorry about that.

Rhoda 10-4-2002 7:59

We dodged another big bullet on my part of the Gulf Coast. When we heard Lily would come roaring in as a catagory 3, we decided to get out of Dodge. We boarded up the house, put all our valuable possessions upstairs, packed the cars with irreplacable photos and our insurance policies, gathered up the cats and put them in the car and went to Fairhope, Alabama, near Mobile. We returned last night. We felt sort of stupid heading out because the radio made it sound like Lily would miss us, which in the end, the full brunt did, but during that day, she built to a catagory 4 with winds of 145 mph, and her course took a more northward jog. We didn't feel so stupid then.

I prayed, and many others prayed, and I believe God heard. The storm degraded to a catagory 2 before it even hit the shore, and lives were saved. It was still a destructive, horrible hurricane, but it was not any catagory 4, and for that I am so thankful.

We had a lovely time in Gulfport. When we arrived at the motel, we were the only car there, but by that evening that parking lot was filled with Louisiana people, many who had no choice but to evacuate.


Glad to hear that Anita's spirits are better.


Thank you for the info. That is perfect!

Rhoda 10-4-2002 7:57

Yep, that was the song.

Jerry 10-3-2002 19:08

jerry -- i believe the tune was "100 pounds of clay!"
best wishes to all of you flu and cold weather sufferers out there. here in new jersey it's in the 80's this week! i miss the fall. wanted to mention that i went to hear anne lamott speak the other night at barnes & noble. for those of you who don't know, she's a wonderfully funny and irreverent writer who authored the marvelous Bird by Bird, a personal primer on the art and craft of writing. anyway, she reminds us to keep writing, bad, badder, baddest if necessary, but always to tell the truth.
have a great day!

sunny 10-3-2002 11:57

Another quote that'll mke ya think...

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're
not. In either case, the idea is quite staggering. -Arthur C Clarke,
science fiction writer (1917- )

howard 10-3-2002 8:32

That rings of an old 60's tune, something about lots of lovin for a man!

It's cold here, right now the mecury is dropping fast, it hit 35 a few minutes ago, on it's way to 20 according to the weatherman. Time for long johns I guess, the seasons sure change quickly here.

It is nice to come here for a break from the politics of the day.

While I am agast at the actions of our good senator, I fear the actions of our good president.

Doesn't he make the U.S. look a bit like the old playground bully with the wood chip on his shoulder daring Sadam to knock it off?

I don't know, I've always been a bit of a hawk but somehow I feel a bit dovish on this matter. Maybe it's the flu, that's probably it. Can't even escape by watching my favorite show on TV, tonight's Law and Order was about an "American Talaban".

Got the camper put away for the winter, that's always a chore although it shouldn't be. We put the last of the plastic over the windows today too, so we're ready for the cold I guess, but it sure is comming fast, we usually don't get this cold till around holloween, and that's aways away yet. Can't believe that some of the stores have their Christmas crap up already. Didn't they used to wait till after Thanksgiving for that?

You ever get that feeling where you know you're going to sneeze, only to stop it before it happens. What follows is a sort of empty feeling, like something is missing.

Had that feeling last night when I was listening to my old radio show for the night. Mystery Theatre was playing and just at the climax of the entire hour long program was about to take place, the recording ended. What a disapointment! It was a good one too! What an empty feeling. I guess that's what you get when you download stuff from the web. Hope tonight's is all there.

Have a great night.

Write ON!

Jerry 10-3-2002 0:17

How woman was created.....
First the Lord made man in the Garden of Eden.
Then he said to himself, "There's something he's needin' ".
After casting about for a suitable pearl,
He kept messing around and created a girl.
Two beautiful legs, so long and so slender,
Round, slim, and firm, and ever so tender.
Two lovely hips to increase his desire,
And rounded and firm to bring out the fire.
Two lovely breasts, so full and so proud,
Commanding his eyes, as he whispers aloud.
Two lovely arms, just aching to bless you,
And two loving hands, to soothe and caress you.
Soft, cascading hair hung down over her shoulder,
And two dreamy eyes, just to make him grow bolder.
'Twas made for a man, just to make his heart sing.
Then he added a mouth.............
Ruined the whole thing.

10-2-2002 21:08

Sounds like we're all sneezing, coughing, or dripping some sort of fluid into our keyboards... Nothing like a little windex on a cloth to cure any scariness on the keys. Wish windex would work on nasal passages!
Keep writing, no matter how cruddy you feel! Elaine: I think most of us have caught the same bug! Hope it's not transmitted via the internet.... :oD

Teek, did ya hear? You gotta come back and write, even if that means SHIVERING!
Miss you, ya monster.

Heather 10-2-2002 19:23

Hi, just wanted all to know, i'm alive, though I feel like a wreck. whatever I had a week or so is back and worse than it was before, unfortunately this time I'm back in school. EDDIE sorry to hear about ANITA. Have prayed and hope that all will be well. wrote another poem, will put it in when I have it with me. luv to all and a heartfelt wish that all of you are feeling better than I am at this momemt. That's all i had to say
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 10-2-2002 12:34

Been a long couple of days, thought that flu was over on Sunday, but it came back yesterday, and continued a bit today, but I think I'm about done with it. Didn't get much sleep last night, nor the night before, so I feel a bit like the walking dead.

I've had that fast slow feeling several times, the first was the most frightening, although many have come much closer to death, I think it was simply because I was young, and it was the first time.

I was working for a grain bin construction outfit; the boss was our next door neighbor, so he gave me a job even though I was much too young to be working at such business.

You may not be familiar with grain bins; they are round tall steel buildings that do nothing but store grain for the farmers, so they can keep it till the price is right. They are about thirty feet around, and when complete about two stories high. They are built by bolting together sections of rings, each about three feet tall. Most are built from the bottom up, using scaffolding, and it's the scaffolding that makes them so much work.

The neighbor, a graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines and Engineering designed a system of building them from the top down. He built a steel pole small enough to fit through the three foot hole in the center of the bin, where the farmer augers the grain in, then the top was built, followed by the walls, when one ring is done, the roof is pulled up by a series of ropes and pulleys, and the next ring is completed. The whole thing is held together by a series of guy wires.

Now this was a super system, and we set records for assembling the bins, and drew orders from all over the area. It was on our third job (each job consisted of at least three bins) that things began to go wrong.

What this fellow hadn't taken into account was the fact that nylon rope stretches, and nylon rope breaks when it rubs against steel. He was using nylon ropes to hold the pole up, and this day was particularly windy, a common problem in this area. When the wind took the bin, we would all rush to the side that came in, and push it back to keep the bin from being injured. We had caught that bin several times that day, when a particularly bad gust of wind came up, and the bin began to sway. I, like the others rushed to the side, and tried to catch the blowing bin. What we didn't know till later was that one of the guy ropes had broken, and the bin already three rings high could not be stopped from its path to the earth.

The rest of the fellows backed off, I couldn't as the pole caught me in my back, pushing me under the bin, as it fell to the earth. It was my good luck that the doorway of the bin allowed most of my body to pass unharmed to the other side, just my left arm was caught under the bin. The steel drug across my arm ripping huge chunks of skin and flesh from it before it dropped off my shoulder and dug over a foot into the earth.

They picked me up and placed me in the back of the bosses old Plymouth station wagon after wrapping my arm in an old tee shirt that we used for a rag, and drove me the thirty miles back to town, where the doctors stitched me back together, but that short four or five seconds that the bin was chopping at my arm, as the pole shoved me forward, I had time to think of several things that should have taken several minutes, such as what would I do without that arm, or will I die from this accident, where are the other guys? Why didn't the bin stop when we pushed? And about a hundred other questions.

I never went back to work for that neighbor and ten years later, I talked him out of a hostage situation, after he caught his wife in bed with another man, and, in fact I saw him again last year as the wife was seeing her doctor, we had a nice visit, even talked about that grain bin.

Jerry 10-2-2002 1:01

BTW, Mary! Have a wonderful trip! And....Hope you don't get booted when you are doing the Hemlock listing next time.... :oP

Heather 10-1-2002 22:26

Rachel - WHEW!!!!!! That is a real relief that you and your sisters and everyone else in the car are all right.

I know exactly the feeling of things being really fast and really slow right when you are in a situation where you know without doubt that it might very well be the death of you - both of my experiences had to do with cars. (Though I doubt that strange fast-slow sensation is limited to car experiences)

One of those strange 'fast-slow' experiences happened while I was in a car, the other when I was almost run over while on the sidewalk. Happened to me twice in one week, actually, a few years ago. Now that I look back on it, it was as if the Universe was telling me to get out of the nursing profession!!

The first accident happened on the way to nursing college, three of us in the car. The road was full of wet, almost-frozen mucky grey-brown slush. The driver (not me) was going too fast, and the wheels of the car went off the right hand side. He pulled the wheel too quickly to the left to get us back onto the road, and we spun all over the place, several 360 degree spins, right through the other lane of traffic and into the ditch, landing a foot from a telephone pole. We were extremely lucky to go right between cars coming the other way so we weren't hurt at all. We nearly had to turn for home to get new pants on, but other than that, we were fine!

The second incident was a few days later, as I was on my way to meet a VON lady(Victorian Order of Nurses) that I would be working with for the day. I was walking on the sidewalk, and happened to be at the bottom of a hill. Frozen river beside me, with a guardrail. A small car came down the hill (and there was quite a bit of traffic). I thought to myself, "That car's going to go out of control and come right up onto the sidewalk." Because of that thought I paid attention. The car did start sliding - there was still about a foot of thick, muddy slush everywhere. I had stopped walking, watching the car, waiting for it, coming up with a plan on how to avoid it (all in a few seconds which felt like about an hour!). It was sliding way too fast for me to start running and get past where it would probably hit. It came right up onto the sidewalk, and stopped an inch to two from my kneecaps. Had it hit, I would have either been bashed and pinned between car and guardrail, or thrown over the car, or even over the guardrail onto the thin ice of the river. I'm not sure, and I don't want to know! The car was very nearly into the guardrail itself, and somehow it just came to a stop before it hit me or the rail. The driver was having a conniption (one of my favourite Bill Cosby sayings) and strangely enough, I was the one to go up to her window and ask if SHE was all right! I don't remember if she was able to say a word. I continued on my way shortly, and had a strange day with the VON. I was perhaps in shock for a while, but I think the day would have been almost as strange without the near-accident.
Anyway, sorry the blather on.....!!
I'm so glad you're ok and that your children still have a mother! That would have been incredibly tragic. (((HUGS)))

Mary! Hope you got all of my emails! I am having a yard of fabric sent to you as the seller wouldn't ship to Canada for less than a personal fortune, LOL. It's awesome and you'll peakfreen when you see it. Vintage fabric with medieval knights and maidens, based on the artwork of Sulamith Wulfing.

The little book I have of some of her works was published in 1980, Amsterdam. On the back cover it states that she was born in 1901, in Elberfeld, Germany. I believe the artist is deceased (or else she's 103). If anyone happens across her artwork on the net somewhere, it's worth the look! I'm going to be searching for links tonight. I can hardly believe I found fabric based on her amazing artwork!

Eddie and Anita - great news! I sure hope it continues!

Mark - were you able to open the wordpad file? :o)

Heather 10-1-2002 18:56

Hi all,
A much better day today. Anita seemed so much more in charge of her emotions. She smiled a lot and even joked, though she is concerned for an elderly lady in the next room who cries out in the night.
We had a pleasant couple of hours together. I got a talking to about the home finances!!
As I said, She is amazing.
I will keep you informed on her progress

Eddie French 10-1-2002 17:20

RHODA: Well, if we are talking a genteel way to do things, some way a lady or peasant woman would go about the message is to take certain herbs, tie them in a bundle with black ribbon (or sometimes red) and leave them somewhere that the intended receiver would find them. The place you put them would usually reveal who they were from. A jealous lover might slip them under a pillow, someone threatening your job might leave them in the place of business. Most often, when you get a threat, you know where it came from. If that seems like a feasible way of getting your message across, let me know and I will find out which herbs say what to the receiver. I am going by memory on that 'ill-wish' posie thing, so it might take some digging. Good luck.

HEATHER: I tried listing a Hemlock on eBay today when I listed some things for Gary, but it keeps kicking out my html. I am leaving in about an hour for Columbus for three days, so I will have to wait to try again until I get back.

I haven't read all the messages, so please forgive me if I missed anything. EDDIE: I hope that all is looking up for Anita and your family. RACHEL: I am glad you didn't get dead in a car accident. I will have to tell you about my moment of 'slow motion' waiting to die in a car wreck when I get back.

Take care all.
OH..umm...Shortie night theme for this week is: Dangerous Liasons

Mary 10-1-2002 16:25


Glad to hear that you and the other ladies are OK. That would be terrifying. I am also sorry to hear about your loss.

Rhoda 10-1-2002 15:28


Thanks (hugs). I talked to the sister who was the driver a few minutes ago. She is now angry with the driver of the truck that nearly saw us on our way. I think that is better than being shockish. Anger is a pretty natural reaction to that sort of thing. We were talking about how if we had been killed it would have left fourteen children without mothers in our family. That would have been quite an afternoon for our little tribe.

Has anyone here read "Toilers of the Sea" by Victor Hugo?

Rachel 10-1-2002 12:46


Yes, Barbara also writes stories about Anime characters she makes up. Sailor Moon started it all for her, and I do think it is great that Barbara is being so creative with it, but she is very intent on Anime, and I get a bit concerned with it being the center of her focus, but then again I remember being much the same way about things that interested me as a teen.

I have noticed that some of the Anime DVD's she has bought do use some bad language and are occultist. Barbara tells me that much of the Japanese stuff is hard to find here in the states. The really bad stuff is sometimes cut.

I am not considering poisoning, though that is a good thought for some other part of the story. The mushrooms were HOWARD's take on what I posted. What I am thinking about is something that depicts a curse or a warning, not something to actually harm someone--just something gross and threatening to shake them up and get the point across that you want them to clear out. Perhaps a dead animal or some Celtic warning written in blood. I have found some web-sites that might help.

Rhoda 10-1-2002 11:52


Thank goodness you're okay. You'd be more than missed around here.

Debra 10-1-2002 11:34

Hi all,

I'm feeling strange today. Yesterday was the funeral for a member of my family. She lived well. She died well. It was breast cancer that ended her days. While my sisters and I were driving back from the funeral we very nearly joined the newly departed member of our family. You ever have a moment when you really think you're going to die? Everything happened so fast(but at the same time seems really slow), I had time to scream and strain away from where the impact looked like it would be. My sister, the one driving was very shaken up (she and my other sister also screamed, I wasn't alone in that). She kept saying how sorry she was for almost killing us. I will need to check in with her today to be sure she is okay.
I'm feeling pretty fortunate to be alive today.
Warm thoughts to all of you.

Rachel 10-1-2002 11:22

Rhoda: I'll check and see if you can get hallucinations from eating just a bit of the poisen gland of a Fugu fish. From what I've heard, it's an agonizing death that arrives quickly after the ineptly prepared Fugu sushi is ingested. I think we need to look further into fish that can provide hallucinations in small doses. Oh what fun!

Viv 10-1-2002 9:57

Rhoda: My daughter likes to draw Anime. Here the kids start doing that in grade school and it's a habit that continues all the way up through college. It's a real passion with them. They begin by copying then branch off into stories of their own. Does your daughter do this too?
I think it's kind of neat because it encourages writing and imagination.

I know she sneak reads manga at Juku. It's not really considered to be ok reading material for the kids here. It's often really obsene and violent. That's why I know they sneak read it. There is always a group of kids with a manga in the corner of about any classroom. They giggle over it for awhile, trade it around, and copy the pictures. I am almost sure if I really went through my daughter's book bag that I'd find a copy. She knows me though and hides them well!

Howard: That's a Fugu fish you are thinking about. It's expensive and I've never eaten it. There is a restaurant near here that serves it. I really should try it, but for about $100.00 for a plate of thinly sliced fish, it's not something I want to order. I keep hoping someone will treat me to it! If I ordered it myself, I'd get a stomach ache when it came time to pay the bill. Actually, I'd hope to be sick and carried out of there...with my wallet intact.

Your mushrooms sound interesting. I'd like to try them. I'm hooked on shitake mushrooms. In fact, I grow shitake mushrooms. They are the blackish-brown mushrooms you always find in Chinese food. They are good for lowering high blood pressure. I had a chunk of wood in my bathroom one year and was able to grow mushrooms year 'round, but I got the reputation for growing "funny mushrooms". I decided to curtail my mushroom production and selected a nice patch of trees in the woods. I drilled into them, set the spore in the bark and now I have plenty during the fall and spring. I dry them so I get enough for a complete season. No one has found them so almost every night we have at least two to five mushrooms. You buy the shitake mushroom spore in the hardware store, find a few hardwood trees (I use two chestnuts and a cherry).

I need to get up early so I can get out first and collect all the chestnuts that will have blown to the ground during this typhoon. If I don't go early, the other housewives will beat me to it. We cook them with rice and a little sugar. It makes for a nice fall meal. I can hear the wind right now blowing the trees around. The rain has stopped for now, and now that the worst of this has blown through there is the promise tomorrow of a clear blue sky. What a relief after two days of heavy rain. The cat, the dog and I curled up and slept all afternoon, now we're restless and needing an outing. I'll have their company on my chestnut gathering.

Viv 10-1-2002 9:53

That's fact, not face...

howard 9-30-2002 21:26


I was thinking about you just today wondering where you have been.

Welcome back!

My daughter was standing over my shoulder waiting for me to get off the Internet so she could us it. She wants to know if your kids like Anime. She loves it.

Rhoda 9-30-2002 21:26

VIV -- Do you eat your nasturtiums? They're very good in salads! And Welcome Back!!!

We had a delicious addition to our supper tonight -- Giant puffball mushrooms sauteed in butter and garlic. Dorie came in from the bird feeders yesterday afternoon and said "Go look in the lilac hedge!" I knew immediately what was out there, just from the way she said it! So I took a box with me, and picked half a dozen very nice white puffballs. They range in size from a baseball to almost a soccer ball.

Meanwhile, out in front of the house, there were some gorgeous white mushrooms that just popped up along the edge of the lawn. These, however, are amanitas -- variety "Destroying Angel." From what I've read they have excellent flavor, and people have said they were a wonderful meal -- then they died. Horribly. I picked these and tossed them into a chuck hole so the dog (or the kids) wouldn't get them.

We're starting to see lots of exotic wild mushrooms in the local supermarket. Some go for as much as $60-70 a pound! It's no wonder people were killing one another over prime mushroom habitat out in California a few years ago!

RHODA -- You might want to check into the possibility of poisonous or hallucinogenic mushrooms in Scotland. I know the ancient Norse used hallucinogenic mushrooms in some of their rites, perhaps the Scotti did as well. As a matter of face, there are certain fish that the Vikings used to dry and eat, that were poisonous in certain quantities, but caused hallucinations in lesser doses. Dunno if it's the same fish the Japanese consider such a delicacy that they'll risk death to eat one. They must be prepared exactly right or they're fatal to eat. VIV -- can you shed any light on that?

howard 9-30-2002 21:25

Oh Eddie,
I just saw your posts about Anita. What a scary thing to deal with! Our prayers for her continued recovery.
Sometimes I'm glad I don't have a magic crystal ball so that I can see ahead to the future. Better to just deal with all this one step at a time and concentrate on the small cheerful things that happen. Can your littlest heroine visit Anita? There's nothing like a child to take your mind off big troubles.

Back from the States. I went from a chill fall day, wearing long sleeve shirts and a light jacket to wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts. Here it's "typhooning" (gusts of hot rain blowing through on a regular basis. There I was watching the leaves turn gold and praying for rain.

I still feel like I'm living as a ghost somewhere in Denver! It feels strange to spend a month in one place that is so very different, then come suddenly back and take up a completely different routine. The strangest thing of all is letting go of the worries I had in Denver. (Oh, the toilet downstairs is running, and the bathtub upstairs has a plugged drain. Need to get to the hardware shop, and I don't have a car...I wonder which bus will go there).

It feels so strange to just drop the Denver worries and put on the Japan worries. It's almost like being a different person. I prefer to be the Japan person. Why? I'm earning money, not spending it. I'm with my family not alone. I'm doing something I know I can do because I've done it time and again.

When I got back to Japan my roses were in full bloom, my basil and oregano ready to harvest and the Nasturtium spilling out of the pot. Little red Impatients were all over, and I can't remember planting them. It was nice to reverse the seasons and see my flowers again. As my family cared for the garden, I took it as a welcome home gift.

Viv 9-30-2002 20:47


Yes, I am. If anything, it increased my self-confidence. I am also thinking ahead to the possibility that this editor might request to read the whole thing. It does not always happen, but just in case, I want to be somewhere near ready.

So, I am now writing up a storm. Not all of it is good, and I have had to redo some of it, but I am making progress. Really, you cannot write the first draft too fast. I really believe the most critical work is done in the second draft, but in order to have a second draft, you must have a first one, and that is the one that takes all the time.


That information has been very, very good. Thank you again. I also need to look up some frightening, creepy way a Scottish Highland peasant might tell a rich, powerful Englishman to go to the nether regions (the ones way South of England). I read a book somewhere about leaving dead chickens about, but I don't remember if that was a Celtic thing. The way Highlanders always did it in the past was with the thrust of a sword, a shot-gun, or maybe an arrow, but I think a female peasant would seek a more subtle way.

Another hurricane!!! NOT!!! Go away, Lili.

Rhoda 9-30-2002 20:46


Glad to listen. Thank you for trusting us enough to share. Still praying for you two.

Rhoda 9-30-2002 20:36

EDDIE -- Our prayers are still with you - give Anita our best.

howard 9-30-2002 20:12

Hi all.
Thanks again for the positive thoughts. Anita was a little down today. She is so scared that she may have another stroke and suffer more damage. On the positve side, she managed to walk a little distance with the aid of a stick today. I 'aquired' a mobile chair and took her for a walk around the grounds and gardens as it was such a nice day. We had a long intimate talk (the first time we had been alone since it happened.) I must admit, I am very frightened for the future. This monster which lived within her just struck without mercy and took away her strength and her mobility. It did it without warning. To be perfectly honest, it's just hitting home right now (for both of us)
I know that barring any further attacks we will get through this, but the fear is always there and so very real. I can't imagine how she is getting through each day with that fear. She is so much stronger than I would be.
Thank you all for listening.

Eddie French 9-30-2002 19:36

BTW, Howard, love the quote! That's just the type of humour to be found in excess around our house! :oP

Rhoda - Are you still cloud-walking after placing in the contest? I think it's wonderful (another Congrats!) and I hope it inspires you to keep sending your work everywhere you can!

Anita & Eddie - what's the latest news?

Heather 9-30-2002 17:20

My daughter just sent me this -- dunno if she's trying to tell me something or not...


A man is driving down a road. A woman is driving down the same
road from the opposite direction. As they pass each other, the
woman leans out her window and yells "PIG!!"

The man immediately leans out his window and yells, "BITCH!!"
They each continue on their way, and as the man rounds the next curve,

he crashes into a huge pig in the middle

of the road and is killed instantly.

MORAL OF THE STORY: If men would only listen.

howard 9-30-2002 17:19

Geez, it's so quiet in here, I keep wondering... Who farted?

Wasn't me! Honest!

Oh, all right. I'll face it. I'm fabulously bored.

Heather 9-30-2002 17:15


Thank you for the wonderful links. These will be a good start in my attempt to iron out those medical matters.


Barium Sulfate for dinner. Yuck! Barium is very toxic, but Barium Sulfate is extremely insoluble. It would probably just pass right through.

I actually think YANG should take some more classes in English. Seems to me he got here by accident.


Your wife and granddaughter are indeed remarkable ladies. My prayers are still with you all. I am glad to know Anita is doing better.

Rhoda 9-30-2002 9:33

Found a great quote tthe other day --

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and
he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
- Terry Pratchett

(Pratchett writes some real good SF)

howard 9-29-2002 20:36


Great day playing cards today, lovely fall day with nice warm temps, a bit of a wind keeps the leaves moving, they are turning now, some golden, some yellow, others still a brilliant green.

Jerry 9-29-2002 17:11
Great site.If you love dramatic writing/theatre, I think you would love this one: ICARUS - A new play

A Journey to the Edge of Infinity

A tale of philosophy that sets the foundation of civilization. A battle is to take place between good and evil -- between free will and enslavement. Upon attempting to touch the sun, the young demi-god, Icarus, has fallen from the sky and plunged to his death in the sea. Act I: The Awakening of Icarus in a strange place and time. Act II: The Confrontation between Icarus and the Priest of the temple.

PLUS! A note from the writer:

Denise ICARUS - A new play 9-29-2002 15:22

I do not want to cook with Yang...


Your little grandaughter is amazing. Your wife is also amazing. She must be very brave and have strong will. Fantastic family (hugs)!

Rachel 9-29-2002 14:57

Now we just have to wonder if that guy Yang writes fiction or non-fiction.

Mark 9-29-2002 13:40

What the--??!&$%@$%&*(@%$)@???????????????

Um, YANG - that's NOT the kind of writing we do here.

EDDIE: WOW! Not only is Anita amazing, so it seems is Ellie!!! An 18-month-old got the phone for her nana when she was in trouble!!!!! :-] That little girl is SPECIAL!!! More (((HUGS))).

JERRY: Get well! I has spokened. (If you don't mind the order coming from one with a nasty head cold...!) :-] Think sunshine anyway.

EVERYONE: Here's to rewriting so-so scenes and turning them into---FABULOUS FICTION (or nonfiction, if you prefer!) 8-D

Mel 9-29-2002 7:21

Eddie - you and yours will be in my prayers also. So glad to hear it wasn't too bad, it surely could have been much worse.

Hop - welcome home, so good to see you back again.

Must be off now, must have eaten something wrong today, have a touch of the stomach flu. Keeps me running.

Jerry 9-29-2002 0:50

Wow ~ Eddie, tell Anita she's amazing all of us, and to keep it up!
More prayers your way, too. :o)

Heather 9-28-2002 14:36

Hi all,
I just got back from the hospital. It looks like Anita is going to be in for a while. I've had to hide her shoes! She is so strong, always has been. I told her about everybody here rooting and praying for her. She sends her thanks. I took Kyesha (Our Grand daughter) in with me this afternoon and she was busy casting a 'get better' spell on 'Nanna' for most of the visit. (She is convinced that she has the power)
The effects of the stroke are starting to level out now. Aninta has trouble with her left arm and leg. She can't walk right now and her arm is weak and partially immobile.
We got the scan results back and it looks like the immediate danger is over, though she will need extensive re-hab and physio before they will let her home. Amazingly, Anita looked after Ellie (18 months old) for 1 hour while the attack was happening. She says Ellie knew something was wrong and that's how she got the phone. After handing Anita the phone she stayed on the couch with her Nan, holding hands until I arrived. The Paramedics were about five minutes behind me.
The doctor looking after Anita is convinced that Anita's determination to look after her Grand daughter during the stroke had a positive affect on minimising the damage.
As I said, she is so strong.

Eddie French 9-28-2002 14:31


I pray that your wife's recovery is so complete that some day people will have to remind you that this ever even happened.

Take care!

Debra 9-28-2002 10:18

EDDIE: My prayers for your wife's full recovery and (((HUGS))) for you and your family.

Hi, HOP!!! Welcome back!!! :-] You've been missed here, a lot.

MARY: You would make an excellent reference librarian. :-)

RHODA: re: writing slowly (I just write...and am so slow about it!!!) -- I'll bet that one day, when your books are finished, they are going to be so well-written, they will also be well read. You GO, girl! :-)

A big HI to everyone else too!!! :-} Have a prolific writing weekend (I'm off to a nephew's wedding today...maybe some writing time for me tomorrow...?!?)

Mel 9-28-2002 7:57

RHODA: I just went and reread your message and caught the part about Sir Walter Scott, so I guess that answers my question about what the setting of your story is. Haha. Sorry, just disregard that last link I gave you that I mentioned as being strictly American. Then again, typhus is may at least give you some background on the illness itself that will help you decide what 'cure' to go with.

Mary 9-27-2002 23:57

RHODA: I have done some digging for you on the 18th century medicine front, and although what I found is not comprehensive, it should give you a few good leads on where to find what you need. I include only the ones that look promising. Hope you find them useful. Just copy/paste the URLs into your address box in your browser. Sorry they aren't live links, but live links in the body of a message here seldom work. The short medical passages after each URL are quotations from the text on that page.

This first one involves your question of typhus.

John Pringle, physician general to the British forces in 1740, identified jail fever, ship fever, and hospital fever as being one disease, now known as epidemic typhus.

This second one is in regard to the bone setting. It seems that most of the information I found involved simple splints, but there was this one small tidbit of cast use. It may be too late for your time frame.

Basra (or Basrah) method, Andersen’s (LM 273, C/T 121, TGS 91, NC 192):

William Eton, an Englishman and former consul in Basra, wrote a letter to a doctor in Petersburg describing how an Arabian soldier's broken leg was treated with plaster of Paris. The letter was written in 1798 and appeared in some European medical papers, but many years passed before plaster of Paris was applied on a large scale in Europe. The technique consisted of pouring plaster pulp into a mould in which the broken leg was laid in the correct position.

The third one: Go here and type in 'typhus'. It will give you several pages of basic information on age-old remedies, but it also states where the source of information is, like a bibliography. This should give you a sound jumping off point in your search. This is a very good medical resource for other searches as well, depending on what you seek. OH, I should mention that this particular link is based on American medicine...if you are writing Euro, then it may not work for you.

Hope those help. I have plenty more if these are the type of thing you are looking for. Just let me know and I can email you working links. Good luck.

EDDIE: My thoughts and prayers are with you and Anita. It sounds as if she is very strong.

ON MICE: As cold-hearted as I can be to spiders, I love mice. I always catch them in live traps and feed them a good bit of birdseed before I set them loose well far and away from my ferocious cat. She is a very efficient hunter, but she lives outside.

Mary 9-27-2002 23:45

We don't know what's around the corner. Ain't that the truth. Now what?

Live life to the fullest?

Mickey Mantle said, "If I'd known I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself." That's always the catch. Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse. Sure. That works; if you die.

I spent years convinced that I'd be dead by the time I was 30. At 33 it still hadn't happened. I had no job, no family, no friends, and only shelter in the VA Hospital Alcoholism ward. I had to ask, "Now what?"

I believe Augustine classified life into Active and Contempletive. He believed them to be mutually exclusive. The Romans said "A healthy mind in a healthy body" and believed the two classes synergistic. I'm sure that some exercise and some activity are good for the mind, too much is not. I have to learn to do more. I'm just sitting around getting flabby. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Now what?

Prayers for Anita.

Mark 9-27-2002 23:38


You and Anita will be in my prayers. Hugs to both of you.

Rhoda 9-27-2002 23:30


Hello Hop... Long time since I seen you. How you been?

Eddie: I will say a prayer for the both of you.

Mice: YUCK!

Taylor 9-27-2002 20:29

Eddie - my husband and I will also keep you and Anita in our prayers.

Sunny 9-27-2002 20:04


I will keep you and your loved ones in my thoughts. You are right to say that we never do know what is around the corner (hugs to you).

Take care.

Rachel 9-27-2002 19:38

EDDIE -- My wife and I will certainly keep Anita and you in our prayers!

howard 9-27-2002 19:38

Hello all,
Anita and I need your prayers right now.
Anita suffered a stroke on wednesday. She is in the hospital and is on the way to recovery at this moment. She has lost some use of her left leg and arm. She was looking after one of the grandchildren at the time and managed to phone me at home. We were lucky that it was not too severe.
I will, of course, keep you posted on how she is doing.
Look after your loved ones. You never know what is just up ahead.

Eddie French 9-27-2002 18:14


I have various ways of processing information when preparing for a novel, but I do not journal. I read a lot before I begin a novel, mainly non-fiction books on history or whatever issues will come up in the book. I also read biographies about important historical figures of the time. I have actually three books in mind that take place in a similar time period, and I am always on the look-out for books that would advance my knowledge and flavor for the era before I sit down to write them. In the way I do things, preparation for some of my stories takes years.

I write slowly. I know the rudiments about my current project, but when I am finished with the rough draft, I plan to read a couple of Sir Walter Scott books and to find some materials on early 18th century medicine. I need to find out how they set broken legs back then, and I also need to know how they treated typus and how much they knew about the disease. Before beginning the book, one never knows just exactly what research needs to be done, because oftentimes the questions come up while writing the thing. The first draft is mainly for the development of the story. It is during the rough draft that I will often do outlines, not on the whole story necessarily but on portions of it, and I do this primarily to order my scenes and determine point of view of each scene. The second draft takes care of pacing, organization of the story and making sure that everything is as historically and functionally accurate as possible. In my case there is also a third draft done to prepare for submission where every element of the book is perfected to the best of my ability.


Greetings to you. It is good to hear from you again.

Rhoda 9-27-2002 12:47

Elaine, hope you feel better soon!
What I mean is: Do you all journal? If you do journal, do you write about your work-in-progress? And if so, does the journal "inform" the work? or do you keep them separate?

Sunny 9-27-2002 12:26

Okay a quick post before I go
Rachel: A mouse! Oh, no! Actually I like mice but my cat always plays with it and hurts it before I can take it outside. We had two mice last year and once my cat kind of played around with it and caught it, I (everybody else was afraid to touch it) would put a plastic sandwhich bag on my hand (then, of course, I wasn't stupid. Was stupid once and decided that one rodents teethmarks was enough for my hand) and put it in an icecream bucket and let it free.
Okay I REALLY have to go now
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-27-2002 12:15

Thanks Rhoda, I would've written yesterday, but the mean old nasty 1 day flu bug caught up with me at last. Glad that you're safe so far with a hurricane (or is it a tornado) coming. Good health to all the rest of you and try not to catch my chest cough. I hate being away for so long, but my parents don't like me on the internet at home and that only leaves 3 out of the 5 days that I'm at the library desk that I'm able to have internet at all. Oh well, things could be worse.
As for speaking in front of'd have to drag me into the room that I have to speak in and tie me down somewhere before I'll be forced to speak in front of people! I just hate doing it, my stomach always has butterflies and my voice shakes and my hands tremble. Even ten minutes after I'm finished, my hands still tremble violently. Not exaggerating either, am I. Sorry, little Yoda talking spurt.
Sunny: what exactly do you mean? Do you mean do I write about my project someplace else and then... I'm still getting over being sick so don't mind me if I'm a little confused.
Well, as much as I love talking (typing) to y'all, I have to get going. Oh, it's cold today. If it rains, I think that it will freeze and we'll have our first snow of the season. That's all folks!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-27-2002 12:11


I have a mouse in my house!!! That little devil ran into the only room in this place that has storage! I am going after it. I am not pleased. It gives me the freaks to watch how quickly that little creature moves. The mouse itself is not so bad. It's when it starts to move. I had it caught in the birdcage, then it squeezed out! That thing, how does it do? I don't even want to know (uck). I am now off to hunt mouse. Wish me luck ;o) Oh, and I did think of bringing in a cat. The only problem with that, is that the cat might think my birds were better chow than the mouse.


Rachel 9-27-2002 11:56


I got your e-mail. I sent you one back :o) Happy, happy day to you :o) :o) :o)

Take care you.

Rachel 9-27-2002 11:46

Hi, Hop! It's been a long time! Do pop back in and tell us what you're up to, what you've been writing!

Heather 9-27-2002 9:28

Hello everyone. Hello Jerry, Howard, Mel, Taylor, Rachel, Mary, Rhoda, Mark and anyone else I've forgotten to mention. Just checking it to see how everyone's going along. I'm not too sure what else to say. Erm...don't forget to write?


Barnabas "Hop" 9-27-2002 8:24

Train - welcome to the Notebook!
If you can handle waiting another two weeks for me to finish up a project, you can email it to me and I'd be glad to critique for you.

I'm running out of vegemite!

Heather Hemlock Bags 9-27-2002 2:43

Anybody up to analyze the beginnings of a novel? It is sure to entertain, if one is capable of handling an array of curses and some mature situations. It would be appreciated.

A Train none 9-26-2002 23:20

Rhoda - glad you made it through ok, with just some extra bread and bottled water to show for it.
Question for you guys: Do you journal when/while you're writing something specific? Is there cross-over when you do?

Sunny 9-26-2002 15:21

We are dry and healthy here in Louisiana. Our power is on after having been off for twelve hours. Our pumps, ditches and levies held in our neighborhood. It could have been much, much worse. Now I have to go put all that white bread into the freezer and figure out what I am going to do with all my bottled water.

Rhoda 9-26-2002 12:30

Anyone remember this (from a nonsensical song)?

The sky was dark and stormy,
The air was full of sleet;
The old man stood out in the road,
His shoes all full of feet.

howard 9-26-2002 9:55

HEATHER: That is an outrage. What a jerk.

Mary 9-26-2002 9:04

G'Morning, you-all! :-]

To round off "Banned Books Week," here is a fun site with ALL KINDS of books (not banned, or maybe a few!). Play around and enjoy! :-)

Most of all, have a good writing day!!!

(Writing? Wuzzat??) 8-{

Mel Another Fun Site for Readers! :-) 9-26-2002 9:01


9-26-2002 2:44


9-26-2002 2:40

Donna - Watch for the brown truck, I've shipped ten thousand cubic centimeters of cool South Dakota air, covered by a thousand feet of the bluest sky's you've ever seen in your life.

Howard - Those hoaxes, there's way more of them then there are of viruses. I did, however yesterday, go to and run their free virus scan, after seeing a suspected virus containing email go into my in-box. This new system had Mcaffee antivirus installed from the factory, and I just left it. At any rate Pandasoftware found eight inactive viruses on my system, then cleaned them for me. One of them was the dreaded W32.klez.I virus, however I was smart enough not to open the attachment. I ended the madness, and ripped all the McAffe crap from my system by the roots, and installed Norton Antivirus 2003. I am again protected from the nefarious activities of idiots who have nothing better to do than screw with other folks machines.

Went in our basement today to check the furnace, as we are under a heavy freeze warning for tonight. I was shocked to see the dirt floor had turned to mud. Thick gooey sucky mud. A check of the sewer system showed the pipe that serves the kitchen and laundry room had broken and was dumping all that water into our dirt basement.

Well I wanted the plumber guy to come over and winterize my well and camper anyhow, so a quick call and he was here. Two hours latter I had new plastic sewer pipe from the kitchen and laundry room, the well is ready for winter, and the camper is safe for another fall-winter-spring season. (At times I wonder why we waste the money on that damn lawn ornament!) Now if I can just get the damn basement floor to dry up and get solid again, then I'll have to shovel dirt into the foot tracks. No problem finding it, as all the moisture has loosened the walls and they have collapsed in on the floor, forming dirt banks against all four walls. Guess I'll have to find someone who can build me a retaining wall to keep the rest up before our entire house falls into the basement!

Oh the joy of buying older homes.

Haven't written a thing today, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Write ON!

Jerry 9-26-2002 0:13

By the way - the guy at the writer's meeting who asked if I would be taking up more than my share of time? It was my first meeting, and my turn was ten minutes before the meeting was scheduled to end! Perhaps he thought I intended to strand everyone there while I read my entire ms, and he had left something boiling on his stove?

Heather 9-26-2002 0:07

There's another virus hoax making the rounds, claiming that the Jdbgmgr.exe file is a virus that will eat your system.

Check the Symantec hoax page at

before doing anything drastic. Click on search, and search for Jdbgmgr.exe
If you've already deleted it there are instructions at the end of the article to help you restore it.

howard 9-25-2002 23:53

Donna - I am so nervous to read my work in front of other writers I usually duck out of the honour at writer's meets. I don't attend the group nearby me any longer, because most of the people wrote short stories and poetry, and sharing a novel means having to continue with the story the following meeting. There was even one guy who asked, just as I whipped out my ms, 'whether or not I was going to be taking up more than my share of reading time'. Yes, everyone grumbled at his rudeness, but that sure didn't help me any.
Give me the station of meeting director and I'm fine with speaking in front of others. But should I be holding pages of my own work, my lips have a tendency to cramp!
I have no problem with people reading my work. There is just the wee problem of public speaking... so, you're not the only one.
Best of luck to you!

Heather 9-25-2002 9:32


Here's something I wrote the other night. After having that weekend, I was down and I wrote this thing straight onto paper and it actually made me cheer up a bit. Others read it and thought it was good then recommended I should post it here. Since I talk about this site quite alot.

"Day After Day"
Day after day we are reminded of how fragile life is
how easily life can be stripped and stolen away.

Day after day challenges can be found and overcome.
Life is too short to dwell, yet too long to ignore.

Day after day evil rears it's horrifying head
violence, death and destruction everyday.

Day after day there's something new happening
it tears my heart feeling like I can't do a thing.

Day after day it's hell feeling trapped in this nowhere town
though there's no place I'd rather be than home.

Day after day there's the reminder that hope lives on
From a friendly hello to laughter among peers

Day after day evil is replaced by the good outcomes
From the kindness of strangers to an embrace of friends.

Taylor 9-25-2002 6:24

Good Morning, Everyone...
I sure wish those of you who experience autumn would please send some of the cool weather down is hot as Hades in Florida. The heat is making everyone crabby, including myself.
Thanks for the warm welcome to the Writers Notebook.It is funny, I write for a newspaper and so my features are critiqued on a daily basis. Once in a while I get irritated at the editing but for the most part I deal with it just fine. For some reason, though, the thought of people picking apart my fiction drives me nuts! I took a big step and read a few pages at my Writer's Association meeting on Saturday. I was shaking in my boots! Reactions were very favorable and I received some very well meaning constructive comments. It is funny that thousands of people read my features each week and it doesn't make me nervous at all, but a room full of writers listening to pages of my novel intimidates the heck out of me! Do you think I will be less nervous next time?
Take care, everyone.

Donna 9-25-2002 4:39

WHOOOOPS! And here was my initial reason for posting, which my head-cold wracked mind forgot:


Heather 9-25-2002 2:05

Hello, everyone!

Happy Autumn, to all of the northern-hemispherians. Happy Spring to Teek and Taylor, you silly southern-hemispher... oh blather!
As if it was a real word anyhow.

Alrighty then...
Other reason for posting: Had a brainstorm/story idea that turned into a ghostie for Phantasium. It's about time!
Funny ~ for heading the project I sure came up short on ideas - at least, I found fewer rattling my 'inner closets' than expected. I wasn't expecting to find this story in my head, so please pardon me for including it in the Phantasium collection post mortem. HA HA HA.
I know, you're going to say that the project has been closed to further submissions for ages and this is outright cheating on the editor's part, but I say oh bloody well, and that any new ghastly stories are welcome up until I've got things ready to send. Ok? I want to be fair. SO GO CLOSET DIGGING! I want a few more skeletons. Reason for that? I have had to cut a number of stories from the final ms, so new additions that make the cut are certainly welcome, and the bigger the collection the better. We have no idea whether or not a publisher will want all of these in a final ms should they want to publish it. No guarantees.

Shouldn't be too long for the remainder of the present story-load to be final copy status... so I'll just put this out flat for all to see: If you think you have a short story that would qualify for Phantasium, email me with your story as an attachment. I'll let you know as soon as I have read it if I want it for the collection.
Also, if you have previously submitted stories I will let everyone know very soon what is cut and what will stay for the final polishing and submission.
There are a number that are already polished enough for submission to publishers, and if you're in doubt as to whether one of yours is included in the 'final submission' status, just email me! I'm still making my edit insertions into the rest of the mss texts to send back to each author, so if you haven't received your story back with edits, it's coming soon.

Mark! My new one is on the way to you tomorrow or so - I have a few changes to the tense and a last proofreading to go.
If anyone else would like to read 'Waiting Room', let me know and I'll email it to you - probably in a wordpad document so you can open it! Most of you use MSWord, but I use Corel, so if the formatting becomes screwed beyond recognition, blame the conversion process... it won't mind. ;o) Thanks everyone!

Have one of those nights to remember!

Heather Hemlock Bags 9-25-2002 2:03

Rhoda - I think your right, while I've never been in a Huricane, I did go through two typhoons in Vietnam, and we didn't have anywhere to run except bunkers, and boy were they full of water. I ended up spending one in the Tactical Operations Center, which was a huge fortified building consisting of walls that were made to withstand rocket attacks. It's the place where the Officers ran to hide when we were under attack, but we had a communications center there that we could go to. The second one I sort of knew what to expect and sat out the storm in our hooch. It did get a bit scary when the roof of the Cooks hooch blew off, with some of them up there trying to save it by putting sand bags on top. We in communications were prepared with plenty of sand bags on top our tin roofs.

Yep, I think I'd rather have snow then that.

We did spend today preparing though, much like folks in your area. Today was a nice one with temps up in the high 50's, perfect day to put plastic covering on our windows to seal out the cold that is just around the corner. I was able to help with the first two, then our daughter showed up and helped with the rest, just as well too, as I was plum played out and my back was in bad shape.

Don't have much to say about this Celt stuff, not a drop of that blood in my old crooked body, I'm a mixture of Swede - 50% German - 25% and French/Indian/Norwegen/??? the other 25%. Well in truth I guess Grandma was half french and the rest ????? with some Indian blood there that goes back to 16?? when a frenchman who was one of the first to arrive in New France (now Canada) wed an indian madin who's name, I am told had an 8 in it, as when her language was translated to English, they ran out of letters and began to use numbers. Who knows maybe some of that ???? has a bit of Celtic blood, after all it all took place up in Canada.

Jerry 9-24-2002 23:27

Hi Everyone, just checking in, started rewriting my SCI Fi manuscript AGAIN.

Laura 9-24-2002 18:30

HOWARD: Thanks for the links. I had only visited two of those sites before. The last one on your list looks particularly promising, even though it goes a lot earlier than what I usually delve into. The Picts are hard to find trustworthy information on and I look forward to reading what this man has to say. Thanks again.

Mary 9-24-2002 17:18

Rhoda, I'm amazed you're able to type at all! I experienced Hurricane Floyd up close and personal, and I don't need to do that again. Good luck, and hope you have no use for any of your supplies. ;-)

Sunny 9-24-2002 15:54

Rhoda, I'm amazed you're able to type at all! I experienced Hurricane Floyd up close and personal, and I don't need to do that again. Good luck, and hope you have no use for any of your supplies. ;-)

Sunny 9-24-2002 15:53

My heart was pumping fast. I cannot belief that I am such a bad proof-reader.

Rhoda 9-24-2002 14:39


I would prefer that S*** to this H******** that my weatherman keeps talking about. Isidore is on her way and I have spent the day preparing for what I do not know, because I have only been through one H********. Grande Isle is being evacuated, and Wal-mart looks like it normally does the day before Christmas.

I was not frightened until I went to Wal-mart and saw people load up their carts with batteries, candles, flashlights, bread, water, crackers, and things. I did much the same, but the heart was pumping face and I felt that awful edrenoline rush.

Well, there is more to do. We expect land fall by Thursday morning.

Rhoda 9-24-2002 14:38

Just gotta pop in and say "Congratulations RHODA"

Mark 9-24-2002 11:55

lurky lurky, (well done, Rhoda)

9-23-2002 23:51

Boy is it cold outside, the damn weatherman is using the S word very early this year, says we may get our first snow by tuesday night, that's tommorow NIGHT!

Back to work on my long short story, it is comming along, slowley, I can't seem to get in the groove on this one, usually when I begin a story, I have it done in a matter of hours, well at least the first draft, not so this one.

Anyhow it is still moving, so that's a plus.

Jerry 9-23-2002 23:48

Welcome to everyone new!

I don't think I say that enough, but every day is a new day.

Plus when someone new comes I become less new. I think it's time I didn't consider myself new. Hasen't it been two years already for me?

I'm thinking!

Debra 9-23-2002 20:39


Howdy to all...
Donna: We've all been guilty of 'Having a lot to say' from time to time. But it's way better than not saying anything.

Well it's been one of those weekends where I feel like everythings just crumbling to nothing. Things just seem to be going wrong. Oh well I won't go into details.

On a good note... Still writing and researching. Trying to learn more about things. Isn't it funny trying to figure what you don't know and what you need to know?

Good Day to all

Taylor 9-23-2002 20:38

Not sure why it doesn't pick up the whole link for the first three, but if you copy/paste the complete url into the address bar you can get to the pages.

howard 9-23-2002 19:23

Dunno if you've seen these, but they may be helpful to those interested in Celtic and pre-Celtic things.

howard 9-23-2002 19:19


Hope you feel better soon. There is nothing worse than feeling sick but having to go on with school. Get all the rest you can, and don't complain about your writing. It is good to hear from you run-ons and all. Take care, girl.

Rhoda 9-23-2002 13:52

Hello all! First of all a great big CONGRATS!!! to RHODA and a warm welcome to DONNA. I don't feel so good right now so I won't stay long, that way you don't catch whatever I've got. Had a fever last night and I think i'm getting one again. I'm in school anyway, parents made me. My writing skills are going down the toilet. Look at all those run-ons! I mean, fragments, okay, i think it's time I get off, I'm not making sense to ME anymore and I'm probably confusing everyone else! Hope you guys feel better than I do!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-23-2002 12:20

EDDIE: Wow. I remember a tiny quake we had back in 1986. It barely rattled the house and it took the nightly news for us to realize what it was. It mostly was a slight vibration of the windows and a noise as if a really old, large truck was idling in the front yard. Yours was much stronger, but I know the feeling.

DONNA: Welcome and I am glad that my hesitation wasn't completely alien to someone else( re: Celtic writing topics). I did get quite a lot of good supportive advice from people here, and it wasn't just lip service. The opinions and examples given to me from the people here at the Notebook really helped me to ease my mind over the subject and attempt to head out in the direction I want to go. I suppose that what I do with it now will make or break the perception readers have of my future writing contributions.

I am not sure of this, perhaps someone here has an opinion about it, but it seems to me that oftentimes Americans feel the need to connect with an old culture because our own country is so young. It isn't like we have to go back many generations to come across an ancestor who emigrated to the US. Maybe it is simply the search for family and heritage that makes us hunt, not just an interest in the cultures themselves. Most likely anyone searching has their own and separate motivations. I am reading a fiction novel right now set in 1770's North Carolina. When you say 1770, it sounds like so long ago, but when you really think about it, it isn't at all.

Sometimes I will watch the 'Antiques Roadshow' and listen to the appraisers telling people, 'Oh, this tea set is in excellent condition for being over 100 years old.' Then I switch to the BBC's version of the same type of show and hear the appraisers saying, 'Well, you do realize that this tea set is only 200 years old.' The concept of time is completely different in an old world than in a new one. There is a fair bit of attraction in that for me.

I love my country and wouldn't choose to live anywhere else in the world, but I would sure like to visit. Perhaps my research, reading and writing is as close as I will get anytime soon.

Mary 9-23-2002 10:59

Back again to add some more thoughts.


That was a significant shake-up. I remember a couple of those types of tremors when I lived in Indiana. I was a child at the time and did not consider them frightening. Both times they happened, I was with friends and we found them great fun. It gave us something to talk about for days. I hope you don't have to experience another one for awhile. You do not want to wake up some morning feeling the ground shake under your feet, and then look out to see a big split in the middle of your street and then see something looking like Edinburgh's Castle Rock emerge before your eyes.

We had those types of volcanic formations all around when I lived in Farmington, NM. There was Shiprock, and some other well-known landmarks that were once volcanoes, yet in living memory that area had never had tremors or earthquakes. Yet, ten thousand years ago, it was a completely different story.


I had a similar experience the one time I visited Nothern Ireland a couple of years ago. I asked a guide at the Ulster Folk and Migration Museum just where Derry was because I could not find it on their big display map and he was talking a lot about it. You know how they use a lot of common prefixes in placenames, like Bally for instance. I thought perhaps Derry meant something in Irish, and perhaps there were a lot of towns in Ireland that ended in derry. I asked if Derry could be near Londonderry, and for a few seconds, his face went red.

Then after reminding himself that I was only a dumb American he patiently explained that Derry WAS Londonderry and had been Derry before those British idiots added the London to it. And that Londonderry existed no more because the town council had just recently voted it back to Derry. I nodded my head submissively and apologized for my lapse.

Rhoda 9-23-2002 10:04


Don't apologize about your post, because I thought it interesting. This Notebook would not be nearly so addictive if there were not a considerable number of people here with a lot to say. Welcome to the Notebook, and feel free to share anything that you wish. Were your Irish ancestors from Ulster, or were they the more genuine native Irish variety? You can oftentimes tell by the surname and if your Irish were Roman Catholic or not.

My Irish ancesters, or the ones that I know about, came over from Nothern Ireland, but they were orginally from Scotland as were most of the Scotch-Irish. I have a McCormack ancestor from Scotland who was only one generation in Northern Ireland before migrating to America.

Anyway to add some balance to this discussion, I wish to give a nod to the adventurous, enterprising Scandanavians who added their genes (red hair) and spirit to both the Irish and Scottish cultures. There would not be a Highlands as we know it today if not for Norsemen.

Hugs to all of you for your kind wishes over my contest. I don't know what I would do without my friends here. I can tell that news to most of my extended family and many of my acquaintences, but they would not understand the significance of it as much as you all do, because most of you are or have been in the same boat.

If we were other than Internet buddies I would have thrown a party at my house and treated you all to cokes, beer, and pizza. Actually I will extend that invitation if enough of you would come to New Orleans.

Many thanks! And I will let everyone know how it works out in November.

Rhoda 9-23-2002 9:44

Now that I have greeted everyone twice, I guess I'll continue the message! I just found this website and was perusing the posts until I came to the comments about Celts and writing about them. I am writing a book set largely in Ireland which feeds on what my exhusband once called my Irish Obsession. My Irish ancestors arrived in America just in time to fight in the Revolutionary War, so technically I am WAY more American than Irish. Yet, even as a child I was fascinated with Celtic music, stories, and anything else related to Ireland. After two trips to Ireland and several on and offline friendships with Irish citizens, I've started to get a feel about just how cautious one must be about making rash historical, political, or religious statements, especially if you are an American!That being said, if one was born with an innate sense of Celtic spirit, then you don't really have any choice but to study and write about it. Just like the need to write, the need to learn more about the Celts (or any other ethnic group which undeniably draws your attention...)can't be ignored. I started my book about Ireland three years ago and then abandoned it because I was concerned about the same thing: The validity of an American writing about Ireland. But I have questions of my own to ask and answer...and the book is enabling me to deal with this.
Wow, was I long winded! Thanks for reading...

Donna 9-23-2002 5:32

Hi, Everyone...

Donna 9-23-2002 4:59

Hi, Everyone...

Donna 9-23-2002 4:59

DEATH to the dreaded mosquito! We got our frost last night, the car and truck were white this morning, they're usually blue and red.

The frost ushered in a wonderful fall day that topped out at about sixty, a comfortable day. Our Sunday dinner of Liver and Onions, accompanied by fresh potato's boiled in the jacket and green beans the last of the garden was wonderful.

Even the Pinochle Gods were kind awarding every one of our five players with their win. What could be nicer for a Sunday in the fall.

Write on.

Jerry 9-23-2002 0:08

Wow, I was sitting here wondering what to post when the room started to shake. The screen bounced around a little and there came a sound which seemed remarkably like the noise that you would expect to hear if a large truck had overturned at speed and was sliding down the road toward your front window.
For a split second I really thought that was about to happen.
It turns out we have had a little quake. Only 4.8, but it was right under us.
The overiding impression it has left me with is the simple fact it was unstoppable. How puny we are when compared to the natural world. I never want to feel raw, uncontrolled power like that ever again.
Everything and everybody is fine, no damage, except to my self image.

Eddie French 9-22-2002 22:45


Hey lady! That is very good news. I'll be interested to know how things develop. If I'm not posting at the time that you get the news, I hope that you will e-mail me :o)

All the best.

Rachel O.

Rachel O. 9-22-2002 11:28

Dreaded by some, welcomed by many, the first hard frost is expected tonight. The great thing about it is that it kills the mosquito's, and with this damn West Nile Virus killing horses, dogs, birds and some people, it will again be safe to be outdoors.

Sure glad I went down to the basement a week ago and lit the furnace, it's nice to do it on a warm day when you don't have to shovel snow off the basement door. Our only access to the basement is in the back of the house, one of those old outdoor lift doors. While they say it probably won't snow for a few days yet, it's a sure sign that cold weather is taking over. And to think just three days ago we had the doors and windows open as it was 94 degrees.

Ah well it's all part of life.

May your muse strike you about your head and shoulders region and awaken the great American Novel.

Write On!

Jerry 9-21-2002 23:45

Hi All :)

A big (and belated, its been so busy here lately) welcome to all the newcomers!

I had to pop in quickly just for that welcome and to say congrats!! to Rhoda!! Its always so cool to me to see something I read when it was young, make it to the finaling of a contest. My biggest hopes that Twilight Lord continues and crosses the finish line.

I'm now off to the big state of Texas to visit the son and his family. It will be an interesting trip since we're taking one german shepherd, one cat and one miniture dachshund with us. The cat and gsd will remain behind in their permanent home leaving us only the dachsie to keep us company on the ride home. I'll be back in two weeks at the most. Take care everyone!

Carol 9-21-2002 23:27

RHODA -- Way to go! Keep it up!

howard 9-21-2002 23:24

I first discovered it one night when I was on Arms Room Guard duty at Fort Bliss, back in 197X. It did a wonderful job of keeping me awake that night, and kept me company on many a late night shift while I worked on the Police Departments later.

It was CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, theatre of the mind where the action is more real then any television or movie could be, because it is drawn by words on the very fabric of your mind.

I discovered that one can find copies of RMT on news groups, and internet share networks. Since finding it a few days ago, I have enough to keep me in RMT for the next year or so. I have yet to copy them to a CD but will do that tomorrow morning before pinochle.

The past few nights have great, turned off the TV, turned the lights way down, and turned on one episode. Smokey the cat lay in my lap, as I closed my eyes and watched the theatre in my mind.

Jerry 9-21-2002 22:28


Rhoda: Great news... congrats

Taylor 9-21-2002 20:42

Rhoda - SUPER Congratulations, good things come to those who wait.

Jerry 9-21-2002 17:10

Congrats. It had to come sooner or later. Well Done you!

Eddie French 9-21-2002 14:53


I'll bet you look cute blushing. It's always good for the circulation too.

Debra 9-21-2002 14:21

'Little bits of litter from heaven.' Hehehe.

Thanks again guys. I am having a good time writing this article even if they don't take it.

LITTER: I am surprised at how easily people will believe anything they hear. You can't imagine how many emails I get daily from people asking me to draw them the Celtic knot or symbol that stands for 'courage', or 'strength', etc. so they can have it done into a tattoo.

They so want to believe that I know that answer that they are willing to permanently mark their bodies by my word. I can't in good conscience tell them their answers without also telling them that not only am I not sure what those knots mean, if anything at all, but that nobody else is sure either. They don't like that. They want me to know, and if not me ANYBODY else, and there are sure plenty of people out there willing to take $20 to give them their best guess.

It is easy to feel like I am being clumped in with the group of people that would take that $20 and I never want to be taken as that. I think that is why I have been so reluctant to share what I think I know. There really are a lot of conflicting bits of information out there and one just has to weigh them all against each other by the credibility of their sources. I want that credibility as well, and to have people be able to trust me as much as possible. There is enough crap out there. I am trying not to add to it. Thank you for your support. Big hugs all around.

Mary 9-21-2002 10:00

RHODA – Excellent news. Hope the verdict is in your favour when it comes. (Sounds a bit like you are a felon or something.) Just remember us little people when success calls…

As for Tony Blair, people don’t realise that he only weighs about 15lbs – 5lbs of teeth & hair, 5 lbs of skin (it’s quite thick) and 5 lbs of charm. He is hollow like a balloon and Cheri operates him by remote control. Make us an offer and you can have him :o)

MARY – Oh dear, a non Celt writing about Celtic things… See you people, hanging is too good for you! Haven’t you heard about the curse? (Sorry, just a bit of Celtic whimsy. West of Scotland mainly with a smidgen of Irish.)

Many novels, stories, and poems have been written using Celtic history and mythology a datum or matrix through which to weave the work. I don’t see that writing such like things will be a problem to anyone. The only dissent seems to be when people attempt to pass their writing as ‘fact’ when they are so often in error. There are a great many web sites that have glaring errors, yet these errors take on arms and legs and spread when viewed without discernment. You are probably already more knowledgeable than most non-Celts and, unfortunately, many Celts, so go to it girl – let’s see what you’ve got. :o) (Academic web sites seem to be mostly ok)

DEBRA – ‘Little bits of litter from heaven?’ Oh shucks, you may not be able to see but my face is red. Thank you.

But now, the Tax Man calls. Won’t be doing much of anything except my tax accounts for a few days. Filthy lucre!

All good things,

Litter 9-21-2002 6:35

Ooops again. Forgot to add this fun website for your perusal! :-]

Mel again Forbidden Library 9-21-2002 6:29

Hi all!

HOWARD: 36? WOW! :-)

RHODA: YEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! Yea for your success!!! :-) Hope it goes all the way through the contest!

TINA: Most banned books are really just challenged books - we librarians fight to keep the freedom to read on the shelves. :-) HP I think is just challenged too. The real battle is for the school librarians to keep these books in spite of parental objections. The parents need to make those decisions at home, not at the libraries or bookstores.

Everyone, happy writing!! :-0


Mel 9-21-2002 6:28

OOPS! Sorry Tina. I hopped to the post box as soon as I read Rhoda's post and didn't mean to echo your first two lines of congratulation almost word for word. Hahaha. Oh well. I guess I am not very original, eh?

Mary 9-20-2002 21:56

RHODA!!!! You go girl!!! That is so exciting. I went on over to the site you linked to and checked it all out. You must be floating on cloud nine right now. Boy, to see your name right there on that list after you had been disappointed about not being contacted. Talk about happy ending...even though this hasn't ended yet ( I expect it to get even happier!). I haven't read or really know anything about your story particulars, but I wish you all the best. Big hugs.

Mary 9-20-2002 21:53

Yahoo Rhoda! You go girl! I'm so proud of everyone here who is making strides in their writing.

Sasquatch, you're back! Yay!
Don't those memories ever get heavy? I'm often wondered about memories... if we lived much longer lives, say 150 years instead of the usual 80ish, how would our emotional histories weigh us down through the years?

Mel, I went to those sites. I'm always flabbergasted by the titles on those lists. Yes, I've read many of them. Is Harry Potter really banned? Or was that first list just titles that have been challenged?

Glad this week is over, work was stupid nuts. TGIF!

Blue skies!

Tina 9-20-2002 21:25

Rhoda, congratulations!! I sometimes think that there's nothing else in the world quite like that kind of feedback. I went through 3 agents before i found someone who "got" what I was trying to do. I felt understood down to my bones. Best of luck on whatever comes next!

Sunny 9-20-2002 20:31

That link did not work. I will try again.

Rhoda 2002 Award of Excellence Contest Finalists 9-20-2002 20:15


That was a beautiful poem. It is so good to see you again.


Wonderful news! I hope they take your articles.

I have had an emotionally turbulent week, and writing has been the cause of it. For over nine months I have poured my heart into a book that I thought had merit. I have shared parts of it with some here on this Notebook such as LITTER and CAROL, and then run it by one of my critique partners. By and large the feedback was positive and all these friends offered helpful suggestions.

There is a tendency I have, and I think this goes for most people, to believe that your current project is good and better than the ones that have gone before it. After all you have given it every ounce of your creative energy. But once in awhile, doubt creeps in and you wonder if it is really worthy of anyone's consideration. Well, even when circumstances say that it is not, you have to believe in yourself and prod along anyway. In the end, writers have to go with the vision they are given, put their baby out and hope for the best.

I entered this Outreach International contest because it had four judges and I thought that was a lot of feedback. I fooled myself into believing that was the only reason I entered. It was the main reason I entered, but in the back of my mind, I hoped and dreamed that I might place in the contest.

Finalists were to be notified on September 2nd. Well that day came and went, and I heard nothing. I still have heard nothing, but today I had some extra time on the Internet, and I happened to visit the web-site. They had a page where the names and entries of the finalists were announced. Well I followed the link and what did I see?


It has now gone on to the final judge, an editor, and she will make the final decision on how the finalists place, and that will be announced November 1st.

Even if I had not placed, I know I would have gone on writing this book and believing in it, but it is sure nice to know that someone who has never met me or seen me and who knows nothing about me or my project short of what was in the entry, likes my story as well.

Rhoda OIRW 2002 Award of Excellence Contest Finalists 9-20-2002 20:11

MEL -- 36

howard 9-20-2002 17:09

SASQUATCH -- Where have you been? We've missed you. Thanks for that poem, my furry friend!

SUNNY -- and the rest of the newbies - Welcome!

ELAINE -- Thanks for your poem too!

howard 9-20-2002 16:30

Check these too, if interested. How many have YOU read?? :-)

Mel again One more BANNED BOOKS list - the CLASSICS!!! 9-20-2002 15:55

Oops. Try that link again, off this post!!

Mel The real BANNED BOOKS link 9-20-2002 15:08


Hi, everyone! I'm behind on the posts, so just dropping in to say, Sept. 21-28 is the American Library Association's BANNED BOOKS WEEK. So Celebrate your freedom to read and read one of the books at the link here listed. ENJOY!!! :-)

And above all, keep writing!!! :-]

Mel Banned Books List 9-20-2002 15:05

Taylor: Thanks. I still don't know yet if I got a part or not, I'll know after school. I can't wait to know how poorly (or how well) I did. I'll know in about 5 more classes, 4 more hours. Just a little something since I saw a poem recently out there.

Sky is grey, dark as night
In winter's dark night dreary
Rain is pouring, where's the light?
We place our heads down, weary.

Snow is falling, soft and mellow
White as light and dark as black
Where is summer's brighter yellow?
We wish it were here and back.

Branches fall, hard and brittle
Trees are dying; dead, and gone
Leaving quickly, large and little
Ending now is nature's song.

Wind howling, winter's breath
Chilling all to the bone
Making some to sleep in death
Where is recent kindness shown?

Sky is grey, dark as night
In winter's dark night dreary
See the sun, round and bright
Still lay down our heads, weary

Leaves are growing in the trees
Tiny ones playing in the sun
Wind whistles through the leaves
Winter's dark, dead night is done.

Spring triumphant once again
Over came the winter dead
All rejoice, beast and man
No longer filled with cold or dread

Thats all I have time for right now. I may add a verse or two later, but until then my little contribution.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-20-2002 12:31

To everyone who wrote such kind words of support,

You guys... You are all so fantastic. I would like to take each of you and give you one of those tight hugs that are saved for people who have supported you in an emotional moment. I am still feeling a little blue. I think that will stick with me for a time. I have had some good cheer come my way. I've had a dear friend who has been away on vacation for quite some time. I was delighted to have news of return from this one. You know how it is, sometimes news from a friend can really sweep away the clouds and cobwebs.


Thank you for the poem. That you for being you. You are a sweet heart.


Thanks again for hearing and supporting me.

All the very best!


Rachel O. 9-20-2002 12:01

rachel person i have sorrow for you in losing your small creature friend. this is the way of life. i sasquatch have Yeti memory of many such times and all common to them is the sorrow in the parting. i do not know what lies beyond for your creature friend but i believe it to be happy.

when parting brings the tear
when leaving brings the crying
the long trail holds no fear
for the creature in his dying
see how lightly now he springs
cloud to cloud as if in flight
it is freedom he now sings
as he dances in the light

i must go

sasquatch 9-19-2002 22:55

Woohoo Mary! Good stuff. :-D

Sunny, I'm writing a novel that's kinda science fiction, kinda fantasy. I've done a few short stories, but only when they present themselves to me. Add in the odd bit of poetry and the occasional essay, and that's me - happily writing and still unpublished. These day's I mostly drive everyone nuts with writing about skydiving. ;-)

Something sad happened this week. I finally got a copy of Jean Auel's latest novel, eagerly retrieved it from the library, sat down in my hammock to read it... and was utterly bored by it. Such a let down! I read the first 80 pages hoping that the magic would begin, and nauta, nope, zilch for interest. Today I took it back to the library, unread. I looked forward to that book for years! I'm very disappointed.
Fortunately, the library also coughed up a copy of 'The Red Tent' by Anita Diamant, and it is superb. Kind of a 'chick book', but fabulous by any measure.

Blue skies!

Tina 9-19-2002 20:57

WooHoo. Just received an email from Bardsong Press expressing their interest in my article and a request for any Celtic-themed poetry that I may have as well.

I can't tell you how good it feels to know that this is an article I can write without doing any extensive research. Most of what I want to relay is already in my brains. LOL I want to put a section in the essay which shows how ancient traditions translate into contemporary ceremonies that I might want to do some research into, but other than that, this should be relatively easy to write. WOW, I can't believe how quickly they responded.

Thank you for all your help over the last few days.


Mary 9-19-2002 18:07

We are an epublishing group looking for new authors in Self-Help/Non-Fiction. We are paying signing bonusses, royalties, and will provide a full page bio of every author and international marketing for every book. If you are interested, please email me at:

I will send you our submission guidelines, and look forward to some great ideas and even better writing!

Melody Mehta

Melody Mehta 9-19-2002 17:06


Well finished most of my research, now just got to add in my personal comments and thoughts about it or find out more about the subject.

Sunny: Welcome.
Well there isn't much to tell about me. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I like learning about new things. A keen interest in the Paranormal, Military and Politics(Should try and fuse those 3 together)hmmmmmm... Oh I'm on late night mind. Anything sounds good now. That's about it for me really. Oh and I sing at Karaoke, not professionally.
Well welcome and enjoy.

Well it's almost twenty to three am... Actually it is. So I do not burn the candle at both ends yet, I'm hitting the sack now.
Later all

Taylor 9-19-2002 14:42

Rachel O.,

Sorry to hear about Buddy. It is never easy to see these innocent, sweet creatures suffer. Do not feel bad for crying. It is the most natural thing. At least Buddy had love at the end. He was not like those stray animals who are caught by the pound and summarily put to sleep. Those are the animals that really break my heart.

I still get bleary-eyed when I see pictures of my old cat Pepper, whom I put down almost ten years ago. There will always be a place in my heart for him, even though I have two fine, healthy cats now.


Good luck with your contest.


Nice to have your thoughts here on the Notebook. Welcome.

Rhoda 9-19-2002 14:25

Actually, I don't seem to be connected to my web site here. Try

Sunny 9-19-2002 13:58

Jerry -- thanks for filling me in! It's nice to make your acquaintance and to begin to read your terrific stories. I guess I should do my part here, huh? I'm a professional organizer/personal coach, and I'm working on my second book. You can read about my work on my web site. :-)

Sunny 9-19-2002 13:57

Sunny - I was going to tell you to go to the bio page, but I checked and it seems I'm the only one who has submitted a bio. So anyhow if you want to see who I am, you can go to the bio page, or to my web site listed below.

As far as being published, I had a couple of my essay's published when I was in college back in the mid 90's, and most recently had one short story published by an online magazine.

My web site is a bit out of date, I should update it one of these days.

Jerry Jerry Ericsson 9-19-2002 12:59

Would it possible to get some idea about who you all are, and the types of things you like to write about? You know, just like a general introduction. :-)

Sunny 9-19-2002 12:50


Elaine: GL with the Orchestra

Rachel O: Sorry about the Buddy... It's not wrong to feel sad about losing a pet. They often touch us write in the heart.

Writing Doubt or Fear: My actual biggest fear is that my writing would bore a famous writer. I would hate to have (lets just say) Stephen King read one of my books and the first thing to go through his mind will be.. "Boring!" Well a silly fear.

Well having a break from actual writing tonight and just doing some net research on something. Won't go into details, I just think it will make it easier for me to write from the "Bad Guy" point of view.
It's getting late here... It's after midnight... Take care all and enjoy your weekend coming up.

Taylor 9-19-2002 12:45

Thanks Sunny. I don't think I did too well, but that's not for me to decide, it's the director's descision. If I don't get the part I tried out for, maybe I'll play in the orchestra. That way I'm still involoved, (and I can see it for free!)
Rachel O. - I'm sorry about Buddy. I had a dog who had to be put to sleep when he was only 3. He had contracted Blasto and we had to let him go. I was only 11 or 12 and I just cried my eyes out for weeks. So don't feel bad. We only had him for 2 and a half years before he got sick. (SIGH) oh,well, now we have a cat (poor substitute when you're used to a dog) and all is well.
Writing-wise I think that everybody goes through the doubt cycle. What I try to do is just ignore it. I'm writing for fun right now anyway so it's not like a huge big deal if I don't get published NOW. So I just push those thoughts out of my mind and put my pen to my paper and write. There are times when I can't ignore it (like lying in bed at night looking at the wonder I'm so tired!) Later, when I get older and actually try to publish something, I'll probably go through the cycle every couple hours or so. Well, I have to be going, got some stuff to do, (and write)
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-19-2002 12:16

Well, I got the ball rolling on the essay I want to write. I was afraid if I waited too long I wouldn't do it. They ask that you query first by email, so I constructed a query and sent it out. Now I wait.

RACHEL O: Good to see you, but I am sorry to hear about your little buddy. Don't feel silly about crying for him, I am sure none of us think you are silly for doing so. I have cried over a few animals in my time as well. Big hugs.

Mary 9-19-2002 11:41

HI guys,

This is Rachel O. I'm the Rachel who has been hanging around for years. I'll post as Rachel O. to make things easy with the two Rachel types here :o)

Welcome Rachel! Love your name ;o)


I had a sad day yesterday. The old dog who I took into my care has really gone down of late. He is in a lot of pain. He shakes all the time. He can't even get up in the morning without help and is pretty much blind. Yesterday I spoke to his owner. The man called the vet on the spot. He said if he was in pain that it was time. I couldn't believe it was going to be so sudden. He packed Buddy into the car and that was it. Bud is gone. I know it is for he best, but still it is so sad. I keep having these tearful moments. I feel like such a dope for crying over an old dog who was in pain. I should be happy for the dog. I think I will go and put away his things. That might help, or it might make me start bawling like a baby.

Take care all.


Rachel O. 9-19-2002 11:18

Hi guys.

Wow, I thought perhaps that someone might have a comment on my question from yesterday, but I never imagined so many would have substantial input. I truly thank you all, along with anyone else who adds anything later. Bardsong Press is running a contest right now for short story length ficton with Celtic themes. I have been considering whether or not to enter since the deadline is very near (9/30/02), it only costs $10 to enter. The top prize is small, only $25, but your winning entry is put into a future anthology of which you would receive 5 copies at no charge. This doesn't seem like a hoax to me, for Bardsong Press is very small (not like, professional con-artists), and not every entry gets into the anthology, only the winner. I don't expect to win, so pretty much I would just be out the $10 and have a feeling of accomplishment in having finished and submitted a story.

They also except essay-length articles on Celtic culture and history which are published on site with a byline. Not paid, but recognized. I am feeling that is more up my alley. I actually think I would feel better about writing these stories (at least at first) if I weren't making money from them. I would be happy to be gaining a little respect from a Celt-dedicated publishing company though if they chose any of my essays to add to their site. If I do one of these, I think it will be on Celtic wedding traditions and perhaps a short rundown on a marriage ceremony. There are no deadlines, as they are always open to essay submissions, so I could take my time and be confident in what I send them. I am relatively certain, after reading the others that they have accepted, that my submission would be well received.

They aren't accepting novel-length submissions right now, as their publishing abilities are booked for the next two years. (In case anyone else were interested in that route. I personally am not.)

Thanks again you guys. I hope that I can be of help to you as well. I try anyway. ;-)

Below is a link to Bardsong Press

Mary Bardsong Press 9-19-2002 10:43


I don't think we should ever apologize either, until the checks come in any way.


Debra 9-19-2002 9:33


I think people always write about stories that inspire them or are inspired to write about them.
My reckoning is that you shouldn't feel the need to apolagise for any Story or Novel you want to write, since there will always be a group of people that will read it.

Taylor 9-19-2002 8:45


Everything we know is either learned from others or learned from experience. Though you have little blood connection to Celts, you can know as much about Celts as LITTER or any other Scotsman or Irishman, though it will take you a lot of time.

Celts have a distinctive culture, but they are human and share the same strengths and weaknesses as the rest of humanity. There are good Celts and bad Celts.

I think you bring up a good question for writers. Do we have the right to write about people we personally might not know, or might only know from history books like ancient Egyptians? Can we meaningfully engage cultures different from our own in our writing? I certainly hope so, for if not then most of the authors of genre literature are going to be in deep trouble.

Fact is that there is something about Celts that inspires you. You connect with them on some level and thereby should not apologize for writing about them. As long as you do your research and homework, you will be creditable.

Rhoda 9-19-2002 7:55

lurkity lurkity lurk

9-19-2002 2:23

Hi all, here's a link to a petition for that woman in Nigeria who is sentenced to be stoned for having a child out of wedlock. It would be great if you all could add your names to it.

Teekay 9-19-2002 1:19

Welcome to all the newbies! Come one in, we can always use some new blood, well new ideas at any rate.

By Jerry Ericsson

“There are three things that one who visits the planet Caledonia must know.”

“First, the Caledonians have discovered a secret to long life, by that I mean the youngest person you meet there will be well past their three hundredth birthday, since it is three hundred years since they discovered the secret, and stopped procreation so their wonderful world would not become over populated.”

“Secondly, while the Caledonians welcome tourists, they do not fraternize with them, keep this in mind while there, don’t even try to seduce their women, first off, they are older then your grandmother, secondly, they no longer have sex, it was given up three hundred years ago.”

“Third, keep in mind, any transgression of Caledonian law by an outworlder is punished by life in prison, or death, at the discretion of the injured party, in a sex case that would be the parent, husband, or brother of any woman who was the object of your interests.”

With this, the Captain of our warship the California dismissed us and the liberty was on.

I joined with some of my buddies from the Communications Section on the fourth shuttle to leave the ship, the trip down was great, Caledonia looks so much like earth one could easily forget that he were over seventeen light years away. As the shuttle came closer to the surface, subtle differences were apparent. Things like the shape of their trees, all straight lines. What was it my art teacher taught me in college so very many years ago, “nature abhors a straight line!” she said, well it is apparent she had never seen Caledonia.

The first few hours of our liberty were spent the way sailors every where, from every time spent theirs, drinking booze and seeking the company of a fine woman.

Now the Captain said that these women were all older then my grandmother, but they sure didn’t look like it. From what I’ve read about Caledonia, folks there only age about one second every seventeen years earth time, and a lot of those women were true foxes.

I was so drunk that I could barely walk when she walked over to our table and sat down for a drink. I remember we made small talk, and drank a few more glasses of some rot-gut stuff the bartender tried to pass of as Amadarian brandy; the rest of the night was a blur. When I finally woke up, that fine young lady was lying beside me, and I had a pretty good idea what had gone on the night before.

The warning of our Captain began to echo through my mind, as I started looking for a place to wash up, a shower would have made my day, but I wouldn’t have a chance for a shower for a long time.

As I began opening the door I was sure opened up to the Bathroom, the door began to push toward me, of it’s own volition, or so it seemed. The door pushed harder and harder till I finally slipped and it flew open, the knob making a hole in the wall behind it.

Three officers of the Caledonian police rushed through the door, over my body to the lady who lay face down on the bed. One of them pulled off the covers, turned her over, waking her in the process, then forced her legs apart, and proceeded to do a pelvic exam on her.

“She’s had sex!” He exclaimed, and with that information, the other two grabbed me, one by each arm, and began walking me out the door, all the time slapping the back of my head with their little leather saps they carried for just that purpose.

The trial was quick, as was the sentencing; I was sentenced to life in prison, and to insure it would be a long life, the Caledonian court ordered that I be given the treatment that all citizens of Caledonia had received over three hundred years ago.

What did this mean, you may ask, well to put it simply, it means that I must spend eternity locked away on this cold baron rock of a moon, dependant on the Government of Caledonia to drop monthly food packages. In the back of my mind, I wonder, will they do this for ever, or will it stop some day, and I would be forced to live out eternity without food, can a Caledonian starve to death, I wondered.

Jerry 9-19-2002 1:01

Hi all!

Welcome everyone new! Very good to see so many new people in here.

About writer's doubt... I'm in a heavy period of that right now. It's the, 'I can't even get my immediate circle of friends/acquaintences interested in it, how can I ever get it published?' circle of doubt. Very nasty. When it's at its worst, I think of a quote from Mayor Guiliani... 'Be courageous. And if you can't be courageous, it's okay to fake it.'

Hi Sunny! Those blue boxes should link to all sorts of things. They do for me, anyway.

I don't know about making real 'bad guys' appealing, but I do understand the struggle. My main characters are assassins, yet they need to be involving and get the reader to empathize with them. I go for morals and charisma in the character, so that their unappealing traits are overpowered.
A good example of this is the movie 'Red Heat'. I cheered for the 'bad guys' all the way through.

Mel, just so as you know, I got your letter. I'll send you my home address; I sent you the hardcopy from work, and used that as a return address. I forgot about that, and it took me days to figure out how you got that address!

Howard, don't ever grow up! It's highly over-rated.

Sasquatch, hope your out there and all is well... missing your friendly humour.

Blue skies!

Tina 9-18-2002 21:54

There are writers that one reads because they are (were) great writes. There are writers the one reads because they are (were) great men.

Sometimes those great men write what they know, and succeed, other times those great men write what they know and succeed only because they were great men.

This guy is a real live honest to god hero. He has done things in his lifetime that most hero's only dream of. He has written several books, several of which are on the "must read" list of any leader in the military.

He is actually a fairly good writer too, but his use of similes wears on one's very soul. I read his first chapter on his web site and nearly decided not to buy his book, but then I read Chapter 7 also posted and reversed my decision.

Have a look, see what you think.

Jerry Chapter 1 9-18-2002 20:44

Hey guys, I have a question.
The blue boxes at the top of this page, except for the Post one, don't link to anywhere. Is that usual?

Sunny 9-18-2002 20:41

Hi Notebook folks. I have visited this site before but never posted anything. Encouragement is important. Even when you think you know what you're doing,there's always something that can trip you up. Point of view changes are getting me in the novel I'm working on now. I'm moving from several different characters and it is complicated trying to stay on top of the narrator's voice vs the characters voice.

I'm thinking about changing my writing time from mornings to late night. It will give me move time, but I'm definately a morning guy some I'm resisting the change. Writing habits... Have any of you checked out the Lost Treasures portion of the Louis L'Amour website? I'm not a big fan of his, but it's kind of cool to see the stuff they're putting up. Correspondence with his publishers and editors. It makes me realize that the battle goes on no matter how big you get. They put up a cool thing about where to find stories too. Here's the url.

Sean Lampack 9-18-2002 19:25

Mary, I have a brief story to tell in response to your question, "Does my own personal research count for less because it isn't guided?"

There is an author by the name of William Gibson who caused a firestorm in the science-fiction community in the mid-80's with the publication of his first novel, "Neuromancer". It won the highest awards and honors, arguably, started a new subgenre in the field, known as "cyberpunk" and came up with the term "cyberspace".

Neuromancer was a fresh vision of an advanced technological culture. The forms computers would take, and their possible uses in the future were the centerpiece of this novel. Yet Gibson had never used a computer. He even banged out his copy of Neuromancer on a manual typewriter. Talk about not doing his research! Yet, his vision inspired countless people.

Some have argued that it was precisely his ignorance of what computers were really like that allowed his imagination the freedom it needed. If he had really done his research, the prosaic reality of computers may have hampered his writing. Indeed, when he did finally use a computer he said he was surprised by how primitive they really were. He thought they would have been much more advanced.

I believe a lack of thorough, formal research might sometimes be an advantage. So keep at it, and let your imagination fill in the gaps. :)


Sergey Goldgaber Writing for Our Lives 9-18-2002 18:54

Mary, in my opinion, anyone who is as passionate as you are about the Celts has certainly lived a lifetime among them, and you're still connected. That connection is real, because it's real to you, and no one else is entitled to pass judgment. Any interpretation you make of what you read or hear is *your* take, and therefore it's legitimate.Just write what you love, and what you feel strongly about, and analyze it later. Otherwise you'll be forever hung up on someone else's concept of *right* and *wrong*.

Sunny 9-18-2002 16:44

I also have another question to put through the mill.

Some of you may know of my interest in Celtic cultures/ beliefs/ history/ etc. It isn't possible for me to go to college to learn about this. Time and money and family would not really be comfortable with that. It IS possible for me to learn by reading texts and by listening and researching on the internet. I dig and excavate through words like an archaelogist to dirt. I have been for over two years now.

Somehow, I never feel that any of this knowledge is my own. Do I know things about the ancient Celts? Yes...lots of things. But it is all other people's work that I have leeched into myself. Will any of this ever feel like it is my own? Whenever I answer a question from someone will I always feel that they should flip to my mental bibliography to give credit where it is due? How did the people who wrote what I read learn what they know? Doing the same things I am doing and just passing it on in their own way and time? Do they feel like me?

Putting information on my website, something I haven't done in a very long time, generally feels like I am simply repeating something someone else has said. I don't plagiarize, and that is not my intent. I just want to put out there what I know to widen the scope of where people can find what they are looking for.

Howard's discussion of creative non-fiction brought this to mind. I have been considering rewriting some of the Celtic legends that I have heard using different points of view, or perhaps different writing styles. Maybe putting a particular legend into poem form instead of short story. These legends aren't non-fiction, but they are legends and I dont want to change the plots or moral messages of them. I simply want to retell them in my own way, but I sometimes question my authority of whether I should or not. I am not Celtic...would a Celt be offended if I did that? Would it be in the same vein as my trying to write a story about being a plantation slave when I have never been a slave? Am not even African-American? I wonder if an African-American decendant of a plantation slave would find it offensive for me to pretend to know anything about it no matter how much research I have done.

In universities, you learn from books, and research and from a professor who has read books and done research and has his own theories. Does my own personal research count for less because it isn't guided? I wonder.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. I am not really looking for validation or permission from you, but I do need to have it from myself and I am having a hard time understanding my hesitation. Usually, if I hesitate to do something, there is a considerable reason and my conscience is telling me before I am even cognitively aware of what the reason is. Perhaps it is my motives that are tainted, or that I feel like an outsider simply because I have no roots to the Scottish Celts, my favorite subject. If I dig deeply enough, there is Welsh on my mother's side(or so she says), but I don't want to be one of those people who digs and digs and digs just deep enough to be able to associate themselves with a clan so they can wear the tartan to the Highland Games. (Not Welsh...Scots)

I simply love the Celtic cultures and want to learn as much as I can about them. In turn, I want to let other people know about them. In theory, I see nothing wrong with that, but still I hesitate. I hope you can see my problem.

Thank you again. I do believe that this is what has been keeping me from telling the stories I desperately want to write. Big hugs all around.

Mary 9-18-2002 15:41

Oh yeah...there always has to be a clock ticking.

Mary 9-18-2002 15:12

I am not one to drool over Brad Pitt's countenance, but the movie 'Seven' (never read the story...just saw the movie),in my opinion, is a good example of making the bad guy brilliant without making the cops look idiotic. If I were to try to analyze that and use it as a formula for other stories, I would probably break it down too simply.

1)Make the 'bad guy' insanely brilliant but where his knowledge isn't so much his strength, but his twisted use of his victims(humanity) against themselves. This gives the reader/viewer the idea that he isn't your regular tuff-guy. Not someone whose every move can be plotted out by 'normal thinkers'.

2)Put him five steps ahead of your cops. Then with his next act, leave him only three steps ahead of your cops. Then one step ahead of your cops. Then nail him. That gives the audience enough time to be thoroughly convinced of his evil/insane/brilliant character and a complete understanding of why he does what he does. He stays enough ahead of the good guys to be a force of reckoning, but since the cops are gradually gaining on him, they don't look like morons. If you can keep your cops one step ahead of your reader...all the better. As long as the reader doesn't figure it out before your cops do, it should be all right.

3)Have the specialist agent/cop, or perhaps the most unlikely of the cops with a stroke of genius or maybe even a personal connection to the criminal make a large break in the case that opens it up.

4)Make the struggle something personal/internal to your main good guy character to where they not only have to overcome an external force of evil, but also an internal demon/skeleton/whathaveyou.

5)Finally, have good triumph over evil at a great expense to the good guy main character. An expense that the reader/viewer will associate with and recognize in themselves.

How can that possibly go wrong? I am sure someone here will know some ways that it could go wrong. Any comments?

Mary 9-18-2002 15:08

And MEL -- does I gotta grow up? I'm sixty one in a couple of months, and I still don't want to!

howard 9-18-2002 14:16

Hi All :)

I haven't completed reading all the posts to get caught up, but I had to comment on Mary's "write what you know" question/complaint ... whatever. (sorry, brains not functioning 100%) To me, writing what I know comes far more from the emotional angles of life. I try to include those things that I have experienced, weave them into the characters experiences and attach the emotions I felt, the questions that were raised in my mind, the dilemmas I had to answer. Writing what you know and making the story believable is adding the feel of the sun on your face after a long, long winter -- add the emotions it raises in you. That's what I use at least and I think my reader's notice and respond.

Later ... :)

Carol 9-18-2002 13:36


Howdy all... How you all doing?
Not much new stuff to report for my writing, except I did find out how to use a research tool from my Encarta Encyclopedia. So that may help.

Anyone see that National Geographic special on The Great Pyramid: Secrets revealed?
The one with the door at the end of the narrow shaft. Well they managed to get the robot up there and drill a hole through that thin door. Then bring the robot down and put on the tiny camera and send it back up... Well the mystery behind that door is apparently
(Suspenseful pause)
Yet another door!

Welcome Sunny... Hope you enjoy this forum

Taylor 9-18-2002 12:52

Thanks for the warm welcome!
Good luck with your audition, Elaine. :-)
I was up until 3:00AM last night working on my overall outline. My last book was done with a co-author; this is my first on my own. I've always had such tremendous respect for writers, and it's exciting to "watch" how you do what you do!

Sunny 9-18-2002 12:04

Mary: in answer to your question of how to make the bad guy smart and making it so the police don't seem stupid...just make the bad guy brilliant. Regular police aren't brilliant, so they won't look stupid, and then the bad guy is really smart. I don't know if that helps you any, but I tried. WELCOME, to all the new people, this site just grows and grows! I don't have that much to say except that I have a play audition today so wish me luck. I might need it, but then again I might not. I don't like to take chances.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-18-2002 11:47

MEL -- Thanks for the kind words about "Treehouse." It is indeed factual -- I really built that treehouse, and spent the greater part of my thirteenth summer 20 feet off the ground, reading everything I could get my hands on.

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the "historical novels" example. Now that I think of it, "narrative" seems the better choice. Allan Eckert calls his "Winning of America" series a narrative. If you're interested in the colonial period, you'll most likely enjoy "Wilderness Empire." It is set in this part of New York State, as well as Canada, PA, and Ohio. Take a look in particular at the bibliography and you'll see long lists of sources that Eckert researched and put together in writing this series. But you're probably right -- it does belong on the fiction shelves.
Eckert also wrote most if not all of the "Wild Kingdom" TV series. He's still writing, and you can check his web page at

howard 9-18-2002 11:22

*Mel again*

HOWARD: I think we're on the same track except for one statement you made at the start of the creative nonfiction conversation. You said, "Historical novels can be examples of creative non-fiction."

I agree that creative nonfiction makes the facts into a readable narrative of more pleasing style. Libraries (and bookstores) categorize every book for easier finding by people who come looking for reading material. We start with the basic separation (I agree, not genres): either the writing is fiction (imagined stories) or it is nonfiction (not imagined but true in every detail).

The books that overlap this true/not true separation are the creative nonfiction books and the historical novels. Historical novels, in our librarian's world, are imagined tales interwoven with historical events or time periods, like a Civil War (historical part) soldier (a made-up character)coming home to find his home was burned and family killed. As he is a made-up character, so is his account, and the book goes to the fiction shelves, even though historical facts about the war are included in the story.

Yesterday at work, I came across a VERY creative nonfiction - a kid's book about the history of ice cream making. It was such a joy to read, had me almost rolling on the floor because of its humorous style of relating all the facts and history of ice cream. It lives on the nonfiction shelves as it's all true, or what's exaggeration in the spirit of the moment is revealed as such so as not to be confused with the facts.

BTW, "TREEHOUSE" -- if truly part of your autobiography as I think it is-- is EXCELLENT creative nonfiction. You brought me to that treehouse with you, through all those wonderful stories read as a child... Still mopping up nostalgic tears... You have such a way with words, Howard; I think you'll grow up to be a wonderful writer someday. :-)

Mel 9-18-2002 10:26

I think we're confusing 'creativity' with 'fiction' here. Creative non-fiction is not a specific genre. It's only a term to describe a style of writing that can make a topic interesting while maintaining the underlying facts.

Here's an example:

The sky was blue, and there were high clouds. It did not look like it would rain. Most crops had been lost. The wind was drying up the soil and blowing it away.

The high wispy clouds in the cerulean sky held no promise of rain to slake the thirst of the parched farmland. Farmers were helpless to do anything but watch as the hot, dry winds blew the life out of their crops, and then picked up the dust. They watched as billowing clouds of once-fertile soil disappeared before their very eyes. The drought continued.

The two paragraphs above present the same facts, but the second brings those facts to the reader in such a way that he can feel them.

The primary use of creative nonfiction is in the essay.

I posted a simple (but exaggerated) comparison on my RR page --

Read "Just the facts" first, then Treehouse. They both present fact, but I think one is a bit more interesting.

howard 9-18-2002 9:19


Good morning, all you writers out there! :-)

I have to jump into the conversation about creative nonfiction. First, my librarian point-of-view:

"Creative nonfiction? We don't have a shelf for that!!! It's either fiction (e.g. made-up) or it's nonfiction (true and factual). What's this fictionalized nonfiction doing here? Throw it in historical fiction! If there's any fiction in it, it's FICTION!!!" ;-]

Now, for my personal view:

"Why, look at this creative nonfiction book! Sure, it's factual, but look at the writing style! It makes you laugh or cry, it's so far from dry or boring!!!" :-)

And the combined view of personal and professional opinions with which I must live:

"Nothing wrong with spicing up the factual to make more interesting reading - if the creatively-worded facts are in tact, put it on the nonfiction shelf. If the facts wind themselves into a very creative (e.g. made-up) narrative, put it with the fiction." :-) I has spokened.

And now a few words about Writer's Doubt:

Yep. It's a true, factual thing that makes one feel like everything you write is just a whimsical fancy passing on the wind. And if enough people aren't wearing hats, your thoughts aren't going to blow them anywhere.

Hoo boy. Back to my desk!

Have a great day, you-all! Write something to knock off my hat! (Now where did I put that sun visor, anyway? Hmm, guess I'll have to make do with this beany-'copter cap...) :-)

Mel 9-18-2002 8:22

Hi Sunny,
I am sitting at a computer learning about the many deadlines ahead of me this year.
Not writing deadlines I know, but what the hell. Welcome anyway.

Eddie 9-18-2002 6:07

This is an invitation to a group called "Writing for Our Lives". It is meant to provide encouragement for following through with the exercises in Deena Metzger's wonderful book, "Writing for Your Life".

We will go through the book together, performing the exercises regularly, and posting the results of the exercises to the list. All members are encouraged to provide constructive, friendly feedback on one another's work. This requires regular reading of the results of all of the exercises by every member. To keep this goal practical the group size will be restricted to five members.

As an additional bit of encouragement members will recieve five points for every exercise completed, and one point for each message providing feedback. This is a purely abstract reward, and is only experimental. We'll keep the system if we find we like it.

You are encouraged to join us at

Naturally, you should have access to a copy of the book.

Sergey Goldgaber Writing for Our Lives 9-18-2002 4:38

It's funny, but we all know this stuff is true. It's *remembering* it that's the problem! We just need to keep reminding each other. :-)

sunny 9-18-2002 0:07

I once read a fact that rings so very true.

"There is but one story, but it has been told a million times in a million different and wonderful ways."

There is a book out there called "A Hero's Journey" that goes deep into this fact, and explains it very well, then goes on to show many of the wonderful ways it has been told. A good read when Writers Doubt comes a knocking.

Jerry 9-18-2002 0:02

See, Mary? I told you I thought what you wrote was excellent! And now you're being quoted! LOL

And I did want to respond to what you said as well... I just haven't come up with anything half so eloquent as what you said in the first place!
There is something that comes to mind, however, from a strange song that was originally a woman's odd poem (sorry, I forget her name)
It goes something like this: '... and don't look at fashion magazines. They will only make you feel ugly....'
That is true of writing as well. We will always feel inadequate when we read somebody's writing.
So who makes you feel like your writing is utter sewage, anyway? And will you please stop reading them?

Heather 9-17-2002 22:00

Thank you Heather!
I've copied this from a post below, and I wanted to respond:

'Writer's Doubt' is plaguing me. That little voice that says, "What could you possibly have to say that hasn't already been said by somebody better than you?" Or my personal favorite that pertains to writing what you know, "You don't know anything that anybody else cares about."

I believe that that each of us is totally unique, and that *no one* can say your truth the way you can, and are meant, to say it. Don't compare yourself because there has never been and never will be another you.

sunny 9-17-2002 21:06


Heather 9-17-2002 20:24

Howard, if the underlying facts are still intact, then to me it is not unethical. What I find unethical are non-fiction books with fiction sprinkled in, and no one would be the wiser... literally. Could be that I have biographies uppermost in mind, what with recent (hear the rust falling off my brain? We're talking 2 years ago)uproars over whether a bit of the biographical manuscript could be fudged (probably to save face) or altered quite a lot, and passed off as a non-fiction, as biographies tend to be. :o)
But, should the trend extent into books that I would normally consider research fodder, WELL! I would certainly raise a few flags! Therein was supposed to be my point. Sorry if I'm a bit dull tonight! LOL

Heather 9-17-2002 19:18

I'd like to think my sweetie book on domestic violence is an example of creative writing.

Of course I might be biasis.

Debra 9-17-2002 18:37


Consider it done. I'll take any human facts about your home and the people that live in the surrounding area and silly customes and the things that all humans have in common. I just love that stuff. I'm not looking for private information that people don't want to share.

Send me some heaven!

Debra 9-17-2002 18:35

hi all!
after much searching,it looks like i've found an intelligent and sensitive forum for writers! i'm working on my second non-fiction book ( i have a contract) and i'm just looking for a community of people who know what it's like to be staring at a computer with a deadline facing you. ;-)

sunny 9-17-2002 16:44

HEATHER -- More examples of creative non-fiction include "The Idiot's Guide to &whatever," and "Country Editor's Boy." Max Lucado's books also fall into that category, but Frank Peretti's books do not. The "creative" part is the ability to take a mundane topic and make it interesting without changing the underlying facts.

Do a GOOGLE search on "Creative non-fiction" and you'll see lots of examples. Here's one:
There are contests, etc out there.
I have a book from the Writer's Digest Book Club entitled just that: "Creative Non-Fiction."
There's nothing unethical about it, if the guidelines are followed.

howard 9-17-2002 16:38

Pardon my English, but what's this shit about being in a book about sex? I could fill three volumes just about m...

*backing away with sheepish grin* Uh, on second thought...

Heather 9-17-2002 15:50

Perhaps it is not a question of whether a writer is good or bad, but rather if they are convincing!

*disclaimer* That probably shouldn't apply to non-fiction writers, ethically speaking...

Yes, I think it is unethical to name a book NON fiction and have parts of it fictionalized. Doesn't anyone else think so?
Hey, you want to write a book with some fact and fiction? Call it 'little fiction'. Call it 'Half-NON-fiction'. Call it 'Guess What You Can Base Your Research Project On And What You Had Better Not'... just don't try to pass it off as NON fiction. That right there's a lie!

(Was I raving there? *blush*)

Heather 9-17-2002 15:47


I noticed the same thing about Tony Blair. He is a wonderful politician! Lucky you? You must admit he is more interesting than the last Conservative priminister you had. I cannot even remember his name, but he reminded me of a paper pusher because he had no passion. At least Tony Blair has charm.

Now, I had better back off the UK politics, but it is fun to interfere in matters that do not concern me. But if anyone here wants me to help run the UK, just let me know. Really I would rather run a troubled corportation. They paid the CEO of Worldcom several million dollars to drive their company into the ground. I would have happily done the same thing for a mere half million dollars.

I entered a contest and told myself when I did it that I did not care whether I won or lost. Evidently I lied to myself because September is the month where finalists are notified and after waiting by the phone and holding my breath every time it rings and I pick it up, I am asking myself why I did not place.

Yes, I do understand the crisis in confidence. I find myself wondering if I will ever be able to inspire anyone to take a chance on my work and publish it. Sometimes I feel that I am close to mastering the skills for writing; othertimes I feel like such a dud. Emotions are subjective, so you can't go by them. Reader's and editors' opinions are subjective as well.

At the very worst, I am a horrible, terrible writer, but hopefully someday I will be able to fool enough people into thinking I am a good writer. After all it is done by writers everyday.

Rhoda 9-17-2002 15:12

This morning I saw my sister and brother-in-law, and my nephew off. They visited us from Louisville and appeared to have a wonderful time. I finally got to see the Garden District and actually stood out in front of Anne Rice's house. It was supposed to be open to tour, but apparently Anne had other plans that day, so my sister-in-law and I could not drop in and demand the author treat us to tea.

My middle son broke his wrist after riding his scooter this last week. What an ordeal! Oh, well, there were worse things he could have done.

Rhoda 9-17-2002 14:58


I'm compiling a book of sex stories and I want your help. You’ve got between 100 and 2000 words to tell me your deepest desire, naughtiest conquest or most spectacular failure. No payment, just the chance to be a part of a sensational new compilation of passion. Keep it real, detailed and snappy - and remember to change the names of the innocent. Email your tale to me at and don't forget to tell it like it is!

kelly 9-17-2002 14:49

Well if I did, I would!
Let's agree that if I did, you would!

Eddie 9-17-2002 13:07

I hereby demand that you provide a space for a file on your pc called 'Little bits of heaven from Edd......
No..... wait a minute..I haven't actually sent you any have I?

Eddie 9-17-2002 13:06


I have a file in my documents called Little Bits of Heaven from Litter. I just added this new batch.


Debra 9-17-2002 11:40

OH Litter:

Thank you for this latest batch of Gold from Scotland. No body and deliver it quite like you either.

It would be great fun to meet you and your wife someday. I do hope to take a trip to Europe before I die. After all my ancestors did come from over there. Half came from Italy and the other half came from France.

Debra 9-17-2002 11:38

Hi all.

On top of all other woes, rejection slips are coming in thick and fast. So now the time is upon me – can I write? Am I good enough? I’m sure most of you know the feeling. Do I now put aside my bruised ego and plummeting confidence and redouble my efforts, or call it a day? Right now it is too close to call.


**Do older men who are single and live with their mothers get poked fun at by their friends and coworkers?**

Indeed they do. Doesn’t seem to be as many such situations as there used to be and the several I know about all have very possessive and smothering mothers. I can still remember, when I was sixteen or so, getting of the school bus to find one of my ex-primary school peers being met from the bus every single day. His mother also walked him to the bus stop in the morning. There is an expectation that, after the age of 10 or 11, mothers ease off and give their children space and a bit of independence. Not so with Jim. His mother also steered him away from befriending anyone. Poor sod. I don’t expect he’d have had, or has, any kind of a life.

**Also, do husbands and wives argue about the others driving abilities?**

Together with caber tossing and haggis hunting, it is one of our most popular national pastimes.

I once made a video diary of Carberry Festival (the Christian Arts Festival that my family has attended for more than a decade. I had the video pointing out of the car to the road ahead and I was trying to incite my children (7 and 9 at the time) to argue and whine about the trip there, so that the cameras microphone would pick up their voices. I didn’t have to try very hard. I was also giving directions to my wife who was driving whilst I filmed. Despite my explicit directions, she still managed to sail past Carberry’s impressive stone gate and gatehouse and continue on down the road. That wasn’t planned but the microphone picked up everything – her excuses, my incredulity, the children’s laughter…

I played the video diary to the assembled festivalgoers on the last full day of the festival and the uproar of laughter and derision at that bit of the tape was almost deafening. Every adult, it seemed, had been there before. At the end of the tape, I was interviewed and it seemed that most people though I’d ‘choreographed’ the bit with my wife and I bickering, for the benefit of the tape, and that the children’s belligerence was for real… Amazing, really, that so may couples identified with that episode. (or is it?)

As for Tony Blair – he changes his mind so often that it won’t be long before he has represented the views of every man woman and child in the UK at some time or other.

To those that missed me, thanks.

Ciao for now,

Litter 9-17-2002 11:17

LITTER: Had a dream about you last night. You threw coffee on me. Why did you do that? You had a kilt on in my have verra bonnie knees. Hahahaha. Maybe that is why you threw the coffee on me. I think I need to slow down on the Highlander novels.

Glad to see that my 'write what you know' topic drummed up at least some conversation. Thank you! Does anyone else have anything to hash out here about writing techniques or styles or archaic advise to counter?

Is anyone here writing something right now in which the 'bad guy' steals the show? Is that proving tricky for you? Is it as hard to pull that off as it is to make a criminal look smart without making the cops look stupid?

Off I go...time for my daughter to go to preschool. Take care. Back later.

Mary 9-17-2002 9:54



You're not going to believe this, but I love writing nonfiction. Also, I didn't really know what I wanted to study when I actually got back to school, ie college. Anyway, I finally do. I want to be a historian of some kind and write about it. I just know I could do that creative nonfiction. I know I could.

You explained it so well.


Debra 9-16-2002 21:03


Creative non-fiction is not new, and not a specific genre. It is merely the ability to write non-fiction in a manner that makes it interesting, lively, and appealing to the reader, while maintaining accuracy in the writing.

Historical novels can be examples of creative non-fiction. Alan W. Eckert writes books about the early settlers of this country. He does extensive research, gathers facts, dates, names, and events, and puts them together in a way that informs as well as entertains the reader.

howard 9-16-2002 19:57

I would really like to know what this new field of creative nonfiction is all about. Isn't calling what you write fiction good enough?

rachel cann 9-16-2002 17:33

I really agree as well, I guess that post was just the disagree. Write what you know that you are best at. But don't try to restrain it to one or two genres. I've done writing in every thing except for romance. As I am not quite experienced that way in life, I know I would only goof up the writing I would do in that genre. I think, (if any mysterious genres haven't popped up that is) that I could write something plausibly acceptable in any of the genres that are left. As for plausibility, I strive to make the impossible, possible yet totally believable. There is always a reason for a certain twist and I will always explain it in some time or fashion in the story. If it doesn't make sense at first, it will make sense before the story is ended. That's the way I tend to write. My critic hates it, but she only reads paragraph by paragraph and cannot for the life of her figure out what should be so obvious in the context clues I have given. She's a huge reading freak (as is myself) and has a talent for critiqueing, therefor, she is my critic. So, yes, if I have not thoroughly confused all of you now I both agree and disagree with the statement "Write what you know"
Okay Well enough of that, bells about to ring
Till Niagara Falls

Elaine 9-16-2002 12:27

Actually Debra, I had written it in different colors originally. Written in red, was always red, and I switched off blue and silver (closest thing to white) on the second part of the verses. In reality it looked something like this:
Written in red(r)our hearts bleed(b)
Written in red(r) our neighbors see (s)
And back and forth and so on until the last verse, and I don't quite remember what I did with it but I had alternating colors for that too. When I first wrote it, I did some research on what the colors symbolized. It was quite interesting what I found out. Then, (I had already wrote the poem before I decided to try out different colors) I checked each line to see which color was suited for each line. It just so happened that each line went red-blue, red-silver until the last verse. I thought that it was very fitting. I would've put color in here in the first place but I hadn't quite figured out exactly how to do that yet.
As for the other topics, write what you know: I would have to agree and disagree. If you only write what you know, how are you going to learn anything when you write. One of my favorite projects take place in a whole different world and a whole different language. I've composed some of the language already and I would show it to you but I need a special computer key that no one has. Until I had started this project, I had stayed with mostly earth-based stories, e.g. I have 2 Civil War stories, 19th-20th century mystery, and several short stories that have never left the hemosphere. This one takes place on a colony planet of old Terra and then a different world entirely. My point is that before I started that project, I could have cared less about writing something about space, since I have a little spacephobia myself. How are you going to know what story really kicks off and will be a best seller if you don't do something from each genre to see which you are best at writing. Well that's my oponion. Don't let all this scare some of you off. My parents say I'm very oponionated, I wouldn't know either way if I was or not. well that's about all I had to say.
Till Niagara Falls

Elaine 9-16-2002 12:15

I do agree with the "write what you know" to an extent but you can write what you don't know also, if you do enough research. Well I guess if you do the research, then you know don' you?

I just confused myself, not a difficult task.

Survival huh, I'll try to write something down about that, if I have the time. Been a busy day, and it doesn't look like it'll slow down much for awhile. Time to winterized, the temps have dipped down below 40 degrees already at night, freezes aren't far behind, leaves are leaping to their deaths from their trees now, and the birds are eating tremendous amounts of seed now, I have to fill my feeders twice a day to keep up. Think I'll put them on a diet though, the price of birdseed has nearly tippled these past few months, and one fill takes three six quart buckets. Anyone who "eats like a bird" would look like a hippo if they ate like these birds.

One of the daughter's friends brought over her virus infected computer today, I worked it over and it is now officially virus free with a brand spanking new install of Windows 98. It was an IBM, they are so easy to work on compared to the jap crap that I usually tie into.

The afternoon was filled with the joy of pinochle, and good fat free foods much to my sister's disdain, she is about the only one in the family that can still eat those high fat foods, the rest of us are sort of restricted that way, comes with age I guess and years of abusing these old bodies, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and that sort of thing takes it's toll.

Well off to play with the box the kids came in, have a great Sunday night all, and my your muse kiss your cheek while you sleep.

Write ON!

Jerry 9-16-2002 0:54

Re the comment about Allein. Not sure. She may just be busy with school and/or working. Working on a contract right now, but I will try to hunt up her web page and see what she is up to.

Jack Beslanwitch 9-15-2002 22:40


Sorry, my comp hiccuped so I had to refresh which auto-posts.

Making stories credible is hard, but if you focus on the characters the credibility tends to come. If they will believe your characters, and see them interact in the environment, fantastic or not, they will tend to believe until you tell them otherwise.

Look into other books, find out how they did it. Never be afraid to tear apart the greats to find out what works and what doesn't. Try to emulate their style (just for practice,) and use what you learn from that to make your own unique style and voice. Force yourself to write the opposite viewpoint, interrogate your characters, sometimes even on paper. Make them get arrested and then dig into the minute workings of the things around them.

I find you need about 60% more info than you actually use. Keep looking and learning until you are comfortable with it, and then use little bits.

Explain to yourself how and why it works, and then show it without being technical. That is the best way, if you MUST use real technology that has or does exist, get your facts straight, there are always those who will notice. When in doubt, research.

Laura 9-15-2002 20:13


To me, the difference between a hack and a good writer is that a hack neither knows, nor cares that they write badly. In writing there are always things to say, and new ways to say them. THe trick is getting people hooked, and that, I'm afraid is our biggest fight.

Tell them things they never knew they wanted to know, but make them interesting. As for writing what you know, as the addage goes, well, that is all well and good, but 'knowing' something nowdays is as easy as an internet search.

But it boils down to, as long as you keep trying, and are willing to admit there is, and will always be someone better than you, you are not a hack.

Laura 9-15-2002 20:06

The topic has been rolled around on this floor before, but perhaps with all the new faces, we can gain some unsalted contributions. "Write what you know."

I have never been a strict proponent of that advice, more I think that when writing you should at least know enough to earn credibility from your reader. They have to believe you, even in fiction and sci-fi. Whether you aquire your knowledge of a particular subject from your own life, from someone else's life by way of interviews, or even from dedicated research, you should use it wisely. I don't believe you should only write of places you have been and people you have known.

How much do you believe can be faked? I think that depends on the groundwork you lay in the other parts of your story. Once you gain the confidence and trust of the reader, you should be able to tell them that bumble bees can fly through water in your fantastic realm and they will believe you.

Has anyone here ever had particular troubles making your story credible? I am sure the answer to that is yes...please share! (Especially if you conquered that hurdle and how you accomplished that!)

I don't think that I have ever run into that problem myself, mostly because I write boring stories that could happen to anyone, anywhere and are easily believable. However, I am standing on crusted quicksand with what I am working through my head now and wondering to myself how to get people to believe trust me.

'Writer's Doubt' is plaguing me. That little voice that says, "What could you possibly have to say that hasn't already been said by somebody better than you?" Or my personal favorite that pertains to writing what you know, "You don't know anything that anybody else cares about."

I keep telling myself that a majority of writers have encountered these same badgers...but what I would give to have confidence in the stories I want to write. Is that the difference between a successful writer and a hacker? Confidence can make or break so many other professions, why not writing? Is confidence gained by small accomplishments or is it something you either have or don't?

Doctors seem to have confidence to their patients, but there have to be moments of doubt. Same with pilots and policemen, even salesmen. They all have a certain arrogance...but was it always there? Perhaps not. Maybe they are faking too.


Mary 9-15-2002 19:15

Hello, I popped in to see if this might be the
place to hang out and converse as well as
sharing a few pomes or stories. I was
hoping to find a open forum where many
topics are discussed; and options shared.
I am wondering if this is primarily a Christian site?
There seems to be some indicators of such in
the messages I have seen,
Is there anyone there to post/chat.

Aylagale 9-15-2002 19:10

I'm inviting each of you to visit me at -- This site not only allows you to showcase your writing talent, but it also has a place for your children to show off theirs. The site doesn't end there. We also offer a place for Christians to renew their strength and a place for helping singles meet one another. So check it out today!

Heart-Throb Heart-Throb 9-15-2002 16:01

Question? I heard a fellow on radio this morning say that less then 4 percent of those in Europe attend church that seems a bit low, can this be true? The same fellow said that nearly 85 percent of those in the U.S. Attend church, that seems a bit high to me, this from a Lutheran Minister.

Jerry 9-15-2002 12:05

Ok, so I thought I had it up and running, this time for sure, just did another reinstall of XP, I am beginning to believe that those who called Windows ME Microsoft Virus were a bit early in the naming, it better fits XP.

Hope your muse is treating you well.

Heather - you were right, you can't make the hero look good and not make the cops look like idiots, at least a bit like idiots. I have trashed the idea (well it was one victim of my crash but it deserved it) and gone back to me long short story, or was it a short novel, one or the other. The only real problem I am having with it is keeping it interesting and trying to keep ahead of the real terrorists and their plans. Every time I come up with a twist, some cop somewhere in the world finds a terrorist doing just the thing I had in mind.

Truth is indeed stranger then fiction.

I watched yesterday as CNN went into full terrorgasam over the little incident in Florida. Not a pretty sight, in fact while I didn't think it possible, I have even less respect for that news channel now.

And what's the deal with voting in Florida? Now even with computerized voting, something that's supposed to be idiot proof, they send idiot's to run them???? Or is it just the new democrat ploy in Florida to demand a recount every election?

Jerry 9-15-2002 0:55


I have written quite a bit before, but this is my beginning on this arc. It feels compressed to me too, and I'm not sure what to do about it. It is a rather complex storyline so if I can nail the beginning I should be ok, but I just can't get the words down properly. If you want to e-mail me a longer, in depth crit, or if you would like to see more just ask. Perhaps you can help me flesh it out a bit. I've been trying to tell this story for a while, but it keeps wanting to be first person which is very limiting, because there are some interesting relationships.

I guess in short, I mean, HELP.

Laura 9-14-2002 20:54

oops. Quick crit intended for LAURA.

Mark 9-14-2002 20:45

In this short space you have 15 "...-ing" formations. In other words, your characters are not in action, rather they are in states of existence. Mere existence makes dull reading.

Mario Puzo demonstrated how the elder Corleone could go from tenement to estate. Demonstrated. You simply assert that these are special people and expect us to believe it. How about some details?

You say this is the beginning. I hope you mean this is the beginning of your writing rather than the beginning of the story. Sorry, but it reads like jacket material more than first chapter.

Mark 9-14-2002 20:44

Hi everyone, just thought I would check in again. I am currently at the library so I can't check back very often. I just wanted to see who was on and what you thought of my story snippit. How am I doing with my rough draft? See you all later.

Laura 9-14-2002 13:37

Hi all!

It's a busy busy place in here today.

Kim, welcome!

Hey, it's been a long time since Allein posted. Rachel or Jack, have you heard how she's doing these days?

I've a small favour to ask of our local poets. I've written a poem - yes, skydiving related of course ;-) - that I'm strongly thinking about submitting to a skydiving mag. They flatly refuse anything that has been posted on the internet, so I can't post it here for feedback. Would anyone volunteer a half hour to read it and give me feedback? Not the 'What a nice poem' kind, but real 'does it work and what would make it better' feedback. It's only 24 lines. (keeping my fingers crossed)

We have another viewer coming to see the house tomorrow. It's nice to be having more interest, now I just wish someone would put in an offer. Really really want to get out of here, sooner rather than later.

Blue skies!

Tina 9-14-2002 2:51

UGGHHH - Crashed my new machine yesterday, finally got it back up and running today, took ALL DAY. My eyes are so sore I can barely see, they look like a road map of the east coast, all red lines.

I don't even know how it crashed, it just did, refused to come back up, not supposed to do that with Windows XP, but it did. Had to Reinstall XP a total of four times before it took.

I was half tempted to replace it with ME, but I decided to give it one last chance.

At any rate, no writing today, but lots of keyboarding if that counts.

Then to top it off, I broke a tooth at lunch, so now in addition to anger at the machine I have a pain in a tooth, I just wasn't my day. Hope tomorow is better, then Monday trying to convince the Dentist that I REALLY do have to get in before next month!

Write ON!

Jerry 9-14-2002 0:47


Going camping this afternoon... Woohoo, been ages since I've done that.
Still nice to see some new blood in here. Fresh faces, fresh ideas as they say I think.

Now for an odd question... A very odd question. Anybody remember from their younger days "Toast Soldiers"

One other question... Where can I find out if something is copywrited or not, or if you're allowed to use it or not.

Taylor 9-13-2002 23:22


My response about NOTEBOOK marking was actually part of another conversation I had with someone. They e-mailed me and it got filtered out, so I asked that when they reply to my E-mail addy they mark it as such so I don't throw it.


Laura 9-13-2002 23:03


Evening! TGIF!!! :=)

What! No spiders! :-)

Let's see what Red has been doing.


by Randall Henderson

I was taking a short cut through the Wal-Mart parking last fall and happened to see Red Britches struggling along with a top-heavy grocery cart. A brisk east wind was threatening to remove the mornings swag (Hi Teekay!) from Old Sam Walton's dumpsters. Though Red had a line tied across the rug it was threatening to upset the cart scattering Lord knows what across Wallys parking lot. I stopped to offer my services and the usage of the delivery pickup. Without a word Red transferred everything to the pickup bed and climbed inside blessing me with a smorgasbord of earthy (but delicate!) aromas.

I rolled my window down. "Where to Red?"

"Home, please." Red rolled his window up. "Breezy outside Randy boy. Close that pneumonia hole!"

"Which home Red?" I asked rolling the window up.

"Summer home." He replied, changing the radio from 60's rock to a Ft Worth talk show. "I haven't relocated to winter quarters yet."

This meant under the bayou bridge. His winter home is usually a cleverly constructed multi-room cardboard and plywood lean-to behind George Matthews auto repair shop. Ah ... south side of course. Red confided to me once his winter home was the least satisfactory of his abodes as he would have to put up with George banging around inside the shop.

"Never heard so much noise. If George was rebuilding a carburetor he would have to bang it with a two-pound shop hammer as it rested on an anvil, then trim the excess gasket with a chain saw!"

Red is a consummate dumpster diver, a real pro. Despite the rumor that he has a dozen certificates of deposit in local banks, Red may be seen digging through items other people throw away. Exactly why he feels the need to live on the street, spend the better part of his day casually surveying what others throw away is his business, not mine. I know why and accept it, but it can be unsettling to folk who happen to come across Red sorting through mounds of cast off debris. Ah ... in an olfactory sense that is.

"What did you score back there Red?"

"A nice rug." he replied with a satisfied sigh. "Room sized Randy boy! Just the thing for cold winter mornings. And an electric blanket with the wires pulled loose in one section. Shouldn't be a problem to rewire it. Will keep me toasty warm all winter."

"Any food?"

Red glared at me. "FOOD! No way! I go to Loaves and Fishes! I haven't time to cook!"

Loaves and Fishes is a multi-demonitional church operated ministry that feed the down and out. Red qualifies on both accounts, probably more down that out though. However, despite the way he lives, Red is anything but down ... ah, but sometimes out... Oh, never mind! Red gets away with eating at L&F because he is a significant contributor to their human resources program. Sound confusing? Congratulations, you just met Red Britches! The L&F director, Sam Waterspoon was questioned recently by a confederation of local church ministers as they hammered out a yearly budget for local charity.

An elderly Baptist preacher examines a computer print out. "Mr. Britches eats at L&F a lot! Daily in fact."

"Well, he should." Mr. Waterspoon replied.

"Really, why is that?" Mick O'Donald, catholic priest asks.

"Because he gives the most."

"Ah, the most what?" The Baptist preacher inquires with a raised eyebrow inquiry.

Mr. Waterspoon smiled. "Operational funding."

A nattily dressed Church of Christ preacher leans forward. "I see. But if Mr. Britches contributes to the L&F food kitchen ... then why ... I mean... I saw him last Wednesday standing inside a dumpster behind the Kroger Grocery store. He appeared to be arguing with the store manager over something. What was he doing inside ..."

The L&F director grinned. "Red walks his own path through the world. Yes, I know he sorts through garbage our society discards. However, he assists us in many ways. Every month L&F receives a bank draft from an accounting firm in Dallas that matches what local churches contribute. My wife's sister works in the bank and says the exact amount of funding we receive from this unknown benefactor is deducted from Mr. Britches account. But you didn't hear that from me."

"That doesn't seem possible." The elderly Baptists preacher taps his fingers on the table. "If he has money to live on ... then why ... it doesn't make sense. Why just the other day I also saw Mr. Britches standing inside a trash dumpster. Behind the Hastings Book Store!"

"Must of been reading material day."


Mr. Waterspoon nodded. "Reading material. Red knows when they dump the unsold books and magazines. Usually on Friday. When he finishes reading he takes what is left to the hospital waiting rooms. Wednesday is when local grocery stores dump their old vegetables. Veggie day Red calls it. Wal-Mart on Monday as they dump their weekend damaged freight and trash early in the morning. Tuesday is day old bread day at the bakery. Thursday is ..."

"But that's disgusting! For someone to dig through garbage like a common bum! The man has no pride!"

Sam Waterspoon shook his head and stood. "Look, why argue with a good thing? Red helps us out, while others don't. On Friday, reading night, he is always there to read for the kids. And he is not common. His pedigree is first rate. Red follows a different path than us. The different drummer syndrome. As to which route is correct, I'll leave that judgement to our Lord."

"Mr. Waterspoon! However well intentioned, the man is a vagrant! There must be some mistake! Your sister-in-law has made a mistake! Half the time he walks around town in an old floppy overcoat and sandals. He hasn't had a shave or haircut in months! Why, the man doesn't even have a belt! Keeps his pants up with a rawhide cord! Drinks wine like it was water ... ! He doesn't have two cents to rub together!"

Sam stopped and chuckled. "Well, I wouldn't know about that! Red helps us and that is all that anyone could ask. We are called Loaves and Fishes. Good day and thank you for your contributions."

Goodnight gang!


Randall 9-13-2002 22:28

VIV - I wouldn't send out spam! That was not sent by me! Delete it if you haven't already!!!!!!

Heather 9-13-2002 18:03


I said Hey Laura when I meant to say Hey Elaine.

So I wanted to apologize for that.

Is that how and where you want the word Notebook?

Debra 9-13-2002 15:33


Sorry about what?

Speaking of which, sorry all about the formatting, it looked different before I hit the enter button. I have to remember that. Anyway, if you are going to reply to my addy, please put NOTEBOOK, in the header so I don't accidentally delete it.

laura 9-13-2002 15:16


I can't do historical although, I'm starting to feel that when I do go back to college I'm thinking of majoring in History now.


Debra 9-13-2002 13:37

I mean

Hey Elaine!
Sorry Laura.

Debra 9-13-2002 13:35


Good luck on your novel too. I'll be looking for that one.

I just love levity. The challenge is will people see what's funny.

Hey Laura:

It's written in red, white and blue.
America spells freedom for me and you.

Debra 9-13-2002 13:34

This has nothing to do with 9/11 or any other topic, I just thought you might like to see what I was doing in my spare time. The story is untitled yet...Here is the beginning...
And, as usual, all work remains the property of the writer...

A lone figure stood before the grave, long since deserted by the crowd of mourners and well-wishers. The rain had stopped, but he neither noticed nor cared. All he could see was his beautiful wife, his Alis. They’d met when he was nineteen. A gawky kid from ‘over the pond,’ but tied in with people whose names he didn’t even dare to think in public. People who had spoken for him when it counted.
He smiled a bit. “God, Alis, your dad was a hard-ass. But I guess he was trying to protect you from people like me, and things like this.” He remembered the various ‘talks’ he’d had with Mr DiMarco about his daughter. The elder DiMarco had even threatened to pick out the boy’s coffin if he didn’t leave young Alissa alone. But everyone knew it was hopeless. Whatever Alis wanted, Alis got. But he also remembered the ‘talk’ he had gotten from her over-protective brothers. All three of them.
And that wasn’t the first time they defended her. All she had to do was threaten to call in Geo and she got what she wanted. But with those dark eyes of hers, shining like jewels, she rarely had to use that. All she had to do was smile and bat her eyes and any mere mortal turned to a puddle. God forbid if she should give you the eye, she could sear your very soul with a look, and everyone knew it.
He saw his wife now, as he had first met her, young, frail, but with a temper capable of melting even the hardest heart. “Yevette Alissa DiMarco-Griffin. Beloved Daughter and Wife, rest in peace at last Santa Alissa.” He smiled a little at the sacrilegious sound of that.
She had been such a serene person that even through everything, the tests, the operations, the recovery, she didn’t complain. She had been through so much that they thought she had to have been a saint to have withstood it. And beyond that to still smile and laugh.
“You deserve so much better than this,” he whispered, his voice scratchy and soft. “I would have given you the world if I could.” He reached out to touch the face that wasn’t there. “Oh God, Alis.” The tears started at last. “Alis, how could I do it?”
He sank to his knees, finally allowing the sobs to come as he knew they would. He just knelt there, sobbing and praying. Not quite sure what he was praying, and simply knowing that his whole world was now confined to a small strip of earth in the Redeemer’s Peace.
He didn’t know how long he knelt like that, alone with his grief, but the chill of the winter air had firmly settled in his bones before anything changed. He wanted to lay down on her grave and die, to carve out this painful thing called a heart and bury it where it should have been. With her. She was his sky, his moon, his sun. She was his world. Now she was gone. Cruelly gone.
The cut on his hand was still bandaged. He claimed an accident but his friends knew better. Either he was trying to force himself to feel, or making an oath he couldn’t bring himself to break. They were all making odds on the second. To Kermit, an oath made in blood could never be voided, as long as the person lived. They all had a feeling they knew what that oath would be.
“I swear to Alis, I will find them. You will rest in peace, and they will rest in pieces.” The venom in his voice was unmistakable; his word was law.
A hand finally rested on his shoulder and gently lifted him to his feet. Without a word he clasped the man in a bearhug. The suited figure helped his brother into the car, and away from the beloved Alissa. “I’m sorry Kermit.” The voice was almost as reedy as his own, and Kermit suspected it was backed by a little liquid courage.
As if reading his mind, a pocket flask appeared. “Take a hit, you’ll need it before the day is over.” The voice was soft, and unrepremanding.


Laura 9-13-2002 13:15

"My Scottish novel." Reading back on my posts makes me want to cry sometimes with all my spelling and typing errors. Proofreading is not one of my strengths.

Rhoda 9-13-2002 13:08


Mine Scottish novel is a historical romance set in 1819. It is not a comedy. I can't do levity for anything. I was born "heavy." Good luck on your novel.

Rhoda 9-13-2002 13:07

Heather: Got a weird thing from you on e-mail. It was some sort of new version of hotmail I could upload. Now you wouldn't send SPAM like that out, so I know something went amiss. Try again.

Carol: Finally have it in home soon and on my own computer so I can send what I've written. Pommes is still rocking but I need to let my daughter edit the German.

Viv 9-13-2002 12:55


That's a beautiful poem. If you notice without the written in red it still is.


If you notice again you could change the color to blue half way through and then white when you get to the hopeful parts.

Then it could be written in red blue and white or red white and blue.


Debra 9-13-2002 12:53

Here's a poem I wrote a year ago (in two more days)
Written in Red 9-15-01
Written in red, our hearts bleed
Written in red, our neighbors see
Written in red, our buildings fall
Written in red, our backs are tall
Written in red, our workers die
Written in red, our people cry
Written in red, our buildings shatter
Written in red, our people matter
Written in red, this sorry day
Written in red, we'll find a way
Written in red, our resolve is strong
Written in red, the deaths were wrong
Written in red, we proudly shout
Written in red, we'll talk about
Written in red, our freedom is here
Written in red, we dry our tears
We still have a future
That's what we have to say
We won't go down silent!
May God forever bless the USA!

In loving memory of all who have lost their lives or a loved one because of the tragedy on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. We will never forget.

That's all I have time for, for right now, God bless.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-13-2002 12:29

Hello all.

LITTER: Good to see you. Your emails have been missed. Hope all is looking up. Believe it or not, I think of you often.

TEEKAY: I wasn't always so cold-hearted toward spiders. I just don't like them biting my children in their sleep, so I don't show much mercy. I tried to feel for the one I juiced this morning, but I couldn't summon any sort of remorse at all. Sorry. At least when I kill them, they go to the great arachnid graveyard in my brother's Biology classroom and they aren't mutilated. I believe it is my mother who smashes them with a newspaper, wipes up their smeared guts with a tissue and tosses them in the garbage. I don't see how that is better, but to each his own. If you pick them up and put them outside, they are just going to come back in and bite your kids.

HEATHER: I miss ya girlie, have read all your emails and will be getting back to you quick quick. Glad to hear that school is going well for your children. Also, good luck on your mini paintings, I looked at them all!!!

I am off to the BBC website to check out those contests that were mentioned here. Several stories have been writhiing around in my brain, trying to make sense of themselves. Hopefully soon, it rather itches when they do that!

Mary 9-13-2002 10:04


Thank you for the BBC link. I have it on my favorites now.

Debra 9-13-2002 9:45


I'm going to have to look for that one.

Debra 9-12-2002 21:37


Yes, mine is a romantic comedy.

What's yours?

Debra 9-12-2002 21:35


Are you working on a Scottish novel? I am too.

Rhoda 9-12-2002 21:22


Are you working on a Scottish novel? I am too.

Rhoda 9-12-2002 21:21

That address looks correct for the BBC. I do know it's in Wood Lane.
BBC Radio (4) has regular competitions for writers. You will find details on the web site if there are any currently offered. Just follow the radio links.

Tony Robinson starred as Baldrick in Black Adder while Mr. Bean played the Adder himself.

A lot of new British talent came out of that show. All of the young comediens in it went on to Greater? things.

Black Adder Script Snippet.

"Not to worry my Lord, the arrows didn't in fact enter my body"
Black Adder:
"Ahh good"
"No, by a thousand to one chance my willy got in the way"


Eddie French BBC 9-12-2002 21:17

Am I correct that there are now two Ed's posting, the British one we have known for a long time--great writer, and fond grandfather, and a younger one who lives here in the States? I must admit I was confused at first, but I believe I have now figured it out.

Rhoda 9-12-2002 21:08


My favourite Blackadder series was Blackadder Goes Forth. When they were in the Army.
Rowan Atkinson is a great comedian.

How about Dad's Army?

Taylor 9-12-2002 20:37

Two of the best ever BBC shows were "No, Honestly" with Pauline Collins, and "Good Neighbors."
Three of the best were "No, Honestly" with Pauline Collins, and "Good Neighbors," and "Fawlty Towers."
Four -- four of the be...nevermind.

howard 9-12-2002 19:00

This is the address I received for Ms. Jennifer Saunders. I sent her a copy of my sweetie book. Does it look bogus to you? I haven't heard back. I didn't use the word sweetie in the title because of her, but it thought she'd appreciate it.

BBC Incoming Mail,
BBC Television Centre,
Wood Lane,

Debra 9-12-2002 18:44

What happened on the episode with Jennifer Saunders? I might have seen it.

Debra 9-12-2002 18:41

Mike was the least memorable. It makes sense. Neil I loved. He made a mean lentil soup. I only for first time heard the word fascists when I watched that show. I think I could write an episode.

Debra 9-12-2002 18:34


That sounds familiar. What's it about?

Debra 9-12-2002 18:27

Have you seen 'Black Adder'?

Eddie French 9-12-2002 18:13

Rick and Vivian went on to make 'Bottom'
Not quite the same characters, a bit older but just as thick and almost as surreal.

Mike sort of faded away. Neil became quite serious and got a haircut. Far out man!

Eddie French 9-12-2002 18:12


Then there's the boys behaving badly, it's about three divorced and one not really divorced fifty something men.

That's another good one.

Thanks BBC America!

Debra 9-12-2002 17:16


I got it, it was Mike.

Neil, Rick, Vivian and Mike, love those guys!

Debra 9-12-2002 17:07


There was one more show worth mentioning, The Young Ones.

It was a show with four roommates, Neil, Vivian, Rick, and I can't remember the other name I'm sure they might have called him You Baaaaatsrrd so much that would explain it. It will come to me.

In fact, my husband and I watched it all the time when we were dating. I still miss that show.

Debra 9-12-2002 16:57

Hey folks:

Anyone want to talk about irony? Now, I know that this may not be a time to bring this up, but I can't get it out of my head. I just read an article that was talking about the New York State Lottery. It seems the number that got drawn yesterday September 11, 2002, was....9-1-1...! IRONIC, ISN'T IT? I did not make this up, AOL users can confirm the story by checking their "Welcome" window.

ED 9-12-2002 16:56

Although I am a keen angler, I have not had time to do much of it lately.
We have always embraced the C & R policy over here. Mind you, in Course Fishing there is not much to eat. I enjoy angling for preditors like Perch or Pike.
I used to pop over to Ireland to fish the Lakes but I have not been for a couple of years now. We usually spend a week in a local B&B and fish from dawn to dusk for the whole week. You have never tasted Guinnes if you have never been to Ireland.
I love Southern Ireland, you will find a bar right at the back of the bait store, or the grocery store for that matter.
Perhaps I'll get there next year.

Eddie French 9-12-2002 16:36

EDDIE -- Angling? On of my favorite 'obbies! There's a great emphasis here lately on "Catch and Release" fishing, which is a bit more sporting, I guess. But I enjoy "catch and eat" as well!

Did someone say "Irish?" I just received this technology update concerning an Irish gentleman...

Three men:
One American, One Japanese and an Irishman were sitting naked in the sauna....
Suddenly there was a beeping sound. The American pressed his forearm and the
beep stopped. The others looked at him questioningly. "That was my pager," he
said. "I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later a phone rang. The Japanese fellow lifted his palm to his
ear. When he finished he explained, "That was my mobile phone. I have a
microchip in my hand."

Paddy felt decidedly low-tech. So as not to be outdone, he decided he had to
do something just as impressive. He stepped out of the sauna and went to the
toilet. He returns with a piece of toilet paper hanging from his bum. The
others raise their eyebrows, and he looks around.
"Saints be praised, will you look at that!" says
Paddy, "I'm getting a fax!".

howard 9-12-2002 16:25

Wow....While I attempt to formulate answers to that little flurry of questions, check out the link below.
One of the most important activities around here, besides angling, is narrowboat cruising on the canals. Middlewich is situated at the junction of some of the most travelled canals in England.

Eddie French Narrowboats 9-12-2002 15:49


By the way, I live in New England. We have so many names of towns and cities that are the same as in England. I used to live in Attleboro, I have heard that there is one in England, but I haven't taken the time to prove it.

Debra 9-12-2002 14:51

Oh, and Kim; there is 'writing on spec', which may be limited to well-known magazine article writers, or it may not be! (How's that for muddy?):oD

Heather 9-12-2002 14:39

KIM - Welcome to the Notebook!
I have read that writers who have sample chapters (and the rest in synopsis) for NON-fiction books may submit the manuscript to a publisher before the remainder of the book is written. I've not heard of that being done with works of fiction, however. Hope that helps! I am sure I found that information in Writer's Market.

Heather 9-12-2002 14:38


Does Tony Blair really represent the views of England or is he a hotdog?

Debra 9-12-2002 14:20


I want to go to England, but I want to someday live in France.

I'm thinking of learning how to speak French.

By the way, I just adore Tony Blair. Keep that one!

Debra 9-12-2002 14:06


Wow! I spend a lot of time watching BBC America. I expecially love Keeping up Appearances and Absolutely Fab.

I like A Fine Romance, and Waiting for God. I don't get Go Grahom Norton so much but I'll be he grows on you.

I like the show about fixing up each others house and Ground Force. That readheaded woman, wow. Is there anything she can't do? I think she needs her own show. I just watched something I didn't get the name of about a vaccumn salesman. That was intense.

Some day I hope to visit England. I want to see the changing of the guards and catch a glimpse of the Royals. I'd like to see the places you don't see on those shows too. I want to go to a real english pub too. Right now I'm still busy being a full time mom.


Debra 9-12-2002 14:00

I live in Cheshire, England

Eddie French 9-12-2002 13:35



One year ago:
I felt anguish and resentment, I let my emotions control me
One year later:
The feelings are still strong, but they no longer control me

One year ago:
I didn't feel like celebrating anything
One year later:
Now I feel like celebrating everything

One year ago:
I was afraid that I will one day forget that tragedy
One year later:
I never will forget, for its etched into memory

Taylor 9-12-2002 13:21

Hi y'all, Since the posts are still partially on 9-11, I'd just like to say that i wish that I had cable, I was not able to watch anything about the events a year ago. Nor have I been brave enough to go to any websites. I remember writing a couple poems about that day. Unfortunatly, I don't have them with me or I would share them with you. I have, in other news, written my short story on malice and even a rememberence short story that's all for now,
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-12-2002 12:35


Where are you from? I guess I only thought I knew.

Debra 9-12-2002 11:49

To all of you over the water.
Happy 12 September!


Eddie French 9-12-2002 11:41

Hi Everyone:
This is my first posting and I'd like to pose a question to the group, if I may - Has anyone sent pages to an agent before the novel is complete? My guess is that would be "bad form" but I am curious if others have done so.

Kim 9-12-2002 11:20


I've been thinking about you and all the gifts you gave me about Scotland for my novel.

I wanted to ask another question.

Do older men who are single and live with their mothers get poked fun at by their friends and coworkers?

Also, do husbands and wives argue about the others driving abilities?

By the way, thank you!

Debra 9-12-2002 9:18


I wish for you to always feel that way, i.e. that you didn't feel as badly as you thought would.

That would mean that you would never experience the agony and loss of those poor families on 9.11.01.

That's what I wish for all of us too.

Debra 9-12-2002 8:54


Well I watched the special about the footage shot by the French film makers who were following the firefighters around.
Man oh man... I had no idea about those awful awful crashing sounds.

And I taped the President's address this morning and I watched it. Wasn't what I thought it would be.
Just going to see if I can write some today.

Funny though, I didn't feel as badly as I thought I would, but did have a restless night last night. And had something else on my mind.

God Bless

Taylor 9-12-2002 6:26

TAYLOR: Am putting my stalking boots on and shall be there in a couple of months :-D.

Teekay 9-12-2002 3:58


Post without comment...a WTC collapse web site/Dogs

Faithful Dog Leads Blind Man 70 Floors Down WTC
Just Before Tower Collapses

Friday, September 14, 2001 - USA

NEW YORK CITY — In the aftershock of the worst terrorist gambit ever to hit the USA, we learn that the greatest inspiration can be found in the words, images and televised coverage of the American peoples' patriotic strength. But now, pan the cameras down a bit, and you'll find, just as heartening, the nation's dogs also upholding this great spirit of gallantry. If you don't believe me, listen to this:

New York resident Omar Eduardo Rivera was unfortunate enough to find himself on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center north tower when the hijacked airliner struck the building 25 floors above him. Mr. Rivera, a computer technician who is blind, was in his office with his guide dog "Dorado" lying under the desk at the time.

According to the Contra Costa Times report published today, Mr. Rivera described how he unleashed his faithful friend, so that the dog might escape. But despite the chaos and the crowds of fleeing people, the four-year-old Labrador Retriever suppressed any selfish instinct for survival and instead stayed by the man's side and guided him to safety.

Mr. Rivera describes the drama: "I stood up and I could hear how pieces of glass were flying around and falling. I could feel the smoke filling up my lungs and the heat was just unbearable. "Not having any sight I knew I wouldn't be able to run down the stairs and through all the obstacles like other people. I was resigned to dying and decided to free Dorado to give him a chance of escape. It wasn't fair that we should both die in that hell."I thought I was lost forever—the noise and the heat were terrifying—but I had to give Dorado the chance of escape.

So I unclipped his lead, ruffled his head, gave him a nudge and ordered Dorado to go. "I hoped he would be able to quickly run down the stairs without me and get to safety. I thought he'd be so scared he'd run. Everything was in chaos. Glass was shattering around my head and people were rushing past down the stairs."

At that point, Dorado was swept away by the rush of people fleeing down the stairs, and Mr. Rivera found himself on his own for several minutes amid the pandemonium. But then the unexpected occurred, in the form of a familiar, fuzzy nudge from knee-high.

Mr. Rivera explains, "He returned to my side a few minutes later and guided me down 70 flights and out into the street, it was amazing. It was then I knew for certain he loved me just as much as I loved him. He was prepared to die in the hope he might save my life."

Inside the egress stairwell, they found some additional assistance from a co-worker. "I took hold of her arm. She went down on my right side and the dog on my left," says Mr. Rivera.

The narrow stairwell was extremely crowded, and confusion exacerbated the situation. "People were pushing and shoving past me. Everywhere there was a sense of terror."

But according to the man, order gradually prevailed: "...most people behaved quite prudently and grasped what was happening, so we walked down in an orderly fashion, but it was slow going. It was slow going because there were so many people struggling to get out but Dorado kept nudging me down step by step." It took more than an hour for Dorado, Mr. Rivera and his co-worker to descend those 70 flights of stairs. Not long after they had reached the ground and gotten to safety, the tower collapsed.

Says Mr. Rivera, "I owe my life to Dorado—my companion and best friend."


Randall 9-11-2002 23:20

I began the day watching the stuff on TV, it was just too damn hard to watch, turned off the TV, the Radio and everything, turned on a computer in the back room and played a ton of old 60's and 70's rock and roll. Took my mind of it all, and while I was back there I fixed up a couple of old machines to sell so it was a good day, sort of.

Jerry 9-11-2002 21:42

Rita, that was surreal... quite the juxtaposition.

My hopes that the day has treated everyone well.

Tina 9-11-2002 20:32

We in Canada share your grief this day!


The popular TV show springs to mind when viewing the film version of Evita. Colonel Peron's mistress is given the old heave-ho.
"What is going to happen to me?"
"Don't ask," says Eva
Juan and Eva Peron turn full circle when she is dying.
"What happens to me now?"
"Don't ask," says the president.
Did Eva really die of a venereal disease?
Did she contract it from her various liaisons, or was it contracted from the equally active president?

Rita Driver

Rita Driver RITA DRIVER, AUTHOR 9-11-2002 19:15

Over here in Hollywood, Florida life was sombre too. At my school there was a moment of silence observed at 8:46 a.m. The schools staff had erected two wooden pillars in the student lounge, pilliars that were twins of each other, symbalic of the twin towers of the WTC. It seem that everybody, and everything was paying tribute to those that died in the attack, even mother nature herself. Normally at this time of year, our climate if full of thunderstorms as we are in the middle of Hurricane season. But not today, instead of a thunderstorm, we had a gentle shower, like the heavons were also crying with the people of this nation. May the souls of those who have perished cherish this one day, as the whole universe seemed to be honoring them.

Ed 9-11-2002 19:02

Thanks for that, LITTER! And for your poems too, DEBRA -- it's been a sombre day here.

A strange thing happened here this afternoon. The halyard on my flagpole broke in the high winds we've been having all day, but the wind caught it, snapped the line around itself, and tangled it in such a way that there was no way that flag was coming down! Symbolic, I think.

howard 9-11-2002 18:39

Hi People,

not thinking of too much else today.

One Year On

Has it really been a year
Since ordinary everydayness
Turned to disbelieving despair?
When terrorism and innocence
Collided in jet-fuelled holocaust
Of shattered lives
And incinerated dreams.

Has it really been a year
Since trust and expectation
Died rudely for so many?
In cries and confusion,
A bloody stain
On the doorstep of the millennium.

Has it really been a year
Since the peak achievement
Of a nations optimism
And endeavour,
Twin citadels of commerce,
Lay low in a death mask of ash
And tortured metal?

But in that year
Hope and optimism,
Beaten and bruised by evil,
Did not die –
Would not die –
But cradled the lost
In its immeasurable embrace.

One year on,
The nation of man still mourns.

© Litterali, 11th September 2002

Litter 9-11-2002 17:36

Just back from the World Science Fiction Convention and subsequently time at Monterey for diving. Got to go to the Hugos so I got to see Dan Simmon's awesome speech and Neil Gaiman finishing up his acceptance of the Hugo for best novel of the year with f*!*k I have a Hugo with a great big grin on his face, holding the rocket ship statuette up in the air. Tobias did not win for either John Campbell or best web site, but especially on the latter regard Charlie Brown and Locus continue their lock on the Hugo voting process :-) .

While in Monterey we got to swim with a pair of sea lions in very green on green water and poor visibility. Hope to go back and dive the Breakwater to see both sea lions and otter when the vis is a lot better.

My thoughts and words are shifting somewhat as I reflect on the sense of loss and trying to put the events of a year ago in perspective. While listening on NPR yesterday the point was made that the definitive novel to place these kinds of world view shattering events may be decades away, much as Tolstoy's War and Peace which was the difinitive account of Napolean's assault on Russia came decades after the actual events. Then, the events did not have the in your face immediacy that the World Trade Center had. I remember the phone call that Fran gave me that day plaintively asking me to turn on the television. As if something more could go wrong than already had. At that point I had been laid off six months before, my mother in law who lived with us had passed away and we were just beginning to come out of our mutual sense of depression. We were supposed to leave on September 13 for Fiji, biting into our savings so that we could experience something that would somehow lift our spirits. Then I stared at the screen in time to see the second plane hit the tower real time. We did go to Fiji a week later and spent a week less time there. However, this terrible event and the loss of all those people laid a sadness on top of all that had gone before. This is not to say we did not enjoy ourselves and there was something almost soothing about the total sense of isolation from the media by being on the island of Taveuni. There were no televisions, no magazines, no newspapers and that, in a way, allowed us to internalize and have some time to deal with the sense of loss. I have nothing truly profound that I can say, especially for those who live on the east coast in the New York City area who have a much more immediate close and visceral connection to this day of commemoration. As we were driving back on I-5 today from an appointment, someone was standing on one of the over passes waving a large American flag. That and others events are planned and happening including a reprise of the memorial at the International Fountain here in Seattle that I got pictures of before - .

I suspect, that like War In Peace, it will take decades before we truly understand the scope and the dimensions of how this has changed us as a country and as a people. I hope that as we defeat the truly evil people that perpetrated this that we also give thought and energy to preventing them from happening in the first place. Then, again, this may be just wishful thinking on my part.

Talk with everyone soon.

Jack Beslanwitch 9-11-2002 17:09

A word on copyrights. Yes, that is true, but if you really feel safer with a proof then you can send a copy in to the Library of congress with a fee and they will give you a copyright form so that you can prove it. (Look them up on the internet for specifications.)

Laura 9-11-2002 14:19

This might sound stupid, but every time I hear a family member talk about Shanksville PA they say it's a grave yard and hallowed ground.

Did they get their family members out of there? Are they all still in the ground?

Also, when you think of the US we don't represent any one nationality. We are the country that merely represents humans as a whole. To hate America is to hate oneself.

Debra 9-11-2002 13:03

Hi all!

Not much to say, just wanted to come here and be with friends today. To anyone here who lost friends and loved ones a year ago, I have special (((HUGS))) for you. No matter where the winds of politics have blown in the last twelve months, remember that the world does mourn the losses of 9/11 with the US.

Be well, and blue skies.

Tina 9-11-2002 10:43

In fact these are three poems I wrote because of September 11, The first one is pronounced OH SAY BIN U See

OsA Bin U Sea

They compared it to Pearl Harbor.
We just didn’t agree.
They wanted civilians
and the military.

This was a different kind
of atrocity.
A black cloud has our statute
and our liberty.

When we looked for the sun
we saw there was no light.
What could the face of this
new enemy be like?

What do they want?
Why are they so mad?
They claimed freedom
in this world is bad.

The horror they left to even their score,
destroyed any chance their cause
could be explored.

Instead they wanted a fight.
Now they’ll be getting them one.
Did they leave themselves a place to run?

Our response will be swift by land, by air and by sea.
Their allies will be too, when by their side they do flee.

Terrorists at home have broken our bones,
painfully hard to believe.
Our beloved country and our deep spirit,
from us they will never relieve.

Evil is its own worst enemy.
When consumed, sometimes decisions are made in haste.
They don’t know what comes from drinking freedom,
and we’ve had more than just a taste.

© Debra J. Palardy September 13, 2001

Why, Who, What now

It was a day that began normal like every or any
and ended with the needs of the few
outweighing the needs of the many.

America’s spirit
is something I share.
America’s anger
is something I fear.

Although its origins are just,
the people it might hurt
include all of us.

We must acknowledge it’s wrong to hurt the people of Islam with guns or fists.
The enemy is just hiding behind religion they are only terrorists.

We need to band together when
we fight the good fight.
It might be the last we have to do it
if we do it right.

Some say there’s nothing better
than an enemy
whose dead

Still others think the only way
to eliminate
is make friends instead.

I pray our leaders think
and think some more
before they send one Soul
to the terrorist’s door

They say we’ve been enemies forever
so why
even try.

Because we’ll eventually discover
forever is far
too long to cry.

Debra J. Palardy September 14, 2001


It was September 11th I arose safe and happy.
That’s when it happened and at first
I felt thankful it didn’t include me.

Nineteen people committed suicide
and then took thousands more out.
Religion mutated and produced a tragic result.

Guilt had a face and
grew into the most frightening figure.
When I thought of him
it seemed there was no one that was bigger.

They said have patience we’ll get him,
then send him away.
They said get your lives back to normal,
in spite of this dark, fateful day.

I watched it unfold in horror, but from safety on my TV.
I was again thankful I didn’t lose a loved one personally.

Still night after night I lay awake and just cry.
I went from person to person in the hopes
they could explain why.

Through the huge clouds of dust came the answer for me.
It was the bravest of brave running towards the tragedy; they were our
fireman, police, port authority, our military, doctors, nurses and citizens ordinary.

More heroes emerged from the planes and then more on the ground.
No matter where you looked more and more heroes were found.
Their numbers kept growing as was their aim to heal every
family shattered by evil profound.

That was the end of this mystery.
Terror stole our trust and heroes got it back you see.
Our country, our America, our family
were united in pain and all suffered the loss personally.

© Debra J. Palardy 2001

Debra 9-11-2002 9:54


I mean you name the list and just add POEMS, not names.

Debra 9-11-2002 9:27


You name the list and just add names. YOu have to pay the fee each time, so you might make sure it's worth it. It's only $30.00 right now and I'm sure each poem is worth at least that to the writer.

Be warned though, the US Copyright Office has stopped receiving mail from the post office since October of last year. YOu can only get them to accept your package if you send it Federal Express. I did that.

Debra 9-11-2002 9:21

DEBRA -- Do you just add poems to an existing copyrighted list, or do you send an updated list each time?

howard 9-11-2002 9:06


I would like to talk about character development.

On Copyright. I looked up the laws and such and found that if someone challenged you you would only be fuly protected if you had it copyrighted by the government three months before the challenge.

Other than that, it's anyone's guess who could finally trump who. I don't have the stomach for that. So I copyright my stuff with the government. I have a list of poems I keep adding to and a list of short stories and my two sweeties so far.

Debra 9-11-2002 8:39

More on Christopher Reeve:

howard 9-11-2002 8:32

HOWARD! That's terrific news about Christopher Reeve!!! He's one of my favorite actors - I've prayed for his recovery - think I'll pray some more!!! :-)

TAYLOR: I finally gathered my nerve and checked your 9/11 website last night -- all the emotions are still working. Thanks for sharing the site. It was what I needed. I don't need to watch any "playback" news today. Now, to take those raw, gut feelings and put them into my characters and stories...

Mel again 9-11-2002 8:30


Good morning, everyone! :-]

On the first anniversary of horrendous events in NYC, PA, and Washington, DC, I would like to celebrate the precious gift of life and that which makes each one of us unique. Here, specifically, I treasure and applaud our efforts to become better writers. The world would be a sad, small place without stories and creative minds to inspire others to greater heights and depths of the soul.

ED, check the link at the bottom of this post for more info on copyrights. It may not be a comprehensive site but may answer some of your basic questions. BTW, I think "Fairy's Heart" is a great title and fits your story summary well--good luck with it! I look forward to seeing it on a library or bookstore shelf one day--SOON!!! :-)

BEN, re: character development - I think great characters have to be very human: they make mistakes, they may or may not be able to laugh at themselves, and yet they have a superhuman will to endure their crises. :-) (er, um, *fumbling around in my bus-bag* -- that little story by BEN is in here somewhere...great characters too - very human, yes indeed... now to finish reading about them and get this long overdue crit back to the esteemed author who seems to have superhuman patience in waiting for feedback!!!) 8-]

Y'all have a good day of writing - write a passionate scene today, folks, from the depths of your heart (I've brought Ms. Muse home from the hospital; maybe I'll share lunch with her today and write something heartwrenching.) :-)

Mel Copyright Info 9-11-2002 8:23


Not much I wish to say today

Teekay: I'm from Kalgoorlie W.A. Stalk me if you want.

I have ABC, GWN, WIN and SBS... Plus Foxtel

Taylor 9-11-2002 8:22

ED -- Re: Copyrights -- I posted this on 9/3. I think it may answer most of your questions in that area.
Every now and again someone asks a question about copyright law, and about how to protect our work. I got these urls from a newsletter, and they look useful!

If that doesn't satisfy you or answer all your questions, try the main
copyright office site.

EVERYONE -- I read in this morning's paper that Christopher Reeve has regained some of the feeling, even a little motion in his hands and feet, and can breathe unaided for up to 90 minutes at a time! According to the article this is unprecedented, and is the result of intensive therapy, including electrical stimulation.
That's hopeful news!

howard 9-11-2002 8:10

Ed, there may be no safety net in life, but this forum is about as close as you can get to a safety net for creativity; most of all when it bottoms out. This place could be for writers and artists what Paxil is for the depressed. Hell, this might be Paxil.

On copyrights; you don't need to go anywhere or do anything but finish your book and you have yourself a bonafide copyright. Just insert the symbol into your byline in the text of your book's cover page; it's done. To be legally copyrighted to you, I think the work has to be definitive; complete. If you want to register the copyright, that's different. That requires sending a copy in and having the little R in a circle symbol in your byline instead, after a few fees and a few months' wait.

Once your material is published, it will automatically be assigned an ISBN number, so that cancels out the need for registering. Basically. Having your work under registered copyright might not be a bad idea anyhow. Personal choice.

Guys, I don't know how to guage myself in a group of peers and probably never will, no matter what anyone says. I'm sure most of us can hear an echo of themselves, there!

Here's how it goes, so often: If it's praise I'm at first suspicious (though not of anyone's personal character ~ I tend to think the 'eye of the beholder' concept is suspect.) More or less I feel perception or appreciation of art is a subjective thing, just as the creation of it is subjective. Not only that, the act of writing a book, a story, a poem is a process that somehow forces the writer to transform themselves, in a manner parallel to the way story characters are developed. [I am hesitant to mention paradox because that reminds me of paradigm, and I have never been able to remember which is which.]
At any rate, art is subjective whether it is the artist in creation or the viewer in appreciation. Even admiration.
(and now, back to our regularly scheduled topic...) If the feedback I receive is surely not praise, I will initially feel nothing. However, as most of us will, at some point I get dangerously neurotic. I level out eventually, once I've taken my time picking the bones clean. Heh heh.

Are writers necessarily interesting people, I ask?
I think so. But only because we are interested in life, in what things mean...

Why things are...

How things will end up.

I think I'm finished (pant, pant) for the evening!

By the way, Ed, diving right in is always a good choice. :oD

Heather 9-11-2002 4:10


Okay Ed, I'll bite. I like to get into discussions about writing, because there's no one in my personal life that can actually relate to the writing life. Oh sure, they try, but there's not much they can do, because they can't understand how I can write constantly, not sell anything for silly reasons, like length and laziness.

So let's talk about writing. Let's try character development. What do you think makes a character interesting? POV? Internal monologues? How much detail do you include? How do you prepare? Do you do in depth research into the character's past, or just brush it off like it never happened? I'll check in tomorrow. But be warned, once you start something like this, it has a way of getting off on different tangents. There's no controlling it. :-)

ben woestenburg 9-11-2002 2:16

O.K., now I'm ready...

To say the least, what I am really looking for is or are "road signs". I do plan to post some of my work for other writers to read and critique. But I need to take some precautions first. At the moment, I am working on two seperate books, and one of them is my first ever. As for 1950's era creepy crawlies, I have no clue what they are. I wasn't even born yet back then (I'm only 28). I am not a college proffessor, computer nerd, or super-genius. I am just an ordinary guy, living a ordinary life.

I am sorry if I have given some people the impression that I got up on the wrong side of the bed today. However, that is exactly how I have been feeling lately, like the divine has cursed me to live a meaningless life. I have never been very successful in the modern work force. I wouldn't be able to get myself a job even if I bribed Uncle Sam! I often say that my life is rediculous. My brother and all of those around my age are thinking about marriage, AND I AM NOT EVEN STANDING ON MY OWN TWO FEET YET! I am in my late twenties, and I still must rely on my family and Uncle Sam.

The last time I managed to nab a job, it lasted all but two months, then one day I callapsed at work. Next thing I know, I am in an emergency room at a local hospital (and not the best one in my area, either). That was the end of the job to say the least. I feel like I am cursed, living with health problems(both physical and mental) and some family members who don't seem to understand my issues. I am lousy in school, I am currently studying computer animation in a local school. To say that I have failed classes would be an understatement, I failed one class twice in a row!

The only thing that I seem to be good at is writing. I have been writing since sixth grade, and have now become serious about it. My first book currently is about 30% complete and has three seperate spin-offs still waiting to be developed. My second book (final tittle still pending) is only about a page long at this time. I want to take out a copyright on my first book, and would appreciate if someone could tell me how to go about doing so.

Ed 9-11-2002 1:50

Ed - Howard's right, we do get a bit off the writing topic, because this site is not about just writing, it's about writers and their lives, about how they came to writing, about where those thoughts that we turn to stories come from in our past, present and future.

We have accomplished some wonderful things here, such as Shadows in a Dream, a book that was written right here on this very page. It has been published and is available at should you desire to read it.

One of the things I most regret is dropping from that project, as each writer wrote one character in the novel. I was in the first several chapters, then dropped when things at home got to be much more important then the internet.

Our next project is in the editing mode now, our editor Heather has been working long and hard taking the short stories that we wrote for the project and forming them into a workable anthology.

We have within our members some fabulous poets, some novelists, some romance writers, essayists, and just about any other form of writer that exists. We have in our day commented on world affairs, commented on politics, medicine, religion and life.

Should you want a site that deals with nothing but writing, there are tons of them out there. If you want, however a site that is visited by, contributed to, and run by writers, where you can bring any subject to the table and work it over, then this is the site for you.

Jerry 9-11-2002 1:17

AAArrrgghhhh! I've been watching for those tryouts! I missed it! Bummer!

howard 9-11-2002 0:15

O.K. First, small talk. The "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" bus was in town today. I went, I tested, I passed. More on that later. At the interview I was told that contestants who would be chosen would get a postcard. I didn't ask about those not chosen, didn't occur to me that I might *not* have passed the audition.

Second, writerly stuff. HOWARD made a valid point about the daily grind as material for the writer's kit bag. At some other point in conversations here, I pointed people to Alice Walker's short story "Daily Use." The story centers on an argument between two sisters about how to best use a shawl which was hand-knit by their mother. One sister wants to preserve it in a museum and the other wants to wear it every cool night.

Handmade shawl, argument between siblings, mother who loves both daughters ... all the stuff of everyday life. Yet the story is a rich treatise on how to draw character, how to use theme, and how to use symbols.

Mark 9-10-2002 23:28

ED -- What, exactly is it that you're looking for? MARK is a college-level English/Writing/Literature teacher, HEATHER is a writer/editor/artist, TEEKAY is an excellent short story writer, AMERICO is a published author as well as a college professor, and there's RANDALL, JERRY, RHODA, (I'm going to get into trouble if I cut this list short, but I must...) all good writers. I'm sure that if you ask a serious question, or post a sample of your writing you'll get a good answer (or critique).

Did you want gerunds, and split infinitives, or cover letters, or queries, or market information, or info about finding an agent? Those things do pop up occasionally, but the story/plot/idea/inspiration comes before those things are necessary. Like I said, we find inspiration in everyday things.

This isn't one of those "write-ten-pages-before-Thursday-and-a-critique-of-Thurston's-new-scene-before-the-weekend-or-get-expelled" sort of groups. We relax a bit here, and in doing so we quite often catch a muse off-guard.

There is a second book underway as we speak -- an anthology of short stories done by your peers here.

So we are active, even though we haven't seen a Piers Anthony or Alan W. Eckert here lately.

Like RANDALL said.... SOGOTP :-)

howard 9-10-2002 23:16


Ed...give US a story, (grin) Know any insect tales? How about the 1950 insect horror movies..."THEM" the giant ants who only wanted sugar! What was the movie about giant SPIDERS? (LAUGHTER) Giant bunnies? (my favorite)

Stress relief before the 9/11 anniversary....


Randall 9-10-2002 22:42


(Laughter!) come on guys...lighten up! Spiders, hey! Thank you Spiderbites! I checked the site out! Interesting..... Speaking of insects .... reminds me of the time I .... Aw, heck with it!


Night all!


Randall 9-10-2002 22:36


Now you guys want to talk about writing...?

You got me a little off-guard, here. I wasn't expecting to have to start now. I was under the impression that my peers were still interested in GOSSIP AND SMALL TALK.

----------start ?---

I have no clue...! Maybe, I should just shut-up and give some of my peers a taste of their own medicane!

Ed 9-10-2002 22:34




Debra 9-10-2002 20:57

Teekay, it would be my pleasure to start the next discussion about writing. Someone just give me a ring when the time is right, O.K. ?

Ed 9-10-2002 20:02

JACK: This is all your fault!

Teekay 9-10-2002 19:06

Spider Woman
by Susan Nagoda Bergquist
Spider Man and Spider Woman are Navaho supernaturals or Holy People. They taught the Navaho people how to weave, and established the four warnings of death. Spider Woman is an important mythic being among both the Eastern Pueblos and the Western Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona.
She probably assimilated into the Navaho religious assemblage, as the Athabasans migrated from their home land in Canada to the southwest, slowly taking on character as they went along from different cultural associations. However, the major influence was from the Pueblo peoples of the southwest, especially during the 1600's and early 1700's, in conjunction with the Pueblo Revolt. At this time there was a very close living association between the Navaho and the Pueblos, at places like Largo Canyon in New Mexico. These stressful times greatly influenced the Navaho religion and thought. In general, Spider, Spider Woman or Spider Man is a beneficial character in the myths and stories of the Plains, Southwestern, and Western American Indians. In some cases a creator (Pima and Zia) and others a trickster ( Dakota groups). Among the Jicarilla Apache, spider is a minor character, but Spider Woman is a very important personage in the myths of the Hopi, especially with the Hero Twins and Culture Heroes. She even takes a part in the Sunset Crater myth, which may well have some Sinagua affiliations

Read more:

spiderbites 9-10-2002 18:57

More writerly thoughts --

Speaking of words, the "Word a Day" newsletter sent this today -- and it certainly explains a few things!

pudency (PYOOD-n-see) adjective

Modesty, bashfulness.

[From Late Latin pudentia, from pudent-, pudens, from pudere (to make or be

If today's word bears a resemblance to the word for female privates, it's
because there is a link. Both sprout from Latin pudere (to be ashamed).
(italics mine)

Impudent is another word originating from the same source.

I checked with another dictionary, snd sure enough, found this:

Main Entry: pu.den.dum
Pronunciation: pyu-'den-d&m
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, singular of Latin pudenda, from neuter plural of pudendus, gerundive of pudEre to be ashamed
Date: 1634
Inflected Form(s): plural pu.den.da /-d&/
: the external genital organs of a human being and especially of a woman -- usually used in plural
- pu.den.dal /-d[^&]l/ adjective

I never knew the derivation of this word -- and its link with shame...
Like I said - it explains a lot.

Check to see their stuff -- you can subscribe, listen to correct pronunciation, etc.

It's neat!

howard 9-10-2002 15:23

Just got this in the mail -- new words are always interesting to writers...

TELECRASTINATION (tel e kras tin ay' shun) n. The act of always letting the
phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you're only six
inches away.

howard 9-10-2002 12:44

Dad was always elated when he could bring in channel three "and look! no snow!" We normally only got one channel (CBS on channel 12) and ony saw NBC when the conditions were right for the Syracuse channel 3, 75 miles to our north.

When Binghamton got a couple of the new UHF channels he waited a while, then got one of those converter boxes and a bow tie antenna. Talk about an expanded universe! Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca; Groucho Marx; Herb Shriner; Kukla, Fran & Ollie; Victor Borge; 'rasslin'; Dragnet; Lucy; Uncle Miltie; all came right into our living room, and even my mother was on!

Channel 12 had a local show called "Stop, Look, and Cook!" with Helen Baldwin, a daily show at noon. Mrs Baldwin called my mother (also Helen) and said she'd read an article in the paper about my mother's tea rings, and how she baked them, and bread, etc, on the old iron cook stove we had. And she asked mother if she'd like to be on the show to demonstrate the tea rings for the channel 12 audience. She did, and went on to become a regular, even subbing as host when Helen Baldwin was ill, or on vacation.

howard 9-10-2002 12:41

Teekay - I grew up in one of those towns where you could only get two channels, well one channel and if you had a rotor on your antenna you could get the second, albeit snowy. Then they took up a collection and built a BOOSTER up on a hill a few miles from town, you could still only get two channels, but they were on different numbers (you could get four if you didn't mind two being the same as the other two) but they were clear, well sort of clear. It stayed that way here till cable finally got here in I think it was '85 or so, at least that's when it got to Bowman where I was working at the time, and I think it came here the same time, as it was the same company.

It did make for good conversation "did you see what Lucy did last night?"

"Why yes wasn't if funny when Ricky caught her...."

Ah yes, now we have about twenty channels on cable, more if you pay for the premium channels (we don't) and there's still nothing ON!

Well ST Next Gen is on every day, so there is one show on.

Jerry 9-9-2002 23:44



Interesting insight about the Navajo circular dwellings. Hogans that is.

And as I mentioned to Mark some time ago, I stuffed everything I could into FLOWERS...and of course circles are a part of Native Americal lore...

Star Tiki has taken her sons friend, Andrea into the Otherworld.

"I'm not afraid, but is this Otherworld created by sorcery?"

Tiki giggled as she wiped her eye. "No, there is no sorcery involved here. It's a natural force generated by the earth. This is merely a mechanism, a multi-dimensional world, a twin to the one we live in."

Andrea could only stare at the world of color they were in.

Tiki held Andrea's hand tightly as she moved them to a large sandstone rock.

"We can sit here. Andrea, access is allowed by my connection to the Web of Authority. The Otherworld is simply an alternate boundary to reality created by the earth. It is generated from within the earth by a solid inner core with temperatures that approach the surface of the sun. Thermal convection initiated by the fluid outer core reacting to several factors including rotation of the earth generates, that is allows, a frequency vibration. Time and space merge," Tiki waved expansively with her left hand. "Here we are."

"Indeed," Andrea murmured. "But what are those lightning bolts that seem to come from the sky to the ground? Look! See, they reverse then rise back into the sky!"

"A visual indicator of the vast magnetic field created by the geodynamo called Earth. Individual colors reflect changes of gravity in the atmosphere, electron and proton density of the force field. Note the red flux will last longer, the smaller green bolts fade almost immediately as they reconnect with the ground. Watch how they are beginning to close."

Andrea struggled to remove her hand from Tiki's grasp. She wanted to stand, not sit.

Tiki hurriedly turned to Andrea. "You must not lose contact with me! It would be fatal! I was only 10 when I first came here," Tiki said. "I was afraid, like you, and lay on the ground with my eyes closed. When I finally managed to look, the force field image had changed to a beautiful web of light, like the Aurora Borealis. Only much closer. It sang to me, eased my fears, beautiful, crystal clear musical pure tones of clarity."

Tiki paused, lost in the memory. "I've never heard musical tones so perfect. I've sought the sound many times but it evades me, like an elusive butterfly in a meadow of delicate orchids."

"They are getting closer to us Tiki," Andrea nervously said. She looked quickly around. "Surrounding us."

"Andrea, in the Indian world the circle represents many things. Of obvious distinction is the shape of the earth. The sky is round, the stars, the sun, the moon. One day someone will discover the universe is round as well. Circles are power for Indians. We feel more comfortable in a circle with others. Hurricanes gain in power as they rotate. Tornadoes. Cyclones. Birds make nests that are circular. Rabbits run in circles to evade predators. We live our lives in seasons that always return. The closing of the universal circle of life. We believe in the religion of the land, which is circular. Power comes from circles, the Anglo designated medicine wheels, are symbols of earths inherent power. Our hogans are circular. We live within power. The Plains Indians had circular tipis, camped in a circle, made their cooking fires in a circle. The power of the world works in circles."

Tiki glanced at Andrea.

"Yes. The circle of energy closes upon us. I don't know why, maybe it is lonely and moves to join with us. One day I may stay and let them touch me. Power moves upward from the ground, from within the circle. Away into the round sky, then curve downward to again connect with the earth."

"The color's Tiki, so brilliant, colored lightening bolts." Andrea said. "Red, blue, green. So many colors, like the crystals in the ground behind us. Is this what you wanted to show me?"

Tiki nodded watching the powerful energy flashes accumulate around their position. "Yes, this is the powerhouse, where I draw power to influence affairs pertaining to our plans. Though we will be here for only an hour, a time aberration dictates that only seconds have passed when we're away. And as a woman you'll be interested to know that within the powerhouse the aging processes are retarded."

WRITERS! HUH? Some of them will put anything into a book!



Randall 9-9-2002 23:14

I have a special rule with spiders of all sorts. I respect them highly, for they rid the world of excess mosquitoes and such things, but they are creatures of nature and are therefore advised to remain in nature and to stay out of my house or else face the unpleasant consequences.


In your studies of Navajo lore, you did run across the fact that Navajoes tradionally have been suspicious of homes with corners? That is why the hogons are cicular rather than rectangular or square. I think I might know why this came about. When I lived in Farmington and Bloomfield New Mexico, almost every available corner of my house had a nest of black widow spiders. I saw them so often and they were so plentiful I refused at first to belive that was what these critters really well. Carpenders and guests soon set me straight on it and told me all of their horror stories of people bitten by black widows. I do not know what Navajo lore has to say about black widows, but I would bet that they stayed clear of them.

Centipedes were also very abundant in New Mexico (for such a desert climate, it had a surprisingly very healthy supply of creeping things. It was every bit as bad as Louisiana). I could not get rid of centipedes no matter how hard I tried. I sprayed and they would not go away. One summer we got these red aunt hills all around our foundation. I started seeing centipedes outside killed and eaten by swarms of red aunts. Soon I stopped seeing them inside the house. That was one of those rare instances where nature was able to do her thing without the intervention of chemicals and technology.

Writing about bugs is inspiring indeed. Makes me want to sign off and write a few hundred pages.

Rhoda 9-9-2002 21:53

Hi All :)

Just a quick note once again. So many things going on with life itself this month.

While I haven't gotten any words written in the past week or so, I do have a very somewhat clean house. HA! So okay, just don't look in the corners -- I'm leaving the spiders be, the more there are, the more they can gobble up the annoying fruit flies.

Mel - it's great to see you back and to know that you're walking. Did you use your cane on Ms. Muse? They do come in handy for that purpose.

Jerry - congrats on seeing "Tiger Piss" published! It looks good. :)

Have a good evening and an even better day tomorrow!

Carol 9-9-2002 20:55

TAYLOR: I thought you might have come from one of those little towns that only have 2 channels. I used to live in one of those.
What state are you in? Is it W.A.?
Don't worry, if you tell me I promise not to stalk you. If I could finance being a long distance stalker, I would go on holiday instead. :-)
Here's my email, in case you're worried about saying it out loud.

Teekay 9-9-2002 20:54

HEATHER: I already knew you were part evil.

ELAINE: Spiders and snakes, well that's exciting! You should have been her when we were discussing mechanics, or was it garages??, anyhow, I think it was somehting to do with cars, and dentists.

ED: I think we have talked writing to death, but it might be due for a revival soon, and you are welcome to do the honours.
We have a circular thing that seems to come about yearly. It's a variety of subjects where we talk about, bears, writing, family, writing, snakes and crawlies, writing, politics, politics, writing, religion, religion, writing, dreams, writing, miscellaneous, writing - you get the idea. The last person who came here and said what you said, was such a gentle girl, (I almost thought she was perfect) so pretty, looked like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, she used to sing in the church choir, lovely little hymns about all God's creatures, now she sprays them solid with hairspray, so, you can see, no good can come from saying such a thing.

Be well all, and for ED'S sake, could someone talk about writing. I know I could do with some inspiration myself.

Teekay 9-9-2002 20:47

UUUUGGGGGG - The Spam merchants have found my secret email address. Just this morning the first round began, GOD I HATE SPAM!!!!

I thought back on where they could have come up with it, and it could only be one of two places, here or the link that that outfit that published my story put at the bottom. I rarely if ever put my email here anymore, but did once last week.

I guess it could have been just my time maybe the Spammers found our server or something, I don't know but it has been so wonderful to not find spam since I moved to this ISP, and it has been that way for so long I was begging to believe I had become invisible to spammers. I do have two email accounts just for spammers, and any, no every time anyone wants me to fill out one of those stupid online forms, I put in one of them, they are full of spam, I just go there a couple of times a month and delete it all, usually well over two hundred on each account, but this account was special, it's the account where my kids can reach me, the one I give my closest friends and relatives, the one I have the computer set to check every ten minutes.

God I hate SPAM!!

Write ON!

Jerry 9-9-2002 17:07

You've got a point, Howard. I was just a little confused, that's all. For those of you who have read my first message, you may want to know that the book that I mentioned is under way. I have decided to stick with "Fairy's Heart" for the time being. However, I am still interested in suggestions for a better tittle. If anybody has a better tittle, or any questions, E-mail me. Just remember to use the name "Fairy's Heart" in the subject so I won't mistaken your message for SPAM.

Ed 9-9-2002 13:00

HI Y'all,
I wasn't able to get on all weekend but I'm planning to get on sometime this week. I was glancing at all the posts and I saw spiders, spiders, more spiders, snakes, stories and even more spiders! For the record, I don't hate spiders and I don't hate snakes either. I don't like bugs, no, let me refrase that, I hate bugs. They make me shiver. Yuck! As for reliving 911, it has been going through my mind quite a bit lately. I think that I've been reliving it for what seems like forever. It's not that I'm dwelling on it (well maybe I am) but I get reminded of it where ever I go, and I can't help but think about it. Well, I don't have much else to say, so...
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-9-2002 12:32

ED -- This is a writers' forum, but we refuse to be put into a box labelled : "THESE PEOPLE ARE WRITERS, AND WRITERS DON'T DISCUSS ANYTHING BUT WRITERLY THINGS -- THEY CAN'T HAVE REAL LIVES"

I think all of us have realised that everyday things (like spiders) occasionally creep into everyday lives. And isn't that what a writer writes about? Even those who write about fantastic things need to be able to contrast them with the mundane.

If you'll stick around you'll see lots of writerly things come out of our everyday lives.

MEL! Welcome back! I hope the hip is healing well.

howard 9-9-2002 12:12


Hi, everyone!!!

I've returned to work today after a grueling Summer dueling with my muse. While I was recuperating from hip joint surgery, Ms. Muse took off on one of her unapproved vacations--without me-- and when she dared to show her face in late August, I grabbed her by the throat and nearly made two pieces of her! She's still recovering in the muse hospital - don't know for sure, I haven't visited her. Time to catch up on other things first, now that I can WALK again-YES!!! :-) Still on a cane for a few more weeks, but so glad to be back!!!

I suppose I should see about some flowers or a card or something to cheer Ms. Muse, but frankly, I think she should suffer a bit first for all the suffering I did without her over this long, boring, no-energy, no-inspiration recuperative Summer. Maybe I'll send her some dried-up pens or some paper scribbled all black, or a keyboard without a monitor, heh heh heh. Let's see what she'll do with those!!!

There's a character lying around here where did I leave 'im? :-]

Hi to all the newbies! Hi to all the lurkers (BEN, I haven't forgotten you!...)

A snappy writing day to you all...

Mel 9-9-2002 12:00

Why is everyone talking about spiders? I thought that this was a writer's forum, it seems I was wrong!

Ed 9-9-2002 11:29

** Taylor **

Spiders: One word "Arachnaphobia" Scared the hell out of me... I almost jumped out of my seat

Taylor 9-9-2002 7:26

TAYLOR -- Thanks for that web site. It made me cry too.

Spiders? Two words: "Charlotte's Web"

I don't like 'em, but I won't kill them unless they cross the line. Then it's crunch time -- no hair spray. Of course I've had to repaint the walls and ceiling a couple of times...

howard 9-9-2002 7:07

I think this is the right way to do the page thing

Teekay: There is an awful lot of programs on it over here. But I'm just going to watch this one

Warning: It's pretty much sad to watch the webpage... Just so yous know

Taylor 911 memorial 9-9-2002 4:54

Oy, hey, Teek... did you know that Wolf Spiders are often mistaken for those...ahem... barking spiders? HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Heather 9-9-2002 3:35

Mary, you are welcome to come and hairspray the living juice out of any spider that hides in my house. I have these little greenish ones that are completely useless for ridding the house of even one lone, fat, barely getting 10K per hour in flight fruit fly. It's absolutely annoying to have house spiders that can't catch half their weight in flies. There's one little wee spider that keeps making a web under the last stair just before my side door landing. The spider's so tiny I miss it every time I sweep out the web, or else he sees the broom coming and manages to squeeze himself into a crack that's too small for the bristles! And the next day there's another web.
Sure, the wee spritely arachnid is efficient enough in rebuilding its web, but I don't know how it hasn't starved to death! All it manages to catch is dust and the odd pea-sized sprig of cat hair!
I think I should just show the spiders where to build the most viable net, but I think that would just be encouraging them... I might have trouble with all their relatives moving in. LOL (Then again, since I am painting a lot of miniatures, I could paint a little 'Spider Inn' sign...

But not for that little bugger under the stair! I now have a plan. Super-sticky, rock-your-part hairspray from hell. I'm going to embalm that spider where he sits and there better not be another web there -- ever! Thanks, Mary! Oh, hey, this spider's small enough to mail... anyone have a science project in need of a visual? ;oD

Heather 9-9-2002 3:33

To quote one of my old favorite songs "I don't like spiders or snakes!"

Never have I guess. I know all the psychobable about both being necessary for a healthy environment and all. And I do remember when I was a boy on the farm I used to catch garter snakes and play with them till one bit me hard on my finger, then I started leaving them alone like one should. We have lots of rattle snakes here abouts and a healthy population of black widow spiders so we do watch for those types. I would just as soon have no spiders in the house, and snakes outdoors, way outdoors like miles from here.

Way back when I was a sergeant in the Army at Fort Bliss, we were called on alert for shipment overseas. I think it was one of the times when Egypt invaded Israel, at any rate, we were all called in, lined up given shoots, updated our wills and all that crap, then had to get all our equipment, trucks and all steam cleaned and loaded on cargo jets. That night we were restricted to barracks, and my commo guys found an old abandoned bay area to roll out our bags and sleep the night. Eddie, one of my troopers was very worried about his wife, as she was in her ninth month of carrying their child. About midnight or so, he decided to sneak out and drive home to kiss her good bye, after all from what we had been seeing on TV, we figured we would be in downtown Jerusalem by midnight the next night. He snuck into the latrine, carrying his duffel bag with him. A duffel bag that he hadn't unpacked since our last Alert when they took us to Fort Bragg for a field exercise. When he pulled his extra civie's out of the bag, a brown recluse spider came with them. He didn't notice the spider till it bit him on the big toe, then, like we'd been trained, he looked the spider over before he squished it. He noticed the fiddle on it's back, in fact he said he thought it was kind of cute, he almost let it live. At any rate, the President, or whoever the hell makes those decisions decided that we needn't go over to Israel that day, so the next morning we went home. The following morning when I reported for duty, the Charge of Quarters notified me that Eddie was in William Bomont General Hospital. I drove up to see what the problem was, like a good sergeant should, and brought Eddie a book to read, when I got there, the Army Doctors had already amputated the entire top of his big toe, and were worried that they would have to take the whole toe if the swelling didn't go down. Eddie was lucky, he kept the toe and could stay in the Army like he planned. I learned a bit more about why I don't like spiders and snakes.

Jerry 9-9-2002 0:46

Oh, and another thing, DEBRA, you made the point that that's what spiders do to their victims. It's true, that's nature, it's how they survive, they don't kill the fly cos they don't like the way it looks.
If there is anything that gets in the way of nature and upsets the balance of things, it's humans.

Teekay 9-8-2002 22:20

DEBRA: HAHAHAHAHAHAA you are so funny! Delightfully so.

I wouldn't have wanted to torture that wolf spider for crawling around on my head. I didn't even want it dead, I just wanted it out of the car.

And you know, I'm not going to condemn someone for killing flies, that's their business. What does make me sad is when animals, or bugs, or any helpless creature is put to a horrible death or non death simply because it suits someone's purpose.

Teekay 9-8-2002 22:15


You're right. In fact I chase flys out the door instead of crushing them.

It's just......

Well it's just......

To be so damn ugly, they're just asking for it.

Hey I never sprayed them hair spray. Besides they are being resused.


Isn't that what they do to their lunch, with the web and all.

Remember the wolf spider on your head all that time in the car? What would you have liked to have done to that thing?

Debra 9-8-2002 22:07

Then DEBRA, I greatly fear that you and MARY as loveable and normal as you both appear, have a severe character flaw running deep beneath the surface. To willingly inflict such suffering on any living creature is abhorent and beyond my comprehension.

Teekay 9-8-2002 20:57


I'm as impressed as Ms. Teekay is horrified.

I get the feeling that Teekay secretly likes those eight legged thingie ma bobs.

Debra 9-8-2002 20:49

EDDIE: Oh dear, you know I think you're wonderful, and talented, and all the nice things in the world. The comments in the last post were on what was posted by the people I mentioned :-D. Now, if I went and told you you were a genius and got all gushy about you mentioning going back to college then the value of my praise would drop in value.

HEATHER: You made me laugh, that's what you did :-D WHOOP WHEEOOOOOP.
BTW: Yes, funks can come in shades of dusky pink. Flesh tones don't really qualify as funks.

TAYLOR: I counted in the TV book, there are 9 programmes about Sept. 11 on 3 different channels.

MARY: I'm totally horrified. Totally. Absolutely gobsmacked. Can't think of another thing to say.

Shocked and appalled.

Teekay 9-8-2002 20:20

Hello you lot.

This is the first and maybe the last time I'll say something here. I just look-in from time to time. Always a good feeling to this place. But keep it as it's always been - I haven't much to say, really, other than you seem to have caught a craphead here. Hajibulah. Who else? The name is probably Bob or Nellie. Just completely ignore the stupid fucker.


Zoe 9-8-2002 14:28

On the 9-11 stuff . . . I watched PBS' special about faith and fear at ground zero. Doesn't matter which side of that you're on, it will still feel like it talks to you.

Mark 9-8-2002 10:19

My personal favorite way to exterminate spiders is to spray them with ultra-mega-hold hairspray. Several light coats doesn't work as well as one heavy, dripping coat that hardens as it dries, slowly stiffening the spiders limbs to where he is finally frozen in position, as if it was a cartoon character who just had quick-dry cement dumped on him. This also preserves the shape of the spider because they can't curl up into themselves when they expire, so I can donate them to my brother to add to his Biology class's 'Bug Board'. He has asked me to lighten up slightly on the hairspray if possible because it is hard to get a pin through the spider if I shellac them! I know, I am horrible.

Mary 9-8-2002 9:58


Back... I know this probably not the time...

But here's a memorial web page if you want to go visit one... Before you do, it's really kind of strong and emotional I reckon. Just a pre warning before you click on the webpage link.

Taylor 9-8-2002 4:48


Re-live 9-11. I don't think I can do that, but there's this show on WIN where I live. About 118 video footage shot by New Yorkers that I may take a look at.

Just hoping that they show the footage that was shot by the guys with Robert DeNiro. Haven't seen much of that.

But on Fox News, they've been showing excerpts of 9-11. It does bring up one interesting question though that I've often asked myself. Won't repeat it.

How is everyone? Hope people are enjoying a writing flurry.

Taylor 9-8-2002 0:34

Lots of new folks, wonderful, we can always use new ideas from new minds.

Thanks everyone for the attaboys.

Now if I could just find a paying publisher...

So is everyone ready to relive 9-11? I haven't decided if I will turn on the TV or not next week, it sounds as though that's all they are going to show, all the footage of the attack and it's aftermath.

Once was enough, I think, and we have new worries now with the war with Iraq right around the corner, that and Congress is in session again, and as a great statesman once quipped "no man's liberty is safe when Congress is in session!"

Jerry 9-8-2002 0:16

Greetings folks. I am a relative newcommer to writers groups like this one. I need some advice if someone can spare the time. I am looking to meet other authors so I can exchange ideas and info with my peers. I have been writing since I was in middle school and have now become serious about writing. I am currently working on my first book, a second un-related one stirring in my head. I need help comming up with a suitable tittle for this latest venture, as I can't seem to come up with one that fits the story. I want to ask for suggestions from my peers. Here is some info on the plot.

The story takes place in a imaginary world where humans and fairies live parallel to each other. One brash young fairy does something to a human couple that accidently kills one of them, (the girl). When the leaders in this fairy's society learn of her actions they take away her wings and turn her into a human woman. As part of her punishment, she is sentence to live the rest of her days with her victim as his servent. At first the former fairy's "master" looks upon her with anger and distrust, but as the story progresses, his feelings start to change. He eventually develops a great deal of respect for and falls in love with her. As for the former fairy herself, at first she is afraid of her master, but her feelings start to change too. Although she doesn't realize it, she is falling in love with him too. By the end of the story she has managed to earn back her wings and her status as a fairy, but by that tim,e she has realized that she is in love. Unwilling to leave the man who she now loves, she asks her leaders to allow her to remain human. She gets the surprise of her life when they refuse her request and instead choose to grant her former victim the status of fairyhood.

The only tittle that I have been able to come up with is "Fairy's Heart". However, I keep getting the feeling that it doesn't fit the story. If someone out there has any suggestions, E-mail me. Please include the words "Fairy's Heart" in the subject so I won't mistaken it for SPAM.

Ed 9-7-2002 23:46



I am a funny!

Debra 9-7-2002 23:05

Hey, Teek;
Didn't realize funks come in dusty shades of pink. Do they also come in flesh tones? LOL

Heather 9-7-2002 21:33

*more blushing*

What'd I do??

And yes, Eddie, you qualify for the 'talented' group. I think there are so many talented writers on this site, it tends to boggle the mind. :o)

Debra - nice to see you back. You made a funny!

Heather 9-7-2002 21:32


Eddie 9-7-2002 20:36

HOWARD: By golly, if you weren't married........

HEATHER: By golly, if you weren't female...........

RANDALL:........what can I say, you already know how brilliant I think you are,...............

JERRY: Same to you.

Being surrounded by all this talent has mellowed my funk to a pretty shade of dusky pink.

Teekay 9-7-2002 19:58

Getting ready to go back to college.
Had a nice break but it's time to go back to work.
Starting my degree course next week. I do love attending college, it gives meaning to my life. This latest course means that I will have attained my degree in IT by the age of 50!
Believe me, when you reach 50 you really do need a degree to get work. Wish me luck!

Eddie 9-7-2002 18:18

JERRY -- Good story! Congrats on getting it published!

howard 9-7-2002 11:25

The new issue of Wilimington Blues is out, my story is in it, you can read it at the link below.

Jerry Wilmington Blues 9-7-2002 10:45

ooh, sorry. Lovely typo or two, and the font size was a bit larger than tasteful.
I just wanted to shout with joy.

By the way Howard, should you have been waving the laptop of a man who rates restaurants for a living, do you think that would have improved the situation any? There's always a reason for buying a laptop, I just knew it. (HAHAHAHHAA.... :oP Ok, really not that funny.)

Too tired! G'night!

Heather 9-7-2002 3:00

Warning *** Warning ***
Veronica has left the closet!

Beuuooooooop! Weeeeee oooooooo Weeeeeeee oooooo! Errrrr Errrrrrrrrr! (Fire engine veers to the right; weiner dog and owner narrowly escape decapitation)
Gasp! Choke! Wheeze!

Did you say what I think you said?
I repeat. Veroncia has left the closet.

Heather 9-7-2002 2:54

I was doing a favor this evening, for a friend -- here's how it went:

"Can I help you, sir?"

"Yes, please. I'm here to pick up an order of wings for Mrs Hix."


"Ummm, yes... they were supposed to be ready at 7:10"

"Well, it's ten minutes after seven now."

"Ummm, yes it is."

"How many, 50 or 100?"

"I have no idea -- she just asked me to stop and pick up the order."

"Did you call it in already?"

"Mrs Hix called it in earlier this afternoon."

"I don't see it here, let me check with the kitchen."

(he ducks out through the kitchen door while the line behind me grows in length and shortens in patience )
(he sticks his head back around the door)

"Sir? How many wings did you say?"

"I didn't. Mrs Hix called it in this afternoon, and was told that they'd be ready at seven ten."

(the muttering behind me grows in intensity)

"Do you know who told her that?"

"No - please, do you have an order of wings ready? I have to get them to a wedding rehearsal in about 20 minutes."

"Just a minute, sir, we're che.."

"Excuse me sir, I'm the manager. Can I help you?"

(sighs of relief from behind me)

"Yes, I..."

"Is this for a wedding rehearsal? A hundred wings?"

(I begin to hear a roaring sound)

"Yes! That sounds like the order!"

"And you're Mr Hix?"

"No, I'm picking up the order for Mrs Hix. She was told 7:10."

(crowd geting restless again -- one family leaves)

"Yes sir, I just wanted to make sure I didn't give the order to the wrong person, and then when you came in you'd be ticked off because your wings were gone, and it would be my fault if I didn't check."

(I realize the roaring sound coming from inside my head. I've heard this sound before)

"I understand, and thank you for being concerned."

"No problem, sir. We just want to be sure."

(dark mutterings intensify -- as does the roaring)

"Thanks again. So the wings are ready?"

"They will be in a few minutes, sir, nice and fresh."

(manager ducks back into the kitchen, cashier steps back to his post)

"They will be? I'm supposed to have them at the church in (looks at watch) twelve minutes, and it's 18 miles from here!"

"Can I help whoever is next? Sir, can you wait over there?"

(someone steps on my foot -- I turn to confront whoever it is, but it turns out to be an elderly lady with a cane. I hold my ground, but there's still that roaring sound. I wonder if anyone else can hear it)

"No, if I wait over there I'll block their view of the menu board. He said it'll only be a minute. Can I pay for them now, to save time?"

(amateur ventriloquist halfway down the line mutters something about "effing a**hole, get lost!" Everyone ignores him except the kid in front of him, who repeats every word, and gets his mouth slapped by the older woman he's with)

(the manager comes bustling out)

"Here's your order, sir! Did you want sauce with these? And bluecheese dressing?" Your wife didn't specify, so I threw them in."

(the kid is still screaming)

"She's not m -- nevermind -- yes, thanks! How much do I owe you?"

"Oh, Kyle will ring you up as soon as..."

(the roaring in my ears gets much louder)

"How much will this be? I am not waiting for Kyle -- there's another register right here!"

"But sir, I can't do that, this register is out of service!"

(crowd begins to show interest, and sympathy -- for me, I hope)

"Look -- your menu board says that 100 wings is $24.89. Here's 25 bucks (I stick it into his shirt pocket) I really don't care where you stick the change -- I'm outta here!"

"But,, but!"

(as I go through the door I hear the ventriloquist mutter "Shaddup, effing a**hole!" and I don't think he's talking to me, but it's probably a good thing that both of my hands are full of takeout wings)

howard 9-6-2002 23:24




by RLH

My father, Melvin Luther Henderson, worked for the old Santa Fe railroad. My earliest memories are of Dad leaving in the middle of the night, going to work as a Locomotive Fireman. Even when Dad worked at Santa Fa, as his father, his uncle and his brother ... the Fireman was redundant. Railroad engineers drove or operated the locomotives back in the days of water, wood, coal and steam power. Fireman, using a shovel for coal, or hands for wood stoked the boiler to heat water and produce steam. In the technology of diesel fuel, Fireman had chores, but not like before. Being a Fireman in 1885 Wyoming was a lot different from 1955 Texas.

"Say! Was that a gunshot I heard? Land of Goshen! Elmo! It's Butch Cassidy's, Hole-in-the Wall Gang! Shovel faster! They plan to rob us for shore!"

"OH BOY! My first holdup! Do you see him?" the Fireman gasps, struggling with the oversize shovel of coal, "Do you see old Butch?"

"Don't stop now fool! Keep that coal coming! Yeah, that's him up front riding the roan! Shore enough! Saw him and Sundance in a saloon up close to Laramie last year!"

"Sundance there too? Which one is Butch?"

"Great jumping bullfrogs! What the hell are you doing over here? Gawking like that! More coal Fireman! More coal!"

I remember conversations Mom and Dad had as the railroad union struggled to keep the fireman position open. But, in the end it was a losing battle. One man in the locomotive and that was it. However, just in time Dad took the Engineers test and was at last an Engineer ... then shortly afterward had his first heart attack at age 42. Dad retired for medical reasons and parted company with Santa Fe, switched tracks in railroad lingo.

Up until that time Dad was a loyal, dedicated railroad employee, but like everyone had human frailties. I remember one night Dad slept through the first wake-up call and awoke as the second call from the Roundhouse came in. Dad dressed quickly. I heard him tell Mom as he dashed out the door, "I'm late! Tell them I had trouble starting the old jalopie!"

Say!!! :-) What's a matter you? Never brought forth a small exaggeration to explain your tardiness? What working person has not told the smallest lie to questioning supervisors? Indeed I was late last year and Larry, my boss made an inquiry.

I made up a mildly concocted excuse. "Well, you see ... a Grizzly climbed into our bedroom window about sunrise and it took us a few minutes to throw the bruin out."

There was a loud silence then Larry snorted and broke into a wide grin. "Writers!" he laughed. "Always the wild tales!"

Dad had a variety of old work cars. Jalopies he called them. I guess the one that has relevance to this tale was a 1930 something, two-door Chevrolet. It had bulging headlights on the fenders, started not by a key, but by a switch in the floor you pushed with your foot. Turn the switch key to on, grasp the steering wheel with both hands, strain mightily and with your right foot stand on the starter switch. Old timers who used floorboard switches could easily be identified. One calf muscle was quite a bit larger than the other! The hood of the old jalopy looked like half of a BIG canoe upside down and the interior smelled as bad as Pharaoh's tomb after the first 1,000 years. The trunk (some old timers called it a "turtle") held a variety of fishing gear, tools, old clothes, a jack that could lift a 747 with ease. Our "good" car was usually a Ford. About this time our family sedan was a 1951 or 1952 Ford, but the jalopy was Dad's work car. Pretty it wasn't, high tech ... not, dependable ... sometimes, fuel efficient ... no idea.

Dad's sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Jeff, were visiting from Kansas City one summer in the mellow 1950's. Their son Ronnie, a precocious five year old was the very definition of run amok and hell-on-wheels. As a child Ronnie was ... well, something else. He was inquisitive, mischievous, conscious of everything under the moon and stars, very intelligent, a near genius and for some reason highly sensitive to potential threats to his person. We were playing in the front yard late one afternoon as Dad and Jeff examined the jalopie as it sat next to the curb. They had the old car's hood up on a quiet summer evening, talking, laughing. Jeff asked how it ran? Dad made a comment or two relating to the lack of dependability, advanced age, overall deplorable condition and general disrepair. "Just a work car."

The next morning Dad and Jeff decided to go fishing at a nearby river. As things were, they decided to take the jalopie. My brother and I loaded up in the musty back seat, Dad slammed the trunk lid down and looked around for Jeff and Ronnie. Jeff was dragging his struggling son across the yard. Ronnie was shrieking at the top of his lungs, fighting every step of the way. Jeff stopped, knelt in front of his son and talked quietly for several seconds. Ronnie had big tears streaming down his cheeks, was highly agitated, shook loose and ran toward the front door ... screaming bloody murder! Lois hurried outside alerted by the shrieks of her young son.

The conversation went something like this..."Why Ronnie! What's wrong?"

"Mooommm! Dad wants to take me away in Uncle Melvin's car!"

"Why darling, you're only going fishing!"

"No Mom! No! They want to kill me! I don't want to die!"

"Why Ronnie! No one wants to kill you! You're not going to die!"

"Oh yes! We're all going to die!" Ronnie wailed holding tight to his mom.

"No you're not! Whatever gave you that ideal?"

"Oh Mom," Ronnie cried. "I heard Uncle Melvin tell dad last night that old car was a death trap! I don't want to die!"

Goodnight all



Randall 9-6-2002 22:28

HEATHER: Tell Veronica I miss her, and to come visit sometime.

Funk is fading to a lovely shade of lilac.

*sigh* so pretty.

Teekay 9-6-2002 20:43

Heather Carol:

I clean my house hearing hidious crashing sounds from the room I just finished.

That's no joke.

Debra 9-6-2002 20:32

Carol - I'm insane with jealousy! You can give your house a thorough cleaning, and it lasts a few weeks?!?!(and %*^_#*!?) Our house stays clean... hell, who am I kidding? It never stays clean! There's no emoticon for that face I make when I'm pouting my lower lip out to blow a stream of air upwards, just the right strength for styling my bangs. This will have to do: :~]

Heather 9-6-2002 17:15

Hi All :)

Wow! So many new people joining in -- that's great! Welcome everyone!

Currently I've been very busy getting this blasted house clean for company next week. The only good thing about cleaning the house to this extent (besides having it nice for company) means that I will come home to a clean house after our trip to TX in a couple of weeks. The trouble is, this is really putting a hamper on my words per day.

Ah well, this story doesn't seem to want to leave me like past ones have, so I'll just gather daily events and see what transfers itself into the work.

Heather - sounds like you've been real busy on "P" -- thanks!

Carol 9-6-2002 14:39


Heather 9-6-2002 14:15

HEATHER -- Tchai wrote The Nutcracker, Sweet.

Mark 9-6-2002 14:01

BEN -- I rewrote Macbeth for my high school English Seminar class, and did it as a comedy, set in prohibition days. The three witches were "three ladies of ill repute," and the woods of Dunsinane were the trees in Central Park. Macbeth was a gangster (like Frank Nitti), and Lady Macbeth was his gun moll. Kung Duncan was modelled after Al Capone.

Our class actually staged it for the other seminar class -- there were two of these classes, each meeting for two periods a day -- then for the whole senior high school. We had a set, props, sound effects, the whole nine yards.

Then a few years later, while I was overseas, I picked up a copy of Playboy, and there was a takeoff on Macbeth, very similar to mine. I didn't recognise the author's name, but I found out much later that someone in one of the classes had done some short articles for Playboy and other magazines. I never pushed the issue, but always wondered...

I don't think you'd run into much of a problem with your makeover. Good luck!

howard 9-6-2002 10:08

Sorry, that last one was me. Just had to comment on it, Jerry! Perhaps the 'smarter' guy could be an undercover?

Heather 9-6-2002 10:07

Now I'm not planning on making the cops look like fools, the way many writers do, no just going to make the other guy smarter.

Um, Jerry? I think that will definitely make the cops look like fools.

9-6-2002 10:05

Ben - have no idea about how close to the original you can get before it's considered plaigarism. I was under the impression that the 3 day novel writing contest was for completely original works. There might be some split hairs showering about the judging table on that one!

Heather 9-6-2002 10:04

Hey, Ben! I've been considering that Anvil Press 3 day novel writing contest for a few years now, but have a major conflict: My daughter's birthday is September 1st. We usually have the party over labour day weekend. I doubt I could do both the party and the novel that same weekend!
When Hailey's older, I might see if she wouldn't like her party a weekend ahead or even after labour day weekend, and that would free up the time needed for that brutal contest. I know you don't have to write an average book length ms for the contest - I believe most winners wrote between 100 and 125 pages? Might have been more like 150. It's been a while so I've forgotten the range. More like a novella, really. Still, 3 days isn't much time (but I've practiced all-nighters for years, so for most of those 3 days I'd be awake). Obviously not much time for editing!
I think I will see about entering that one next year.

Howard - sent you back 'Aunt Aggie' for P* this morning. :)

Heather 9-6-2002 10:01

Susan: Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I don't come here out of habit, or the need for a fix anymore. I come here to look around, and browse once every five or six months. I still like it here, but find it to be "way much the distraction." I just can't get anything written when I'm hanging around here. And sometimes, I have these bonehead dicussions with some people, and that turn me off. Nothing personal :-)

But the writing contest is put on by Anvil Press, a small literary press out here in Vancouver, and it has just celebrated its 25th anniversary--(the contest I mean). They came up with the idea one night in a bar--I can't even remember how many good ideas I've come up with in bars--(god only knows how I'm still alive they were such good ideas)--but this one seemed to stick. I've thought a lot about entering this contest over the years, and now that I finally did, let me tell you, it was no simple feat. I found myself preparing for the whole week leading up to it. I only came up with an idea five days before the deadline. But they say you can use a plot, or an outline, you just can't start writing before the weekend starts. They get people submitting from all over the world now. It's become quite international. My biggest question is, having come up with an idea for a rewrite of "Macbeth" through the eyes of another character, and using lines of speech from the great bard, is it writing, or considered plagarism? I look at other works based on Shakspeare, and say no, but I don't know how much of Shakespeare's dialogue was used in those works...if I incorporate dialogue into my story, and have my character overhear this dialogue--like say the murdering of Duncan--have I stepped over the line? I guess I'll know when the judges either accept it, or decline it.

ben woestenburg 9-6-2002 9:10

Another scorcher today, hit the big One Oh Oh. I thought about turning on the air conditioner, but I was home alone and just sat still with a fan on, I stayed comfortable.

Just started my first mystery short story, have the body in position, and found, have the cops there and a passer by who I think will turn into the real investigator in the story. Now I'm not planning on making the cops look like fools, the way many writers do, no just going to make the other guy smarter.

Any how that's my plan.

Still playing with my other idea, but with all the crap in the news now days, it would be very difficult to make a story with more twists and turns, more terrorists and hero's then the news comes up with.

I sure do miss that workbook, hope we have it again some day.

Jerry 9-6-2002 0:42

HEATHER -- Yeh - I crushed it. Call it a preemptive strike. I got to thinking about the chemical weapon that critter was planning to use on me the minute my back was turned, and decided to terminate it.

Terminate! That reminds me -- Check this out!

He said he'd be back!

howard 9-5-2002 22:42

I don't know, Mark, did he? I can't even bring myself to spell Tchai... nevermind.
I hope you meant the parallel between wasps and writers, not the 'crushing of the cup'! HA HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Slinking off now...

Heather 9-5-2002 22:30

I can tell that my inner editor is tired. I spelled 'any' with a 'd'!

*rolling my eyes; oh my, well, at least they're open....*

Heather 9-5-2002 22:28

Hi Susan! Actually, what I'm editing are short stories from a collection written by many of the writers from right here in the Notebook. I wrote the introduction to get everyone started, and before the project came to a close, we collected quite a number! That was when the Workbook was up and running - a password protected area of the Writer's Notebook. We couldn't do a project like Phantasium without it, since putting our stories just into the Notebook itself is basically setting it into a public forum.
By the way - what I wrote earlier about putting in my comments and suggestions and so on - they are already on the hard (paper) copies. Just have to insert them into the text of the stories, save em as is and send them back.
Once the kids are asleep (and minute now) I will at least send back three. The others are waiting in line! :oD

C*R*Y*P*T*I*C***M*E*S*S*A*G*E***F*O*R***T*E*E*K*A*Y*: I think I caught a glimpse of Veronica. P.U.! ;op

Heather Hemlock Bags 9-5-2002 22:26

Well alrighty then, I decided to let my inner Texan's the dangdest thing when you can type Texan!! Other than that I was looking through some of my most recent ramblings in a notebook that looks like it made it through a deluge of something, whether that was water, tea or something more disgusting, I will never know. I was just wondering if anyone gets the same overwhelming conflict of emotions reading their own stuff after not seeing it for awhile. For instance, "dang I am better than I thought I was , this is good." OR....."how in the heck will I ever get anything published let alone read????" OKOKOK...seems to be I have the normal inner critic, however it also appears that I might just want to give it up and walk away and some day in the future when one of my grandchildren open up the boxes my sons just "put up, 'cause mom would be mad if we just threw it out", they will find all this great stuff and I will be a dead author.......Sound familiar??

Hmpph, that is all from this silly albiet serious wanna be....I do hope ya'll have extraordinary works of greatness emerging from your pens, pencils and keyboards. Sherry

PS: thanks for all the welcomes!

Sherry 9-5-2002 21:38

Of course you know I just had to make an error right before I said I think I would be good at editing lol. Of course, having a sticky keyboard doesn't help.

Susan 9-5-2002 21:30

HEATHER, that's great ! How doyou get a job editing anyway ? I think I would be good at it. How does it pay ?

WELCOME to all the newbies ! I have only been coming here for a week or so and love it already. It's very comforting to know other writers and to see that we all face the same challenges.

Susan 9-5-2002 21:25

HEATHER -- Didn't Tchaikovsky write a ballet about that?

Mark 9-5-2002 20:51

Oh, Howard, you had me thinking you were all appreciative of the wasp's efforts.... and then you go and crush it?
I wonder if we should marvel at the amazing works of MARK, and then turn around and crush his cup? HA HA HA (I was really kidding, there... honest!)

Welcome Sherry!
Wow, all of a sudden there are new writers turning up here by the swarm!

Not that I'm trying to draw a parallel between writers and wasps... all that hard work to CREATE something, only to be dealt the CRUSHING BLOW of death...! Howard, are you planning to become an editor, by chance? LOL

Well, speaking of editing, I have another 8 stories edited for Phantasium. I will be inserting my edits (in red) and my suggestions (in blue) in most cases - with a few stories I'll do the revision myself and send them back to each author for approval. Between today and tomorrow I should have all of those sent. And.....(drum roll, cymbal crash, bass womp and all, please!) The first edits are nearly completed for Phantasium! I also believe we can get away with only one round of editing on most stories. :oD

Heather 9-5-2002 16:11

These mud wasps are amazing! I could not begin to imagine the huge number of trips this critter made in and out of the window, from wherever it was collecting the mud, to the back of my computer speaker. Two holes filled, and precisely smoothed off, with (I would guess) an egg, and perhaps a paralysed spider for food for the larva when it hatches. How it could fly while carrying a ball of mud is beyond me. I could see it was straining a couple of times -- missed the hole and had to circle back, still carrying its cargo, for another pass. Amazing!
I just crushed it.

howard 9-5-2002 15:04

Hello all!
First thing's first, welcome to all the new faces, I mean, pens; no, that's still not quite right, writers...? Okay, all the new writers. ( I mean that as the best of compliments) Glad to see so many new names in the NB. I wonder if I'm still the youngest...
Second, I lived in Texas for 1 and a half years. Unfortunatley, (if I spelled that right) I don't remember a thing because I was only one and a half years old when we moved. We (my parents and I) lived in Bear Creek (I think) which was just outside of Dallas. (which happens to be where I was born)We moved to Fridgeria because my dad got a call to teach, and I would go on but the bells about to ring. I just wanted to say welcome and bye
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 9-5-2002 12:33

Hi Guys!

Just stopping in. I lived in Abeline, Texas for a year.

I battled my first giant black spider there, in my house. I sprayed it with a can of black flag until the liquid just beaded and rolled off its hoofs.

I finally had to wack it out of mid air with a broom. There was no picking up this thing with a napkin. I needed a body bag.

Fun fun!

Debra 9-5-2002 8:41

TAYLOR! -- Was just thinking about you, and wondering where you'd got to! Welcome back!

And a welcome to SHERRY as well -- stick around for the fun!

MARK -- I remember you talking about the Merchant Marine -- gotta be some interesting stories there!

Susan mentioned guidelines -- how it's a Good Thing (can I use "Good Thing," Martha?) to read them thoroughly before submitting anything to an editor. I ran into that same thing myself a week or so ago. Was all set to send that Christmas poem I wrote last year to CAPPERS, until I did a final check on their guidelines. The poem is about twice their maximum length. Now looking for another market.

howard 9-5-2002 7:31

Boy did I butcher that one! Just tired, I guess...

It should have read:

"Howdy, pard! I'm from Texas! Where ya'll from?"

"I've got a place in Alaska"

"Really? I hear it's big country up there."

"Yeah, pretty fair sized."

"Well, I got a pretty good sized ranch myself."

"That big, eh?"

"Yep, not to brag on it, but I can start out in my pickup truck from my east property line in the morning, and at nightfall I'm still on my own land!"

"I had a truck like that once..."

howard 9-5-2002 7:20

I lived in Tejas. Spent my formative years on the North Shore of the Houston Ship Channel. Later spent two years in Beaumont.

Welcome newcomers, no matter where you're from. I am also from Niagara Falls, Albany, Binghamton, Biloxi, Buffalo and Phoenix. I call Lockport home, sometimes, and Houston home, sometimes.

As Abbott and Costello were wont to say, "Watch out for that first draft, it's a doozie."

Mark 9-5-2002 7:17


Hi all: Miss me? Hope not.
Have been disconnected to net. Will be back on soon hopefully. Using my roommate's computer.

Mary: Congratulations!!! It's always heartwarming to hear great news.

Tim: Welcome. Nice to see new faces

How you all doing? I hope you all doing well

Taylor 9-5-2002 6:04

Yep, I spent five of the most wonderful years of my life in Texas, and if I could afford it, I'd be living in El Paso now.

Well maybe, I guess I'd probably still be living here, as here's where mom is, and it's nice to be able to go over for dinner and pinochle every Sunday.

Jerry 9-5-2002 1:20

But I never lived in Texas, pard.

I drove through it once or twice, and made it from West Memphis to Amarillo in one shot.

"Yep, I live on a ranch in Texas"

"Really? I'vegot a place in Alaska!"

"Yeah? Well, I can get in my truck and drive all day, and still be on my ranch!"

"Really? I know that feeling -- I had a truck like that, once..."

howard 9-4-2002 23:40

Right on, RANDALL -- It was Jane Russell in "The Outlaw."

howard 9-4-2002 23:32



Welcome Denise and Sherry! Ditto for what Heather says..... Motley .... (Grin) Sherry, I also hail from the Lone Star state! I believe Rosemary is also from Texas. I think Jerry and Rhoda lived here for a while. Or was that Howard? Failing memory.......

Mark... wasn't that movie with Jane Russell "Outlaw" or "The Outlaws?" ???? "Top Gun" ????? Failing memory ya know!

I bet Jerry and Howard know.

I'm working on my "Death trap" story for Friday night.

See ya....


Randall 9-4-2002 23:21

Support. Funny how much support people look for these days. Got me thinking, and you know how my mind runs . . .

Days before my first planned support-needed incident, my mother took me to a sporting goods store and we purchased it. A wide elastic band that I stepped into, the support was a "cup" that hung from the front of the band (I knew, because the brand label was at the back) and the cup was held in place by two smaller leg straps. Later, I stood all-but-naked in front of my mirror and felt a glorious manhood. Ahhh. Support for the teenage ego.

In my quest for the uses of manhood, I came across an article about Jane Russell and Howard Hughes. He invented the modern cantilever bra for her to wear in her most famous Western role. So famous I can't remember the title. Hmm. Wide elastic band, cups. My cup below the band, hers above. A woman gave me mine, a man gave her hers. I wonder if Jane Russell would like to see mine?

Now I'm 55, my blood pressure is up and I'm taking a medication which is part diuretic. If I don't get to the bathroom soon enough,
my cup runneth over.

Mark 9-4-2002 22:58

Good evening from name is Sherry and I came across this website purely by accident and mostly by fate. LOL!! I submitted my first ever piece of writing today and I have been writing for what seems forever. I didn't think seriously about my writing until this year mainly because I have been too busy supporting 3 growing sons who are now 11,13,15 and eating me out of the house. This site appears to be well thought out and supportive as well as funny, what a combo! So here I sit, reading through the posts and loving every minute of the info ya'll have gleaned and shared...I want to say thank you and howdy and leave you with a quote I read today by a brand new author Norman Gautreau in "Writers Digest"....."Persistence is key. You must focus entirely on the process of becoming a writer and not the dream of being a writer." Hmmm......Have a great one......Sherry

Sherry 9-4-2002 22:22

Denise - WELCOME! Hope you find what you're looking for in a group right here. We're a motley bunch, but completely lovable! :oD

Heather Hemlock Bags 9-4-2002 22:16

Denise - Welcome to our little acre of the web. I'm sure you'll fit right in, and if your looking for support, you've found it.

So do you think it right that the Televison folks think they have to spend the first ten days of this month reminding us of what happened a year ago. Reminding us of something that none of us will ever forget. Going over the horror of that day?

I don't know but I don't think we need it. I doubt that any of us have come to the conclusion that it never happened, that the world hasn't changed since that day.

Jerry 9-4-2002 19:27

Welcome, Denise! We're a supportive group, yes! Come on in and pull up a chair!

howard 9-4-2002 18:38

first time here and looking to see if i cant find myself a supportive writer's forum or group or list.

i am a writer working at mostly commercial writing. i ahve been working as a writer past two years successfully.

i am in Canada, 45, single with my 13 yr. old son.

look forward to meeting new friends here.

Denise :)

Denise Ravary 9-4-2002 17:58

Thanks for the welcome Rhoda. Hope all turns out well for your son. I have 6 sons ages 16 - 27. My 16 yo had his first day of school today. He received a detention for leaving school property during school hours, it is 6:45 pm and he still isn't home.

Howard, thanks for the evil guy with the beard suggestion and the copyright links. I don't think he will work though. I didn't realize how small a 75 word story could be. I have only 5 sentences! I needed a character that I could just kind of plop in and tweek a little, so I decided on Blue Beard.

I've been allowing myself lately to write down ideas or even just titles to pieces I may someday write. It used to be that I wouldn't write ANYTHING unless I could do it all in one sitting and it was perfect. Silly, I know.

I just came across an October 1992 copy of "The Writer" magazine. One of the articles "That crucial first draft" by John Dufresne, is an eye opener and source of inspiration. A few quotes that have helped me get going..

"...stories and novels do not get written, but rewritten."
"..the most essential fact about revision is this: You must have something to revise. The first draft."
" Writing a first draft should be easy because, in a sense, you can't get it wrong.. You are bringing something completely new and strange into the world, something that did not exist before."
" You have nothing to prove in the first draft, nothing to defend, everything to imagine."
" You write the draft in order to read what you have written and to determine what you still have to say."
"In writing the first draft,you begin to work through all the uncertainty and advance toward meaning."

Lots of good stuff here that is helping me get going and allow myself to be imperfect, and not think I have to get it right the first time.

Susan 9-3-2002 18:47

Time for another limerick!


Mrs Smothers, not pleased when she saw
what son Tommy had hid in his draw
Cello's Gone? (flipped her lid)
Trade for WHAT with that kid?
"Well, he swapped me a nice YoYo, Ma"


howrad 9-3-2002 17:10

Great to see old friends and new on the Notebook!

Hello, BEN and LITTER.

Welcome, TIM and SUSAN and any other new timers I have missed.


That has happened to me at least twice, and both times I can attest that the rewrite was always much better than the original. Oh, but it is frustrating! I admire your resolve to stop crying about it and going in there and doing it all over again. Good luck on your contest.

I entered another contest last week. So far I have my baby in the hands of two of them. I hope they go gentle with the sweetie. Then again, it might not really be a sweetie. It might just be a horror, and if it is, there will be enough judges that will surly tell me.

I have had difficult week. It has not been all bad by any means, but settling my poor middle son into his new school has really been a challenge. Not even two weeks into the new school year I have cried tears for him. His teachers and I will have a conference this week.

Also I am looking for a job. I have four resumes out right now. Part of me hopes these companies will all ignore me or turn me down. Then there is the other part of me that knows that a job would probably be beneficial for me and the family. I realize all too well that my oldest is now a freshman in high school and I need to start thinking about saving up so we can help her through college. I just have to have a job that would allow me enough flexability to be at home when my kids need me.

The odd thing is that through all of this adjustment and job hunting, I have had the most productive week of writing I have ever had. Last week I wrote 30 pages, submitted a contest entry and worked out some difficult plot kinks.

Well, have to catch up on the laundry now.

Rhoda 9-3-2002 9:54

Every now and again someone asks a question about copyright law, and about how to protect our work. I got these urls from a newsletter, and they look useful!

If that doesn't satisfy you or answer all your questions, try the main
copyright office site.

howard 9-3-2002 8:00

LITTER! -- It's good to see you're still among the living! Stick around, friend!

SUSAN -- Welcome! Dunno if it will help, but here's a clip about a bearded evil one -- You can do a search on the author or any of the characters for more. This turned up in a Google search on evil+beard.

Ruslan and Lyudmila
Mikhail Glinka

In his search for Chernomor, Ruslan comes across a battlefield strewn with the bones and weapons of fallen warriors. He has lost his own weapons in battle. Ruslan dwells on his sorry lot, and foresees his own tombstone here. Picking up a spear and a shield from the battlefield, his gloomy thoughts give way to hope as he calls on the god Perun to grant him a sword. As the fog lifts, he suddenly discovers the enormous head of a sleeping giant which awakens and stirs up a tremendous storm, attempting to blow Ruslan down. With his spear, Ruslan angrily strikes at the head, which has been guarding a magic sword. Surrendering the sword to Ruslan, the head reveals its story: the giant's brother is none other than the evil dwarf Chernomor, whose strength is in his beard. The sword Ruslan now holds is Chernomor's own, and is the only weapon that can defeat him. Ruslan vows to avenge the giant and to put an end to Chernomor's evil.

howard 9-2-2002 21:40

Thanks all for the warm welcomes and words of encouragement.
I did some freewriting last night and came up with a few ideas. Then I found the 75 word or less contest on and wrote a short story. I couldn't think of a good last sentance that added only 6 words, but came up with one at 5 am this morning.( by the way, my DH would kill me too if I put the light on, so I keep a candle by the bed and sometimes a flashlight.)

Excitedly, I went to the website to submit, only to realize that the assignment (The Makeover of the Century)needed to have a LITERARY character as the main subject. My story is about Fidel Castro.

So..I'm thinking if I can think of an evil literary character that has a beard, I can substitute him for Fidel. ( if only it were that easy in real life lol )

Any ideas ?

Ben, good luck on the contest, who's putting it on ? Thank you mentioning your "voice." I never realized that is what I was calling "being inspired." A revelation for me, because it really is a voice, isn't it ? You find that voice,it carries you along and most of the time things run smoothly.

Does anyone else have a hard time thinking about selling their stuff ? I mean, I sure want to, but I don't like the idea of someone else owning "my" stuff. I also worry about putting an idea out there, and have someone else steal it to use. When you guys put your stories here, do you then use some of them to sell ? Do you need a copywright for articles and short stories ? What happens if someone else steals your stuff ? Look at me, I'm acting like my words are worth millions of dollars LOL.

I can tell already I am going to be inspired by this site. You guys are the only ones I "know" who aspire to be, and are, writers. I can't wait for my first interview on the Today Show with Katie and Matt : )

Susan 9-2-2002 16:25


Happy Labor Day Americans! Now go back to work!!! (Grin)

Just a couple of quotes to Susan (and everyone else!)

"Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public."

Winston Churchill

Or ...

"Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life around and within you. Virtually nobody can help you deliberately, many people will help you unintentionally."

Santha Rama Rau

Susan ... congrats on being published. Unintentional ideas drive my writing. First the idea, then add characters such as Red and George and all the misfits in my tales. I received an idea yesterday at my friends farm as we were dove hunting. On the back of a trashed out pickup, someone had scrawled ... DEATH TRAP. That is the idea. Now all I have to do is reconcile idea, develop a storyline and characters into a humorous story.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd in all honesty as all friends should be ... I have no idea who Santha Rama Rau is. I have a quote site bookmarked and study it frequently. The never ending search for ideas!


Randall 9-2-2002 12:52


Nice to read yah :o)


Good luck with the contest.


You sound very happy (hugs). I don't think there is anything weird about reading a lot of books. I pound through the paper with delight and glee. Do you read out loud to your little unborn? That used to be one of my favorite things to do.


You silly thing!


I don't know how much I'll be around over the next few months. I'm about to start a new semester. I don't know what the course load will feel like till I've begun. If I'm not around, know that I'm thinking of you guys, wishing you well and holding good thoughts for each of you.

Ciao for now.

Rachel 9-2-2002 12:40

Susan - Stick around, we have our shorty nights, they offer great inspiration to those of us who participate. I too have those great ideas as I lay in bed drifting off to sleep, once in awhile I can retrieve them the next day, often I can't. Yep a bedside note pad would be nice, but should I turn on the light to write it down, the wife would skin me for waking her. I keep my note pad in the bathroom where lights don't bother the sleeping and it's just a few steps away. Now if I could just convince myself to get out of bed to write them down....

We used to have a workbook here, and there is still a possibility that Jack may revive it some day. That workbook proved very inspiring to many of us who took part in what we called the round robin writing exercises. In fact one of the round robin's actually produced a book that was published and is available for purchase at and elsewhere. I contributed, but dropped out, as did my character. I regret that very much, but I have contributed in most of the other round robins that we had going. It's been a long time now since the workbook has been up, but many of us remain hopeful that it will soon return as it produced some super writing from many good writers who were once members here, and several who still visit regularly.

Jerry 9-2-2002 11:16

Greetings and felicitations!

Seems like a lifetime since I last visited -- also seems that I’ve been stricken by the 'Apathy Rex' bug and have become somewhat of a recluse. However, I promised myself today that I would overcome this and come visiting. (Okay, so I promised myself the same, yesterday, and every day for the last month or so, but here I am)

One day at a time.

Litter 9-2-2002 6:09

Hi Ben,
Good to hear from you.
If that had been me there would have been a second explosion!
Right in my computer room.

Eddie 9-2-2002 5:19

Hi all!

Ben, long time no see! Good to open the notebook and find your name here.

Susan, welcome! Congrats on getting a piece published. As Heather said, you aren't alone in facing those obstacles.

I really really need to get back to 'Shadow'. I spend too much time thinking/dreaming about skydiving! I'm so addicted. Had some great jumps today, and I'm pretty sure another short skydiving piece is on its way. I'll probably subject y'all to it in a few days. ;-p

Mary, thanks for the shortie topic last week. I wrote one, and then it got longer and longer until it was no longer a shortie. I'm really liking it, so thanks for the inspiration!

I'm absolutely pooped now. Off to bed, me thinks I should go.

Blue skies!

Tina 9-2-2002 2:56

Hey guys, just dropped in to see what was happening. I'm trying my hand at the annual THREE DAY NOVEL CONTEST. Any takers? It's been a killer. Up at five yesterday, wrote til three and then stopped to have a cup of jo with the little woman. THat's when I heard a transformer down the street blow up. I even said: That sounds like a transformer. It was only then that I realized I hadn't saved my story. I wrote the title on the screen three days before, but never touched it after that, not wanting to tempt myself with cheating. So I simply forgot to save it. Silly me. Fifteen pages gone, just like that. I thought my wife was gonna cry. I just shrugged and said, looks like I have to start over again. So I did. Stayed up to midnight, and got right back to where I was. Only it was somewhat better, because by the time I had gotten to where I was on the first copy, I had found the voice I wanted. I just started over again using that voice. And now I've just stopped with day two. Tomorrow I wrap it up...hopefully. Oh yeah, and the story? MACBETH. Bet you guys didn't know she had a son did you? Lulach the Simple. How do you like that for a name? Lull, Dull. I love it. I just did the sleep walking scene, and now it's on to the finally (that's not a typo btw). I'll let you know what I win (lol). :-)

ben woestenburg 9-2-2002 2:27

Susan - first let me say WELCOME to the notebook!
Second; you have unveiled one of the legendary writer's curses - an ancient and deadly hex on the artist's soul.

Oh, and welcome to the 'paper and pen on the night table' group! Use double and triple reverse psychology on yourself. It would work on me, had I not double disallowed it and then recanted on the cancellation, while... :oD

(Basically, condense the first and second points into: You are most definitely not alone.)

Heather 9-2-2002 1:09

I'm new here and am looking for inspiration to get my butt in gear and start writing. My problem is, that I feel I can only write when I am inspired and the words just flow out. A year or so ago, I received an email asking for stories for Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul ( I'm an RN.) Ten minutes later I emailed my completed story and a few months later I was informed that it would go into the book.
So I am a published author !

I'm not sure what inspires me to write, but I know that deadlines ( like in college) can get me going.I decide to write, or in the case of college, forced to write, and then it just pours out. I just spent 8 months at home with a work related injury, and wrote absolutely nothing !

I just can't seem to get past the need to wait until it pours out. I just subscribed to a writing list that uses free writing to get the juices flowing, but I can't even seem to do that at this point.

Many times I get what I think are good ideas for a writing project, especially as I am drifitng off to sleep, but can't always remember what the idea was the next morning. I have started to keep paper and pen next to the bed to write the idea down, but then I forget where I was going to go with the idea ! A few weeks ago I wrote in my notebook " The Superman Syndrome, " but can't remember what the idea behind the title was lol.
Many times I drift off actually writing the piece in my head and sure wish I can get that creativity flowing when I am at the computer.

I am thinking of getting a small tape recorder to dictate my thoughts, or to "write" my first draft before I go off to sleep. Does anyone else do this ?

Susan 9-2-2002 0:40



There is no better male bonding than the opening day of dove hunting season in Texas. September 1, 2002, out with the boys, afield, eyes on the horizon, shotgun in hand! And having spent today under the burning sun on the fringes of a 100-acre sunflower field, I say that unabashed, without reservations. My wife agrees ... just as long as I remember when home and hearth is. Jeeze! How could I forget, honey?

Ladies also partake of dove hunting, among the sunflowers, blasting away. Most eat the doves they killed, when properly prepared, but I've never seen a woman clean one. Annnnnnnnnnnnnd these days they may have good reason. But then aren't you ladies always ahead of us guys? Hum? (Grin) Though the Texas State Game and Fish Commission, Public Health Department and every state official from Governor Perry to the capital janitor deny it, there is a remote possibility that our doves may be carrying the West Nile Virus. My oh my. Ain't that a kick inna head?

To offset hunter concerns state officials recommend they use plastic gloves when cleaning game birds. "Avoid getting animal blood in open cuts." Oh, that's good news! What's next? Catch a mess of fish, break out the gas mask, chemical resistant apron, rubber gloves? I've heard that a couple of hunters up north died after eating wild game that had Chronic Wasting Disease. I think this is the American equivalent of Mad Cow Disease? Anyone? CWD sends shivers through state game and fish commissions. Because it could lead to state and federal bureaucrats worst dream...lost revenue! Despite protestations of the anti's ... hunters contribute billions to America's, State Game and Fish Commissions. If state revenues decline because hunters are spending millions buying prepackaged steak and chicken and NOT buying licenses and wildlife stamps? If that's the case, politicians revert to rule #1. Revenue shortfalls can only be remedied by tax increases or heavy cuts in other government programs

Ah, but there is more good news. If a hunter fears he or she may die because a game animal is infected, they ain't hunting it. Landowners, like where we were today offer a 2-day minimum dove hunt for $150.00 cash, in advance. The field where we were (BTW, I hunted free, my friend knew the owner) had at least 10 hunters present, probably more. That's $750.00 per day and double that for only a 2 day hunt. The seasons last a lot longer. Now tack on gasoline in town, cases of shotgun shells, food for hunters, knick-knacks for the family, and to say nothing of the $35,000 four-wheel drive recently purchased ... then as Senator Everett Dirkson said long time ago "Pretty soon you're talking about real money..." Cash flow makes everyone smile! But ... no hunters no local hunting, no state fees.

I believe the West Nile Virus was a terrorist attack upon North America and will spread among game birds. If Blue Jays (and may have tested positive) are infected what is to stop all birds from carrying the disease. And them sentiments are widely shared around these parts ... partner! Most folks believe we should return the favor of West Nile ... in a real BIG way!

Carol ...very nice compliment. Thank you Jerry. Thank you Howard. And I'm writing as fast as I can! Jerry, now that is a mean hailstone! Haj ... you can run, but you can't hide. There are persons here who will track your message to source positive through this server back to yours. Get a life ... Slick.

Gotta go

Randall "Old Sore Shoulder"

Randall Lynn 9-1-2002 22:53

All right, back on yer heads! :oP

Heather 9-1-2002 21:20

Could be, Orange is a mobile (cell) phone service provider here. Liefk though, could mean a Scandanavian connection.
The English in the posts is basic and generally poor so I think I may be correct.

Eddie 9-1-2002 17:57


The Vancouver eh's.


Thank you Jerry I needed a lift today.

Tina 9-1-2002 17:28

It appears our new found critic is from Edie's part of the world, a quick look at his email shows a UK connection, unless, of course, he used a false email addy.

Jerry 9-1-2002 17:21

Hey HAJ -- I looked for you on google, and all I got was:
Your search - hajibula - did not match any documents.
No pages were found containing "hajibula".

I did find lots of references on "rock" -- enough so that you could easily find one to crawl back under.


howard 9-1-2002 16:38


Hostile is the way of your greeting.
Altruism seem not a thing you embrace.
Jealous of our merry meeting.
Ignorant of manners used in this place.
Baneful are you in your self introduction.
Useless are your words for esteem destruction.
Laughter, joy, sorrow and fear, are some of things that we share here.
Agendas and dictates of structure we don’t hold dear.
Have a care for our wishes or please disappear.

Rachel 9-1-2002 13:43

So as not to be pidgen holed as a technical writer for the computer manufacturers, I wrote something a bit different, here it is:

The Shift
by Jerry Ericsson

Donna was in love, or at least that’s what she thought that feeling was. After all, he had saved her life. Pulled her from her burning car after that pickup smashed into it while she was turning her 1974 Ford Galaxy around. Silently she cursed her poor memory for forgetting to pick up her checkbook before she left on her trip to the County Seat.

He came back to his patrol car and checked on her, as she lay across the back seat, his heavy blue jacket it’s blue fur collar feeling so plush against her face, it’s quilted lining protecting her from the biter cold that had to be freezing the poor policeman who despite the cold continued to direct traffic around the smoldering wreckage of the two vehicles.

The body of the pickup driver lay in the ditch where he landed when he blasted through the windshield when he impacted her once maroon Ford. His blood slowly soaked into the ever thirsty sod in the drought stricken prairie.

She could hear the siren’s getting closer, ever closer to the wreck, it must be the ambulance, she thought, or maybe the fire truck to hose down the smoldering wreckage of what once was her dream car.

The fire truck arrived, its sole occupant the local Fire Chief, who as usual was about three sheets in the wind. He got out of the truck, a cigarette hanging out the left side of his mouth, his fire helmet cocked to one side, his great yellow fire coat hanging to the right.

“Not much to do here, why the fuck d’you call anyhow?”

“I didn’t call, must have been 911.”

The officer looked back at the Fire Chief, then ran to him and snatched the cigarette from his mouth and crushed it onto the tar.

“Still raw gas around, don’t you know enough to not smoke at an accident scene?”

“Screw you!” The Fire Chief exclaimed and got back into his truck, turned it around and headed back into town.

Within minutes the ambulance arrived and began to care for her, soon they had her sixteen year old body aboard their vehicle and were on their way back to town, she wondered of the officer who saved her life, about the Fire Chief who came to help but was so drunk he could hardly stand. She wondered if she would ever have a chance to thank that officer.

Two wreckers came down the highway, each hooked up to a wrecked vehicle, and pulled them back to town, the officer retrieved his coat, now heavily soiled by her blood from the top of his unit where the ambulance crew had left it, shook it off and placed it in the trunk of the car, then got behind the wheel and made his way back to town where he resumed is patrol duties, another shift was half over, only six more hours and he could go home to his wife and children, six more hours till his three day weekend started. He looked forward to a weekend filled with the joy of family.

Jerry 9-1-2002 12:13

Well it appears we have a new member here. One who indeed is a prolific writer, one who seems so very interested in my work, one who seems to have a strange and unique name.

I do have one suggestion, however good sir. Should you enjoy what I write, should you become bored with what I work, should you think you can well do a better job, then I suggest you ignore everything I write, skip over my ramblings, and get back to writing your sixteenth book.

Oh and should you ever become a published author, let us know, as there are many among us who have books in drawers awaiting publication.

You must have man drawers.

Jerry 9-1-2002 9:52

You might want to try alt.writing
Trolling is a welcome pastime there. Here on the other hand, it is usually ignored after just one polite and informative reply.

Eddie 9-1-2002 9:47

Hi Jerry! Just wondering what kind of books it is you are writing? Can you tell me is it related to the intricate workings of your computer! I'm wondering is it a manual that you are writing. Is your book a thriller set inside a PC? You seem to know very much about these computers?
Is all of your writing so charmingly pedantic? Are you as compulsively dull when you speak as when you write?
Why do you think everyone wants to know about your PC so much? And i dont care what kind of car your daughter drives! I doubt i'm alone here. And how long did it take to repair again?
Tell me more about your motherboard! Exactly what make and model was it? come on, one more time! tell us! we're all waiting with baited breath to be bored by you. Nobody does it better!
Peace out.xxxxxx (I love you)

Hajibulah 9-1-2002 9:32

Here we are again. I too have been suffering from wasps; they are all over my olive-oil. My grandfather has brought in a wasp-executioner armed with an industrial cattle-prod. I tried to explain to this man that his device would have no affect on the wasps, but would he listen? would he fuck.
I think we might have a nest.
Sally has regained her appetite after a day and a half of below-par dietary apptitude. Michael is still struggling against his lisp.
My fiteenth novel is almost finished. I'm sure you're all pleased to hear that.
I have already started my next one- its going to be a futuristic tale about a cyber punk from the past chasing after an escaped convict from the present who has accidentally leaked all over the future. Get your minds around that.
Peace out.xxxxx

Hajibulah 9-1-2002 9:24

Mayhap the hum and pulse of the speakers is what attracted the wasps to begin with? *shrug*

Heather 9-1-2002 5:07

Oh Howard - I just swat those damn wasps, how dare they try to invade your speakers. I know put on an MP3 of Black Sabbath playing "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" then leave the house and have it run at full volume till the end of the song. If there are any wasps in the speakers, they will be either dead or in the least totally deaf. I know if I were a wasp forced to listen to that music, I'd find greener (quieter) pastures.

Jerry 9-1-2002 0:51

And here I sit. All alone, much to my own delight. The wife and daughter are on a ladies day/night/day trip to the Capitol of North Dakota. I was invited, but declined as such things boor me, and travel is a problem.

Renn is getting a bit better, although he isn't eating much as of yet, but he seems stronger, and a bit more alert.

Spent the day fighting with another computer, using used parts to make a new machine is a difficult program, but when it works, it is a cheap way to go. Well if all goes well it is cheap.

Today's fight was with the internet server. I decided that I had enough parts laying around to make it twice as fast as it now goes. Not that it would increase the speed of the internet, just the speed of the computer itself, and would free yet another machine to put up on the bulletin board for some needing family. I do sell them cheap, just a bit to recover some of the cost of the new machine.

At any rate, every damn time I hooked it up to the internet and all the crap[ that connect to that machine, it would simply refuse to run. I could take it to the back room where I do my work on them, and it would work nicely, at least till I tried to install windows, then it gave me tons of errors.

To make a (eight hour) long story short, the old 3d accelerate video card that I was trying to run the machine with was bad, once I replaced it with another old PCI 1 meg card, it began to behave nicely, and is now running completely error free in the back room.

Tomorrow - another attempt at hooking it up as the internet server. The tension is so tingly, will it work? Time will tell, I can hardly wait.

Needless to say, didn't get a bit of writing done. I did watch tonight's news with interest, the weather out of Bismarck, where the wife and daughter are spending the night said they received large hail and damaging winds early this evening. It started after the daughter called to let me know where they are staying. I hope the daughter's Jeep Wagoner didn't get too banged up. The weatherman said the hail stones were in excess of two and a half inches in diameter, those can do some real damage to an outfit. We had one of those a few years back and it took us nearly a year to get both outfits fixed and a new roof on the house.

Well it's off to bed for me. Hope all is well with everyone, and everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend, those of us in the US at any rate. Have a great labor day weekend!

Write on.

Jerry 9-1-2002 0:47

Wasps are strange, and very interesting creatures!
The speakers that hang from my monitor are cased in moulded plastic, and there are four 1/4 inch square holes moulded into the corners in the back of each housing. In the back of the left speaker, one of those holes is now packed with dried mud, and another is in process of being filled as well. It's really funny to watch -- my wife's computer is between the window and my machine, and the wasp (it's a mud-dauber) flies from the window, right across her screen, and homes in on my speaker. I watched her as it flew right past, about six inches from her nose, and she didn't even flinch -- just pointed out the hole it disappeared into this time.

I finally got my strawberries planted -- all 75 plants are in, and looking good!

Tina and Rachel -- I heard that part of the base ball settlement was to have the Oakland A's move to BC! They'll have to make just a slight name change, though -- they will now be known as (are you ready for this?)

The Vancouver Eh's ...


back on yer heads, all!

howard 8-31-2002 23:36

Hi All :)

Mary -- no typo, composting is Exactly what I meant. LOL Actually, I can't even take credit for it -- I think I read it originally in a Natalie Goldberg book. I have done the same thing with reading that you mention. I've got one author's collection of six that fills that need for -- not really escape, just something other than my own life. There are elements of the book that help lift my soul and restore my hopes for mankind. Maybe that's what I need when I go through that series. And you're right - a shrink probably would have something to say about it all -- if he/she is smart, they'll say we're doing exactly what we need to be doing for our personal wellbeing. Hugs back at ya. :D

We haven't had the asian bettles invade just yet, but I'm sure they are just around the corner waiting to crawl into every tiny hole they can find to get into my house. I haven't heard anyone mention yet any way of getting rid of them effectively either. Vacuum them, they live on in the bag. Sturdy little buggers!

Jerry - having experience with doggie problems, you may want to put pooch on a boiled hamburger and rice diet for a few days. No matter the problem, the gentler food will ease his discomfort at the least.

You know Mary, I think if we had more of Randall's stories to read, we wouldn't need to re-read our favorites as often. That would be a blessing to the books in question. I know mine are showing the wear and tear. :)

Speaking of reading -- I found a new paperback version from my favorite author -- I have the next few hours well planned. :)

Carol 8-31-2002 22:43

RANDALL -- That's exactly what I mean! Thanks for the preview of a best-seller in progress!

howard 8-31-2002 20:18

Great shorty Randall, but here bouts when we have a grand jury, the whole thing is handled by the DA, judges are totally forbidden to be in the room, as are most anyone else except the witness, the DA and the jury. Things are different in Texas, of that I am aware, since I lived down there for several years, and in fact if I could afford it, I would be living down there right now. OH, and the transcript of Grand Juries were up until shortly after 9-11 secret and sealed, but like everything else that has changed. It was a great story though, really was.

Carol, thanks.

Mary - you seem, well extremely happy, I am happy for you.

Wonder how Robo Mel is doing?

And where are all the lurkers???? the notebook has been very scant of late, you can nearly hear your own voice echo.

Our little dog is very ill, he has been throwing up all over the house, and now lays on the spare bed, I think he's finally getting some sleep. I hope he is well in the morning, but I worry he is getting on in age, and seems to have picked something up in the neighbors yard, I hope it wasn't poison, there hasn't been anyone living there now for months, but I suppose the owner could have put out some poison to keep the mice down. There doesn't seem to be blood, so I doubt it is rat poison. Maybe he's just got a touch of the flu, I hope that's all it is, we would sure miss that little guy if he left us.

Picked up another motherboard, that's all that I've been missing to build another Athlon Screamer for the server in the dining room. Spent the day testing it out, and if I have time this weekend, I'll do the brain transplant on that machine. I have enough left over parts after replacing nearly every part on that stupid machine that the wife has now. I don't have an extra AGP video card, but there's an old Voodoo 2 card in the back room, and I stuck that in one of the PCI slots, it seems to work fine, and a server really doesn't need the speed of a four speed AGP card anyhow. Picked up the board for twenty dollars plus seven shipping, fairly good deal for an Athlon board. It only goes up to 1 gig for processor power, but that's what I have left over from the other machine, so it'll do, especially for a server. Well the daughter usually uses that machine to play network games with the wife when she comes to visit so it does serve more then the internet.

Enough babble about non-writing topics. My son, who is now back in college told me that he has discovered his talent for writing too, some of his stuff is really good. He holds, however that he can't write without a beard, something he has never grown till a few months ago. I got to thinking that I never discovered my writing talent either till I had a beard. Strange, maybe it's sort of like that fellow in the bible who was only strong when he had long hair?

To test this out, I shaved off my beard a couple of days ago. So what do you think, was my last story on par with the rest of my work, or did it suffer from the shave???

Anyhow, it sure made mom happy to see me without my face hair, she hates seeing a beard on anyone, and mine being half grey, unlike my full head of blond hair that hasn't a grey root to be seen makes me look old.

I keep telling her that 51 isn't young, but at 75 she thinks I'm still wet behind the ears. Last time I shaved it off, we took a trip to Dickinson, and the gal at Wallmart refused to take my check because I looked much younger then that guy in the drivers license photo, the wife had to make out another check to pay for our purchases, so I've been keeping the beard just to be sure that it didn't happen again. The wife is about fit to be tied now though, she went to renew her Drivers license, about three weeks ago, and they took her old one, leaving her with a paper temp. They were supposed to send the new one in the mail the following week, but she hasn't seen it yet. Now she's worried that should we go anywhere, neither of us could even pay for a gas fill.

I guess things are still a bit different here then in most places, out of state checks are taken nearly everywhere if you have a photo ID.

Jerry 8-31-2002 0:26


Hey!!! TGIF YOU ALL :-)

In honor of Friday night I am revealing portions of a county court transcript. This transcript is related to a county grand jury investigation several years ago. The inquiry is the result of a workers comp lawsuit brought against the county by Chief Deputy Dewright. He was seeking compensation for injuries in the course of his duties. We'll pick up on the last day of testimony...

Juror # 1 ... "And you claim your name is Red Britches? Isn't that an unusual name?"

Mr. Britches ... "No more than yours sir!"

Juror #1 ... "That so! Sir, I have here a document. This is on file at the county courthouse. Sir, are you not Andrew MacKenzie MacBritches? In fact, retired Naval officer, Commander Andrew R. MacBritches?"

Mr. Britches ... "None of your damn business sir!"

Jury Foreman ... "That'll do gentlemen! We all know Mr. Britches. Mr. Britches, please, this is a legal proceeding. Let us move on! Juror # 2. Do you have any questions?"

Juror #2 ... "Mr. Britches. Would you please tell us where you were on the night of October 31, 1999. Deputy Dewright claims this was the night he was injured and insists you are a witness to the incident."

Mr. Britches ... "I was in the old community once known as MacKenzie, inside the ruins of the schoolhouse."

Juror #2 ... "And what was your business there sir?"

Mr. Britches ... "Well hell! I was out picking daisies. Beautiful night for it!"

Jury Foreman ... "Mr. Britches! Please!"

Mr. Britches ... "Very well. We were inside the old schoolhouse. It is abandoned some 40 years. I was told there was an old pot belly wood burning stove there and we ..."

Juror #1 ... "We?"

Mr. Britches ... "If I may finish sir? I was in the company of George Matthews, Harvel Hamm, Raymond McCann, Randall Henderson and several others."

Juror #2 ... "How many would you guess sir? And what was the reason for a visit at such an untimely hour?"

Mr. Britches ... "I would guesstimate a dozen or so. We were there to remove the schoolhouse stove."

Juror #3 ... "Mr. Britches? Excuse me. If I may? Are you drinking something? Is that not a clear plastic tube running from inside your trench coat to your mouth?"

Judge Jailemall ... (Shouting from the back of the room) "RECESS!"

Thirty minutes later.

Jury Foreman ... "Mr. Britches. Sir, if you are in ill health you would not be compelled to testify. Your brother Judge Jailemall says you suffer from a Navy service disorder known as TDY. I believe that stands for terminal dry throat. Is that correct?"

Mr. Britches ... (Tube removed) "Ah, yes that is correct sir. (Chuckle) Very dry throat some time. Yes sir, indeed."

Juror #2 ... "Mr. Britches. If you feel like continuing? I believe you said you were inside the MacKenzie schoolhouse on Halloween night to remove a wood burning stove?"

Mr. Britches ... "Well, it wasn't doing anyone any good there. Randy found it one day when he worked for the highway department."

Judge Jailemall ... "Let the records indicate that Randy is one Randall Henderson, also named in the lawsuit."

Mr. Britches ... "I knew the damn stove was there Judge! Randy had little to do with us being at the schoolhouse. Hell, the school has been abandon for 50 years anyway!"

Juror #4 ... "Thank you Mr. Britches for the legal insight. What exactly did occur within the confines of the MacKenzie schoolhouse. Indeed sir, what happened that night?"

Mr. Britches ... (Long pause, followed by heavy coughing) "Agghhhhh."

Judge Jailemall ... (Shouting from the back of the room) "RECESS!"

Thirty minutes later.

Jury Foreman ... "Judge Jailemall. As you are aware, your presence here is merely a matter of judicial courtesy. Displays of shouting and arm waving are disruptive and will not be tolerated! Mr. Britches. Your, ah, medicinal tube has been restored to aid your dry throat. Sir, what happened that night in the old MacKenzie schoolhouse."

Mr. Britches ... "We, that is the friends of George, decided the old wood burning stove there would be just the thing for George's shop. During the winter his garage is as cold as a well diggers bu...." (pause) Excuse me. Well, it's very cold in there. Randy reminded us some time ago that there was an old stove in the schoolhouse. Since the place hadn't been used since 1948, we determined to move, that is borrow it for our winter business meetings..."

Juror #1 ... "Business meetings!? Mr. Britches, George Matthews Auto Emporium and Repair is nothing more than a night time hangout for over age hippies, besotted winos and nefarious ..."

Jury Foreman ... "Never mind Earl, I mean Juror #1. Please continue Mr. Britches."

Mr. Britches ... (Pause) "Yes?"

Jury Foreman ... "Sir! Please refrain from sucking on your medicinal tube until we finish."

Red Britches ... "We drove down there in two pickups. George had the rough measurements of the stove from a scouting trip the previous weekend. The stove was made in 1910 and was approximately six feet tall and a girth like a 55-gallon barrel. Adding to the great weight, it is lined with fire bricks in several areas. George had made a set of handles out of an old pair of crow bars six feet long. These were for lifting the old stove, two men in front and two in back. Then we would walk the stove out and load it up. Sir, all this talking. My throat is really dry ..."

Jury Foreman ... (Face in hands) "Please feel free Mr. Britches ... Lord knows we do not want to deprive you of your medicine!"

Mr. Britches ... (Pause) "Ahhhhhh, sweet as mothers milk. Thank you. Now, let's see. Everything worked as planned at first. George's handles attached perfectly and our guys lifted the weight with ease. Well, the first indication that the move had a problem was when the large stove pipe pulled loose in the ceiling and 40 years of black soot billowed down. It was already past midnight and was now darker than a witch's bu ... (Pause) Excuse me. Well, aside from moonlight, it was now nigh on impossible to see anything. I was behind the men carrying the stove and told them to be still and the soot would settle. It was then I felt a strong gust of wind from above. Someone said, ‘Jesus H Christ! What was that?'

Juror #3 ... "Was Deputy Dewright on the scene at this time?"

Mr. Britches ... "Apparently not. Randy was behind me and said something like ... ‘This was Halloween night and maybe we should leave the stove alone.' You must understand something about Randy boy ladies and gentleman. That the ruins of the old MacKenzie church and cemetery were only yards away were not missed by the lad. No sir. Consequently, you must understand that the stove pipe falling and all of the following action occurred in less than a minute. So ... the soot seemed to be settling. A full moon was now visible through the remains of the roof. Again a sharp gust of wind swept over all of us. There was a sound this time ... like a heavy body passing only feet overhead a ... whooshing noise."

Juror #4 ... "Would you define "whooshing," Mr. Britches?"

Mr. Britches ... "Shortly."

Juror #1 ... "In fact, was it not Mr. Henderson who started the panic?"

Mr. Britches ... "Make no mistake, everyone was a little nervous. The MacKenzie school ground is overgrown with tall weeds and knarly half-dead Mesquites. There were weird shadows inside the school house swaying with the night wind on ruined stone structures. And this being Halloween and all, some of the gang, to put it mildly, were already a little spooked. And, ah, well ... Randy shouting as he raced through the cloud of soot that a flying ghost had grabbed his hat certainly wasn't conducive to group sanity."

Juror #2 ... "Something grabbed his hat?"

Mr. Britches ... "Yes. And dropped it on George who was on one of the carrying handles in front. George was startled, slipped and in regaining his footing fell through the rotten floor. In the resultant uproar, several notable events stand out. The stove fell with a crash causing clouds of soot to billow up off the floor. Fortunately the stove remained upright. George was screaming that something had his foot. Randy was racing for the door yelling that a flying ghost with yellow eyes was chasing him. Ahead, in the doorway a figure suddenly appeared, ... with horrible, disfigured green eyes. It was later determined that Deputy Dewright's night vision optics had malfunctioned and was glowing a brilliant green. I had retreated against a nearby wall seeking my medicine as my throat was very dry. At that time I noted Randy was indeed being chased, not by a ghost, but, by the largest owl I've ever seen. Everyone else was either diving out windows or making new ones. When I looked back to see about Randy, he had collided head on with Deputy Dewright and both had fallen out the door and through the old front porch. All in all it was a remarkable scene."

(Long silence in the room)

Jury Foreman ... "Indeed. Would you say that Mr.Henderson assaulted Deputy Dewright?"

Mr. Britches ... "Absolutely not! Randy has known the deputy all his life. They have shared some strange times together, but never criminal. Deputy Dewright was simply an obstacle between Randy and where he desperately wanted to be. There can be little doubt that the collision was an accident. In my opinion Deputy Dewright sustained back, neck and knee injuries at that time."

Juror #1 ... "I am troubled that you were removing a stove that did not belong to you..."

Jury Foreman ... "Judge Jailemall, I note you have your hands waving in the air. Sir, do you have something to add?"

Judge Jailemall ... "In fact, the land, school and stove once belonged to the MacKenzie/MacBritches family. There is no doubt that additional research will conform that Red is a descendant of that family and has a legal claim to ..."

My friends, at this point the transcript ends. But the end result is that for several winters the members of George's Garage and Auto Repair Emporium/Business Club have enjoyed the warmth and comfort of a large, ornate wood stove. Now whether the "Ghost Owl" sits on his roof as it did that night in MacKenzie ... I have no ideal. And I'm sure as hell not going outside on a dark cold winter night to look either!



Randall 8-30-2002 22:28


Seems all is well here at the good old Writer's Notebook. I have been on somewhat of a reading jag the last few days. I don't remember if I told you all this, or if I only told Heather, but I read a total of 7 books is 6 days. All full length paperbacks, and all books I have read before. Also all by the same author. I don't know if I was unwittingly trying to escape something or what, but I am all out of this particular author's books, and instead of moving on to something new, I have picked the first one up again. I wouldn't want to say that I am obsessed with this writer. I mean, she is funny and clever, but she is no genius. Simple, non-thought-provoking entertainment. I don't know why I am stuck on her right now, but I am sure that some shrink might have something to say about it. Doesn't feel normal to me.

Maybe it is as easy as my brain just needs a break and my simple life needs some excitement so I am getting it through what I am reading. You would think that having a baby on the way is excitement enough!!! Next May still seems so far off and I am not even showing. It is actually hard to believe yet! :-) I am gearing up to start getting it through what I write. I bought a new notebook and a pack of my favorite pens yesterday. I haven't done that in a while. Heck, I haven't written anything but html code in a long while. The notebook and pens are for alongside my bed. When I sit down to write during the day, I always type directly into my PC. I can't hack all that long-hand transcription business. I can't handwrite as fast as I can think or type, so it just works out better for me that way. To each his own.

CAROL: (At least I am fairly positive it was Carol;hugs) Sometimes I feel like composting my work too. LOL Hopefully, when I pick back up again, I will be a little more enthusiastic. I am referring, of course, to your perfectly innocent typo...I believe you were saying 'composing' and it got an extra 't' slipped in there.

HOWARD: I almost envy your hornet invasion. At present we are still battling those blasted lady-bird beetles, more commonly referred to as ladybugs. They infest my window sills, my light fixtures, door frames...anything they can find. I feel terrible about killing them because they are supposedly beneficial insects, but you know how kids are. They love windows and doors and the bugs just freak me out. At least if they were bees or hornets I wouldn't feel guilty about evicting them. My neighbors all the way up and down the street are having the same problems. YUK

For any of you who remember that I live directly across from our local Funeral Parlor, they just built a new building to house coffins and memorials and stones. I was watching them load some really expensive looking caskets into the building and realized that in all the time I have lived here, and all the funerals that have gone on over there, I have never actually seen a dead person wheeled into the funeral home. How do they do that so stealthily? I have seen plenty of funeral cars and processions leaving the lots, but never any bodies being delivered. The owners of the business have been the morticians since before I was born, and now they are retiring, passing the business down to their daughter. She was a grade behind me in school. Smart girl, cheerleader and if I think back to her then, I would never have guessed that someday she would be the one pumping embalming fluid into my parents when those days come. I am glad I liked her.

It seems my little Jake has run out of bubbles in his bubble mower, right in the middle of mowing the dining room carpet, so I have to run and fill it up. More later.


Mary 8-30-2002 16:03

Hi All :)

Laura -- just emailed you a few links I had bookmarked as potential fantasy markets. Enjoy!

Jerry - nicely done on "Loose Ends." Details and emotions are well defined and draw the reader in, wanting to know exactly what happens, even if they do have an inkling.

Haley - welcome to the board! Feel free to post as you feel comfortable.

Randall -- I'm looking forward to seeing George and Red again. Be warned now -- you "said" you would check those to-toos, you're fair game now my boy. hehehe I just thought it was too funny that you and Jerry made the same oversight in stories posted so close together. I'll have to make sure I work up a story to post soon, just to let you guys have a pay-back opportunity. :D

In case anyone is wondering, Viv is hard at work scraping, cleaning and painting her house in the states. At least she plans on giving herself a break by adding to her current work.

Speaking of current work -- time to see where my own story wants to travel today.

Have a great day everyone!

Carol 8-30-2002 14:29

So, what do you think, should the US restrict our First Amendment rights? The article below reports on a recent poll that says just that, in addition many feel that despite a freedom of religion, we should "monitor" the activities of Muslims here in the U.S.

Jerry First Amendment 8-30-2002 10:37

Oops! That should have read: © Heather Myles, 2002. Still practicing! :o)

Heather 8-30-2002 3:57

The Hanging
Heather Myles, 2002

"Never liked 'im... no, have to say," she creaked, her emaciated wrist held at an odd angle, a monocle buried in the fleshy wrinkles around one dark, yellowing eye.
A hissing of ghoulish breath against her cheek: "Always were one to gripe about the boys, eh?"
"You keep that hook-nose on your side, I keep my knobbly knees on mine!" She snapped, unrolling several strands of richly coloured, near irridescent thread, so fine that it might have been neuron fibres. Three bundles of other threads fell from her lap as she pulled, scattering across the marble. They shone in the warm sun and seemed to pulsate as she cast her eyes on them and watched.

The hiss became louder, nearer her face, and she could hear the rattling of weak, swampy lungs. Scissors snapped too near her shoulder, her earlobe.
"I'll bet you're dying to leave out a few of those simple strands, aren't you?" came the cutter's jab. "I'll bet you sleep at night with a head full of conspiracies brewing! I'll even wager that you're--"
"Enough!" A shout came from the other side of the great loom. "If ever there were two sisters more irritating than the two of you..." the spinner growled, her face gleamed scarlet. "You'll soon be snipping my thread for me, you goat! And you! You'd be braiding me a fresh new one, and you had better lay it nowhere near either of yours!" she spat, turning to meet the first's eye.
The two glared at one another; the monacle fell, hitting her thin chest and revolving a while on the end of its golden cord. Finally the third let out a disguted huff, and turned slowly back to her work.

The cutter bared her rickrack teeth.
"That ugly reef is sharper than your scissors, hag!" The weaver sneered, the sound like flint on steel.
"Your hands are as slow and clumsy as your wit, wraith!"
The cutter resumed her snipping, carefully tugging out loose ends of the thread, the glare of light across her twin blades reflecting all over the room.
"No! Leave that one!" Came the shrill cry, as the spinner shot up from her wheel. "He is capital, with six more months, you spiteful wench! I spent extra time on his composition, and what do you do? You threaten to destroy a work of art!"
"Work of art! If it weren't for me you would be a tangle of confusion! Chaos! Both of you twits!" The cutter shoved her chair back and waved her scissors across the top of the loom at the spinner. "How dare you accuse me of trying to snip a life early, you careless..."

The first sister smiled a grim, nasty little smile.
So she had been keeping watch, eh? Let her eldest sister spat with her middle sister! She could keep all the threads of those impish boys from tangling with preferred stock while her sisters were otherwise occupied!

She bent to work as if she were the spry age of 500, slipping in an extra Life thread here, tying off and intermingling several in another area. So long as the changes were intricately done! An imperceptable alteration, unless one wore a monocle....

Heather Hemlock Bags 8-30-2002 3:54

Getting late here and Smokey the kitten just told me it's bed time, so I'm off.

Good night all, and oh, WRITE ON!!!!

Jerry 8-30-2002 1:01

Dang forgot about shorty night, I read about it here and rushed off to write something down. I'm not going to be as carefull as Randall, I'm posting mine with to-too's and all, my usually unedited content. I know in college they told us not to have the writer die in the end, and I didn't, well almost anyhow.

Loose Ends.
by Jerry Ericsson


I feel that I have to explain, at least a bit. I know you’ll understand, after all, two guys can’t drive around in the same squad car for five years and not know each other better then a man knows his son, a son his father.

You know of my love for guns, and of my gun collection, so I shan’t go into all that, suffice to say my favorite gun of all time, that old Colt AR-15 has served me well tonight, and the old Colt Trooper will finish the job.

I don’t know if I ever told you about that jerky feeling in my shoulder, but it’s been there for years. I never thought much of it until a few weeks ago, but it seemed every time I became upset I’d get this feeling like someone thumping me in my right shoulder, you know that sweet spot where you put the stock of a rifle when your going to make that shot at a trophy deer, right there.

I had a nightmare a few weeks ago, and it all came back, where that thump came from I mean. It happened many years ago, too many to count back when I was in the service, serving in Viet Nam.

Don’t know if we ever got into my time over there other then to mention the fact that I was there and all, but when I served there, I was a communicator, trained in the use of radios and radio telephones. As you can well imagine, there weren’t a lot of phones over there, at least not in the field there weren’t but there were millions of radios, well at least thousands of them in use, and each one needed someone to hump it into the bush. When properly set up, those damn prick 77’s weighed well over a hundred pounds what with the radio, accessories, the crypto unit that kept our transmissions secret and the extra batteries that we carried. That along with the normal pack containing rations and the extra gear that we needed in the bush brought the whole package to a bit over a hundred fifty pounds, add to that the extra belts of thirty caliber ammo that the radio man carried for the machine gunner and it was a hefty load.

After months of humping the bush with that pack, my back started giving me problems. Now I was one of those idiots who figured it was malingering if you went on sick call even when you were hurting, so I never mentioned it except to my good buddy Manny. Manny carried the M-60 squad machine gun, itself quite a load but a bit lighter then the radio pack. At any rate, one day in October 1970 Manny took pity on me, and switch loads so I could give my aching back a break. That day we had a new LT leading the platoon, he was so new that even his boots still shined, his butter bar glistened in the morning sun as we headed north in the slicks on our way to the Ahe Shaw valley. Sgt. Anderson who was an old timer took pity on the LT and dabbed some of his camo stick on the gold bar to try and cover it when we got in the bush. Well you’d thought he slapped that LT in the face. I don’t know what he said because in a Huey Chopper you don’t hear anything but the machine, the blades and the air rushing by the open doors, but the look on the Sgt’s face showed that we were in for a bad patrol.

The slick’s flared and touched the ground with the back of their skids. Before the front had hit ground we were out and running for the tree line, the LZ was cold and for that I was thankful, it flashed through my mind that maybe, just maybe this patrol wouldn’t be to bad after all. Oh how I wish I had been right.

We moved down a High Speed trail, now that’s about the worst thing you can do in Nam, but the LT told us that we had major ground to cover and we hadn’t the time to skirt the trails. By this time Sgt. Anderson had moved to the slack position, that being the back of the patrol, on orders of the green LT.

I remember looking at Manny, he knew as well as I that we were in deep shit, but with an LT like that there are only two fixes, the first is a bullet in the back of the head, the second one in his chest, who pulled the trigger first was a game of chance, either an enemy would get the first shot or one of us would take care of business, I just hoped the guy with his finger on the trigger would miss me when he took his shot.

We had made about a klick, maybe a klick and a half, it’s hard to tell in the jungle, when the shit hit the fan. It came in the form of an NVA patrol, and they were coming straight at us down that fucking high speed trail. This illustrated to that LT who knew it all because he had been in Officers Candidate School the reason you don’t go marching down a trail in the jungle. Their first shot hit the LT in the heart, taking care of our first problem, but their second hit Manny square in the chest. You see the Radio Operator has to be within arms reach of the platoon leader at all times. Well we saw it coming; the rest of us took cover, and returned fire. That thirty caliber machine gun came up the but finding the sweet spot on my shoulder, and I pulled that trigger, mowing down the sons of bitches that got Manny. None of that three shot bursts that the Army drilled into your head, I gave them the whole nine yards of ammo, and when that was gone, I made my way to where Manny lay in a pool of blood, got the belt from around his neck and gave them that one too.

After what seemed like an hour, actually it was probably three minutes or so, the firing stopped. Sgt. Anderson made his way to the front, and together we got the radio off Manny’s back, and after a few minutes of tinkering, I got it working and the Sarge called in a medevac, as well as the slicks to lift us out, as any possibility of surprise was now gone and any enemy within hearing range was now underground or in the trees and we could do no good.

At any rate, that’s what I kept feeling in my shoulder, that twitch in my sweet spot was from Manny’s gun.

So why am I telling you all this, well by the time you read this, you will know, but here’s how it happened.

I was well into my first few hours on duty when I ran out of smokes, forgot to take my extra packs when I left. I checked my wallet but it was bare, shit with what the city pays us it’s no wonder. Anyhow, I had a carton at home, so I dropped by the house to pick them up. I was very quiet entering, figuring the wife would be asleep; after all it was nearly midnight. I made my way to the kitchen by using my little belt flashlight, and got my smokes from the fridge. I was on my way back out when I heard them.

It was the wife, and she was making love to someone, I didn’t know who but the sounds coming from our bedroom were definitely the sounds of love making. They were very into it, so they didn’t hear as I made my way to the den, they didn’t notice when I took down my AR-15 from its place of honor on the wall. They didn’t hear the squeak of the drawer as I took out the box of shells and loaded the aluminum magazine with twenty rounds of soft point .223 ammunition. They didn’t hear as I pulled that charging handle to the rear, and eased it forward chambering a round.

They didn’t hear as I crept to the bedroom door which was slightly ajar letting a sliver of light escape down the hallway, I could see it reflect off my shined boots as I crept up to the doorway. They knew I was coming though when I kicked that fucking door open, They both screamed as I brought up my lovely AR up to my shoulder and found that sweet spot, they were still screaming as I pulled the trigger over, and over and over again till they both stopped screaming, stopped breathing, stopped mocking me in my own bed.

I leave this letter as a way of explaining things Larry you were a good friend, a good partner, sorry for the mess I know how blood turns you stomach.

Just one more loose end…

Jerry 8-30-2002 0:59



Fair warning gang. Will post a George and Red story Friday night. I would post tonight, but I have to check my to-toos ... Carol :-) (BIG GRIN)


Randall 8-29-2002 23:12


Yup, flattery will get you many, many things (big, wide grins). Not that I've posted any writing in the NB, so I guess the compliment isn't really for me ;o) It's nice to meet you. I think that you will find this is a friendly place. People will pop in and out. People will vanish from time to time, then appear again. It's fun, interesting and full of support. Yikes! I had better get going. It is time for tucking in the littlest of the lot. There are two little girls who are waiting for their hugs and kisses. If they wait too long they will start to brawl with each other.

Happy day to you :o)

Rachel 8-29-2002 22:34

HALEY -- "Incredible?" Flattery will get you everywhere! :-)

Welcome! Stick around and post something! There's no such thing as "good enough" or "not good enough" -- you'll find you're among friends here.

howard 8-29-2002 22:04

I have to say, I was reading some of the notebook, and i was very impressed. You people are incredible writers. I have some work of my own, but at the moment it is not posted anywhere. Another thing, is that it all needs to be updated. Oh well, for the time being I will just stick to writing in my own personal notebook. If you're really interested though, you may e-mail me anytime.

Haley 8-29-2002 19:31


Hope you enjoy the NB. I look forward to reading more of your posts.


Hugs to you buddy :o)

Take care all.

Rachel 8-29-2002 14:28

Hi All :)

A week and a half of research and then a couple more days of composting finally led to actual words on the page yesterday. Oh, but I was getting cranky! LOL Feeling much better now though. :)

Howard - Its nice to know that someone besides me has these ghostly lumps. While they're not painful, I have noticed they make my feet more tender to the sharp edges of stones and rocks, something I never had a problem with before. In the past, I could have (and did) step on a tack without noticing it.

A tidbit on the cane conversation -- they are not only good for whacking offenders or people in the way, but my husband also found it handy for "hooking" ME.

Laura -- I don't have too many spare minutes at the moment, but I can email you a few short fantasy sites I have come across. I haven't completed the story for submission yet so I can't recommend them personally, but it should give you a starting point. :)

Speaking of only a few minutes - off to dress and travel to the VA. Hubby is finally getting his teeth looked at again.

Have a great day everyone!

Carol 8-29-2002 12:54

Mark - Did you shock everyone into silence? *gasp*

It's shortie night!!!
Everyone don your wit caps!

Heather 8-29-2002 12:38

HOWARD -- Of course, we know from our radio-delivered vocabulary that the musician in question was BAY-toven. On the West Side of Binghamton, however, the street is buh-THO-ven.

HEATHER -- If I sent you for a ride on Uranus, I'd expect a 'thank you.' Yes.

Mark 8-28-2002 22:11

Hey everyone, I didn't get on in time to see it, but just in case you missed it, I started a pair of fiction series outside my normal genre. One is Action/adventure and the other is fantasy-based. Wish me luck. And if any of you know of houses that will take short fantasy, lead on.


Laura 8-28-2002 22:09

My, Howard, that is infinitely less offensive than having to ask for directions in St. Catherine's, Ontario, in one particular neighbourhood - each main street named for a planet, while the lesser streets were named for other cosmic bodies.
"How do I get to Pluto Drive?" You ask, sticking your sunburned head out of the driver's side window.
You can't help but notice the crater-wide grin on the pedestrian's face. "Ok. You turn right there, and follow Milky Way. Turn left, a couple of lights up at Mercury Drive, then keep following the curves until you get past Comet Court. Turn right on Saturn, go left on Neptune, then take the next right up Uranus."
Are you actually expected to say 'Thank you'?

Heather 8-28-2002 19:15

Evangeline is eighty years young, and attends our church. She needed a ride to the doctor and then to the hospital, so I picked her up this morning at nine.

We found the doctor's office okay, but she thought I needed directions to the hospital. She directed me to a short cut through a cluster of streets named for composers, and said "Turn right up here, I think it's Bee-tho-ven or Bay-tho-ven, I never could say that right. He's a famous song writer, you know..."

I almost cried...

howard 8-28-2002 15:37

Howard - You gotta watch out for we old folks with our canes, canes have been known to be deadly weapons here abouts. In fact, I just got back from an attempted assault by cane this very minute. I was sitting here nice and peacefully watching television, basking in that "well done" feeling of having set up my wife's computer (read my old computer that's ten times better then this piece of crap made by HP but that's another story) when the wife called me to the dining room where she and our daughter were playing with her new machine. Seems they heard shots fired. Well not exactly shots, BB's fired. So, being the old X-cop that I am, I hobbled out the back door in my stocking feet, my old faith full cane in hand, and quietly worked my way all around the yard, first back by the garage, then around the side and up to the front yard.

Didn't see or hear a thing, but God knows if I'd caught those little bastards, they would have surely felt the rath of my cane, followed by having their Daisy's wrapped around their stinking little heads. What I found were our ornamental ceramic bird houses that were hanging in our snowball tree were shattered.

Now I was once a boy, and I once had a Daisy myself, and God knows that I was tempted to shoot at things like that myself, but something inside me kept me from doing such things. I think that something was a conscience, perhaps kids now days are raised without them, maybe that's why we see the school slaughters and delinquents running the streets at night, then again I could be wrong, I'm sure there were old men shaking their cane's at me from time to time when I was a youth too, but not for being destructive. The worst we ever did as I recall was devil on the doorstep, and such pranks.

Well there was the time when we broke into a country club and stole a case of Scotch Whiskey. The only reason I wasn't with the boys when they were caught was that I'd met the wife that night and we were parked out on a hill watching the submarine races drinking Scotch and Club Soda in Styrofoam cups. I will never forget that taste, it was horrible. Funny that Scotch became my favorite for many years before I gave it up.

Jerry 8-27-2002 22:32

TIM -- thanks for the heads up! I'll keep that in mind, but I do like Sting better than Celine. I like Meatloaf as well -- go figure!

Perhaps I should take one of them out in the back yard to the barby. I was just out there starting the charcoal in the big grill for steaks, and as we're also having corn on the cob I thought it would be nice to roast it in the husks, as it's very good that way.

So I lifted the lid off the small grill that we haven't used all summer, and guess what was under it! Yes! A very large hornet's nest, with a very large swarm of hornets to protest the disturbance! The lid and I parted company in very short order, and I retired to the house to prepare the rest of the meal while they calm down.

What with the very mild winter, we've seen a extraordinary increase in critters of all shapes, sizes, and species. Hornets/wasps/bees are one group that has flourished. Also rabbits, deer, and bears. You may have heard about the black bear that killed a five-month-old baby girl last week, about 50-60 miles from here. It took her right out of her stroller on the front porch of the cottage her family was renting for vacation.
We've got them here as well, and they can be a real nuisance. One was seen on the local golf course (I can see the course from here) last weekend, and there are several on the hill across the river from us.

Sounds like the kids are here -- I'd better go out and make sure they don't disturb the critters!

howard 8-27-2002 17:41

Oh, by the way, thank you to all of you who have extended such a warm welcome to me, and especially to Rachel, who complimented me on something I wrote. I no longer labor in absolute obscurity hehehe.

These days, I'm rewriting a short originally written about 15 years ago and submitted to a local fiction contest (no awards) and several outlets for publication (no takers). It's about the fat neighbor kid whose development I impeded when we were teens. I'm also brooding over my efforts for the annual Fake Hemingway competition. The problem with that is, I don't drink enough.

I actually have had work in print, though fairly ignominiously, I'm afraid. Well, maybe ignominious is a strong term for it. I wrote user's manuals for computer software while in grad school. One of them was a 240-page behemoth which was done before I actually learned how to type. However, I've ALWAYS known how to bull****, and that's how I got the job as a technical writer among a host of other things including my current spouse etc etc.

Well, back to the manly project - replacing several knee braces on this 100-year-old relic of a house. cheers

Tim Slape 8-27-2002 17:10

Howard, don't use Sting. It causes hornets to mutate into 200 pound, 300 m.p.h. wanton killers known to prey on humans and small livestock. This is a documented phenomenon first sighted in the Australian Outback in 1983.

Try Celine Dion.

Tim Slape 8-27-2002 16:54

I'm sitting here on a break from cleaning out the barn (no livestock, just junk), and I'm watching a hornet (maybe it's more than one -- I can't tell them apart) building a nest inside the left hand speaker on my computer monitor! They're coming in through that open roof window.

My first reaction was to get the spray and do them in, but I think I'll wait until the larvae are half grown, and play my new Sting album at top volume through that speaker! Should be appropriate.

howard 8-27-2002 14:28

We went to the NY State fair yesterday, and spent the day dodging little old ladies in electric wheelchairs, and little old men with walkers and canes. It was seniors' day, and it was packed! I've got bruises on both shins from not getting out of the way quickly enough.
I do enjoy the fair, though, even though they've started charging for the horse shows in the past couple of years.

They added one display this year that I'll never forget.

In a relatively quiet spot they've built a memorial to the 9/11/01 victims, and there is a piece of steel girder from one of the World Trade Towers on display, with an "eternal flame" in front of it.

It's close enough so that I could reach out and touch the twisted metal -- as several others were doing -- and the feeling I got was one of loss, mixed with pride, and hot anger at those responsible for the tears I could see and hear around me.

Then for a moment it seemed I was alone, hearing the cries of those frightened souls as they met their end, and I could do nothing to help them.

Our daughter wept when she found the name of someone from her church in State College, PA, on the list of names of those killed in the Pentagon on that day.

Even the small children in the crowded area were quiet -- they felt it too.

howard 8-27-2002 11:37

Hi, Tim, and WELCOME!
(Sorry, I'll only torture everyone's eyes with one scrolling marquee per day, LOL)
I've started an autobiography, ('Memoir' always makes me think I've got to be dead first) but I think my grandfather had a good idea: Publish 5 books first, get incredibly old, (but not so old you can't remember what socks are)and then begin tapping out your autobio on a relic of a typewriter, surrounded by empty scotch glasses.

Heather 8-27-2002 9:52


Heather Hemlock Bags 8-27-2002 9:32

RACHEL -- Thanks for that, but it really doesn't matter -- Dorie doesn't mind a bit!

howard 8-27-2002 7:48


We've decided to give our horse a new name. I have never been for giving new names to animals. This is different though. I feel weird calling her that. I call her Doll face. I likely always will. I don't know what name the kids will set with. Hardly matters to me. My girl will be Doll face. She is a pretty thing. So, you lady is safe as the one and only ;o)

Take care you.

RACHEL ;o) 8-27-2002 2:00

Thanks, RACHEL!

By the way -- "she" is Dorie. The only. :-)

howard 8-27-2002 1:11


I love that story! Thank you so much for sharing it (hugs).


I was pretty sure you would remember ;o) Seb is really something. He is speaking quite clearly now. He is so beauitufl. He has a mess of white blond hair and the biggest blue eyes, fringed with long black lashes. He stops the ladies in their tracks! He will cast them a sweet little gaze, then say "hi there" or "hello." It is really very sweet. He is a total flirt! People are always giving Dan and I a hard time about where two dark hair, dark eyed and Dan with his darker skin came up with two blond haired, blue eyed children. I've given up explaining and just say "It must be magic."

Night all.

Rachel 8-26-2002 23:29

CAROL -- I've got those same "ghost lumps!" I can feel them as soon as I put my shoes or slippers on, but I can't find anything when I look. It's not really uncomfortable (most of the time) but it's aggravating. I'm diabetic, and starting to get the numb patches on my feet and toes, so I've got to be careful not to get blisters.

RACHEL -- We had a strange thing about pregnancies.

We were married on Dec 10, and the following January - about the 15th or so -- she fell down the stairs. Just tripped at the top and slid down the whole way on her behind. We didn't figure anything was broken, but I took her to the ER just in case. They did some tests and xrays, and sent us home with instructions to follow up with our family doctor the next day.

He checked her over, and about floored us when he asked if we knew she was pregnant! This was not an OB-GYN, but a family physician with a general practice. Sure enough, she was, and our first daughter was born on Sept 2.

That was a real trip! I got home from work (3rd shift) about 8AM, and she asked me "Honey, what do labor pains feel like?"

My mother was there, and we all jumped into the car and headed for the hospital -- about 1/2 hour away.

But first we had to stop at Weston's, so she could return a dress that she wouldn't be needing any more. And she was adamant!

We went into the store, and I announced that she was in labor, could we please go the the head of the line. We were out of there (with a refund) in five minutes!

Back across the river to the hospital, but FIRST -- "I want a Big Mac and a milkshake!"

I said "No way!"

She just gave me that look, and I turned right, toward MacDonald's instead of left to Ideal Hospital.

She did settle for the drivethru -- had the Big Mac half gone, and a good start on the shake before we hit the street again.

I turned down Bridge Street towards the hospital, and ran smack into a traffic check! The officer was looking at my expired registration sticker as he approached the car. I waved the new one at him as he got to the window (it was in the glove compartment) and started to tell him that my wife was in labor. About that time she let out a shriek that (I think) curdled the rest of the shake, and my mother hollered "Hospital!" The officer turned pale, jumped back, and waved us on through.

We got to the hospital, parked in front of the door, and I jumped out and grabbed a wheelchair. One of the nurses saw what was going on and ran out to help. She started wheeling her through the door as I went to park the car.

It took a few minutes to find a spot, but eventually I did, and ran back in to find my wife.


Flat out not there!

The nurse at the reception station looked rather dazed, and just pointed at the elevator and giggled "Three!"

There was an orderly with a mop by the elevator, and he said to be careful -- the floor was wet and slippery. The elevator door was open, and he reached in with the mop to clean that up too.

I looked in and he said "Chocolate shake, I think. What floor?"


"Me too."


"Yeah -- your first?"


"You'll get used to it. Maybe."


"Here's three"

"Right. Thanks."

"No problem -- down there to the right. And watch that big wet spot on the floor."


"Don't mention it. Happens all the time. Just next time remember -- no milkshake."

"Ain't gonna be no next time!"

He just grinned.

About two years later she fell down the stairs again, in March this time, with the same results. Same doctor, same diagnosis, same results -- our second daughter was born on Oct 17!

But we didn't stop at MacDonald's.

howard 8-26-2002 22:05

Well, just about set to head for San Jose and the World Science Fiction Convention. Will let everyone know how it goes and if Toby Bucknell wins a hugo. Other than that will have very crossed fingers that the car holds and nothing else transpires. In the last two and a half weeks either Fran or I have been in three fender benders, the transmission on our SUV went out of whack and will not go into reverse and today we got into the car to discover a six inch long crack originating from a rock chipping up in the blind black area of the windshield. Luckily we discovered even this could be novused. So that was the good news. Oh, and on the second to the last dive while I was doing some more testing of my new dry suit, a got shoved by surge into some rocks and scratched the dome housing lens enough that it makes the video I do largely unusable. Think I have a solution for that. We will see.

If anybody is going to the World Science Fiction Convention drop by the Westercon 56 table or come to our party on Friday at the Fairmont. Take care everyone and have a great Notebook while I am gone.

Also, congratulation to all those relaying welcome news of upcoming births literary or otherwise ;-) and a hearty welcome to the newbies.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-26-2002 20:59

Hello again, and thank you all for your warm congratulations and well-wishes. We are happier every day and forunately it has been three whole days without a migraine and I probably just jinxed myself by saying that!!

Rachel, of course I remember when you were pregnant! It only just feels like yesterday! Hard to believe the little guy is running around with glue already LOL.

Welcome to all the newbies around here, it is always good to have fresh faces around the table.

My hubby and I have been working on our kitchen all day, putting up new wallpaper and painting ceilings and I am faux marbleing the counters since the moolah I had set aside for new counters in now headed in a different direction! I will let you know how they turn out!

I am wearing out my exclamation point key I think. Sorry.

Ruh roh...two small children just ran naked through my dining room. I better go see what the occasion is!

SHORTIE NIGHT THEME: Wrapping Up Loose Ends.

Mary 8-26-2002 18:44


My husband never guessed when I was preggers. He never got the chance to. I know pretty early on. I'm just that way. I think it is cool that you know your wife was preggers :o)

Rachel 8-26-2002 14:54

Hi All :)

Finally decided to take the time to get caught up in here. Sometimes I truly get too carried away with research and lose total track of time.

Jerry & Randall -- great stories, one produced a tear, the other several grins and chuckles. But, hey guys -- watch your "too-to's." heheheh I found it funny that you both had that particular boo-boo. Though I can excuse Jerry since he freely admitted that he had not had time to proof the story. :D

Mary - don't recall if I said it before, but, congratulations on the good news. The closest I've ever come to the feelings you mention has been with my pregnant dogs. Once I knew for sure they were pregnant (and yes, I had the dr. do an ultrasound), they got soooo pampered! Special food, daily, sedate walks. We had one cat that loved to take that daily walk with the dog too. I talked to the puppies in Mommy's tummy each day too. Sang to them. hehehehe I had to give up the breeding though. It just got too painful finding homes for these babies and I sure couldn't keep that many and give them all the loving attention they deserved. I do miss that puppy breath though. :)

Tim -- it appears to me you're going to be a nice addition to the board -- Welcome! (an avid coffee drinker here!)

Heather -- welcome back from your vacation! Hope it was restful and you're all reved up for your creative endeavors.

Jerry - if you did decide to write a memoir, it could sell -- written with a great deal of humor it would find a market. I was telling a friend of mine about my "ghost lumps" -- she seemed to feel my take on the matter humorous and a sign of how well I deal with my lupus like problems. Hey, I can't make them go away can I? Might as well give them funny names. :) Ghost lumps by the way, are lumps on the bottom of my feet that feel like I'm walking on ABC gum. Yet, I can't see them when I look for them, I can't feel them with my fingers. There's just no physical evidence that they exist, except when I'm walking.

Well, best quit delaying now and get to writing some fiction. The dang story won't write itself! Now wouldn't that be a feat of technology? Something that could take the thoughts as they occur in your brain and immediately transfer onto the page? hehehehe

Have a great day everyone!

Carol 8-26-2002 12:08

You could fictionalise your bio. That way you could tone up or down where you think it would benefit the story.
If it was published you would also get the mistery factor attached to your personality;
Did he?
Was he?

Eddie 8-26-2002 8:39


Gezz, I blushed when I saw your congrats on the rug rats. I didn't mean to sound like I was preggers now. I was preggers a couple of years ago. My little Seb is now 18 months old. He is a beauty, a wonder and a ball of activity that just never stops. Right now he is standing next to me holding a bottle of glue and making spurting sounds. I am very glad that the glue was closed properly... Mary would remember when I was preggers. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has been on the NB for ages (smiles). I dont' think I even said welcome. I just sort of pounced on you and started to blab. So, Welcome :o) I have six children. Three biological children and three foster children. If your congrats was for Mary, then forget what I said above ;o) Seb had wandered away and has now returned with a bottle in hand. He is gazing up at me with a look on his face that tells me he is just about ready to bid the world good night. I better take advantage of his mood while it lasts and get him off to bed.

Night all.

Rachel 8-26-2002 0:36

Tim - I have considered doing one of those about me books, and I think I could make it fairly interesting, what with eight years in the Army, a year in Nam, followed by nineteen years on various Police Departments, eight of those as a Chief of Police, yet I don't think I could get it published. I could go into my upbringing in an alcoholic home with a suicidal father and a promiscuous mother, go into growing up in a home where booze took prescience over things like new cloths, food, Christmas Presents and such, yet I don't think it would sell all that well, also one has to consider the harm it could do to the family, both my sisters, their kids, mom who is still going strong at 75, and my kids.

No, I think I'll stick to the interesting things that brew up in my head over coffee, and tea of course.

I love both, have to drink my eight cups of coffee in the morning, tea I reserve for those special times, like when I've written a story I feel is strong and healthy.

Oh since my doctor put me on those damn high blood pressure pills, my coffee is half decaf and half regular, so in caffeine terms I only get four cups, but that's ok I've grown used to it.

Oh on my about me book I could go into my life after the force being totally disabled and all, the life trying to balance pain medications that make you so drowsy that you don't even feel alive, and going without them, feeling alive and in lots of pain, but again I don't think it would sell very well.

Nope, those stories though, I guess I'll have to try harder to peddle them, the high that comes with a note from an editor that your going to be published is better then all the dope I ever used in Nam, all the booze I drank before I gave it up for my family and all those damn pills that I have to take every day.

Randall, you've got an idea there, serializing it, I know there is someone around here that is doing that in the local paper, and most of the folks around here go to that part of the paper even before they read the headlines.

I often wish it were me writing that stuff for the paper, but it was going strong long before I ever moved back here.

I have been offered a column in the paper here in town several times, but have turned it down, just because I don't want to be tied down to a deadline every week. The guy with the computer shop here in town even tried to get me to take over his technical column (I used to drop by his shop and show him things he didn't know how to do on the computers he was fixing).

Law and Order is on, must go and watch, hope everyone is well, and writing their hearts out.

Jerry 8-26-2002 0:24

Congrats on the future rug rats!

Years ago, the missis went to the OB to have a look at kid #2, which she thought she was about 8 weeks into. I went, too, you know, because I am a sensitive man. Imagine our surprise at two big eyes staring back at us via the ultrasound. Well, Brianna was 14 weeks. And the missis is a nurse, you'd think she'd have a better feel for such things.


A carpenter's house is a dump.
A mechanic's car is a POS.
Doctor's smoke.
A nurse can't figure out her own body.

I guess it's okay then that I was a bureaucrat and an anarchist. hehehe

Tim Slape 8-26-2002 0:20

I love coffee and I love tea. I'm a coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon and evening sort of gal. I think that a cup of tea makes just about anything just a little bit better (smiles and sighs). I think I'll go make some chai.

Rachel 8-25-2002 23:07



Thanks Jerry and Howard. Jerry, many thanks for the link. I've looked at their web site. I was hoping they would accept short stories more than 700 words. "Ducks" is a little over 1700. Most of my Red and George tales are about that length. I could wrap ‘all my tales in a manuscript and send that to Cappers for a "cereal" (GRIN)

Yes Howard, there are others banging around inside my noggin. All it takes is a little inspiration and .... well, then, something seems to open up. Not sure where all the ideas come from. Being 55 and having viewed the world that long, some things should be retained I suppose.

Bless you Mary. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd may your time be easy and your child blessed with health, wisdom and happiness ... Try to avoid midnight dill pickle and peanut butter sandwiches though! (Grin)

Rachel ... I was (and I just confirmed this with my wife) first aware that my wife was expecting with both our children. Before she was. She just hollered at me, that made her mad (grin) I don't remember it that way with Sara, our first born, but I definitely remember telling Debbie that she was pregnant with Sean.

I picked up on her mood with Sean. I remember it well. Debbie has always said she detected feminine traits in me (!?) So maybe it was the woman in me!!! Good grief! I can't believe I'm saying all this!!! HELP! MY MACHO IS AWOL!

Well, friends can discuss most things in the open. So I'll let this rest.

Was in an accident Friday afternoon in the NAPA delivery pickup. Guy banged me in the rear end. Not that his speed was that great, but it snapped my head back pretty good. In an hour or less my neck was stiffening up. I had a co-worker drive me to the ER, told the RN what happened, he put a neck support on my neck ... and I sat from 4:15 till 7:15 PM, three hours till the doctor could see me. (Sigh) My wife and I were about to walk out when they called my name. The doctor looked at the entry report, did a double take, "Mr. Henderson? You've been sitting in the waiting room for three hours!? With a possible neck injury?"

X-rays showed "possible" trauma to one vertebra. The neck bones were in place, but there was a blurry area on the x-ray in one section. The doctor said if the pain and discomfort increases (!) he will order an MRI. Oh, you got that right Doc! If the pain increases the width of a hair on a flea, I'll scream bloody murder!

In addition, I understand the ER had admissions that were (possibly) more serious than mine. A man came in having a heart attack. A man brought in a little girl who was having convulsions. I'm not griping about that. But this same hospital is spending five, count ‘em, $5,000,000 on renovations. From what I saw, mostly cosmetic. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to use the funds to hire another doctor in the ER? (They only have two now, one on day shift, the other night) What the heck...splurge a little and hire two more doctors!

I'm off tomorrow, and will see my own doctor in the afternoon. If all goes well should be back to work Tuesday or so.

Well gotta go


Randall 8-25-2002 23:07

TIM -- You can write your memoirs any time, though it helps to have lived long enough to write about.
Publishing said memoirs is another story. If you can get an editor to read what you've written, and like it, and if she can sell it to the publisher, you're pretty well in, because as Rachel says, people do enjoy reading about other real live people.
It helps immensely if you're already a published author, because then an editor doesn't have to go out on a limb -- someone else has already determined that you're "good enough to be published."
And if you're someone like Tobias Wolff, they take your memoir (This Boy's Life) and make a movie out of it.
Then you can write a sequel (In Pharaoh's Army) and settle back into teaching. Anyone interested in writing a memoir should definitely read both of those!
Like Rachel said, write well about the most mundane things, and people will eat it up.
And by the way, welcome!

howard 8-25-2002 22:39

Myself, I'm a tea man

Tim Slape 8-25-2002 20:53


I think that people love to read memoirs. They want to read them to see if the person has suffered. If they have had it bad. They want to read about people and then sit back and think about how good they have it, or how awsome they are. To write memoirs that are decent would take a painful amount of truth and sincerity from the author. It would take the ability to really see self and to be able to laugh and cry at, for and with self. I think that readers know when a person skims over the surface of things. If the writing is shallow, the reader will be disinterested. They will not sit up nights and think "Damn! What ever happened to that poor fellow. Did he ever recover from his mothers antics? What ever did happen to him at school. I wonder if he kicked his cat? Did he pick his nose? Did he like coffee or tea, or did he only ever drink beer? The trick is to make the reader intersted. I think that a skilled writer could spin a story about the most regular stuff there is and keep a reader interested. Life is interesting. People are interesting. Memoirs that are completed with sincerity could not fail to be anything other than intersting. It wouldn't matter if the person was John Doe from the middle of the middle of everywhere. At least that is my take on it ;o)

Rachel 8-25-2002 20:27

Here's the link to their guidlines, now Randall, get with it!

Just kidding, but your stuff is way to good to not be published where other folks can enjoy it.

Jerry Cappers 8-25-2002 19:49

Tim - no time like the present, one who believes he is an author must be an author. Think I heard that somewhere before.

Now where did I put that pen....

Jerry 8-25-2002 19:40


I found out I was preggers at two weeks. Yup, I had the heads up on it pretty quick. I was sure I was two weeks along, my doctor thought I was seven weeks. I went with what she said. I liked her dates better. At what should have been 12 weeks I had some bleeding. Went to my doc, she couldn't find a heart beat, went to the ultra sound clinic, they couldn't find a baby. That isn't really what you want to hear when you have believed that you are with child. The ultra sound tech took out the super scope and did the close up, that was when they located Seb. He was the size of a grain of rice and only seven weeks along. I guess it is easy to miss something that tiny. Turns out that I was right on my dates and that the doctor was wrong. I think it is great that you know so soon. I know that when I am with child I am very cautious with everything I eat and drink. I even limit my coffee, which doesn't happen very often (grins). I think about how I care for myself a lot more. It is so special to know that you are forming a little person. I know that I was in love with my children as soon as I found out I was preggers. I was surprised by that the first time. I had thought the baby would need to be born first. I couldn't believe how much I loved something that I knew nothing about. I didn't know if it was a boy or a girl, healthy or unhealty, what sort of personality or anything and I didn't care. It was my wee little unborn and I loved each of them fiercely. Pregnancy and motherhood are simply amazing. I wish you all the best and hope that your pregnancy is full of joy, excitement and love.

Hugs to you.

Rachel 8-25-2002 18:38

When in an author's life is it appropriate to prepare one's memoirs, and AND, why does an author offer his memoirs for public consumption? Maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves; when does a person legitimately begin calling him/herself an "author?" Does that title presuppose actually being published (underlined)? I digress; let's get back to the memoirs issue. When is it time to write them? Is it at the birth of one's literary life, perhaps as a sort of introduction of the writer to the world? Could this be an attempt by the writer to qualify himself as fit for publication by delineating his experiences, influences, suffering etc? "Hello, I'm Tim Slape, I want be a famous author. When I was seven my mother humiliated me in front of a bunch of neighborhood punks driving me deep into my own little world and that's why I'm a troubled loner now. When I was fifteen I lived in a house full of hippies where we indulged in unbridled orgies and hallucinogenic drug use which liberated my mind and caused sweaty flashbacks that occur to this day but which I consider a small price to pay for such a mind-expanding awakening. (Mutters something about Jack Kerouac and Viet Nam) Oh how I've suffered for my art. Please buy my latest novel."

Or, does the writing of memoirs serve as a cathartic hike through the mind? If so, what would motivate one to share that self-exploration with the world? I can't speak for anyone else, but a candid stroll through my memories would yield a lot of material which wouldn't be fit reading for my mother, and damn sure not for my mother-in-law. Here we see the writer, standing naked, on stage, before the whole blooming congregation. His hands are cuffed behind his back and there are no giant plastic potted plants to stand behind.

So which is it? If I somehow conclude it's time to take a swing at writing commercially, do I have to qualify by first preparing and submitting my memoirs? Doesn't seem to me as though anyone would give a hoot about the recollections and ruminations of a nobody. Nope, that can't be it.

Hey, I think it just came to me. An accomplished author wants to release his memoirs after fame comes to say "Look, in spite of my mundane history, I'm a famous writer anyway! I submit to you, the erudite world, my apology in the form of My Memoirs."

I gotta stop mixing Prozac and Jolt Cola.

Tim Slape Link 8-25-2002 18:28

It appears I will have to go hunt the archives for anything I have missed since last I posted! Feels good to have a quick-loading page though...thanks Jack!

Went to the doctor Friday and it turns out I am only about 4 weeks along! Most people don't even know this soon, so I have the whole rest of the eight months to go! That is a very good thing. With this being so unexpected, and us having sold almost all of our baby gear in last year's yard gives us extra time to gather it all back up again. The good part of that situation is that after having three kids, I realize that most of the crap I had was unecessary anyway! One thing I didn't have with the other ones that I always wanted was a 'Moses basket'. Kinda hard to explain, but it is a rustic looking bassinet shaped basket that you can take with you anywhere you go to use as a baby bed. I love how babies look in them and I just might splurge on one this time. This is most likely the last baby for us, so it is now or never! :-)

Hopefully I will be feeling inspired to write some things has been a while since I had any desire to write anything at all. In any case, I will still be visiting here! How could I not?

Take care and I will be back tomorrow to leave a topic for Thursday night!!

Mary 8-25-2002 17:55

Hi! Back from vacation! Refreshed, renewed, and starting to sound like a commercial.....
*Do you hear the sound of air escaping a balloon, anyone?*

Oh, sorry to leave the room in a cloud of art farts...:oD

Just dashing in to leave a strange note,
hum the opening bar of a Counting Crows song,
and slam dunk with a ditty(?):
Youth departs:
There are gains for all our losses,
There are balms for all our pain.
But when youth, the dream, departs,
It takes something from our hearts,
And it never comes again.
~~Stoddart, And It Never Comes Again

Heather 8-25-2002 15:13

RANDALL -- I could say you've gone over the top with that one, but I won't. Gotta save some superlatives for the next ones! There're gonna be next ones, aren't there? There'd better be next ones! Nothing worse than a pile of superlatives just lying there fermenting in the corner!

And Jerry's right -- you should be shopping them around (unless you're saving them for something greater). One market you might try is CAPPER'S. It's a bi-weekly newspaper similar to GRIT. They take serialized stories, poetry, and other short pieces, and from what I've read they pay pretty well. They only want one-time rights as well.

howard 8-25-2002 14:10

Randall - you gotta get those stories published. There must be a magazine out there somewhere that would gobble up such great tales. We have the making of another Mark Twain here for sure.

Maybe Argosy, or one of those magazines would be interested. I was just reading in a back issue of Writers Digest that there is a shortage of GOOD writing for chapter books for those between pre-teen and teenagers too, maybe you could put together a couple of chapter books for that crowd too, who knows.

Jerry Ericsson 8-25-2002 12:59


Hi my friends...

How about some Saturday afternoon humor?


By Randall Henderson

George Grayson Matthews and Red Britches are on the outs again. Normally inseparable, the young mechanic and the older town wino are enjoying a splendid feud. The mayor and Red's brother, County Judge, Arthur Jailemall are a little testy these days as well. The ever, upbeat chamber of commerce is grouchy and bemoaning Andy Warhol's promise of 15 minutes of fame. Furthermore it might not be a good idea to quack like a duck in the presence of any town official. Or bark like a dog. Or mention the NAACP. It lays out this way.

For several months Red has taken a herd of ducks, under his wing one might say ... no pun intended. The ducks roam, er, that is float within the confines of a local park on the bayou. Over the course of several months the small duck population has risen from a pair to a dozen or more. Children venture down to the park to throw bread and crackers at them. Adults smile, babies laugh, the park has taken on a kinder, gentler look and the chamber of commerce loves it.

A local cafe close to the bayou daily sets aside a large pan of bread crumbs, from discarded cornbread patties, dinner rolls, breakfast biscuits, etc. Red shows up at the cafe around mid afternoon to collect the duck dinner. Although the ducks are calmly waiting outside the back door of the cafe, it is Red's duty to feed them, not the cafe. As it should be, the ducks know Red by sight and rise from their sitting position to greet him with fluttering wings and what could only be described as a vocal chorus of ducky adoration. Then Red marches down a steep path that leads to the bayou followed by the entire duck assembly, single file, in step, evenly spaced. Upon arriving at the bayou, with much dignity, he feeds the flock. Sometimes he scatters the meal along the bayou bank but usually throws the crumbs into the water where the ducks happily scramble and splash for their snack.

Everything was (Grin; sorry!) just ducky till a woman reporter from Abilene happened to be passing by. She witnessed the duck parade headed up by a tall, stately, older man carrying a pan full of bread crumbs. Not understanding that Red was NOT part of mainstream local politics she snapped a picture of the spectacle and the situation entered mainstream media via an Abilene newspaper. Unfortunately, a member of the PETA chapter of Abilene saw the small newspaper article and photo. Even worse, he could read and believed the situation deserved some attention. Man aids ducks, not man hunts ducks sort of a thing. From these humble beginnings thus occurred the Great Duck Debacle and potential NAACP lawsuit.

Over the course of a week, phone lines were hot between Brownwood and Abilene. PETA wanted to feature the daily duck feeding on a poster and, to the great chagrin of local political leadership, insisted that Red be featured. Over the years more than a few members of the town elite wanted Red to be railroaded out of town! And by the Great Horned Spoon! To now be featured in the media! Heaven forbid! When PETA remained adamant, the city fathers gave in and a date was set.

Most of us agree the Red and George feud started the day before the duck event when Red appeared in George's Auto Emporium Garage and Information Central. George was hunkered down working on a lawnmower, trying to remove a carburetor from a Briggs and Stratton engine. He glanced upward, did a double take and abruptly stood.

"What the hell happened to you?" George blurted out.

"Haircut." Red answered proudly.

"Haircut my ass! You shaved too...and those duds!" George slapped his forehead with an oily hand. "Suitcoat and a tie! Are those real cuff links?"

Red was beaming as he stretched his arms out. "Sure enough my friend. I just got back from a complete make over." He held out one hand. "Manicured nails by Suzi Li at the mall and the whole Li clan."

George grabbed a shop towel about as dirty as his hands and rearranged the oil on both. He sniffed at the air in an exaggerated manner. "Whoooo weeee you smell like Saigon Sally on Saturday night. That Suzi, she do your hair too?"

"Yeah. Look at these shoes Georgie boy, genuine fake alligator skin. And imported black socks from Mexico! All the way to my knees! All compliments of the mayor and chamber of commerce. Said they wanted me to look good tomorrow for the picture taking."

George grinned. "Why Red, you look, well, delicious."

Now while all this was taking place, George's chief of security and number one hound dog, Black Baby was slowly awakening. Safely ensconced under a nearby work bench Black Baby opened one eye to behold a well-dressed man from the backside. Trained, well, at least influenced by his owner to distrust anyone wearing clean, well pressed, freshly ironed clothes and shined shoes Black Baby's mind shifted his facilities from inquiry to sniff.

George has had Black Baby since he was a puppy. Originally named Rascal, the dog achieved his final name after spending all his time on garage floors that had never been cleaned. He happily nosed under oil leaking truck motors, sought sanctuary under tractors dribbling hydraulic fluid, slept happily, curled up behind the used oil drums, grease rack and discarded oil filters. His appetite is legendary. He once ate a large two-gallon bowl of steamed cabbage and looked around for more. Black Baby viewed garbage cans as repositories of canine nourishment, par excellence.

Black Baby arose, headed straight for the center of mass and connected. Red became aware something was amiss when Black Baby's nose poked him square in the butt.


"Black Baby! No!" George shouted.

Red turned, trying to move away and tripped over the large hound and teetered sideways. George grabbed Red's flailing arm, but the angles and center of gravities were wrong. Red fell over the hound landing square on the oil soaked floor.

With as much dignity as he could muster Red struggled to his feet. "He did that on purpose!"

George shook his head. "No Red. He didn't recognize you in them hifalutin clothes on. It wasn't his fault."

George petted Black Baby as they watched an oil soaked Red Britches retreat. "Thats okay, he won't stay mad long. We'll go see the big too do tomorrow. Come on hound, lets go have a cold one!"

The men from PETA arrived at noon the following day. The mayor, most of the city council and ALL of the chamber of commerce members had lunch together. Red had arrived with a flourish, cloaked in a new suit, with his brother Judge Jailemall close by. Made aware of the event everyone that could, was either seating or standing along the bayou banks. After lunch there were speeches and toasts, (Nah, no alcoholic beverages in this banquet.)

The duck clan arrived on schedule, climbing up the narrow trail from the bayou with heads held high. Video cameras hummed, the sun was shining, everyone was beaming. With great ceremony Red took the pan of bread crumbs from the cafe manager and marched down the narrow winding trail, ducks waddling along behind. PETA had two cameras set up, one at the head of the trail the other at the bottom.

There were wild cheers from the crowd. "Atta boy Red!" Someone claimed they heard your author shout, "How about a little Ripple wine, Red!" Ridiculous! Absurd! Not like me at all!

All eyes were on the duck parade. All but two ... and they belonged to a very large and very dirty hound dog who viewed life as a moveable feast. With eyes of unfathomable canine greed, a large wet nose filled with an aroma of freshly baked bread and a five-gallon stomach growling, Black Baby eyed only the shiny pan that contained something that smelled very good ... and could only be very tasty!

Quicker than you could say, "Chow Hound" Black Baby was away from George. He streaked through the crowd knocking people aside, intent on claiming his share of the food. The topmost PETA camera man was bowled over, tossed aside, video camera recording sky, then ground, then a large open mouth with a big wet tongue, then the wide blue sky. Now all that was left between Black Baby and his desire was a long line of duck tails swinging left, then right, then left.

Black Baby bounded through the ducks like a German submarine through a convoy of fat tankers. Fourteen ducks left for parts unknown in fourteen different directions. Red turned to behold dozens of feathers in the air, ducks in full launch mode and Black Baby in a midair leap.

Red managed to get out only one scream, "Geoorggeeee!" before the hound knocked him backwards into the PETA cameraman at the bottom of the trail. The tangle of Red, cameraman, pan, bread crumbs, Black Baby all ended up in the bayou with a terrific splash. All dutifully recorded by many spectators using hand held video cameras.

Now the racial overtones of this sad event have been blown out of all proportion. Yes, the PETA cameraman at the end of the trail was a Negro. And yes, George did race down to the bayou hollering. "Black Baby get your ass out of that water." But for NAACP to threaten a lawsuit over this incident, claiming racial slurs is ridiculous. Nobody said anything like "Get your black ass out of that bayou." The PETA cameraman was gracious over the whole affair. Although he has filed a lawsuit over the incident against the town and cafe owner, claiming mental anguish, did not file under Federal racial discrimination guidelines. I'm sure Judge Jailemall and the mayor and all the attorneys they have had to hire will soon sort it out. PETA has promised to closely monitor the upcoming hunting seasons with more than their usual enthusiasm. It is rumored that the chamber of commerce has offered a 1,000 dollar reward for Black Baby, DOA, but no one gives this much credence. The new lawyers have all the towns money anyway.

Now, in the meantime Red has averted to his old self. Skulking around town with his overcoat on, the one that "clinks" as he strolls through life. George is still repairing old, worn out vehicles. Black Baby is asleep under a work bench. And I'm writing. All back to normal.


Randall 8-24-2002 17:05

Welcome Denise! Many thanks to you Teekay! I was wondering if that poem was as good as my sister thought it was. Well I can't stay long, so until I'm back on...
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 8-24-2002 13:32

So much more romantic and colourful than my description of the moon.
You're a big softie deep down.

Eddie 8-24-2002 4:52

Carol - as one who has probably seen the moon more then most of you here, I can assure you that it does indeed change colors and seems to vary by season, temperature, and so forth. (Most cops work tons of nights, and only the occasional day until they get to be Chief). I have noticed that when there are big forest fires, the moon changes to a red, or sometimes orange, when Mt. St. Helen blew it's cool, the moon stayed angry red for nearly a month. When it's very cold, below zero F. the moon seems to come closer get larger, and much brighter. The sub zero temps also cause moon dogs, those being a sort of halo around the entire moon, eerie at night when your all alone in a town where nearly everyone is sleeping, and you alone protect them from crime and in small towns from fires. (Many night time chimney and home fires are discovered by alert cops while the home owner sleeps unaware.)

The moon has it's own moods, and when it's full, in the fall when the temps are varying, it can seem to be right next to you when it rises, so huge that it looks to be setting on the distant horizon, yet when it's directly overhead, it seems so small almost insignificant, at those times, one is aware of how small one lonely person setting in a squad car while everyone around him is asleep, yet to someone on the moon, he would be completely invisible. If one is invisible, does he actually exist, or is he the figment of some sleepers dream?

The moon is so majestic, yet it's pull on the human animal is so apparent to we who have worked in law enforcement or emergency medical (I was an EMT on the all volunteer ambulance service where I worked in addition to my police duties). A full moon on a weekend is a sure sign that somewhere some parent will be shocked and saddened by the loss or near loss of a child who, effected not only by the full moon, but probably by too much beer will lay somewhere between life and death in a hospital bed after being in a wreck. Bar fights are not only more common on the nights of a full moon, but they are always much more violent, in fact I think if I were a drinking man, I would avoid the bars completely when the moon is full.

Where do you think they came up with the term lunatic?

Sleep well notebook, another day is done.

Oh we went to Stewart Little II tonight, wonderful movie.

Jerry 8-24-2002 0:53

Hi All :)

And a warm welcome to Denise. Pull up a chair and enjoy.

Jerry - I promise to take the time to read your short very soon.

But, I did want to drop a quick thanks to Eddie and Tina for their advice on the moon color. I did pull up some searches using moon and dust - that should give me something to work with. I would prefer my moon had a set pattern to its color change. My thought is to have it pure white at rise and set with the rose red at zenith, the pink graduating in between the two colors. There is a heavy emphasis on nature in this piece, hence the reason for a rose red, not blood red moon. Though the two colors are basically the same, the difference in description will allow the perception I'm looking for. Thanks again Eddie and Tina for pointing me in the dust/pollution direction -- it is proving helpful. :D

Carol 8-23-2002 22:42


Hi you :o) Welcome to the NB. Enjoy :o)

Rachel 8-23-2002 20:59

Hi all!

Denise, hello! Glad you found our little corner. What literary urging brings you to us?

Carol... moons that change colours, hmm? On a regular schedule, or randomly? Dust storms could do that, but that assumes a substantial atmosphere exists on your moon. Now, lots of moons have atmospheres - Titan being a great example - but they usually occur around big gas giant planets, not rocky with liquid water type planets. For a regularly scheduled change, I don't know. Changes in the planet's atmosphere would be the best bet.
For a primitive people, you have all sorts of great options for what their reactions would be, and all kinds of traditions that would come from it.
Funky Moon Facts: Our moon spins at a rate that perfectly matches its revolutions around the earth, that's why we only see one side. It is the only known moon to do so. Without this perfect balance, life on earth as we know it would likely not be possible. The moon is also the exact distance from Earth to allow it to cause a full solar eclipse; the perceived disc of the moon is the exact size of the perceived disc of the sun. Perfect solar eclipses do not occur on the other planets.

This is setting up to be an awesome weekend. I have big plans on jumping out of an airplane, many times. Yay!

Blue blue blue skies!

Tina 8-23-2002 20:06

Hunting around online and found you all!

Welcome! to us all! Welcome again!


Denise 8-23-2002 19:44

Wrote this just a few seconds ago, and haven't gone over it again to check, but I'm about to fall asleep setting here, so must be off to bed.

This is for Shorty Night, I call it Retribution:

Tom Anderson was eighty five years old on his last birthday, on that day like today; he sat on the last bench near the door of the old court room. Nobody paid much attention to him, most never had an idea that he was there for anything more then the cool air that gave welcome relief to the torrid heat that had plagued the area for nearly three weeks.

No, the action was in the front of the court room, across the bar that held the public back from the professionals, and of course the defendant, who in this case was named Jason Munson.

Jason Munson sat next to his high priced, highly rated lawyer, who dressed in his thousand dollar suit looked nearly out of place beside the prosecutor, who sat at the table across the short space where witnesses came and went, from the defense table.

Clayton Whallem for the defense was just giving his closing statement, trying to convince the twelve honest folks who sat in the jury box that his defendant, Jason Munson, star of the silver screen, favorite of the television crowd, the man who played the good Doctor Amundson on the Young and the Flat Chested or some such soap opera was indeed innocent of the heinous charges that the state was trying to hang on him.

”Why Jason would no more harm so sweet a child as Mary White, then he would step on a spider!” The thousand dollar an hour lawyer shouted and pounded on the table beside him. Members in the jury box jumped when his fist hit the table, they hung on every one of his million dollar vocabulary, they wept when he told the tale of Jason’s fight from a broken alcoholic home up the ladder of success, they smiled when the lawyer asked them too, frowned when he indicated they should.

The Assistant District Attorney was worried. He had put on a near perfect case, there was blood evidence, DNA evidence, there were the witnesses who saw Jason take the five year old girl from the Wall mart Store, there were the hazy security camera photos of Jason, holding Mary’s little hand as they left. There was undeniable hair and fiber evidence pointing at no one but Jason. The witness from the crime lab told the jury that there was a one chance in ten million that anyone else had raped and killed the little girl, yet the ADA knew that this being California, and Jason being a star more recognized then OJ, or the Menendez brothers, anything could happen when the jury retired, and by the looks on the face of the members of the Jury, they bought every word that the thousand dollar lawyer said.

The jury left to deliberate after the ADA had his say, and what more could he do, he went over all the non-contested evidence, he went over Jason’s confession to the Police, he went over all the hair, blood, DNA, and fiber evidence, he closed by thanking each and every member for their help bringing an end to this horrible crime, but he could already see on their faces they were going to let this monster go. It was apparent to the ADA, it was apparent to the Defense council, it was apparent to the Judge, it was apparent to Tom Anderson.

The jury didn’t even take time to drink the coffee that the court officers had brewed for them to drink during their deliberation; they entered the jury room, took a quick vote, then sent a message to the Judge that they had reached a verdict.

The attorneys were not yet out of the huge courthouse when the court officer caught them and brought them back to the court room. Tom Anderson was still walking down the hallway when he saw everyone hurrying back to the courtroom, and followed.

He had just sat down when the judge entered, “ALL RISE” ordered the Bailiff, everyone stood, till the judge had seated and ordered them to their seats.

The jurors were escorted back into the courtroom, they all held their heads down, as if they knew what they were about to do was bad, wrong, horrible, unbearable.

When everyone was seated, the judge asked them if they had reached a verdict, the foreman answered that they had. Then on orders of the judge, the Foreman read the verdict slip.

“We the jury in the above captioned matter, find the defendant Jason Munson not guilty to all counts!”

There was a hush in the courtroom. Mary’s mother began to sob; Jason hugged his thousand dollar an hour attorney, the ADA busied himself gathering his papers off the table where they had laid for the past seventeen days. Nobody noticed Tom Anderson rise from the back bench and leave, nobody noticed the tear that trickled down his old wrinkled face, and nobody could hear him sob as he left the courtroom.

The judge dismissed the jury, ordered the release of Jason Munson from custody, and left. It was obvious on his face that he was very disappointed with the verdict, but according to law he could do nothing about it.

There were over a hundred reporters, photographers, and fans waiting for the jubilant Jason Munson on the forty seven steps that lead from the marble courthouse, there were several dozen more on the street and sidewalk below. In such a crowd, nobody noticed Tom Anderson, as he walked up those forty seven marble steps, a cane in one hand, and the other hand in his jacket pocket.

A nice thing about being an old man, some folks actually get out of your way so you can pass, probably a fallback on the old respect your elders that folks were taught many years ago, and as Tom Anderson made his way up those steps, people moved for him, he acknowledged their kindness with a muffled thanks, but move as they may, they didn’t notice the look of determination on his face, the twinkle of a tear in his eye.

At last he was in the front line, close to Jason Munson and his thousand dollar attorney, he could nearly reach out and touch either of them if he had wanted, but he didn’t want. Flash bulbs flashed, reporters thrust microphones into the pair’s face wanting comment on the somewhat surprising verdict, as Jason was again proclaiming his innocence, saying that the jury had spoken, Tom Anderson drew his old army .45 pistol, the one he carried in WWII when he landed on Omaha Beach in France, the one he carried with him as he helped liberate Auschwitz concentration camp, the one he had at his side as he guarded the NAZI prisoners, the one that rested in his bedside drawer for sixty years. He took careful aim and fired three quick shots into the body of Jason Munson.

A policeman who was standing crowd control at the courthouse heard the shots, turned and fired. Tom fell to the marble steps, and the crowd wondered at the smile on his face, as he left this world, his right hand raised, his lips whispering his grand-daughter’s name Mary.

Jerry 8-23-2002 0:56

WeeeeeHa! I love a fresh new page. Just had to post something :o)

Night all.

Rachel 8-22-2002 23:56

OK, you now have a tabula rasa up on the Notebook. My next step is to go ahead and archive the messages from the past Notebook. Check there and you should see it shortly. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-22-2002 23:19

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